Life today was a walk in the park

I brought my camera around and snapped some photos throughout the day. This morning we dropped 'A' off at a preschool-type class at the YMCA. Her teachers from the past year were teaching so I thought it would be nice for her to go and see them again. Sending her there meant that 'H' and I had 2 and a half delicious hours together with no pressing errands (except for the cat food errand I completely forgot about - sorry Erma and Grace!). 'H' and I started at the library to return a book, then moseyed over to the health food store before finally hitting Congress Park for a ride on the carousel.

Now that July has come and gone and the dust from our Fresh Air child's visit has settled, I feel like I can make some assessments of the whole experience. I think the next time we do it, our girls will be 5 and 7 years old and we'll have a 6-year-old come and stay. That way they'll all be in a similar age bracket. The only irritating thing that has come out of all of this is that 'A' has developed quite a sassy streak that Jeff and I feel is her way of imitating some of 'R's behavior. We knew that might happen, and it's taken some time but we're holding our gentle but firm ground, and she's starting to act more like herself again. And you know, what do you say to a 4-year-old who demands that you move out and let her live her own life? We just keep saying, "I will always love you" and hope for the best.

In the end, the Fresh Air experience was a positive one. There were definitely some "glitches," but the benefits far outweigh the downside. I wanted to do this not only to help an inner city child spend time in nature, but also so that my kids could continue their life journey of putting a human face on someone from another culture, someone who lives in poverty, someone who is doing their best in their own way.

Speaking of putting a human face on another culture, I realized something today that I'm not happy about. I was listening to an NPR report on Africa and I realized that although my children can listen to the newscast, they would benefit so much more by seeing the visuals on TV. Since I get all of my news either through the radio or on the internet, and because we watch very little TV at home, my kids don't see what people who live in different parts of the world look like. They don't see the news.

When I was little, my parents watched the nightly newscasts every single night with the expectation that we kids would watch too, and on Fridays or whatever night Washington Week in Review and Wall Street Week were on (are those the names of the shows? It was so long ago...), we watched those too. We saw the news and although we understood little of it, we were at least exposed to something. We incorporated it into our play, so instead of just playing on the couches on a rainy day, we pretended the couches were our boats and we were Cambodian boat people. We had no clue what was happening in the world, but we knew that something important was happening somewhere.

One of the problems with having my children see the news in 2009 is that media images so are much more graphic than they used to be. I think it can be a good thing for adults to see those images, because people need to see what's really going on instead of some sugar-coated, toned-down story with images to match. But for little kids it's too much to understand.

So you see, I have a dilemma, a problem to solve. I can't use TV or the news to fill my kids up with healthy images of other cultures so I guess I'll have to do it another way entirely.

On a separate note, as a follow-up to my achy joints issue, I've been playing phone tag with my doctor but her messages indicate that none of my blood tests came back positive (no Lyme Disease or Lupus, in other words), so that's good. I feel a bit better every day so I'm thinking I had a little bug. Part of me is happy I went and got the tests and the other part of me is wondering what I was thinking, telling my doctor I don't feel well. Have you seen Sicko? You won't ever want to tell a doctor anything after you see that movie. You never know, your insurance company could drop you for a mystery ailment if you divulge too much information. It can and does happen and it's not something I would like to have happen to me!

Also ill are the squash plants. Squash Vine Borer in every one. I sliced them all open, removed the borer, and covered up the wounds with compost-rich soil and lots of water. I can only hope they'll live. It's a long shot but I just wasn't ready to say good-bye to the plants yet.

Above: if you've ever wondered what the traffic is like in a tourist town, here is a glimpse.

Below: Scenes from the farm today.

I know I've said this before... I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that we live in an area where I can visit a bustling, beautiful little city in the morning and an organic, rural farm in the afternoon and still stay so close to home the whole time. I do not take any of this for granted! We live in a very unusual place.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!