On any given day you are most likely to find us communing with the gnomes and the fairies Under The Old Oak Tree

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weathering the Storm

Irene didn't hit us nearly as hard as I expected and for that I am grateful.  I had us prepared to be without electricity/water for 1-2 weeks.  We lost power for about two seconds at the worst part of the storm, so we were very very lucky.  Many of my friends down in Richmond are still without power and I know it is not easy for them.  I think it is especially difficult for those with young children.  I have heard of/seen pictures of several homes there that have trees that have fallen on them and it is heartbreaking.  I pray that those families are all safe.

W and I went down there yesterday to visit with some friends and it was painful to see the damage that was done by this storm, but I am grateful for the things that were not damaged.  Our old neighborhood, was without power, but, none of the trees in the neighborhood sustained damage.  I am grateful for that.  I was so worried that the trees we played under almost every day when we lived there would have fallen over, and so happy to see them.  The beautiful old oak trees in the parking lot of our old church did not fair so well.  All three had fallen down.  So sad.  Leaving yesterday, W told me that he was sad about the trees and about leaving his friends.  For all of his wild boyish enthusiasm, he is also such a sweet sensitive child.

Somehow, during the daylight hours of the storm, Irene ended up being a largely outdoor event for us.  After sorting some things out on the phone with W's lovely, wonderful teacher from the Waldorf school Saturday morning, we took her advice and got him outside before the wind and rain got too rough.  We walked through the neighborhood, splashed in puddles and then played on the neighborhood tennis court which was one big puddle at that time.  We had such a wonderful time.  W did not want to come back inside, but I decided we needed to since the wind was picking up a bit and it was becoming more and more difficult to keep our hoods up on our heads.  Of course W's rain boots were lost in our move so we had to make do with his water shoes, but it wasn't that cold out so it worked okay.  (Must find or get new rain boots asap)!

During the rest of the day on Saturday, our balcony seemed to be the place to be.  Luckily we live on the side of our building that is a bit more sheltered from these types of storms.  W spent a very long time standing on a chair reaching over the balcony trying to soak in some of the wind and rain.  He loved it!  We stayed out there till it was time to come in for his bedtime.  After that the storm did get a good bit stronger, but I was grateful that it wasn't that bad during daylight hours and that we had a protected place to get some fresh air.

On Sunday after the rain stopped we hung out on our balcony shelling and eating peanuts (which I had planned to have as something that would be fun and a good way to get some protein if we lost power.)  W thought this was a real treat.

We also took a nature walk around the neighborhood and checked out the damage.  The worst of it was the tree that fell on the slide at the playground where we usually play.

W loved rebuilding his stick collection which had been picked up by the lawn service last week.

  We also were able to find lots of leaves, acorns and other items that had blown off the trees.  I had both pockets full of acorns by the time we got home.  And so the yearly case of acornitis begins!

This could have been so, so much worse than it was.  As it was we didn't even really end up being cooped up by the storm.  We are very blessed and lucky that we had so little damage in our area and that we were able to keep electricity.  I have heard from so many friends up and down the eastern seaboard who fared much much worse than we did.  Many are without power or face flooding conditions or trees down on their property.  They continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as folks work to clean up from Irene.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yarn Along and updates

It's been a couple weeks again since I've managed to participate in the Yarn Along with Ginny of Small Things. Come to think of it, it's been a few weeks since I've managed to even update the blog.  What can I say, things have suddenly gotten very busy around here.

I have finally made some like-minded mama friends around here which is just wonderful!  Together with them I have been very busy starting a local Waldorf Homeschool Coop we are calling Rosebud Circle.  We aren't planning on homeschooling unless we were to move somewhere without a school, but we also don't live particularly close to the nearest Waldorf school here so it's nice to have a local community closer to home.

