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.



In Sepia (Baie Sainte-Marguerite)

Thursday, August 26th, 2021


A cloud hangs over the bay,





and Iris looks out on the morning.





She returns with specimens:





seaweed, driftwood, stone.





 *   *   *


A cloud hangs over the bay,





and Akiva drives out in the morning.





Out in the morning, out in the morning. Akiva drives out in the morning.



Baie Sainte-Marguerite Automobile Show & Popcorn Extravaganza!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

While Iris and I went for a walk up the Sainte-Marguerite river,

Martin stayed by the bay and played with metal cars with Akiva.





Upon my return, I noticed we were situated in the perfect location for shooting 4×4 truck advertisements!

I made some mock-ups using Toyota advertising slogans and Lorem Ipsum text.












In the afternoon, we went on a hike.





In the evening, we made popcorn with a cute little popcorn cage that we held over the fire. I made a couple of batches and timed it: six minutes to pop over good coals. Martin wanted to make a batch, so I filled up the cage with corn. Wanting to be a guy and beat my six-minute average, he tossed a couple of logs on the coals to build up a roaring guy-style camp fire. Unfortunately, Martin never did spend much time studying the physics of campfires and did not know that before you get a roaring flame, the logs have to catch fire. Then after you get a roaring flame, you have to wait for good coals or you just burn the kernels. It took him a good 20 minutes of shaking those kernels over the cold fire in an uncomfortable squat position before I relieved his suffering by moving aside the logs to reveal the coals. Sorry, Martin. Sometimes, it hurts to be a guy.







Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay, Baie Sainte-Marguerite

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

At the sea in the morning, the tide was out,




so we went exploring.




One can walk a long way into the bay of St. Margeurite without getting one’s knees wet.




Far, far out into the bay at low tide, even the bird people had dry knees.




Then we turned and walked up the low-tide river.




Beneath our feet, little green things enjoyed the sun while waiting for the tide to return.




*   *   *


Later in the day, Iris and I took a walk together.

We discovered an outhouse that would prove to be the only place Martin could poop.

For this reason, I have immortalized it in my photo album with the grand headline,

“Remote Outhouse Saves 50-Year-Old Man’s Colon from Bursting on Week-Long Camping Trip.”