7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #114: Featuring Mother’s Day Photography and a Wee Bit of Daniel Baxter’s Art

h1 May 10th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

“Walking to the honey house, I concentrated on my feet touching down on the hard-caked dirt in the driveway, the exposed tree roots, fresh-watered grass, how the earth felt beneath me, solid, alive, ancient, right there every time my foot came down. There and there and there, always there. The things a mother should be.”

Jules: Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks on this Mother’s Day 2009! In honor of the special day, we’ve got some Mother’s Day photography and a bit of art. (That quote above comes from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, and I just wanted to share it. It’s my favorite thought-on-mamahood ever.)

Pictured above is a Siberian mother and child, as photographed by Maria Stenzel. This comes from National Geographic’s Mothers & Children, released in March of this year, a collection of both black-and-white and color photographs, celebrating the bond between mothers and children all over the world and through different time periods in history — and celebrating them all in “Real Life,” showing those “unscripted, unrehearsed moments between mother and child…” I’ve got a copy of the book—which features an introduction by Lynne Perri, journalist-in-residence at American University, and thoughts from Craig Wilson, who has been a feature writer at USA Today’s “The Final Word” for the past twelve years. And it’s a beautiful book, showing women—from the North, the South, the East, and the West—at home, at work, and at play with their children.

You know how I am a fan of letting illustrators send me as much art as they want for 7-Imp interviews, since I think their art speaks volumes? Well, I think the photographs in this book capture well the mother-and-child bond, perhaps even better than words could, and that the photographs say all that need to be said.

Rostock, Germany (photo by Gordon Gahan)

Rajasthan, India (photo by Jodi Cobb)

Valemount, British Columbia (photo by Chris Johns)

I’ve also got a wee bit of art from Mama’s Kiss by Jane Yolen and with illustrations by Daniel Baxter. This was released last October by Handprint Books, but when I saw it just recently, I went begging at Chronicle’s door to see if I could share a bit of art from it on Mother’s Day. When I try to post the spread in its entirety, it’s a bit too small to see, so this is a cutting from it. But click on the image itself to see the entire spread enlarged. This title’s all about a kiss from Mama (“Mama smiles and throws me kisses / Most land right, but one kiss misses”) that sails and flies and spins (and smacks the cat) and bumps about ’til it gets stuck in some honey. Bear gets some on his paw, transfers it to his missus, the baby bear grabs it, and…well, then we get to this spread:

This one’s a fun one for the preschool crowd, and check out more of Daniel’s art here. You can see that his colorful, light-as-air art was a perfect fit for this title about LURV, sweet LURV from Mama, and blowing kisses, which—if you’ve been around children lately—you know they find hysterical and very fun.

Happy Mother’s Day—and Happy Sunday—to all . . .

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, our 7 Kicks posts are our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. So, let’s kick it up. Absolutely anyone is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Hey! I have one kick, but it’s big. My mother-in-law is here! After a 7-hour delay in Detroit, she finally made it for her first ever visit to our current home. We’ve got all kinds of fun stuff planned for the next few days. And the apartment is cleaner than it has been in the past two years, which makes me want to have a party or something once she goes home.

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Well, first I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. I am such a SERIOUS sap on Mother’s Day, because I see motherhood—as corny as this sounds—as the most complex and sublime challenge thus far of my life, and I try so hard to get it right. I want so very badly to get it right. I’m such a sap that my five-year-old handed me a piece of art she made at her Parents’ Day Out program that had this typed-up poem glued to it about us being “hand in hand, forever together,” and I started getting teary-eyed right in front of her teacher. Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to all mamas out there, and I hope each of you can think of your own mother with fondness today and, if so, that she’s still around for you to hug. Oh, and check this link out.

My kicks from this week:

1). Well, Eisha’s sweet birthday post to me. And all the nice comments from everyone, which continued to make me happy way longer than just my day o’ birth. And still make me feel all bubbly inside. The best part about Eisha’s post, other than Barry serenading me, was when I went quickly into our blog’s admin page the night before to grab something, and I saw the draft of Eisha’s post, temporarily entitled something like, “Seriously, Jules, don’t even look at this post or I WILL CUT YOU.”

2). The chocolate birthday cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting my husband baked. He always asks me to pick what I want every year, and this year I wanted raspberry. He did good. Real good.

