Latest Entries »

How to Capture a UFO



Bug prepares for Winter…DSC_0035

Evelyn and Tina made these notecards – each featuring one of the barn squares for the Quilt Barn Project.  They’re now on display on our sideboard.  🙂

A light unto the darkness

I love October – our paper is focusing on local history, one of my favorite topics, and it’s also time for fall planting, second only to spring planting!  Work aside, we’re decorating the house for fall and looking forward to three months of family gatherings for birthdays, holidays and fun.  

One of my favorite things as a child was coming home from school to find our apartment decorated for some upcoming holiday.  The warmth of the decorations warded off the impending cold of winter and made the apartment all comfy-cozy.  It’s an absolute joy watching the girls come home from school to discover pumpkins and mums and holiday lights, oh my!  

The wind is howling this morning and rain is splattering against the window panes, but tucked inside this cozy parlor, I am reminiscential and awash with warm-fuzzies; those feelings stirred through generations of traditions designed to keep alive the light within even as the days grow shorter and the cold air hovers low outside.    

What I meant to say had nothing to do with holidays, or festive decorations and yet, I was distracted completely by the stark contrast of grey skies and the careful turning of leaves to this brightly lit and cheery room and reminded of that saying – Do not complain of darkness; it is what helps us to see and understand light:

Go a light unto the darkness and curse it not.  

(Neale Donald Walsch) 

Decorating for Halloween!

Our favorite holiday is coming up!  Halloween!  


Pumpkins, corn mazes and cocoa Oh my!

We are nearly finished filming the Quilt Barns Project.  Yesterday went well – better than expected, as sunlight melted away the gloomy low-hanging clouds and spilled a happy glow over the barn walls.  There’s something wonderful about those old barns – the solid frames, the names and dates carved into rafters, or spelled out in cement.  They are an old grandparent sharing stories of a quieter time, still engaged in the art of quiet observation.  

And I feel a little inkling of pride knowing we have contributed to the history of these magnificent structures.  Our names may not appear on the squares, but some part of us is poured into every line, the shared story of our collective history as a community.  We are so fortunate to live in such a place as this.

Old friends

When I saw Brian for the first time in almost 12 years, we defied time.  Completely kicked it to the curb.  If you’d ever wondered whether someone is a real friend; spend some time away from them and see what it’s like when you reunite.  When seeing them again doesn’t miss a beat, you know you’re in good company.

Yesterday, we drove up to Central Lake to visit Bill’s grave.  Brian had been away when Bill died and had been unable to attend the funeral or memorial, so the sight of the grave brought with it some shock that this whole nightmare of losing Bill is real.  

For a moment we sat beside the stone studying Bill’s name.  I fought that feeling of expectation that Bill, at any moment, would step out from behind some tree to chide Brian about something, or to welcome his old friend with a monstrous hug, but only a gentle wind stirred the wind-chimes hanging beside the grave.  

And then began, as so often does in our natural design to reconstruct our loved ones through story, a conversation that unfolded bringing to life the wonderful moments we had shared with our friend.  The regrets healed over by laughter; our hurt eased in recalling Bill’s ability to love with a capacity greater than anything we had ever known.  

And we slowly realized in the course of our time at the gravesite, that the pain we feel isn’t there to drag us under; it’s there to spur us to experience our lives, to learn from Bill; to love in our greatest capacity; to be spontaneous in our endeavors; to recall the past, but not to let our past consume us, instead forwarding those memories and creating memories anew.  

In that sense, Bill was there with us, beside us in time, alive and well in our every molecule of recollection, in our every motion forward.

Lady in White

When I was a kid, Lady in White was one of my favorite scary movies, but as of last night, I had forgotten how scary…

I thought it would be fun to have a movie night for the girls during the week when we’re normally running around playing catch up from the day before.  We made popcorn and started the movie well before bedtime.  Dang, that film has some creepy parts!  The girls were terrified and none to happy with their mother’s appreciation for cult horror.  I’ll probably not be allowed to pick the next movie.  

Apart from the corny 80s special effects (with which I’m still enamored), it’s a good ghost story for kids 10 and up.

Folk it!

There were wind chimes in the window, bells inside the clock,
an organ in the corner, tunes in the music box.
We sang while we were cooking, or working in the yard,
we sang although our lives were really hard.

There was music in my mother’s house,
there was music all around,
there was music in my mother’s house,
and my heart still feels full with the sound.

It took me a while to realize this whole guinea pig craze hasn’t necessarily been about the girls having a pet.  I think having Fritter-bit around has been an opportunity for me to mother something while the girls are away at school.  

The house is so quiet after they leave in the morning and the stillness is something I am yet unaccustomed to.  The pinny-gig is a diversion – something for which I have a responsibility to while my motherly instincts are being diverted into other areas of my life.  

So, I began thinking of ways to bring the family together in the afternoons – something that would tie in all the English and math and science, all the while, helping the girls transition into a more relaxed atmosphere at home.  A way for me to still be their teacher, without being teacher-centered.  A way for me to mother them without smothering them.  

And that’s when I began humming “There is music” and thought of the beautiful weekend we spent with family playing and singing and drumming.  Not one of them could read music apart from Erick and me, but they all played from the heart and when we were all together, it was like no time had passed and we did our catching up in the strummed rhythms of age-old-reliable chords and choruses.  And in a way, it was our way of celebrating the togetherness of the family.

So, why not provide the same for our girls?  We play already, but why not learn some of the old folk tunes together – to teach the basic chords and play off of them.  Teaching the way our elders taught us – through playing along, through listening, through observation.  

Folk music is defined as “the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community.”    At a time when we have just experienced a great loss with Grandma’s passing and artifacts from her life are being passed down to generations spread out all over the country – a dispersion, so to speak, of identity – we can reunite with the songs of our ancestors and celebrate the sorrows and the joys of this experience we call life.  

Not only does the music allow us the relief of singing about our feelings, but we are also united by the common threads each song, far older than anyone alive today, echos back.  

Those days come back so clearly, although I’m far away.
She gave me the kind of gift I love to give away.
And when my mother died, and she’d sung her last song,
we sat in the living room singing all night long.
Singing la la la la la
Singing the front porch songs, singing the old torch songs,
singing the hymns to send her home.

There was music in my mother’s house,
there was music all around,
there was music in my mother’s house,
and my heart still feels full with the sound.

Whew!  SO much going on in the lives of the Tengelitsch family.  The girls began school the same day we celebrated Grandma’s memorial.  We adopted a new guinea pig and surprised the girls yesterday.  This little one has been named officially:  Fuzz-ball Fritter-bit and he’s adorable.  Very sweet, like Wilbur, but a little more active.  He has great big ears, so I’m wondering if he’ll grow into them.  🙂

The girls are doing well in school, though it’s really challenging to be away from them all day.  They’re loving it, however, and some friends of ours have two children enrolled in the same school, so that helps.  Today is the school picnic and dedication, so we’ll be there for a good third of the day, which will be fun. 

Erick’s entire family was up visiting from all over the US and being a musical bunch, we had a shindig every night.  I loved it, though wish the gathering could have been under happier circumstances.  We still have family coming this week and next week, we’ll be welcoming a friend from KY to stay for the weekend.  He’s also a musician.  

Blueberry shipment is on its way – we’ll be planting a few different varieties of mid- and late-season berries.  I’m really looking forward to next season when we can harvest at least some of what we’re planting.  Yum.

That’s all for now.  Work to do and need to get ready for the picnic.  

Be well, Sam

Protected: guns

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: