Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For those of you who like to plan

Dawn is finally sharing how she does it :)

Check it out!!

Washday 1916

This little piece was sent to us in a Church newsletter, and I thought it deserved repeating.
It is a receipt for washing clothes and appears as written.

1. Bilt fire in backyard to heet kettle of rain water.
2. Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.
3. Shave one hold cake lie soap in billin water.
4. Sort things, make three piles. 1 pile white, 1 pile collored, 1 pile work britches and rags.
5. Stir flour in cold water to smooth, then thin down with bilin water.
6. Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, then bile. Rub collored don't bile, just rinch in starch.
7. Take white things out of kettle with broomstick handle then rinch, and starch.
8. Hang old rags on fince.
9. Spread tee towels on grass.
10. Pour rinch water in flower bed.
11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
12. Turn tubs upside down.
13. Go put on house dress, smooth hair with side combs. brew cup of tee, sit and rest and rock a spell and count blessings.

This was taken from an old newspaper article, which then advises the readers to "hang this above your automatic washer, and when things look bad, read again". :)

(Translations: billin/bilin is boiling, bile is boil, rinch is rinse.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

There is a Light

Corey has been sharing her struggle with us recently. Her struggle over the prolonged death of her father. With grace and humility, she has shared her worries and fears, as well as her heartbreaking realization that God chooses when we go, not ourselves.
Tonight, her father is with the other souls in heaven. Say a prayer for him and the family.
And if you get the chance, please do check out the rest of Corey's beautiful blog.

And if after that, you want something a little more upbeat, then check out Mom is teaching's Post, How to Hate on Homeschoolers Properly! You have probably seen the offending article mentioned therein, mentioned on a number of other sites already ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Daybook: Monday April 28th 2008

Outside My Window... more rain! But this time the world is BLOOMING and the green... oh the green is lovely :)
I am thinking... that it would be nice if my son wanted to work today :/
I am thankful for... The tax refund ;)
From the kitchen... it was supposed to be crockpot pork tonight, but will probably be fishcakes and chickpea patties with blackeyed peas and broccoli.
I am wearing... Blue jeans and white, pinstripe shirt.
I am creating... a vegetable garden. You can see it at my other blog ;)
I am going... to be taking DD for her 4 year checkup to the doctor today. I don't look forward to it :/
I am reading... I just finished a novel and the latest Victoria magazine, but I am about to start Mittenstrings for God to see what the fuss is ;)
I am hoping... the vaccinations DD gets don't cause problems!
I am hearing... Kids arguing and choral music.
Around the house... it's a mess. DD decided she wanted to make a pillow fort. In every room.
One of my favorite things... Bread. I took a trip to Panera Bread this weekend... it was nice :)
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Try and get the portfolio done for evaluation.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Cilantro in my veggie bed.

To join in, visit The Simple Woman and sign Mr. Linky!
I was tagged by Cristina over at Homespun Juggling:

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link it to the person who tagged you and to the place of origin.
4. Tag five more bloggers, with links.
5. Leave them a comment and invite them to play.

Oh wow... this one is difficult, a six word memoir.

Jack of all trades, mastering none!

How's that? Maybe I could just take my slogan...

The Jacobite Rose, handmade by Robots ;)

I would like it to be more inspiring, but I better move on that one so I can. So it could be:

She kept her temper when provoked. (like today :-o)
She lived life to the fullest.

*grin* I guess it really should be:

she could never make a decision!

I tag:


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mothers Day Giveaway

Over at Maple Lane. You could win a teapot, teacozy, tea cutters and a handmade apron from J. Carrell Originals! Aren't they pretty? (There are more photos at her blog)

Jan says there are three ways to win:
Post about the giveaway on your blog and then leave a comment on her blog under the giveaway post.

List her blog on the link list of your blog, then email her to let her know.

Look at her website J. Carrell Originals and then leave a comment on the Apronista Blog or her blog, under the giveaway post stating two of your favorite items and any other comments you might have.

The winner will be chosen by random drawing at 9:00 P.M. on May 4, 2008. Apron will be mailed the following Monday so that you will receive it in time for Mother’s Day.
Due to the high cost of shipping internationally. Shipping for the prize will only be for residents of the United States.

