Quote of the Day

12.21.2009

Merry Christmas, I say. I'm such a rebel.

I'm taking a rebel stance on the Merry Christmas issue. I think we should all utter greetings appropriate to our own faith customs. I'll wish you Merry Christmas. You can wish me Happy Holidays, or Happy Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you wish. You'll learn that I celebrate the Birth of Christ. I'll learn that you celebrate whatever it is that you celebrate. We will all be friendly and cordial. It will be fine.

I posted the above in Facebook earlier in the month and then my clever cousin took the ball and ran with it all the way to a real paid article: go take a look. Doesn't she write beautifully?

12.19.2009

stocking stuffer ideas

Some ideas, for your stuffing pleasure


:: bath poofs
:: toy mice for humans owned by cats
:: chewies and tennis balls for humans owned by dogs
:: postage stamps for anyone off at college
:: good cheeses
:: nuts
:: Christmas ornaments for young adults
:: pocket flashlights for the cars
:: chapsticks
:: winter-weight Atlas garden gloves
:: hand-warmer packets for those in cold climates

:: tulip or daffodil bulbs
:: long matches
:: smoked oysters
:: woolie socks
:: Starbuck's cards
:: Trader Joe's cards
:: iTunes cards
:: pencils and erasers for school kids - especially home-schooling families
:: chocolate oranges
:: bottle of favorite fragrance
:: paint brushes and  other artsy supplies (hat tip to Audrey)
:: LUSH bubble bars

:: drill bits
:: hairclippies and rubber bands for little girls
:: sparkly glue


What did I miss ?

12.15.2009

The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook

I tried to resist, I really did. I don't need another cookbook. I haven't cooked all the recipes in the cookbooks I have! But I succumbed. I want this one:

12.14.2009

The Stall Question

Do your kids drive you crazy with The Stall Question? Of course not, for you are a paragon of patience and loving-kindness. Me? Not so much. They drive me nuts with the lame-o unnecessary already-know-the-answer-and-we-all-know-that-you-know-the-answer questions that they ask to put off the inevitable for one more second, or that they ask for the sheer joy of watching Mom's head explode. I suspect the latter.

Obviously, if I could remain calm, cool, and collected, the Crisis of the Stall Question would dissipate on its own. Until I can arrange for a personality transplant, however, my new strategy will have to do. Lines. For every ridiculous question, the child can scribe the answer.

Mom: Please tidy up the playroom.
Child: Do I have to?
Mom: Please bring me paper and pencil.
(Mom writes "When Mom tells me to do something, I have to do it." on the top of the paper and numbers the lines 1 though 5.)
Mom: Please copy this out five times.
Child: Do I have to?
(Mom adds some numbers to the paper.)
(Child whines and stamps feet.)
(Mom adds some more numbers to the paper.)
(Child resigns self to the task, does the copywork; reads each and every line out loud to Mama; we check it for capital letters and end punctuation; we make tidy corrections as needed.)

Mom: Please tidy the playroom.
Child: Yes Mama.

We'll see how that works. It has to be better than our current pattern.

Mom: Please tidy up the playroom.
Child: Do I have to?
Mom (crossly): Yes, of course you have to. When I ask blah blah blah blahbity blah blah blah blah blah blahbity blah blah blah blah blah blahbity blah blah blah blah blah blahbity blah blah. Now go tidy up the playroom.
Child: Do I have to?
Mom (more crossly): No, you don't have to. You may go sit in the little chair until you are ready to tidy the playroom.

Now this did work, but I was always at risk of being pushed into crabby-land and a great deal of time was wasted on the little chair which has no redeeming benefits, other than ending the conversation and removing the child from view for awhile, and there was great potential for stewing to occur in the chair.

But scribing has some great benefits. It puts the positive message in front of the child's eyes, through the brain, and out through the fingers and the mouth multiple times. It models sentence patterns. It provides fine-motor skills practice. It is, by its repetitive solitary nature, a calming task which yields something they could (theoretically at least) take some pride in at the end.

