Tuesday, July 30, 2013

reading out in the corners

i am a frequent borrower at my local library. there's this brilliant service (bibliotek.dk) where you can order books from any library in the country and they send them to your local library. when they come, you get an SMS and then you pick them up and read them. i'm always ordering strange and esoteric things like postmodern theory from the mid-90s, books about early soviet textiles or artists that were popular in the 50s or else the entire collected works of whoever has just won the nobel prize for literature. as one of the librarians said today, "you're really out in the corners."

i laughed when she said it, because it really is true. but of course, i had to think about it afterwards as well. what does it really mean to be out in the corners? i hasten to say that it was said and meant in a kind way and was not at all an insult. we were laughing because very often when i go to check out my reserved books, the self-service machine won't allow me to do it - it always wants some other number or says that the book doesn't exist in the system or some such error. this means i very often have to go to the desk and have someone help me. in this way, i've gotten to know all of the library personnel very well. which is how the "you're really out in the corners" comment came about.

i took it as another way of saying off the beaten path. when i look for my books on the reserved shelves, i see a lot of self-help, how-to books, cookbooks, contemporary crime novels (i do order my share of those at times) and those infernal 50 shades books. those are all on the beaten path, down the middle, ordinary. today i picked up the tom phillips book (he's the artist who did the humument altered book i told you about a few days ago). at the same time i returned slavoj zizek's latest tome, less than nothing: hegel and the shadow of dialetical materialism. i'll admit i only read a couple of chapters of it, not the whole thing. i go for such a book occasionally to exercise my brain (this was, i will say, one of the more lucid zizek since sublime object of ideology) and to remind me of the thrills i found in grad school. but of late, i've also been reading douglas kennedy novels, which aren't exactly lacanian marxism.

which leads me to another aspect of what it might mean to read out in the corners - to read broadly, all over the spectrum, thoroughly in some sense, covering all the bases. i like that idea too. i read a lot and i love reading. i can't go to sleep at night without it. sometimes i want to read to relax. sometimes to think and be challenged. sometimes to help me figure out what my opinion is. sometimes to enlighten. sometimes to learn. sometimes just to be entertained. sometimes to get lost. reading can give you so many different experiences and feelings - the whole spectrum, really. and i guess that's what it really means to be out in the corners.

* * *

how charming are these diving pigs?

Monday, July 29, 2013

let's take a course together at MIT

i'm not ready yet to talk about autumn, but it is just around the corner. and even after all these years, autumn makes me long for a new hooded sweatshirt with my university logo on it, new pens and a stack of fresh, pristine textbooks, beckoning to be cracked open. let the enlightenment begin! in imagination i can smell the freshness of the autumn air and feel the crunch of leaves under my boots as i make my way to the quad. tho' i spent more time at iowa and arizona state, it seems the university of chicago is the setting in my imagination - the tree-lined streets of hyde park, walking past frank lloyd wright's robie house, ducking in to the seminary co-op bookstore (tho' it certainly didn't look like that modern monstrosity when i was there, it was tucked in a dark, dingy, but wonderfully labyrinthine basement in those days). i could go on, but it's making me wistful. alas, those days were nearly a lifetime ago and the hoodie has gotten a bad rap recently.

however, last evening on facebook, i learned that MIT has a load of free courses available online. i vaguely recall reading that somewhere awhile ago, but i never really went in search of it. by the way, this proves that facebook can be good for something. i reposted the link (i think it originated with those i fucking love science people, tho' i got it through an old friend who i worked with during college) and then cyndy came up with a brilliant idea. she suggested that we (and by we i mean all of you and me and cyndy) should take one of the MIT courses together - do the readings and assignments and share our thoughts with one another, maybe even in a facebook group. she suggested an anthropology course on food and culture. and i said, yes please! and then i went to bed because it was really late.

and when i awoke this morning, it still seemed like an excellent idea. so, who's in? let me know and i'll do something about organizing a facebook group for discussion of the topics and readings. we don't have to write the papers, but let's go to MIT together, what do you say?

* * *

an interesting conversation about life as an expat in denmark is going on here
in english and in the comments.

