Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Jenny,

We went to the market today, looking for apples.  On the way, Ellen and I walked over a bridge, and Ellen, peering down into the river below, noticed the ducks.  She wanted to stay and watch them; I wanted to hurry along.  Thinking back on it now, I wish I would have stopped for an extra moment instead of worrying about the bread lady running out of our favorite bread.


It took me a long time to get the produce and groceries unpacked after we arrived back home.  It was an unbelievably balmy 73 degrees and I didn't want to stay in the house for more than a minute.  I cleaned out garden beds until I couldn't put off making dinner any longer.  Then I brought in a bunch of miscellaneous bits of veggies from my clean up: a hand full of scallions; a couple of carrots whose tops got pulled off by little hands weeks ago but whose bottoms were left in the ground; mache leaves that somehow survived a summer of heat; cilantro; tiny red peppers; a remaining few broccoli florets; and one little white onion found hiding underneath the brussel sprouts.  Add rice, beans, and leftover corn muffins—and that was dinner.  Maybe one of our last 'fresh from the garden' meals of the year.

While I made dinner, Amabel worked on a story that she started yesterday called "The Spooky Ghost."  Of course I love that she is sitting there creating a story—completely of her own volition.  But I'm not sure how I feel about the invented spelling that is (apparently) being promoted at school.  Actually, I do know how I feel about it: I don't like it; it bothers me; and I have to resist the urge to correct every other word on that page.  Do you have an opinion on invented spelling?  Can you point me to a good resource, so I can read the rationale behind it (or the argument against it, for that matter)?    

"The Spooky Ghost"

After dinner we dove into our new stack of library books.

Library Books

Last spring I discovered that I could order any book through the Michigan electronic library system and have it delivered to our tiny local library just down the road.  The thrill of this has not worn off (and I hope I don't get a call from the library telling me that I've over-used my new found library privileges!).  A handful of books in this stack were suggested by Annie of alphabet glue (which I'm sure you remember me talking about).  I share her taste in books, and so it's a wonderful thing to be able to consult her reading lists and trust that we'll be in for a treat when the books arrive!

I can't believe I'd never read Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip before tonight.  Do you know this story by Elsa Beskow?  Her books are some of my favorites, but I'd never seen this particular one.  Without giving too much away—my girls burst into giggles when the two little acorn children tramped off through the woods to deliver a cart load of freshly washed troll beards.  Troll beards?!  The three of us had a good laugh together before tucking in for the night.  And Ellen asked me to turn the light back on for a moment, as she usually does, to see everything in the room one more time before falling asleep. 

(I'm experimenting with a new writing format here: for the next few months I'm going to write my posts as letters.  My hope is that this will help me de-formalize my blogging voice.  I'm directing this to one person as an exercise in writing, but my posts are intended for all of you!)

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