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outside

here comes the sun (flower)

august sunflower 2

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family outside

the spirit of the schoolhouse

1 collins schoolhouse teacher desk

2 collins schoolhouse weathervane

3 collins schoolhouse bookshelf magic windows

4 collins schoolhouse weathervane

5 collins schoolhouse bell tower

7 collins schoolhouse wood stove

8 collins schoolhouse chimney soot

9 marbles and bell in mirror

10 collins schoolhouse numbers blackboard
On a Sunday afternoon visit to a rural one room schoolhouse, on the opposite end of the county from where my great-grandmother taught a century ago, I thought about how we learn, where we learn, and why we learn. I also thought about how fortunate I was/still am to be surrounded by a family of public educators. That legacy of a lifelong love of learning is not something I take lightly.

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family outside travel

buds in nyc

a cloud sculpture central park a magnolia central park south blossoms west fifty seven (six)A few weeks ago I was in Manhattan for a quick research trip with my mom (though all researchers know that there is no such thing as quick research).  It was snowing when we flew into the city at midnight, and despite cool temperatures, there were signs of spring throughout the city.  These photos were taken nearby Central Park South.  Sculpture by Olaf Breuning.

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outside poem

first day of 2014: in the woods

ornament snow cap small backdrop small in focus snow top small layers snowy creek small walking small with mushroom platter snowA quiet hike in the snowy woods on New Year’s Day, before the snow fell heavily. And haiku inspired by the photos.

edging the tree trunks
fungi catch the weightless flakes
perches for snowfall

frozen apples hang
high in the snowy forest
nature’s ornaments

thin layer of ice
beneath reflection and snow
looks like the night sky

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birthday cake family friends inside outside

where did summer go?

an I spy spool barbecue beets bday cupcakes bratwurst kale pepper foil dinner charcoal grill apple tree gutter coconut curry custard pie jello salad fire pit brats grandma coconut birthday little mermaid sea cake overgrown gazebo pumpkin custard pumpkin granola yogurt queen anne's lace apple background tea bags reflect stove blue tea bowlsIt happened again: lots of living and not much blogging.  This summer has been adventurous and at times, delicious.  I am grateful for the milestones we celebrated and the simple moments we savored.  When I look at these photos I remember unexpected treats from this past season; wishing all of you those reminders of the good times.  I sense a reflective autumn coming on.

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birthday family ice cream outside

time’s a cranking

1 cozywalls time hand cranking ice cream grandma 2 rock salt for hand crank ice cream at grandma's 4 grandma hand crank ice cream 6 taste of homemade vanilla ice cream 7 melting vanilla ice cream from hand crank with spoon 8 cranking ice cream then and now 9 homemade ice cream with saltine in bowl

Together with my sister and her kids, we hand-cranked a batch of vanilla ice cream with our grandma/great-grandma on the cement outside of her front yard.  We were celebrating her 85th birthday… the same way we did when my sister and I were kids.

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holiday outside

appreciating the mama bird

red hungry bird mouths red mama feeds baby birds red nest in redbud red redbud bloom heart leaves

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family holiday outside

the hunt and tackle

plastic eggs and spring blooms racing toward the orange egg watering pail with plastic eggsThe colorful plastic eggs were not hard to find this year since most of nature is still brown. The egg hunting soon turned into egg tackling, as it became a race to the bright treasures. “I recovered three from my sister’s fumble,” my nephew cheered triumphantly.

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family friends holiday outside

seconds on the 4th

Who am I kidding, I think I went back for thirds during this 4th of July neighborhood backyard bash!

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friends gluten free outside snack

cherries & chickpeas

Those two! I cannot imagine my life without those women. Sometimes it’s funny to call them women, because we met right around the time we turned into teens. I am usually the one to bring up the fact that we are aging, but this time when we reunited, I felt completely opposite. Maybe it has something to do with happy and healthy futures? I am encouraged and just generally glad to have these special relationships.

So what do you snack on in the hot summer air? We had produce munchies and these totally addictive roasted chickpeas that Mary makes. I told her that I even prefer them to Chex Mix! Light summertime eating in the backyard is a fresh way to spend time chewing the fat without literally chewing the fat.