Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Garden Pictures

Pineapple mint is taking over my salad garden. I need to start drying it for winter tea.
O.k. Don't laugh. I'm proud of my little zucchini! It has been a tough spring and I'll take what I can get!

Ireland Creek Annies! I'll write more about these beans another time. They are an heirloom with special significance to me.

Gotta love those cheerful poppies!

Some Early Garden Photos

My Painted Mountain corn - not going to make it knee-high by the 4th! Still, it is looking healthy and strong.
I decided to try out watermelon and canteloupe in the hoop house this year.

My bleeding heart is the biggest and best ever!

Mr. Blueberry Eyes playing in "the pea green boat" today! This is in his mud hole in my garden.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Do You Think?

O.k. I did some playing around with my blog. What do you think? Like it, or prefer the old style. I can't decide! - Nanette

Our Life Most Recently

I seem to go through periods where I have much to be philosophical about. I always think I'm going to pose a line of thought and invite comment. But, recently, it has been a lot just to keep up with our summer adventures. Here are a few photos taken on a recent trip to our favorite hiking spot. As you can see, the kids are growing before our eyes.

Lastnight, we returned home late from a homeschool convention in western Washington. I needed the refocusing that comes with those conventions. I needed the reassurance to some of my late ponderings of educational choices. That is exactly what I got.

The main speaker was John Taylor Gatto, a first-class educationalist. He was awarded "teacher-of-the-year" awards in the New York school system. It made one feel as if you were learning at the feet of a great thinker.

I was also tickled pink to meet Catherine Levison. Her books on a Charlotte Mason education influenced me early on in forming
my educational philosophy. She has a delightfully humorous
speaking style. We fell into a bonding conversation after her last meeting of the weekend. It made me so thankful for the greats who have forged the way before me. I don't think I would have been so brave and visionary.

We left Laughing Water and Mr. Blueberry Eyes with their grandparents for the weekend. They had a grand time playing with their cousin and bonding with Grandma and Grandpa.

In attempting to be thrifty, we got ourselves into a less than desireable motel situation. We had to listen to people fighting for two nights. One of the nights, I woke up with a start to the sound of a gunshot. When we awoke the next morning, the cops were there. I really don't know what happened. We had planned on staying for three nights, but decided enough was enough and drove back to The Wood Artist's parents' place. The kids shrieked in surprise when they saw us come in 18 hours early!

This picture of Mr. Blueberry cracks me up! Boys will be boys!

On the way home yesterday, we picked up two girls who were hitchhiking to Detroit. They were college kids headed to a symposium of some kind. I worried about them after we dropped them off. I hope they found a safe ride. They were sweet girls. I hope we hear from them again.

It has been raining great gadzukies here - definitely not your typical rainstorm for our corner of the world. I haven't even been out to my garden since I got home. It has been too wet!

I started a new student today. A delightful child. It is so good to be back tutoring again after several months' break!

I'll try to post garden pictures soon. That is, if there is anything other than puddles out there to take pictures of tomorrow! - Nanette

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Whole Point of the Trip

So the whole reason we went on this trip was to attend my "little" brother's graduation from Ft. Leonardwood's Military Police School. On Tuesday, his wife and his twin joined us and we made our way to a hotel room near the entrance of Ft. Leonardwood. It was hard to be that close and not be able to see him until the next day!

That night, my kids got to see a small taste of a southern storm. It wasn't severe, but it was surely more of a storm than we get in the northern mountains!

This is a picture of Brother MP with his twin,
Brother Medic, who graduated last year. I think
I wrote something about him then.

I have some great pictures of Brother MP being reunited with his wife, but I hesitate to share their special moments on my blog! I'll just say it was a fabulous moment and it was so good to see them reunited after being apart for the better part of six months. He left for training about five days after they tied the knot at the courthouse. Their wedding ceremony is coming up.

This is a picture of him and me on graduation day.
He got an award for his expert shooting. He also lost about 40 pounds. I'm just so proud of him.

I must say, while I know it is necessary, I found myself feeling a little amused and irritated with the drill sargeants. Some of them are obviously good people, and some of them, well.....

So, imagine my delight when my mom inadvertantly backed up and smack behinds with the meanest of the mean female drill sargeants! Ha! It was great. She spun around, glaring, and ready to smoke someone. Behold, it was my little civilian mother. And there was nothing she could do about it! Delicious!