3). Reading Helen Oxenbury’s illustrated version of Alice to my girls.

4). My friend, Jill, who’s been coming and kickin’ with us lately, sent me lots of great music for my birthday. We met and bonded over our adoration for Sam P.’s music, so she sent some rare Sam stuff I didn’t have, but she also sent the best mixed CD I’ve heard in a while: LOUIS PRIMA (whose music always makes me very happy)! Nina Simone, who just wants some sugar in her bowl and she ain’t foolin’. Andrew Bird (who Eisha has raved about before, and now I’ve finally heard him). Benny Goodman! Cab Calloway! John Lennon! Shivaree! I could go on. The Louis Prima even had me up and dancing PRE-COFFEE one morning this week, people.

5). A very, very generous gift/assistance to our family from my mother-in-law.

6). Hearing “Hey Jack Kerouac” while waiting in line at a coffee shop. I had to just very subtly dance right there on the spot, while also trying not to look like a freak. 10,000 Maniac’s “In My Tribe” probably most takes me back to high school. (Maybe right after the Cowboy Junkies’ “Trinity Session.”) I’ve also been listening to a-ha’s “Hunting High and Low.” Ah, the late ’80s.

7). Watching Planet Earth with my girls. My five-year-old has wanted to watch repeatedly the part about ocean life, since she’s obsessed with Steve Jenkins’ Down Down Down. Budding marine biologist perhaps?

7½). Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which is worth seeing for the Barcelona setting alone and all the Spanish classical guitar.

* * * * * * *

Some announcements:

  • Do you all know that Alkelda’s shop is open for business, as of May 1st? Woot!
  • MotherReader’s having her Fourth Annual 48-Hour Book Challenge, yo. You can read more here.
  • Last, but far from least, check out the auction for author Bridget Zinn, an auction which regular-kicker and librarian and blogger Jone Rush MacCullough has worked very hard to organize. Bridget was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, which has spread to other parts of her body, so everyone’s banded together to help her pay for medical expenses. I’ve never met Bridget, but evidently she’s a lovely human who radiates awesome-ness, according to many of our regular kickers who have met her. Here’s the auction; many fabulous things have been donated. Also: We wish all the luck in the big wide world to Bridget.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

* * * * * * *

MOTHERS AND CHILDREN © 2009 National Geographic. Images used with permission of publisher. All rights reserved.

MAMA’S KISS © 2009 Jane Yolen, illustrations © 2009 Daniel Baxter. Published by Handprint Books, an imprint of Chronicle Books. Images used with permission of publisher. All rights reserved.

27 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #114: Featuring Mother’s Day Photography and a Wee Bit of Daniel Baxter’s Art”

  1. Happy Mother’s Day!

    This is a seriously lovely post! Those photographs are wonderful — my fave is the bathtub. Chocolate cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting? Have mercy! Have fun with your MIL, Eisha, in your sparkly clean apartment. The “I Will Cut You” note is hilarious.


    1. Eisha the Exterminator came to my rescue this week, suggesting Windex to deter the ants in my kitchen. Plus she even suggested a back up plan: baby powder! Is there no limit to this woman’s vast existential knowledge?

    2. Talked to my mom on the phone yesterday. She’s doing great for 83, and commented on how cold April was — in the 60’s.

    3. We have a bird’s nest on our front porch. Don’t know what kind of bird it is, though — small grey bird with white breast. She’s busy sitting on tiny eggs.

    4. My banbury cakes arrived from England! Haven’t tasted them yet. Amazing they’re all intact.

    5. Got some cool cookbooks — Robbin Gourley’s “Cakewalk,” and Jane Brocket’s “Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer.” Jane’s book features recipes based on children’s books. Can’t wait to dig into it.

    6. Received a very cool “hand” card with notes from the Danielson girls :). It’s definitely going in my Happy File, where I keep all kinds of notes and stuff I love to look at when I need a lift.

    7. Just listened to a bonus DVD that came with my new Dylan album, featuring one of the programs from his Theme Time Radio Hour on XM Satellite Radio. He features very eclectic, obscure songs, and seasons everything with cool quotes and commentary. He said, “I want to be your friend.” I officially lurv him even more (if that is even possible).

