Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day in the Park

Farmers' Market, Puck's donuts and then some time in the park. What more could a grandmother want?

A quick sit-down stop to watch the ducks.

My first fall colors.

My little web walkers.

Their mom gives it a try.

Dad too - up he goes.

The only two to make it to the top.

I had to try - just didn't get very far.

It won't be long and she'll be up that rock on her own.

Puck on his way up.

Owlet on the other side and climbing.

Ta-dah!! A delightful and successful day all around!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sweet Mixes

The other day Michelle and I wandered downtown Ashland together. We started at a place that sells all sorts of costumes - many of them looking like they came straight off the Shakespearean stage located just around the corner. Fascinating place. After wandering a while though, we needed (!) to stop for elevensies - a little something sweet. 

I had a chai.

Michelle had a mocha.

We split a caramel tart. 

And here is why we stopped at this particular shop ~ I think we should have gotten a discount, don't you? 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Third Grade Field Trip

Today I had a delightful experience: my first third grade field trip since my youngest daughter was in the third grade. I am in Ashland with family and Michelle and I accompanied the Owlet's third grade class to the Nature Center for a day of hands on learning about Native American life in the Ashland area. 

A uama - the house of the Native Americans.

Learning to weave a basket from cat tail reeds.

Sitting in the uama, learning to sew rabbit skins to make warm clothes. 

In the willow shelter making manzanita tea. As we have a back yard full of manzanita bushes, I just may make some of this mild, tasty tea at home. 

A family of deer wandered by during the session.

With pretend bows and arrows, the kids practiced their shooting of the prey the Native Americans used for food and leather for clothes. When the bear was one of the animals, I began to bristle and Michelle said, "Settle down, mom. It's historical." *sigh* We are So protective of our bears in Tahoe that it was hard to think of killing them even years ago. 
After practicing, we went "hunting" - a learning: smudging with the sage came first as a way to mask the human smell from their prey. The hunt was the only time all day when every child and adult in the group was absolutely quiet.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Knight in Shining Fur

Oso is a great defender of his realm. He barks at and chases bears, chipmunks, squirrels and the occasional bird. He barks at hikers going by and people coming up the stairs to knock at or come in the front door. When he is barking at someone coming in, I am always right there assuring him that it is ok and the person coming in is a friend. Along with the barking goes a wagging tail which dominates the conversation as soon as the person speaks his name. He even barks at Dean coming up from the office. Dean often tells him, “look before you bark.” There is always great joy at the recognition. 

Last night was a different situation. The house was dark. Oso and I were in the bedroom where I was already in bed reading. Dean was due home in about an hour. Someone (and I assumed it was Dean) came in the door and started up the stairs. Oso barked and headed out to greet and defend. And then Dean - yes, it was Dean - barked back at him. Paradigm shift. Oso backs up into the bedroom with his back feet on the closet carpet for traction off the hardwood floor, plants himself in a defensive posture and begins to Bark! 

I had never heard this sound before. It was a deep chested, teeth bared, “this is my house, my mom, and I will defend both with every sinew of my being and you had damn well better leave before I am forced to do so” bark. He barked so hard and so deeply and so angrily that I became just a little nervous that maybe it wasn’t Dean. Between the sounds of the dishwasher and the barking, I wasn’t sure I had really heard his voice. I called out - “Dean is that you?” Yes, it was. Oso continued to bark. 

Even after Dean made his appearance and uttered soothing words to Oso, Oso stayed alert and upset. No tail wagging. More like humphing if a dog can do such a thing. A little pacing. A little shaking. A little upset with his dad for pulling such a trick on him. It wasn’t until Dean had changed clothes, patted his head and told him what a good dog he was that he consented to leave his bed and go down to watch football with Dean. Silly Dean - you don’t bark back at a Knight in Shining Fur. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Parable for Today

A child was screaming in the parking lot in front of our house. Screaming! I was a little concerned and wondered if some kind of intervention was needed. Wandering to my front window, I looked down on a mother with two young children in tow, one of whom was Screaming, marching them gently toward a condo and saying in a very patient quiet voice, “Maybe when you can play nicer, you can have another sword.” 

No intervention needed there. I do wonder though if the ordinary people of this world might not say to our leaders of all kinds, parties, ilks and persuasions, “Maybe when you can play nicer with the power you have, you can have another symbol of power. Until then, time out to think about what you have done and what you might do differently next time.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day One!

Over the last several years I have been envious of mothers and grandmothers who posted first day of school pictures of their families. I have had them of some of the grands with great regularity but none from Michelle. One day I realized why: as an elementary school secretary, she had already been in school a week or more before and on the morning of, she had been at school a couple of hours ahead of them. Ergo ~ no pictures. 

This morning that has changed. This is her first first-day-of-school morning as "just" a mom in a long time. And that is not all that is different. A different state meant school started today, the day after Labor day. How civilized. For the Owlet, it means the first day of school without mom (secretary), dad (kindergarten aide) or brother (two years ahead) anywhere in the building. For Puck, it means the first day of Middle School ~ still in 6th grade but moving on. The good thing is that all the 6th graders are new to the building, the teachers and the routine.

For the Tahoe Mom, it means a wonderful picture!