What’s been goin’ on?

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The kids have been enjoying harvesting, cleaning and sautéing kale. It will start with Talia asking Rachel or me, “Can I go down to the garden with you?” Then everyone will want to come. Then kale will be picked, along with any lingering cucumbers or zucchini, and plenty of sweet cherry tomatoes.

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Talia’s been waking up first. She does a great job mixing up the pancake ingredients, then cooking cute-cakes or snowmen in the cast iron pan.

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Yesterday we visited Mt. Ascutney. We hiked through the woods to Mile Long Field. Micaela, Emeth and Anna ran through the woods with me, keeping a pretty good pace. Then we ran through the field. (They slept well.)

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We bought a house! Well, it’s under contract. In NJ. We’re looking forward to being back in the area, being closer to family and friends. Settlement is October 16. It’s been a wonderful eleven months in Vermont. There is much we will miss about this place. Mainly the beauty and solitude. But we know we’ll find these things in smaller, more diverse ways in NJ. We are so excited to finally own a house, and make a home, after all these years of renting. It was owned by an older woman who’s husband died, and she is moving closer to her children. They raised their five children there, and took amazing care of the house and property, down to the landscaping. We’re realizing what a blessing it is to move in to a house that doesn’t need any repairs (that we know of), and that we can start with cosmetic things, like removing wallpaper, painting, possibly ripping up some carpet, and just focussing on making it our home, inside and out.

I’ve been working on a number of creative projects for fun. Musically, I released a short album called Demos, Mixtapes and Besides, and an EP titled Memos and Asides.

The Yearly Ears Cover

The Yearly Ears Cover Memos and Asides

I’ve also been working on another one minute film project, which I’m really excited about. (One minute has proved to be a good goal so as not to get in over my head.) I should hopefully have it released within a week. These are being posted here.

I listened to a very inspiring interview with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky on The Tim Ferriss Show, which inspired me to keep going with these short projects. Always helpful to be reminded that it’s best to just be yourself when creating.

I’ve been focussing on a lot of one minute projects, like the music and visual pieces, but I recently completed a 24-minute project for a new podcast I started with my college roommate. It’s called All Things Deconsidered. It was so much fun to write, record and edit, and I’m having fun working on episode two. You can also listen on iTunes.

With all of these projects, both short and long, I’ve been trying to break down the steps by using a method outlined by the folks at Bullet Journal. This video breaks the process down pretty well. It’s been immensely helpful for organizing my thoughts, both personally and for my work.

I’ve been reading three amazing books:

  • The Meaning of Happiness – Alan Watts (I’m actually re-reading this one it’s so good!)
  • To Have Or To Be? – Eric Fromm
  • Concluding Unscientific Postscript – Søren Kierkegaard

At bedtime the kids have been asking to listen to Krista Tippett (On Being). Recommendations:

We’ve been enjoying The Olllam (yes, three l’s) and Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini’s Desert Songs.

 

In light of our recent big purchase, we’ve been watching the 1979 season of This Old House. The hat. The mustache. The enthusiasm. Goosebumps.

The kids have been enjoying watercoloring.

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End of Summer

Playing Store

Hunting For Bears

 

Sparklers

Curtseying

Cookie Shop

Farmer’s Market

Morning Meditation

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Mirror Time

Summer Morning

Measuring

Eclipse

Tuckerbox

Learning to Ride

Harvesting From the Garden

Artistree Class

Each Tuesday evening — for about the last five or six weeks — Rachel took Micaela, Emeth and Anna to a class at Artistree, in South Pomfret, called “Mindfulness and Art.” Last night was their last class. The kids really loved their teachers, Susan and Katelyn, and expressed long, heart-felt gratitude and goodbyes.

The last two times, Talia and I came along, picnicked and played on the playground while we waited for “guys” to finish. When done, “guys” ran out yelling, “Talia! We had time to make something for you!” They handed Talia a clear, smooth, plastic bottle with water and colorful glitter inside. “Shake it! Shake it!” Talia was very pleased.

“Guys” ate their dinner then played on the swings.

“Daddy, can you run up and down the hill with me?” Emeth asked. So we ran up and down the hill. At first, Annie and Talia wanted to be held on the run down, but I quickly got tired, and used it as an excuse to take some pictures. “Guys” kept going, holding blankets out, flowing in the wind, pretending to be birds. Talia ran up with them, but was reluctant to run down by herself. So Rachel helped her.

Talia wanted to do it again. So Caela walked up with her. Talia still was hesitant. Then, suddenly, she ran down.

As the sun set over the mountain, they played in the sandbox while Rachel and I walked around the robust and beautiful garden. Not a weed in sight. Leeks and peppers. Flowing cucumber vines. Purple top turnips almost as big as my head.

 

Less is more

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Annie and I surrounded Rachel yesterday, taking pictures while she knit. Annie, with our older, smaller digital camera. I, with our newer, larger one. Rachel smiled and laughed, feeling like she was at a photo shoot. But it allowed us to snap some good photos!


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I tried snapping a ‘selfie’ with Emeth, but at first the camera was too close, capturing only eyes, noses and mouths. He thought that was funny, so he laughed. I took more pictures.


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The only shoes Emeth likes to wear are his cozy winter boots. But now that it’s Summer, less is more. Thankfully, we found a pair of sandals he likes. Here, Rachel is teaching him how to tie the laces.


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It’s wonderful having a brook within walking distance. (Well, we still drive to get there, since it’s easier for Annie and Talia. But it only takes 30 seconds.) We take cold plunges, play in the mud, splash and throw rocks.

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Here, Emeth looks up at a nearby tree, at a bat that just flew overhead and landed.


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When it gets too cold in the water, we walk back to the van, play on the road and warm in the sun. Annie and Emeth tried building fires with sticks and friction, but it didn’t work. Mostly we just run on the street, carve sticks, and lay in the sunshine.

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Talia was mostly miserable yesterday, but once she took off her wet bathing suit and snuggled with her mimi and a book, she was happier.


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I’m enjoying taking pictures and videos with our new camera. Above is a shot Rachel took of the nasturtiums we planted on our deck. Below are shots I took while walking through the brook, trying to capture the ripples of the water, and the color variation in the rocks.

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Be-cept the pondish streamish

“I love my sweetie.” – V, while playing with M’s hair

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“My body likes anything, be-cept not anything.” – E, contradicting himself
(Be-cept = except)

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“Hugs make you cute!” – V, while giving hugs

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Rachel: Get your poopies out.
V: You can’t get them out with a spoon!

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E: When your dead are your eyes still open? I mean, are you still a little bit alive when you’re dead?
Daddy: when you’re dead, you’re dead.
E: But why are your clothes still on when you die?
A: When I die I’m just gonna be naked.

 

A letter, coming mom-mom’s way. I liked this line about the “pondish streamish” (pictured above).

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