29.11.10

Song of the Wandering Aengus

THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS

by: W.B. Yeats

WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

There is a melody I learned which I like to sing, using the words of this poem as lyrics. I could not find a sound clip, however, this youtube clip of a version by Judy Collins is very pretty...

25.11.10

Happy Thanksgiving

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
(John Greenleaf Whittier)

Wishing you bounty, beauty, delight and endless reasons to be grateful in your life...

xo
MB

23.11.10

The Magenta Crayon


Note to Little Mr. B.:

The next time you put a magenta (or any other color, for that matter) crayon in your pocket, please remove the afore mentioned crayon from said pocket before placing your garment in the laundry.

You are hereby informed that, until further notice, all your favorite school clothes & pajamas (plus some of your brothers clothes and fathers clothes) will now be streaked with magenta.

22.11.10

Inspired by the Kabbalah


Many years ago I found the following words, inspired by writings in the Kabbalah, typed out on a sheet of paper and tucked into a prayer-book:

Each lifetime is like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. For some, there are more pieces. For others, the puzzle is more difficult to assemble. Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle. And so it goes. Souls going this way and that, trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But know this. No one has within themselves all the pieces to their puzzle. Before they started sealing jigsaw puzzles in cellophane to insure all pieces were there, some pieces might go missing. Everyone carries with them at least one, and probably many pieces to someone else's puzzle. Sometimes they know it. Sometimes they don't. And when you present your piece, which seems worthless to you, to another, whether you know it or not -- whether they know it or not -- you are a messenger from the most high.

19.11.10

Knock-knock!

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Little Old Lady.
Little Old Lady who?
Why are you yodeling?

I think that's the first knock-knock joke I ever heard. It's very silly, but I guess that's the point.

A few weeks ago there was a fund-raiser book-fair at my sons school. I try to limit book purchases and use the library instead, but heck, this was a fund raiser, so I had to buy something, right? I picked up a little book of knock-knock jokes, and we've been having a lot of fun with it. My favorite ones tend to be cheeky (and somewhat rude.)

For example:

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Ida.
Ida who?
Ida want to tell you.

Knock-knock.
Who's there.
Nona.
Nona who?
Nona your business.

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Ax.
Ax who?
Ax nicely and I might tell you.

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Avenue.
Avenue who?
Avenue got a doorbell?

Knock-knock.
Who's there.
Butter.
Butter who?
Butter let me in, or else!

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Albee.
Albee who?
Albee back because you're taking too long to answer the door.

* * * * *
But my favorite all time knock-knock joke was told to me by a kindergartner in my sons class 2 years ago. The joke goes like this:

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Impatient cow.
Impatie...
MOOOOO!

* * * * *
Okay, I've probably tested your tolerance long enough...

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
Thea.
Thea who?
Thea later alligator!

17.11.10

Origami

What a perfect activity for a seven year old (or a twelve year old, a 25 year old, a 45 year old or a 72 year old!) I love that origami teaches Little Mr. B. the skill of carefully reading & following detailed, step-by-step instructions -- the same skill he learns when following instructions for putting together a Lego set. Except that, at the end of a Lego project, he ends up with a big, plastic piece of junk, while when he completes an origami project, he ends up with a lovely bit of paper-art (Me? Biased against Legos? No, not me!)

Besides the pair of technicolor penguins pictured above, we've made...

Mama & baby owls...

Papa & baby hedgehogs...

And a little, purple bat!

There are so many good books for creating origami with children. We found these at our local library:

Super Simple Origami by Irmgard Kneissler
Absolute Beginner's Origami by Nick Robinson
Super Quick Origami Animals by Nick Robinson
Origami for Children by Mari Ono & Roshin Ono
Origami Toys That Tumble, Fly & Spin by Paul Jackson
Making Origami Fish Step by Step by Michael G. LaFosse
Making Origami Birds Step by Step by Michael G. LaFosse

Happy folding!
xo
MB

15.11.10

Five Fat Persimmons

I've had these five, fat persimmons, plucked from a neighbors tree, sitting on my kitchen window sill for the past few days...

