~rainbow mondays~

fall rainbow Picture 240

fall rainbow courtesy of upstate new york

red Picture 317

red: sumac leaves

red Picture 263

red: guitar pick bokeh shot; from punched out amazon gift card i found on the floor of the rehearsal studio where i got to hear my brother’s awesome band, sanjuro fields, rehearse.

orange Picture 191

orange: or at least that is what i’m calling this rainbow foliage.

orange Picture 193

more orange!

yellow Picture 337

yellow: lit up by the autumn sun.

yellow Picture 160

yellow: sunflower grown by my new york family.

green Picture 067

green: fallen walnuts

blue Picture 262

blue: tractor work with grampy

blue Picture 003

blue: my sister-in-law-to-be has amazing interior decorating skills. love her style!

purple Picture 165

purple: asters everywhere, providing a crazy contrast to all the red-orange-yellow foliage. what a beautiful week, in so many ways! (more to come on that in the next few days!)

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~this moment~



Picture 622 walk

last may

cousin stairs Picture 302

last week

~a friday ritual~

a photo capturing a moment from the week.

a simple, special moment.

a moment i want to pause, savor and remember

other posts you may enjoy:

oklahoma was ok ~ a rambling update

it’s the autumnal equinox, a sunny, breezy sunday, and i am lazily canning my way past the 200 pound mark in tomatoes for this season. rich walks in as i sit with the laptop in my lap (that’s how lazily i am canning), and asks whether i am reading or writing. in fact, i have just been sitting here determined to stop reading and start writing again, dammit! and it occurs to me that it’s time to balance things out, which seems appropriate for an equinox.

i haven’t exactly been spending all of my time reading, but i did get to enjoy a few novels over the summer, in between all the curriculum-related reading i was doing in preparing for my summer program at ols. my favorite was probably the brothers k, by david james duncan, and i also enjoyed some sherman alexie books. we had a grand summer, all told, with lots of camping on the built-in long weekends (summer program was monday through thursday) and gathering fruit from our old familiar haunts as well as a few new ones. i did not garden in earnest, but a garden grew anyway in spite of intermittent bouts of neglect. i likewise felt as though i was going minimal on the fruit preservation, but rich kept on prompting me with, “when are we picking ____? (fill in the name of fruit)” and then driving me around and helping me pick strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and peaches. so all in all, we have a freezer full of berries, plus 42 quarts of peaches on the shelves. fruit wealth!

after a couple of our trips into the valley for fruit, we stopped at a pub that had chalkboard tables and yummy sandwiches and microbrews. we played hangman and i used the yoda phrase, “do or do not, there is no try” for one of the phrases rich had to guess. the very next day at ols, i got a tea bag that had the same quote on the label. lots of magic moments like that this summer. synchronicities, indicating, to my mind at least, things in alignment. it sure feels that way, anyway.

Picture 001

for example, i know that i have finally arrived as a human being in the world, because i am now being paid in both cash and veggies to help run my favorite farm booth at the farmer’s market on certain saturdays. what. a. sweet. gig.



some of my recent saturday work

i am emerging from the tomato marathon just in time to throw a box of pears into jars and then we are off to new york for the annual rew family extravaganza, highly anticipated by all invoived! summer went by so quickly that i haven’t even had time to mourn its demise, and i don’t think that i will have time for that in the giant multi-task of life this year. i hope there are still a handful of fireflies left among the fall color we hope to see while we are there, but the main thing is hugging all my rew peeps again finally!

this year feels so much improved over the hectic pace of last school year, and even though i don’t feel less busy, i do feel a lot more sane and happy. my job satisfaction has gone way up, and i get up every day for school at ols looking forward to my day. the last thing i had to finish reading before i started writing this was an alfie kohn article about progressive schools, spot on as usual, which you can find here.

