~farewell, summer~

SONY DSCUnder contract! Yes, it’s true, our dear house is under contract!

Our closing is coming up in a few short weeks and so, what with the start of school and all, we are packing in every spare moment. We haven’t found the right house to buy yet, so we will be renting until we find it. Or it finds us.
SONY DSC SONY DSCBut there was still some time for the beach. As usual, we need to import people “from away” to help us enjoy this amazing place we call home that happens also to be a vacation destination. I am working on this. Working on enjoying the beauty more than just occasionally, making an effort to get out there and enjoy it when I can.
SONY DSC~S. had the camera for a bit and I love this shot~
SONY DSCA little beach reading (and giggling): The J. Crew catalog. The Stylist and her Client were busy critiquing color names (“Plum Heather”) and the poor posture that the models display,  while admiring elbow patches on cardigans, etc.
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~this is a mussel shell, encrusted with coral~
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SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC~S’s stone circle~

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Someone went off to high school yesterday. He got a ride with our friend, Jamie, who has been Jonas’s friend since Kindergarten. And also a family favorite.

These are big, busy times around our house. Wish us luck through all of the changes. I will take one breath at a time, one box at a time.

city! robots! amazing!

SONY DSC~this is a lamp~

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And then they grow up and go out. Like Out There, into the Big World, into the Big City! This summer Jonas and his friend Aiden went to a two-week intensive at NuVu Studio in Cambridge, MA. Here’s what they have to say about themselves: NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects.

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They have 3D printers, laser-cutters, and more Apple products than an orchard around the studio. They have interesting maps of the subway, created in past sessions; one was based on geological time (so incredible), so that every inch might represent 10 minutes of time. Jonas and Aiden signed up for the session on Dancing Robots. They stayed with my parents and took the subway to and from the studio every day.

Let me say that again: TOOK THE SUBWAY TO AND FROM THE STUDIO EVERY DAY. (My own baby. Did THIS!)
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We visited the studio for their final presentations, not just to see the robot kids, but also the wearable techno-fashion people and the musical video games guys. So much problem solving happening every day and all the time that it makes your mind boggle and gives me hope about the future. And sure, OK, there were some things that still weren’t quite tweaked right, or could have used another day to work through a problem that had presented itself. But it was super amazing to see all of it and hear about the creative process.

One coach was programming robots for the military through MIT. The other had created a mobile, bike-powered sound system that was used at the Burning Man festival.
SONY DSCSONY DSC How about this Jellyfish Hat with the fiber optics? So Lady Gaga and we are thinking it could be a fabulous rain hat. It changed color in such a subtle, flowing, jellyfish sort of way.

Our guys created the SkeleSnake, below. There are arduinos and servos which, I think might help it move {Jonas confirms this}, with fishing line and these plastic discs that they laser cut. They thought about the design, the physical look, and how to get it moving in the right, snake-like way.
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SONY DSCSONY DSCAnd of course it needed a tail.

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Wow. I’m so proud of both of these boys for figuring out this experience was something they wanted to do and then DOING IT. That’s really all I can say. Sometimes as a parent I am just amazed.

iCycle Bicycle

SONY DSCiCycle Bicycle Maine is here! You know this girl already, if you are a regular: she is the inimitable Miss E., also known as Ella Simon. She is a maker/sewist whom you may remember from this post here: 101 and 1 Bedsheets.

 

SONY DSCThis girl knew nothing of bikes or welding or mechanics when she decided to create the iCycle Bicycle, a pedal-powered ice cream maker (stationary or mobile), for her 8th grade project at Ashwood Waldorf School. True story, I am already a big fan and lucky that she and Jonas have been buddies since they were tiny, giggling little twinkling people who made lots of movies together.

SONY DSCNow they are big twinkly people, still creating amazing things for the world.
SONY DSCWait. Let me say that again, with more emphasis: She knew nothing of bikes or welding or mechanics! I think she knew that she liked homemade ice cream, but that was the scope of her experience going into the project. And when she went to the bike store to talk to the bike dudes about her vision for the iB, they basically pooh-poohed her idea. Pfffffft. Good thing Ella moved right on to a couple of great mentors who helped her manifest this vision.
SONY DSC SONY DSCThe process is surprisingly quick, under the right conditions: 10-15 minutes of pedaling and it’s ice cream time! If you’re pedaling with your pals, or just pedaling the stationary bike while hanging out with friends, the time goes by even quicker.
SONY DSC Recently sampled flavors: fresh garden mint chip, strawberry rhubarb, and lemon cloud. Ella uses excellent ingredients for her ice cream, including local and organic ingredients when possible, and fresh eggs from her chickens!
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~this is exercise as it is meant to be: exertion followed by commensurate reward!~

SONY DSCIn other news: Ella was invited to be a vendor at the Midcoast Mini Maker Fair this September 7th. Could be a great way to meet the iB in person, if you are local to Midcoast Maine (Camden).

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The iCycle Bicycle does parties, birthdays, and events! Contact Ella via the iCycle Bicycle Facebook page to plan your visit from the iCycle Bicycle!
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~time away~

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This has been a summer of many adventures for us, not always together. Which is fine, because we usually see a lot of each other. Sylvan has had two weeks of adventuring in Kentucky with his Bumpa. He also spent a week at Ultimate Frisbee camp in MA.  Jonas has two weeks of “dancing robot” camp with NuVu Studio.

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Jonas, Mr. Crafty and me, plus our dear friend Ryan went to Baxter State Park for two days this week. The three gents summited Mt. Katahdin, our tallest Maine mountain, on a beautiful, perfect day for hiking. I stayed in our sweet little cabin on the lake, had a quiet, leisurely breakfast (reading School Library Journal and picking out new titles for fall ordering). There was a Northern Flicker to watch also.
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I rented a kayak and took a three-hour paddle, looking for moose (didn’t see any) and watching/listening to birds, up a little brook to the side of Millinocket Lake. The brilliant thing was being alone and setting my own pace, deciding to just float and listen to the wood thrushes sing to each other until they stopped, or paddle hard across a windier spot, or stop and try to discern whether the huge hunting bird of prey was an immature bald eagle. Nobody’s agenda but my own. The weather was just so darn perfect: warm and dry and breezy and just lovely and comfortable. THE WAY SUMMER SHOULD BE IN MAINE.
SONY DSCI would look up to the big mountain and see the clouds rolling over the summit and wonder where on that big rocky thing my three people were at that moment. Turns out, no surprise, these gents surpassed the average hiking time and cruised past the campers and dilly-dalliers, and they missed out on any clouds and precipitation.
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~all these pictures of the mountain are by Mr. Crafty and Mr. Handsome~

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~this is the back yard of our cabin~
SONY DSCAnd here is how you look after you hike all day, then take a shower, and change your clothes:

ready to flop on the couch.