One of the joys of autumn in our house is fuyu persimmons. When the topic of fuyus come up, Little Mr. B. waxes rhapsodic about this, his favorite fruit. Through the month of November he & I can plow our way through four or five persimmons every day (if we can get our hands on enough of them...)

Nine years ago, when we moved into our house, Mr. Bloom and I planted a persimmon tree. Its red, autumn foliage is lovely, however, this tree has yet to produce even one small persimmon.
Luckily, my father has large persimmon tree which produces abundantly. Every year, around Thanksgiving time, my parents bring us a paper grocery bag brimming with fat persimmons. They will be driving up from Los Angeles to visit us in a few weeks -- Little Mr. B. & I can hardly wait!

12.11.10

Kewpie Doll


The other night I said to Little Mr. B., "Our baby is like a Kewpie Doll, except he's noisy and he smells funky." Little Mr. (who has never heard of Kewpie Dolls) looked at me with a puzzled expression and queried, "Puke-y doll?" which was very apt given how much this baby spits up...

11.11.10

The Laundry Elves

The other morning Little Mr. B. asked why he had no clothes in his bureau drawers. My response was, "Because all our clothes are in those 3 large laundry baskets sitting on the family room floor." Little Mr. B. asked why I hadn't folded all that laundry. When I informed him that I'm just too busy, he said he might fold it(?!) Well, that was 4 days ago.

Meanwhile, I am still waiting for the laundry-elves to appear in the night to fold the laundry...

10.11.10

Little Red Bird


Little Red Bird (Ushag Veg Ruy)

(Refrain)
Little red bird on the lonely moor,
Lonely moor, lonely moor,
Little red bird on the lonely moor,
Where did you sleep in the night?

Out on a gorse bush, dark and wide,
Dark and wide, dark and wide,
Swift rain was falling on every side,
O, hard was my sleep last night...
(Refrain)

Did I not sleep on the swaying briar,
Swaying briar, swaying briar,
Tossing about as the winds rose higher,
O, little did I sleep last night...
(Refrain)

Did I not sleep on the cold waves crest,
Cold waves crest, cold waves crest,
Where many a man has taken his rest,
O, Little did I sleep last night...
(Refrain)

Wrapped in two leaves I lay at ease,
Lay at ease, lay at ease,
Like a babe on his mothers knees,
O, sweet was my sleep last night...

This is a Manx lullaby from the Isle of Man. I'm not sure where I learned it, but it's so beautiful it's impossible to forget. Here is a clip (and another clip) if you want to have a listen.

9.11.10

Mermaids

This morning I woke up to find seashells scattered beneath me across the sheets. Had mermaids swum to my bedside secretly in the night to whisper dark songs of the sea in my ear as I lay sleeping?

(Or did Little Mr. B. curl up next to me, sighing softly, wearing a sweatshirt with pockets full of seashells from an expedition to the beach?)

8.11.10

Gifts from the Earth, Gifts from Afar


Courtesy of a swap dreamed up by Nicole over at Gardenmama, stones from afar have been arriving in my mailbox.

Wrapped in pretty paper & tied with colorful string (sometimes accompanied by a poem) each adorned stone is unique and lovely. Sweet Baby helped me open the little packages which arrived Saturday...

This beautiful stone was sent to me from Massachusetts by Nicole of Gardenmama...

She adorned the other side of the stone, too...

This soft wool-felted stone (accompanied by an Emily Dickinson poem) was sent to me from Louisiana by Rachel of Woolgypsy...

This magical, two-tone, beaded stone was sent to me all the way from Australia by Shannon of Rhythm & Rhyme ...

I'm fascinated & charmed by the little golden-wire swirls on the flip-side of this stone (definitely a "thinking-outside-the-box" stone...)

And finally, this sweet stone came to me from Valaries garden in Tennessee (her blog is A Place Like This...)

Thank you for these gifts from the earth, gifts from afar...

6.11.10

Everybody Needs a Rock

Three years ago my mother gave Sweet Child a book called Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor. Believe it or not, my mother found this book in box of Cheerios -- it was part of a General Mills program to promote literacy. What a lovely thing to find in a box of Cheerios! The first page reads:

Everybody
needs
a rock.

