where fedex fears to tread

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i love our home. i love the laundry running on the super-dry cycle by the woodstove. i love the christmas lights twinkling all around the rooms. i love the enormous trees surrounding our home like they are the world’s tallest sentries standing guard. i love the moss on the roof. i love the long gravel driveway, where fedex fears to tread. i love that our mailbox is a mile from our house, in a line with 15 other mailboxes. i love the newts peeking out from under the duckweed in their little pond haven. i love the kale that overwintered and is growing new lovely vitamin-rich leaves by the armload. i love the night air that is thick with the sound of peeping frogs. i love the lichen-covered tree limbs, the daffodils, the hummingbirds zooming around with each other at the feeders.

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we have been watching a busy male rufous hummingbird as he dominates the social scene around our feeders and backyard. rich nicknamed him flash, due to his iridescent red throat coloring that looks dark brown or black from the side but if you catch him at just the right angle, in just the right amount of sunlight, he blinds you with shimmering red.

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i’ve burned through two rolls of film trying to catch his flashy red throat, and eked out one or two representatives.

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i used the heart bokeh trick that i talked about a while back, because sunny spring mornings with last night’s rain dripping off the trees particularly lend themselves to this photography technique. you need something in your background that catches enough light to make your hearts twinkle a bit, like the wet leaves of the trees catching sunlight in your own wooded paradise, if you are lucky enough to live in one, too.

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the ups driver has no qualms about leaving a sticky note on the door indicating “woodshed” which is a natural location to leave packages around here, in my opinion. sure, the road has bumps you can lose an axle in and we have some curmudgeonly neighbors with big dogs… but it’s lovely out here. i’m not sure what fedex is worried about. perhaps they are just borrowing trouble.

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borrowing trouble is the newest phrase i’ve introduced quinn (aka mr. literal-pants) to. we were driving and he was fretting about things in the backseat that will never happen and could never happen and clearly had his undies in a bunch. wanting to gently encourage him to de-stress a bit, i explained that he was borrowing trouble, to which he giggled his “i have no idea what you mean” giggle. when i spelled it out, however, he embraced it, and now will come up to me and say, “i was just borrowing trouble accidentally about….” and i give myself a psychic high five for helping him do a little less worrying – or at least, identify it as worrying when he is.

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the joys of coparenting have continued to be… anything but joyous. however, there seems to be a local, less-intense means of obtaining an asperger’s evaluation (but still with highly qualified neuro-developmental-peditrician folk running it) and it seems like both parents are on board with that. there is also funding for it, which is the only way it was going to happen. not only that, but if occupational therapy is indicated by anyone with an m.d., that will be covered by state health insurance, too. because that’s how we roll in our backwoods state of oregon.

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meanwhile we are dipping our toes into the curriculum pool (gasp!) and it seems to be empowering for quinn. i did choose things based on wanting structure that would help him feel contained and successful, and both the bob books for reading and jump math workbooks are proving to be what they claim to be in the area of helping bolster self-confidence.

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still, even curriculum can’t hem in our unschooling-ness, and when he read me frog sat (book 8 in the kindergarten sight words bob series) the other day, we didn’t just read it, we acted out each page in our living room. also, when i commented to quinn after he blew through the first 13 pages of the first grade jump book that, “math is fun, huh?” he replied, “yeah! ‘cause you can do it in bed!”

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in other homeschool kindergarten news, ewok technology is still a very hot topic.

just enough curriculum to promote self-confidence but not enough to take the simple poetry out of the boy. such as when i turned on the car after picking him up the other day and the intro to the beatles’ happy birthday came on the stereo. he had been tilting his head looking at something out his window, and then he excitedly exclaimed, “that was the perfect song for a seagull flying down the street!”

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