Friday, December 26, 2008

through a glass darkly

Colm and Tess both got little digital cameras for Christmas. Both of them spent a long time snapping shots. Tess's camera allows her the instant gratification of reviewing her photos in camera; Colm's however does not. He shoots on a hope and a prayer that what he saw is what he'll get later when the shots are loaded on to the laptop. His big discovery was the effect he could achieve by moving the camera across the lights on the tree. Shooting blind. I kind of like the results.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Boy

photo by Colm

Still Life

photo by Colm

Angles of Repose
photo by Colm

Traveling Light
photo by Colm

Thursday, December 25, 2008

art of browsing

Art of Browsing
photo by Colm

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big wheel keeps on turning

Holiday blessings.

For the first time ever, all four of my offspring were gathered under the same roof at the same time.
Erin 31, Tim 29, Tess 7, and Colm 5. Talk about life cycles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Solstice

(apologies to William Carlos Williams)

so much depends

a wooden
gate latch

pinned ajar by

beside the black
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter sports

We got our first serious snowfall this past weekend. It coincided with my buying a portable b-ball hoop and putting in the driveway. Some people may not realize that snow is no deterrent to playing hoops. I did this a lot as a teenager in Maine.

The kids were itching to try out their new cross country skis. They skied right off the front porch into the street and away they went. As you can see, traffic was not really a problem.

Sammy got his first taste of snow. He liked it although when we turned to go back home, he definitely led the way.

Of course, it's lovely to come home to a warm fire, a book, and cup of coffee.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

the days of Christmas

Prep work for the Gingerbread Birdhouse. Everyone is involved.

Getting the tree. Last year we plowed through snow; this year we trudged through mud. We found one of the very last Noble Firs in the farm. The deer seem to have munched all the rest. Beth loves the Noble Fir look; Tess prefers the White Fir look. Beth prevailed this year. Tess is biding her time.

Beth's traditional hand made tree fairies - this year's editions. The kids delight in finding them in the tree. Beth began this tradition four years ago. Unfortunately, Sammy didn't get the memo, and not a half hour had passed before he chewed Tess's fairy to bits. Major drama. Sammy was banished to his crate for a period of time. Interestingly, he went without the slightest urgings from us, signs of an incipient dog conscience? Maybe it was just his sensitive dog ears because Tess remained inconsolable until she found one of last year's fairies in a box. That helped.
The fairies set up residence in the unfinished birdhouse. Everyone, fairies and dog safely kenneled.

As soon as the tree is installed, it becomes the focal point of the kids' play for the entire afternoon and evening.

Before going to bed that night, we read "Olivia and the Missing Toy". Perhaps Tess chose the book purposefully. In any case it was a classic example of bibliotherapy. Olivia's favorite toy is destroyed by her dog. Olivia's meltdown is uncannily similar to the one Tess had. Olivia bounces back though and in the end repairs her own toy, adding an extra red bow for beauty. Best of all she doesn't hold a grudge against her dog. After reading the book, Tess was feeling much better, and she even let Sammy sleep on her bed.

A new day, a new door to open on the Advent calendar, a new set of crafty things to accomplish. For example, a birdhouse to finish.

And so it goes...


Tess showed this to Beth this evening. As she did so she made sure to shield it from my eyes. "Sorry Dad," she said to me with a mischevious smile.

first dust of snow

monday morning