W and I are also hoping that we will be starting the parent-child class at the nearest Waldorf School next month.  The teacher welcomed us into the class in May and I just realized last week that we hadn't heard anything since then and school starts very soon.  I'm in the process of playing phone/email tag with the school now and hope we get it all resolved soon so we can start week after next.  Our homeschool community is wonderful, but I also really feel a need to be connected to a Waldorf School as well.

I am going to be starting Waldorf Foundation Year Studies through the Sophia Institute late next month as well which is hopefully the start of an exciting new chapter in my life as well.   For some time now I have been wanting to start Waldorf teacher training but I guess it's something I haven't mentioned here previously. My intention had been to start earlier this year, but then our move came up and I had to postpone my intentions for a while.  I'm glad that we are finally settled enough for me to start down this path. I'm really looking forward to this and I think it is going to offer me great opportunities for my own personal growth and really make me stretch  in new ways.  I'm still undecided as to whether I want to pursue early childhood education or elementary education.  I had always thought I would go into elementary education, but there continues to be this little voice in my mind telling me that early childhood might be where I need to be.  I really enjoy both age groups and the curriculum is so beautiful from early childhood up through the grades.  Sometimes I think both are calling to me with equal intensity at this point.  My hope is that as I go through the foundation studies I will be better able to decide in which direction I am being called.  I am sure that by the time I need to make the decision, I will have a clearer picture of what that calling is going to be.

Okay, now to the yarn along!  I finished the first sweater I've ever completed.  It's a blue wool hoodie for W (Rav notes here).  He loves it but I have to apologize for the bad picture.  He didn't feel like being a very cooperative model.  I enjoyed knitting this one so much that when I went back to the store to get a skein of yarn to finish it, I decided I also wanted to make him a striped one which is my knitting project for this week.  I decided to knit this one in the round and work the arms from the top down (Rav notes here).  As I write this, though I'm realizing I'm going to have to go back and take a quite a few rows and start the decreases on the first sleeve.  Still, I don't think it will take me too much longer to complete it.  I'm amazed my how much more quickly it has gone knitting this sweater in the round than it did knitting it flat.

For books this week, I just completed Farmer Boy (not pictured) and The Long Winter from the Little House series.  Oh how I love these books!  I read little bits of Farmer Boy outloud to W and he loved hearing new stories about " 'Manzo" besides the ones in his My First Little House books.  It's certainly not a book I would read to him in its entirety, but I was surprised by how much he enjoyed me reading a chapter book to him.  My other book that I am currently reading in School as a journey by Torin M Finser.  I ordered a used copy of this one from Amazon and imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found that it was a signed copy!  Kind of cool!  In any case, I've read the chapters on first and second grades and I'm working my way through the 3rd grade chapter now.  It's a fantastic book and is really inspiring me right now.  

Okay, hopefully I can be back here a little more regularly in the coming weeks.  I'm also hoping to get a few minutes in the next day or so to see what all of you are working on!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yarn Along

Okay, finally, I am getting to my Yarn Along post today joining with Ginny of Small Things

 I am still knitting away on W's hoodie sweater and I have started the second of his socks.  I have had several big housekeeping projects come up this week, so my knitting time has been a little less than I would have preferred  still, the leg of the sock is well under way and I'm over halfway through the front of the sweater so that is some progress!

As for the books, my copy of Homemaking As A Social Art was misplaced (with the help of a certain little boy) after I took a picture of it last week so I haven't gotten too much further, but I must say I found and picked it up again this morning and really love it!    The description of the importance of rhythm and how it is developed is one of my favorite ones that I have read.    It felt like light bulbs were turning on in my head while I read it.

For my bedtime reading I've been continuing with the Little House on The Prairie books, moving on to On The Shores of Silver Lake.  I'm not sure why, but when I think back to the Little House books and reading them with my mom as a child, this is the one I think about and that I remember most clearly.  I loved reading about Laura and her cousin Leena riding ponies bareback and about the Ingalls family living in the shanty town.  It has been like visiting with a dear old friend and recalling stories of the past.

I'm looking forward to reading about what you are knitting and reading over the next couple days.


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