One of the lovely fall days we had before it hit the 40's!
There are so many lovely bloggers out there and I wanted to share a couple posts that caught my eye in the last few weeks. First is Bluebirdbaby's post about toys. Yes, less is more, especially after a birthday. A big one: Happy Fifth Birthday Maia!
These next two show some pretty nifty art projects for kids:
I confess, I am totally obsessed with Bamboletta Dolls. Although they are very hard to get they are super fun to drool over. Love the hair. Maia got one during one of the custom orders they take a few time a year. This is Hazel:
I also have a weaving piece on display in this show - Woven Images. And the Milkweed Project is assembled and is pretty cool! Glad to be a part of it. That's all for now, enjoy your Thanksgiving!
The new fall routine must have swallowed me up, whole. At least as well as blogging goes. It is true that my 8am classes pull me awake before the sun is shining and my new best friend is the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. But the semester is half over; the kids have settled into their new routines of high school and kindergarten, and the chilly autumn wind has been blowing for a while now. Julian's soccer season has ended and Maia's 5th birthday is just around the corner.
I find myself in a new place now, concentrating more on school and less on home. John's work schedule has been adjusted and we now have family dinners together every night. I have been reading Julian's freshman english class books alongside him and we have been discussing plot and setting, themes and writing style. Maia is writing up a storm and beginning to recognize high frequency words.
We got a new roof, two weeks of hammering and nailing and now no more squirrels will winter in our attic anymore. And best of all, we adopted a new dog, a sweet, affectionate little 2 year old corgi mix named Kylee, who lounges on the couch and sleeps at the foot of our bed. The cooler weather has brought out her spunk and her timidness is beginning to leave her. She appears in Maia's drawings often with a big smile on her doggy face.
Pumpkins have been carved and costumes picked out. Soon the trick or treaters will swarm the front door and November will be upon us. We'll watch till the last leaves drift to the ground.
These are a few samples of some of the weaving I did over the summer at the ABK Weaving Center . The warp is the dark green color and they are all variations of the star and diamond. The patterns were much more complicated than the ones I did last spring, but satisfying and good to keep the process fresh in my mind and hands.
The baby robins have flown the nest and the newborn bunnies grew at such a fast pace that they too have left their hole and are now hopping around the garden and munching on greens. The yard is quiet in their absence as is our house in the absence of our dog Stella. I have finally washed her last bowl of food and water dish and tucked them away neatly in the cabinet. Dog sounds echo around me; the creak of the stairs, and the jingle of dog collars outside the window. Tennis balls lay in the corner, food crumbs stay beneath the table until I sweep them into small piles. Little grey and white dog hairs appear on our clothes and in dusty corners. Her ashes are contained in a white box sitting on the shelf waiting for a burial ceremony that has yet to be dreamt up.
She died almost six weeks ago, shortly after Maia and I found her laying by the back door with her tongue hanging out and tremors shaking her little head. A seizure, perhaps a stoke. Perhaps a series of small strokes.
She had been moping a few days earlier, lazing around the house, not thrilled when I took her out, but I chalked it up to the boys being away. Once though, she refused to go out. I called the Vet and he said to call back the next day to figure out a time to come, if she was still the same. Well, she wasn't. She was fine, or so it appeared. She had recovered from whatever it was and was bounding down the block with Maia.
So we were completely shocked when we found her that day. I picked her up and wrapped her in towel thinking I could rush her to the animal hospital 3 blocks away. Maia was crying and scared and didn't want to sit in the back seat with her still jerking her head. I put Maia in the front seat, belted her in and put on our make-believe ambulance siren. When we got there, I discovered that the hospital has just closed. The receptionist was unlocking her bike and I darted over to her to ask where the closest animals hospital was that might be open in the evening. She gave a name and street, but my eyes glazed over as I though about Stella in the back seat. I thanked her and ran back to the car, not knowing what to do. I ended up driving back home and calling the Vet as I could see she had stopped seizing and was no longer moving.
I sat in the back seat with our little dog and cried. The Vet would come by the next day to pick her up. So we held a little dog wake that evening, with family coming by to say their last goodbyes. It was comforting to have her home while we could process what had happened so suddenly. And the next day Dr. Tom picked her up in a blanket and took her away.
Stella was a force of nature. Stella was a dominant dog. She didn't care for other dogs and would not back down if barked at, which made dog parks impossible and walks not so relaxing until she wore herself out. She was a herding dog, a blue heeler, and would nudge my ankle when she wanted to go out. She would run in circle 8's in the yard when she was really riled up. And she never really got the hang of giving up the ball in fetch.
But she was a real good people dog. She though she was, in fact, a person. She loved to socialize at parties and take advantage of someone's unattended food plate. She greeted everyone with a friendly licks and would force her muzzle into your hands. She'd lay her head on your lap until she got some good petting time in. She slept with Julian for many years until Maia was born and then she lay in the hall between the two sleeping kids.
We'll miss you Stella Luna! Even the licking and the shedding and the moping and whining. You were a good dog, Stella. And we loved you very much.
Julian stayed up for 30 hours at a checkpoint for the Riverwest 24 bike race on Friday night, I have buried my head in books for the last week and a half reading the Lisbeth Salander trilogy and John pushed aside the dining room table, dragged in the living room couch and we all watched "The Cat Returns" with the new movie projector. Oh, and Maia got to have rainbow sherbet for breakfast. Ah, the freedoms of summer.
This is the view from my front porch during the torrential downpour last Thursday evening. We had about 7 inches of rain in under 2 hours. The sewers were overwhelmed and many of the streets in my neighborhood ran like rivers. Around the city, sink holes opened up, foundations were crushed, and cars stalled in water up to their windshields. Thousands of basements flooded, many with sewage. Now piles of refuse are heaped outside of houses as the clean-up begins. Devastation is wide-spread - $28 million of damage and FEMA is apparently on its way.
Here is some footage of the flooding in my neighborhood:
We had about 6 inches of rain water in our basement and have finally dried out. We had water in with the dry clothes in the dryer and found our fans and dehumidifier floating in water. They have all dried out and amazingly still work. We threw out many items that were ruined and are still sweeping up the dirt and bleaching the floors.
It was chaos that night. I was driving in circles trying to go the 1 mile to pick up Maia at daycare - every direction I turned cars were stalled in waste deep water. And the rain just kept falling. After about 40 minutes of driving I finally found a possible thoroughfare, though it too was flooded. I watched nervously as 4 or 5 cars went around me and made it through the flooded intersection. I gritted my teeth and pushed the accelerator. From there it was mostly higher ground and I made it to the day care center about 15 minutes late. Meanwhile, Julian was at home by himself and the lights were flashing on and off and water was filling up the basement. I knew I wasn't going to make it back through those intersections again, so I followed my brother-in-law back to his house in more pouring rain. John made it home before me by walking two miles to our house, abandoning his car when he realized that he could not get any closer. It was totally surreal and it remains so today as the piles grow bigger and more widespread and neighbors share their hardships with each other.