Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Now Jesusita En Chihuahua

















As promised, here is a post about some of the dancing at the Arts Festival, where Maria and her peers danced to Jesusita en Chihuahua. Our area Ballet Folklorico group was formed last November, and danced La Costilla in their first performance, barely a month ago. Since then, there was surge in class attendance. To make room for all the dancers, Maria was added to a group of older girls, and began learning the dance they've been preparing. New steps. New dress. New boots. It could be a bit daunting, but she loves it as much as ever.

At the Festival, Maria's teacher, Nadia, came with the San Diego group, Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio, and they did many beautiful dances. Nadia is in the white dress, and those beautiful waves of the skirt are called vuelo, flight. It takes strength and stamina to keep those yards and yards of fabric flying like that! It was the sweetest thing to see all of the little dancers come running out when they heard their teacher was performing... they dashed over to see her dance. Following the performances by Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio, there was Flamenco dancing {something that really caught Maria's eye.} And then came the youngest dancers from our local group, to dance the Costilla.

I have to admit, I was anxious for the girls dancing Jesusita. They'd had so few rehearsals, so many other things were new, too. I was wrong to worry. Nadia is a remarkable instructor, and once again, she did and said the right things to make it work. It helps that the girls are eager, and enjoy dancing. Their practice paid off, and before we knew it they were taking a bow. Maria laments how quickly the performance goes. So much anticipation and rehearsal, and then in two minutes it's over! But... there's another show this Thursday! Maria is thrilled. {And I am not worried a bit.}

Monday, March 30, 2015

Five or More Good Things

Sometimes, as I look through photographs I've taken, a message comes through... sometimes it's obviously about the subject, about what we did, and saw. Sometimes the photographs tell me something that I need to be reminded of, like Get out of your house, the world holds new wonders. Go see your friends, discover something! I love being home. I love the comfort of our space (even in this moment, when every inch of our home is turned on end with our projects!) But, sometimes, out there, in our own town, I get reconnected with people I've been missing, with places I like, and I find our community is small, and great, with beauty, and warmth.

At home, I am happy surrounded by familiar things... things which also demand my time and attention. It's not hard to feel compelled and obliged to stay home and do laundry, paperwork, weeding, fretting (over paint chips, and the things not getting done!)

At home, we've been eating on the porch, or perched on a free seat, anywhere a space opens up. The living room is empty, about to get new flooring! The rest of the house looks like a resale shop, complete with dust, and hidden treasures.

At home, there are peaceful moments, spots where I can recharge. Of course, sometimes those same spots are invaded with clothes that need folding, or cats that assume. This is the moment when I'd finally managed a half-way decent hair bun for Maria's dance performance, and we were dashing out to get to the rehearsal on time. Looking back, I saw Chango and Foo... making themselves right at home.

The Ballet Folklorico group Maria dances with was invited to an Art Festival. I was so preoccupied with managing our time, helping Maria get ready, thinking of what else was left to accomplish in the day, that I'd overlooked the good things I could look forward to, the friends I would see, the beauty of the event. Holly and Ruth met us there, and right away we saw George and Liz, then Carol with Leo and Michael. I got a big hug from Michelle H. We went to room 100 to see FIRST 2102 practicing with their robot... they have been a strong, remarkable team this year! Maria met Mark Patterson, the artist and visionary, who made The Surfing Madonna! We enjoyed the good food the high school's Culinary Arts students prepared... yummy falafel, and a messy-amazing ice cream sandwich! There were all kinds of arts to look at, to try, and musicians to enjoy. Maria and I loved listening to the high school band, especially seeing and hearing Max O, Bella C., and Austin D. play.










The pictures I took on Sunday are such a nice reminder of what we have in this town, with our neighbors, friends, family... we have an extended home, and it's good to get out there, and take it in.




Get ready for Jesusita en Chihuahua! I will be posting, soon.

Good Things...

1. Maria and Nathalie's play date, when they made me that darling bouquet in the kitty creamer, and they made lemonade, and played Guess Who.

