Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Here we are in the middle of another month. Well, not quite the middle, but as Eleanor called from her room tonight, "It 2 days it will be 2 weeks until Christmas!" Let's not ponder that too too much. The elves are working as diligently as possible. I assure you.

Before I go too far--I know not too many folks read my blog but if you do and I haven't sent you this yet, please go HERE:


and sign their petition HERE:


you do not have to donate at the end, just so ya know.


Now, we have been going going going, (note how that sounds like boing boing boing, yah.) And I am ready for those slow winter days to start happening.
I have not been taking very many photos but managed to capture this:Yes, they're mushroom hunting, for chantrelles. Turns out we're growing food in our backyard (okay nearly our back yard) without even trying. Chantrelles do not have much a taste, I've decided but it is fun to hunt mushrooms and we have enjoyed eating them. Everyone seemed to enjoy the mushroominess of Thanksgiving, too, with mushroom omlettes for breakfast and spinach mushroom chevre cakes in acorn squash rings with carmelized mushrooms for the non-turkey option. now doesn't that sound better than tofurkey? it was beautiful too, see:
you don't get the full effect without the cakes and onions but it was pretty yummy.

we have also been crafty, of late. we made some little things to send off to our friends who just moved. i think i forgot to photograph them. i will have to check the archives. the children have also been doing some advent calendar activities (thank you family fun! i will not resubscribe but i will use your website without reservation!) on the day that the activity was 'decorate every door in the house' they went into full snowflake production mode and soon, every door was decorated. then, we ran out of scotch tape. we're still out. of course :) that's what you're supposed to do at this time of the year.
this morning, i needed to finish up a project, gus and eleanor were sequestered away in 'the workshop' formerly known as gus' room, and lucy wanted to 'do something christmasy' so i found a pile of old christmas cards and she cut them up into 'ornaments' and other things.

the new banner picture is a from a card that eleanor made for me. here is the front of the card:

for a long time robert has been saying, we should scan some of these 'girls' in and more recently, you should put them on your blog. this one, with the yellow dress was too much cute for me. i had to show her to you. i may try to do up an embroidery of her, ala soulemama because she is just so great. don't you want a dress like that? i do.

oh, p.s. i finally finished the sweater for baby cousin (yah, it's sideways, but i'm going to bed, instead of rotating it. gnite y'all.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

all gone

this is a european beech tree. some of my beloved readers (all 4.5 of you) may recognize this photo, because i took a similar one last year and put it on our calendar. but this tree looks nothing like this now. all the leaves are gone, and the sky is gray.... yes, winter has arrived in the coast range. i heard the weather dude say today, 'continued showers, particularly in the coast range'. ever since i uprooted myself from a state with four distinct seasons at the tender age of 19 and plopped myself down again in the pacific northwest forest, for the first time, i have enjoyed the coming of the rains. here in these hills, much like in the coast redwoods, but not quite as BIG, the rains make me feel cozy, sort of tucked in for the winter. the grasslands of the greater willamette valley have lost their dried up look of late summer, early fall and have a new lush carpet of very bright green. the brilliant yellows and reds have nearly all disappated, and now we are left with varying shades of green everywhere. green, which i will tell my children is my favorite color, which holds the promise of growth, makes the pacific nw a great place to be in the winter.
now if only there were a few more hours tacked on to the end of the day for knitting, and a few (light) hours tacked onto the beginning of the day for hiking in the rain, that would be great, but alas, it got dark early tonight, with eleanor barely out of her dance class, and gus and his pal dueling in the near darkness after gymnastics. again we had the discussion of why it is so dark and daylight savings and all that. it is a really kooky thing we do, you know? i mean, why don't we just decide that noon is really at 10:00, and that way we wouldn't have to wait so long for lunch? that would work for a growing boy whose mantra is 'i'm hungry' and then we could put that whole 5-6 hour earlier, too, so i wouldn't be quite so exhausted when i'm making dinner. Then perhaps the hours between noon and 5 could stretch out a little more so there was a bit more time in the afternoon. the time-change time always sends my brain this way, thinking, who invented clocks and why are we slaves to them, anyway?
if i knew how to get a 'this is what i'm reading' list with photos of books on the side of my blog, i would have them, but i have only seen typepad blogs with those, not blogger--any advice? then i would put this book up
The Dance of Time: The Origins of the Calendar - A Miscellany of History and Myth Cover

because this book is beside my bed and i have been reading it bit by bit.
along with this book:

The Seven-Year-Old Wonder Book Cover

which is good for anyone any age whether they once were seven, are now, or will someday be seven.
maybe i have figured out how to make this list and tomorrow i will do it!
aha! i learned something new today. yay.
that is one of the principles of this book:

