Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Iris Reads to Papa


Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Secret Play Dough Recipe of the Ancients Unearthed!

Every time I make play dough for Iris, it turns out too sticky. Today I decided to try Mom’s recipe:




Notice the precise measurement for temperature and a note at the bottom. It seemed my stickiness problem could be solved! Using seaweed for coloring, I began to mix up a batch of dough. Unfortunately, when I added the spirulina, it stank to high heaven. Then I realized I don’t own any white flour. Off we went to Heather’s house… The stench of rotting carcass magically disappeared after the addition of alum. Unfortunately for Iris, I decided to see exactly what Mom meant by “tough” and decided to make the mixture too hot. Result: balls bounce and the dough is beyond the manipulation capabilities of the average two-year-old.



Not wanting the dough to go to waste entirely, I wrote a note for Martin:




Inspection of the reverse of the recipe card lead to the discovery of the exact time period to which the dough recipe can be dated:


Friday, April 25th, 2014


Heather went inside to change the baby.

“Stay in the yard,” I said to Joshua and Iris.

Joshua ran. Iris chased him. When Iris caught Joshua, she waited for him to run again, then ran after.




They went to the back of the yard, out to the big field.

“Joshua! Iris! Stay in the yard!”

Joshua ran on. I watched.

Iris stood still. “Ma!” she called, slightly panicked, “Ma!”




 I went out to get them. Joshua decided that, seeing as I was following, it was fine to go further.

Iris stood by my side, terrified something might happen to Joshua.

“Go hold his hand,” I said.

She ran to him, took his hand firmly, and pulled him back to the yard.







She did not let go until they reached his mommy just as she came back out of the house.




Joshua enjoyed every minute of holding Iris’ hand.


Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Assignment: Landscape

This weeks Project 52 assignment was “Landscape.” (I still have not done last week’s.) I have some really good landscape photos. Really, I do. I’m quite shy, and I’ve traveled a bit, and landscapes are much less intimidating than just about anything else. Nonetheless, I’m using this P52 to get me to take exactly one photograph each week that I otherwise would not have taken. My submission this week is pretty horrible. However, it justabout captures my recent attitude about some things perfectly, so I figured I’d post it.

All the photo is missing, really, is a pig. I could have waited until the pig came back into the frame (you can see him leaving, off in the shadows to the left) and centered himself in the mudhole between the fences and then gave me a dirty look, but I didn’t want to. I was standing in cow mud. I took one photograph.



Monday, April 21st, 2014

Baby X is Due in 8 Days

Amy is going to have a baby!

Instead of trying to make a cohesive story of images processed in the same manner,

I have chosen to process each image differently.

They can be read sequentially or individually.




Dainty pregnant woman eats breakfast while sitting on glass table.












I really like this photo. Unfortunately, it only shows the tiniest hint of belly.






Same location, more belly.






It’s hard to get an idea of how big a belly actually is when you look at it straight on—

unless you get a long-armed man reaching around, unable to reach.

[I purposely focused on the hands,

but I should have used a wider aperture to keep their faces in focus too.

And I think the lighting is too harsh. Horrors!]






Almost-big-brother checks in on his sibling-to-be.






This is my favorite.






Then Amy turned around and started playing the piano.

I started breathing deeply and stopped worrying about whatever was pushing my worry buttons.

[If I could use Photoshop, I would remove the electric outlet. It must be simple enough…]






I can’t decide if I like the photo above or this photo better.

I like the movement in this photo. I like the simplicity of composition.

[Perhaps I should crop out the eye-attracting cleavage.]






Soon I became lost in the music and the reflections on the piano.






I forgot I had meant to be taking photos of a pregnancy.

I took photos of a pianist instead.




Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Tiling the Floor








Friday, April 18th, 2014

Baby Leigha @ +5 Days

Leigha was born exactly on Iris’ 2nd birthday.

I took some photos when she was 5 days old.























Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Spring Styles for Vermont Toddlers


Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Earthworms Singing in the Spring Rain

Well, not so much singing…

We rescued some wormies from puddles and placed them in dry homes.



Saturday, April 12th, 2014

“Iris find a worm.”

Yesterday afternoon we walked down to the falls. On the way, we stopped at the stone bench. We watched the river and played with pine needles. Suddenly, Iris pointed to my shoulder— “That!” — a tiny earwig was frantically wondering where on earth it was.

“A bug,” I said. I let it run around on my hands for a while. Earwigs are quick, and it soon made its way back to the forest floor.

“Go?” said Iris, wondering where it went. We didn’t find it.


On our way back from the falls, Iris said, “Bugs.”

“You want to look for bugs?” I asked. She nodded. So we went over to the slope where there were a bunch of dead leaves and began to scrape around. Eventually I came up with a tiny baby worm. Worms are easier to hold than earwigs and centipedes, which run off. They are more interesting than millipedes, which play dead. They don’t bite, they don’t squish easily, and they don’t panic. Worms are perfect. Iris played with the worm.

“Neck?” she asked.

“Does the worm have a neck?” I repeated; “I don’t know.”

“Done!” she declared after a short while.

“You’re done with the worm?” I asked.

“Done,” she said. We put the worm back down then— “more.”

“You want another worm?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I looked for more worms. “This would be easier with a shovel,” I said, then handed her another worm.

“Shovel,” she agreed.

Eventually I convinced her to go home, where we could use the new shovel that Joshua gave her for her birthday to search for worms.


The worm hunt did not go so well. My yard is a bog. I chose an area low on worms with ice not too far from the surface.

“The worms do not like this weather,” I explained. “They are still sleeping.”

“Sleeping,” she agreed, and patted the soil. Then— “Worms!”

After finding one half-frozen lethargic worm, Iris reluctantly came inside for dinner.


This afternoon I spent some time clearing weeds from the garden. The garden is prime worm territory. Between weeds, I helped Iris hunt for worms.

“Neck?” she asked.

“Does the worm have a neck?” I repeated. “I don’t know.”

Iris looked closely for a while than said, “Done.”

“When you’re done with the worm, you can put it on the ground. A worm will always find its way home in the soil.”

She put the worm down.


Eventually she became more self-sufficient about finding worms.

“Worm!” she announced.

“You found a worm?” I asked.

“Iris find a worm,” she said. Four words strung together! A new record! I went to look.

“Neck,” said Iris.

“Does the worm have a neck?” I said.

“Neck,” she repeated, affirmatively. Then, “Nose.”

“The worm has a nose?” I said.

She nodded. “Ears.”

“And ears?” I tried to picture worm ears.

“Two,” said, as if having counted.

“What else does a worm have?” I asked.

“Feet,” said Iris.

“A worm has feet?” I asked, incredulously.


“Done!” said Iris, and put the worm down— “home.” She watched it for a few seconds. “Sleep,” she said, making gentle patting motions with her hand.


In this photo, Iris is looking at worms through a magnifying table

to help better discern their anatomy.