* * *

why the picture of panzanella, you ask? it's food & culture, so i thought the food would inspire.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

the view from sunday night or how i had antlers before they were cool

the air was heavy and it felt all weekend like it was waiting to storm. i(t) never stormed. denmark is very restrained that way. in south dakota, a good old fashioned thunderstorm would have blown through and cleared out that pesky, heavy waiting and left it cool and rinsed clean. no such luck here. the air is still heavy and too warm for sleeping. we can't even have the windows properly open as molly is in heat and desperate to get out to the papa kitty. we think she's had enough kittens for one year, so she's got to stay inside until it's over. i don't want to fix her yet as i want one more batch of kittens next spring - no sense bringing those good minnesota cat genes over here and not taking advantage of them properly. but she (and perhaps i) have been through enough for this year, so she has to wait until spring. she's lucky i love her or she'd have driven me completely crazy with her meowing and cajoling to go outside and rendezvous with the papa kitty.

i went on an uncharacteristic cleaning frenzy today, dusting, tidying, rearranging, organizing, vacuuming spider webs (they say spiders are a sign of a healthy inner climate in a house, so we're very healthy, let me tell you). i wonder how those spiders are all getting along inside the bag in our vacuum cleaner. do different kinds of spiders like each other? it feels good that things are tidy and clean. it gives me that essential sunday evening feeling that leaves me ready to face the week ahead. it's the last full week before school starts, so i want to spend some time together with sabin, who has been flitting off with one friend and another to summer houses and car races.

have you noticed that my photos and my words are quite disconnected? i took the photos after vacuuming up the spiders, otherwise, they would have been more connected. now i'll try to connect them a little bit more. i was out picking this bouquet of verbena by the road when i ran into our cat tiger (also known as pelle haleløse (pelle the tail-less) as he came home last summer without most of his tail) out there, relaxing in the grass and trying to stay cool. i was chatting away to him when some people came by, walking their dogs and thinking i was insane to be chatting animatedly with myself in english (they couldn't see the cat in the grass). oh well, they'll chalk it up to the crazy canadian, since it's rumored in the area that i'm canadian. i can live with that. oddly, i felt no compulsion whatsoever to explain and no embarrassment. i wonder if that is the first sign of madness?

i almost didn't have the heart to throw out these fetchingly dried daisies, but after photographing them, i replaced them with fresh ones. i almost think they're prettier when they're withered and dried. i suspect there's a lesson in that somewhere. or maybe i'm feeling philosophical after reading my fourth douglas kennedy book in as many weeks. tara suggested the first one (pursuit of happiness) to me on goodreads and that got me hooked. i devoured state of the union in about 24 hours. it's my favorite one yet. all of the ones i've read so far (i'm now on number 5 - the big picture) are about people whose choices led them feel they've lived the wrong life. they make me feel like writing, tho' i finish each one reluctantly, sad to leave behind characters who quickly come to seem like friends. i've got several more on order from the library. his style and characters suit my mood of the moment perfectly, tho' i feel far from having lived the wrong life.

antlers are everywhere on pinterest at the moment. i got this little skull last fall at the boy scout flea market for 20 kroner. i don't know what kind of deer it is, but i love it. all of the deer in this country are freakishly small and this one is no exception. i'd like to think that i was way ahead of that antler trend.

Friday, July 26, 2013

flashback friday

the beauty of digital photography means that you can access your memories right there in your iPhoto library (or if you're me, in 4 different iPhoto libraries). so i thought i'd take a little stroll down memory lane to what i was doing at this time in years gone by.

we were in istanbul
on july 26, 2004

in july 2005, i was in the badlands of south dakota.

in july 2006, i was in cape town.
and my hair had grown out a bit.

on july 26, 2007
i spent 21 hours traveling on a train to skopje, macedonia from ljubljana, slovenia

husband worked on our a-frame greenhouse
on july 26, 2008
stupid bitch we sold the house to tore it down
oops, was that out loud?

i relaxed in the garden with my laptop
on july 26, 2009

proof that there was sunshine,
but i had just received news that my favorite professor from college died
on july 26, 2010

i came home with dark hair and bangs
july 26, 2011

sabin and mom and i explored old abandoned houses
july 26, 2012

where were you this time last year? or the year before?