quinn went from emerging reader to what i, in my untrained, unprofessional opinion, consider a borderline proficient reader, in his secretive quinn way, sometime over the summer. i’d find him perusing his pokemon cards (an ongoing passion) and hear him muttering to himself, “…to reveal your opponent’s weakness…” and then he’d be looking at his paleontology cards, “…forces your opponent to discard one bone card…” and shake my head, wondering how he went from needing books with big short words to read, to reading microscopic three- and four-syllable words fluently. he also skates through the arithmetic with multiples of ten, and i’ll hear him calculating out loud, “so if my pokemon’s h.p. is 140 and your attack just did 60 damage on me, that means i have 80 left!”

but that is textbook quinn learning style. he waits until he is confident, then, boom. he’s already there. it’s how he walked, how he potty trained, how he skipped, how he is reading. now he is on to riding a bike in the same style. he has mostly avoided it for a long time, and although we did obtain a bike for him a year or so ago, he has not put a lot of time or energy into using it. suddenly the other day, he watched his buddy ride away with his mom for a bike ride, and asked me, “can we go to fred meyer after school and buy some training wheels for my bike?” so we did. fred’s didn’t have them but we went to our local bike shop and got them installed, after which he rode around the shop 20 times while i paid. he had put on his helmet before i even drove away from school, and stood next to the bike guy installing his wheels and asked him questions, “so, how do the mechanicals of the bike work?” the next day he rode about a mile on a paved state park trail, and i walked behind, camera in hand and heart up in my throat, praying all of his teeth stayed intact in his mouth. but i trust him. he knows when he is ready, no looking back now.

he meanwhile continues to dazzle me with his vocabulary. he loves to use exactly the right word, never settling for a close approximation. lately i’ve heard him describe how he felt “dumbfounded” and overheard him using the word “infirmary” for a particular zone during an outside game at school. we are almost finished with book 15 in the guardians of ga’hoole series, and i know those books are a source of some of his choice words. but then of course, he picks up the colloquial kid terminology just as readily, and will engage me in a discussion of which stuff “rocks” and which stuff, conversely, “sucks”.

i forgot to introduce our new family members, by the way. rich and i are the proud parents of twins. 5 year old kitty brother and sister. meet bart and lisa.

Picture 003

lisaPicture 001


we love them. i woke up on the day rich and i were to depart on our trip to oklahoma to quinn climbing into bed and was thus sandwiched in the middle of the entire family. boy, kitty, me, kitty, man. it was a good snuggly way to start off on an adventure. quinn got to go on his own adventure (fishing and camping and digging fossils with his dad). and i took my first ever trip to oklahoma with a wonderful tour guide who knew his way around and is the best traveling partner a girl could have.

Picture 293

“…and we partied there… and we stole lawn furniture over there… and we dumped trash somewhere around this building and got chased by cops…” a highly amusing tour through a much younger period in rich’s life. we rented a car, but instead of a compact, they gave us a brand new explorer, which we nicknamed the escapade. (it was like no explorer either of us had ever driven, and had a steep learning curve, no actual key, a backup camera, and other crazy modern features we are unaccustomed to in our fully manual vehicles from the turn of the century.) the temperature was 102 degrees when we stepped out of the airport in tulsa, at which point my phone, still reporting the weather in seal rock, oregon, read 63. the climate shock was intense, and i eventually had to insist on keeping the escapade a.c. warmer than 70 so that i didn’t get dizzy every time we stepped out of it.

i saw half a dozen of the former residences of my love, which is funny because he has lived in our house for 18 years now. we drove all around tulsa, and i’d make observations like, “my, there are a lot of churches” to which he’d reply, patiently, “it’s the bible belt, dear.”

we stayed with his mom and dad, and i got to meet both his sisters and a lot of nieces and nephews and some great-nieces and -nephews (i’m a great aunt as well as a grandma, now that i’m a ripe old 36.) the house his parents own was like a little oasis on the outside of tulsa, rural enough for us to sleep well at night (thanks to the ceiling fan) and with lots of wildlife (dragonflies bunnies gophers birds turtle grasshoppers cicadas and, alas, chiggers) and of course, rocks to look at. i may possibly be a bit smitten with rocks as a result of my week long immersion at rock camp.

and of course, i ate fried okra from bob’s garden every day for lunch, and bob-corn every chance i got. so i have to pronounce oklahoma 100% ok in my book.

and here is quinn on his first day of school… which took place not 6 hours after i arrived back home from ok.

