Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Town Day Round-Up May 3, 2008

Filed under: Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 7:26 am

Things I learned this week:

1.) I live in a pretty little town. I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of the town before and it’s starting to feel like home. Too bad quaint comes with a sticker price that will knock you (us) on your (our) a$$.

2.) I don’t really enjoy the structure/restriction of a focus week. One year when I was teaching 1st grade, we had a discussion on the first day of the year about how to be a community that respects learning and each other. One little boy suggested we raise our hands before sharing in circle (revolutionary isn’t it?). This same little boy continued to talk throughout the whole meeting, adding his ideas with no filter or hand raising in sight. Another little boy, who I will call Greek Chorus, raised his hand and said to the first boy, “You made up that rule and you can’t even FOLLOW it!”

3.) I really enjoyed the interactive aspect of this week. Seeing other folks take on their towns and reading your comments and emails was my favorite part. Thank you! Tonya from Happy Dash emailed an idea to do a Town day, maybe on Tuesday, instead of a whole week. I like that approach. Maybe after a breather we can start that up. Do you have any themed days on your sites?

Things I did not learn this week (just a small sampling):

1.) How to format on WordPress like I want it.

2.) The source of the funky smell in the kitchen.

edit: Hidden bag of unrefrigerated parmesan cheese. Funk banished, case closed.

3.) How to make a paper yo-yo that really really works.


I’m off to rummage, wish me luck!


Town Take 4 May 1, 2008

Filed under: Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 10:35 pm

I always appreciate folks who extend the edge of the photo and blog about the less than perfect parts of life. I fancied myself that kind of blogger before I blogged but it’s a little harder than I thought (sweet bloggness I’ll try not to drop the word blog again in this post).

I don’t really want you to see my kitchen with it’s avocado stove and dirtier than dirt floor. I don’t really want you to know that a part of me feels more at ease because if the little one rolls off our bed he’ll land on a pillowy pile of clothes – some dirty, some clean. I don’t really want you to see my basement which is selfishly taking up all the storage space and thumbing it’s nose at our lovely downstairs neighbors and while I am thrilled with all these new connections with amazing folks, I don’t really want you to see me.

So maybe that’s a theme for another week, Stuff’s Underbelly (I’m a little over themes this week but maybe one day…)

Lately I’m not sure if my compulsion to document our daily experiences makes me more connected to what I’m doing or less. I’m enjoying learning more about photography but I feel like I’m also learning a little bit about me. How the images I pick paint a partial picture of who I am or maybe who I want to be. Funny, all these photos of a “beautiful” town are making me feel a little fraudulent. So today, do I post photos of the colorful graffiti, the rusted fridge I saw on the path around the park, the balloon floating up and away from little fingers and big tears, the kick to the back of a revered big brother from a little brother struggling to find his voice or the snapshot of me being less than supportive when my big guy couldn’t find the courage to join in his first soccer practice?

As my husband reminds me, what you choose to share doesn’t have to be your dirty underwear to be real. Hmm, private truth verses public truth. I’m kind of a blurter.

I think it’s becoming jarring to post photos of things so finished and pretty when I feel like I’m trying to find my footing as a mom of two, as the quasi-spiritual leader of the household, as the co-creator of a ‘nest’ for the family to feel nurtured and safe in, and the overall holder downer of the fort.

Here’s my image today from my walk around the park. My challenge/goal- to appreciate the busted and the beautiful, the seen and the unspoken, to value the process over product.

Usually I read and worry and edit what I write but I think I’m going to let this one sit. I’m going to go watch Lost.


Town Walk – Day 3ish

Filed under: Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 1:57 am
Tags: , , ,

So happy to see the sun this morning.

After school drop off, the little guy and I headed off to my favorite place in town, the library and the garden next to it.

I love this fountain. The statue always bothers me though. It’s meant to be a “tribute” to the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area, I suppose. Or maybe it’s just public “art”. Either way, I kind of want to make my own sarcastic plaque for it reading, “Sorry about the whole manifest destiny thing”.

I guess the deal is people rub it for good luck. Don’t know how they worked that one out.

Pretty little spot though.

This is the cemetery on the other side of the library.

That’s the library in the background.

Like an idiot, I asked at the reference desk what the library policy was about taking photographs inside. The woman was stumped. She called around “upstairs” but everyone was in some kind of meeting. She said she’d like me to get permission from the director first. So I didn’t take it as a no. Honestly, with the money I’ve contributed in late fees I figure I’ve earned a couple of shots.

I covertly took this shot of the floor.

Another shot taken sub rosa. (Maybe I don’t want a bigger & “better” camera after all!)

One of my favorite parts about the library, you know other than the books, is the way you can clearly see where they’ve added on to the original structure.

I’m a super dork so I usually head right up to the 3rd floor where you can touch the details (someone else with more architectural knowledge know the terms?) of what used to be the top outside of the building. I feel a little like a bird flying up, looking for a place to build a nest.

I included this shot because it makes me feel badass. I was standing on the 4th floor and all around me were glass windows which looked into the administrative offices (I could see everyone in that meeting I mentioned earlier).

