Wandering Wednesday

Here I stand, pausing a few moments before I resume my task of filling the bird feeders. Charlie (our new rescue kitty) has decided to keep me company. Perhaps he has a vested interest in keeping those bird-feeders full?

Note: This Wandering Wednesday post is part of a weekly photo challenge put forth by Gardenmama. For more Wandering Wednesday posts you can visit Gardenmama here...



Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.


I spotted this over at Dwell Deep . It's a truly beautiful video, but a little FYI -- if you're thinking of showing it to your children please give it a quick preview first... I didn't find anything objectionable, but some might...




Weekend Adventure: Muir Woods

Isn't it silly... The most wonderful places are often in our own "backyards." Sometimes it's fun to play local-tourist.
This weekend we played tourist and visited Muir Woods.

Do you have any local places you've been meaning to visit?


A Give-Away at Imagine Childhood

It's a great time to pop over to the shop Imagine Childhood and browse their beautiful selection of toys. And, if you manage to go there before 3 p.m. Monday August 23rd you can enter into a give-away for a $100 gift certificate for their store. So lovely -- so generous!


Fais Dodo

Another favorite lullaby around our house... this one is French and you can hear a sound-clip here...

Fais dodo

Fais dodo, Colas mon petit frère,
Fais dodo, t'auras du lolo.
Maman est en haut,
Qui fait des gâteaux.
Papa est en bas,
Qui fait du chocolat...

Go to sleep, Colas my little brother,
Go to sleep, & you will get some sweets.
Mama is upstairs,
She's making some cakes.
Papa is downstairs,
He's making some hot chocolate...

Fais dodo, Colas mon petit frère,
Fais dodo, t'auras du lolo.
Papa est en haut,
Il joux piano.
Maman est en bas,
Elle danse la samba...

Papa is upstairs,
He's playing the piano.
Mama is downstairs,
She's dancing the samba...

Fais dodo, Colas mon petit frère,
Fais dodo, t'auras du lolo.
Papa est sur l'eau,
Qui fait des bateaux,
pour le petit frère -o
qui fais bien dodo...

Papa is by the water
He's making boats
For the little brother
who is sleeping so sweetly...

Fais dodo, Colas mon petit frère,
Fais dodo, t'auras du lolo.
Les gentils oiseaux
Font des chants nouveaux
pour le petit frère -o
qui fais bien dodo...

The gentle birds
Are making up new songs
For the little brother
who is sleeping so sweetly...

Fais dodo, Colas mon petit frère,
Fais dodo, t'auras du lolo.
Les anges la-haut
Font un beau chateau
pour le petit frère -o
qui fais bien dodo...

The angels above
Are building a beautiful castle
for the little brother
Who is sleeping so sweetly...

I hope you sleep sweetly, too, my friends...


Hello Kitty!

Five years ago we brought home a lovely pair of birds -- Blue-Capped Cordon-Bleu finches which we named Mr. and Mrs. Blue-Cap Twitterpeep.

They brightened our home with their delicate warbles and fluttery affection for each other. Best of all was the courtship dance of Mr. Twitterpeep. Every day he would pick up a bit of paper from the bottom of the cage or nest and hold it in his beak as a tender offering to his mate, all the while singing a pretty song and bobbing up and down like a little wind-up toy. He was absolutely irresistible.

But Little Mr. has been begging for years to add a furry pet to our home. He's had his heart set on a dog, but as a compromise we decided to try out a cat. This meant that our little birdies had to find a new home. Luckily, we have friends who have a beautiful aviary in their San Francisco Victorian apartment. So off went our birds to their new home last Sunday.

Bye-bye birdies.

Hello kitty.

Our new kitty is named Charlie. He is 10 years old and came to us from a posting through a local cat-rescue organization. The gentleman who gave us Charlie is a widower. His wife was a cat-lover and he has cared for her cats since her death. However, he is getting married and moving to a new home in October. He needed to find new homes for the cats.

Little Mr. B. and Charlie have taken well to each other and are fast friends already. Above you can see Little Mr.'s photography efforts -- kitty insisted on a close-up!

