Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Gratitude -- week 2

A few of the things I'm feeling particularly grateful for right now:

1. Libraries, great books, and time to read
2. That everything came together for Ri to get his used drum set for his b-day this year
3. Bedroom doors and carpets that muffle sound :-)
4. All of the fun that comes with Halloween
5. Getting to walk through and play in all those colorful, crunchy, fallen leaves

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Talking about Life and Stuff

A couple of nights ago as we were falling asleep, Seth said that in the morning he wanted to "talk about life and stuff." We had both forgotten by morning, but he remembered just before we went to bed last night. Turns out he wanted to pore over our human body book and talk about and think through how the body works.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Amazing Night Sky

It is getting dark *so* early. I miss the long days of summer, but the early darkness does give us more waking hours to enjoy the night sky.

After looking at the sky for a while after sunset this evening, talking about moon phases, eclipses (remembering the lunar eclipse we got up early to watch from our trampoline a few years ago), and planets (reminiscing about when Pluto got "demoted"), Riley came in and spent some time on one of our favorite websites, He read about and looked at their photo gallery of the auroras, linked to NASA's site to a video of the spooky red auroras in 2003, watched close-up videos of the sun on Sun-In-Motion, and voted for Pluto to be redeemed as a full-fledged planet.

We ended up heading back outside, this time to our front yard where we could see southward to see Jupiter in very close proximity to the moon.

I let my camera battery die the other day and forgot until just now to recharge it, so I don't have pictures of the moon and Jupiter, but there is a good one from Ankara, Turkey here and a couple more from Iraq here. And now I'm going to go back outside and ponder the similarities between those views from the other side of the globe and the view outside my front door. And I'm going to try really hard to get that old American Tale song out of my head. "It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big skyyyyyyy."

Afternoon at the Park

Sunshine, blue skies, crunchy leaves, bugs, creek, fallen trees, animal tracks, and plenty of imagination & time

Pretend play: Troll under the bridge




Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday Gratitude -- a day late

Jumping in a day late to participate in some Wednesday Gratitude blogging between now and Thanksgiving. I saw this on Sandra's and Lisa's and Frank's blogs, and they got the idea from Clint.

So, here are some of the things I'm particularly grateful for today.

  1. My family and all the ways we share this life together, encourage each other, and learn & stretch & grow together.
  2. Matt's new job that is allowing us all to be together more and to travel a lot.
  3. Dog-friendly hotels.
  4. Fresh, cool, breezy, open-window weather.
  5. Sweet books, funny cartoons, fresh water, comfort foods, back rubs, hugs, and unlimited time together with Seth while he's recovering this week from whatever illness he picked up.

Three Rivers

This is a view from the Carnegie Science Center of "The Point" in Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny River(left side of the picture, with the steamboat), and the Monongahela River (right side of picture, with the yellow bridge), converge to form the Ohio River.

This was in part interesting from a geographic perspective: the Ohio River flows from here down to our home area, forming the border between Ohio & Kentucky -- we cross it regularly, every time we travel a few miles north into Cinicinnati.

The location is also interesting to me because of the historic and spiritual significance, particularly to the Mayans, who helped lead a Mass Meditation for Peace a few weeks ago that I attended when I travelled solo to Pittsburgh for the People's March to the G20 .

While I don't have any interest in religon as any sort of One Right Way, I am fascinated by various spiritual traditions and the ways people make sense of the world and of life and by the paths they choose to make their way toward greater and greater Love.

Meditation for Peace during the G20, Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA.
Sept. 25, 2009

The People's March to the G20

Sept. 25, 2009

For Maya, the Three Rivers stories are an intersting subject, too, since she always likes anything to do with the Mayans, simply because of the shared name. She feels connected to them and, while they may not be traceable ancestors that we know of, she calls them her "anSisters."

Mayan tradition has also been a topic at our house, recently, since my kids had been upset by the trailers for the 2012 movie & associated "end of the world" hype. It's been very reassuring and helpful for them to go to the source for the reason 2012 is being talked about rather than to only hear the mainstream media/hollywood hysteria version.

Below is part of a Point of Light magazine article written by Vikki Hanchin, LSW. The full article is here. The section below is about Pittsburgh and these rivers.

Our Pittsburgh history confirms that the Point Park area, where our three rivers converge, was a sacred site for tribal rituals of the Native Americans who inhabited this region. All indigenous cultures recognize the sacred power of any geographical area where three rivers merge. Our area is even more unique with the fourth, underground river (more accurately defined as an aquifer), that feeds the fountain, and empties into the Ohio River. The four rivers carry special significance regarding our area’s surprising connection to the origins of the Maya themselves as well as the Mayan 2012 prophesies.

Recent archeological studies conducted through the University of Pittsburgh (Adovasio, The First Americans) have confirmed that the Western Pennsylvania area of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter near Greater Pittsburgh is the area where the first Americans established themselves in permanent settlement over a 16,000-year period. These first Americans dated back to 15,000-19,000 B.C.E.
Tracking the migration of what appears to be their cultural footprints of sacred mound technology along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers into the Yucatan, one witnesses the sacred mounds evolving into the mathematically sophisticated step-pyramids typical of the Maya. This evidence leads to an interesting conclusion. It appears that these first Americans, established in our Western Pennsylvania region, were the predecessors of the ancient Maya. If this conclusion is valid, this would link our Pittsburgh area with the Maya historically.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pittsburgh: Carnegie Science Center

Last Friday's trip to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Maya & Seth building cells. The first area we toured was anatomy themed. Riley loved this area, but Maya and Seth are a little bothered by thinking about internal workings of their bodies. Maya said it made her feel like she had butterflies in her stomach, and Seth said it made him feel like his bones were going to break.

They all did enjoy the giant Operation game, though!

Riley learning about stem cells.

Maya learning about wings.

And sampling wing motion.

Seth attempting to build a sturdy log cabin at the earthquake table.

One of Riley's favorite exhibits, experimenting with airplane maneuvering.

Another of Riley's favorites -- sound waves

Beautiful reef system exhibit

Learning about Ozone

We moved through here really quickly -- interesting and historic, but just a very heavy atmosphere for me and a bit too closed in for Maya.

We could not even begin to imagine sleeping on a cot hanging over a bomb like this.

What's a war without a little propaganda? Tied in nicely with things we had been talking about earlier in the week about Christopher Columbus, things we had been reading from Mysteries of History, which addresses some of the holes in various stories from history, and with the ongoing conversations we have about advertising of all kinds.

Last stop: The cafe.