We are back safe and sound. London was nothing short of amazing. I am still wrapping my head around all that we saw, smelled, ate, heard and so on. I’ll be back in a day or two after I catch up with the laundry and sleep. So many things to saw share. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!
I haven’t posted very often lately because I have found myself without very many words. The days have been passing by so fast. It seems like I wake up and before I know it, it’s already bedtime again. The thing is we haven’t been particularly busy. We have been following our normal routine with variations due only to weather. This set routine has made things run so smoothly; it’s really quite amazing. Not to say there aren’t tantrums, there are, but transitions between activities have become easier.
We aren’t really rushing to do anything anymore. Hanging around in our pajamas until 10 am, fine. Reading 10 books in a row, cool. We go out to the park when the air gets too stuffy and attitudes start to crumble. We just go and sit and look up at the blue skies, and enjoy the birds and breeze. Maybe it’s the coming change of seasons?
Recently, I have asked the girls to play on their own, discover boredom and run with it. V has no problem playing for an hour on her own. Incredible for an almost 2-year-old. S on the other hand is working on it, albeit with more whining then I would like, but she’s figuring out she can play by herself or with her sister. For the past few days they have actually been playing together, without conflict for extended periods of time. Enough to let me make these granola bars (oatmeal, almond butter, apricot and local honey) I’ve been thinking about for over a month.
I’ve been able to sew a skirt and embroider it (picture coming soon). Make several drawstring storage bags and make significant progress on D’s sweater. I haven’t been around here much because I hadn’t thought of anything much to say. And as my mother always said, “If have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
This weekend though will be anything but slow. We are going to London for three days. I’ve been waiting for this for almost 10 years! I’ve been to London Heathrow Airport more than a dozen times and never stepped outside. Always in transit to somewhere else in the world. EEEK! It makes my blood pressure rise a little I am so excited. I’m sorry the trip will be so short though. There are several bloggers I wish I could meet up with. Next time.
Have you been walking through your days slowly too?
***Oh yes, Annie has put out the new Alphabet Glue issue and it is so fun! I’m already gathering ingredients for several of the projects. Especially the handmade ice cream. I remember doing that in the 3rd grade!
When I was a child I remember reading that the ancient prairies of the West were covered in six foot high grasses; that horses could walk in them with only their heads peeking out. I used to imagine what it would be like to wander into that and just feel the gentle sway of each blade of grass against my arms and legs.
Then the other day while taking walk, just letting ourselves wander with no particular direction in mind, the girls and I came upon this. A field of waist high grass and daisies. It took me directly back to that imaginary place I had been to as a child. The day was warm and you could smell the greenness of grass and hear the soft whisper of the blades and they moved back and forth with the breeze. With V on my back I ventured into the grass not being afraid as it only came to my waist. Then I turned around to look for S and realized suddenly how this must look to her. Like six foot high grass. She could not see over the top of it. She felt overwhelmed but I grabbed her hand and guided her through to the other side.
It felt once again, as we have found so many times here, that we were in a magical place. It was a place so delicate that with one foot step you could ruin the place in front of you. Luckily there was a path so we did not have break the blades of grass or the daisies. When we found our way out it was because the city had come to cut all the grass down. On the other side of the field was a meadow of mulch. It was sad and yet a relief, because really waist high grass is impossible to see anything through and there could have been snakes or other animals in there. But for a moment is was magical from another place and time.
*** I forgot that the 9th of June was this blogs 4th anniversary. I dare say it’s come along way and I am happy where it is now. This post marks number 850! Thanks for following along everyone!
Back in February, when we said yes to moving to France, I had a rush week of making things: I made doll clothes, a yoga mat bag, a knitting bag and needle case. Then I packed up my machine with a few tears included and put it in my mom’s car to be taken to New Mexico for safekeeping. Since February, I haven’t made a thing. I knitted a few rows here and there but nothing worth writing about.
Finally, this past weekend we found a crafts store/bookstore/media store that happened to sell sewing machines as well. For a decent price I got this nice little Brother machine. It has an automatic button-hole maker and a few useful stitches. It will do nicely for the duration of our stay here. The first thing I did was test out all the stitches to see what they actually looked like on fabric. So far so good.
Then I grabbed a scrap piece of Robert Kaufman apple fabric and made two napkins for the girls.
With a strong desire to make more things, I decided to go for another easy project: a crayon bag. We needed something like this very badly. I was storing our crayons in a plastic sandwich bag (not my preferred option!) and it finally broke apart. Note: I insanely shipped my entire fabric stash to France. I looked through my stash again to find a fabric that wouldn’t get too marked up by holding crayons. I found this brown fabric and knew it would do nicely. Five minutes later we had a crayon bag. The girls like it a lot, especially the part where they get to dump out the crayons and put them back in again.
