Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Just-spring












Over the weekend, we practically lived outside. We ate on the patio and played with the chickens but we worked a lot too. We've been working on the wrought-iron gates which surround the courtyard leading into our house. We started this project last spring, but then it got too hot in the summer to continue, so we waited until spring came around again. The project involves removing old blue paint, put on by a previous owner of the house. It dried very drippy and lumpy and is now faded. We're taking off the old paint and putting on a glossy coat of plain black. It's hard work. But we've done two out of three sections now and it looks so much better. Next, we plan to repaint the wood trim, which is the same shade of blue as the metal, fading and peeling. I'm trying to decide on a color! The house is peachy-tan stucco and the metalwork will soon be all black. We're going to look at paint samples on Private Friday this week. I've never done any exterior house-painting and I'm excited and a little nervous.

This week has started off sort of cool and stormy so far. We've been inside in the afternoons, the small Bears and I. After homeschool is finished, we're each doing our own thing. I've been sewing a little. Both of them have been drawing a lot. The GB seems to have a real artistic streak and she will happily draw, color and paint for hours. The LB is not as artistically-inclined and I'm trying to encourage it. He enjoys it when he gets going but it's not something he seeks out on his own, you know? They've both been copying illustrations from books lately. Yesterday, they were engrossed for a long time. She copied a picture from Happy Birthday Moon and he did one from Home For a Bunny. I remember enjoying this as a child too. I had notebooks and sketchpads filled with my own renditions of anything Garth Williams ever illustrated.

Did I ever tell you that we listen to The John Tesh Show most afternoons? I really like radio shows with lots of talking and random facts. The music he plays can get a little repetitive - lots of soft rock, seventies through today. I learn something new every time I listen, though. I listen to Delilah in the evenings sometimes too. She's wonderful. I love the way she can comfort people or put the smack down on them, or sometimes do a little of both. Anyway, back to John Tesh - he plays Michael Jackson fairly often, eighties stuff mainly. He played the song "Human Nature" the other day. The LB and I had a conversation about it:

LB: I don't like when he plays this song.
Me: Why not? I think it's a nice song.
LB: Because she sounds like she can't breathe. She's gasping for air.
Me: Who is?
LB: The girl who sings this song. She's so out of breath.
Me: This is a man singing. He always sounded sort of like this.
LB: A man? What the heck? Did he drink helium?

Now, I don't mean to disparage Michael Jackson. I was a big fan, still am. But it made me stop and think. Do you remember when Michael Jackson was the biggest, most famous entertainer in the world? I'm sure plenty of people thought he sounded like a girl then too, but he was so cool! It was just Michael, that's just what he sounded like. At least that's how I remember thinking about him. I told this to the LB; he seemed skeptical. He likes "Beat It," though. No girly voices there, just dance-fighting between gangs, I think.

How is spring (or fall) shaping up where you are? Here, the plum trees are in full bloom. I was out at sunset the other night and they were positively glowing. I'll share some photos soon. Some of my tulips have buds, which makes me really happy. Everything is poking out of the ground now, it's looking so green all of a sudden. We'll be on spring break in about a week and I can't wait; we've been going non-stop since early January. I can't wait for a little stretch of doing very little. I'm planning to do some crafty things (with and without children), go to the park, take walks and get ready for Easter. Yes! Spring agrees with me, I'm really glad it's just about here.

34 comments:

  1. Oh Jennifer, I had to laugh soooo hard when reading LB's comment on Michael Jackson !! I love how children see the world as it is - not manipulated by media, fashion, hypes... We all "loved" MJ when we were young, but come to think of it, we loved him because everybody did... I never was a big fan of his music, but hey, everybody loved it, so...
    MJ sounds like a girl that is gasping for air. Love that description :-))) (Sorry MJ, but LB is right ;-))

    PS beautiful photo of those blossoms ! And tell LB his bunny-with-birdie drawing is really good !

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  2. Sounds like you have been busy, a little like me trying to get the garden up to scratch and preparing the vegetable beds.

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  3. Beautiful photos, lovely tame chickens. It's still pretty cold here, rained all day xx

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  4. The drawing your kids have done is so good x

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  5. Lovely photos, Jennifer. And, yes, LB is right. There are some songs where MJ does sound like a breathless female! ;o)

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  6. Since our one week with two snowfalls, we've had rain, rain, and more rain. We're not sure what made it through the freezes since everything had bloomed out or had buds beforehand. We'll have plenty of sunshine and warm days soon to find out. Glad y'all enjoyed your weekend!

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  7. Since our one week with two snowfalls, we've had rain, rain, and more rain. We're not sure what made it through the freezes since everything had bloomed out or had buds beforehand. We'll have plenty of sunshine and warm days soon to find out. Glad y'all enjoyed your weekend!

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  8. I love your pictures! The spider web is awesome and the flower bloom is so pretty. i laughed out loud reading LB's comments on Michael Jackson. Too funny!