Bards and Dragons

Sounds like a game doesn't it?
Well, actually today is the 444th birthday of William Shakespeare AND it is St. George's Day!
So with all this ENGLISH celebrating going on, what are YOUR plans for the day?

  • My kids are in their English outfits (Well... most of their clothes are English, but Rebel's is the England rugby shirt ;)).
  • We will have Shepherd's pie for dinner (I admit, THAT was planned BEFORE I knew what today was ;))
  • We have English weather today. (OK I had NO hand in that one ;))
  • We will listen to the Homeschool Radio Show Specials
  • I will trawl the blogs in search of other ideas like the Dragon Cake for teatime!

Happy Birthday Shakespeare and Happy St. George's Day Everyone!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nuts to You

HT to The Cabbage Patch!

You Are A Peanut

You are popular, even with people who tend to have picky taste.

Kids love you, as do dogs. From rednecks to snobs, most people have a place for you in their hearts.

As popular as you are, there are some people who can't be near you.

Don't take it too personally. There's just a few people you rub the wrong way.

and a HT to Theresa over at LaPaz!

Your Slogan Should Be

Jacobite rose. Hand-built by Robots.

The Slogan Generator

I liked this one. It was much better than the first one I got ;)

Happy Earth Day!

Your Life is 68% Green

You live a very green life, and you're aware of how your actions help the earth.

Of course, it's hard to be totally green. But when you make a tradeoff, you know why you're making it.

How Green Is Your Life?

HT To Dawn over at By Sun and Candlelight, who has a lovely post about some Earth Day activities!

I do think that homeschoolers have a slight advantage over others in this... after all, we telecommute daily (blogging and internet;)) and we ALWAYS bring our lunch to school with us! And although I try to walk more often than not... well there is the point that our area is just not designed for that!

In the meantime, I am watching the rain fall (still) and enjoying the green-ness out there :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


FOR TODAY: Monday 21st April
Outside My Window it is wet. The rain has made puddles and rivulets which dot their way across the landscape. The birds ate all the food from their feeders!
I am thinking: that I hope this is it for the weekend rains.
I am thankful for: the fact drought is most certainly over now!
From the kitchen: Potato soup and homemade bread.
I am wearing: Navy pinstripe trousers and white blouse.
I am creating: A couple of MUCH cleaner rooms for the kids to sleep in :)
I am going: to the park this week TWICE... once for nature study, once for the herb festival.
I am reading: The Moosewood Kitchen Garden and a few novels.
I am hoping: The weather dries out soon, so my seedlings don't die! I want to plant them out :)
I am hearing: A little girl in her bath and Legos.
Around the house: I need to dust the upstairs... when it dries out so I can open the windows! I made a linen spray with Lavender Essential Oil... it is lovely for ironing and freshening the laundry closets :)
One of my favorite things: A brightening sky after the rain.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Make some curtains, dust the upstairs, take a nature hike and plant out my seedlings...
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

For more lovely daybook entries, read the Simple Woman blog :)

It's one of THOSE days...

You know the ones. The ones where it is a struggle to get the kids to do a simple page of filling out the answers or where they stay in bed until you have to drag them out.
Yes, one of those days.
I don't think it helped that it rained yesterday.
Because it rained, it was darker later, and we got up later and started everything later.
I cleaned out M'Lady's closet. Wow was that a mess or what? It is now filled with much fewer clothes (I hope I don't regret throwing those out!) and a lot of toys disappeared too. Some of those caused a little anxiety on my part, but I really don't think they will miss them!
Once the closet was done, I attacked her toy boxes, and rearranged the room. It looks great... and she even has a little 'nook' at her window (the one with the best view in the entire house!).
Unfortunately, this means that the room has to be messed up, investigated with big brother and all sorts.
His room will be attacked next week!
But yes, back to today. Lots of rain and a struggle...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On Making Lists

I mentioned in my previous post, the thoughts of the blogger, Morning Ramble, on making lists.

The truth was, she did not believe in making them at all!

I think some people saw this as an attack on their way of life. After all, some people like lists. I can think of a few people who do in fact ;)
She wasn't attacking that, but rather, suggesting an alternative to list making. A case of doing something when needed.

For some of us, lists don't work.
I start out with lists, but if the truth be told, I work FAR better by establishing HABITS.

