Field Trip: California, Coast, and Cousins

Welcome to March! I’ve got little daffodils blooming in the backyard to remind us that it’s not going to be cold and gray forever. It can rain some more, though. I’d feel better heading into summer with more snow in the mountains first. Back at the beginning of February, to help my grandmother celebrate her 90th birthday, we took a week off from the chill of Seattle and trekked to California. We had a lovely birthday dinner with family, and Caitlyn got to spend time with her cousins, whom we don’t see nearly often enough. The adults managed to pry …

Cover Girl

Sometime last year I received an email from Capstone Press inquiring about a photograph on my site. I’d completely forgotten about the whole exchange. Last week, a box appeared on our porch. You can’t tell that’s my girl standing in for the actual Sarah Gillespie, but there she is, wearing the “olden times” Halloween outfit I made 3 years ago. Can I gloat just a little? The book is part of a new First-Person Histories series that uses diaries of real kids (approximately ages 10 to 16 or so) to make American history more than endless names and dates. In …

Field Trip: Rockridge Orchards

Farmer Wade of Rockridge Orchards has been a fixture at the Columbia City Farmers’ Market ever since we started being market regulars; he likes to say he’s known Caitlyn since before she was born (which could be true since he appears at other markets in Seattle which we might have visited prior to Caitlyn’s arrival – I don’t remember). Caitlyn calls him “my favorite farmer”. Back before the economy declined and budgets were cut indiscriminately, there was a King County Harvest Festival. We meant to visit other farms, but we spent the whole day at Rockridge. Caitlyn was about 2. …

Costume Evolution

Used to be, I wouldn’t ask Caitlyn what she wanted to be for Halloween, I just put bunny ears on her. In more recent years, we’d have conversations, usually in late summer, about costume options (although I’m fairly certain she didn’t request the fairy princess costume, I just wanted to make it), settling on a tiger or a pioneer girl. Last year’s FireCat was a collaboration. This year, it was all Caitlyn. She started planning back in early September. Her dragon costume went through a lot of mental permutations before taking shape, with big black wings (from her dress up …

The Next Big Thing

Growing up, I didn’t like school much. Which is too bad, I suppose, since I was so good at it. The academic part, I mean. (When I received a “B” in college, I believe the general response was, “Thank the Lord! She’s human!”) It was dull and slow most of the time; I read novels during spelling tests, I invented extra layers to projects to make them interesting and challenging, I demanded extreme levels of perfection of myself (a habit that’s not serving me so well in the rest of life). I spent a lot of time hanging around my …

Tango with the White Cat

Back at the beginning of June (yesterday, right?) Caitlyn’s participated in Spectrum‘s All-School Demonstration performance. Her Ballet 1 class danced to tango music. All the other pictures have other kids in them, so you’ll have to enjoy just this one. Sadly you can’t see the sequins all over the front of her leotard, the detail she loved best about the performance. After her class, in the weeks leading up to the performance, this was the detail she’d talk about the most: the sparkly red leotards, the shiny red satin shirt for the one boy in the class, the red flower …