Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird:

Blogs are funny beasts, but not as funny as the beasts who steer them.

I first tacked a few snapshots on this particular beast for my friend Warner, back when I was girlish and adventurous and still typed in lower case.  By the second time I posted, five days later, I already wavered about the worth of blogging, and nearly 12 years later, here I sit, all a'wavering still.

The moon has been bright this past week, and I wake suddenly and silently every night, like a cat crouched, listening. My mind begins busywork, and hours pass.

I have no place to lay things down.

Maybe I should follow Tom Toles, the cleverest insomniac, and take up cartooning.

Chickens / Skunk

The children took a boatload of pictures of chickens, including one of this chicken levitating.

I took these pictures of a favorite Nut Berry.

The Great American Classic

The only other snapshots I have from the last week and a half are these of the boys watching Dumbo for the first time while their big sisters were off picnicing for the day.

Dumbo explores the heights and depths of human emotion.

1.   Zeke grins while the mama elephants exclaim over how cute Dumbo is.

2.  Zeke is bothered by the mama elephants mocking Dumbo's ears.

3.   He grows yet more distraught as they jeer.

4. When Dumbo's mother is jailed, he grows sober yet again.

5. He nearly cries while Aidan falls asleep.

For real.

The baby also has a heart of stone and slept through the whole thing.


For Titi (Here Ye Be)

I took two pictures, remember!  Here's the bonus of her jumping up with a start before running back to dreamland.


Making Up for Lost Tme

I don't know where the month slipped off to, but when I turned my back-- poof!  Lost time.

We spent May like a pocketful of change on birthdays and visiting and visitors, day-trips and small adventures, projects large and small, a solid week of manure-shoveling, stone-digging, and seed-sowing to fill the food and flower beds, all finished off with some tick bites, a sick boy, and a week on Long Island stretching more days than we gave it permission to, helped along by our van dying-- for good and earnest, this time-- also without our permission.

Half of us arrived late last night, and John and the girls are taking a bus back home today,* with a layover in the Big Apple, while the five littlest and I recreate life from six years ago with rainy-day blogging during nap-time. It's been a few years since I wasted afternoon time while the whole house sleeps.

I'm glad June's here.  Life was tumble-y and chaotic on too many of May's days, so June-- are you listening?-- no matter how tumble-y and chaotic you always grow to be, please slow things down notch or two.

Snapshotting took the form of scattered flurries-- hasty snaps without thought for form or frame-- so with a rueful grin, here's a handful.

(*But I wrote this yesterday, and now tomorrow is today.  They're home!)

Another Honeymoon

Those who see me in the flesh know that in addition to this wedding getaway, John and I ran away together at the end of January.  Then, John planned to take Cadence and me along to a June event he spearheaded and helped organize.  Staying in another hotel while the children play happily with Dude and Dudette? I could get used to this!  (Don't worry, good Owen parents, we're not running off to Europe anytime soon...but wouldn't that be GREAT?!)

I was looking forward to the conference. Though I've only dipped my toes into the Lafferty Sea (Laffersea, I suppose), I've read enough to know I'll read much more.  Plus, I enjoy lectures by intelligent and interesting people on just about any topic, and the conference promised to deliver.  When we arrived in Long Island, though, Zeke had a fever and didn't want any pizza-- a sure sign that he was under the weather.  The next morning, his fever was higher, and we took him to the walk-in, with a probable Lyme diagnosis, so then... we took him on our romantic getaway.

Let the above paragraphs serve as explanation for why the following pictures contain a baby, a sick boy, and myself, with no romantic interludes featuring a bearded, dashing man (who was busy, besides, helping lead the most wildly successful conference this world has ever seen).

I only took a handful of pictures, being occupied as I was, but Zeke wanted a picture of this bridge to show the girls.

Sick boy on the bed.

After two days of a 103+ fever, it finally broke, and he wanted to eat for the first time in as many days.  The three of us raided the vending machines and came back with a bag of cheez-its.  If only vending machines had fresh pizza...

Zeke held out for most of the day, and I only missed the last two presentations/panels.  During those, he was a sick and sleepless little grump in the lobby, tho' the storm broke for a bit, during which I took this picture of us by some artwork.

After that, though, it was sick and sleepless and grumpy until bed.

Here's a baby on a hotel bed! Exclamation point necessary!  I know it's bad etiquette to stuff things from hotels into your suitcase, but I took her home, anyway.

And that same bridge, only returning us home this time.