    Have a lovely MD and week, everyone. Jules, you are a very inspiring mom!!

  2. In no particular order. Actually, in the order that they occurred to me:

    1) The new Star Trek movie. As someone who never watched any of the series, I’m amazed at how much familiarity with the characters I already had, and how well the director put that familiarity to use. Much fun.

    2) I saw the first review for my first book — and they liked it!

    3) Dinner prepared last night by my brother-in-law, who put my familiarity with bacon to good use.

    4) Freshly downloaded albums by The Avett Brothers and Doris Duke.

    5) My five-year-old picking his name out of a long roster of his fellow students.

    6) Reading a freaky Ray Bradbury story aloud to my kids.

    7) A morning ahead of celebrating Mother’s Day by harvesting, weeding, and mulching our garden before it gets too blazing hot. Happy day, everybody!

  3. What a wonderful tribute to Mother’s Day. I hope all will have a fabulous one.
    Belated Bdaywishes, Jules. Eisha, I hope you having a wonderful time with your mother-in-law. Thank you for the shout out about the auction. It is my big kick this week. The response it amazing. There are many generous folks both with bidding and donations.
    My other kick was yesterday with dinner at my duaghter’s house, the grandgirls, the fabulous bbque. I also got to garden, go to a plant sale, and am taking a class today with my camera.
    Have a great week.

  4. Eisha, I hope you have a beautiful time with your mother-in-law. :o) I love the title of the draft you had for Jules’ birthday post!

    Jules, sounds like your birthday cake was awesome. Thank you for introducing me to “I want a little sugar in my bowl.” Happy Mother’s Day!!!

    Jama, cakes all the way from England – in excellent condition too?! Wow. I also have Jane Brocket’s book. :o)

    My latest big kicks:

    1. I was on vacation in my mom’s hometown, General Santos City. (It’s the southernmost city in the Philippines.) My cousin got married and the wedding turned into a big family reunion. There were some relatives I hadn’t seen in 15 years!!!!!!

    We all had sooo much fun. Several of the wedding guests were from the US. It was their first time in the Philippines and they say they all want to come back already. :o) They miss everyone and everything in the Philippines. Woot woot!

    I had such a good time with my family and with new friends… I broke down and cried to day I had to go back to Metro Manila…

    2. I’ve been celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month over at my blog. All my posts this month will have an Asian flavor. Wheee!

    3. And of course: my mommy!

  5. *the day I had to go back to Metro Manila…

  6. Hi, you all. Thanks for comin’ to kick. I’m popping in before I head off for a Mother’s Day breakfast.

    Jama, now, I did not know that about ants either. Thanks, E. I’m gonna try that. We have a problem right now, too…. I love finding birds’ nest around one’s home. Congrats, Jama. Keep an eye on them. I know you will. And eat some banbury cakes for me. Enjoy Dylan; thanks for the mama-compliment; and I’m so glad our card was a kick.

    Hi, Chris! My husband and I just last night were talking about trying to make it to the “Star Trek” movie. Congrats on the good review; PLEASE tell me what Bradbury story you read to your kids (I was talking just this week about “All Summer in a Day,” but I didn’t think to read it to my girls); and happy gardening.

    Jone, you plain and simple ROCK for all the work you’re putting into that auction. Glad you had a good happy fun family dinner.

    Tarie, how fabulous was that wedding! Man, it sounds great. I can see why you didn’t wanna leave. I’ll have to head over to your blog to see your post-age.

    Happy Sunday to all…

  7. Hello all,

    I’m so sleepy this a.m. from working so hard yesterday on getting my house ready for a friend’s visit at the end of this month, that I am hardly coherent, but here goes:

    1) Mother’s Day: Although I’m not a Mom myself, I think it must be the most rewarding, amazing, and difficult job in the whole world, and I am grateful to my Mother for all that she has done for me (and especially for just putting up with me in general). Happy Mother’s Day to all of you splendiferous Mom’s out there! I hope you bask in your wonderfulness!

    2) Jules’ B-day: Wish I could have been there to actually meet you and help you celebrate, my friend, but it was really fun sharing it from a distance. So glad you liked the tunes!

    3) Lunch with my friend Carolyn – so good to laugh and be in the company of someone who is simply kind and good to everyone.