12.07.2009

how timely

If you follow my tweets and/or know me in RL, you know this is Grading Season. I took a wee break last night from my huge grading queue to join the family for Reading Time. We are working our way through The Chronicles of Narnia and have just started "The Horse and His Boy".

Shasta and Aravis and Bree and Hwin have just met up and are exchanging stories.

Aravis immediately began, sitting quite still and using a rather different tone and style from her usual one. For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you\'re taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.


Alas, Lewis is right.

12.01.2009

I know how to look it up


Dandy (10): Chickadee, what's a consonant blend?
Chickadee (8): I forgot, but I know how to look it up.
(I faint with pleasure at this.)
Chickadee: Why don't you know this already?
Dandy: It's not the sort of thing that sticks in my head.
Chickadee: Well then I'll teach you how to look it up, and then you are on your own.
(I briefly revive, and faint away again. If all else fails, I have raised at least one independent learner. Malcolm Knowles would be proud of me.)



She then gives him a nice explanation -- with examples -- of consonant blends and digraphs.

11.23.2009

Thanksgiving Prep


The Great Thanksgiving List
because proper preparation and planning prevents poor performance!

at least 1 week before1. order brine
2. purchase turkey
3. if you are cooking a turkey for the first time, or trying a new method, do a practice turkey
4. press leaves for table decorations
5. polish silver
6. make & freeze pie crusts
7. finalize & delegate menu
8. clean oven
9. confirm table coverings
10. collect table decorations
11. confirm that your turkey fits in your pan
12. confirm that you have a working food thermometer

weekend before
1. clean house
2. make duty cards: door host, coffee sergeant, appetizer server, table waiters, before dinner kitchen tidier, sous chef, table clearer, after dinner kitchen tidier, garbage taker-outer, dessert server, after dessert kitchen tidier. Folks draw one card on arrival and that is their duty for the day (I assign some of them as I see fit).
3. timeline food prep
4. wash living room & dining room windows
5. figure out turkey thawing schedule
6. empty front hall closet and confirm available hangers

Tuesday
1. make mashed potatoes
2. roast pumpkins
3. make pumpkin soup
4. clean off all ancillary surfaces and tables

Wednesday
1. brine big turkey
2. set up tables
3. set tables
4. set out and label serving platters & utensils
5. set out extra platters and serving bowls for guest use
6. mix up turkey rub
7. make dressing
8. make pumpkin black bean casserole
9. mix up pecan pie filling
10. stage apple dumplings
11. lay in fire
12. clean house again
13. move living room furniture to accommodate extra chairs
14. filter and chill water for table

Thursday
1. remove potatoes from fridge
2. rub down turkey if you didn't brine
3. run & empty dishwasher
4. confirm garbage can is empty
5. sweep front porch and walk
6. stage tea station
7. sniff check animal litter boxes just in case

12:00
1. make a thermos of coffee & prep coffee maker for next round
2. make sure you have eaten something sustaining

1:45
1. confirm small lamps and candles are on/lit
2. recruit valet for parking
3. confirm dishwasher is empty
4. turn on coffee pot
5. close and latch bunny room door against visiting dogs and small children.

11.09.2009

oh the heartache

In the fall of 2006 we brought home from Russia two confused and neglected children, ages 5 and 6. Here are two snapshots of the grief that our little ones carry:


December 2006: our son had been with us for nearly three months before this conversation occurred, during an alphabet lesson:


We did the letter "B" last week:

"Ball. Banana. Bunnies. Bread. Breakfast. Baby." I said.

"Mama doesn't like babies," Dandy replied.

"Yes I do! Why do you think that?"

"Why did you give me to the detskydom (orphanage)?"

Whoops! All this time he has thought I parked him there for six years because I didn't like babies. All this time, he had thought I was his tummy-mommy. When I met him at the orphanage, he thought I was returning after being away. The amazing thing is that he 'welcomed me back' with open arms and heart, in spite of being abandoned.

After I explained that I was a new Mama on the scene he said it was very sad that we had had to wait so long. "I needed you," he said. "I was a sad baby. I needed you no bolshoy padashdi (big wait)."


And a few months later, in February of 2007 our daughter, who sings all the time, was singing over her breakfast.

I love my mama.