Picture 535

i’ll be going back to fill in details of our summer as i often do with the month of unschool posts… stay tuned and thanks for tuning in!

other posts you may enjoy:

~this moment~

training Picture 388


~a friday ritual~

a photo capturing a moment from the week.

a simple, special moment.

a moment i want to pause, savor and remember

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~ what i did on my summer vacation sneak peek

i have been away from the blog for far too long… here’s a sneak preview of all the stories i have to tell… um, sometime soon. right now all i have time for (still) is photos, so sit back and scroll through a rainbow blur representing the second half of my summer!

rainbow Picture 253

rainbow boy holding my end of summer program bouquet. summer program at our living school was a blast and, if i do say so myself, a resounding success.

pink Picture 201

pink: sunset on our camping trip with local adopted family; rhodochrosite or rose quartz (i think…?) on our trip to oklahoma to visit rich’s family (during which his dad, bob, completely reversed all the damage done by my boring 9th grade earth science teacher, and i fell in love with rocks once again, just like when i was a kid.)

pink Picture 123

red Picture 040

red: snippets from my first ever trip to the siletz tribe powwow, more camping footage (see ninja below), hummingbirds, and cherry picking with my love.

red ninja Picture 144

red Picture 050

red Picture 003

red orange Picture 047

red-orange: carnelian magic

orange Picture 012

orange: more hummingbirds, cherry sap glistening in the sunshine, a plastic t-rex, more rocks, flowers from the farm tour i took the ols kids on, and an oklahoma sunset.

orange Picture 008

orange t rex Picture 132

orange Picture 046

orange Picture 160

orange Picture 167

orange Picture 232

orange Picture 310

yellow brown gold Picture 226

yellow Picture 024

yellow: little birds flitting about my garden, more powwow, and giant pile of bob-corn (rich learned his jedi popcorn making skills from his dad, thank goodness.)

yellow Picture 032

yellow Picture 028

yellow Picture 077

yellow Picture 239

Picture 013

green: quinn returning snails to the siletz river, lots more rocks (one i don’t know, and some petrified wood), lots of bugs (including species not seen in oregon whatsoever! yay for oklahoma and all its wild wonders!) and the oklahoma garden of bob (watermelons and okra!)

green Picture 159

green Picture 128

green Picture 122

green blue Picture 301

green Picture 315

green Picture 312

green Picture 292

green Picture 249

green Picture 219


green-ish: how i spent as many camping moments as possible: under a pile of babies.

blue Picture 252

blue: chrysacolla (i think), sodalite (maybe), more powwow and my favorite seven year old on the bay.

blue Picture 134

blue Picture 076

blue Picture 272

purplr Picture 150

purple: more treasures of every variety.

purple Picture 063

purple Picture 218

purple Picture 043

brown Picture 058

brown: rocks and my oklahoma turtle friend (who apparently thought i looked safe to hide behind).

brown Picture 209

brown turtle Picture 012

brown turtle Picture 015

brown turtle Picture 017

brown gray Picture 170

gray: fossils, rocks, the ocean on a gray day, and more powwow.

gray Picture 207

gray Picture 054

gray Picture 087

white Picture 298

white: ammonite, and dragonfly on a white rock.

white Picture 262


~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

playing a little catch-up today after a very busy few weeks of getting the our living school summer program underway… here’s an extra long rainbow monday post!

red elder Picture 156

red: elderberries everywhere!

crab Picture 122

red: i walked up to this crab when quinn and i were tidepooling on saturday morning, wondering if it was dead. as soon as i got near it, it raised up a claw to let me know it was not to be messed with.

