Wednesday, April 28, 2010

little lost.

I have been quiet this week after a whirlwind of computer crash, replacement hard drive, and a smooth restore from backup...and then the sinking realization that I have (yes, again) lost photos. I am a bit crushed, and have had a week of vacillating between just getting on with it, or running into the street screaming "SCREW IT!", never to even look at a computer again. To make it overly simplistic my photos were all backed up to a separate hard drive and, in the million to one moment, my laptop hard drive crashed at the exact instant the backup was at the photos, writing the linkbacks to the latest images, somehow corrupting the link to all of my personal photos on the backup drive. Oh, yes, lucky me. So while we know the images are still on the backup drive and it was just the 'connection' part of the process that was interrupted when my laptop crashed, we cannot access the images. A recovery company can, and they quoted $950. So yes, what a week.

I have been afraid to even download new images off of my camera (don't want to inadvertently write over anything) until we try a few things to see if we can retrieve the images from the backup drive on our own, so these are photos I took just last week.

I think I would much rather putter in the garden and look at flowers at the botanical gardens than think of all of the photos of my beautiful boys that I cannot access. Don't even get me started on how as a mom I am not often able to find time to paint or write anymore, and that taking photos has become my main artistic outlet. That these images are my threads of communication spreading out into the internet like spiderwebs, making me feel connected and creative.

There is a lesson in here somewhere, perhaps. Impermanence? Living in the present moment?(Or that getting the $air conditioning$ in the car working just in time for summer is more important than $recovering my photos$?) Geez, I get it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

lots of building goin' on.

Oh the joy of spring. It feels like life is so busy we go go go. And not just the kind of busy where you 'have' to be somewhere, but the kind of busy that comes with gardens, seedlings, bike riding, park exploring, lots of sunshine, and the extra boost of energy that revitalizes us all.

This past week or two the (spunky) boys have had a big re-surge of interest in models, building and engineering. We have jumped back into fun projects full force -- making a solar oven (and then of course foil body armor afterwards with the rest of the foil), building a motor powered dragster, working on Mindstorms robotics builds, and finding things to use power tools on (think lawn furniture & unsuspecting coconuts). Of course throw in a ton or so of LEGO with some Snap Circuits to round out the building extravaganza. ;)

After watching the Space Shuttle Discovery landing yesterday and then exploring NASA & NASA Kids for a few hours, the boys want to make some sort of International Space Station model or mobile...sounds like fun! :) We really enjoy doing projects together, and with the longer days and sunshine we are all energized to go go go!

Ah, spring!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

glorious spring.

Everything is in bloom! I tell ya, it feels good to see the green sheen in the distant trees, see the green grass, pass fields of yellow dandelions, and watch everything bud and bloom. Even with crazy high pollen counts we just HAVE to get out to look at it all! The boys knew they just had to go visit their favorite frog pond at our local gardens - so that was our first stop.

We were thinking that it was that time, and sure enough we could hear the (very loudly) singing frogs long before we were in view of the pond. The pond was full of frogs and little turtles.

The boys were lovin' it. While they lay down on the dock watching the frogs for ages, I was crawling around on my knees along the paths, taking photos of bees and flowers and grass. ;) Too glorious to miss.

We were all eventually drawn to the herb garden and then the amazing magnolia and apple blooms. The white petals flew around us like snow.

Of course the boys found the perfect tree - and with so many deeply pink petals fluttering around, they had to get up INTO the tree a little to be enveloped by it all.

Yep, tree huggers for sure!

We are lucky in Wisconsin to have so much beauty in every single season. We walk around with our mouths hanging open sometimes, it seems, in awe of just how much color and life there is.

Of course even just a big lawn of green grass and sunshine is a magnet for us too. Ahhh.

During spring every single day brings some new blossom or bud or leaf. There is so much happening, we don't want to miss a thing!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

april garden.

I love walking through the garden at this time of year. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, but there is also so much to see, it is just not as blatant as in August.

