Writing and wringing the moments sapless.

Violet heaven behind the house. Between polishing, editing, and attacking the Defect/or poetry collection, I steal time for seeds and flowers. It’s hard to juggle writing, editing, the foreign country of writing/publishing networks (for which I lack a passport), gardens,…

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Will D. Campbell, a man unlike any other.

The first time I heard Will D. Campbell’s name was in the context of a conversation with an elderly neighbor whose voice churned confetti and fireworks as she described her favorite “bootleg preacher”. I was intrigued- but all that breastmilk-induced…

wildcrafting

So here it is- my favorite way to play… Making things from other things we find throughout the day. Crafting with natural materials, organized by material. An P indicates printing pleasure can be satisfied, while a B indicates that this…

Why the only cure for now is nature.

The Eldest shows Amy a discovery at Tannehill. In the latest issue of The Atlantic, James Hamblin explores the emerging profession of “ecotherapy”. My heart skips and cartwheels to see Richard Louv’s name quoted in a mainstream media outlet. Children…

Why I homeschool.

Inspired by Mommycoddle, who explained her personal reasons for homeschooling, I thought I’d do the same. There are so many stereotypes and assumptions about homeschooling parents and homeschooled families that it makes sense to reaffirm why we, as individuals, choose…

Where I’m From: A Poem Game.

I am from rusted barbed wire, from Gauloises and old Romanian folk tales. I am from a Hunter 27 which became a Island Packet 36, mornings stirred by the sound of waves gossiping with fiberglass and sweat-moist sunprints on my…

What we learn by watching harvester ants.

Gnome holds her cheap plastic ant after giving it a kiss. It’s all about insects lately. Each night, the insect for the next day is introduced in the form of a cheap, plastic replica. Little B. bounces around the room,…

What I learned today at Hurricane Creek.

This is how we remember the Creek, how it appeared in our minds when we planned our picnic there today. And then there was this. And now there is this. A “this” with a disorienting and shocking effect. When I…

What ever happened to the Wankel engine?

At a meeting with fellow community-garden oriented neighbors, we met a really neat gentleman who filled our imaginations with all sorts of interesting things. From a high-tech neighborhood of underground homes in North Texas to rotating watering schedules, we were…

Weaving together botany and ecology.

Botany has been my favorite subject this learning season, and our study of herbs only adds to the daily marvels. However, kids seeking plants in fields contributed to some pillaging of local species, so I was grateful to discover a…

Watching a luna moth emerge and dry its wings.

It was the Eldest who first spotted the bright green friend crouched in a corner of the castle exterior. “A friendly dragon,” we determined. Moving closer to establish the requisite rapport, we realized that our friendly dragon was actually a…

W.J. Cash’s “Mind of the South.”

Reading W.J. Cash is like watching a country club social group learn how to buckdance. The Mind of the South, while earnest and thoughtful, leaves one with the aftertaste of fried chicken wings from a fancy restaurant. A certain type…

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“Visitation”, a prose poem by David Shumate.

Fall is hammocks by the fire. I’m slightly in love with David Shumate’s book of prose poems, High Water Mark. Apart from admiring his craft, my affections tend towards the particular. I am grateful for his “Prescription For Insomniacs”. Because…

Using gouache paint with kids.

I love the versatility and mystery of gouache paint, and since I couldn’t find an online resource for sharing gouache with kids, I decided, of course, to be the source of my own desires. What’s so great about gouache? Gouache…

Two days and nights in Covington, Georgia.

Leather chaps for sale. My in-laws kept the kids while the King and I escaped to a bed and breakfast in Covington, Georgia. Upon our arrival in this charming small town, we were greeted by loud, incessant revving-up of a…

Trips with travel tickets.

Inspired by that amazing Mom’s Minivan, I created some travel tickets that the kids can use to keep up with our trip as we drive to Ohio. Since the baby might require more frequent nursing stops, our travel time is…

“To You”, a poem by Kenneth Koch.

I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut That will solve a murder case unsolved for years Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window Through which he saw her head, connecting with Her shoulders…

“To Lou Andreas-Salome” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

In 1897, while roaming the busy streets of Munich, Rainer Maria Rilke met and fell in love with the widely traveled, intellectual woman of letters Lou Andreas-Salomé. His relationship with this married woman, with whom he undertook two extensive trips…

Thoughts on violence and Sandy Hook.

We spent our weekend in Atlanta visiting with extended family- but the story of the Sandy Hook massacre was never far enough from my mind. Every mother who loves her children knows her children- knows in some silent, unspoken way…

Thoughts on “perfect parenting”.

An early morning outdoor ballet session. Whenever I run across the “perfect” family, the one in which the children “obey” immediately and everything seems to work like a well-oiled machine in which the parts know their place and the place…

Thinking about Amber and what people think.

Today, between clouds and sunshine, I’m thinking about Amber laying in a trauma unit at UAB surrounded by machines and people and noises she can’t quite process. I’m thinking about how little I know her… and yet, how effervescent and…

The weaning.

Milla on a tearful afternoon… I’d like to say that it was a wonderful experience in which we discovered new ways to relate to one another and show affection. I’d like to say it was pleasant. I’d like to be…

The visiting terrapin.

Micah, Milla, and Angie discovered a box tortoise in the shrubs today. Max observed that the turtle’s radiating golden markings would “make a cool tiedye pattern”. And then John Wathen stepped forward with a smile and asked to hold the…

The tempestuous twos: Reconsidering the “terrible twos”.

Given my rapture with toddlerhood, I use the words “terrible twos” uncomfortably. The word “terrible” doesn’t sit right with the excitement of the new independence that toddlers display. Tempestuous twos is my preferred description. Berkeley psychology professor Alison Gopnik and…