Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moving Pictures!

This is an abridged version of Alex's tenth grade English Independent Learning Project. He chose to learn about painting. He's never had a formal painting class. He read books, met and interviewed artists, and he completed about six paintings. He set the camera on a tripod and filmed himself sketching, then painting "The Lighter Than Air Fair!"

When Chickenblog was migrated from using FTP to blogspot URL, we lost all of the films we had in posts. Yesterday Geoff figured out a new hosting system (YouTube) and so now we can see about getting some of our films up and running again. I think

I will figure out a distinct way of labeling "Films" and "Flicks." As it is, it is horribly muddled. I think under "Film" we have had our personal videos. And any time I linked to, or mentioned, commercial or YouTube-like movies and shorts, I labeled the post "Flicks." The system is as confusing and dull as this explanation.

It has been a busy week, and I cannot see much relief in the week ahead. Fortunately, we have found time to squeeze in some good stuff, and I hope to post about the family that came to celebrate some dear birthday folks.

School is almost out!! Am I delusional, or do you think I may actually achieve some of the things my mind keeps lingering over... like visiting thrift shops, having a real birthday party for Alex, then Max, mailing packages, building a hen house, donning a swimsuit, having tea parties, and movie nights, hosting more Science Sundays, taking a yoga class, restoring order and harmony to our home? Okay, I don't know if there ever was "order and harmony" in the first place, but some of these visions must be possible, right?

Alex and Max slept outside. We watched a little Planet Earth on the big screen. It was spectacular. We are working out the kinks and preparing for a real Under The Stars movie night premiere. It was only a trial run, but I have to say: Very cool. Yes, quite awesome.

And now, I am going to check on those boys. I want to hear from them about whether the sleeping outside part was worthwhile.

Happy Birthday Alex

This is really brief.
Because I am more interested in doing stuff with you, than writing stuff about you.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Wish I Were There

Happy Birthday Bill.

This is my brother Bill, with his baby, Marissa.

I am the oldest sib, and yesterday we celebrated Hans' birthday... the youngest sib. Bill(y) was my first brother, my baby brother. I love seeing my funny, sweet, athletic, magician brother with his babies. I love his family, his taqueria, their pretty home. I love seeing his name appear on my caller id, and I love eating bean burritos, and apple pie in his honor.

I would say more, but the sentimentality gets me emotional, and I start to miss him more than I can bear, and then I wonder why we don't live there, near them.


Bill, I love you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Twenty-One Four Bun Salute

Happy birthday Hans.

Since it is a special day, I wanted to do a special thing in your honor. I have written about my earliest memories of you. I have a made photo-video of your life (though it could be updated by now.) I have bought you gifts, been to your parties. This time I wanted something new.

So, I attempted to arrange for a twenty-one bun salute. But I could only find one bun, and he was not especially cooperative.

So, it comes down to a four bun salute, from a very old bun.

Do not let this indignity suggest that I have no respect for your office, your rank, your service, your intelligence, or your sweet skills on anything with two wheels. It is only my duty, as your sister, to make you grin... if not from humor, then from embarrassment.

We look forward to seeing you. We will try to make it up to you.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Are You Surpressed?

You know, when something impresses you and surprises you?
Surpressed! That's more or less how Maria explained it to us. She thought her classmates would be "surpressed" with the red ribbon she was wearing, headband style, to school.

And I thought I would surpress you with the news that our garden beds are finished!

Even though I got myself fired during the design, measure and cut phase of the whole project, I was allowed back on the job when it was time to fill the beds and plant them. It's an honor and a pleasure.

Also, please note our apples. There are eleven medium sized apples growing on our new tree. Each piece of fruit accounted for and eagerly anticipated. At the last family farm meeting we were unanimous in our decision to bake one awesome chipotle-apple pie.

And finally, after seven years of container gardening, we are breaking out the big seed jar of delayed gardening dreams! I also picked up fresh seeds, just in case.

Our four, very deep beds, are beautiful. They are full of good, organic planting soil, and they each have their own riser for drip irrigation. And they are painted a lovely, energetic shade of blue. And if they weren't four feet wide, I would hug them. Instead I pat them affectionately.

Max has always wanted his very own garden bed. He read the seed packets, and like a true engineer, he followed the directions to the letter, measuring the rows and depths. He planted corn, beans, and sunflowers. He knows the names of the two kinds of heirloom corn he planted, and he was totally surpressed to discover that corn seeds look just like corn, that sunflower seeds look just like sunflowers.

This is why. This is why we need to play in the dirt, put seeds in the ground, construct, destruct, investigate, think, make, tinker. "Obvious" is a relative term, and without real experience we might be missing wonderful, surpressive things, that some think are "obvious." I love that he was impressed and surprised. I love that he has his own garden bed.

Alex and Maria helped fill the other beds. Alex procured tools, read our gardening book, and helped with planting decisions. Maria dug holes, dropped seeds, danced, sang songs, and clasped her hands gleefully.

Alex and Maria also excavated the mystery rock from the hole where I was planting our second zucchini.

Is it really necessary to plant a second zucchini? Has anyone ever run out of zucchini? The children do not want be short of zucchini, not as long as they can recall the deliciousness of their Great-Grandma Nancy's zucchini bread. Right. So we are planting three! zucchini!

"Carrots Love Tomatoes," my favorite gardening book. It pairs veggies, fruits, and herbs for companion gardening. Some plants protect each other from pests, some plants do not get along and will hinder each other. I've got the book to help me keep it all straight.

We put the eggplant, basil, and peppers in the same bed. And of course Max planted the maiz and frijoles together. We sprinkled lots and lots of carrot seeds among the tomatoes. We planted radishes and beets. I do not like radishes. And beets taste like dirt. They really do, but I love to juice beets, apples, carrots, lime and ginger... it makes the best, sweet, spicy, refreshing dirt juice ever.

How does your garden grow? What might surpress us?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

An Overwhelmed Chica

Yes. This is me. Figuratively. Only I am alone. There is not another plucked hen, upside down in a vase next to me.

Or is there?

Yes. I realize this is not a pretty picture. Literally or figuratively. But it is just so darn fitting.

And funny too.
I always like to find the funny side, even when I am in over my head... especially when I am in over my head.

Does this vase make my butt look big?

Just kidding.

I really do not have a point.

I wanted to amuse myself.

Now I can cross that off my list.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Send Us a Post Card

Alex, our little Big Island boy, on vacation.

Seeing these old photographs from one of our Hawaiian vacations reminded me of an offer I made a while back... Bitter Betty sent us a post card of herself on her vacation (She must have felt sorry for me, because I miss li hing mui on shaved ice so much!) and I thought it could be fun to share more post cards... from your summer vacations.

Right this very moment there is a Tiny Glutton on a road trip and visiting The FARM Chicks Antique Show. Wish I could be there! She wants to share the fun and is having a giveaway, so you may want to stop over and share in her vacation adventures. And I am going to keep checking my email box for her postcard.

No Hawaii for us this year. I think we are going to enjoy a mostly staycation summer. I say "mostly," because I do hear the siren calls of a coastal road trip. I wonder how far we could get?