Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm going to have to stop calling myself a blogger...

Blessed by owls times two

Our owls blessed us two times over with their gorgeous, fluffy owl-chicks. It was like our very own Nat Geo special, right in our front yard. First, one of the big guys alights in our front yard and we all - Ethan, M & A, and me - happen to be in the living room to see the action, when the owl plucks what looks to me like a humongous black snake out of the yard. Right there, BAM, in our front yard. Ok, so the snake wasn't very big at all, maybe 12-18 inches, but in the beak of a flying owl, twisting and turning, well it was nothing short of spectacular.

Said owl, now acting all nonchalant. Next, we see a baby owl BAM! hit the street right in front of our house! Totally crazy. All the neighbors are out, watching. As is this owl, clocking every move we make, never leaves the branches above the little guy.

I of course, jump into action. Call the emergency vet, they refer me to the local wildlife rescue folks, who then refer me to Beaks, a bird rescue outfit on a barrier island about an hour away. My advice is to scoop the little owl up in a towel, put it in a box, and bring it out because "once that owl hits the ground, it's all over". Weeelllll, not so fast. I took Magdalena to a sleepover date and when I got home I could not find the little owl, but the mama & papa owl were close overhead. In the morning, I searched and searched the bushes and overgrown tropical brush that is the no-man's-land between the houses, to no avail. All the while, of course, under the scrutiny of mama & papa owl. And then behold the baby, all gorgeous and fluffy, scared but pretty darn self-reliant, up about 4 feet in a small tree, on a little limb, trying to sleep until I came stomping around.

I went online to find out about these guys and discovered they are barred owls and between baby chicks and fledglings they are called "branchers". Branchers, right? They have not yet learned to fly and move about the tree tops by using their beaks and talons. And apparently it is not uncommon for them to fall out of the trees and be kind of flopping around on the ground in bushes and such, trying to fly, and eventually climbing back up into the tops of the trees. This guy was in a sapling, but later that day Ethan saw him cross the street and climb up the tree, exactly as I had read about, using his talons and his beak, and by the time I saw him, he was way up in the branches of the oaks above our heads again. He or the other little guy fell a couple of more times. One of them was in the greenery surrounding our oak in the front yard and the children all went out and sat in front of him - two huge owls overhead keeping watch - talking to him and checking him out. The next time I saw both the owls they were flying. Big, beautiful, and fully flying. Still, we are blessed by owls.
Mother's Day
Mother's Day and a visit from no other than Lojeha, mama and roadtripper extraordinaire, accompanied by her two lovelies Harper and Addie. Joy, pure joy. And chalk art, just like when we drove through Atlanta almost a while back at the very start of the road trip, back in December of '08.
Some mama's day family love with Tito Chuchi.

We had a mini vacation while LJ was in town, Jeanna and I packed up the children and headed off to mama's beach casita to have a major two day sleep-over. When packing Augustus said - always interested in the costume options - bring the dress-up! To which I oh-so-dismissively said, uh, no. Mama, bring the dress up bring the dress up bring the dress up mamamamamamambringthedressupbringthedressupbringthedressup bring the dress up! So yes ok I caved and why not I thought? What's the difference if I bring 8 bags for two nights or nine including one over-stuffed huge Ikea shopping bag full of dress up clothes and wigs and silks and scarves? I mean, what exactly is the my major malfunction?

And as you see, Augustus was right, as usual.

LJ, oh sweet LJ. See, ya have to know LJ to get the whole scene. Her language is the perfect combination of sweet tangy southern drawl and her adopted French language, delivered by the feistiest 100 lb fire-cracker you will ever have the pleasure of knowing. (LJ was in Paris to attend the Sorbonne, doncha know, and I can't remember the exact timeline, but at some point money was scarce so she busked, tap dancing for sustenance on the Champs de Le -whatever that famous street in Paris is). Lori Jeanne has done time all over this vast blue and green globe of ours and allows all the good of all the places she's been in all over the world that she's absorbed to slowly eek out, a little at a time here, a bit more there, spreading good tidings and love everywhere she goes, soaking up more good and more groove here, spreading it there. That is LJ. Keeping it together honey, golden hair flying, blue eyes sparkling, heart beating and working, for the love of us all.

Frida in motion is close to perfection.

Addie, contemplating, as she does.

Harper, investigating, as she does.

LJ and the Chuch.