How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day Cover

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

this all hallows' eve, i happed upon an enchanted wood....

i met there a comely threesome:
one bright and rosy ladybug, 'dot'

one fair colonial maiden
'felicity', is it not?

and indeed brave young
robin hood!
they promised tricks and begged for treats,
but i had on me not one sweet,
so off to another wood they stole,
in search of other fools to cajole.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

just in case you were thinkin otherwise

kat asked a while back to see our 'stuff,' and i've heard tell that some think i am gettting it all done with style. here is the couch/living room on the day we got the winter clothes out. we had a friend over that day. she said, 'wow! your house is messy!' yup. sentaku no yama (that's mount laundry to y'all) had definitely done some major vocanic action that day. it is down to a mere one basket peak today, thank goodness. here's wishing everyone out there, especially the supermamas a day of little laundry and lots of laughs.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

10 things to love right now

(soulemama asked....)

1. unabashed enthusiasm for halloween in the form of asking several times daily when i will have a chance to start working on costumes. (i think the cutting will happen tonight)
2. as always, the oranges and reds of fall, such as these:3. the japanese maple in our front yard

4. fall food, and its colors, such as the carmelized cippolini onion and chard empanadas we had for supper with acorn squash rings.
5. this boy and his many disguises and occupations

6. Eleanor's new habit of taking up her knitting when we get home as a way of calming down.
7. Listening to Robert father the children gently when he knows I am tired.
8. Hanging out at my local farm as a 'will work for foodie' and experiencing vegetable therapy as i work off my tomato debt.
9. Eating fresh salsa and enjoying the sight of jars of sauce in freezer and on shelves.
10. The friendship of my children, and our ability to be with each other, even the waxing and waning of it in this wild life.

and you, out there in the blogosphere... what about you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

there is happiness in the air

i think it's a pretty good day when you can run out of gas and burn dinner, and still end up feeling like things are good. that was today. of course, an angel came and rescued us with a gas can AND a ride back to our car. and dinner, well if i flipped the fritatta over, it just seemed like a crusty part, not like i had cremated it under the broiler while searching for a cassette tape so gus could make spooky noises for a 'haunted room' effect.
here is some of what i am loving today:

toothy toothless grins
colorful fall art
hikes in the woods

Monday, October 06, 2008

Many Days are Bright in October.....

Red and yellow leaves on the Autumn trees are floating everywhere.

It is raining, I am knitting and sewing and being my crafty fall self. I don't have any photos of it though. We went camping, finally. To the redwoods. I have some photos of that but I'm not going to put them in this post, because I need to go to bed early and it's already 11:00.

We have been never-at-homeschoolers lately. I have a dream of staying home and just knitting with the kids for a few days straight. it hasn't happened yet. we have 3 days for sure in town a week this year. violin, ballet, cello, gymnastics and german, park day and now a new gym day.... when do we get to just chill at the homestead, ma? ma does not know.

ma does not seem to ever loose her cool. did you notice that, too when you were reading the Little House books? "Charles!" is about as hot under the collar as she ever gets. and she didn't even have whiskey or tranquilizers. or at least not that laura ever remembered. well, neither do i, but i definitely get more ruffled than ma. tonight a friend was over and the kids were playing little house, and at dinner all 3 girls did not talk unless the adults talked to them. Gus was Pa so he got to talk. It was great! That was a good idea those folks had. I am in major noise overload lately and wonder why it is that all of the kids seem to have gotten my resonance gene and not the softspoken dad gene? why? when we were in the woods it took the whole time we were there to quiet down a bit. now the volume has been turned back up to eleven. ah well, a lesson to this ma to chill and speak softly and calmly and lead by example.

more soon with photos.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

more september

(i have a hard time with this editor, because it's hard to move photos around. i don't know how to make it easier, but otherwise, blogger works for me--that's why i am not just continuing in one post.)

we bade farewell to some lovely friends with a last romp on the beach. it was a fabulously beautiful day, a touch bittersweet because the friends are moving pretty far away from us, and the ocean. but we didn't let it get us down.

we explored a new beach near the yaquina bay lighthouse, and there were fun dunes to slide down. it was so warm and sunny and so unlike both of our other trips to the coast this summer.

gus was intent on building a sand castle, and managed to get close enough to the break for it to happen this time. i don't have a good photo of that but, i assure you the fun they had cannot be captured. we all brought gobs of extra warm clothes, and then decided mom was truly crazy for thinking that (no matter that the last two times we went to the coast we froze our tukuses off.)

eleanor filled her whole skirt with sand, and asked me to carry it home for her. ha! we didn't manage that, but gus seemed to somehow get enough sand in his bed somehow that it seemed like nearly as much as ella wanted to bring home. a day playing on the beach was just the ticket, as it always is for getting us worn out, happy and better able to manage the little things that drive us crazy on other days.

oh btw, i dropped my camera, lens down, into this lovely soft white sand. so far, it's okay but it is making some funny noises, perhaps saying 'i have sand in my eye!'

