We puttered today. I got up, made coffee, baked some scones, packed Erin a lunch, drove her to school. Came home, answered some e-mails, cuddled with Fiona. Fed the chickens. Sophie got up. We woke Noah up and watched a compilation of animations on DVD. There's an animation festival here each spring, and we are becoming quite aware of and appreciative of different animators and styles. Today we watched a new-to-us collection we'd rented through Zip. Noah was in raptures over "Balance", the Lauenstein & Lauenstein Oscar-winner from 1990 that somehow we had never seen before. It's typical that Noah latches onto the spare brooding philosophical work in a line-up that is full of variety.
Sophie was on her way to a friend's house for the afternoon, so I offered to take Fiona to town for a bit of hanging out. We went to the Donation Store. It's sort of a thrift store, but instead of price tags they just ask for small cash donations on the honour system. We always run into people we know well but haven't seen in ages, so we never expect to get out in less than half an hour. Today we scored a Trivial Pursuit game and a box of Young Players Edition cards as a bonus, a pairs of nice jeans for Fiona and me and a nice cotton waffle shirt in steel blue for Noah.
Then it was time for café math. There's a bakery café that we rarely go to except to pick up bread. But because there aren't a lot of stay-in customers it's the best place to go to spend an hour sharing a pot of herbal tea. We had brought Fiona's current her math book and had a lovely time exploring nine-timestable patterns, working on memorizing the 4's and reviewing the 3's, and doing a lot of mental-math subtraction. We tried the lime tea which was lovely for a little girl of five and nice enough for her mom too. "They have sugar cubes instead of sugar," she commented. "That's kind of unusual." Unlike my other kids, Fiona's thoughts spill out of her mouth. I love that I have this way to see into her mind. I am privy to every delighted observation she makes. She makes it so easy for a parent to share in her sense of wonder. It was lots of fun dropping a sugar cube in a cup of lime tea and watching it dissolve.
We ran into Sophie and her friend then, so we went back to the Donation Store and found Sophie a couple of pairs of jeans. We showed her the Trivial Pursuit, and her instant reaction was "Calgary!" Meaning that reading and drilling your siblings on trivia with the cards will of course be a perfect activity for the many hours of driving to and from Calgary each month.
We said goodbye to Sophie and her friend and headed home. I cut Fiona's hair. We puttered some more. Erin called for a ride home, having finally finished school and violin practicing (another five hours of math today, plus two hours of violin), so we headed down and retrieved both Erin and Sophie. Erin, when informed of the Trivial Pursuit acquisition, immediately said "Calgary!"
After supper we had the usual line-up of practicing, imaginative play, computer play, math time for the kids who had missed out earlier, and readaloud time. I had hoped we'd squeeze in an episode of Michael Palin's "Pole to Pole," but it's already eleven and with the early mornings schoo is imposing on Erin and me, it's clearly too late to be putting that on.
Then again Erin would probably love to stay up and watch. In writing class yesterday one exercise was to write a ten-word biography. Erin wrote "I practice all day, then I don't go to bed." Very pithy!