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.



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


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...


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...


Little Red Bird

Little Red Bird (Ushag Veg Ruy)

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...

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...

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...

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.



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 songs of the sea in my ear as I lay sleeping?

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


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 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...


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...


"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?"