Reclaiming Car Space

When the designers sat down to reshape our neighborhood so many years ago, I think they must have forgotten certain details of human nature. Turns out that if you build a oval park and completely surround it with roads, sooner or later drivers will think it looks a lot like a race track and drive accordingly. This is especially problematic when there’s a park in the middle, with a porous border leaking kids chasing runaway balls. Somehow we got lucky. Not only has no one been hit near our Central Park (although there have been close calls), but there are …

Where do we go now?

It seems quiet here today. Caitlyn’s FIRST Lego League team had a field trip to Highline’s Marine Science and Technology Center, and even the kids seemed subdued, somewhat surprising for a handful of geeky 12 year olds. We parents carried on, shellshocked, exhausted, grieving. I expect there will be many, many conversations to come, but everything I could think of to say to people today sounds like empty platitudes in my head, so there were many moments of just looking at each other. “Yeah…” one of us says. “Yeah,” the other one responds. Shock. Anger. Denial. Depression. Bargaining/Compromise. Adaptation. This …

Playing with Other People’s Toys

Recently, Caitlyn got a weekend with her grandparents and met her grandmother’s Saori loom. Sharing the results of her explorations was the very first thing she wanted to do when we arrived on Sunday evening to collect her. Then, because she was *that* excited, she insisted that I meet the loom as well. I may have spent the rest of the evening weaving. I had a small lap loom when I was a kid, and I remember generally liking weaving with it. I didn’t really pursue it beyond that, never really figuring out what to do besides repetitive stripes or …

Kids Art Week Wrapup

It took us more than the prescribed week, but Caitlyn and I did finish Carla Sonheim’s Kids Art Week video lesson series. Here’s a sampling of my favorites of our results: I painted this cross-eyed owl in the style of Jean Dubuffet. The process used salt as a resist with the watercolor, something I’d read about yet never tried (not really surprising since the amount of watercolor I do is pretty much zero). I really like the resulting texture! The black is an acrylic over the watercolor, something I doubt I would have thought to do on my own (mixing …

Apple Processing Day

Our backyard apple tree produced 14 pounds of usable fruit this year. It took two of us, with the ladder and some careful contortioning, to harvest nearly all of it. I don’t do anything to protect the fruit from the rest of Nature, no spraying and no little fruit socks. (I bought a package of fruit socks one year, and the process of getting one sock on one apple while I was still standing on the ground was challenging enough that I’ve never been inspired to try to do it from the top of a ladder.) The resulting fruit is …

Kids Art Week, Day 1

Caitlyn and I are following along with Carla Sonheim‘s 2016 installment of Kids Art Week. Five days of free how-to art project posts with each project inspired by the work of a famous artist. Caitlyn’s a good artist already, having produced some nicely drawn dragons last December. I like the idea of making more art myself, but I find myself frequently stymied by the blank page. One would think I’d have some clue how to handle that since I write a fair bit. Maybe it’s that I can call the writing “journaling” and string together free-association thoughts until there’s something …