* * *

in light of my newfound mantra: you are a mashup of what you let into your life, i've signed up for a fortnight of self-adoration with kylie ballard. it's free, and there's a facebook group, what's not to like? you should join us too.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

what you let into your life

i was reading this piece on brainpickings about the greatest books of all time. i'm always impressed when someone claims they have cracked that list definitively. this particular compilation asked famous writers for their lists (who knows reading better than writers, after all?). i'm not sure that gets us truly closer to a definitive list, but with the help of averages and some statistics, the book apparently gives it a go. what interested me wasn't so much the lists, as a quote by austen kleon (or is it paula sher?) that postulates "you are a mashup of what you let into your life."

and that triggered something in me that's been simmering below the surface, just out of reach in my brain during this long, hot summer (i'm not complaining, it's the first summer ever in denmark in 15 years and i'm grateful for it). you are a mashup of what you let into your life. and what have i let in lately?

i think that ever since the thing with the station fell through once we saw the proposed contract from DSB (the danish railway, who owns the building), what i have let into my life is fear and disappointment and a vague feeling of someone having tried to put one over on me because they thought i was a stupid hick. i was so disappointed when i saw the ridiculous terms DSB wanted to impose on us that i couldn't even write about it here. but quick overview is: they expected that we, as renters, would be responsible for everything inside and outside the building, but we would have no say on anything and have to ask permission for every screw and nail we wished to put into the wall. but if they decided to put in new plumbing or rewire the place, or have a new roof put on, we would have to foot the bill - as mere renters. i've never seen anything like it. it was so far from something we could accept that we didn't even go back and try to negotiate. the price was right (it was, admittedly, a very affordable rent), but the terms were not. not even remotely. and somehow it feels like it crushed my spirit. and it made me feel like i was controlled by fear, because i was truly too afraid to enter into such a contract. but worst of all, i felt like they presented us with such terms because they thought that out here in the sticks we'd be stupid enough to go for them. or at the very least that they didn't really want to rent to us at all, but let us go through several weeks of charade, planning and hopes. all of which led to me feeling disappointed and somehow paralyzed by fears and not really knowing how to pick up the pieces.

add in then that i probably have borrelia, molly was seriously ill with mastitis, someone stole our chickens and i lost my beloved frankie cat, aside from the good weather, it's been a rather crap summer.

it's time to start mashing up something new - hanging out with people who give me energy and happiness and laughter, working on new projects which excite me, doing more of the things that nourish and less of the things that don't. moving forward. and to stop thinking about that stupid piss-taking DSB rental contract and just get over it. it probably wasn't personal, but it was so connected to dreams and plans that it certainly feels that way.

i think it's what's so empowering about the statement: you are a mashup of what you let into your life - what you let in is a choice, which means you can control it. i hereby take back control right now.

* * *

and talk about letting in something different, check out tom phillips' humument project.
so inspiring it makes me a little short of breath.

* * *

a not-so-rosy, but very interesting, take on the new domesticity.
and how sex & the city lost its feminism.
(i have to wonder if it ever really had it.)

* * *

the modern face of poverty or
how a member of the working poor in england is blogging her way to a better life.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

small happinesses

a big giant kitten, trying to get a little sip of milk, then falling asleep.

sleeping away the heat of the day.

beads of sweat on cold things to drink.

three packages of lego minifigures, and all three were ones i didn't already have!

* * *

i've fallen in love with
a 2500 year-old siberian princess' tattoos.
it's definitely worth a click to read the story.
and there's more about her here.
if you don't want to read, here's a little video:

search "Indo-European Mummy in the Altai" on YouTube and watch
a marvelous program about the find from BBC Learning.
Natalia Polosmak, the scientist who discovered her has the most amazing manner.
i want to be friends with her and just hang on her every word.
see, i think she's so awesome, i actually used capital letters!

Monday, July 22, 2013

toto, we're not in kansas anymore

during my usual sunday morning troll of the internet, i watched this wonderful TED talk by pico iyer on the subject of home:

as one who is by choice displaced, i often ponder what home means. quite often here on this very blog. i think that instead of getting easier to answer, the longer you are gone from home (your original home, the place of your birth), the more muddied the waters become. you begin to feel that place isn't home and this place, where you live and make your life and even find a lot of happiness, sometimes even on a daily basis, definitely isn't home either. and it leaves you all with what i like to call my mid-atlantic feeling (as in cast adrift in the middle of the atlantic, neither here nor there). and it is, as always, a lonely feeling, tho' it can also leave you feeling utterly unique and who doesn't, especially in their moments of private solipsism, want to feel unique, even if it unique in your own particular brand of lonely.

