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rainy days and other blessings

2015 May 29
by Rachel Turiel


What is happening here is that it’s raining. Raining, as in this regular thing that you don’t have to desperately pray for, nor purposely leave car windows down in hopes of chumming in the roving clouds while superstitiously pretending not to actually care.


More snow now than in winter.

Last Friday, downtown with the kids, taking respite from the downpour in a magazine store we love to loiter in, Dan texted me, “Welcome to the New Age” (a nod to the post-apocalyptic song all the kids  these days love, or at least our two kids and their friend Cedar who introduced them to it).

Indeed. Everyone is walking around pleasantly bewildered, making back-up plans for outside events, and if you’re Col, noting, “it’s troubling to hear a plane and look up and not be able to see it because of all the clouds.”

Col and his agent doing business with airplane cards in a real airplane hangar at Animas Air Park.

Also, what’s happening here is Col has created a new business, Col’s Aviation Art, in which he draws custom portraits of people’s airplanes. I catch my breath when I hear him on the phone with a client, his shy, hesitant voice squeaking out, “Hi, this is Col, the airplane artist. Your portrait is ready.” Yesterday he was sketching at the kitchen table, muttering about deadlines.

We finished the final Harry Potter book last week and I’m having a bit of a hard time moving on. Everytime I open our new book, I can’t help but feel there just aren’t enough owls. We did name our new foster kitten, Hagrid, which helps a little.


Rose asked, Is it legal to post pictures of cats and rats together?

Every night at sunset we (Dan) slip the six baby chicks in the coop with the five adult chickens, when everyone is all dopey on melatonin and not likely to notice the interlopers, and then in the morning we (Dan) bring the babies out to their daytime daycare. We actually forgot to make a plan for integrating the generations. Whoops.rain9


The payoff for packing out elk ribs.


While I spend most days contemplating, doubting, celebrating and generally over-thinking my life, Dan will happily pass an entire day pushing on the fibers of a brained elk hide with rocks and antlers, softening them into a permanently butter-soft garment, feeling like he’s in the exact right place at the right time. And developing really nice muscles.


Col and his homeschool co-op cronies celebrating 4 yrs of learning and playing together on a backpacking trip. Verdict is: more please!


My summer project is helping the kids to appreciate each other. (I don’t mind the mundane bickering over who gets the coveted privilege of holding the dustpan while the other is burdened with the broom, just wake me when the floor is swept), but I do want them to see each other as allies, as precious kin needing mutual kindness and compassion, or at being least worthy of “bad acupuncture.”

Rose: Col, do you want the good acupuncture or the bad acupuncture?

Col: the bad acupuncture for 12 minutes, then switch to surgery. 

Which is to say, one strategy that seems to be working to build sibling bonds is to go outside and plant tomatoes for two hours and leave them to their own, strange devices.


Files from the Raising a Boy Department:

Col: Hey Dad, wouldn’t it be fun to take the model airplane I just built, send it down a zipline and set it on fire?

Dan: Sure. Grab my camera and take a video.

rain3Can you see the flames? Can you see Rosie watching from behind the glass? 

The burning plane came apart, half of it landing on the plastic greenhouse roof below, causing a disembodied adult male voice to shout on the video, “Get the fucking crutch!” Good thing Rose had bought a pair of adult crutches at a garage sale last year, which have been malingering in the yard, but came perfectly in handy to scoot the burning chunks of balsa wood off the greenhouse roof just in time.


That’s all for now, lovely people.



18 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 29, 2015

    Bummer! No new “mature” words to learn. And I was so looking forward to some! Great description, Rach. It felt like I was there! :) Aunt Jan

  2. May 29, 2015

    I wish I could love this post more but I can’t.
    I can’t actually love it more than I already do.
    And I want to see that video.

  3. Susan S permalink
    May 29, 2015

    Observe Rosie’s foresight! And Col’s Aviation Art? Cooler than the coolest thing ever. Rachel, you have ALL the fun! Good times. :-)

  4. Andrea Lecos permalink
    May 29, 2015

    OMG – your kids are too much – of everything! They are amazingly brilliant. I LOVE reading your stories, everywhere. Reading about your life makes me wish I lived closer to you again. You’re doing it all right for sure. xoxo

  5. Sara permalink
    May 29, 2015


  6. Brenda permalink
    May 29, 2015

    Love it all…. the airplane artist is amazing!! The zip line airplane….hilarious!! The acupuncturist…. amazing! What a life!! :)

  7. Andrea permalink
    May 29, 2015

    I think I love every post of yours the best.
    But I really love this one the best.
    And we need to see that video.
    And it’s not raining here.

  8. Ellen permalink
    May 29, 2015

    Great photos. And everyone knows that bad acupuncture is always the best (followed by surgery of course).

  9. May 29, 2015

    This literally made me howl with laughter. I love how you & your family live your daily life as an adventure. Thanks for letting us live it with you :)

  10. May 29, 2015

    You are such a riot. What I have noticed is that things like this happen at our house (my kids played “bathroom” outside for hours one day?) but I cannot capture it like you can in your blog! I also spend a lot of time thinking about my life (or lack of) and my husband floats through his days with fishing being the primary concern on his mind.

  11. Molly permalink
    May 30, 2015

    Beautiful. I was thinking of publishing an inspirational journal for kids, where the inspirational prompt on every page is “How ’bout if…’, which is how my girl and her friends build their stories on each other’s last ideas.

  12. May 31, 2015

    Love getting your fun family snippets!! XOXO

  13. June 1, 2015

    Your posts always have the perfect blend of transcendentally spiritual and zanily hilarious. And the thing to do when you finish reading all the Harry Potter books out loud to your kids is to pick them up and read them again, because so much time has passed since you started the first one, they don’t even remember what happened (and because your tongue needs the exercise of saying Wizengamot on a regular basis). After reading them aloud 2.3 times, I promise, you won’t feel like anything is missing.

  14. Rachel Turiel permalink*
    June 1, 2015

    Lovelies – can you believe Dan *erased* the video? Obviously he has no understanding that this could have been the next video to go viral! But knowing Col, the flaming plane on a zipline may strike again.

  15. Amy permalink
    June 1, 2015

    So many good things here…Hagrid the foster cat, the burning plane zip-line, the airplane artist, the RAIN and rainbows!!!, the radioactive text! You and your family are so great. Thanks for sharing all of the juicy details of your days with us!

  16. June 1, 2015

    That last bit gave me such a laugh! Now I will go to sleep with a giggle. :)

  17. katharine permalink
    June 2, 2015

    This had me laughing and sending links to my husband- you overthinking and him working away and get the fucking crutch! Awesomeness! So glad you share with all of us. Your writing is delightful.

  18. Natalie permalink
    June 4, 2015

    I think it would a service to humankind if you could narrate all of the childhoods of all of the children. You’re just so damn clever and funny.

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