Sunday, January 30, 2011


My girls love to make pancakes on the weekends. They make them in all sizes, and shapes, but they consider the teeny-tiny ones -- the ones we might call mere drips of batter, and toss aside -- a delicacy.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Progress in the barn has taken on a different feel in the past couple of weeks. Change is happening, though it's less dramatic than it was before. But, we have newly roughed-in plumbing, and electric, and we're getting ready for the HVAC guys to come next week, then insulation... then walls, then...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mr. Plow

Does your town have one of these?

Once the roads are clear, this little snowbuster makes the rounds, up and down the main streets of our town, clearing the sidewalks. I've never seen such a thing anywhere else... but I like it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowy Vignette

We got pounded last night with another foot of snow!

....And with that, I would like to note that, for this brief moment, I am all caught up! All the daily photos have been posted through, up to, and including today. Yippee! How many weeks has it been since that happened? (Please, don't answer that.) With less than 2 months to go in this project, I'd like to keep it that way, and finish strong. See you tomorrow!


I visited the harbor today. I cannot imagine a more inhospitable place to be this winter than on a boat in the icy Atlantic...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Night Skate

I went to a lecture about Night Photography this evening... and, though my efforts didn't turn out anything like those of the pro who spoke on the topic, I guess I was inspired... This "light painting" was accomplished by strapping a small flashlight to Prince Firstly's skate, as he zipped around the rink.

He can be pretty zippy...

Why, Wally?

Wally is the type of dog who likes to rest his head on things... it could be your lap, your foot, the sofa cushions... Which all make sense, as far as being comfy, soft places to set your noggin. But I don't understand why he often suspends his chin on the chair rung like this. Seems like it would be awkward...

Tea for Two...

Sigh... another "end of the day, and I've got nothing in my camera" shot. Good thing it's decaf.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Phoning it in, again. This time, I used an app called Instagram to process the image... it created a completely different effect from what I usually go for, but I'm having fun playing with the funky-retro filters in this app.

Snow Day

Well, the kids weren't the only ones excited to have a "snow day" today. No, sirree...

Before the snow stopped falling, he cleared our driveway, the neighbor's driveway, all of the sidewalks in the vicinity... and then they drove into town for bagels.

Midnight Munchies

Two of my all-time faves...


Mr. CM got a new toy... and a new, improved method for snow clearing! When my girls learned it is called an "ATV", they asked: Does that stand for "Awesome Teeny Vehicle"?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


By now, you've probably heard enough already about the latest flap in modern parenting. It's been discussed ad nauseum in the media, the blogosphere, around the water cooler, and among our friends (actual and facebook-variety).

I found the whole episode to be very thought-provoking. Are Tiger Mothers really superior? Does permissive "Western" parenting create underachieving kids? How can we raise children to be successful in an increasingly global community? Does Amy Chua really call her children "garbage"? The piece seems almost tongue-in-cheek, but where is the punchline...? Now that book reviews and author interviews are starting to surface, and it seems Ms. Chua's views are more nuanced than what appeared in the Wall Street Journal excerpt, I have another question....

Who is this woman's publicist? And how did that person convince the Wall Street Journal to publish this most non-nuanced, and provocative portion of Chua's memoir, with an inflammatory headline to match....? Because that person is a genius.

As the dust settles a bit, I have to say, I feel like we have been played. Caught up in a firestorm, over what? As far as I can tell, Ms. Chua has been busy backpedaling away from the WSJ piece ever since it appeared:

"There is no easy formula for parenting, no right approach (I don’t believe, by the way, that Chinese parenting is superior—a splashy headline, but I didn’t choose it). The best rule of thumb I can think of is that love, compassion and knowing your child have to come first, whatever culture you’re from. It doesn’t come through in the excerpt, but my actual book is not a how-to guide; it’s a memoir, the story of our family’s journey in two cultures, and my own eventual transformation as a mother. Much of the book is about my decision to retreat from the strict “Chinese” approach..."

Mmm-hmm. That line probably wouldn't have sold as many books (or newspapers) this past week, though. Nor would it have turned her book tour into a media circus.

In the end, I just don't find her message to be that remarkable. Yes, we should insist that our kids do their homework, and practice their instruments, and try their best. Less "screen time" would be good. Say "no" and mean it, set limits, recognize each child's individual strengths and weaknesses. Temper it all with affection and good humor. We've all dabbled in less-than-ideal parenting tactics from time to time. We move on, and hope our kids get over it.