I didn’t quite get the shot I wanted but I only had the guts for one shot, maybe I’m only a badass junior.


Check out the cool Farmer’s Market/Town photos from Whatnot!

And if anyone else wants to post Town photos just leave a comment and I’ll link to your blog. It’s NEVAH too late to join the fun…

Opps, I left out Funny Magic, check out her Road Less Traveled!


Walk, Smalk – Day 2 April 29, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends,Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 10:39 am

Taken from my car this morning. Rain rain go away! Actually I love rain. I love it when I’m curled up in bed with a good book and all the time in the world to fall in and out of sleep. But those days are a thing of the past (and hopefully my future) but definitely not any part of my present.

Green makes me feel better.

Maybe instead of moping, because I can feel a good wallow coming on, I’ll try and find the joy in moments like this:

Maybe I’ll grab a pile of books and climb in there with him. Goodbye computer, I’m going in.

Check out Melissa at WhatKnot, she’s playing along (and winning)!


Walk – Day 1 April 28, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends,Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 6:36 pm

On one the first days of school in one of my first grade classrooms, we had a discussion about how we could be a community that respects each other and respects learning. One little boy suggested that people raise their hand in meeting when they have something to say instead of calling out. (revolutionary teaching concept, I know). This same boy proceeded to chime in with ideas throughout the morning meeting. Another little boy shot his hand up and, like the Greek chorus of the class, said “You made up that rule and you can’t even FOLLOW it.”

I tell this story because here we are on day 1 and I’m not even following my own “rules”. I had great intentions of a week of walks but I didn’t consult the weather reports. I was inspired by this day and Green Jello’s Toy Week, to do a week of walks and photos from my town/your town, our neighborhoods, haunts and new discoveries. If you would like to join leave a comment and I’ll link to you site. A couple of folks expressed an interest, let me know if you’re still in! Obviously, the “rules” are loose. Share some old photos, take something new or create your own spin but please share, I’d love to see it!

Today was monsoon like so I have some photos of a magical walk we took around our town reservoir last week.

It was one of those times – I happened to have the camera, it was actually charged, the weather was beautiful, the play was rich and I feel like I got it on ‘film’. I do have 2 kids but my youngest was relegated to the stroller after one too many close calls with the bridge and he and my husband walked ahead around the path. My eldest and I got to hang back and explore. In my experience dawdle=good times.

This is my favorite photograph of my big guy evah! It captures his imagination, focus and dramatic flare perfectly.


Parade April 23, 2008

Filed under: Town Week Photos — twlowenstein @ 10:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes you look at a photo or a group of photos and it’s a little startling. Like hearing your voice on an answering machine. Looking at these photos from my town’s Patriot Day Parade was like that for me. I felt like I was looking at stills from a parade in Mayberry. Do I really live in such a bucolic little town?

I moved to Massachusetts for graduate school and lived smack dab in the middle of the city. Each successive move has taken me further out and away. I remember walking back from the T after one such move and thinking I’d moved to the boonies because I saw a Big Wheel in a front yard on my street. I’m 2 moves past that and wish I had the gritty street cred that comes with having only ONE plastic toy planted in my yard!

Before I got married I made a demand deal with my now husband. No ice hockey and no reenacting. I was always bothered as a kid on class field trips to Colonial villages with the whole, “What is this metal flying bird of which you speak?” It was a perfect combination of annoying and embarrassing. But when, at 3, your kid mentions at dinner, “I’m really interested in weaponry!” you just thank your lucky stars that it’s motivated from an historic perspective and not video games. So hoop skirt, I see your billowy unbleached innocence in my future and mock you further I shan’t! But I’m holding firm on the hockey.

My future peeps looking beat.

If these had been invented before I got married I’m sure I would have added these to the forbidden list.

I’m guessing there would have been no argument.

Flying the flags.

I missed the best shot on this one – there was a guy walking behind these folks pulling a red wagon full of horse dukes.

This is the guy who stood in front of us the whole parade with his tag still on his pants. I’ve got the humor of a boy in middle school.

Jazz bands were big this year and rightly so. Rock on. I hope I’m half as cool at that age.

I just don’t feel right saying something meanish about Bert.

This is my Elmo siting. Elmo is the man and he knows it. He’s in demand and can’t please everyone. So my little guy got more of a Big Foot experience that a snuggle from the red one but hey, I still love you ELMO.

These kids looked good and sounded tight! It’s not easy to rock hard in a yellow beret.

It wouldn’t be a post without my referring to consumerism and the struggle of STUFF but it’s a cultural plague. If you lined up each cart of crap it would’ve been longer than the actual parade. True story.

The parade photos have got me thinking about my town and got me wondering about yours. I was inspired by Green Jello’s Toy Week and I was thinking we could do a week of photos of our towns/cities. Just sites, big or small, that you see on a walk around your neighborhood or on your daily outings. If anyone wants to join me next week, I’ll post a link to your site and we can have some fun!

edit: The WordPress support team did a bang up job helping me get rid of my NCP haunting! Thanks WP!!!