31 marzo 2014

In the garden: Thank God!

Upon first glance, I know, it looks like a bunch of bad, brown photos.  But...
A hyacinth!
A little red crocus stem!
Claytonia that lived, unprotected, through the winter.  I shall surely plant a lot of this in the fall.
A poppy!  I thought that I had killed it via transplant and drought for sure.  Again, the tenacity of life...
Tulips!  And all of that rabbit poo.  Blah!
Do you see it?  That tiny bit of pale green just to the right of center.  My chrysanthemum made it!
So sad.  This Summercrisp Pear tree is for sure dead, along with one of the Goldcot Apricots.  The other pear and apricot might make it.
And can you spot the kids' new little friend, Stuart Roo?  I am trying really hard not to be grossed out and upset... this little rodent may very well have played a part in all of the winter destruction around the yarden.  And I'm just so sure that it already has made or will make a nest, full of spawn.  -a deep breath-  But, the kids love the strangely tame Stuart(ina) Roo and so I choose to walk away.  

29 marzo 2014

Adventures in Milwaukee

Rob and G are off to show Glenn some of the best of Milwaukee... the Domes and its market, Colectivo, the marina, the Calatrava.  (Ha!  It is usually G that has his eyes shut for photos.)


Whoa.  So, the hens were going crazy, which made me go to the back window to see what was happening.  And there!  A giant hawk!  I have never seen one in the city before.  My hopes are that it is st-hawk-ing the voracious and destructive rabbit, but I am afraid that it has its eyes on poor little Ilka.  

27 marzo 2014

The busiest airport in the city

Welcome to the Chinita Elena María Airport of Milwaukee!
Check out the intensity with which G flew his plane.

Watch out!


Mmm... something is definitely going on in there!

A double yolk!  I remember that this happened once with our last batch of hens, early on in the season like this.  Their bodies must be figuring out how everything works.  

25 marzo 2014

Twinny Cousins


Thank you, Rhoda and/or Golda and/or Orpa for lunch!  (Only two of the hens are laying; but I don't know which of the aforementioned are, as those three all lay brown eggs.  Ilka will give us little white eggs, but she is too stressed out right now I think, as Rhoda is very mean to her.)

24 marzo 2014

Honorary African

Last year, at our church's African Global Gateway Service, I was asked to read Psalm 103:12 in Amharic.  I will never forget being on stage, waiting to begin: Femi, the worship leader, said, "And now we will have some Africans read from the Bible in their languages."  And the congregation began to chuckle at the one clearly-not-African up there with her Nigerian, Sudanese and Kenyan-Somali friends.

It's that time again!  So I've been spending a lot of time with my Amharic textbook, Bible and iPad's Amharic Audio Bible.  This year it is Psalm 103:1-3.  Whoa!  Three verses!  In a few years, if the pattern continues, I should have all of Psalm 103 memorized in English and Amharic!

All of this preparation has set me to thinking about how much richer our lives are because of our children.  I would never have been given the opportunity to do this without them.  And it is for them that I agree.  We have been introduced into another world and I am so thankful.  I am also thankful that our environment gives us opportunities to engage with our children's heritage and in such an important way.

Last night, because I couldn't... I just couldn't... and because I needed to run my verses by a native Amharic speaker, our family headed to the Ethiopian Cottage for dinner.  It felt like home and I love that.  Our kids (and we) GOBBLED up the injera and yemesir and shiro wats like the best little Ethiopian children and I was so happy.  And then I had a mini-lesson from the owner in that explosive "t."

God help me, the honorary Ethiopian.

14 marzo 2014


Rob enjoyed (?) an in-home, Ty-massage today.

Preparation for new friends

The kids were a great help to me today... scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, mixing, taste-testing, etc.  And then we had a great evening of personal and God stories over American falafel and veggies.  Today was a blessing.  Thank you, God.

An amaryllis as big as...

... my hand

... my baby's head

09 marzo 2014


Love, from my sons to me: They are driving to Beans and Barley here, to buy me a sandwich.  Aw!

Love, from God to me

My babies

Ty is never so happy as he is when in the sling.  Good thing he is still so tiny!

Nearly all day, every day

Girumy-initiated sibling love-fest

We are doing our part...

... to bring on Spring.

There have been some icicles hanging on to the clothes lines for a while now.  The other day, I decided that it might be fun for the kids to play with them.  (Read: I wanted my children to help me melt away Winter.)  The boys did an excellent job... playing.

The other day, G and I were sitting on our favorite chair, looking out the back window, while the twins were napping.  And this was part of our conversation:
G:  Yo quiero ser una ardilla.
M:  Pues, si fueras ardilla, quE harIas tU?
G:  Yo comerIa toda la nieve para que se apurara el verano para ti.
M:  (My sweet baby!)

Even the chickens are sensing that it is time...
Our first egg from the new group of hens!  They were making a terrible racket yesterday and so Rob went out to make sure that the mapache hadn't attacked.  While he was out there, he fluffed up the hay in the nesting boxes and the four of them jumped in and nestled down.  A while later, I suggested that Rob check and... Voila!

04 marzo 2014


We have been here before.  I think that next winter, we should run away!



Thank you, Harbor Ridge, for the corks. 

Stop lights and signs

Happily doing the dishes!  

Recognizable artwork!  I love it!  The pale sun off to the left, mixed with the brown (We live in the city.) rain to the right, make a rainbow.  And that is a hippo, wading in the water.

Inspired by Grandpa Russell, he is playing Jesus Loves Me on his trombone.

Rob's invention: Bowling for the T.

PapA e hijo and a serious game of Candyland.

Skeleton practice

03 marzo 2014


"From winter, plague and pestilence,
good Lord, deliver us."

-Thomas Nashe, via Eliot Coleman

02 marzo 2014

My Crimea

I remember the poppies, fields of poppies
Early on a warm Crimean morning, and

Everyday in Simferopol
Sunny days at Nikolaevka not eating dried fish
Sevastopol's friends
Balaklava's bobbing boats
Caves near Bakchiserai
Feodosiya's seriously failed work
Climbing past Sudak
Nikitsky of Yalta (Oh how I wish I could go back as the Present Me!)
Fsidga gatov in Gersuf
Sailing past Evpatoria with bubbly and figs
Kerch's darkness
Sholkino's fire
The healing teachers of Jonquoi

And the poppies, fields of poppies
Early on a warm Crimean morning.