So much life.

So much potential.

So much beauty.

We have parsley, lovage, lemon balm, chives, garlic, spinach, lettuce, rhubarb, mint, peas, radishes, mustard greens, mache, spring onions and turnips - most still tiny, but growing so much each week. The currants are showing their beginnings, raspberries are popping up all over, and strawberry heads are looking lovely. The lilacs and tulips are getting close, and the irises have just started to peek up as all of our trees and bushes are showing green.

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

What is blooming in your garden?

Monday, April 12, 2010

milwaukee sunday.

Yesterday we had a sunny cool Sunday full of our favorite science museum, Lake Michigan, and city waterfront walking.

We have been going to this museum for years - but as the boys get older, they delve deeper into the exhibits, read the information, ask more questions, and explore more of the small mechanical and technical stuff. We spend hours and hours each time we go, and always leave wanting to come back soon.

As A has been reading more and is interested in a lot of the new technologies, he has been interested in the exhibits there about aquaponics, vermiculture, water usage, sewage, energy, air quality, and a sustainable future. They have so many great exhibits throughout the whole museum on these topics, and we find ourselves in these areas for a long time each visit.

The past few times the boys have started trying the flight simulator too. All three of my guys have an interest in flying and this is a nice full motion simulator - it is amazing to see how smooth G is at flying and landing when it is such a challenge for so many older kids and adults!

Of course we love getting outside there too. Downtown Milwaukee is steps away, and Lake Michigan is big and beautiful. After many years living and working in Chicago so close to Lake Michigan I find myself missing it and feeling a need to just sit there and look out at the blue horizon, listen to the birds, and watch the boats go by.

As always, a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

exploring lakes & trails.

After days of rain, cold, wind and snow, we had a cool but drier day today. We immediately thought of visiting one of our favorite close-by state parks to play, explore and walk. We love finding new trails, but do visit local favorites often. It is so nice when spring arrives and the trails are open to us...and not knee deep in mud or ruts. Yay!

We go for walks in the woods as much as we can, and usually one boy or the other is carrying some sort of compass or GPS. They love to see direction changes, navigate, and plot their trail.

Some of our favorite spots (well, almost all of them) have not only walking trails, but a lake, stream or river with access to water. We aways end up exploring the rocks, beach and shore before heading into the woods or prairies.

While we do not yet have much foliage - everything is just now budding - we do have lots of small plants and flowers lining the trails to explore. In spring the boys love finding moss and seeing the interesting sporophytes.

We always find something interesting, even on familiar trails. Trees, insects, birds, leaves, moss, wild edibles, rocks, funky bark...never a dull moment.

Weekend hikes are even more special since we can all go together as a family - the boys always act as though they are taking Brice on a tour, especially if we have recently been on a trail without him.

So while it may have seemed like a pretty dark gray day for it, we really loved it. Fresh air, budding trees, busy birds, and a dry trail. Perfect!

April is Children & Nature Awareness month. Find an event, go for a hike, visit a park or just get out in your garden. There is always something to explore. If you feel like doing more, check out Children & Nature Network for events and activities, or visit a few bloggers who have challenges going on - Ordinary Life Magic Too and 5 Orange Potatoes both have all kinds of goodness happening to tie it all together!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

april morning.

Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go;
it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.
- Alice M. Swaim

After a week of record warmth and sunshine, this morning we wake to snow on the ground and swirling down from a gray sky.

Today feels like...April.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

farm snugglers.

We were so excited to be invited to visit some new arrivals today -an expectant goat we visited a few weeks back had her babes...oh, happy, happy, happy boys.

And verrrrrry cute little goats. Any day the boys get to visit a farm is considered a great day - but holding a sweet soft baby goat made it over the top special.

Life is good!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


Our weather is turning chilly again, but we enjoyed every single minute of the record warmth this week. It felt so good to soak up the sun and watch the clouds drift by.

I think it was just what we needed to rejuvenate our spirits and re-charge our batteries!