Dancing Mænads on the Mountain, Or, I am a Happy Despot, Or, Rounded and Complete Like a Cosmos

And we even go further, and question whether it is more human to make the whole of a pinafore than to look after the whole of a child. The point about the “half-time job” of motherhood is that it is at least one of the jobs that can be regarded as a whole, and almost as an end in itself. A human being is in some sense an end in himself. Anything that makes him happy or high-minded is, under God, a thing directed to an ultimate end. It is not, like nearly all the trades and professions, merely a machinery and a means to an end. And it is a thing which can, by the constitution of human nature, be pursued with positive and unpurchased enthusiasm. Whether or no it is a half-time job, it need not be a half-hearted job...
There have been household gods and household saints and household fairies. I am not sure that there have yet been any factory gods or factory saints or factory fairies. I may be wrong, as I am no commercial expert, but I have not heard of them as yet. And we think that the reason lies in the distinction which I made at the beginning of these remarks. The imagination and the religious instinct and the human sense of humour have free play when people are dealing with something which, however small, is rounded and complete like a cosmos. The place where babies are born, where men die, where the drama of mortal life is acted, is not an office or a shop or a bureau. It is something much smaller in size and much larger in scope. And while nobody would be such a fool as to pretend that it is the only place where people should work, or even the only place where women should work, it has a character of unity and universality that is not found in any of the fragmentary experiences of the division of labour.
-G.K. Chesterton

I have not been sleeping well lately, we arrived home to a couple of annoying household problems (Not the boiler, Teman! Not the boiler!), and I woke up this morning with symptoms of the nasty cold I thought I had shaken for good. If anyone felt like doing a half-hearted job of things, it would be me, this morning, and all day today, which means that I should certainly post these quotes for myself. This little cosmos is too dear to give only half to, especially when it gives me much more in return.

A Merriment Bonnet

Millie's been asking me to take some pictures for her Ravelry account, so when Millie brought Cadence downstairs all dolled up and ready to go, I plopped her on the steps to get a few before grumpiness overcame her.

First step:  FIND OUT WHERE RUGER IS (he is much scarier than John Wayne and was, as it turned out, right around the corner).

After I chased Ruger off, she enjoyed herself for a few minutes, long enough, at least, for me to take these pictures before putting her in bed for a nap.

Baby Ozma

If not for Millie knitting darling things for her darling sisters, the shotsnaps pickin's would be pretty slim.  She made this test knit for Lark, asking only that I take pictures as payment.

Knit a jewel-green vest?  Nope.  Snap pictures wildly?  Now that I can do.
(I know these pictures feature Skylark's head more than the vest, but, oh, what a head!)

One Lump or Two?

I chanced upon an early morning tea party.

Cadence prefers a whole pile of sugar with her tea.

A Visit...and Some Ice Cream

We spent 3 and a half days in Long Island being spoiled rotten and soaking up every minute with Dude and Dudette.  John and I (+ Skylark) went on a lunch date to my favorite restaurant and watched a movie I couldn't stop thinking about, but I took no pictures.  I took one picture of Mom Owen and Skylark, and Millie took these pictures of Guess Who up in a tree, but that was the only snapshots proof of our visit...until the night before we left.

Aunt Karen stopped by for a visit and casually mentioned that she picked up some ice cream and cones on the way over.  By "ice cream and cones," she meant "one of every ice cream-related item in the entire grocery store."  We could not believe how much you gave, Aunt Karen, and we had so much fun making sundaes! When the children asked how much they could have, I simply said, "Whatever you want," which made their eyes bug out of their heads.   :)

Thank you cards to come.  Until then, pictures of the little piggies.

Worth the Giving (Achtung, Titi)

Annika brought her birthday glowsticks to Long Island. Glowsticks are exciting! So is finding a cache of glowstick pictures on one's camera.

They've been storing them in the freezer each morning and bringing them out to string up on the bunkbed each night (and then taking pictures of them).


John's folks are planning on moving in 2018, if all goes as planned, so we brought home lots of things that they no longer wanted or needed, including this cat crate to pass along to my sister.

Dude, I thought you'd be interested to know that our cat got comfortable in it right away.


We are going to buy some more sleds with Christmas money but haven't been shopping yet.  Until then, old skis from the horse barn work great for Run Around Outside time.

This baby surely knows how lucky she is to have such big sisters.

I painted one of Mopsy's favorite verses as a birthday gift, and it's clear I'll never be a Timothy Botts.


Real Time

After a visit to Long Island, we're back to h'learning, which, tinged as it is with post-holiday weariness, is off to a bumpy start.  When I asked Zeke to find our current read-aloud (Happy Times in Noisy Village), one of the girls said that we should name ourselves something.

The first idea I had was Chaotic Corner, but immediately after that suggestion, Millie piped up with "Hooligan Hill Homeschool" which most of us have decided is the perfect name.  (The better among us, however, have reservations...)

So, all of you classical homeschools with fancy names, chock full of literary allusions, or, at least, evoking images of tidy places where tidy children sharpen their intellect without a hitch, take that!

Here we sit, eating candy together, on Hooligan Hill, at least until a better name comes along.


From Here to There

Since it's been 3 1/2 weeks since my last weekly post, one can certainly understand my reasons for not posting all my resolutions publicly, yes?  The last few weeks have been full to the brim and overflowing down the sides.  Looking back, it's hard to see how so much bustle could fit into a short space of time, unless governed by the same magic that springs a rabbit from a stageman's hat.

We are now on the tail end of the worst cold we've had in a few years.  "Cold" sounds too benign for it, as it laid me flat for longer than I would have liked and kept little ones awake with earaches and coughing fits and croup.  But, now, a new year stretches out ahead with who-knows-what around each bend.  Goodbye, 2017!  For the most part, we lived you well.  And welcome to you, 2018.  We're here, and ready for another spin around the sun.