Tiny Worlds

68 :: Apothecary

Apothecary.
In miniature.
Could you mix me up
a custom brew,
please?
I could use
a little boost
of hope
as we approach
the equinox.

66 :: Pack Rat

The reality
of creative children
is this
desk top
which accumulates
bits and pieces
faster than
I can help clean
them
up.

71 :: Desk Top

January Homeschool Life

A New Year’s Day hike at Gousty.
This home I so love.
Covered in a blanket of white.

Sitting deep in thought.
Writing at dusk.
Thick snow falling.

Sweet girl.
I pushed her too hard on cross-county skis.
She is nursing a strained tendon.
I must remember to take it slow.
They grow and they become so capable, but still, we must take it slow.

We’re traveling to Italy in our studies this week. Our table is covered with books about Leonardo da Vinci; Jeffrey’s beautiful sketch book from Rome; maps large and small from Florence and Rome to Sienna and Pienza; a beautiful picture book about the island of Sardinia; and amazing images of Italian buildings and works of art. And, well, then I just had to bring out some of those old love letters from Jeffrey’s year abroad 17 years ago!

If you can’t go there in real time . . . play you can!

The sweetest sleep of baby dreams.

Sister’s new old skateboard!

Busy man, up at the sink. Making a flood.

Oh, I love this.
She painting a portrait of herself from a photo I took of her, almost a year ago.

“I’ve never painted myself before,” she said.

And then she took artist liberties to change the way she looks.

Let’s go inside the greenhouse and take off our coats and reach our faces up towards the precious January sunshine!

We have a family of opossums living in a brush pile near our chicken coop. First we saw one. Then two. And then the girls discovered . . . a mama and three babies! They have been making the rounds, gathering compost scraps, chicken food, and birdseed.

Is it time to get a dog???

Messy Table Tops

I’m struggling with a serious case of the messy table top blues. It’s always covered. Good stuff happens on this table, but I can’t seem to keep on top of clearing it off lately. It collects such eclectic assortments . . . play dough, typewriter, books, notebooks, hair brush, candles, squirt bottle, binoculars, scissors, tape, yarn, felt, tiny budda statue, and food, always food. . .

Citrus Garlands

We’ve been seeing photos of beautiful dried citrus and wanting to make garlands. Finally, this week we made it happen! This is such a simple, colorful, delicious project for December (or any time of year when citrus is in season!). We sliced grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes 1/8th of an inch thick and dehydrated the pieces overnight. Then we made garlands for our windows. Each ring is like a tiny, vibrant stain glass window filled with December light.

Calendula Lip Balm

We’ve gathered around for our annual Calendula Salve making this afternoon!

This year we’re making lip balm with petals we’ve been soaking in olive oil since the end of the summer. The magic of summer sunshine preserved as golden goodness pulls us all into the kitchen. Each year the girls do more and more on their own. I find myself mostly watching and soaking up the wonder of this messy, rich process.

“I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

— Fra Giovanni, AD 1513 (Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book)