winter doldrums

February 17, 2014 |  Category:   life


Speaking of The Little House books and life without modern comforts, the 4th grade class is learning about colonial and revolutionary America and have been taking field trips and doing period appropriate in-classroom activities. Discovered that a big portion of our neighborhood used to be one big farm owned by a single Dutch family who had 2 children, a girl and a boy. The 4th graders learned what it was like to be a kid in 1700s Brooklyn, where the entire day could be spent doing a single chore like weaving or candle making. At the end of the day when asked which they would prefer – to be a kid in 1700 or a kid in 2014, one student astutely answered that she prefers to be a kid now because you can still do the things that kids did in the 1700s, like sewing, weaving and cooking. I liked that answer.





I found myself looking at various online classes late at night 2 weeks ago when I couldn’t sleep. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in any kind of classroom environment – probably not since grad school 14 years ago. I’m not really sure how taking a class could fit in with our current schedule and that’s the biggest challenge, but I would really like to learn a new skill, preferably making things with my hands, off screen, in 3 dimensions. I feel like I’m self taught in a lot of things, but sometimes you need the benefit of an instructor and the camaraderie of a classroom, not to mention the structure of a schedule and the accountability of assignments.


I think the winter weather is getting to all of us. February can be hard, but I actually think March is harder still. You get to the end of your rope with winter, but it can still be very cold even though you expect March to usher in Spring. But I look out my window at 4:30 pm and see how very light it is still, the sun only just beginning to make its descent down and I know that we are shifting towards change. There have been some bright spots this past month for sure – a very special 10th birthday dinner at Nobu, a meal that the kids are still talking about a week later; an outing with the little one yesterday to see the Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum; even the snow has been beautiful at times, but it’s been a struggle to keep the spirits up at all times. I don’t even try. It’s ok to let yourself feel whatever.
Hugs from the girls help though. Looking up at the sky does too. And, birthday cake, yes.

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  • yj February 17, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Chambers Pottery has great wheel classes!

    I’d also teach you to knit in exchange for shortbread cookies!

    • Jenna February 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I would love to take a ceramics class, but oddly when i took a wheel class when I lived in the NW, it was bad for my lower back. Maybe the way that I had to sit, or put so much pressure on the clay? I think I might like to take a freeform clay class though!
      I used to knit for a couple of years, joined some knitting circles. I never got beyond very basic projects, but I did enjoy it!

  • L February 18, 2014 at 2:45 am

    While I’m a frequent reader of blogs (and before livejournals, etc.) I never comment on blogs (in fact, this is my first comment ever!) Today I decided to leave one here to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. It’s well written, different, honest and very refreshing in the time of advertorials and sponsored posts. As a new mother, I especially enjoy posts on familylife and work/life balance, but I love your writing in general. Just wanted to let you know. Greetings from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    • Jenna February 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Thank you so much. I’m really honored that you left a comment – your first! It’s always nice to hear from people. Congratulations on your baby!

  • Renita February 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    This maybe fun to watch … How about letterpress?

    • Jenna February 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Oh, I remember this show!

  • Lizzie February 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I love what you said: “It’s ok to let yourself feel whatever.” So good to remember this!

  • Simone March 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Not really sure what you would like to make but I really love this: another thing that is pretty easy (fun for kids as well) is felting. What is nice is that there is not really a wrong way to do things,

    Good luck with finding something, kind regards;