Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Communion

Her smile was like this all day long.
Actually, it just got wider and wider.


Friday, November 16, 2012

miss manners

A. made up these charts as refreshers before a friend came over for dinner.

(#8 is my fave.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a spontaneous trip

The camera didn't cooperate when I tried to photograph outdoors, but I did get other proof of the snowstorm.  Daddy taking a midday nap and trying to stay warm, a happy kid, ready to play outside...
...and then some evidence of cabin fever:
Once the storm ended, and instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves that the Brooklyn folks didn't make it out for the weekend as planned, we decided to hit the road ourselves.

see ya later, red rocks!
Some of us were excited to go....

...but others were apprehensive about the risks.  L. presented me with a few personal progress notes within the first couple hours of the drive:
the "so-far diagram"
But we were convinced that what we all could use was a change; we just needed to see some new sights, and some trees.  And water.

Water! (a hot spring)
This was the only portion of the "Catwalk" that was open. Too bad.

We found the very remote yet stunning City of Rocks.  Totally worth the drive.

(how is this tree growing?!?)
The "city" is a perfect playground for boys of all ages...


The Rocks were a hit with everyone and we would like to go back again sometime soon. 
Other sights included the impressive Santa Rita mine, some of the most remote areas of our state, a couple of National Forests, and sunsets over the desert.  It was fun. 
Even L., despite her initial misgivings, agreed.
(we'll stay to the right, thanks)


Sunday, November 4, 2012


A friend who has worked as a teacher on the Rez says that sometimes parents pull their kids out of school in order to make day trips into Town. Our city is "Town;" the largest around for 130 miles or more. My friend says the kids love it when it is their turn; they get really excited about these trips.


Local artists were commissioned for much of the public art in our downtown area.  Some were Native and some were not.

Folks exit off the highway to come and photograph these murals.  While pointing and shooting my camera, I was mistaken for one of these passersby and locals waved me down to point out their favorites or give directions to others.  Some dodged the camera but others would slow down and drive real slow to make sure they were in the shot.  "Take a picture of ME!  Take a picture of ME!"

On Sunday afternoons, it is completely silent downtown.  All the shops are closed and there is no one around, at all.  It would be a great time to ride a bike without worrying about getting hit by a car except that it is so eerie. 


We are from the rocks in the desert that always need water.
We are from outside and inside. From at home and in town.

We are from a prayer that is said before we eat our food.
We are from feeding the cats and dogs.
And from cleaning our rooms . . . sometimes.

We are from being told to behave and listen to our moms and saying Naaaa.
We are from going to Squaw Dances.
We are from a family that was told not to play games and instead we sing.
We are from a family that does Navajo things.
We are from Gallup and Dine and corn.
From Navajo tacos and mutton stew.
We are Navajo and we aren’t supposed to look at snakes

We are from parties and family. We are also Mexican.
Enchiladas and beans from our cousin far away
From grandparents who were in World War II

From brothers and from sisters.
From old and weird homes.
And from the trees.

This is the probably the most famous strip in our town to tourists.  No cool murals, but pawn and jewelry shops and places to buy beaded moccasins and boots and all that.  We hardly ever go here; maybe other locals, I don't know.  My impression, though, is that most folks prefer to go to Walmart. 

Finally, one more poem, composed by some local fourth graders (find it here):

We are from a beautiful room. From an old TV and ice cream.
We are from the trailer park behind Allsup’s.
From a video game system waiting for us to play.
We are from a family that stays up all night with game controllers in our hands.
We are from cooking food for our mom and dad.
We are from the Indian Hospital in Fort Defiance.

We’re from Christmas at night and family time every Thursday.
We are from laughing and cooking. And from nachos on Sunday.

We are from our grandpa.
We did anything together every Sunday.
We would watch the Giants play, and we loved to watch football
until he passed away from cancer.

We are from families, from food, and from traditions.

- 4th Hour World History Lumberjacks

Friday, November 2, 2012

be fit!

This is the sign-up desk for our new home fitness center.  There is a map on the board to orient new members but a bit of paperwork is required first. 
That form is part registration and part satisfaction survey.  Note that your child's satisfaction is also requested.  And for statistical purposes: the number of times you visit the loo. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

chill of winter/death

A few days ago we finally gave in and decided it was time to switch on the heat.  We could see our breath--indoors!  Unfortunately, the furnace wouldn't turn on.  We tried (and failed) to diagnose the problem and finally resigned ourselves to a very chilly weekend until a repairman could visit on Monday. 
We donned many layers and tried to remain cheerful.

I thought we had been successful.  I was apparently wrong.
Found on the kitchen counter: