Monday, March 18th, 2024


The children sit at the table working on math.

These two photographs make it look more simple and peaceful than it ever is.






Monday, March 11th, 2024

Another Brick in the Wall

Akiva remembered the time I bricked up the doorway.

That was back when the current master bedroom was still the playroom.

The children could come and go as they pleased, but for me it was a squeeze.

“I want to do it again,” he said.

“But we have to have a bigger door,” I replied.

We made the door bigger, but still it was not big enough.

I prefer adult-sized doors.



The wall came down later in the day.







Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Cate’s Birthday (Almost)

I suggested Mom make a cheesecake for Cate’s 57th birthday. Cate used to ask for cheesecake on her birthday. I remember this mostly because one year, for some reason, it didn’t get cooked enough. This made the cheesecake mushy in the center, which wasn’t the end of the world to me. I didn’t know much about cheesecake. However, I remember Mom’s disappointment. She was so disappointed in herself! I do that to myself, too. Then my children tell me, “Mama, it’s okay. It’s okay.”


Unlike the cheesecake of the distant past, the cheesecake of 2024 was perfect.


Here, Mom mixes the perfect cheesecake batter.





Dad keeps her company to the best of his ability.





We called Cate on the phone and ate half the cake on the 9th, as we had to leave on the 10th.





(We ate the rest, just the four of us, in the car the next day, and while the cheesecake was definitely better, it was a bit much.)



Friday, March 8th, 2024

Spring Break

For spring break, we visit my parents in Syracuse. It is a good time to visit, as it is about half a year away from a summer visit. It is better than midwinter, as there is less chance of a snow storm while I drive. Between our visits to Syracuse, my family can visit us in Quebec. Then we can see each other four times per year, which might not actually be enough, but traveling is not easy.


Iris and Mom pick fix up a Kenmore for a friend of mine.


Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

The Chopping Tree

The top fell off a long time ago.

Rotted wood flies easily from the end of the hatchet.










Wednesday, January 31st, 2024


Mamie gave my kids some spending money for Christmas. Akiva was very excited to spend it on a plastic knight figurine and a knight’s horse from the toy store. He poured over the knights and their mounts for ages. Finally he settled on a knight. I told him he could get the horse later. As soon as he brought the knight home, it lost all intrigue. I asked him, isn’t it interesting how we can want something so much, how it can seem so exciting, but then as soon as we get it, it is no longer interesting? I don’t understand why this happens: as if the only interesting thing is the selection of and the buying of the object. He agrees.


Later, we discuss what we are going to do for homeschooling. He likes going to the forest school he attends, but the kids are all a bit young, and there is no one in particular he gets along with. His favorite thing, he says, is the hatchet. He likes being in the woods, cutting the woods, working in the woods. I ask, if you had a hatchet, would that be enough? He says, yes. We go out. Excitedly, he buys the first hatchet he sees. I am ready to give away the knight, he tells me later. I nod. I really like my hatchet, he says.


The knight is still on his toy shelf, untouched. I told him it is good to keep the knight, to remind us that sometimes we want things that are more fun to buy than to have.










Iris waits patiently while Akiva swings his hatchet.



Thursday, January 4th, 2024

Waterville Winter Trails


Akiva drives his car into a ditch.

He waits a long time for someone to tow him out.





Iris does not mind that Akiva is stuck in a ditch.

She has a doggie to snuggle, so all is good.