This week has been about learning, creating, planning, and wandering-- all favorite things. We received two loads of red earth last week and are nearly ready to begin building the earth walls on our meditation space. Most of the walls will only be a meter high, to preserve the view, but one wall will be tall with windows. I'll certainly tell you about it.
We dug into school last week, beginning our year with study of China, which the kids love. It's often chaotic, schooling with four kids and one toddler who is pulling the room apart around us while we work ("Hey," Isaac says, "It seems like a good idea to pull every colored pencil out of the pencil cup and throw it, and then maybe eat one. Sunscreen? Why thank you, my shirt could use some sunscreen. And the walls, too!") but I love it. Calls for help come from every direction and I dance from kid to kid (ever so gracefully) and redirect distracted ones as well (Leafy). Our curriculum focuses on reading aloud, and I am working through two different years, adapted for different ages (Kai and Kenya learn together and Leafy and Solo learn together) so I am always reading aloud. I read in snatches throughout the day and bring the books into our bedtime routine as well. Homeschooling is such a privilege. I love seeing how the kids grow their minds and figure new things out. Solo in particular is exploding into new learning.
I had a post office run this week and I took a moment to admire our post office. The fake flowers are a bit kitchy, but the real ones are beautiful, and it's colorful!
At some point I made Vietnamese vermicelli bowls for dinner, with grilled tofu. One of our favorite things to eat is a good bowl of noodles or rice with fresh ingredients on top.
Then some of us (in our community) went exploring to be inspired by earth buildings in the surrounding villages. There are a lot of creative people making beautiful things around here.
This place is a little guest house with all earth buildings, as well as a little restaurant. I'm always inspired when I visit.
I also had to go to Chiang Mai for a few days on my own, which I took as a sort of artist's retreat in between appointments and errands. I'm really into Julia Cameron's idea of the Artist Date, and when I'm looking for inspiration I search for vistas, flowering trees, and markets full of cloth or handcrafts. I also love the flea market for inspiration.
When I'm away from home, morning coffee is always an issue, if I don't want Nescafe. But I found a little "coffee in a bag" place and my problem was solved.
I worked on a few different paintings, including this barn owl.
And I watched the trees and the sky and listened to birds and dreamed about God and a day when I will know him better. The longer I live, the more I need him.