Picture 033

Picture 031

orange: everything is blooming early this year, or i am in more and more denial with each passing year about how quickly summer races by.

orange Picture 158

more orange: “red” sea urchin and a swath of some colonial rock-painting orange sea creature.

orange Picture 240

still more orange: barnacles growing on an orange-shelled snail who visited the ols summer program for a fun experiment.

yellow Picture 133

yellow: these lilies aren’t mine, but i sure like them. they were growing at the strawberry farm where we recently picked with good friends.

green Picture 155

green: vine maple is one of the greenest greens i know.

green Picture 204

green: although, green sea anemones give vine maple a run for their money, in their own way.

green Picture 125

green: ok, ok, i can’t decide who wins the green competition.

blue i love you Picture 202

blue: during our fabulous week off before summer program got underway, we also had time to spend at the beach with still more good friends. i didn’t even take this picture, i am so surrounded by friends!

blue Picture 004

blue: our very own homegrown blueberries; several years of work on our bushes is paying off at last.

purple Picture 157

purple: sea urchins aplenty!

elk Picture 043

brown: our friendly local elk herd. some of the boys.

white Picture 148

white: seagull feather in a tidepoolPicture 096

pink: the end (sunset on the way home from country fair.)

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~a month of unschool~

Pictures 098

one of quinn’s favorite learning activities right now is the paleontology card game he got for christmas. “mama, what does e-x-p-e-d-i-t-i-o-n-s spell?” we have been having fun earning “prestige points” for various fossil digging exploits, and arranging bones in our museums. quinn has taken ideas from this game and the “dino quest” game app he plays on my phone and is creating his own board game that utilizes the best of both. stay tuned for more on the game as he works on it!

“millions of brazilians” was a found poem for quinn this month, as he researched the country of brazil for his most recent research project and presentation.

0507140901a Pictures 085 Pictures 086 love this one

Pictures 089 Pictures 094

Pictures 095

Pictures 081

in his brazil research, quinn covered a wide range of subjects. he colored the brazilian flag; he looked up which dinosaur fossils have been found in brazil; and also which sharks live off its atlantic coast; he researched capoeira, the martial arts form native to brazil, which we learned had developed into a music-and-dance art form out of necessity so that brazilians could continue to practice self defense in spite of portuguese rules that said they could not (but dancing was okay!); the world cup soccer championship will be held this year in brazil, and quinn had fun finding out about fuleco, the mascot, and determined that brazil has won the most world cups of any country (he illustrated this using a bar graph); he looked into the variety of fruit grown in brazil; and oh yeah, does brazil have a president? (it does.) his presentation was fascinating and engaging. he seems to thrive on getting up in front of the class.

Pictures 023

as a side bonus, we got to learn all about a wide range of other countries while other students gave their presentations: italy, hungary, papua new guinea, grenada, ireland, and korea!

Pictures 045 Pictures 048

in spanish class, quinn is also learning about mexican history. students learned about and colored in the mexican flag and learned a lot of history through storytelling. also, quinn worked on a project for el dia de los madres in spanish class, and wrote me a message en espanol!

Pictures 054 Pictures 063

the students all made self portraits using a cool technique involving doctored photographs of themselves, tracing aided by pencil graphite scribbled on the back of the image, and then painting with india ink. these self portraits decorated the children’s room at the public library for the month of may!

Pictures 029 Pictures 009 Pictures 011

Pictures 026 Pictures 030 Pictures 035

blue Pictures 027 gray Pictures 036

quinn got to try his first throw on a pottery wheel. he ended up with a beautiful plowl as a result. yes, we are so lucky to have our very own ceramics teacher at ols!

Picture 041 Picture 056

another of the recent ceramics projects: masks, involving  a lesson on expression using shape and color.