One of the connecting flights home that night was so difficult. For starters, we got delayed because of a lightning strike on the field. Then, there were two young children sitting in the seat behind us who were rather noisy. Mr. Blueberry

Eyes reacted violently to the noise. I've worked with kids in my tutoring business enough to spot some issues and I would have sworn he was having an autistic meltdown. It was a rough night. I have so much sympathy for parents of truly autistic kiddos. I also can't help but wonder what exactly is going on in my little guy's head. There may be some interesting days ahead.

The Wood Artist and I are taking a short trip to the Washington Homeschool Convention this weekend. Can't wait to get reinspired and also have some time alone with my Sweetie! Its been a long time!

I'll try not to let it be too long before another post. - Nanette

Monday, June 14, 2010

Here's Some More Baker Creek Photos

Next Stop, Seed Heaven

Just a few minutes away from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum is Baker Creek Seeds and Bakersville old time village. I've blogged before about the catalog. I use mostly Baker Creek's heirloom seed in my garden. I'm rarely disappointed. The seed is robust and delivers what is promised. I read their catalog like a bedtime story book. The pictures are rich and colorful. The selection is a bio-diverse dreamland.

I must say, though, that when I learned we would visit Baker Creek, I was worried that I had had it built up too much in my mind. Maybe I would be disappointed. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If I could have, I would have taken up employment and residence on the spot!

We missed June's festival by two days. That was disappointing. But, we were able to stroll around unhampered by the legendary crowds. Harriet's Mercantile was open, but there was a sign saying that if we wished to purchase anything to take it to the seed store. I had to purchase a jar of pickled okra. A must.

The apothecary was a pungent trip to the senses. There were handmade soaps and bags and bags of herbs and spices.

We continued strolling around the delightful place, peering into the flour mill, the blacksmith shop. We visited the community outdoor brick oven and the opry.

Bakersville boasts a delightful collection of exotic chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. It made my longing for my own flock deepen.

Granny Flash sells Baker Creek Heirloom seed in her store, so I had to get a picture of her beside some of the seed shelves to show her customers.

After that, we ate in their restaurant, a fun, rustic place with a set menu. The intriguing thing about this restaurant is that they don't charge you. There is a donation jar on the counter. You pay what you think it was worth. The food was definitely worth a lot!

O.k. I'm totally sounding like an infomercial. Sorry. It just captured my imagination! If you ever get the chance, go!

I'm excited because I have my whole garden in, except strawberries that are still sitting in my fridge. The seedlings are coming up and looking healthy.

The grasshoppers are there, but are not eating much. I'm thinking that the Semaspore from last year is delivering on its promise to infect this year's crop of hoppers. Time will tell. - Nanette

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Living in a Dream

When I was young girl, I lived in a Laura Ingalls Wilder fantasy world. I loved the movies. I loved the books. I would pretend to be her, picking up my imaginary, billowing skirts, and saying, "Drat! These hoops!"

I've long since grown out of it, but I still have a marvelous time reading her books to my kiddos and even sneak a peek when they watch an old "Little House on the Prarie" movie.

Last week, my Mom took the kids and I with her on a trip to Missouri for my brother's graduation from military police academy. We went a day early to take in some sights. Among the "sights", was the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, MO. This is the rock house that Laura and Almanzo's daughter, Rose, built for them in their later years. It was in this house that Laura wrote her first four books. She was 65 years old when she started them. I guess you are never to old to follow a dream!

This was the farmhouse that Almanzo built for Laura after they arrived in Mansfield. They lived in the stone house for 8 years and then moved back to their old farmhouse. Laura wrote her last four books there.

She saved everything. The museum beside the farmhouse has amazing things that belonged to the Wilders - Pa's fiddle, the breadplate. We looked at pictures, documents and lots of embroidery and cutwork that Laura had done. There was beadwork that Mary had learned to do at the blind school.

In the farmhouse was the water system and furniture that Almanzo built for Laura. There was the table where she read her Bible every day. There was the clock that Almanzo bought for her on their first Christmas. That, and the bread plate are the only things that survived the devastating fire that struck them in South Dakota.

I must say, I was smitten all over again! What an amazing woman. An amazing life!

In other news, Mr. Blueberry Eyes graduated from his music
school last Sunday. We are so proud of him. He will move onto private piano lessons next year.

I will post more about our Missouri trip soon. - Nanette