At the Table

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Oh, man. What a week. It's been challenging, guys. Thank you to everyone who wrote in and asked how we were doing. I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get back here and update you. School is taking a lot of time and I haven't quite figured out how to balance all the things I have to do now.

For almost two weeks, really up until last night when we had a thunderstorm and a bit of rain, we've been dealing with the effects — emotional and physical — of the Oregon wildfires, specifically the Riverside fire, burning just southeast of Portland. That particular fire started on September 8 and now encompasses over 137,000 acres. There are several other very deadly fires burning in Oregon, and as I'm sure you know they have incinerated entire towns. Gone. These fires are unusual because they are burning in places west of the Cascade Mountains that are usually wet. No longer. Forests are going up like tinder, and even the southern Portland suburbs were a Level 1 evacuation zone (we are couple of miles from the southern edge of the city, and yeah, we got our papers together in case we had to evacuate). The heartbreak of the local news cannot be underestimated. The smoke that has clogged our lungs and the skies of our state is awful. Truly awful. (Imagine being afraid to open your front door; indeed, we barely have opened it in over a week.) But the human losses of the fires have broken our hearts every day. I pray for rain, more rain than today's brief storm, as much as it was appreciated.

This poignant essay pretty much utterly sums it up for me.

Meanwhile, the house here revolves around our darling daughter's days. And I mean, literally revolves around. Her schedule is dizzying. She goes to the morning meeting with her class from 9:00-9:30, then we do Oak Meadow from 9:30 until 11;30. Then we have lunch and play with the kitten. Then she reads out loud to her grandmother every day on FaceTime. Then she goes to Zoom math class at 1:00 until 1:30. On Wednesday she goes to P.E. at 1:15 and on Thursday she goes to music (but I'm going to have her drop both of those; she does Zoom ballet through her ballet school for two hours a week, and we're learning to play recorder through our Oak Meadow curriculum.) In the afternoons we usually do art at the table or play games. Then she's free, and I clean everything up and go make dinner. I'm exhausted. Very happy with it all, but I won't lie, I am tired, and, just, TGIF. I'm ready for the weekend!!! We've been at the table a lot and I'm ready to go outside.

Things of Autumn kits (and PDF) are coming soon. I have all of the materials to assemble kits in hand and we've literally just been waiting for the smoke to clear (because it was in the house for a week — really awful feeling, let me tell you). But now that it's raining I think we can open the boxes. So I will be back with an update on this soon!

Good recipes for you: Really fudgy and delicious brownies; the best orange chicken I've ever had, let alone made, I must say; curried shepherd's pie from The New York Times; and Jamie Oliver's chicken tikka masala. All very, very good!

36 comments

These are such special days!...Amelia clearly lives life to its LARGEST!!!...thank you for sharing this with your readers...it makes me so very happy for you, and yet makes me sad, as those days are way behind me...enjoy and relish each and every one...they are FLEETING!...and the issues that seems insurmountable now really ARE NOT in the scheme of things...You and Andy are doing a TOP NOTCH job of raising her...she is CLEARLY LOVED!!!

Your days sound lovely (and busy). I am in awe of your chalkboard art!

Hi Alicia -

We are doing the same Oak Meadow curriculum! Can't wait to show my daughter that someone else is doing Jolly Robin stories too :). Where are your 3 part plant/bird cards from? Thanks so much!

Love seeing all the wonderful things Mimi is learning. Learning the names of herbs is something I would never have thought of teaching my children, but it can be really important to know. Wish I knew them all! Praying for all who are being affected by the fires. It's hard to imagine so many acres up in flame so please stay safe. May God take care of all of you.

You are doing such a thorough and amazing job with homeschooling! Your days sound very similar to ours in structure (minus the zoom chats) and I hear you.. we wrap up our school day and afternoon activities and go right into dinner and then bedtime routine and then after-bed clean up and school prep for the next day. It really is a full.time.job and I don't know how anyone juggles work on top of it! I remember a few years ago when we had bad wildfires here in the western NC and how distracting and distressing it was! Very hard to function when the air was so acrid and the outdoors so off limits and the worry and begging the sky for rain.

Thank you for sharing your lives. We live in Vancouver BC and the smoke here from the fires have been awful and we haven't been going out for days. It's scary. But, more so for you as entire communities are gone and we have experienced our province in flames. Take care and thank you again for your lovely photos

Patricia Birch says: October 04, 2020 at 02:22 PM

Hi.....What a beautiful, leggy filly she's become!
What are the art supplies (crayons? Paints) in the photos?
What is the name of the Birds cards?
Patricia

Quick question: Is the wall color in your kitchen the same as the family room color? Do you know the name of it? It's so pretty with red.

I'm just dropping in and catching up. I can only imagine how challenging it might be to get the hand of the new flow of your days. My heart has been breaking about the fires. Well, my heart has been breaking about a lot of things. Hope you guys are safe and well.

Natalie Engdahl says: October 07, 2020 at 08:39 PM

I have been thinking of you with the fires and checking in every now and then to see if you had posted about it. Such a terrible thing, we had it this time last year in Australia and it lasted for months. It creates such a feeling of doom, really makes things feel heavier, not to mention being unable to breathe properly. I do hope you get good rain soon. I have also been homeschooling my 11 year old for 2 terms, a hybrid of Steiner and interest led lessons. It's hard work and relentless. I've actually given up and he is going back to school next week, much to his delight. We had another family crisis eventuate in the midst of homeschooling and it was impossible to navigate both and do a good job. What a year 2020 is for everyone in all parts of the world. I wish you all the best with your journey, pray the fires and smoke clear soon.

Mary Ann in Vermont! says: October 16, 2020 at 07:38 AM

Just Thank Goodness that there is a new post from You!! xo

I miss you so much when time goes by and we don't hear from you on this space. I am a long time follower and you always fill up those corners of my heart with your love, creativity, family, and sharings. Wishing forever your Girl and Your Family so Much Deep Love. xo

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.