Yes I do.

I love my mama.

Yes I do.

My Ruskie mama.

No I eat.

My Ruskie mama.

No I eat.

I love my mama.

Eat. Eat. Eat.

I love my mama.

Eat. Eat. Eat.

My mama loves me.

Eat. Eat. Eat.

My mama loves me.

Eat. Eat. Eat.

My Ruskie mama . . .

The song stops.


A small voice asks, "Mama, did Ruskie Mama love me?"

"Yes."

"Why no I eat?"



We read all the books, the blogs, the list-serves. We had buckets of knowledge about the circumstances that children come from and the struggles of adapting to the new lives. We knew a lot. But how could we possibly anticipate moments like these? Moments when we that show us the confusion, the questions, the sad wonderings with which they live

10.27.2009

sneaking off

If you know us in real-life, or even in blog-life I guess, you know that Dandy is not a free-range kid. I always have to know where he is and what he is doing. If I don't, he gets himself into trouble. It's not a lot different from parenting a 4-year-old, only a lot taller.

Any way, he has been sneaking off for the last few days. You know where I find him?

On his bed. Reading.

Oh happiness and joy.

He is reading, for real, Harry Potter. Not pretending to read it, but really reading it -- able to correctly tell me what is happening.

He is in 4th grade; three years ago he spoke only Russia and read nothing but his name in both languages.

10.24.2009

We Who Are Your Closest Friends

We Who Are Your Closest Friends


We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
frustration
discontent and
torture
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
association
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.
-- Phillip Lopate

10.19.2009

quickie update

Well we visited our excellent vet this morning who says that we have practically perfect cats and who mentioned that his lovely wife reads the blog which reminded me that I need to post so here I am posting.  So, here is my day:
  • kitties to vet
  • prepare and serve special meals for ailing foster hens: grated apple and carrot in yogurt, served slightly warm.
  • launch kids onto their daily chore and school lists
  • run errand for brother in exchange for a free massage
  • grade 27 items for World Lit class
  • grade 139 items for Eng 101
  • run laundry
  • make dinner for beloved niece who is blessing us with her presence this evening
  • pay bills at least to the point that the credit cards work again
  • supervise son as he does the seasonal clothes sorting
  • research spring trip to Mexico (that's the carrot that gets me to the end of the list)
That's all.

10.13.2009

bursting my buttons with pride to be related to this one

My dear friend Sonya, curious about homeschooling I suppose, wondered what we were doing for Columbus Day. Would I teach my kids about Columbus as courageous explorer or obnoxious conqueror? Should he be celebrated or despised? What about immigration? Manifest destiny? read the whole article, and find out which of my clever relatives wrote it, over at Psychology Today . . .

10.12.2009

We've been building


We built these lovely chicken nesting boxes:


And this nice chicken roost that swings out of the way for cleaning.



By "we" I mean the kids and I. Dandy helps hold things and Chickadee is a great bit girl (changing from the drill bit to the screwdriver bit). We built these two things without plans which is a big step up for us. Up until now I have depended on written instructions.

While we did this, Jamie ripped out the old interior walls of the creamery (the little building on the right), insulated the walls, installed plywood, and is building the partition that separates the chicken space from the storage part of the room. He is also building a cute wind-protection tunnel whereby they may enter and exit the hen-house (formerly know as the creamery). Dandy installed the trim work along the ceiling. He is right proud of this, as you can imagine.


10.08.2009

yummy fall menu

Our dinner tonight was:
  • apple cider from our cider pressing at my parents'
  • borscht from our garden with sour cream and dill
  • dark dark rye bread with butter
  • gingercake with applesauce and whipping cream
Very simple. Very pretty. Very nutritious. Very filling. Very thrifty.

10.02.2009

happening right now at my house

  • My Dad is, with a lapfull of snoozing house-bunnies, supervising Dandy who is assembling Grandma's birthday gift: a new Radio Flyer red wagon with sides.
  • Chickadee is reading to said Grandma.
  • Apple cake is baking.
  • Dogs are snoozing in the sun.

I love days like this.

10.01.2009

I need to . . .