I've been a terrible excuse for a snapshotter when it comes to taking pictures of anything other than
1. Birthdays
2. Children in the rain
3. Children sitting on the couch
4. Children working in the garden
5. Children asleep on the floor
6.  Children doing nothing in particular
7.  And So On

Since she was born, I've taken one picture of Cadence with my mother, and none others of her with anyone outside of our immediate family.  WHAT?!  We've seen my sisters many times, we've had two visits from our Owen family since Cadence's birth, and we've traveled down to see them once.  Cadence has been held by family and friends many times over, but she'll think no one loved her by the time she's big enough to hunt for baby pictures of herself.

Except for Aunt Sarah Owen.  She'll know that Aunt Sarah loved her.

Thanks to taking the camera out for an hour during our week-long stay, she'll also know that Uncle Bryan organized a relay race.

AND she'll know that Mrs. Judy brought over cupcakes for her brothers and sisters to frost and decorate.

...and eat.

And if she ever clicks here, she'll discover that she missed out on tons of fun while she was listening to lectures at a convention.  Hopefully, she'll never find out, or, if she does, she'll love Lafferty so much she'll know she got the better end of the deal.

She's Finally Clean

Right before we walked out the door for Long Island, too.
All snapshots are compliments of Mildred. (Thanks, sweetheart.)

In the Wild

I spy a Nixie reading on the couch,

staring at her annoying mama,

giving me a good view of those striped eyes of hers,

with a giggle, to boot.

Three's the Charm

There are many reason to like this snapshot-- chiefly for its subjects (a smiling friend with a sleeping baby)-- but also because this is the third little one in Titi's arms who wears the dress she made eight years ago.

ARO Turns 2

As my mother commented, Aidan's cake sure was "different" this year.


Here's the full view of my cake-decorating oasis, for maximum viewing pleasure.

I'm glad Aidan is too young to know how much I short-changed him this year.  His birthday fell smack-dab in the middle of garden chaos, and after working all day, I slapped his cake together after supper, decorating it with leftover frosting from one of the cakes I made for Debbie's wedding shower the week before.  And, no, I did not make him a present, but John bought him a matchbox car, so presents were covered.

The plug is there not because we want our child to electrocute himself nor because I'm a terrible mother (tho', to be sure, I am at times).  In the three minutes I alloted for frosting his cake, I tried to think of something appropriate that Aidan loves with which I could decorate his cake.  Remote controls were out, as were cell phones (too many buttons), and I had scant time for a car or computer.  Ah!  Eureka!  Electrical plugs!  Something Aidan loves.  Not so appropriate, no, but it was fast and made a nice bright addition to the cake once we lit the candles.

He was almost unbearably cute while we sang, and since his favorite part of the whole day was bellowing "Happy Birthday" along with us, we sang it half a dozen times.

Aidan Raphael, you sweet, wild, little monster-- our Little Fire, little arrow-- we love you to Sagittarius and back. Grow brave and true.

Natalem Octavo*

Piper loves bananas, but we don't buy much fruit, and, even with bananas, she nearly always has to share halfsies with Luci.  Sometimes, I'll tell them they can each have a whole banana, just to enjoy their shocked delight.

In other news, her eighth birthday fell two days after Aidan's second, and because I spent all day trying to start and finish the flowerbeds (and studiously avoiding packing for Long Island, to which we were leaving the following morning), she would have also been birthday-short-changed, were it not for her simple requests.

Birthday breakfast?  Banana pancakes and sausage.
Birthday supper?  Goulash and "something with garlic butter"
Birthday cake?  A layer banana cake with cream cheese frosting (which, because it doesn't lend itself to elaborate decorations, heartened me considerably)
Birthday gift request? A bunch of bananas.

I'm so glad that Piper loves bananas.

Aidan couldn't wrap his head around the fact that someone else could have the birthday glory just two days after him, so he kept stealing all the birthday paraphernalia and singing "Happy Birthday" to himself.

Pretender to the throne.

Here's the real deal.

I decorated her cake after supper while she opened presents from my mother, thanking my stars for her choice of cream cheese frosting the whole time.  (SUCH a good cake.  Recipe here.  We used overripe bananas and increased the frosting to have some for between the layers.)

Were there skunks?  Yes, there were hardworking skunks, as well as a beaver who shirked his banner-holding duties.  (Piper added the animals, can you tell?)

And here she is, our little Nut Berry-Sugarplum on her happy birthday evening.

We love you, Pipsqueak, and are so glad you're ours!

*Nope, I don't know Latin, but doesn't that title make me look smart?