There are so many. There is so little.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Mom took eleven boxes of toy vehicles out of the attic.




She brought one box down to the living room.




The glue on the box has deteriorated over several decades. Mom repairs it with glue, tape, and metal rivets.




But I don’t know if we will ever open this box again.




There are so many boxes. There is so little time.




Later, Mom takes a sewing machine from the basement.




She and Iris work on it together, fixing it up.




There are so many sewing machines. There is so little time.




Dad reads a history book to Akiva, one superhero at a time.




Akiva is fascinated by superheroes.

Later, he will want me to make up superhero stories for him like I used to make up monster stories.

But superheroes are complex.

It is the end of monster stories, but I never do make up too many superhero stories.




While I document the action, Dan makes pizza.

They cut the slices real big at the house in Syracuse, but my hands were too full of pizza to document that part.



Saturday, February 26th, 2022

Mom picked up a Sears Kenmore 148.15600 (Model 1560) sewing machine.

It was built in Japan by Soryu between 1976-1978. She fixed it up just fine.




Later, in Dan’s room, Iris works on a book with her uncle.




They discuss the storyline. Iris writes and illustrates.




They may not finish it.




Meanwhile, in the same room, Akiva works on a book with his uncle.




They share the work of drawing the pictures. Dan draws the robot, the monster, and some of the foregrounds.




Akiva draws the dragon and parts of the backgrounds. He also inks the drawings.




The book might not have an end.







Things That Come in Boxes (Visit to Syracuse)

Friday, February 25th, 2022

After a three and a half decades of waiting, it takes five boxes of tracks and one box full of slot cars to make a small loop with two working cars. Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! Akiva watches as they circumscribe the oval again and again. Dan has great patience.






Downstairs, Iris watches Gramma open boxes of jewels. Jewels and jewel boxes; precious stones and silver and gold; red coral and ivory. The excitement of exploring each box holds greater value than any of the contents.



Snowshoe Run

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Dad & Dog

Friday, November 26th, 2021

United States Thanksgiving Visitors

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Mom, Dad, Dan, and Ari came to visit!

Dan spent a good amount of time in the basement with the kids.




He drew on-demand coloring pages for Akiva—








He wrote and illustrated a book with Iris—








Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Thank you, Dan. We all love you very much.




 *   *   * 


The Troll and Mellisa by Dan and Iris



Mellisa sees a troll in the distance on her way to school.



The troll came closer. The troll said “GIVE ME YOUR MATH BOOK!”

Mellisa was scared but she refused. The troll secretly grabbed it.



Mellisa noticed her math book was gone! The teacher sent her home to look for it.



Mellisa walked home and she started to play in her sand box.



Mellisa tried to pull on the cones. They would not come out of the sand!

She started to dig. She found the troll and her math book.



She grabs the book and runs. Mellisa got away! The troll returned to his stream.



Mellisa returned to school. Her teacher was proud of her.

The End





House of the Candy Faerie

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

This year’s house is in the Knudsen’s woods.




Previous Candy Faerie Houses:




The Monster Backpack!

Friday, November 5th, 2021

For Akiva’s first day of first grade at his new school, I sewed him a new backpack! The design is all my own, fully lined, in two colors of orange canvas with generous and deep water bottle pockets, a rear pocket, and a MONSTER pocket on the flap. The shoulder straps are padded with felted wool from old sweaters. The closure under the flap is a drawstring— my favorite kind.




Although designed for school books, it works fine for walks in the woods, too.




When we get to the place of the Grandparent Trees,

Iris demonstrates the effects of centripetal force.




Akiva demonstrates his own sort of force.


Woman Versus Hydraulic truck

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

On today’s episode of “Woman Versus Hydraulic Truck,” Middle-Aged Woman races around town in a nondescript grey mini-van wielding a pair of trusty leather work mittens and accompanied by her faithful sidekick, Nine-Year-Old Girl. At the same time, two men operating a large trash truck with a hydraulic lift collect yard waste for annual leaf pick up day. Here’s the breaking news—





After eating breakfast, brushing teeth, and getting dressed in the morning, Six-Year-Old-Boy hears a noise outside the door. He peeks to investigate. They’re collecting the leaves! Yay! Oh, no! Does this mean Organic Waste Family is out of time? Are they stuck with the mere twentysomething bags of leaves that they collected the previous day?


“I’ll drive you to school,” says the mother, mentally cringing at the amount of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, nitrous oxide, ammonia, and persistent organic pollutants she will be releasing into the atmosphere by choosing the family van over the electric cargo bike.


Shod and hatted, the small family pours out the front door, only to find the van coated in a thick crust of frost. “How time consuming,” thinks the mother, “now I need to scrape the windows and turn on the defroster to thaw the windshield. Double waste of energy.” She removes most of the van seats, covers the floor with drop cloths, then sprints to the shed to grab the ice scraper that’s been sitting under the garden shovels since last winter. She scrapes that frost like mad! When the windows are cleared enough to drive safely, she takes a slight detour to the school in order to assess the extent of damage the collection truck has done to the fine rows upon rows of leaf bags that, with few exceptions, appeared by the side of the road the previous night: the night before collection.


After dropping Six-Year-Old boy off at elementary school in the nick of time, the race is on. Woman drives up the street and fills the van with the first load of bags. She drives home at a reasonable speed, backs to the fence, opens the gate, procures a wheel barrow, and wheels the heavy bags to the rear of the yard one by one. Before the second trip, she removes the booster seat and the remaining rear seat from the van. Nine-Year-Old-Girl rides up front. They spot the trash truck moving slowly on its route.


Most of the remaining leaf bags seem to be clustered on the streets directly south of the school. Girl counts fourteen bags in the second load of the morning. Fourteen bags pack the rear of the van with no seats. Loaded, unloaded. The barrow’s single wheel, un-greased for over a decade, groans loudly. The second load is done.


Upon returning home with the third load, Woman realizes there will be no good path to the rear of the yard where the leaves are stored unless she does something drastic. She grabs a shovel and moves the remainder of the finished compost further from the back fence, closer to the home-made three-bin-composting system made of reclaimed lumber and re-used hardware. The third load is unloaded.


Returning to scout the streets for a fourth load of leaf bags, Woman’s heart skips a beat. They’re gone! The last bags are gone! And here’s the truck, the men loading in bags by the dozen up the final dead-end street on their route and she has only six bags in the final load!


Girl has an idea. “Let’s go up that street,” she says, pointing. And there, like a gift from the organic waste gods, seven bags that some foolish home-owner left under a barren maple tree, too far from the road for the trash truck to collect. Woman collects the last soggy-bottom bags and returns home. “Not bad. Not bad at all, she thinks,” unloading her loot. “Likely between sixty and seventy bags out there by that back fence.”


As the last of the frost lifts this early November morning, Woman gazes out over her back fence at what was, until three days ago, the last open field in Waterville. Diggers scour the ground. A parade of dump trucks carries away topsoil at frightening speeds. There will soon be fifty new houses and two apartment buildings in the field. Woman wonders if she can hoard enough organic waste to save herself from the coming apocalypse. Probably not, she decides. Probably not.

Protasis : Commencement / Apodosis : Dissolution*

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

If we build and build and build, some day there will be no more open space to break to pieces.


Construction begins with a road. The field is no more.






27 July 2019

10 September 2019

4 April, 2020

28 July, 2021


*I used both the thesaurus and the dictionary for the title of this entry.