  • empty and sort my freezers.
  • grade 50 quizzes and write this week's quiz questions.
  • make soup.
  • process (pay, reconcile, dispute etc.) a month's worth off bills and E.O.B.s.
  • harvest, roast, shred, and freeze beets.
  • put away the summer clothes and get out the woolies.
  • revise the children's daily "to do" lists.

9.30.2009

9.22.2009

late bloomer

All of our hens have been giving us eggs for months now, except one, the tiny one we cleverly named Baby as she was so much smaller than the others. Apparently her time has come. That's a Rhode Island Red egg on the left, and Baby's first egg on the right. Baby is a California Grey.

9.20.2009

vacation pictures

We rode the ferry.





We had a beautiful place to stay.




We had kayaks.







We had a water-park.



We had miniature golf (and I got 4 hole-in-ones!).


We had fun.


9.19.2009

the gospel according to Dandy



"Jesus came to delete us."



This puts a whole new twist on it.

9.16.2009

egg poacher


Have you ever tried to peel a hard-boiled egg that just would not cooperate? Do you know why some eggs are like that? Hard-to-peel eggs are eggs that are boiled too fresh. Eggs over three weeks old peel easily, younger eggs not so much.

This, we have found, is the one downside to having farm-fresh eggs. We are not organized enough to age our eggs, so we end up poaching them, which generates hard-to-clean egg poaching pans.

No more! With these delightful Poach Pods, we poach, turn it inside out to remove the egg, and then wipe it down. It's my new favorite kitchen gadget.

9.14.2009

a quickie

We are home from a wonderful vacation and back to real life, full of exams and appointments and deadlines.

Jamie has a huge test coming up next week, so he is hunkered down studying for that.

I am teaching two classes at the community college, both on-line, and those classes launch on Thursday, so I am in a hot panic getting those prepped.

Dandy had two assessments today: reading and math. In reading he is precisely at 4th grade level and in math he is between 4th and 5th (ahead of himself, in other words). We are very pleased. Tomorrow I meet with the school for a half-day a week enrollment to work on some behavior issues whilst I continue with the academics at home.

Chickadee starts art classes this week.

The gardens are out-of-control.

The pile of mail is huge.

The car is yet to be unloaded.

That's our life. How is yours?

9.03.2009

vacation news

Oh we hare having such a nice vacation. We kayak daily and see seals and herons and dolphins and starfish and kelp and crabs and jellyfish. We swim a lot. We play in playgrounds and waterparks. We sleep well. We wish some of you were here with us.

8.23.2009

what's up with this?

Dandy: "Mom, can I take a nap?"
Me: "Uhm, yeah. Sure."

another quickie

Another 5 minute update:
  • The fair was great -- I lasted from 2 til 9 which is quite an accomplishment given my summer. Pics to follow.
  • We are busy converting the old creamery into the chickens' winter home.
  • The garden is producing well, especially zucchinis and beets. I roast, shred, and freeze the beets for winter borscht.
  • We are packing for our upcoming vacation on Vancouver Island. Mom and I are going up with the kids. Then mom leaves and bff comes up. Then she leaves and beloved husband comes up. The kids and I are there for two weeks.
  • Both kids are really enjoying reading.

8.19.2009

5 minute update

How much can I post about in 5 minutes?

  • 5 of the 6 hens are laying.
  • I've been quite sick all summer and we are all fed up with it -- bronchitis, ear infections, tummy flu, bad colds, whatever comes along I catch. On steroids and antibiotics now and hoping to get to have a life.
  • Gardens are over-producing -- this would be a good thing if I had any energy for canning and freezing.
  • Going to our county fair on Friday with my folks.
  • Looking forward to a couple of weeks at Pacific Shores in September.
  • Really really love Quicken's Medical Expense tracking software. We've toted up nearly 50,000 of expenses and this program has helped me sort out what the insurance company should pay and what we owe and what we can submit to our Medical Savings Account for reimbursement. If you have a medically complicated year, you need this software.
  • I am teaching face-to-face all three quarters next academic year. This should be interesting.
oops, time's up.

8.11.2009

tomatoes?

