Saturday, July 27, 2013

my trick worked again

Back in early May I took an all day quilt class and then got up early again to race and did very well. Yesterday morning I got up early, drove 25 minutes down the road, and had to turn around because I forgot the little table that slides onto my sewing machine. But then I drove like the devil to Augusta and made it to my Intro to Modern Quilting class only 5 minutes late. After spending the day sewing this wall hanging, 

wandering around looking at quilts (including my entry), and driving home, I got up early this morning for my previous least favorite race in the Sub5 series. 

I have never done well in the Bucksport Bay Festival 5K, but today, perhaps due to my semi-relaxing day yesterday, I finished in 2nd place overall, with a time of 20:53, a 6:44/mile pace. I was all set to give it up to my friend Lisa, but then I decided that all those Wednesday evening track workouts would have then gone to waste, so I poured it on and flew that last quarter mile. The next race on my schedule is the County Half Marathon, waaaay up in northern Maine. I'm certainly going to run much slower August 10th, even if the weather cooperates and the scenery lives up to my high expectations.   

Monday, July 22, 2013

a week off from regular life

This past week my dad and his wife came and visited us. I've never really been close to my father since we haven't lived in the same house since I was 5, but I have to say that this was our best visit yet. Tim took a few days off and we went swimming off the boat at Swan Lake as well as Craig Pond. 

Philomena kept me company several times during my 3X day trip down to the fruit trees to knock off Japanese beetles into a bucket before they ate every leaf to nothing. They took each of the big girls out for some shopping and lunch and we spent every evening sitting on the porch admiring the view, chatting, and indulging in adult beverages. One night we went to the lobster pound for an evening of good food, gorgeous views, 

and conversation that mostly consisted of, "Children put that crustacean down!"

It was a good week, but I fell off the wagon in terms of running, partly because of not wanting to disappear for several hours, but also because it has been so blasted hot. Maine is not supposed to be 90F, especially for more than 3 days. The combination of heat and high humidity means that garden has been growing madly and my diligence with the bucket means that the Japanese beetles are almost gone much to the chickens' culinary chagrin. But since I have a 5K on Saturday and a 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks, I better have my feet hit the pavement more often and lay off the booze if I want a decent performance.     

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Carnival of Homeschooling

One of the beauties of homeschooling is the opportunity to educate a child as well as help form their character. Those of us who have taught our own children from their earliest years through 8th grade, or even all the way to 12th grade graduation, know that this is a long, and sometimes arduous process. One of my hobbies is quilting, a useful art that transforms fabric into a beautiful object that can warm the body and soul for a lifetime. It takes a great deal of time and perseverance to make a quilt, just as it does to teach a child to read, write, count, and slowly learn to think and reason.

First you select yardage of fabric in your favorite colors, wash it, press it, and cut it according to the pattern selected. There are many homeschooling curriculum choices available from traditional, to classical, to unschooling.    

Jamie at Time 4 Learning boosts our enthusiasm with 5 Steps to Planning An Awesome Homeschool Year.

Jennifer at Time 4 Learning shares a video that poses the possibility of an addition to the English language in The 27th Letter of the Alphabet?

Julie at Brave Writer gives us good advice with 10 tips for homeschool newbies

Hire A Nanny shares many links in 25 Blogs to Think About Before Committing to Homeschooling. (I didn't look at each link, so I can't guarantee what you will find)

Tiffany at As For My House writes about homeschooling ethics in Seeing the Right and Wrong in Used Curriculum.
Then you piece together the blocks, using a 1/4" seam, pressing after each step. My educational philosophy of little steps repeated frequently has worked in teaching 5 children to love to read, play the piano, and memorize the times tables, just as using an iron correctly leads to properly squared and sized blocks.

 Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home shares with us a beautiful summer day in Homeschooling With Grandbaby. 

Shalynne at Wonderfully Chaotic gives us pictures and the recipe for Easy and Cheap Summer Bubble Blowers. 

Christina shares with us her philosophical musings in Weeding at Home Spun Juggling. 

Pamela at Zesty Mom reminds us to take time for fun in Summertime: 3 Ways to Keep the Living Easy.  

Chris at Home School vs Public School shares some more ideas for keeping the kids busy and learning in Summer Learning.

Once the blocks are completed, they are sewn together, using sashing to separate them and a border if it is desired. As a child masters the basics, they can progress on to more complicated and difficult subjects that help round out their intellect.

Annette at A Net in Time Schooling gives us a step-by-step how to in Building an Indoor Ant Colony.
Annie Kate of Tea Time with Annie Kate give us the blow-by-blow of letting her daughter bake her own dessert in Miss 9's Lemon Meringue Pie.

Ann at Harvest Moon by Hand shares with us a detailed art study with her two daughters in Artist/Picture Study-Georgia O'Keefe.

Jodi at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse gives us tips on visiting Disney when it rains in Magical Blogorail Yellow: It's Raining, It's Pouring!

Amy at Hope Is The Word shares some fabulous art work of her kids with Kaleidoscope Painting. 

The quilt is basted with batting and a backing and then quilted for beauty and to provide stability. A binding is sewn around the outside to keep it from unraveling, and finally a label is tacked onto the backside to show who made it and when it was completed.

