Brought To You By The Letter ‘i’

the letter i

I’m an idle parent, as I’ve said before.  With four little ones, you have to be.  I can remember doing a tour of private schools for Lucy back in the yuppie days.  I was very excited about one school that talked about their “student-led learning.”  I thought that was interesting for the kids.  The teacher started the day with some ideas or themes and the kids ran with it as deeply as they wanted to understand.  Though, I have a feeling they never explored the art of playing Lego StarWars all day in your jammies.  But of course, you can take any topic and apply math, physics, science, art, computers, economics, reading or writing or what-have-you to it.    As it turned out, I didn’t pay people for this privilege.  Now that we’re out here on the farm, with so much to do and me not playing Polly Playdate or Activity Adiba,  the kids have been thrown into the “student-led learning” deep-end.   Today, like many days, the kids ran off and led themselves.  My only role is to unblock them should they get stuck with a stapler or in desperate need of a really nice camera and oh yeah can you print  my pictures that I took of each letter of the alphabet? –cuz I’m making a book.  And let me tell you, when a kid gets blocked, anger ensues.  Minty stapled her way off the edge of that big, white paper of calm.  Those people who make staple refills have no idea how frustrating it can be when one of those staples gets stuck in Mommy’s red stapler.  It drives kids to tears.  Nothing will sharpen your multitasking skills like unblocking four projects while working on two or three of your own.  Because when life gives you a big pumpkin, you must make pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and pumpkin purée before Mr. Pumpkin gets all moldy and yucky-like and fed to the chickens.


So they each made a book.  I think Otto started the madness.  Lucy’s was in French about a witch.  She also set out to make chocolate soufflé.  Her first soufflé.  Which we agreed upfront would taste wonderful even if it didn’t do the whole soufflé thing.  Minty’s was inspired by Blake’s 7 and entitled, “Vila Does a Hiding One and Says Something Silly.”  If you know anything about Blake’s 7, this fundamentally describes every episode with Vila in it.  Otto photographed the entire English alphabet in found objects.  Most of the rounded letters were achieved through crackling (when life gives you a really big pig, you must make crackling).  I have an acute fondness for his letter ‘i.’  After the books were published (i.e. stapled in firm, green paper), we all ate pumpkin pie.  These are the crazy days.  These are the days where you think, “holy crap what a lot of kids, what a lot of madness.”  These are the days you will miss when they’re gone.


… oh yes, Zélie’s project this day was exploring the gravitational pull of smiling wood and plastic objects and their potential supersonic attributes.

You Gotta Have Friends

It’s been a morning. We’re at the end of summer. Lucy, Otto and Minty are beginning to run out of good vibrations. My youngetst most perfectest baby has decided that one nap is the new two naps and while Daddy is away she’s going to stay up through the morning and afternoon thank you very much. But the kids are getting along now, Zélie is sleeping and the cows are beginning their afternoon munch after a looooong rumination. You can start to feel fall in the air.

my new tea towel!

Michael is back with a new band member! But more importantly with his addition of a superb tea towel (see dish towel) I think I’m now beginning my new collection of superb tea towels. Our Scottish farmer friend started it all with a lovely little number including bagpipes. Michael’s contribution is … well … I’m speechless. It wasn’t long ago that success was measured in the production of your very own action figure. It would come out lifelike and looking just like you. Now, I think I’ve got my fame set on tea towels. It’s great to have Munson and Michael back on the farm along with Gustav (the new band member).

Kevin has shoveled shit. I’m feeling the need to create some sort of “I shoveled shit on Brent and Jean’s farm” t-shirt as a little parting gift for visitors. His shit shoveling will be much enjoyed, as this is the spot for our veggie garden. Now that I’m not pregnant or moving house or nursing a newborn or remodeling or starting a business or helping Brent get a cow herd on the farm or fencing, I can start our veggie garden. It’s close, but not too close to the house. There is shelter from wind. Water is close by. I think it’s going to be great. We have another patch much further away that I’m hoping to use for large sprawling things. The shit Kevin has shoveled is aged cow dung from a year and a bit ago. You should see the life in that shit!!!

… Zélie discovers the magic of windwos
z discovers a window

…. k. gotta run, the kids are saying that there’s a wiggly, snakey thing in the house or it could be a lizard … eek! also, very important- how many fingers do Smurfs have!? Back to work!