Last year I bought specialty tomatoes, planted them in specialty containers in specialty dirt, coddled and pampered them and enjoyed one little tomato.  This year I bought nothing special tomatoes at the nothing special store and planted them in the vegie gardens along with everything else and utterly ignored them.  Tomatoes everywhere.  What gives?

8.06.2009

homeschooling

We just got Dandy's test results from the end of the school year. I am posting this for all of you that question our home-schooling decision.

Let's look at Reading first. The top line is the district norm, the triangles are his class norm (pretty much the same). The lower line is Dandy.

The first measure is May 2008. Then September 2008, then May 2009. Yes, he is below grade level (approximately at mid-2nd grade level when his age peers are at end of 3rd grade level), but he had to learn a new language and alphabet at age 7, so being behind is to be expected.

What I want you to notice is this: his group went up a half a bar in a year; Dandy went up a bar and a third.

Now let's look at Math.

The first measure is May 2008. Then September 2008, then May 2009. Yes, he is below grade level but only by a teeny tiny bit and again, look at the gains. His peers went up half a bar; he went up a full two bars (thank you Math-U-See).

So tell me again why I should not home-school them? Oh right, the socialization. Honestly, with the state of pop culture, and the government using schools as tool of social "reform", I can do without the socialization.

Have I ever mentioned that, as a community college English teacher, I see in my classes the products of public schooling? Of the outstanding students I do get to work with (few and far between), many of them are home-schooled.

Now, I know that home-schooling does not fit for many families; I am not posting this to say that you should home-school. I am posting this for those who question the fit for our family and to brag a little on our hard work. Go Dandy! Go home-schooling!

7.30.2009

water


We are hot. Washington is not supposed to be hot. Our only defense is to be wet.

7.22.2009

eggs

Time for an egg report. I have on hen that is laying, the curvaceous blond hen that we named Eva Peron. She prefers to lay her eggs at the base of the chimney, I would prefer that she use her nesting box.

They sleep in the top floor of their chicken ark and My Gift from a Generous God usually lets them out between 6 and 7 am. In our new plan, he merely lets them down the ramp at that time, and then I let them out later. The last few mornings it has worked; we find cute little eggs in the nesting box where they belong.

Here is a pic, to help it all make sense.

7.21.2009

not one of the difficult kids

Yup. That is what Dandy's day camp counselor told us at the end of the week. That our son, the one that is usually the Difficult One in other contexts, did not make the naughty list at day camp. We are so pleased. I can't possibly share with you how many hours of coaching and parenting and intervening and fretting this accomplishment cost us, nor how pleased we are to -- at least not on this occassion -- to not be the 'in-trouble' family. Yeah Dandy!

In other camp news, he got to go knee-boarding and inner-tubing and roll in the dirt and sing and romp and came home filthy and exhausted. It was a great week.

7.13.2009

quitting: intuition

I’m usually quite compulsive about finishing any book that I started, but I’m giving up on Intuition by Allegra Goodwin: heavy on description, skimpy on plot.  I stayed with it to the half-way mark, waiting for either a plot development or a character that I could care about, but to no avail.


Have you read it?  Did you like it?  If so, please let me in on what I missed . . .

7.12.2009

eggs

We found a clutch of 5 little eggs in the rose garden last night, snugged up in the corner where the chimney joins the house. This morning there was another one there.

Any chicken readers out there with good ideas on how to convince them to lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, not in the garden?

day camp

Each child has or is having the treat of day camp this summer. Chickadee finished her week last Friday, coming home so tired that one evening we found her dozing of standing up with her head on the counter. She came home every evening sticky and dirty: pine pitch, dirt, pine needles, what have you. Dirty, tired, and happy -- she loves camp.

Dandy goes off to camp this week. I signed them up separately as I wanted her to have her own experience; she too easily allows her life to become a mere derivative of his. Not a life-habit I want to encourage.

7.11.2009

roosters-be-gone

Just in case you care, 3 of our 9 chickies turned into roos, 2 of which we rehomed, so we are now down to 1 rooster and 6 hens. The hens much prefer the new ratio as those young roosters are rather single-minded and persistent.