2. Max hanging out with Lucas; knowing my friend Diana's home is another happy place for Max.

3. Following Diana's FB thread about college acceptance letters for Eric. He got into some great places... any of them will be lucky to have him!

4. All the wood working creativity Alex has been up to... and his plans for a Middle Earth party!

5. Geoff is still home! I love it when he gets a break!

6. Geoff is finishing Frankenrouter! That is super geeky-make awesome news.

7. When Maria is tucked into bed, the cats, chickens and goats are secure, Geoff and I are upstairs dozing off, and from downstairs we hear great peals of hearty laughter from William, Alex, and Max... so good!

It's Monday. Do you want to share some good things?



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weigh Hey and Up She Rises!














Fourth grade. Maria has anticipated fourth grade, and its special activities and rites of passages, since first grade. It's the same for fifth and six grade... she's known about the egg drop from the hundred foot ladder truck, and camp in Cuyamaca, and she has been eagerly anticipating, even preparing for all of it, since she was six years old. And now, she has experienced a big one, the night on the Star of India, working as a mate aboard the world's oldest active sailing ship with her classmates, teacher, and best of all, her dad as one of the chaperones. When I realized that Geoff's break might align with this trip, I was excited, too, because it was such a great opportunity for him to participate in something very special. As a driver to and from San Diego, I did get snippets of their experience, like hearing the captain remind parents that they needed to be there for safety, as observers, but should otherwise "Sit on your hands, and keep quiet," because this adventure is about the children, not adults out to prove they are the smartest fourth graders! Funny, and wise. Parents were not in their own children's groups, either, so as much as possible the students could immerse themselves in 1850, sailing to California for a gold rush opportunity. Maria's wish to be a mate, taking orders from the first mate, and taking charge of her own crew, came true, and she was assigned to the fore deck, and walked the first watch until 11 o'clock at night. They ate rat stew, and slept below decks on the ship's wood floor. They even slipped into the long, dark and narrow passage to inspect the bilge! They raised sails, heard yarns, and swabbed the decks. And they sang! And danced! All the songs Maria and Geoff have been learning, those unsavory lyrics, and funny tunes!

Everyone came off the ship smiling and well-worn out, some a bit bewildered... either lack of sleep or the return to the 21st century was to blame. Maria is still beaming, three days later, and still singing those shanties, Geoff, too. Geoff says it was something he will never forget, and he's glad he went. Maria is bursting with stories, and marvelous little facts and tidbits about life on a ship, her duties, and sympathies. For me, it was a chance to step back, and wait and see. It's bittersweet to see that overnight, Maria grew. I can't help wanting to be part of everything she does, to be needed, but this life of hers is blossoming so nicely, I am very happy to enjoy the sweetness of her making it her own. Next year: That much anticipated egg toss from the hundred foot ladder truck! And, we solemnly vow to leave all the engineering and construction of her egg cage in her very capable hands!

8:04 am, Post Script :: Their Fates

Geoff and Maria are up. Geoff's got an ear-worm, and has been whistling the one about Nelson's blood {shudder... what a gruesome yarn that goes with that shanty!} The tune echoes in our empty living room. This Chcikenblog post brought up more stories from their voyage, and Maria mentioned, in passing, something about everyone 'getting their fates,' and I had to ask her, 'Fates?' All the sailors chose either to stay on the ship, be dropped off in the Sandwich Islands, or head to the gold fields of California, and then next morning they received their fates. Maria said hers was one of the weirdest fates: "I chose to go to Hawaii, the Sandwich Islands, but then I was struck by lightning while on board the ship," she paused for dramatic effect. It worked. I did not think this was a happy fate, and then she added the weird bit, "The lightning strike left me 'enlightened,' and I became a fortune teller in Hong Kong!" Weird, indeed. Geoff's fate... it's so plausible I can't stop laughing: He chose to stay aboard the ship, and his fate? Well, naturally, he worked hard, rose through the ranks, and this led to him eventually {inevitably?} becoming captain of his own ship! I love it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

{this moment}

A single photo, capturing a moment from the week.
A special moment. A moment I want to remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

H.M.S. Pinafore on the porch, with a cat, and a chicken, in spring.