A random shot
Augustus and the faux-hawk. I think he is insanely adorable. And I don't really care how passe this hair style is because my darling 4 1/2 year old can rock it. As he is known to do.

visiting our local Clan Barnas
We drove out to the panhandle to visit with our beautiful family, Neil, Tammi and Ariella and I could not get a decent shot out of the whole thing. This was the cutest one, and I have to admit, it's pretty darn cute. Ari is the most delicious, biggest, and most fabulous baby girl on the planet! Her thighs are never-ending, her cheeks rival Augustus for cheekiness, and I don't think we could adore her more. We'll see, if she progresses in darlingness as she has, our adoration will increase accordingly.

We arrived in north central Florida, about an hour and a half away from home, at the most darling you-pick-them blueberry farm you could imagine. Blubella Farms. Heaven, pure heaven. It was perfect picking weather, overcast and not too terribly hot. As we drove into High Springs, we were listening to the O Brother soundtrack, singing at the top of our lungs, so excited to be "in the countryside", as Magdalena says. Mama, she says to me, can we go to the countryside? (what? where'd you hear that, "the countryside"? Every time she says "the countryside", it's like that, in "quotes", like it means something.) So I said, well, yes actually. We're going blueberry picking tomorrow, and that'll be in "the countryside". Dirt roads and all, we were in "the countryside".

The children ate probably as many as they picked, which was fine, because I was obsessed with picking. Obsessed! And pick I did, a bit too many maybe, but we've been enjoying the fruit of our labor for quite a few days now, and they are oh. so. delicious.

We were all in search of that perfect, round, juicy berry. And we all found our own version, over and over and over again. Yum.

As we packed up our berries, we were mighty sweaty and hot and totally excited to leave and go explore the cold spring water of Blue Springs, right across the main road from the farm. Leaving, driving 15 MPH on a dirt road with no traffic, Magdalena and Frida and Augustus were seat belt free, singing "I'll Fly Away", leaning out the windows, smiling in the sun, full of ripe berries. And for just one moment, Iexperienced absolute freedom. Absolute perfection. Absolute presence. Open and free, no fear, no cars, no asphalt, just music and singing children, dirt in the air, blue sky above, folk/gospel songs and anticipation. Magic, love, blessings. Butterfly wings and flowers. All beauty. All goodness. All gratitude. All one.
spring recital

The spring recital for Kinderstudios, and life is good! Augustus and Frida were up first. So where are the photos of their performance you say? Nowhere I say! A & F declined to dance onstage. Augustus said later, you know mama, I just want to do the dance at home, for you. Ok say I, we can do just that. It only took him about four months to do the Hippopotamus dance for me that he didn't do onstage for the Christmas recital, I'm looking forward to the Froggy dance when that comes.
Magdalena dancing the hop-1-2-3 for Irish. That's what they call Irish dance, just Irish. As in, We're doing this for Irish. Or, I need black tights for Irish! Oh. So. Big. Really.

Here is Audrey, her gorgeous and wonderful Irish dance teacher. We all love Audrey. She's young and gorgeous and an incredible dancer, and she loves the girls.

Magdalena and Lulu finishing their dance for Miss Blythe's ballet class. So delightful they are, our little ballerinas.
Doing "Jolly Holiday" from Mary Poppins for Mr. Todd's Musical Theater class. Allie, Sofia and Magdalena were all playing Mary Poppins.

And here Magdalena partners up with Lulu, her Bert! They were so cute by God! It was a jolly holiday!
The "Bigs" as we called them, all the big girls from the 2009/2010 co-op, together with Miss Audrey. Our "Irish" class photo. Magdalena, Allie, Miss Audrey, Lulu.

And you know Augustus loves Miss Audrey.

With Miss Sarah, all the children's BTJ teacher. (ballet/tap/jazz)

With Mr. Todd, the Musical Theater instructor. Now Ellie and Augustus were not in Mr. Todd's class, but Mr. Todd is such the rock star to the children, they all do love him so, Ellie and Augustus just had to get in the shot.

And finally, Miss Alexandra, the woman who makes it all happen. She is the energy and force of nature behind Kinderstudios. She is sweetness and light, and loves and respects our children for everything it's worth. We do love you Miss Alexandra!

love letter
And we close with a love note chalk drawing Magdalena completed for Frida for her birthday. Happy fourth birthday Frida!