Friday, February 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.

Our porch is becoming a screened porch. And because Geoff is still in crunch-mode at work, and still recovering, we are blessed and delighted to have help... good help! And so, things are moving swiftly, relatively easily, as though the five years of anticipation, the year of planning, and configuring, will be behind us in a moment, and in another fleeting moment we will have a new space to gather friends, to sleep through hot summer nights, to play, and craft, and make things, to tinker, to daydream. The rotted post and joist are gone, and the shade beams are out. Mike removed the facade from the posts, and lowered the pitch of the roof. Plywood sheeting is already halfway up, and maybe some of the tin roof will be installed in time for this weekend's rain. {My job in this is to convince our hens to increase egg production... we would like to send a breakfast's worth to our friends, in thanks for introducing us to Mike.}

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mission San Juan Capistrano Postcard Day

California state history, including the missions, are the focus of fourth grade studies, and this week Maria and I made a special class visit to the mission in San Juan Capistrano, only an hour away by train. I will spare you the historic tidbits and trivia I have amassed over the years, because Wikipedia can probably do it better, anyway. As close to home as this mission is, as many times as I have stopped in San Juan Capistrano in forty-eight years, this was the first time I've been into the mission. It was a gorgeous day... a postcard day, and well worth the trip. I especially loved the gardens, and the areas where we could see how things were done... like the tallow vats, the kitchen, where they forged metal. As a chaperone, I was accompanied by Maria and four of her classmates, including her friend, Emma. After our self guided audio tour, we ate lunch on the lawn, then made the short trek back to the train station. {Five Stars... Five Thumbs Up... Five Fat Hens... I rank the train ride and stop in San Juan Capistrano very highly for the gorgeous ocean views, and relaxing ride, for the central station, convenient to sights, dining, shopping, and scenic walking.}

Riding home... backwards. I had forgotten how gorgeous this ride can be, how often there is only bluff and sand between the train and the Pacific Ocean. And. We saw dolphins playing in the surf. Yes, dolphins. Actually, we see dolphins playing in the surf, from the beach, often, but everything that happens on a train is somehow magnified in awesomeness... like riding backwards, seeing the ocean, eating chips and guacamole... Awesome!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Five Good Things

Weekend time... a chance to see Geoff {rare occasions during the height of crunch-mode,} breakfast out, and the general pleasures of some down time from school and office. I brought my down time basket... it's brimming with embroidery floss, needles, fabrics, yarn, hooks, scissors, and I try to keep it on hand so I can finish, and start, projects.

My latest interest has been shawls. For about ten years I have wondered how to crochet a shawl, and I have seen some really gorgeous ones, too. I made some independent {I don't need no stinkin' instructions!} attempts, with hilariously disastrous results. It amuses me to realize how many years I can live with an idea, be inspired to learn something, and just let the days go by until it feels right. Well, I finally jumped in, and with a quick search on YouTube I found Brittany, and her Granny Triangle Shawl tutorial. I made a blue shawl for myself. It was so easy! Seriously! Do I wait, because fate will align all the elements and things will fall into proper order? Do I wait because I am a dork, and forget to take advantage of all the amazing and readily available opportunities at hand? Brittany's tutorial is great, and in no time I had the pattern and rhythm rocking. And while our breakfast order was on its way, I had a moment to gather loose ends on a red shawl for Maria.

Max's new semester is in full swing. He's taking Calculus II, and AP physics, American History, and weight training. He loves all of his classes. Everyday he has something new to share with us, and on this day we enjoyed a thorough discussion about aerodynamics... what makes a plane fly? He's got it down, and was happy to begin Maria in her physics education. I love that I used to homeschool some of my children, and that now they are far ahead of what I could instruct. These days, I get the lessons from them. They teach me so much, on so many subjects, and I love the experience of seeing them excited about what they are learning.

Good Things...

1. We may be only days away from a crunch mode slow down, as the game Geoff has been working at is nearly finished... first things will ease up, and then there will be a much deserved break!

2. It might rain. The forecast has been a crushing disappointment, so far, but there is still hope that rain will come. {Finally... it's raining. I really must get rid of that weather app... it stinks}

3. The chickens are really getting into the egg laying mood, and we are finally seeing more colors, more sizes, more eggs! We may be back in business, soon.

4. Dance classes for Maria have been intense as they prepare for this week's school talent show. The challenge has been choreographing for a constantly changing group... there are no two classes alike, and so once a week the dance they are rehearsing has to be re-choreographed. Maria still loves ballet folklorico and is as devoted as ever. It's impressive to see how much she has learned since November.

5. William is experimenting in the kitchen... and we have enjoyed some tasty new recipes, all made gluten, dairy, and sugar-free, no nuts, no seeds, no beans. The limitations are not easy, but he is finding success and pleasure in the new foods, and challenges.