Sitting and knitting


The Artist’s Wife Knitting, by William James Glackens (image source)

No drawing during free time today, just knitting – with a loom, because that’s the only way I know. I was visited by a little Halyomorpha halys. They come indoors in great numbers when cold weather comes. This one crawled across the bedspread, then climbed up the loom. It stepped carefully from peg to peg, and I found myself admiring its antics and enjoying its company, not something I’ve ever experienced before with a stink bug! When it meandered onto my shirt I was less enthused. I gave it a pencil box to walk on and transferred it to the floor to go wandering elsewhere.

Breakfast conversation

The scene: two brothers at breakfast, one with his face in his eggs.

“He is eating with his mouth. Maybe he’s going to turn into a beast.”

“I would like to turn into a whale.”

“Most definitely not. Most likely you’d turn into a pig, because pigs eat with their mouths.”

“Mommy, what do whales eat?”

“Pigs eat mostly vegetables. Squished up vegetables.”

“Mommy, may I have honey on my toast please?”

“Stop eating with your hands! Stop eating with your mouth! Maybe we should sign him up for polite class.”

“With a collar on my head.”



Although it is summer vacation, things seem busy, but partly that is because things are a little disorganized without a school schedule. It is hot, not dreadful, but we are indoors more, and the boys are doing lots of drawing. Gramp and Granny (that is a portrait of them, above) came for a wonderful visit last week. My husband and I got to go on a mini vacation. We sat by a lake in rocking chairs – I did nothing but look at flowers and geese and clouds and trees for simply an age. I haven’t done that in years!! It was lovely. Gramp and Granny, you are the best.

There was an old woman


“Oh, I look old.” I cringed at my reflection in the rearview mirror. “Do I look old?” I asked my oldest, regretting asking him even as the words came out.

“No,” he replied solemnly. “Not at all.” He thought a bit and added, “People in their thirties are not old.”

“You’re right, of course,” I replied hastily. But still – it is jarring to see oneself growing older and wrinklier.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…” I guess I am not too old. And our house is unique but it’s not even remotely like a shoe.

We had a quiet day, blissfully free of incident. We’ve been playing “family” a lot lately, my four-year-old and I. He plays the dad, I’m the mom, and the baby is the baby. Yesterday we began by taking many family naps. We piled up on the sofa, dad, mom, and baby, kissed each other goodnight, and slept until the rooster crowed, then we got up. We repeated this process several times. After that it was time to go into town, which is downstairs.

Once in “town,” the baby wandered into the guest room (there is an alarm clock radio in there, and he loves to turn it on) and “dad” declared, “All right. Let’s go to the kid store and get a kid.”

The guest room is the kid store, as it turns out, and I thought (like a grown up) that the “kid” to be procured was the baby. But shortly after, outside by the swings, J informed me that he had a son of his own, whom he was swinging in the baby swing.

“That’s wonderful!” I said. “What is your son’s name?”

“Canoe,” he replied. “He’s really cute.” I said I could well believe it.

“He has the power to transform into a fish,” he added, in an offhand way.

“Well, that’s handy,” I replied.

After a while he and baby and I wandered to the top of the hill. It must be nice, being a baby. All you have to do is point to a little bike, look up, and say “Ma!” and you get gently rolled all around the yard, with your little feet resting on the frame. Rough life.

After a while I saw J twirling under the trees. “Where’s Canoe?” I asked.

“Oh … he blew away,” he replied.

“What!? You can’t just let your baby blow away!” I made as if to “catch” the imaginary blowing-away baby, but J objected strenuously to this. I objected myself, saying that he wasn’t being much of a father.

We’ve been watching Bugs Bunny and other Loony Tunes lately, and one of the episodes introduced the boys to the term “poop deck.” To their glee, this provides a loophole to be exploited in the face of the household prohibition on potty language. I ignore their frequent and gleeful references to poop decks. Things like this make me long wistfully for a child rearing handbook. But, all will come out all right in the wash, I do firmly believe.

Windy night

Last night the winds chased each other round and round the house throughout the night. I was up long past midnight, listening. I felt like a little creature hidden in a fastness, listening to the winds playing.

I wasn’t afraid  – I had been earlier, as darkness fell and the winds rose, connecting the outer conditions to a state of darkness my mind had fallen into in the evening. But I prayed. And I jumped out of bed and went downstairs and had two digestive biscuits, then went back to bed and read a bit from a novel.  And I then I felt better. I couldn’t sleep but I was glad because I got to hear the winds.