Friday, January 30, 2004

Snow and worms

Snow and worms don't go together very well most of the time, but when the worms are cozy inside and the snow is outside, the two can touch our lives at the same time.

It has snowed a ton here in the past week. We've probably had almost three feet of snow. Fluffy deep white pristine stuff. The kids have been outside at all hours playing in it. They create pictures against the windows with packed snow. They dig into treewells to find secret forts. They pretend to be Atlas, carrying giant snowballs on their shoulders. They throw snowballs at each other and at snow-laden trees. They dig tunnels and caves. They build totem poles and snowmen. They sculpt their own lands, shovel and pile, explore and create. They just love the freeform creative control they have over their environment when it's made of snow. Sometimes they'll only come in to eat or sleep.

Today it rained, though, so the snow is compacted a bit and very heavy. The beautiful pillows on the trees are gone and there's lots of tree-crud on the surface of the snow. Today was an indoor day. It's snowing again now, but not quite cold enough for it to accumulate. Hopefully overnight we'll get a layer of fluffy stuff again.

On Monday we made a detour on our way to piano and bought some red wigglers from a lady who vermicomposts. We have had a problem with bears in our outdoor compost bin for years, and I decided it made sense to try composting food scraps indoors rather than outside. We found plans for a layered bin system on the internet and had fun constructing a home for our worms. The kids got to use the power drill, always a hit. We don't have very many worms yet but are hoping they'll reproduce well and by summer we'll be able to dump all our compostable food waste in our bins in the basement.

Erin and Sophie have been keeping very late hours, and this is starting to interfere with family things, so we've discussed shifting things back a little. They're making an effort. It's been hard to do our bedtime readalouds when Noah needs to hit the sack hours before the girls are ready to stop doing whatever they're involved in. And it's been a challenge getting Erin up in time to go places. So she's asked me to awaken her an hour earlier each morning over the next while, and she's going to try to go to bed a bit earlier.

Piano went very well this week. Erin is gobbling up challenging new Sonatina movements in a week or two all of a sudden. They're well-learned and pretty fluid, though not musically completely polished, in very short order. I think this must be due in part at least to the hours she's been spending lately just sitting at the piano playing through hours of easy pieces just for her own entertainment and relaxation. Both her sight-reading and her new-repertoire-learning have really jumped a few notches in the past month or two. Noah had a pretty good lesson too. He's handling the Grade 1 repertoire capably, which is a big jump in difficulty level since this fall. Violin isn't as much at the forefront lately. The balance shifts back and forth... I don't worry.

We've been playing Carcassonne, an interesting strategy game from Germany that I just picked up. It's medieval- and map-oriented and very flexible for imaginative play too. Using the proper rules and scorekeeping, it's a complex game for ages 10+. Without scorekeeping, or with various home-made co-operative rules, it's fun for younger kids. Sophie likes it. Fiona wants to eat the followers and chew on the map tiles, so that's a bit of an issue.

The watercolour paints are out this afternoon. Noah has done a painting of Poseidon. Erin is making a carefully-planned painting of an Egyptian city. Sophie did something bright and mostly non-representational. It's been a quiet day.

The rest of the week has included a visit from a "traveling mascot" from a friend of ours (we are journaling his stay with us and will pass him on to someone else), a swim at the hotsprings pool north of us, dentists' visits for the kids (no cavities, and always a fun experience for them... we have a great dentist), a special lunch out at the local café, some creative cooking, and the usual music, math and reading aloud. I'm trying to get some sewing done but Fiona is not co-operating. Life goes on.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog is moving to archive-only status. Please consider posting comments instead at the active version of the blog at

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.