The Oak

There are sights I try to capture with my camera, knowing I will end up with nothing more than a scrap of the experience.

Merely a taste of a memory that must be recalled and revisited.

I have not the skills to truly capture the way this old oak rises into view through a break in the trees, towering over everything.
Truly immense in size, it is a tree that demands to be admired.
A tree that stops you in your tracks, forcing you to look up past the animal runways scratched into it’s thickly crevassed bark, up to the branches that twist and turn far, far above.

Then once you tear yourself away to continue on, it is merely to stop, turn back and look upon it from a fresh angle as if you have doubted your senses and need to confirm that it is still standing, still real.DSCN8972-(3sm)

I am happy with my pictures, but they’ll never reproduce that feeling of awe inspired insignificance that standing under this old oak tree can.

A fact that gives me faith that the world is just as it should be.

 

Brave Chicken Little by Robert Byrd

Unlike one of my favorite childrens’ book recommenders over at What Is ML Reading?, I have never liked Chicken Little.

Chicken Little is, and I say this with years of chicken husbandry experience, an idiot – even for a chicken. Don’t even get me started on the rest of his feathered friends, the terrible repetition in the story and the way he (at least in modern versions) gets randomly saved from his stupidity by the king.

But, ML’s choices haven’t steered us wrong yet and before long my skeptical self had procured the book. I gathered the kids, braced myself and dove in.

Would I recommend it? Surprisingly, I would! I was very worried when the story opened the same way it always does but it got better, much better. If you are a fellow Chicken Little hater and need more convincing, give it a try for the illustrations, they are amazing!

Monday Night Ski Lessons

For six weeks in mid-winter, Monday night is cross country skiing night.

Ivy and Clara both take lessons, (with Peak Nordic Kids of course!) while I follow along with Clara’s group as a volunteer. Today was the last of this year’s sessions and looking back on the last few weeks I don’t feel that telling people it’s cross country skiing night really sums up the event.

You see, it starts at 1:30…

I figure 1:30 is the latest I can start gathering everyone’s skis, boots, and snow apparel, while double checking that we have extra socks, hats and gloves, without forgetting to collect a pair of p.j.s and a blanket for each girl’s ride home, all while on the phone consulting with my mom for a dinner plan. Because by 2:45 we have to be headed out the door to pick Ivy up from school. If we don’t make it there by 3:05 she’ll get on the bus and then we’d never make it to my parents’ by 4:00, so that we can enjoy the previously planned dinner with them by 5:00 so that at 5:30 everyone can put on their ski stuff. We have to have ski stuff on by 5:30 so that I’ll have time to switch Jane’s car seat to my Dad’s truck, say goodbye to the two of them and be out the driveway by 5:45. That way we can be at the ski place by 6:00 so that the kids can finish getting their ski duds on, while visiting with my mom (who is one of the coaches) and we can all be out to meet our respective groups on the trail head by 6:30.

While skiing is done at 7:15 it seems a bit insane to just go home so we take another half hour (or until someone’s toes are frozen) to play around on the trails with my mom before we go back into the warming house. Once back inside, we need to change into p.j.s (an activity that manages to spew two giant bags worth of gear all over the place) then pack everything back into bags and load all the skis, so we can be ready to go when my Dad gets there at 8:00 with Jane. But of course we never actually manage to leave at 8:00 because there are snacks, and adults to talk to and I’m never excited about getting back in the truck. So it’s always more like 8:30 that we get going, which means that it’s already past bedtime. Once we get half way home we have a “one last thing” request and then it’s officially bedtime in the truck.IMG_0541

Which means when I get home at 9:30, I have three sleeping kids, two giant bags, three sets of skis and poles, at least two pair of boots that have been kicked off, Ivy’s school bag, and random other debris scattered about the truck that needs to be transported inside.  Usually by 10:00 it’s all sorted. Everything is inside, the chores have been done and the wet ski clothes are hanging up around the rekindled fire in the woodstove.

Then I eat everything in the house, collapse on the couch and wonder how a 45 minute lesson can take eight and a half hours.

But worth it?

For sure!

Playing House by Donna Brown

I can be a bit of a Goldilocks when faced with a new romance novel.

I held this new book in my hand hoping it would strike just the right balance…

That it would be a love story that wasn’t too sappy, but yet not too uptight.

I wished for romantic interludes that kept the bodice ripping to a minimum, but not so much as to be puritanical.

I looked at the cute cover hoping the plot would be realistic, but not to the point of boredom.

I wanted to fall in love with the characters, yet hoped those characters would have plenty of annoying, humanizing faults.

I longed for those characters to grow through painful experiences, but not so much trauma that it becomes hard to read.

And finally, I hoped that this book would know its own length. A story should never stretch itself too long or cut things off short.Rosie's Book Review team 1

Would I recommend it? Yes. This sweetly painful, refreshingly real, novella was, decidedly, just right!

This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

Mardi Gras!

Thanks to a super fun package from John’s aunt in Louisiana we had our own little Mardi Gras celebration tonight!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Mardi Gras mask and beads

Thanks again Aunt Kathy!