    4) Settling a case on Tuesday after working really hard on it for over year, and my client seemed happy. Wish they were all this pleasant to resolve!

    My own Mom will be here today and we’re going to lunch, so I must go and try to wake up. Sorry to leave you with a quote by the same poet again, but Rilke always seems appropriate somehow:

    I want my conscience to be
    true before you;
    want to describe myself like a picture I observed
    for a long time, one close up,
    like a new word I learned and embraced,
    like the everday jug,
    like my mother’s face,
    like a ship that carried me along
    through the deadliest storm.
    ——from “I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone”

    Have a great week, everyone!

  8. Happy Mother’s Day, all you Kidlitosphere Moms. Gorgeous photos! Eisha, enjoy your visit with you MIL (and your clean apartment). Jules, I’m glad you’ve been cherished, for your birthday and for mother’s day. My kicks:

    1. Mheir and I went to the Rick Riordan signing at Kepler’s yesterday. It was a total madhouse (600+ people in one bookstore), and we had to wait in line for nearly an hour to get our books signed. But it was wonderful to see so many kids excited about books. When Rick announced that he has another book coming out early next year about Egyptian mythology, the kids let us this huge cheer.
    2. I’m happy that the 48 hour book challenge is scheduled, and that I have my weekend clear to participate.
    3. My Mom is now on Facebook, which is a little odd, but definitely cool.
    4. We’ve had a continued positive response to Booklights on PBS, for which I am grateful.

    And that’s all I can think of for this week. Happy Sunday!

  9. Happy Mom’s Day, to *everyone*. (Pretty much everybody has a reason to celebrate a day like this one, hmm?)

    Must say, my impression of Eisha has undergone a transformation recently. First there was the “The librarian is feeling stabby” thing a while back. Now here there’s the “I will cut you, Jules!” comment, and the image of her in some sort of heavy-duty exterminator’s garb (a la John Goodman in Arachnophobia), with a bottle of Windex in one hand a shaker full of baby powder in the other. She’s actually a bit scary, isn’t she?

    Jules: Another happy birthday wish! I’m so glad Jill has been plying you with that music (although I’m jealous ’cause I didn’t think of it first; I owe you a couple musical favors). Do you know you can get a sort of Prima-and-Goodman-together kick — in a song called “Sing, Sing, Sing”? (I posted about it a couple times a while back, before I’d first conned you into visiting the blawg, I think.) Big Band jazz just about always makes me happy.


    * Garlic-and-parsley-buttered corn on the cob, grilled.
    * Finding out that people you’ve never even met at work — in completely different departments — trust you completely for some fairly involved task, just based on what they’ve heard. (Although this always also freaks me out a little, truth be told.)
    * The Yorkie’s mystery, umm, digestive problems turning out to have been transient. (Bonus: it’s hilarious how our vet — always gentle and kindly — always worries how the dog seems depressed when she’s boarding there: she won’t eat, she won’t drink, she won’t sit up straight (ha! she won’t look for a job, either)… but she does a 180 as soon as we get her home or, heck, even in the car on the way there.)
    * Good books. This week: the one I just finished (an Artemis Fowl story); the one I just started (a non-fiction “life on the farm, again” sort of memoir); and pretty much everything which 7-Imp chooses, including the ones celebrated in today’s post. Love that Mama’s kiss rebounding off the bear’s nose!
    * Also on a Mom’s Day theme, this listing from what used to be Premiere Magazine of the 40 Best Movie Moms. I couldn’t have been happier with their #1 selection!
    * The film Memento, which we just re-watched last night and, I have to say, is NOT a good film to fall asleep halfway through, for a half-hour. I woke up very confused. But it was a kicky sort of confusion, if that makes sense.
    * Mom.

    Have a great week, everybody!

  10. Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Spring to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, and Happy Autumn to everyone in the Southern Hemisphere (though I’m sure the good folks at McMurdo Station are saying, “Autumn? What’s Autumn? There’s Winter, and then there’s the so-called “Summer”). Thanks so much for mentioning my store, Jules. The good news is that sales are going well. The thing is, now I have only 6 items in the shop! I need to make more dollies, post them at once so there are more dolls and yet still keep the joy of making each individual doll without getting into an assembly line mentality.

