Tuesday, October 13, 2009

deeper than all roses


(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

— e. e. cummings

Saturday, October 10, 2009

berry-flavoured fire

Firstly, this post is completely full of pictures.
Secondly, none of them are of high quality. This is due to both my lack of skill and the fact that I used a phone camera the whole time. You don't think I'm crazy enough to take Jem (my camera, by the way) to beach, surrounded by sand-throwing wind? Nope. I wouldn't.

Oh yeah, I went to the beach.
That's the point of this post, and I suppose I gave that away already.

I almost caught an in-the-air shot! With a phone camera!
Melody, jumping for joy because her little sandcastle is complete. Way in the background, Beth walks in the freezing cold water.

I think I'll continue along this line of thought and bring out the rest of the sibling photos here!

Caleb (now 6 months) is not amused. ("No pictures please," he told me.)

It was about 65 degrees at the beach (maybe it got warmer, I'm not entirely sure), so Caleb gets to wear a silly hoodie. Is that how you spell it? Hoodie?
Anyway.

Because of Josh's cast, he couldn't really get in the water. Not that he would've really wanted to anyway; as mentioned earlier, the water was way too cold for swimming. I have a way to be sure about that, too: you know those little rubber ducks you get at the baby store (not the store from which you buy babies, the store from which you buy baby supplies (which is only somewhat different from office supplies))? The ones that turn a different colour, like red, when the bathwater is too hot? I have one of those, except the opposite.

Also, I'm lying. But that doesn't make the water any warmer.

So anyway, we stuck together and explored the dunes, and generally had a lot of fun.

Shadow pictures! I love those.
No, I don't have something wrong with my side, I'm just wearing a loose jacket that blew around in the wind.

Jeremiah lets me fly his awesome kite pretty much whenever I want to, so he's pretty cool. Today we were able to fly it for quite some time, until the wind went and took a nap. IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FLYING SESSION. We need to get regulations on these things, and make the wind fill out a form and then wait for approval. That makes the most logical sense, I think.
Please form an orderly queue and the Department of Magic will address your inquiries as soon as it gets the health care issues solved.

So, it's rained for the past several days, and all the ground and sand was wet. (Yes, I realize we were at the beach. I mean that the ground that's AWAY from the water, the dunes and such, were also wet.)
It's sorta tradition for us to build a fire while we're there and roast marshmallows over it, and it's also sorta tradition for us to forget any sort of fire-making tools until five minutes before we want the fire. Seriously, every time we're at the beach, we all say to each other, "We really need to remember to bring stuff for a proper fire next time" (except I don't think we say "proper"), and then we never do.

SO. The kids rummage around the truck for napkins, papers we don't need (I think we've sacrificed some school papers, at one time), etc, while me and the older kids go find driftwood from the dunes. Sometimes it's really easy, other times, like today, it's almost impossible. Not only did the driftwood seem to have taken a vacation on this particular day, but the wood that we did find was soaked!
Did I mention it's stormed for the past several days?

But we shall not be daunted! we all shouted (in our heads, I'm sure), and brought the wet-ish driftwood anyway. In the truck, we found some things that would aid our mission, leaving us with the following items to build a fire:

wet driftwood
a cardboard box
clean napkins
pizza-sauce napkins
tissue
a lighter
(and, the secret ingredient):
HAND SANITIZER

Now, we had been worried that even the napkins and cardboard box for kindling wouldn't be enough to get the driftwood hot enough to burn, but the hand sanitizer saved the day.
In case you're wondering, hand sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol. Ours happened to also be berry-flavoured.

We had a berry-flavoured fire.

Anyway, it worked; we built a fire and had our marshmallows (have I mentioned marshmallow is my favourite word? It is.)

Here Melody is trying to see how long it takes for her marshmallow to catch on fire.

Josiah, ecstatic about his first marshmallow of the day! At least, the first marshmallow he can eat, as the other ones all landed in the sand.

So that's all. After the marshmallows, we wrote the fire a cease/desist order (which it promptly ate) and packed up, leaving the beautiful beach behind us.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

twilight, fair bright

(twilight, fair bright on Flickr)

Tuesday afternoon, my family and I visited the county fair. Since we're out in Country Land, the usual livestock show probably enjoyed a large crowd, as well as the 3H Club and the quilters and pie-makers. We were not part of that crowd, so I wouldn't actually know.

See, we only go to the fair for one reason: the carnival rides.
Who cares about first place pigs or blue ribbon apple pies? Not me. But the loud, dazzlingly bright carnival, complete with smells of fake-butter popcorn and funnel cakes mingling with generator grease - that's the life for me.

Traditionally, the carousel is the first ride we go on. Yelling at each other over the blaring stereos and hundreds of other voices, atop horses or llamas or whatever animal that is, we make our plans to knock out most - if not all - of the carnival rides.
Complain about which rides are missing this year.
Argue about who gets to ride with whom.
Decide which ones are mandatory and which are not.
Fight about which to go on first, which to go on more than once.
There is a method to our madness.

Mama buys us candy apples; baby Caleb steals a bite.

The Ring of Fire, the Himalayan, some gravity one (we were smashed against the walls as the ride spun), all gifting us with adrenaline rushes. As the sun finally set, I held on to children's hands and shirts and arms (whichever was convenient at the time).

The older kids and I walked along the game-and-prize booths, trying to figure out the various ploys the fastest. The spinning wheel never lands on red, the rope ladder is rigged, the darts are bent. A cage full of iguanas, some of them dead, sits on the counter of a ring-toss game.
"Do you want to try to win an iguana, kids?" a gruff-voiced woman asks.
"No thanks," I have to reply, while my siblings pull my hands and whisper that they want an iguana, can they have an iguana?

Finally it's time to leave; our mom, ever the germophobe, gives us hand sanitizer. Another tradition: funnel cake as we leave the park. We eat it as we walk back to the truck, leaving the lights and noise behind, as powdered sugar sticks to fingers and chins.

Goodbye, fair, until next time.

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.

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