Pictures 007 Pictures 001 Pictures 002 Pictures 004

our community teapot and other group projects (community bowl and flower pot) are glazed! quinn’s contribution to the teapot was the 3 blue birds from angry birds (low on the pot), and i added a hummingbird to the spout.

Picture 077 Picture 078

very popular in unschooling these days: making his own pokemon cards.

Picture 076

another intangible can’t-be-categorized-as-math-or-language-arts activity of late: meetings about herbert hoover. there is a whole culture at ols that has developed around herbert hoover, and lately there has also been some conflict around the way that culture is played out. it gave the students a wonderful opportunity to work on the democratic process!

in reading group, quinn has been working on spelling quite a bit. his teacher bonnie used a technique involving tall/small/low boxes for various letters, which i think will help his handwriting as well.

Picture 023 Picture 026 Picture 030 Picture 033

in math, quinn worked on counting by 4s (and other skip counting, though he has 2s, 5s, and 10s very solid!) and of course, worked on data math via the aforementioned bar graph about world cup wins by various countries. we also had a math game day with different stations including negative space drawing, pattern play (aka tangrams), race for a flat (place value game), and fact families.

Pictures 142 Pictures 143 Pictures 144

Pictures 145 Pictures 146

caught him unschooling again with my phone camera, constructing this design with popsicle sticks- he took a picture of each step of the process, and it was cool to see him reach that awareness of wanting to document the steps in the process, in addition to the final product (which he has been in the habit of documenting for some time.)

Pictures 033 Pictures 017

at after school program, nutrition has been a focus, and one of the highlights was making veggie vehicles. in science at ols, we learned about the phases of the moon.

Picture 010 Picture 002 Picture 004

Picture 008 Picture 013

i love showing up to school and having quinn spontaneously join in on creating a puppet show for the early morning free choice time.

quinn has also done quite a bit of dancing this month. while he was researching brazil, he spent the morning free choice time coloring in his world cup visual aids, and from the other room i noticed him bust a move to the african playground mix that was playing, when he would get up to grab colored pencils or other supplies. he also, of course, did some dancing to the heartwood hotel radio show we listen to on tuesday evenings, which i posted video evidence of a little while back. during that evening, we heard the song by perez prado “cherry pink and apple blossom white” after which quinn came up to me and solemnly let me know, “this is a beautiful song.”

Pictures 113

quinn has continued this month with the puppy work. we are still trying to get the very most basic command of “come” with romper.

Picture 010 Pictures 108 Pictures 103 Pictures 107

baseball has of course been a big deal this month, and we have spent quite a few afternoons in the backyard playing!

by the end of such an action-packed month, it’s no wonder he fell asleep at the dinner table one night!

Pictures 119 Pictures 118


other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

red Picture 039

red: water park on the trip to see our pancakes a few weekends ago.

orange Picture 020

orange: same park, earlier that day, enjoying a nice ripe peach.

yellow pink Picture 217

yellow/pink: the roses are already blooming!

green Picture 123

green: i’ve been loving the light through the ashberry tree at ols.

blue Picture 121

blue: bachelor’s buttons from seeds the ols kids planted last fall.

purple Picture 209

purple: remnants of the chakra blast “color run” 5k i ran yesterday on the beach!

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

red Picture 043

red: illuminated columbine

orange dragon Picture 034

orange: dragon 1

yellow Picture 020

yellow: golden chain tree abloom, alight and abuzz

green Picture 028

green: darning needle amid greenery

blue dragon Picture 038

blue: dragon 2

purple Picture 017

purple: something about these little crab spiders always feels magical and draws me in. this time, found on a chive flower flaunting some purple streaks.

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~this moment~

video moment… i love it when he faces the stereo when public radio puts on good music in the evenings and busts a move!

~a friday ritual~

a photo capturing a moment from the week.

a simple, special moment.

a moment i want to pause, savor and remember

other posts you may enjoy: