Snowy Day Brain Dump

Grate.

I’ve stalled out on blogging recently. I’ve got a backlog of learning notes posts going back to December. And some reading posts too. And a bunch of half-baked drafts about books and such. And I was sick and Ben was sick. And now we are both better and more than just better, our new insurance kicked in and we can now afford preventative inhalers and boy has it made our quality of life so much better. Both of us have so much energy it’s ridiculous. Today I took a long walk in the snow and I didn’t have any problem breathing in the cold. It was amazing.

So yeah, I want to get back into the groove of more frequent blogging. I also do want to catch up on my backlog of learning notes because it does make me happy to post those little updates with pictures of what we did. I like the record and I hate it when it has gaps here in my virtual file cabinet memory space. I mean some gaps are inevitable because I’m terrible at actually remembering to write something every day and even when I do I forget lots of things. But a partial record is still better than no record at all. I want to get back, but maybe tackling the backlog isn’t the best way to do that. I’m going to try to do some off the cuff kinds of posts to get back into the habit of writing… and then see what happens with posting older stuff.

Anyway this week I feel like I’ve got a sudden burst of something. Yesterday I woke up earlier than I have in a while and Ben was already sitting at the table doing his work. He made some tea for me and for himself, made coffee for Bella, got breakfast for Anthony and Lucy… He was on a roll. And he got everyone else going too. He cleared off his school shelf and threw away old papers and made everything tidy. And then Lucy and Anthony and Sophie all followed his example. Today he and Sophie both hit the books early. I got an early start to the day because I wanted beef stew for dinner to simmer for a long time. So I got bread in the oven and stew on the stove by 11. Which considering all the interruptions wasn’t so bad. Bella and Sophie got more work done than they have in a long time. And we had early stories and then because dinner was already cooking I was able to take a walk in the snow with Bella and Anthony.

I haven’t made multigrain bread in a long time. I mixed this batch up last night and then stored it in the fridge overnight. It was dense and hearty, the perfect accompaniment for stew.

Bread sliced with the beef stew that simmered for 5 hours.

What’s beef stew without stout?

We’ve all rediscovered watercolor and the kids have been having so much fun. Today I taught Ben and Anthony how to do spatter paints and they made a glorious Jackson Pollock mess.

Ben’s spatter painting.

Ben’s spatter painting.

I think I mentioned before in my sketchbook post that I got a new set of fancy watercolors. That has made all the difference. Now I’m wanting to paint all the time and seeing ideas for paintings. This week it was in a photograph I saw on Facebook.

A friend shared this photo on Facebook, the photographer said it was somewhere in France, but was rather cagy about where exactly.

And then while I was looking at the photo I found myself plotting how to do it in water color. So I did. I drew it one day and painted everything but the vines the ext day. Then I did the vines today. I’m really pleased with how it came out.

Ben and Sophie were both challenged at scouts to do three chores a day. And boy have they and it’s mode a lot of difference too. They’re doing dishes and laundry and sweeping the floor and keeping the shoes tidy. And in general things are messy but much less messy than they used to be. And I’ve now got kids who can and do vacuum and dust and really help with the housekeeping.

Things go in cycles. Life is full of seasons: a season of drawing and one of painting and one in which art languishes. A season of poetry, a season of Shakespeare, a season of writing and a season when writing is fallow. I know I’ll always come back to the things I love, even if there are long times in between. There isn’t time enough for everything.

So here we are, blog entry as slice of life, random brain dump at the end of the day. I’ll throw a few pictures from our day…. resisting the urge to scrap this post. I’m just going to hit Publish.

Bella and Anthony examine a manhole cover

snow on the car window. I love how it looks like a sky full of puffy clouds.

Yew hedge in the snow.

I love this old tree. And the clumps of grass peeking out of the snow.

8 Responses to Snowy Day Brain Dump

  1. Patricia Yandell February 13, 2019 at 7:06 am #

    So lovely to have you back. Did wonder if you were all alright.

  2. Jenny February 13, 2019 at 8:34 am #

    Publish! Hurray!

  3. MargoB February 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

    That was fun to read; thanks for posting a ‘brain dump’, Melanie! 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli February 14, 2019 at 11:11 pm #

      Thanks, Margo. I’m glad it was interesting to someone else.

  4. Kate in Virginia February 20, 2019 at 11:22 am #

    Your painting is lovely! Thanks for the reminders about the seasons of life, just what I needed today to remind me toward patience. Wonderful all around, thank you for sharing.

    • Melanie Bettinelli February 20, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

      Thank you, Kate. I need to remind myself frequently that seasons come and go. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment. Best of luck to you.

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