    Today is my daughter’s 6th birthday, and we’ve got friends coming over to celebrate, so we’re cleaning and scrubbing. I got toast and tea in bed this morning and my daughter helped make it. Yay! I’m glad to say that the little sunflower doll I made for Bridget’s auction is going for twice the initial value, and that makes me feel better for not having gotten together a set of elementals in time for the auction.


  11. I’m glad to hear about moms having a good Mother’s Day! 🙂

    My kicks:
    1. Getting stuff done.
    2. For instance, procuring mulch (with help!) and starting to weed/mulch the gardens.
    3. A couple days, I worked to that point where I could not work another minute. It felt kind of good.
    4. Seeing MC Lars with friends at the Lilac Fest Friday night. The weather was beautiful, beautiful.
    5. Finding fresh Swiss chard at the Public Market yesterday.
    6. STAR TREK!
    7. Baking bread and making beans and greens and turning on the fire today to combat not-quite-50-degrees and rainy day. Perfect!

  12. Jill, settling a case that took over a year? That’s great and must feel really good. Have fun with your mom and THANKS for that poem. It is included in the poetry link I put up there, and so I read it yesterday and loved it. Love love love it.

    Jen, that book signing sounds like it was a blast. Are you all getting lots of responses from non-bloggers over at Booklights? As in, from regular ol’, non-blogging parents? Hope so. And I assume so. Since you all rock and all that.

    John, thanks for the links. I look forward to reading the Mom one later, when it’s quiet, and I quickly scanned the Premiere one. Damn skippy to that “Juno” moment in which her mother spoke her mind to the “mouthy sonogram technician.” And oh my, I can’t imagine how VERY lost you were during “Memento” if you dozed off.

    Farida, happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! Woo hoo! Happy partying-down.

    Adrienne, as already mentioned: Man, I wanna see “Star Trek.” Baking bread. Mmm.

  13. Because Mother’s Day is not today in the UK, I managed to miss it in Australia! I blame my sisters for not warning me. Maybe I will send my mum over to this site to look at the beautiful pictures to make up for forgetting.

    Eisha, have a great time with your mother in law! And I totally get the feeling that you need to make the most of your tidy home while it lasts.

    Jules, you come across as an utterly wonderful mum. Happy mother’s day!

    My kicks:

    1. We’re home from a great trip to Scotland. Highlights included an early morning start at Loch Garten RSPB reserve that was rewarded by sightings of capercaillie, ospreys and red squirrels
    2. Orkney was as full of interesting historical sights as I had hoped. As well as the famous sites like Skara Brae, Ring of Brogdar and Maes Howe (Viking graffiti inscriptions!) I managed to undermine my self-assessment of myself as a rational person by getting the heebie jeebies while standing alone in a 5000 year old small stone tomb with a flickering torch. It wasn’t possible to run out (very small tunnel entrance that required crawling) but my exit was not leisurely!
    3. When our car door was ripped from my hand by the howling wind on Orkney (seriously, I thought I would get blown away at one stage!) and smacked into the car next to me, the car owner laughed and said worse things had happened to the car, and not to worry about it!
    4. Culinary highlights included yummy single malt whisky tasting and fresh seafood
    5. My potato plants have grown so much while I was away! I was wrong to give up on them.
    6. And while on the subject of not giving up on plants, the fuchsia I thought was killed by the cold winter has come back to life and has tiny flower buds all over it.
    7. I have an abundance of books at the moment, which always makes me feel happy!

    And I’ve just read you birthday post – great job, Eisha! And happy birthday Jules!

  14. Happy Mother’s Day to jules and eisha, our awesome hostesses!
    Happy Mother’s Day to ALL of regular Imps who are parents.

    Thanks for sharing the photographs and the art. I’d hand that little bear a tissue – Hey, he could call it a kiss-ue. 🙂

    eisha: Enjoy your visit with your mother-in-law.

    Jules’ daughters: Have fun traveling to Wonderland!

    Jama: Hello to the mama bird and her offspring. May they hatch properly and spread their wings.

    Chris: Ooh, which Bradbury story did you read?

    Jone: I plan to post about the auction at my blog. Please let me know if I neglect to include any pertinent information, advise me of updates, anything and everything.

    Tarie: Glad that you had such a wonderful reunion!

