Friday, October 31, 2014


Last night our Girl Scout friends and siblings gathered at a nearby rope challenge course and spent three hours up in the trees climbing, swinging, balancing, zipping, and soaring.  The night before, I thought the kids might not really want to go up.  But we got there with all their friends and pretty soon they were harnessed up and swinging through the trees.  Sure, there were squeals and screams--especially when they thought they spotted a raccoon--but everybody had a good time.  Three hours of adventure, in the chilly fall air, lit by twinkling fairy lights and the bonfire around which all the adults clustered.  When they came down for a bit, they grabbed a picnic dinner--Mama brought us some lovely soups and stayed to watch--and went back up, taking different courses.  At the end, they all relived their accomplishments over s'mores.  Repeatedly, Bud and Sis agreed that it was one of the most wonderful days of their lives.  (And all we parents agreed it was such a skill builder and confidence booster!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Tour season is almost done.  One more tour; one more school visit (with two lectures.)  Then it's November and we're done with tours til almost May.  Whew.  I'm ready.  With tours in May, then wrapping up school in June, summer and summer camp, going back to school, getting ready for tours, and then tours in October, the time from May to October is a whirlwind.  Makes November to April, even with all the holidays and snowy weather so much easier.

Less than 48 hours . . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


After seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, about Jacob, Joseph, and happenings in Genesis, etc., Bud asked, "So, Mom, is there a book?"


After hearing the song, "All about the Bass," about the size of your booty, that does nonetheless compare bass to treble albeit metaphorically, Bud said, "So, what instrument does the singer play?"

 'Cos, you know, she's talking about treble clef and bass clef.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Do You Hear the Penguins Sing?

It has been a remarkable summer for the Penguin and Bunny Theater Troupe.  They have presented, under the direction of Bud, both The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, with a very short run of The Battle of the Penguins and Bunnies and selections from Wicked.    The performances take place in our living room, in front of the blue backdrop of Bud's comforter.  For Les Miz, Bud was especially creative with the sets, utilizing small wooden chairs in different positions for the barricade, bridge, sewers, and "Master of the House" tavern. The boat on the lake from Phantom, in "Music of the Night" (my favorite scene), was used here as the death cart.  (The mirror scene in Phantom was also great.)   Mama loved Smeak as the flag bearer in "One Day More," while I loved the little groundhog as Eponine.  Tango, who appeared as the Phantom, is Valjean here.  We look forward to the next production, though there do not seem to be plans in the works for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The Penguin and Bunny Theater Troupe

Marius and Cosette sing a duet, with Eponine below

"One Day More," with Smeak waving the red flag

Our Trip Down the Rabbit Hole

I love the fall--the colors, the temperatures, the activities, the foods.  And this weekend we went on one of our favorite fall outings:  a visit to the Fairy Houses of the Florence Griswold museum followed by lunch at PizzaWorks, with its good food (great marinara!  inventive pizzas!  that scrumptious Derby pie!) and model trains.  And this time, Ma and Gong joined us.

The faerie house theme was Alice in Wonderland, Steampunk'd.  So, the familiar White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, and Queen of Hearts, plus gears, gogs, keys, watches, brass, and leather.  It was a beautiful fall day, though a tad on the windy side there along the river.  Still, we had a wonderful time.

I think this was Mama's favorite--the Rabbit Hole re-envisioned as a broken pipe.

The "Eat Me" cake, in the beginning of the story.

I always like the doors and window, these in my favorite installation place under the big tree.

School children made a hundred or more small, ceramic tea party tables which wound between, and through, the trees.

You could actually peer inside this one, to see a garden of metal flowers, all lit by a solar light.  This was the kids' favorite.

A view through the barn doors as we enjoyed cider, hot chocolate, chips, and brownies.