late winter


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Snow lady? Snow Gent? Not sure about gender, but the boys put together this rockstar of a snow sculpture, with eyes made of the husks of milkweed pods, a birchbark tongue, and a wide sunburst of dried grass hair. Carrot nose, natch.

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This handsome fellow below has quite a wardrobe of fine dress shirts. He asked for a lesson in ironing. I hate ironing shirts a lot and am no kind of expert, but I think I gave a passable lesson. When he realized the time commitment and high factor of fussiness involved, I think he was less enamored of having pressed shirts.
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We had another snow day last week. (The last?) Sylvan, inspired by Caine’s Arcade (who isn’t?!), created a few games of his own. This is a pinball machine.
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This pinball machine was another source of inspiration for the cardboard pinball machine that came after.

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Here’s a picture of some of the supplies involved. That would be three kinds of tape, if you’re counting. Actually four, if you count the duct tape which is not pictured. It’s sometimes a messy place around here, but you can see why it’s necessary to take over the entire living room floor as your studio space.

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Game #2 is a shooting game, which are pretty common at arcades. You use the standard wooden spoon anchor plus a rubber band as ammo, and the goal is to knock all these enemies down which have kidnapped your boss. Your boss is the green guy, above, surrounded by the red marks. If you shoot your boss, you lose automatically, obviously.

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~Tintin collection arranged by color~

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I’m down to two papers left plus intro and professional philosophy, if you’re wondering how the e-portfolio is coming. I wrote my most dreaded and hateful paper yesterday and moaned a lot, all day long, and procrastinated, and looked at funny blogs and was delighted to interrupt my terrible progress to do anything. For anyone. At any time. And then I would sit down and moan some more, kind of a depressed cow sound. I was too hot and too cold and it was too bright and my ankles were getting a wind on them so I went to get a blanket but then I was too hot again and my chair was too short and I needed a pillow and I was stuffy in my nose and uncomfortable and I had a headache. Plus it was windy out. And the topic of my writing was to:

Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.

~all of it~

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The Sallah Cowl, finished, is the perfect bright thing to snuggle my neck. I love its stretchiness. And when the heat circulator wasn’t working for two weeks in the library (and I wore my snowpants and down vest at work), it was awesome because I could pull it up so it covered my nose. I was a brightly colored, wooly, down-puffed bandit librarian.

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4th grade diorama time! Sylvan chose the fox because it pounces. So perfect that the motion boy would choose an animal for its motor abilities. Of course that was what he wanted to depict also. A real tree, wool roving for snow, wax-covered blue stream with real mud banks, and mama and baby fox made of modeling beeswax. This is also how the forest looks right now, misty and melty.

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I’m writing lots on my e-portfolio for my masters degree. It’s a lot of writing in addition to my full-time job and full-time family. I have one-day weekends and I don’t like to drive anywhere or do anything outside my house on my one day off, which is for laundry and housecleaning and cooking. If you’re my friend, you are not seeing much of me and I probably did not get you a birthday present yet. It’s a lot to be trying to sell our house and cleaning it, cleaning it, cleaning it all the time for maybe-buyers who sometimes don’t even show or change their minds at the last minute. It’s a lot to not really know anything about where we’ll be living next year or what Mr. Crafty will be doing for work. Nothing is settled and that’s discouraging and exhausting. Going to work with 300 14- and 15-year olds is relaxing and predictable by contrast; so, continued hooray for having work I love to do.

And I know this is all part of the process blah blah blah, and mostly I can pretend that it’sOK with me, but really it’s not. I really actually can’t stand this amount of uncertainty.