Monday, September 15, 2008

September, you lovely thing, you.

each year, when september arrives, i just want to take big gulps of the sunshiny air, the coolness that is saying goodbye to summer, the hint of apples and crunchy leaves in the air. this year is no different.
after a brief and fun trip to san diego, where i had much fun, but was made ever grateful for my northwest home, i was blessed to be able to make it to another birth, and now we are having 'not back to school time.'
here is some of what we have been doing lately:yes, going on a school bus. no, make that a COOL bus. see the sign? how exciting for my young pals, to get to ride on a big school bus--they have ridden on a little one, since our friend hosanna has a biodiesel bus. and where were we going? here's a hint:yes, it was the zoo. somehow i managed to take several giraffe and hippo photos, but none of the main attraction, which was cousin hope. it is so lovely to see the cousins love each other up. poor hope gets sort of smothered with affection by her two girl cousins, who like to lift her up and down places she is perfectly capable of getting up and down herself. still, it's great to hang with cousins, and their parents. after we left they all said, 'when can we see hope again?' it is always interesting to go to the zoo. gus is a die-hard follow the map sort of guy, and wanted to make sure we saw everything. we did NOT see the new baby elephant, because i nixed the idea of standing in line for 40 minutes in the sun. perhaps another time, pachy. apparently the children really love to go through the turnstile, because when we were headed out they all raced to get a chance to go through. i remember thinking it was a cool thing when we used to go to the zoo in sioux falls with grandma and papa, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Doggett Days of Summer

well, here it is the last week in august, and the girls went to bed wearing stocking caps. i kid you not. gus wore some newly acquired footy pj's with polar bears on them. is it cold here? the tomatoes which are not growing in my garden, but in my lovely friend's, have late tomato blight. could it be because the average temperature for evenings hovers near 50 not 60 this year. ahhh august.
since i didn't post daily all summer, and i am going on a trip, and won't be back until september, i thought i would blog a bit about our summer. so here they are, the doggett days of summer:

there's eleanor on the rocks.
we went to the coast one day in june. it was really, really cold and windy. the kids were doing death-defying feats on the rocks. this just about captures it. yes, she was really on a cliff of rocks and the churning ocean was just below.
here are gus and eleanor on their bikes for the 4th of july parade.

a good time was had by all. i made a fool of myself in front of some law enforcement personnel with a streamer. the only thing missing was a MARCHING BAND, like this:
see, corvallis, this is how it's done. (lovin the cute band director, too.)

this here is country fair. where else can you dress like a fairy and meet a 15 foot tall flower? where? and gnomes? they got them, too.

oh my it's late now i must go to bed. more soon.
love to everyone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

what's a meme?

i've been tagged for a meme. first off, i am not sure what it is, or worse yet, how to pronounce it. and, rather than going to bed, which i should be doing (since babies can come at any hour of any day or night), i am going to figure it out and try to do it. here goes:
wikipedia says a meme is:

A meme (pronounced /miːm/)[1] is any thought or behavior that can be passed from one person to another by means of imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus.

so, it rhymes with theme, apparently. nice that i can still read the phonetic alphabet. college ed is good for somethin. boy, what else wikipedia says is pretty interesting, too. i guess blogging itself is a meme. not to mention everything else, pretty much. what a concept.

here's what this particular meme is, from lisa:

Quirky Meme
Mention six quirky, yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged. If you participate, let the person know who tagged you you've posted your quirks!

1. i can't think of anything, so i guess that must mean i am totally NORMAL, which is something i have been actively trying not to be since about the age of, oh, whenever it was that i first read Anne of Green Gables, and decided i wanted to be quirky in exactly the same way she was, imaginative, creative, forgetful, prone to catastrophe, dramatic, and someone who used words like 'kindred spirits' and 'bosom friend' and 'we almost perished.'

2. i cannot tolerate caffiene very well. it makes me way too talkative (even more than my normal babble speed), then grumpy and then i just want to nap, and, if i have coffee today, tomorrow at exactly the same time, i will want coffee. this is too much! even if i live in the land of a starbucks on every corner, i will not give in to the coffee devils. resist resist resist.

3. i like toaster ovens. is there any more that really needs to be said about that? i think not.

4. i'm good with language. is this boring? is it quirky? well, what it means is i have, in my short (getting longer all the time) life learned bits of several languages that i've retained a fair bit of, majored in language studies in college (japanese) and can remember lyrics to songs so well i will drive pretty much anyone riding in a car with me insane if we listen to the radio and they don't like people singing along. i am not japanese, at least not in this incarnation.