    Jill: I hope you enjoy your lunch with your mom, and that you catch up on your rest later! Congrats on the settlement. (Now I’m singing “Settlement” by David Poe. So good.)

    Jen: Oh my goodness, I bet you had a BLAST at the signing! I know how much you like his books. I’m excited to hear that he’s working on books based on Egyptian mythology. As you know, that’s my favorite ancient society.

    JES: That sounds tasty. I am a big fan of corn. Healthy vibes for your puppy.

    Farida: Congratulations on opening your shop. Happy birthday to your daughter!

    adrienne: I just ate Swiss chard for the first time (that I’m aware of) last week – It was part of a yummy vegetable kugel. Hurrah for accomplishments! Don’t overwork. Mmm, bread.

    My kicks for the week:
    1) Opening night for show #2
    2) Confirmation of show #3 (a one-night benefit, a staged reading taking place later this month)
    3) Week #5 (of 6 – we close next week) for show #1
    4) Photo shoot for show #1
    5) Making plans for next week
    6) Hoping
    7) Taking lunch breaks

  15. Jone: I posted here with text mostly from April’s blog + the site.

  16. Happy Mother’s Day!! Thanks for posting those beautiful photos – my personal favorite is the Rostock Mama with her newborn because I am a sucker for tiny brand new babies.
    Eisha – enjoy your mother-in-law’s visit. How nice to have her come for this special day too.
    Jules – that cake sounds yummy. Blaine is a master baker. I love the Helen Oxenbury version of Alice because her Alice looks just like my nieces.
    Tarie – family reunions are wonderful.
    Farida – Happy birthday to your daughter.
    Adrienne – I really want to see Star Trek, we never seem to make it to movies with two kids and no readily available babysitter.
    John – I had forgotten about Premiere magazine – I collected every edition of the British version. I used to be an avid film magazine reader, but not so much now.
    Little Willow – how do you have enough time (and energy) to do all this stuff – sounds exciting. Have you found the secret to making the days longer?
    My kicks this week:
    1 – Visiting with my in-laws and seeing firsthand how my mother-in-law is handling chemo with such grace and good humor. She is an inspiration.
    2 – I got my first piece of macaroni jewelery for Mother’s Day – a multi-colored penne necklace from Cy. I love it.
    3 – Listening to Fred and Cy recreate scenes from The Johnny Cash Show on their guitars: “Let’s do Eric Clapton. . . okay, now let’s do the Statler Brothers” (guess who runs the show?) It’s pretty funny.
    4 – Trying to figure out if Ruby will have curly hair, like me.
    5 – Registering Cy for kindergarten.
    5 – My parents arrive next weekend for a 4 week visit – WOO HOO – which means. . .
    6 – We leave for London in 5 weeks – YAY!!!

  17. Zoe: Sending strength to your mother-in-law. Aw to the first macaroni necklace! I wish I could make the days longer. I feel as though I could use my time more wisely than I do.

  18. Hey, y’all! Happy Sunday to everyone.

    Biggest kick? The kiddo’s homemade Mother’s Day card.

  19. Emmaco, it never fails that every time you kick with us, I learn something new. Are you doing this on purpose now? If so, I love it. This Week’s New Thing: capercaillie. Gotta go look that up. Your trip sounds great, especially the tomb-and-torch story. As for your pile o’ books, whatcha gonna read next?

    Little Willow, yes, I LOVE LOVE reading Alice to the girls, though we own and they love the Sabuda pop-up version. And o! so many shows at once. Rock it. Break a leg, as always.

    Zoe, glad to hear your mother-in-law is still doing well. I register Piper for kindergarten tomorrow, and I’ll probably cry then, too. And LONDON IN FIVE WEEKS! I’m woo’ing with you from middle TN. Will you come and share all the London kicks with us? P.S. I love kick #3. Wish I could hear and see that.

    Susan, hello and happy Mother’s Day!

  20. My kicks today–besides seeing MAMA’S KISSES here, and talking to all my kids, was to watch my granddaughter and all her ballet buddies rehearsing for the big Emily Dickinson ballet they are performing at Amherst College (four shows this coming weekend.) I got teary in two spots.

    emmaco: you SAW a capper? Do you know how rare that is? I have lived four months a year in Scotland for the past 18 years and have only seen a caper two times, both of them in the old growth forest up near the osprey sites in Aviemore.