Thanks, but I think I'll keep my $25.95.

What's Hot This WInter

You heard it here first: "hobo chic" is the latest trend in outdoor decor. Be the first on your block to get your hands on one of these stylish 55 gallon steel drums. The rusted, burnt-paint finish blends with your landscape, be it asphalt driveway, or muddy, rutted "lawn", or snow-covered ice rink. It's practical, too: light a fire in there (stand back -- way back -- the flames have been known to shoot up 12 feet into the air) & you'll have outdoor heat for the skaters and contractors alike.

But that's not all... This stunning outdoor accessory will also spark intellectual curiosity! Observe what happens when the heat from your barrel o' fire starts to melt the surrounding permafrost. Next time the kids are off from school due to a snow day, send them outside to study these jagged ice formations... and tell 'em they can't come inside until they have figured out this shark-tooth phenomenon. Talk about motivated learners!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Hockey was the name of the game this weekend. The U10 Girls had their first tournament, a much-anticipated event. They had four games in all, between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Exciting, and exhausting, for everyone involved... and our girl played goalie.

Friday night... the best. save. ever. Ok, I'm biased. But, can you see the puck, trapped under her stick...?!

Saturday... Face off! (Ref, you'll want your face mask on for this one...)

Sunday... is anyone else starting to feel tired...?

What a weekend! Great job, girls!

Friday, January 14, 2011


This is not what you want to see first thing in the morning, after a night of wet, heavy snow...

Our neighbor's tree snapped, and the limbs fell right on top of Mr. CM's Jeep, creating a cage of branches around the vehicle. Amazingly, there's not a scratch on the car. Lucky break.

Green Galaxy

Today, I traveled through space and time to bring you this image from a distant universe, where the sun glows green, and the planets and moons whirl in emerald vapors...


Actually, my girls directed this shoot, which involved a basin of water, baby oil, and paint. Mix 'em all together, and click! Kinda cool, huh?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Meet

Since it was her gymnastics meet, I let her pick the photo for this post. Without a moment's hesitation, this is the one she chose.

Can't say I blame her. If I had a photo of me doing that, I'd put it on the internet, too.

If you want to see the ones she didn't pick, click here.

Sign Up

A friendly challenge has been issued...
Good sports that they are, the builders are up for it. But, how did they get Arnold Ziffel on their team?

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Phone It In" Friday

I'm tempted to declare that I just invented a new thing, but let's face it. People have been phoning it in on Fridays for a long time now...

But, still. I think I'll shake things up a bit, and give my big, fancy camera a break every now & then. It will be fun to see what can be done with my phone, and a little twiddling in one of the many photo editing apps out there. This "pencil sketch" of my keyboard started out as a photograph... What's your favorite app?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Behind the Net

The girls' team took several more shots today than I did. I only got three, and this was the best...


He's a natural!

Has anybody seen my keys?

There's a set that's been missing since just before Christmas. They have to be around here someplace... Be on the lookout, ok?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sick of the Holidays

Do you wanna know what really bums me out? Not sending a kid back to school on the first day after vacation because she's sick, that's what.

The nagging, hacking cough had been worsening for over a week, and kept her from sleeping the night before. Turns out, this "irritant cough" is likely the result of an allergy.... to our Christmas tree...!

Do you wanna know what really bums out a self-professed "tree hugger"? Being allergic to pine trees, that's what.

Clean Slate

It was fun while it lasted, but now the party's over. Time to clean up and get organized. Can't start the New Year with a messy room. Everybody knows that... right?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Progress

It's been a while since you've seen what's up in the barn. We have seven new windows installed, and the roof framing is all finished. Actually, if you look closely at the last update I posted, you can see some changes to the framing since then... we had a few revisions... "improvements", let's say...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Working From Home

Lingering at the kitchen table. Savoring a quiet house, bright morning, steaming cup.


We really lucked out this vacation week: perfect weather for goalie practice!

Dance Biscuits

There's a new wii game at our house, and it delivers more LOLs per minute than any I've ever seen...


The things we do for that rink...!
On this day, it needed a little "resurfacing". Not having a zamboni handy, we rely on more primitive methods. Which work fine, as long as you thaw out the garden hoses first...