and so i struggle with notions of home. and making a home. and feeling at home. and maybe it's a normal state if 220 million of us are living outside the country of our birth, as iyer suggests. so maybe i should just lighten up and go with it. because this makes me sound like i'm unhappy and i'm far from that. i just don't really know if i know what home is in this age when so much is in flux. it's where you keep your important books, i thought at one time, but when our books now fit on an iPad, then home is wherever i find myself (provided i have my iPad with me) by that definition.

i suppose, as iyer says, i somehow do manage to stitch together a sense of home (and thus identity), from the various pieces i carry around inside me...where i was raised, where i live now, all of the places i have traveled, all of the experiences i've had, all of the memories i've created. i carry it all within me, no matter where i am. and my actual house is filled with things gathered on those travels...trinkets, statues, glassware, rugs, scarves, so it reflects that sense of home that i attempt to construct, almost unconsciously. and what is a home? a nest, a place to feel safe. a place to call your own. a place to house your important books. and i can't complain because i do have that, even if i couldn't have imagined how it would look and what it would be like, had you asked me to do that 20 years ago.

and so i muddle along, like so many others, constructing a life, a home, a family and filling it with deeds and memories.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

glorious summer days

these gorgeous summer days don't really get any more relaxed. frieda (aka paws mcgraw) demonstrates.

sabin braided a clover flower crown. we all tried it on. husband said i looked swedish in it. i'm choosing to see that as a good thing. oddly enough, no one took my picture.

why is it again that they say not to photograph against the light? sabin spent last week with a friend and her family at a summer house up north. we were very glad to have her home again.

sabin took this gorgeous shot of our dear, elderly lila belle. she's been loving the warm summer days as well and has even been seen playing, despite her 14+ years.

even husband tried on the clover crown. he's very secure in his masculinity that way. we had to have a photo of that. maybe there's no photos of me because i'm mostly behind the camera.

Friday, July 19, 2013

magical photo

the magical thing about photography is that you never know what you're going to get. as i contorted myself amongst the stinging nettles to try to catch the right ray of light during the golden hour, i didn't imagine this photograph. but due to the magic of very shallow depth of field (thanks to the 50mm fixed lens, at 1.4 aperture) and the perfect (read: low) light, this was my result. and i think it's magical, even if i do say so myself. and even more, i love that despite it being a digital photo, it has a film-like quality. and it's straight out of my camera, no processing at all, aside from a slight crop on the left. it's a photo you could fall into and get lost.

haven't even made a dent in my list

it's one of those weeks. the list was long (two pages) and tho' i steadily worked on it, there are very few items that can be checked off. many of them just take time, but it's also because i did a lot of things that weren't on the list at all (maybe i need to put them there and cross them off to feel better). but on the whole, it leaves me here, on friday afternoon, feeling like i didn't accomplish much of anything this week. and a dull headache, i also have a dull headache. and it's been cloudy all morning, tho' they promised sunshine. the danish weather people suck, they just make shit up instead of actually trying to predict the weather. seriously, if everyone were as bad at their job as the danish meteorological institute (institute no less, the nerve!), this country would long ago have gone under. the norwegian weather service, however, says to expect sunshine later today, so i imagine my mood will improve. and now i'd better get back to that list...

happy weekend one and all!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

no butter cow here, folks

not our chickens. and these don't even resemble ours.

i went to the opening day of the market in vorbasse to check the chicken vendors for telltale signs of our chickens. there were actually a few that looked like them, but the people who had the stand were not the ones who came to look at the rabbits. i hated to confront someone who i didn't recognize, as there are, of course, lots of danish landrace chickens in denmark. they could, of course, have gotten them from our thieves, but maybe they were innocent victims as well. i know i would have recognized the people and i didn't see them. there are other markets around, but i think i give up now. 

the market is really not a nice place, it's sort of like a low-rent county fair, only without the competition for best pickles and biggest carrots. the chickens that were for sale looked pretty scruffy and the rabbits (of which there were many) were even worse. there were puppies and kittens too, but they all looked flea-bitten and awful. i'm surprised people would dare to show up with animals in such bad shape. and i wonder if they ever sell any of them? i suppose the pity factor plays in and people buy them to rescue them. with all of the righteous animal rights folks around in denmark, i'm surprised people are allowed to display such a mangy bunch of beasts without getting them all riled up.

i'm glad i went on opening day, as it gets crowded and even more depressing on the weekend. tent after tent of cheap, unnecessary crap, garage sale items passed off as antiques, dangerous-looking traveling carnival rides and unhealthy food, in addition to loads of horses that stand tied up for for three days in the sun without visible food and water, waiting to be sold to a new home. if you think there is no white trash in denmark, just visit vorbasse and you'll realize it's alive and well.

i'm glad i went to check for the chickens, because if i hadn't, i'd be obsessing wondering about it forever. but give me a good old fashioned state fair in the states anytime over the crappy vorbasse market.

