Monday, August 30


Another mid-August this time.
What is this woman doing?

Hmmm...must be contageous...
Actually we are peeking through the kudzu along the Cumberland river to see this:

Its a Dragonboat!

Dragonboat racing is a 2000 year old tradition  The history and mythology (Chinese) surrounding the Dragonboat Festival is a bit grisly, so we just stick to enjoying the boats is an interesting bit about the celebration.

"All in one boat - Working to find Synchronicity" say the t-shirts at our local festival. I like that attitude :)

Can you see the dragon head at the fore of the boat? So cool.
I'm dreaming about some day in the future when I can talk all my girls into joining one of the teams so we can see what its like to actually row one of these!

Meanwhile, watching these beautiful dragonboats is a nice preview to the season of Michaelmas (later in September) when we will be really immersed in dragon stories.

Sunday, August 29

New kid on the block...

Flashback to early July....Daddy brought a big crate home after work one day...

...and look at the cutie who was inside!!!

He's a young Dwarf Nigerian billy goat. He was stranded in an urban neighborhood after the big flood we had back in May. Through a series of events he has ended up in our keeping and I am so happy to adopt him!

Look how poor and thin he looks in these pictures...and we had to keep him on a harness and chain for a bit while we secured a fence for him :( 
I am happy to report that today he is fat and capering free on his very own pasture. The girls named him after the sweet but bumbling magician in the awesome animated film, The Last Unicorn: Schmendrick.

Friday, August 20

Flying the coop!

It seems like just yesterday I was posting about Naya and Sodie's search for the right college and all the trips we took to investigate the schools that were possible choices. We had so much fun romping around campuses and documenting important features of each this shot, for example:

(one of the ladies' rooms at Hendrix College in case anyone is impressed and feels they must add this school to their own list of possibilities)

We visited 7 schools and often stayed in hotels ("YAY!" says Toucie) on these "girl trips" (and did alot of this):

And finally, all the searching yielded a favorite. Applications were filled, essays were written, and fingers were crossed. Then one day two letters came in the mail and suddenly "a possibility" turned into "a plan". My Sodie and Naya had both earned full scholarships to attend their top-choice college. I really don't know how to compose the sentence that would convey to you how proud I am of these two girls.

We tried to make the most of the rest of our summer together, but before I knew it it was time to pack the cars up (Daddy had to drive a separate carload full of stuff!), move them into a dormitory, and kiss them goodbye.

(move-in day)

(how many honor students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?)

(Naya and Sodie trying to settle in...Mado looks right at home already)


(my last walk-and-talk with them before driving home)

(time to say goodbye...feeling lucky to have each other)

(some of our trip was rainy and gray)

It was a sober ride home for Mado and I. Mado took alot of the photos in this post, but this last one is my very favorite:

"Objects in mirror are closer than they seem" you see that, girls? Those are Daddy's headlights reflected there....we are only as far away as you need us to be.

Tuesday, August 17

Home again...

Toucie and Daddy and I came home to a warm, tidy, festive house full of big sisters....finally!

It is a little scary to be away from the hospital, where advice, experience and help were just an arm's reach away...but home is such a comfort. And having our family together again is the best medicine of all. We have to soak it up while we can, because there is another huge change happening for this fact, we got home just in time to prepare for it:

Sunday, August 8

More random moments from "the inside"

Daddy has always been the favorite pillow...

Pile-up to watch "Ponyo" together

Favorite hair-stylist came to visit and trim her bangs :)

Caught a rainbow!! (from a prism hanging in the window)

Toucie found that she could crawl through the laundry cabinet and end up in the hallway outside her hospital room! Almost Narnia :)

Beautiful sunsets...just like at home.

Thinking peaceful thoughts before a procedure...

Wrapped up in a Prayer Shawl knitted by her grandmother...

Finally strong enough to leave the room and goofing off in the hallway with the nurses...she doesn't use a wheelchair - this was just for fun :)

We'll be able to go home soon!

Thursday, August 5

Hospital handwork!

We are keeping it crafty around here :) This is a "snake" Toucie is making by stringing squares of cheerful wool felt onto a length of embroidery thread with a needle...a long term project that is picked up for a few minutes each day.

Wet-on-wet watercolor painting is always soothing to do and soothing to gaze upon.

Here are some watercolors made for Mama...I used them to print out some poems, blessings and verses for our upcoming year.

Any tissue paper that crosses this threshold soon finds itself refashioned into big, pleated flowers! We have several of these now and they brighten up our hospital room quite a bit (Toucie's immune system is so low that she cannot have real flowers in the room).

Healing is happening every day. We have found our way to a feeling of ease and relative comfort here at the hospital. Our good friend "Rhythm" has asserted itself once again.

One of the chemotherapy drugs has an upsetting side effect: loss of dexterity in the hands and feet (called Neuropathy). After 2 weeks of treatment, Toucie is beginning to experience a bit of this. One of the ways of staving off this degradation is movement and use of the digits.  Thanks to Waldorf Education, our family is already conditioned to mindfully incorporate movement into our daily life...whew, one less strange, new thing I need to learn. So, all those lovely kindergarten elements that are so good for all our young, finger knitting, stringing beads, sanding wood, molding clay or beeswax, wet felting, carding wool, gripping crayons, chopping veggies, peeling fruit, kneading bread, knotting string, catching beanbags, playing finger plays, etc...are going to be like magic medicine for our Toucie.

If anyone has suggestions for creative ways to help little fingers and toes get some excercise, please let me know! We had a footbath recently with marbles in the basin and we picked them up with our toes :)
I'm thinking about things like jacks and yoyos, but those might be a little too old for her just yet. Any ideas?