Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Author: Miranda

  • The orange pill

    The orange pill

    During the summer of 2021, Fiona was offered a job working as a veterinary assistant at a clinic 50 km away. It was a super opportunity, so I told her she should take it, and she could use my car for the commute. I would use the e-bike. We had bought a Rad Mini in […]

  • A thoroughly empty nest

    A thoroughly empty nest

    As mid-2022 approaches and we are facing the likelihood of not having any of our four kids “home” for the first summer ever, it seems we really are empty nesters now. We still have an unbelievably ancient dog though, if that counts. Limpet is almost 17 and a large breed mix whose life expectancy was […]

  • COVID-19: the first six months

    COVID-19: the first six months

    I had a haircut scheduled. Fiona was supposed to be doing her driving road test in a few days. It was March 17th, 2020. A week later my hair was longer than ever, and it would continue to grow for another 12 weeks, and Fiona was still a student driver. And then, with gloves for […]

  • Back to the garden

    Back to the garden

    Although I’ve kept herbs and occasional greens growing next to the deck, I haven’t grown a proper garden since (checks blog archives… ) 2008. That must have been the point at which the water line broke, and I started taking on more of the summer Suzuki institute administration, and the kids were losing interest in […]

  • Done?

    Done?

    Are we done raising children? It almost feels like it. This is the third year with all three older kids living and working far from home. Fiona turned 16 this week and is incredibly self-sufficient, living 90 minutes from home. She finished her high school graduation requirements last week, though she’s taking a couple more […]

  • My big kid’s big job

    My big kid’s big job

    Erin was poised to finish her Masters in Violin Performance at New England Conservatory this past May. We anticipated that she would eventually land a full-time orchestra position, but the classical music world being what it is, we knew that would likely take several years of auditioning, taking stop-gap fellowship positions with training orchestras, freelancing, […]

  • Spinning

    Spinning

    I bought a little spinning wheel. It’s about the size of an SLR camera and weighs a fraction as much. It came from a Kickstarter campaign I backed. I paid about $50 and like my other favourite Kickstarter reward, it delivered not just on time but early! It runs off DC power with a tiny […]

  • Ex-runner? Cyclist?

    Ex-runner? Cyclist?

    I’ve become whatever the female equivalent of the mamil (middle-aged man in lycra) is. I am obsessed with cycling. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since my last cycling-related post exactly a year ago. At that point I was all set up on Zwift and enjoying riding my aluminum tri-bike regularly, noting improvements […]

  • Will school ever be the whole story?

    Will school ever be the whole story?

    Although she’s only equivalent to Grade 9 by age and this semester is taking three academic Grade 12 courses, school has ended up being fairly unchallenging for Fiona. She picked up a DL Spanish course in October to fill her days and that helped while it lasted. It’s not like she’s completely miserable; she enjoys […]

  • Food management complexity

    Honestly, I feel like my life is primarily about food management these days. I have one family member who goes to school five days a week and dances six days a week and who therefore needs eleven proper meals a week to eat on the go. And I have another family member whom I live […]

  • Second year of school

    Fiona has begun Grade 11 at the big mainstream school in Nelson. Compared to the scheduling chaos of last year, her first year in school, it has been a very smooth start. She likes being back at the routine. She loved being welcomed back by all her friends whom she hadn’t seen over the summer. […]

  • Big summers

    The big kids had big summers this year. We knew Erin’s would be big. She had been offered a Tanglewood fellowship. This meant spending the summer in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts playing in an amazing orchestra and performing at the Tanglewood Festival alongside (and sometimes with) the Boston Symphony. The fellowship covered all her living […]

  • Mountain Goat Hike

    Mountain Goat Hike

    We continued our end-of-summer alpine hiking tradition as best we could this year. Instead of four or three of us female members of the family, we only had two of us. Sophie spent the summer train-hopping, road-tripping to the States, launching rockets and doing military training, so she hasn’t been home. Erin spent the summer on […]

  • First year of school

    Fiona finished her first year of school, Grade 10, just over a week ago. Over the previous three years she had taken two core courses (math and science) and two short electives (Spanish and dance) at our local village school, but this year was the first time she attended school on a daily basis. And for this […]

  • Zwifting along

    Zwifting along

    The Boston Marathon has turned out not to be possible for me. I spent three months babying my knee (after just barely beginning to run regularly in the fall) and still, within a month of starting marathon training it was as bad as ever. I was living on ibuprofen, and most mornings it was so swollen […]