* * *

i might want need a llama.

* * *

fonts reimagined as food.
by some lithuanians.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a question of time

i measure time these lazy summer days in terms of kitten growth. little frieda has come quite a long way since she was born may 22. it makes time seem to pass very quickly when you think of it like that. but at the same time, these long, light days stretch out and it feels like there's time for everything you want to do. it's ok that it takes an hour and a half to pick strawberries, because it's ok to eat at 8 p.m. when it's so light. if it takes another hour or more to hull them and get them into the steamer, that's ok too. time feels like it's enough.

at the same time, i'm acutely aware that time is rushing forward. sabin is growing up and i don't know if i've properly enjoyed her as a non teenager. and now it's fast becoming too late for that. she'll be in the 7th grade in a few short weeks. did we do enough together? should i have kept her home, to spend time with her, instead of letting her go to a summer house with a friend this week? on the other hand, she needs that essential danish summer house experience and she's not going to get it from us.

the older i get, the more time seems to rush headlong forward. my daily photos serve as a memory for me and i am sometimes amazed when i look back and a particular photo was that long ago. often it seems like just yesterday. time gets warped somehow, bent in memory. can i really be this old? have i really lived here that long? was it really so long ago we went to morocco? or spain? or that we met? it was a lifetime ago and it feels like i only just blinked and all that time passed.

so i'm grateful for the summer slowdown of time. for it stretching out and becoming all i need right here and now. and for the golden light that stretches well into the evening. i'll take that for now and try to save it up for those long winter nights.

* * *

more on how we experience time.

* * *

i like this essay on the treyvon martin case.
it helped me understand.
and anyone who calls himself a digital humanist is cool in my book.

* * *

russian intelligence goes old school - with typewriters!

Monday, July 15, 2013

chicken rustlers

we started off with 12 chickens - 9 hens, 3 roosters, two breeds - swedish blacks and the danish landrace. that was back in summer 2011. the next summer, they began to nest on their eggs and made themselves some more chicks.

those were a blend of the two races, as you can see in this photo...combo chickens and rather unique-looking. at the beginning of the spring season, we had approximately 30. husband took out a couple of roosters because they were driving us insane with all that crowing. oddly, they literally had a pecking order and didn't fight with one another. but that's because we've got plenty of room.

this spring, the hens got down to work, hatching out eggs in odd places - in an old wagon, out in the barn where the horses are stalled, so there were baby chickens and half grown chickens all over the place. we were up to around 40 chickens around here when we came out one saturday morning a few weeks ago to this:

initially, we were sure a fox had struck. there were about 15 separate piles of feathers here and there around the henhouse and garden and the henhouse itself was filled with feathers, as was the little nesting addition on the back of it. there wasn't a trace of a chicken or a single drop of blood. we were strangely impressed that a fox could do that. we expected that a bunch of the chickens were scared off and would show up again in the next few days. so we waited. and waited. and had a friend with a hunting dog come by to try to flush them out. nothing.

we talked to a lot of people. all of them were skeptical that a single fox or even a fox with a few pups could take so many chickens so bloodlessly. even the four little ones who were out in the other barn, far from the henhouse were gone. and to my knowledge, they had never been over with the main flock, so how could a fox know to go over there and take them?

and so we got to thinking. the day before they disappeared, a middle-aged danish couple came to look at some rabbits we had for sale on dba.dk (an eBay owned sales site that's more like craig's list than eBay). they pulled up in a rather battered black station wagon. the woman was very interested in checking the bunnies (there were still five left at that point) to see whether they were boys or girls (this is a nearly impossible task). so while she and i and sabin turned bunnies upside down and tried to see, the man wandered off, disinterested in the task. in the end, she decided it was too risky and she didn't buy a bunny and they got in their car and left. we departed soon after to go to the movies in vejle. it occurred to me later that i had told the "bunny people" that when they made an appointment - telling them they had to come before six, because we had somewhere to be and had to leave at six. so they knew we weren't going to be home that friday evening.