    Also, if you think Maes Howe is spooky–did you get to the tomb of the eagles? It was excavated by a farmer on his property after the National Trust and Historic Scotland both declined his offer. It is truly haunted and I–who have minus ESP–felt (as Emily D wrote) “zero at the bone.”


  21. So much thankful goodness here each week — it washes over me like a warm wave of gratitude. I’m too sleepy to comment on much, except to say that emmaco has me wanting to visit Scotland VERY badly, and that Swiss chard rocks — it grows like mad in our garden, even after the first frosts in fall. We chopped it up and froze it in bags, putting it in stir-fries, wraps, soups, and you-name-it all winter.

    1)Double date! Our closest friends in town also have young kids and we get together often with the whole crew, but it was *so* much more fun to get sitters and go out together sans kids for a gourmet meal and drinks.
    2) The garden. My mom joined me in the dirt on Mother’s Day, digging and prepping and chatting — lovely to connect that way for a couple of hours. It’s also been great to pull perpetual spinach and chives out for salads and sauces already.
    3) I peeked out my home-office window on Tuesday to see my oldest daughter playing the fiddle in the backyard while her friend danced a beautiful Irish reel, just for fun, on their own. This is what musical parents dream of, I think.
    4) Blossoming orchards…my current photographic obsession, and they’ve been obliging me with quite a show. That reminds me, I love that shot of the mom ‘n baby in the front-yard tub…taken not so far from where we live, too.
    5) Two-hour mountain bike ride with a good friend this afternoon…my happy place.
    6) The Incredibles.
    7) My wife is a great mom.

  22. emmaco: I had never heard of capercaillie before, either, but I immediately loved the name/word, so I promptly looked them up. Whenever I hear or see a reference to osprey, I think of the computer game Odell Lake. Did anyone else here ever play that?

    Susan: Aw.

    jules: This week is going to be PACKED! Thank you. 🙂 Where is Alice currently bookmarked?

    Jane Yolen: I enjoy Emily Dickinson’s works, and I love ballet, so I wish I could see that production! Give your granddaughter kudos from me.

    Jeremy: How fun all of that sounds, with your friends and kids. Happy Mother’s Day to your wife and your mom! Your third kick made me picture characters from Kerry Madden’s Maggie Valley books (for the serenity and closeness, I think) combined with Kathleen from Kathleen: The Celtic Knot, part of the Girls from Many Lands series.

  23. I would have put in a link to capercaillie too but I was afraid I had already overloaded the spam detector robot here. Jane, I know how lucky we were to see them – we chose to go on holidays now in the hopes of glimpsing one at the reserve (they do early morning “caper watches”) but we knew it wasn’t at all a sure thing.

    And it wasn’t Maes Howe that freaked me it was this tiny Cuween Hill Cairn, which is a let yourself in with a torch from the box outside type of affair. After that I felt I’d had enough tombs for the short term so I left tomb of the eagles for another visit

    Jules, I don’t think I should read any new books until I finish one of the FIVE books sitting next to my bed that I’m part of the way through. But I like knowing I have lots to read after that!

  24. Jane, the ballet sounds lovely.

    Jeremy, I love your kicks, and I’m with Little Willow that kick #3 is very Kerry Madden/Weems Family/Maggie Valley. We saw “The Incredibles” fairly recently, too. Did you see “Jack Jack Attack,” the short film made about what happened while Kari was babysitting Jack-Jack?

    Little Willlow, we’re about to start the “Advice from a Caterpillar” chapter!

    Emmaco, I don’t understand how our spam thingy works — sometimes someone will include just one link, and spam tries to eat it. Other times, it will pass right by comments with tons of links. Oh well. Maybe I can get our personal tech support to fix that for us.

  25. Little Willow, thanks for the kind words. Can I take any/all of those references as book recommendations? We’re always on the hunt for good stuff to read.

    Jules, we never saw Jack Jack Attack…going to hunt it down now. Surprised there hasn’t been a sequel to that one yet.

  26. […] spread for Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, is an auction item over at the Bridget Zinn auction, which I mentioned last Sunday. Yes, the original […]

  27. […] stay.” (That brings to mind this from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, which I’ve shared before: “Walking to the honey house, I concentrated on my feet touching down on the hard-caked dirt […]

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