Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Meet Yashica

 Everything I learned about photography... I learned with film.
 My high school had a wonderful photography program that I completed, and then began "independent study" which pretty much meant I had free range of the dark room and chose my own projects. I not only learned the basics of taking a shot, but I also learned how to develop my own film, and develop my own prints. Then in independent study I began to learn a new side of photography and the darkroom... manipulating your images as you print them. 
I am so grateful for that program and all that it taught me.

 Lately, I've been a bit obsessed with vintage cameras (especially working ones that you can still purchase film for... and especially ones with the viewfinder on top... ahem). So, when I found this beauty for sale on craigslist for an extremely reasonable price... I was certain she was meant to be with me.

Thank goodness for YouTube. I have been learning everything I need to know about actually using this camera thanks to the numerous videos on the subject. I also found the incredible video below that shares a bunch of photos taken in New York in the 1950's with a twin lens camera (which is what my new/old camera is). The incredible shots and the way they truly tell a story about that time makes me feel a need to take up street photography. It seems like such a special way to capture history. 

Of course, my recent return to film photography and my first vintage camera purchase are igniting a bit of a fire in me. I feel a desperate need to find a dark room... or build one. And I do believe this vintage camera purchase is just the first of my collection. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

a different kind of home school

This girl. My oldest daughter. My fifth grader.
She is homeschooling this year.
Just her.
There was no problem with the public school she was attending. No problem with her teacher, or classmates, or anything. We just decided that we want to have each kid home school for a year or two while the others attend public school. This allows us to spend some real quality time with each kid on their own. The timing should work out perfectly. Layla is homeschooling this year and then plans to go to middle school next year. Maiko plans to home school next year for seventh, and then eighth grade, and then go to high school. I am so excited that we get to have this special one on one time with each of them before they go off to middle and high school. We all know how fast that time will go, and then they will be all grown up. When Eislee and Ollie get older we plan to do the same with them.
There were certainly ups and plenty of downs when we started, but now we have fallen into a routine and it's wonderful. Layla is so easy to home school. She is extremely self motivated.

As a parent it is such an amazing thing, to get time with your child alone, especially when you have a big family. They are a different person alone than they are around their siblings, or their friends. This quality time with each child (and at such an influential age!) is a parent's dream.
We are so lucky we get to make this happen.

Monday, May 8, 2017

here it comes again

 Hoping to begin remodeling this little guy over the summer.
 The picnic tables needed to be re-positioned for a better view.

Do you see the vultures?
 above: Finally carved a new stamp and it felt so good to do something creative.
below: Breakfast in bed for my home school girl (mostly we make her get up for breakfast but every once in awhile i serve her upstairs while she reads).

 Soccer explosion. 
This magazine just gets better and better. I have reread "Love is a verb" about three times. I also plan to make the braided cinnamon bread soon, and the digestive bitters.
 Country porches... beautiful AND functional. 
 The snowberry bush that Eislee picked out for me. It's quickly becoming one of my favorites.
 The chicken tractor and our only hen... one hen... one rooster.

 A rare warm day where dinner must be outside.

Thank goodness spring is finally here. 
There are breaks in the rain, and warm sun.
Everyone and everything's mood is lifted.
There is this excitement in the air each day the sun shines. 
We made it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

waiting on spring

I am definitely beginning to see the change, but it is coming slowly this year.
It is very hard to be patient. Here and there we get ONE dry/warm day and then it's back to rain.
Occasionally on dry days we will eat outside in warm jackets. Talking about how we like the way the picnic tables are now turning dark and gray, and what we hope to accomplish when the weather finally gets nice.

The kids are starting to play outside as though the weather were warm anyway. Over the weekend many of them played in the marsh until dusk, and then came back shivering.

Soccer has began again. We have four kids playing on four different teams again. I am coaching the youngest's team, and Matt is helping with the other three teams. Matt also helps out as a referee. We are getting into this sport pretty deep now, but it is really uniting digging deep together. Often Layla and Eislee come and help me with Ollie's practices. Matt takes Layla to Maiko's practices. We all watch each other's games and cheer. Last Saturday we were all out in the pouring rain together from 9am (the first game) until 2:30pm (when the last game ended). Next weekend everyone will miss their games. Maiko has a competition with his ROV club, and the girls and I are off to seaside for a little getaway with the grandparents. I am so excited for this little vacation.

I feel like I am getting the hang of kombucha making!
My favorite recipe for the second fermentation is lemon ginger honey. I juice the ginger and lemon. Then I whisk together 1 tbsp ginger juice with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp honey. I have actually started using that little combo with whiskey and hot water to make toddys... so good. The girls and I also made a strawberry lemonade kombucha a few days ago and it has been quite a hit. We juiced strawberries and lemon. Then mixed 5 tbsp strawberry juice with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp honey.
I am beginning to read up on sourdough now. That is going to be my next fermentation adventure.

*The purple desk was a craigslist find for Eislee. She has wanted a desk of her own for many years and that one was screaming her name.
*The last two pictures are of a little sensory bin I put together for my youngest two (although I notice the older two running their hands through it often. "It feels so relaxing!" my daughter says). Split peas, silver little espresso pitchers and serving spoons, little lambs and bunnies. Sweet spring.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Big News about the Big Dog

Ezra, the Great Pyrenees, is back at home with his original owner.
Looking through these old photos almost made me cry, but I do honestly think this is for the best.
We had Ezra for eight months, and although we enjoyed our time with him, a few things came to light that made me question if this was truly the right long term home for him. 
His original owner has been back at home for some time now (all alone) and seems to have recovered very well from his surgery. When i called to talk to him about my thoughts he said "Jenny, It's not a problem. I can come pick him up today." 
I was not expecting that. I was a bit shocked to have it all happen so fast. I had merely questioned if he should stay here, and then suddenly he was leaving. BUT, I felt this enormous weight lift off my shoulders after he left. A weight I didn't even fully realize I was holding. A weight I have been carrying for eight months.  That weightless feeling, combined with the owners eagerness to take him back, and Ezra's eagerness to go with him, AND the kids were completely okay with it all (that shocked me)... anyway... all combined... it really feels like the right thing. 

And we are still his top dog sitters.
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