there are a lot of summer markets around in denmark and we think our chickens are going to be appearing at one (or more) of them. the big one is next weekend and we're going to go check, as our chickens, with their blend of the two races, are pretty distinctive. we have also reported the theft to the police and oddly, it's not the only reported chicken theft in the area. there are chicken rustlers afoot (thanks bill, for reminding me of that word). unfortunately, i had enough calls afterwards (and before i got to thinking about it) that their telephone number disappeared from my phone, but i am sure it had to be those "bunny people." the woman remarked on those 4 young chickens out there in the barn and how much fun they appeared to be having pecking around in the horse's stall. it took someone who knew they were there for them to disappear with the rest of the flock. and it explains why there was only feather carnage and no actual carnage. it also explains why our chicken-catching net wasn't where we left it.

many of the people we talked to suspected eastern europeans as the culprits and tho' we don't really know for sure, the people who came to ostensibly look at bunnies were as danish as could be. so it seems that anyone can be a thief.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

the color sneaks back into my world

i suppose it's just these sunny, summer days we've been treated to, but it feels somehow like color is returning to my world. it's been a tough time recently with molly's mastitis, our chickens disappearing (it turns out it wasn't a fox, they were stolen!), my borrelia diagnosis and then losing frankie. a lot of things happening in quick succession that have sapped my energy and robbed me of my inspiration and, you probably noticed, my words.

despite losing frankie on monday, it was on the whole a good week. i took the last of my antibiotics and i feel myself returning to more or less feeling normal health-wise, tho' i do occasionally run a low-grade fever for most of a day (i hope that stops now), which zaps my energy again. but spending time with sabin in the sunshine, doing creative projects helped greatly.

it's hard to be down in the dumps when your old favorite converse have been turned into bright, cheery rainbows.

the garden, especially the fruit bushes and those strawberries, are in full swing and picking and processing all that fruit makes me feel industrious and satisfied. i know how much we'll enjoy the fruits of all my labors come autumn and winter. that has raised my spirits as well.

the perfect afternoon i spent painting in the garden with sabin on friday also went a long way towards reawakening what has been a dormant sense of creativity. i have a tendency to go through a low-level depression at times without even really realizing it myself, except in odd ways (i think the bits of blue in my hair were an attempt to pull myself out of it that i wasn't even really aware of on a conscious level). it's only when it begins to lift that i realize it was there.

but it is beginning to lift. like a fog clearing away. one that i had become so accustomed to, that i wasn't even really aware of it myself. it likely started with our prolonged winter and ever-protracted spring. then molly got sick and i spent a couple of weeks of sleepless nights, worrying over and feeding kittens in the night. i've also been reading some douglas kennedy novels, which are wonderful, but full of tragic stories that feel like they're happening to friends of mine, so well-drawn are the characters. and i realize now that it has all fed an underlying feeling of blue (and not the good blue room kind).

but today, as i pulled fabric for several baby quilts (suddenly, my friends are all having babies), it hit me that the blue of my world was turning more colorful once again. and it seems at least some of my words have returned. molly is well (and begging to go outside to rendezvous with the papa kitty again (don't worry, she's not allowed)) and the kittens are at at the very height of playful perfection and tho' i miss frankie very much, i now get to keep little frieda, my kitten who smiles in her sleep.

it also helps that dinner came from the garden - fresh kale, shallots and new potatoes. there is little that feels more satisfying than that, unless it's a kitten who smiles in her sleep.

here's hoping that summer is treating you all very well.

Friday, July 12, 2013

more scenes of summer bliss

at the risk of bragging, i'll tell you my child made me a smoothie for breakfast this morning.

i enjoyed it while kittens entertained me with their playful antics.

they're getting to be pretty good climbers.
easy on the designer furniture there, periwinkle.

in the afternoon, we painted in the garden.

the child learned a lot about mixing colors in her painting lessons.
and she taught me a lot this afternoon.

her painting is way better than mine.
tho' mine's not finished yet, so it will improve.

danielle found a hollow in the pear tree and explored it.

we had a relaxed hour or so with matilde, who is much happier at her new stable.

the kittens played some more.
as kittens will do.

perrie climbed a tree.
her mother was not pleased.

strawberries were picked (and frozen and juiced).

and then it was time for bed.

* * *

hope your summer is a glorious one as well.
these are the days we will remember.