7.10.2009

homeschool planning

We have a new system in place, thanks to all the horizontal time I have had for planning. I am too weary to be up very much, but too well to actually sleep during all my down-time, so I plan and scheme.

First, I made a lovely chart for each child.
From Drop Box


Then I set up folders for each subject.

MATH
They use Math-U-See (which rocks!) and are fairly independent with it. They watch the video and do the worksheets and I correct them. At this pace they will get through a little more than one lesson a week. If a lesson seems really hard I can print extra worksheets off of the Math-U-See website and add them to the folder.

READING
Each child has a basket of >10 page sequenced readers. Dandy has Open Court Decodables and Chickadee has the same, along with some BOB books. They read them to each other and to the pets until they can read smoothly, then they read them to a grown-up. If you visit us, we may ask you to be read to.

LANGUAGE ARTS
This folder contains a mix of word-puzzles, draw-and-write sheets, some projects from Language Lessons for the Elementary Child, poems to copy and make into lapbooks, the workbooks for the Pathway readers, etc.

SPELLING
We use the Sequential Spelling which (duh) lists words in sequences: ow, cow, how, plow, growl and so forth. Words that the kids miss during Sequential Spelling time make it their own private lists. So, though 5 words a day may seem like a lot, they are 5 words in a familiar series, so it is more feasible than you may think. This folder merely holds a constantly updated list of missed words.

LATIN
We use the Prima Latina material for vocabulary lists and the audio CD for correct pronunciation. The children can make flashcards and drill each other. Again,
this folder holds a constantly updated list of words.

HISTORY
We use the Story of the World audio CDs which I got from the library and put onto my iPod, along with the Bible (where there is overlap) so that each day the children can listen to one bit (4-10 minutes) and then make an artifact. I just ordered the History Through the Ages Timeline figures and we'll start making our giant wall timeline. If making an artifact for the timeline doesn't suit them, they can do a draw-and-write.

As the history curriculum unfolds, we will feed in the science. Right we are still in early history and the development of agriculture. Our science lesson for this part takes part in our own agricultural projects, with some hands-on domestication of animals on the side.

As I'm typing this up, I realized that I need to start over with Genesis 1:1 and Plate Tectonics. I love how, if you just teach history, you'll hit all the sciences as you go.

As an aside, my niece mentioned to me that she had several teachers who did not teach any history, as it wasn't on the WASL, our state's standardized test. ARGH.

Back to the plan, if all the chart is complete by Friday evening there is a treat, ice-cream or pie at the corner diner most likely. If it is not complete by Friday evening, it will get done on Saturday morning, which cuts into free-play time.

The other happy benefit of this plan is that, after attaching the relevant worksheets to the chart, I can pop the whole thing into a file to document to the state that I am filling my hourly requirements.

Technorati


7.09.2009

Days Go By

At the recommendation of our lovely and intelligent home-schooling cousin (a published poet no less), we bought Days Go By for Chickadee. At first glance, it looked to be too difficult, so we set it aside.


A few weeks ago, I found it, secreted underneath her pillow, with a bookmark about two-thirds though. At last, we have reached the covert reading stage! I quietly rejoiced and didn't let on, wondering a bit if she was understanding it all, or just barely slogging through it.

Over the weekend, I had separated the quibbling siblings which left Chickadee without external amusements. She went up and got her book and settled herself into the hammock from which she read aloud, fluidly and accurately, to the chickens.

Yippee for reading! And thank you to our lovely and intelligent cousin who told us about the books, saying (as best as I recall) that I will like them as the children in them do chores and have to be respectful to their grown-ups. :)

7.08.2009

a stalker

So, yesterday morning I step out onto the deck to look at the weather (wet) and the yard. I wave to the chickens and step back into the house.

Once inside, I notice that my cat is staring at my feet with one of those intense I-am-cat-I-see-your-soul sorts of stares. I glance down. Nothing. She still stares. I look behind me and there I find Eva, my favorite hen. Apparently Eva is of the opinion that each and every time I step out there, I need to feed her.

Let's just hope she doesn't learn how to use the kitty door.

