One poem each day.

Ordered by the day on which we read the poem. Because alphabets vary- as do words, as does meaning, as does the relativity of solid concepts like “left” and “right”. But one thing is certain- each day requires its own…

One of the reasons I love living in Alabama.

It has nothing to do with football and everything to do with storytelling, kinship networks, folk art, and happenstance. Mr. Kenneth “Skip” Henry, the oldest son in a family of 12 children, dropped by to see if our home could…

Oh, valentines…..

MAX: “But isn’t Valentine’s Day just another one of those holidays where we get lots of candy?” ALINA presses her palm against forehead: “Oh geez. I guess that’s what it’s become, right? But if it has any meaning whatsoever, Max,…

O is for owl.

Last night, we spent some time chatting with the owl that currently inhabits the woods behind our house. He was especially eager to converse with Patrick, though less interested in what the girls and I had to say. Naturally, the…

New words from the Coryell Caravan.

Patrick coined a term- “shunting”, or shell hunting- to describe one of my preferred beach activities. Shunting with the munchkins reveals a little about their emerging aesthetic preferences. For example, Micah tends to crow with delight when she discovers a…

nestings

My thanks to the curators of beauty of longing that inspire me. P indicates a printable or PDF pattern. F designates a personal favorite. INSPIRING BLOGS AND MAGAZINES all the luck in the world Anthology Apartment Therapy bloesem living Decor8…

My very bad experience with a local contractor.

I am still shaking. Driving home from the kids’ tennis camp, I tried to get through the road construction project on Loop Road, the major thoroughfare that leads to our street. Apparently, I should have checked the Facebook page for…

My little cross by Marian Zidaru.

Every time I chased Milla past that cross, it left a vivid imprint on my mind. A cross of flowers- the way meadows crown gravestones with wildflowers, the tiny little nails to remind us of the unbearable ones. My Bunicu,…

My first craft fair.

The Handmade Holiday Event went by in a whir of distraction and sparkly sights. Mary and I stayed up late the night before, trying to figure out what exactly we were doing. We never quite figured it out, but we…

My favorite untranslatable words.

Full moon off The Transylvania. The kids frequently ask me to translate a Romanian word for which I can find no simple English match. Over the years, they have learned to expect definitions which extend like kudzu in multiple directions…

My ersatz Harper’s index.

Who doesn’t love Harper’s index? Who doesn’t secretly salivate with anticipation of the month’s statistical jambalaya? I decided to indulge in the highest form of flattery this morning and communicate via index. Chance that gazing at a beautiful landscape helps…

music

An X marks the must-visit spots. A line indicates that the blog is on sojourn but still worth perusing. 3hive 1.618 Adious Lounge All Things Go Any Major Dude with Half a Heart Asleep on the Compost Heap Aurgasm Babylon…

Music for Lent.

Bucharest Score by Alina Coryell, 2011. In response to Natalie, whose lovely Lenten tunes are currently ripening the rooms of our house, this is a playlist which we imagined might hustle a grin from a headphone-wearing girl walking the snow…

Museum Monday at the Museum of Natural History.

This past Monday, Max learned about local dinosaurs with a little hands-on paleontology at the University of Alabama’s Museum of Natural History’s Museum Monday. The girls and I wandered around the museum lobby for a little while to make sure…

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Mining a fallow field for stories.

The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness…. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word “unspeakable”…. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried….Remembering and telling the…

Middle school math and geometry.

Interactive notebook starter kit (Mrs. West Knows Best)* Interactive notebook bookmark (Performing in Fifth Grade) Tips for teaching with math games (Laura Candler) Math Comics: Fractions (David Rickert) Fraction foldable (Teaching with a Cup of Tea)* Simplifying squid fraction packet…

Metaphysics: The Spotify playlist.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that investigates the general nature of being or reality, especially the being of the sensible world, God, freedom, and souls. It is sometimes synonymous with “ontology”, though some philosphers would shun me for saying…

Marina Tsvetaeva’s Moscow Diaires, 1917-1922.

We come closer: hills and waves of sacks, in between them sighs, scarves, backs. There are almost no men: in the Revolution, as always, the weight of everyday life falls on women: previously– in sheaves, now in sacks. (Everyday life…

Making scarecrows.

Patrick’s beautiful garden has been attracting a number of birds lately, and the little squash flowers are suffering. So Max and I decided we need to make a family of scarecrows to gently admonish those birds trying to ruin Patrick’s…

Making a popsicle stick thumb piano.

Since watching Throw Down Your Heart, in which Bela Fleck shows the prominent role of the thumb piano in indigenous African music, we’ve been intrigued by the rattle and hum of this powerful little instrument. You can watch Ruth play…

Making a bestiary.

Our recent unit study on the unicorn inspired me to combine our naturalist study of ecology with an exploration of history. The fantastic never ceases to coexist with the actual in the minds of children. This is partly because, as…

make beautiful things

A list of links for those who love to create, craft, and make for the sheer pleasure of it. Relish every medium and don’t be afraid to dabble in foreign substances and substrates. Try a tutorial…. and don’t be afraid…

Loving “that ubiquitous weed” first-hand.

While running around Manderson Landing during lunch the other day, the munchkins discovered a crop of dandelions growing on a sunny hill. After filling their fists with dandelion pluckings, they brought them to me like gold- the kind of gold…

Love letter #53: Edith Nesbit.

“I couldn’t help wondering as we went down to the garden, why Father had never thought of digging there for treasure instead of going to his beastly office every day.” E. Nesbit, The Story of the Treasure Seekers I love…

Love ain’t easy.

“If the wings of the butterfly are to keep their sheen, you mustn’t touch them. We mustn’t abuse something which is to bring light into both our lives. Everything else in my life only weighs me down and shuts out…

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Lost in the woods and other social adventures.

Yesterday, Max and the Get-Along-Gang (who doesn’t always get along) got lost in the woods behind our house. Thankfully, Ellie was carrying the cell phone which Tiffany wisely placed in his pocket just in case this case occurred. Luke, Micah,…

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Local Tuscaloosa artists and artisans.

Tuscaloosa is the kind of girl you have to get to know before you can truly appreciate… That initial glance at one of the kitsch-at-first-sight Southern bottle trees adorning a well-landscaped lawn might leave you a little perplexed, but by…