Any accepting, or even choosing, art or literature of a lower standard, as good enough for children, is a disastrous and costly mistake. -- Arthur Rackham

Joyful Noise Day Care

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I wish I could bring to this blog the magical blessedness of the children playing here in the backyard on this late June morning.   The day is the perfect temperature so we can go barefoot but don't have to sweat or spray ourselves with water to stay cool.   The leaves are all out on the trees and bushes so there are plenty of shady places to rest and hide. Mulberries are falling into the sandbox which sparks their creativity:   gather, collect, bargain, cook and then abandon them for Toby to find later when they're all napping.   One game flows into another, involving politics and negotiations worthy of the U.N. with as many differnt versions of the English language.   All amid a backdrop of pink roses and sweet peas, purple spiderwort, yellow dandilion and multicolored snapdragons that the children planted last week.   Birds are constantly chirping and zooming through the scene, bugs are busy being interesting and butterflies punctuate the view.

The date to this entry is also a link to pictures of this day, though my skills as a photographer don't do it justice.

These are the idyllic days that, while they may not remember when they are grown, I hope are imprinting on their hearts to build a foundation of joy, peace, beauty, creativity, secutiy and awe.   A big hope, but somehow I think, a realistic one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

After ignoring the weblog for over a year, my first temptation is to avoid the embarrassment of picking up again and just take it down, but that's just not right.   The truth is, that adjusting to being single again is a process of reinventing my whole life, and figuring out what needs to go, what needs to stay and what needs to get repaired or remodeled!   I think the website needs to stay, but time management has been getting repaired and remodeled, as all the chores become mine to do or delegate and I wrestle with the ubiquitous challenge that all self-employed people have of finding a balance between work and rest.   So, here I am, back again, resolved to blog on a more regular basis.   Whatever that means, it will mean entries closer together than this and the last one!

One of the things that makes it easier to ignore the weblog is the exsistence of the Joyful Noise Facebook page.   It's quicker for me to post current photos, comments and updates there so always keep an eye on that for the absolute latest.   This will be reserved for rambling, rants and more detailed requests of the daycare family and those who are interested in what our little life is like here.   You may think that now that I have a puppy I'm delusional when I expect to have MORE time to blog than before, but you would be forgetting that with a puppy here I'm much more likely to stay home, since now there's someone here who's so fun to hang out with.   So we'll see if he turns out to be inspiration or distraction as he keeps me from wandering too far or too long.

This last weekend was Poet's Night Out, a community poetry contest sposored by our library that I judge every year.   On Sunday we held a five hour writing workshop for the winners followed by an evening performance of their poetry (and mine and the other judge's) at the Opera House.   It's a wonderful event but a long day for me which is why I need the Monday off afterward to recoup.   I have to be at my best to be responsible for the lives of your little ones and after a day like that I'm still in a haze.   However, on that day off I did try to help our planning commission sort out the details of the Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) that they require Group Child Care Homes like me to obtain.   Currently they're reassessing the need for this requirement and of course I have an opinion which has been no secret over the years.   Part of caring for children is advocating for them and for child care regulations, which is difficult to say the least.   However the city employees were grateful for my help in locating the latest amendment to the SLUP and one commissioner thanked me for my letter.   We'll see in May if it makes any difference.

So, short and sweet is another key to more regular blog entries.   Besides the blog, I'll be trying to dust off the forgotten corners of the website and get back to posting recipes again.   Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

So, since I last wrote we DID get the new roof, back in October.   I can definitely feel the difference, and as we get into the colder months of winter now we'll see how much of a difference there is in our fuel costs.   We've sailed into and out of the holiday months and now into our new year.   Winter is solidly upon us and everyone has been really great about bringing outer wear on the appropriate days.   As we've discussed every other year, my policy is to keep the children in when the thermometer says 20° or below.   The older children are allowed to go out if they want, but anyone who is still in diapers does not have that option.   Their communication skills aren't developed enough to let me know how cold their fingers and toes are and the air is just too frigid to risk hurting their sensitive skin.   However, on the warmer days, we herd ourselves out there and I do my best to get all their hats and gloves and snowpants sorted back into the right cubbies when we come in.   Writing names or at least initials on the clothing helps a LOT!

One more bit of winter business we need to discuss is loading and unloading your children from vehicles.   Snowbanks, snow plows and darkness make this much more inconvienent and in many cases extremely hazardous so extra caution is essential.   Of course, pulling into the driveway is the safest spot, but if someone is already occupying that space please do not block them in.   You may think that you can drop off quick enough to let them out but the unforeseen usually happens when trying to say good-bye to preschoolers and they may be just one foot out the door and late for work.   Also, as discussed in the handbook, while a short good-bye is fine, tossing your child over the threshold and running back out again isn't really the ideal parting that you want to strive for.   So be sure to park safely, legally and with consideration to other parents.   That means that you may have to park in the street and if you don't want to trudge into the snowbanks, you may have to unload your child on the driver's side of the vehicle.   Please use extreme caution.   Also, remember that most of the children here are perfectly capable of walking from the car to the door themselves.   On icy streets and sidewalks, if you are holding tight to their hands, this is much safer than being carried, especially if Mom or Dad has decided to wear their high heels or slippery office shoes instead of boots.