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  9. I'm looking forward to the Easter break as well. Not long now! It certainly looks lovely and warm with you, I love the photo of your husband sitting on the grass with the children - perfect. I'm laughing about the Michael Jackson conversation. Sometimes we forget the obvious things. He did sound like a girl! CJ xx

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  10. Brilliant story about Michael Jacksons girly voice lol
    Hope we get to see some before and after of your railings :) Hard work but really satisfying I bet :)
    Jillxo

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  11. I so enjoy seeing photos of your delightful family! It's so neat how much your kids love to hold your chickens. I was very impressed with your kids drawings.. and happy that you have a little budding artist there. Enjoy your budding springtime and your break. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  12. Love the photo of your hubby on the patio playing the guitar with the kids around him and your son holding the chicken. Great capture. Too funny what your son said about MJ, but I can totally understand! Michael certainly did sound like a girl in his younger days.

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  13. LOL I loved your LB comments lol here is hot again, but only for today then cool for a few....we can have 4 seasons in one day here lol

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  14. Spring is good and it fits so beautifully with your sweet family up there! Love the art your sweetie is doing so much art! That is fantastic! Your photos are gorgeous! Happy Thursday!! Nicole xoxo

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  15. I enjoyed the pictures of the family outside. We haven't had true "outside" weather yet, but it is warmer than normal. Your GB's artistic streak is wonderful. She is very talented by what I can see. And I laughed out loud at the conversation regarding Michael Jackson. That is hilarious. I so love reading about your family. I miss little ones around the house.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  16. oh to be sitting out in the garden, not warm enough here yet........ such lovely drawings, I wish my two still sat and coloured......... xxx

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  17. It's sooo good to feel warmth outside and to look at the nature waking up slowly .... Lovely post ... Have anice day !

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  18. Lots of lovely Springtime action, Jennifer. Love the colouring - did lots of that as a child, and my grandson loves it too. A sweet spider, and pink blossom - gorgeous. No sign of Autumn here, today 38 deg C, (over 100 F), but guess what, I also have that red berry bush in your third pic. Twins, I say!

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  19. lovely photos, loved the conversation about MJ too funny, i like his music occasionally now, getting too old for the be-bop these days lol
    can we see photos of your gates? was trying to see the walls of your house, it looks like Mediterranean style colours? i love rich colours for trims, good luck with the choosing the paint (am kind of leaning towards a burgundy or maroon) look forward to see what you choose.
    your chickens all that tame? that is so cute & a beautiful portrait picture, so serene
    thanx for sharing

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  20. Lovely to spend long day's outside.we are not quite at that point yet inScotland, but it is a beautiful morning here, bright and clear, and a little early morning frost just glistening on the grass.

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  21. Those days of being outside at home, wonderful they will come soon. We too spent the weekend outside but we were well wrapped up! Taking walks and building a bender.............

    Love the conversation with your LB about Michael Jackson that song is particularly high of all of his!

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  22. Lovely Spring photos - so cheering. What artistic children you have - I also loved the helium comment! x

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  23. I think children often see things which we don't, as you say, Michael Jackson was just Michael Jackson, but he did sound like a girl. It sounds like you've got some nice things planned for your spring break. We're decorating our bedroom over Easter, something I'm not looking forward to at all.

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  24. Jealous of you spending all weekend outside? - you bet I am!! Winter seems to be dragging on a bit here in central England, we even had frosts again this week. Love your collection of photos - nature and home life. That's so funny about Michael Jackson - and your son is absolutely right! I still love to hear MJ's songs though!
    Caz xx

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  25. Your children's drawings are lovely.....I do like that bunny! LB's observations about MJ made me smile and share them with my hb! I do love the things children say, and the things they notice.
    Your spring sounds as if it is shaping up to be wonderful, Jennifer. Happy weekend!
    Helen xox

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  26. Funny story about Michael Jackson, I guess we were so used to his voice we never really questioned it.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  27. The picture of the spider web is so cool! We had a great few days of warmth, but now it is snowing again! So much for the 1st day of Spring. I love tame chickens - they are so nice to pet and carry around!

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  28. Looks like you've had a very warm and sunny weekend :) Isn't it lovely to think that spring is here? The blossom is beautiful and your children's drawings are very sweet treasures. I've kept my own children's pictures and now that they're grown up they enjoy looking back at them. Have a lovely weekend :)
    Cathy x

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  29. Looks like you've had a very warm and sunny weekend :) Isn't it lovely to think that spring is here? The blossom is beautiful and your children's drawings are very sweet treasures. I've kept my own children's pictures and now that they're grown up they enjoy looking back at them. Have a lovely weekend :)
    Cathy x

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  30. Looks picture perfect. The Bears are growing!!!

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  31. Hey Jennifer,
    Alfie used to be MJ's biggest fan. He did a project all about him for school. He even learned to moonwalk! I prefer early stuff - Off The Wall album is brilliant. Beat It is a cool track though. My oldest two were never into drawing. They preferred writing stories. But Olly draws and crafts and makes all day long. He is really rather good for his age, although any drawing of me has my knuckles dragging on the floor....
    Leanne xx

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  32. Everything about this post says spring... and I love it! GB is a very talented little artist - her drawings are amazing for her age. I hope you have a wonderful upcoming spring break!

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  33. I like to see and hear what you've been up to. It sounds like winter really has left your part of the world. I told Bella that MJ was dead, and she didn't believe me at all. x

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  34. Your spring sounds more like summer to me, Jennifer. :-) Here it is still very chilly and spring has only just arrived, with very few trees showing any leaf as yet. As always your photos are lovely.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the LB and visual art. He is obviously very musical and maybe this is his artistic gift. I can't draw or paint, but love music and have some gift for it.

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