Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Martin at 49

Martin needed a new profile photo for his resume and LinkedIn account.

We chose this one, but all of the other ones were cute, too.


Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Hymie’s Nose

This is Hymie. Hymie is nearly four, which is young for a doll, but he has had a rough life. He spent two years in a bed that was right next to a very large window with direct southern sun. The sun shone through the window on him all day. The fabric on his body and clothing (and the fabric on the bed linens) faded immensely and began to break down. I have never seen such rapid fabric breakdown! The part of Hymie that was under his clothing stayed in good condition, but his clothing went from a deep, rich green to an old, faded green. The nose, always a tender spot, got a small hole made worse by intense rubbing.




At my Akiva’s school, in kindergarten, they have a doll-party day each March. Hymie is really quite shy. He does not want to go, especially in such an embarrassing condition.​ Akiva said that he would rather borrow a strange doll than bring Hymie! I had promised to re-do Hymie by Akiva’s birthday, but will not have my son borrowing a strange doll for the party. Hymie will have new skin within the week.

Friday, February 26th, 2021

The Island in Winter


We walk to the island. The children take turns pulling.



Akiva does not need to drink much water in winter: he eats the snowballs from his fleece mittens. When I notice his once-white chewing gum has become pink, I realize he has side-stepped the food-chain of microplastics consumption assumed in oceanic plastics pollution studies and gone directly to the source. I wonder how many thousands of plastic microfibers he has consumed on this walk. I feel helpless.



At the island, the tire swing, high above the river in summer, hangs low above the snow.

Iris steps onβ€”






Akiva, shorter rounder and nearly as heavy, is more timid on the swing.

Iris pushes him gently.



He smiles bravely.


Friday, February 19th, 2021

Johnville Bog, Winter

In winter, the boggy back trails of the Johnville Bog & Forest Park freeze over.

The park management opens them up for foot traffic.





Β Β 

Far off the well-beaten track of boardwalks and open bog lands, the boreal forest is full of hops.*






We examine some rabbit poo. They seem to have been eating mostly bark and needles.

Looking around, I have no idea what else rabbits could possibly eat.






*Rabbit tracks


Thursday, February 18th, 2021


Today’s snowflakeβ€”


Monday, February 15th, 2021


Akiva and I have been having fun playing with geometric wooden pattern blocks together.

He says we need more.


Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Le marais dans la neige


Last year’s walk across the ice at the Ile du Marais was delightfully memorable, so we invited Martin to come with us this year. Perhaps because it is earlier in the year, there is more snow and many more people. There are also trucks, vans and ATVs driving on the ice. Fishing houses crowd the lake. When we walk around to the back side of the biggest island where the fishing is poor, there are many fewer people. A couple of ATV drivers, beers in hand, stink up the air and ruin the quiet as they speed randomly through the protected area of the marsh. The ice between the marsh plants becomes unpredictable. Past the area where ATVs can drive, tiny footprints trace paths between the vegetation. For a few minutes, there is silence.


Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

The Chained Tree

We went for a walk in the snowy woods.





We found a chained tree.



Saturday, January 16th, 2021

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could…”

There was an argument. I bricked up the doorway and told them they would need to solve their own problems. Immediately, the problem was solved, but the bricks remained. Now when they argue inside, I say, “I can take down the wall or you can solve the problem yourself.” For now, they like the wall.




I enjoy my key-hole view of a place reserved exclusively for children.






“I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up.

Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones.

For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!”

β€” Edgar Allen Poe, The Cask of Amantillado

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Mandatory Quarantine

This our third quarantine since the US-Canada border closed nearly a year ago.