I'm sorry for kids
who don't have
a rock
for a friend.

I'm sorry for kids
who only have
TRICYCLES
BICYCLES
HORSES
ELEPHANTS
GOLDFISH
THREE-ROOM PLAYHOUSES
FIRE ENGINES
WIND-UP DRAGONS
AND THINGS LIKE THAT --
if
they don't have
a
rock
for a friend.


* * * * *
A few weeks ago Nicole of Gardenmama proposed an "Artful Stone" swap. Each participant would adorn 5 stones however she wished -- with paint, marker, felted wool, crocheted cotton, etc... and then mail those stones to 5 other participants. In return, each participant would receive 5 adorned stones.

I gathered stones on a cold & blustery, Northern California beach. As I approached adorning the stones I thought about my favorite, meaningful words… Love, Joy, Gratitude, Hope, Faith, Peace… I kept coming back to the word “peace” because for me, love, joy, gratitude, hope & faith can lead to peace. Peace in my heart and peace in our world is something I wish for… I chose the image of the wish-flower because, as its seeds fly forth into the world to plant new wish-flowers, so might peace be spread in our world.

And then, I confess I cheated a little and decorated a second stone... As I was rummaging through my stamps, I came across a little set of matrioshka doll stamps made by Sarah Neuburger and felt inspired. In Russian, "matrioshka" literally means "little mother." This made me think about how, across the miles, across generations, across race and culture, the beautiful & overwhelming experience of motherhood is what connects so many women, and in particular, the women participating in this stone-swap. And so I adorned this second stone in celebration of motherhood (secretly, in my mind, I named this project, "Hey mama, you rock!")

Then yesterday (hooray! hooray!) I received a stone in the mail. It's a felted stone from Rachel in Louisiana. You can find lovely spun wool, felted dolls plus handmade soaps & balms over at her etsy shop. This adorned stone is such a sweet thing... the wool is so soft, it makes me want to cradle it in my hands or place it gently into a birds nest to see what will hatch!

Thank you Rachel, for such a beautiful gift and thank you Nicole for arranging such an artful swap...

5.11.10

Waiting for my Triple-Shot Latte

What's a girl to do while waiting for her triple-shot latte? Snap photos of her sleeping baby, of course...

By the way, back in March, I posted a photo of this little hat, in process, on my knitting needles. Here it is, ta-daaaa! (I have another tiny hat on my needles now. Maybe I'll finish it some time before this little one enrolls for college...)

3.11.10

Bad Family Photos

We were a family of three for a long time, so it felt like a rite of passage to take our annual holiday photo as a family of four. Taking our family photo this year was a big event and we had a lot of fun... but most entertaining has been looking over the photos and inserting "thought-bubbles" above Baby Bloom's head. Take, for example the photo below:

"They look like a nice family, but I'm not sure I belong here... Maybe if I stop drooling they'll let me really be in the photo. Meanwhile, I wish that kid in the red shirt would stop using me as a sofa cushion." Yes, this really is an unfortunate photo. And, no, this particular photo will *not* be featured on our holiday card.

After taking some "proper" photos, we got silly and started rolling around on the floor...

Hey, little baby, please let go of those (fragile & expensive) wire frame glasses...


Ouch...

"Hey, where are you going? Come back!"

"How did I get stuck up here, suspended at the top of this photo? Could someone please get me down?"

2.11.10

A Merry Halloween

We set our pumpkins a-glowing...

and got ourselves ready to go trick-or-treating...

We had so much fun... I hope you had a "Merry Halloween," too!

Go Giants!

Since the Giants made the playoffs, we've been decked out in our Giants caps & t-shirts and have hardly missed watching a game. Little Mr. B. looks particularly cute in his cap & shirt, but I haven't had a chance to take a photo. I did, however, manage to grab this photo of Baby Bloom in the silliest of all possible hats... after all, what's the point of having a baby around the house if you cannot dress him in silly hats?!


THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2010

Ha! I got a photo of him in his Giants shirt & cap!