Although this kitty came to us with the name Charlie, secretly I've been calling him Mr. Mistoffelees after the cat in the poem by T.S. Eliot:

You ought to know Mr. Mistoffelees!
The Original Conjuring Cat--
(There can be no doubt about that).
Please listen to me and don't scoff. All his
Inventions are off his own bat.
There's no such Cat in the metropolis;
He holds all the patent monopolies
For performing suprising illusions
And creating eccentric confusions.
At prestidigitation
And at legerdemain
He'll defy examination
And deceive you again.
The greatest magicians have something to learn
From Mr. Mistoffelees' Conjuring Turn.
Away we go!
And we all say: OH!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

He is quiet and small, he is black
From his ears to the tip of his tail;
He can creep through the tiniest crack,
He can walk on the narrowest rail.
He can pick any card from a pack,
He is equally cunning with dice;
He is always deceiving you into believing
That he's only hunting for mice.
He can play any trick with a cork
Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste;
If you look for a knife or a fork
And you think it is merely misplaced--
You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn!
But you'll find it next week lying out on the lawn.

And we all say: OH!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

His manner is vague and aloof,
You would think there was nobody shyer--
But his voice has been heard on the roof
When he was curled up by the fire.
And he's sometimes been heard by the fire
When he was about on the roof--
(At least we all heard that somebody purred)
Which is incontestable proof
Of his singular magical powers:
And I have known the family to call
Him in from the garden for hours,
While he was asleep in the hall.
And not long ago this phenomenal Cat
Produced seven kittens right out of a hat!
And we all said: OH!
Well I never!
Did you ever
Know a Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

No matter what his name, he's a wonderful kitty & we're all very fond of him. We feel lucky to have him join us in our home and suspect he feels likewise...


Brotherly Love

A few minutes after Baby Bloom was born someone in the birthing room asked Little Mr. B., "What do you think of your baby brother?" Trembling with joy and excitement, not taking his eyes off the sticky, squirming newborn, my 7 year old son answered, "I've been waiting seven years for my brother!" Little Mr. B. had been waiting all his life for that moment...

During the years we struggled to have a second child I had a lot of time to think about why I wanted another child and to question my motives. Did I want another child to fulfill something for myself or was my priority wanting my son to have a sibling? In discussions with family and friends, I was strongly advised against having a second child just so my son could have a sibling. Over time, however, I realized that I wanted a larger family -- I wanted to mother a second child.

So, ultimately I didn't choose to bring another child into our family just so my son could have a sibling, but the miracle of it is that this has been the best part... I'm reveling in the relationship I see unfolding between my two children.

Little Mr. B. holds the baby's tiny hand when they ride together in the back seat of the car. He tries to soothe the baby when he cries and is eager to hold and feed him. Baby B. turns his head in his brother's direction and looks at him with wide eyes when Little Mr. comes into the room. This relationship is not one I could plan for or predict but I am reveling in the miracle and joy of it.


Shayna Punim

For an explanation regarding the meaning of the Yiddish expression "Shayna Punim" you'll have to visit this post from June 18th!



Mornings around here are quiet. My mother went home about 2 weeks ago and Little Mr. is at summer camp for a few hours each day. Baby B. and I curl up in the rocking chair and I dust off favorite lullabies which I used to sing to Little Mr. when he was a baby.

The lullaby A La Peurta Del Cielo is unusual and rare and a particular favorite of mine. It was collected in Mexico by the Federal Music Project as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal. You can hear a clip of it here...

A La Puerta Del Cielo

A la puerta del cielo vendan zapatos,
Para los angelitos que andan descalzos.
Duermete nino,
Duermete nino,
Duermete nino, arru, arru.

At the gate of heaven little shoes they are selling,
For the little bare footed angels there dwelling,
Sleep now my baby,
Sleep now my baby,
Sleep now my baby, arru, arru.

Benditos los ninos duermiendo tan quietos.
Benditas las Madres que tanto los quieren
Duermete nino...

God will bless the children so peacefully sleeping.
God will bless the mothers whose love they are keeping.
Sleep now my baby...