Always, PLEASE, keep a watch out for plows. They come down the streets and sidewalks very fast and the heavy machinery is hard to steer and stop.   They often cannot see well through their steamy or frosty windows.   This also includes the plows that are working in and out of driveways in the neighborhoods, especially mine.   If there is a small plow working in or around my driveway or the ones directly across the street from me, please park with enough clearance so he can safely move in and around his work area.   (The same man does all three of us.)   Do not park in my driveway, across the mouth of my driveway or directly on either side of my drive or the ones he is working on across the street.   You will not only impede his ability to do his job, but you'll be endangering your life and the life of your child.   Also, you may get a dent in your vehicle!   I realize that with the icy roads some of you are late for work, but parking in the path of a moving plow is not a good way to make up for lost time.

My next job is to get all your year end statements ready and delivered to you while I get my own tax forms in ship shape for my appointment in two weeks.   The end of the year brings lots of new paperwork and inspections, so there will also be state paperwork to update in the next week or two.   In the meantime, the children told me to write "We Love Winter" on our little front porch chalkboard, they are so happy for all that new play stuff in the back yard.   We'll be enjoying it as much as we can before it's gone!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I know that you're tired of all my old excuses for not keeping current with this weblog, but unfortunately I don't have any new ones.   It's a crazy year, life is full and busy, the website is something I do in my spare time which for me is rare.   And yet, I love being able to communicate in this way with anyone who's out there caring, so when I can, like today, I pop in.

Those of you here in the trenches with me know what a crazy year it's been and I appreciate your patience and solidarity through it all.   (Those of you who don't have a clue, you can read back through the sparse entries here, then read between the lines and get up to speed.) Furniture has moved in and out, paint cans have gone up and down the stairs, company has come and gone (and is still coming through September,) the heat and humidity robbed us of our energy and the house has been in constant upheaval and disarray.   Because of the painting upstairs and preparation for the new roof (yes, yes, it WILL happen, I promise) everything that would usually be stored on the second floor has had to find a niche somewhere else while still keeping the main floor safe and kid proof.   So the naptime bedding is currently stored in the front entryway, my bed is stored in the garage, family heirlooms are hung on the wall of the children's play space.....you get the idea.   Somewhat organized chaos and a work in progress to be sure.

Through it all though, the children are bubbling along, healthy and beautiful as always.   Over the summer Aaron and Mason enriched our numbers, reading to the little ones, nurturing them like big brothers and introducing them to wonderful big-kids activities like a lemonade stand, paper airplanes and those little teeny legos.   Now they've gone back to school and we miss them terribly, along with Kailer who for two days a week now goes to Eastern pre-school.   This week though, Emerson Mead's cousin, Baby Evie, will come visit us and see if she wants to step in for those two days.   We're all hoping she says yes!

Also this week Annamay's Uncle George will be working upstairs making sure that some of our wiring is safe before the roof work gets done.   Last week we had tree trimmers making sure the wires outside of the house were clear and safe in preparation for the icy weather to come.   And with an eye to the changing seasons, I think it's time that all the swimsuits can go home now, while we may have a little bit of water play after a rain, I think it's safe to say we won't be getting out the sprinklers anymore this year.

I spent a lot of time today dusting off some neglected corners and links of the website; time spent that doesn't show much but still needs to be done.   I know there's a lot more to do so if you're poking around and find a dead link be sure to let me know.   Some of them are gone forever, but some have just been shifted and can easily be fixed.   In my spare time....

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I can't even begin to figure out where March and April went, but they're gone.   Since I last wrote here I was advised by a surgeon to hold off on the surgery (yippee!) and I managed to replace five pieces of long worn out furniture with wonderful, comfortable, durable, practical, economical choices that we're all super-happy with (yippee again!)   There's finally no more snow to shovel, but there were leaves to rake, branches to bundle and a clothesline to put up.   We finally sent all the snowpants and boots home, but those winter jackets are still helpful as the temperatures in the morning are sometimes still in the 40's.   It is, after all, spring, not summer.

Many of you are asking when the new roof will go on and the answer is, I have no idea.   As soon as I have a date, you'll be the first to know!   As always, the workers are the boss and I'm just waiting to find out when I fit into their 2016 schedule.   I also am not sure about all of my summer vacation dates; some of that depends on the roofing schedule and some of it depends on other family members.   I hope to get it all settled by the end of June.

We've moved all the big furniture boxes outside and they're getting wet and flat, turning into stages instead of houses.   One by one they'll disappear into our dumpsters as we can fit them in, but they've been fun while they lasted.   The pansies are on the porch, the daffodils are blooming and we're ready for the second half of spring!




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