Next on the list are some summer shirts and skirts. Something in a wearable, get dirty and wash it every day kind of fabric. S has a thing for wearing dresses while hiking and I think she needs something with pockets!
As for the listening part, we are always listening to Sparkle Stories, a bit of Willy and Lobo for chill out time, My Head is an Animal, Spoon, and Charlie Hope for when the girls don’t want my music anymore.
Today I am finally joining my friend Dawn for Make and Listen Along.
With spring having gotten off to a very slow and unsteady start in most place in the Northern Hemisphere most of you are probably thinking: June, how could it be June already? We just had snow and and frost like two weeks ago? Well June is here and in just three short weeks the first day of summer will be here. The longest day of the year will have arrived and for our family it will be a fun time to celebrate! This year the summer solstice falls on the 21st.
I like to begin our solstice celebrations by taking a big roll of paper and marking our shadows 10 days before the solstice. We only do ten days because the girls are so young when they get older, I will start at the first of the month. We’ll go for walks, plant some flowers, eat lots of summer veggies, read summer stories and learn as much as we can about this ceaselessly interesting planet of ours!
I’ve compiled a fun list of things for you and your little ones to do leading up to the summer solstice of even just on the day of solstice.
I hope this list helps you get inspired. If you would like to add to the list feel free to in the comments!
***Congratulations to Sara commenter number 17. I’ll be e-mailing you shortly.***
I can’t believe June 1st is already here. Wasn’t I just telling you all that I was packing up and moving to France? June is an exciting time in our family as it begins our summer solstice celebrations. For 21 days we will be tracking our shadows and learning about the earth movement, spending time in nature and hopefully planting a few things. Many of you are already planting and eating from your gardens. (Of which I am envious!)
With that in mind, I asked the wonderfully creative Dustin over at Armadillo Dreams (one of my fantastic sponsors) if he would let me giveaway a gardening set. Is this not the cutest toy? If you have never heard of Armadillo Dreams before you can check them out here, here, here, and here.
The garden plot measures 3 3/4 inches by 4 1/4 inches. Each vegetable measures 1 1/2 inches tall by 1 inch wide. The watering can measures 1 1/4 inches tall by 2 inches wide. All of the toys are 1/2 inch thick.
I love the toys from Armadillo Dreams. We have a lot of them, see this post. The are super high quality wooden toys made to last a long time. They smell lovely too!
So how do you enter to win this set? Simply leave a comment below telling me what you’ve planted in your garden this summer or what you will be doing for solstice if you celebrate it. I will choose a winner via random number generator on Friday the 7th and announce it here on this post.
The giveaway is open to anyone in the world. Good luck!!
A warm welcome back to all my sponsors! Please check out this wonderful shops and blogs who support me!
Armadillo Dreams is a husband/wife shop run by Dustin and Amanda Cowell. They sell wonderful Waldorf inspired handmade wooden toys.
Wild Plums is a wonderful shop created by Amanda Cowell. She sells all sorts of lovely handmade buttons, hand spun yarn and roving.
Sparkle Stories is an online resource for high-quality audio stories for children and families.
Is an organic, rare and heirloom seed company owned and operated by Laura Watt.
A mama run home business selling soap-nuts. The nature friendly way to launder your clothing from Laundry Tree.
is an online magazine for families who love books. Filled with activities, printables, projects, and plenty of inspiration, Alphabet Glue was created in hopes of helping more families to incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary into their everyday routines.
*** If you are interested in a sponsorship spot please send me an e-mail for more information. kc(at)kathrynpagano.com
***I’ve got a wonderful summer solstice inspired giveaway from Armadillo Dreams coming up tomorrow on the blog so check back in!
**Check back monday as well for many summer solstice celebration ideas and links.
Wishing you all a sun filled weekend.
The other day I was talking to a friend about all of the wild edibles I have been finding out on our walks when she mentioned the community gardens. She had been walking along the river when she came upon a woman who was harvesting oregano from a patch beside the river. She then continued to walk and came upon the community garden plots. In my mind I imagined something amazing and knew I had to go there.
The next day after nap time I told the girls that we were going on an adventure to a new place. Boy was it ever an adventure. We had to cross an aqueduct, duck under fig trees heavy with almost mature fruit and then walked through high grasses. But when we came to the community garden plots it was like we had arrived in another fairy tale land. This place is so beautiful.
Each garden plot has been so lovingly tended too. Each space showing the character of its owner. We all fell instantly in love with the place and did not want to leave. We spent three hours walking down the narrow path. Along the way I found, wild garlic, rosemary, lemon balm, dill, oregano. So many seeds that have been blown away by the wind and taken root somewhere else.
I let the girls dip their feet in the running water, pick flowers, and romp in the high grass. It was hot, it was prickly sometimes, but they were so happy.
Not even the promise of gelato could pull them away from this place. We will surely go again and again.