5. i balk at regularity. i don't like to have the same breakfast 2 days in a row, or any meal, for that matter. i don't like to keep the same schedule week to week. it seems boring and stuck. this causes problems in parenting. i like to fly by the seat of my pants. it's crazy-making for children, i think. i guess it's why i like to travel so much. travelling in places where the countries change every few hours is really interesting. not the same breakfast or lunch, or even language! wow! in my old age, i see how rhythm and discipline are helpful to me. doesn't mean i gotta like it, does it?

6. i have worn glasses since i was 7 years old. maybe 8. i started out with a patch, for a lazy-eye situation. would that i had that patch now. it was a really good one with green on the inside. i hated wearing it. i have tried to wear contacts, never with much luck. so, i wear glasses and attempt to keep the finger prints off them. they're quite dirty right now, better fix that.

well, i don't know if i did that right, but, there it is.

addendum: i would tag other people but that feels too much like a chain letter to me. so if you read my blog and want to do this meme, go right ahead. and tell me about it so i can find out just how quirky you are in a boring way. do you, too play the oboe, own an autoharp, collect handkerchiefs? dig on origami? wonder why toenails don't just grow in colors, since they look nicer that way? i wanna know, i really do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Il Mundo In Un Susafono

(props for this photo go to brtsergio. i stole it from his flickr photostream)
We have just returned from an evening with the Corvallis Community Band. Another Tuesday night was made a bit more special with a summer band concert. What is it about summer band that makes me feel so--well, happy? I do not particularly enjoy playing the music that is played in summer band, marches and such, or at least I didn't when I had the chance, what? 20 years ago. There's just not a lot an oboe can do with all that brass. There is an oboe in the Corvallis Community Band, and they don't play just marches, either. In fact, tonight's performance featured a clarinet soloist who was pretty damn good, and dressed in evening wear. Me, I would have done it in my CCB sweatshirt, but then, I can't play the clarinet that well, and never could. The kids did less playing at the park and more watching the band this week than last. Many questions arose: Is THAT a sousaphone? Is THAT a tuba? Why do they call it a sousaphone, is it because of John Philip Sousa? (We've recently read John Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco, one of our favorite author/artists) Where's the basson player tonight? What's that kind of drum? Why is it called a snare drum? Is that the bass drum? Oh, can you hear the kettle drums? Do these people own their instruments? Are they volunteers? Can I go play in the park?
I believe that Lee Nelson proclaimed that Harlan, Iowa had the longest running summer band program in Iowa, and I only know this becaues I happened to be at one of the concerts during the 100th year. I could be making this all up, but I don't think so. There is a certain kind of nostalgia that rolls in off those down beats and oompas and tweetle tweets that gets me right in my midwestern heart. Now, it helps that one of our first evenings in Corvallis happened to be spent (serendipitously--as was the mode) at a summer band concert. And it helps that my little brother is so far away probably running a similar summer band concert gig--or maybe retirees do that, what say you Phil? Nevertheless, I was glad that I had decided to brave the 'hot' weather (um, no this is not hot compared to you in the mushi atsui midwest) and spend an evening hour on the lawn, listening to marches, waltzes and other sundries. What else is summer for, if not for summer band. And if I had to pick a world to be in... well it's nice that this one includes sousaphones.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


How can it have been a year already since we were in England? And am I just going to get more and more weird about time flying? I seem to be asking questions like this way the heck too often. Signs of aging? Naaaaah.
So, an insurance/magazine saleswoman stopped by the house today. Yes. Stopped by. Now, I'm not sure when the last time was that someone came to YOUR door selling something besides Girl Scout cookies, but for me, well it's been a long time. And, it's pretty surprising when you live in a 'gated community' (yes, we are--but that's a story for another time) way out in the boonies, like we do. My Dad assures me that farm magazines have been sold this way forever. That lady could talk. I talk a lot, but she talked circles around me. I gave her a cup of tea. Her mother was English (from Lincolnshire) and we talked about England and lots of other things. AND I did NOT NOT NOT buy anything from her or convert to her brand of religious affiliation or anything else. I shook her hand and thanked her for the free Grit Magazine and sent her on her merry way so I could make scalloped potatoes.
However, I did not need her to remind me of England, oh no. Eleanor and I have been thinking about it all week. The wedding, the wedding festival, the dancing, the red heads, the freckles, the garden, the pasties, the Cornish Coast, the thatched roofs, the cute cottage names, the music and poetry, the amazing people, the cream and jam, the acting, Stonehenge, the road trip, the accents, the double-decker bus, the rock walls and hedges... Ohhhhh when can we go back to England, mama?