7.07.2009

goat poison antidote

Oh how I wish that I had had this mixed up and waiting for us in the freezer. Next time we'll be ready.

1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C cooled really strong black tea
1 t ground ginger
1 t baking soda


Use this when your goat is vomiting and foaming at the mouth and nose because she ate something she oughtn't. For more info, visit GoatWorld.com.

7.06.2009

The Thirteenth Tale


Really enjoyed this story which reminded me a bit of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and a bit of Wilkie Collins Woman in White. An eccentric British novelist hires a bookish shopgirl to listen to, and record for posterity, the novelist's final attempt to tell the truth. Trouble is, some truths are unreliable, as are some narrators. Can you figure out what really happened before the reluctant biographer does? I highly recommend The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diana Setterfield.

7.05.2009

our first egg

Dandy found our first egg on the ramp this morning: tiny little thing, but a real egg none-the-less. Our chickens are 3.5 months old.

6.24.2009

no news . . . no posts

I'm starting to get phone calls and emails about the lack of blog posting. I have nothing to report. My life is rather dull these days. If you must know, I have:

  • Watched seasons 1-5 of LOST.
  • Worn a hole in the pad of my index finger playing StoneLoops and Sally's Salon on my iTouch.
  • Watched Breakfast at Tiffany's and Evita And Miss Potter.
  • Taught Chickadee how to play Mancala
  • Taught Dandy how to play Cribbage
  • Read a couple of magazines.
  • Slept a lot. For a month.

See? I told you I was dull.



~Suzanne

6.08.2009

general update on chickens, childrens, gardens, and naps

Well let's see, what is there to blog about?

The baby chickies are no more. They are now small hens and roos. Our rooster needs some crowing instruction. As is, he is more squawk than crow.

The children are enjoying public school. Not a bad time to enroll, as this is field trip season. Beach, park, more beach: it's all good.

My bff came over today and played kitchen wench, chopping and assembling meals for us and baking yummy bread and generally lifting my spirits.

The vegie gardens I cannot report on as they are too far from the house and I can't wobble out to see them yet. The flower gardens are lovely. I'll try to get a picture.

Me? I am nappy. Shower. Nap. Sit in a chair for an hour. Nap. Loaf around in bed for 3 hours. Nap. I'm pretty much worthless, but each day a little less so. At this rate, I'll be perky in time for Christmas.

Now I need a nap -- all this typing . . .

~Suzanne

6.03.2009

lived

Didn't die on the operating table and woke up with incisions in the right places and with all my arms and legs still attached. Did stay in the hospital one day longer than expected as I was wobbly-headed. Learned that I am less wobbly-headed when my husband is walking me than I am with a nurse or an aide. Big strong arms help.

So now I am home. I sleep, drink, wobble to the loo, and repeat. Very exciting times here.

I'm also watching Lost, which I have never seen. We are in Season 1 and I am hooked, though it is a bit creepy for me (I'm pretty sheltered, by choice), but I like the riddle-aspect of it.

My big accomplishment yesterday was sitting on the deck for an hour. Today's goal is taking a shower. Need a nap first.

~Suzanne

5.27.2009

surgery tomorrow

Have been far too busy preparing the house and the pantry and the children and the gardens and the lists and the watering schedules and the classes I am teaching and so on to even think about blogging. I do tweet now-and-again and will try to tweet again tomorrow, on the other side of surgery.

~Suzanne

5.19.2009

love notes

I've been writing love notes on the children's napkins each day. This morning they made their own sandwiches and finished packing their lunches, including the napkins. As they were finishing up I came in to do the love note part. Too late. They had already written the love notes, from one to the other, and apparently in secret, as they wouldn't tell me what they had written.

~Suzanne

5.13.2009

full report later . . . pics to tide you over






~Suzanne

it's so quiet

I get it now.


I get why people send their kids to school now. It is so quiet here. And in an hour it will still be quiet. And an hour after that? Quiet. I can breathe. I can take a long bath. I can clean the house and in a couple of hours it might still be clean, at least until 3:30. Wow.

This could be dangerous, like a drug is dangerous, you try it just once and then . . .

~Suzanne