Erik reminds us of our goal at A Guide to Great Kids with his post: What Do We Want to Accomplish as Parents?

Elena at My Domestic Church gives us the blow-by-blow of dealing with the bureaucrats in How to take the GED in Akron, Ohio if you are under 19 and a homeschooler.

Henry at Why Homeschool shares his daughter's summary of her summer in A report from my youngest daughter.

Of course we hope that a person who graduates from high school or college never really "finishes" their education, but continues learning their whole life. Just as a quilt is completed and the quilter goes on to another project, a homeschooling parent or child can go on to another phase of life and learning after they receive their diploma. My 10 year old daughter Maggie is currently making her own quilt after finding a simple pattern.

I'm cutting the pieces since I would rather she not cut off her finger, but she is doing everything else. Perhaps one day she will also teach her own children, not only how to quilt, but how to read and think, and be contributors to the world around them. 

Thank you for reading the Carnival, if I have missed your submission please accept my apologies. We are off this morning to enjoy another lovely Maine summer day at the pond with our company from North Carolina. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

4th of July disaster

When I attempted to swing by the library prior to Thursday's race from Brewer to Bangor to drop off a tote bag full of books, we were thwarted by road barricades. "I guess they have decided to close off the roads really early for the parade,"I thought. But as the 10:45 race start loomed closer, I found out that there was a different reason for the road closure. A man in Bangor decided to shoot off 70 rounds in his apartment and after a 4 hour standoff with police, only emerged after they used tear gas to smoke him out. 

Due to this "incident," the race and parade route were changed and shortened, which we found out 2 minutes before the race began. I didn't know exactly where the race was to go or how long it would be, but ran a 5:45 first mile and only started to be passed on the bridge. I guess I could have run a bit faster, but a 9:10 time was good enough to give me 5th place overall and 1st in my age bracket. Mary, Maggie, Charlie, and I walked back along the parade route, watching the floats and slapping hands with Governor LePage. 

It wasn't until the next morning, when I went on the Bangor Daily News website to find the details about the shooter that I read with horror about the accident that occurred after we left the ending point of the race. An antique fire engine lost brake power on the sharp turn and decline where the parade was rerouted and ran into the 1940's John Deere tractor, driven by Wallace Fenlason . He was thrown off the tractor and crushed under the fire engine. I found out yesterday that our babysitter and her whole family saw the accident. 5 days later, I still get teary-eyed when I think about how this poor man, who just wanted to share his love of America, Maine, and antique tractors with the crowd, lost his life. Our prayers go out to his family and friends as well as the fireman driving the truck.

Monday, July 08, 2013

chickens and veggies getting bigger every day

This year's garden was planned much better than previously, I staked each row of crops and tied a string across to designate exactly where the seeds were planted, I put bird netting over the corn right after I planted it to keep the crows off, and put up sturdy fencing to contain the pea plants. The first two improvements worked like they were supposed to, but the pea plants grew much more than I expected and ended up pulling the poultry netting down to the ground by their weight. Likely too late, I tied them all up with taller stakes and string,but I doubt the pea crop is going to produce enough peas to keep my children happy all winter. Two of the beds are dedicated to raspberries, hopefully one day producing enough to make at least a raspberry pie or two after I eat my fill of fresh berries.

The chickens are growing like weeds, gobbling down their crumbles as well as all the cottage cheese I put out on a paper plate in their yard. They also like watermelon rinds, eating all the red fruit in just a few hours. Tim built them a proper gate and has now decided, after seeing a predator slinking around, to rebuild the fence with cedar posts instead of metal ones. 

My morning routine begins with "the girls" when I go out to let them outside, give them fresh water, and top off their food. I'm trying not to think about how, 6 months from now, I will be pulling on wool socks, boots, and a thick coat to do these same chores, but enjoying the idyllic experience of walking across the yard in my nightgown and Crocs each warm summer morning.     

Monday, July 01, 2013

vacation bible school exhaustion

Last week was filled with getting everyone up and out the door to sing, dance, do crafts, and learn about Saints with a "kingdom rock" theme. Timmy, Charlie, and Maggie had a great time going from station to station in the heat and then the cold, and then the rain, but Julia Ellen was plumb overwhelmed. The first day she ran out to the van, with her teenage crew leaders following, locked herself in, and wouldn't come out until I arrived and ordered her out. Even after a few days of not clinging to my leg every time she spotted me in the hall, on Friday she locked herself in the bathroom stall. Luckily her sister Mary was a crew leader for another group of preschoolers and was able to help the sweet girls in charge of my youngest. But the daily schedule of games and snack with 170 other children wore my crew out so much that a few took naps in the afternoon and had to be woken up for supper.

Luckily the long days didn't affect my running and I took 3rd place in the 10 mile Tour de Lac in Bucksport on Saturday. Since it had been so hot, I bought myself a fancy shirt I saw advertised in a running magazine that reacts with your sweat to cool your skin. Perhaps it worked, but since it was misting the entire race the heat wasn't much of a factor overall. I ran a little faster than my 7:30/mile pace during the first 8 miles, but started to fade by the end. Maybe it was the training, maybe my new shirt, but somehow I beat my PR by 30 seconds. The next race in the series is Thursday, a downhill 3K that precedes the 4th of July parade from Brewer to Bangor.