Grandma and the ladies of yesteryear, did not make lists.
They had days of the week assigned to certain chores, and they did them on those days, they had HABITS.
Chores were simpler. After all, with only two sets of clothes, you really did not have much in the way of washing :) even though you had to do it by hand. So perhaps we could make ours SIMPLER.

For me, I do washing daily. Or every other day.
My washing is sorted to avoid pink or grey whites.
I wash my bedding every other day (for skincare reasons) and my towels once a week (twice if they begin to get a little musty - we have a towel rack for them to dry on).
I iron if I need to.
I cook from scratch daily during the week, and once or twice on the weekends.
I weed when the garden needs weeding, dust when the furniture needs dusting.

When I read that post, I realised, we really need only to 'train our eyes to see' the chores we need done.
If the kitchen is routinely cleaned after meals/cooking, then there is no time I have to set aside for cleaning. Cleaning the kitchen has become habitual.
If I learn to see the dust or laundry piling up, then I can tackle it then and there before the job is too big. It becomes habitual.
If there is mending or crafting I need to do, establishing a time to do it makes it habitual.

And for those of you who like lists, and use them and can make them work... :) I happen to know that Elizabeth Foss has recently had some great laundry related posts :)

On Lists
On Laundry

And before you think that she is advocating the list over the life... well not really! As the original poster pointed out, lists are used by women used to the corporate lifestyle, and since most of them were not trained or brought up to just know what needed to be done, the lists are necessary. Elizabeth is showing you a way to learn how to know what needs to be done, using the list. Until your life becomes more habitual :) And there, you have the best of both worlds.

Where is the lost art of civility?

I was going to link you to a post I have been considering the past few weeks. It was about homemaking without lists and schedules. I liked it. It made me think and consider the way I like to do things. Some of us are just not cut out to be list makers!

Only this morning, as I read the blogroll, I discovered that the blogger had removed her posts. Her extraordinary, wonderful, thought-provoking posts.
Because of the comments.
It reminded me eerily of the time that another of my favourite bloggers did the same thing. Only Elizabeth actually switched off the comments.

A long time ago, people knew when to stop. They knew when something was worth quarreling about, and when it was something you just did not discuss.
They understood the art of not offending someone. Manners dictated their behaviour and did not cross the boundary line into something unforgivable.

My husband and a friend of his have a favourite discussion. They talk about how civility should be taught in schools. Without that, they believe, people will continue to use their cell-phones in the middle of a restaurant, they will continue to be bad drivers, always wanting to be first. They think teaching civility in schools will help young people to respect the old, neighbours to respect neighbours. They expect that people will learn the value of what it means for someone to have 'property' and why you should not damage it. They expect many things.

Yes it is true, in the past people were not perfect. People did destroy other people's things. They did quarrel violently, but manners were taught so that older people were respected and certain manners governed their behaviour.

I am so grateful that, as a homeschooler, I can teach my children civility. Shouldn't we all?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Book Reviews

A couple of books and a T.V. show ;)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
They recently showed the BBC T.V. drama on our local PBS station, and I read the book just before hand.

First, the book.
This book is a 200 year old classic read. It tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor (19) and Marianne (17), who are left in somewhat reduced circumstances after the death of their father.
Each of them fall in love with a gentleman, only to discover something that prevents all their hopes and dreams from coming to fruition.
Much like Austen's other work, Pride and Prejudice, this is foremost a novel about human reactions to certain situations. Elinor is a reserved, calm and thoughtful girl, who carefully considers her reactions and does all that is 'proper'. Marianne is a passionate girl, who throws herself into the situations with her heart wide open. The title, Sense and Sensibility, would be best translated in the modern vernacular into Sense and Sensitivity, for in Austen's time, 'Sensibility' meant someone who was rather emotional and open.
It is a good read, so long as you realise that there is going to be no real 'action', because the book is all about reactions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip to the past!
4 **** Stars.

Now, the BBC Production.
This was very well done. The production tried to keep very true to the book, the actors were superb and the adaptation stupendous. I did have a couple of gripes... the casting.
While all of the actors were great, I do think some of them...well, looked kind of modern. They did not show those 'classic' looks that were captured so well when the BBC did Pride and Prejudice.
Marianne and Willoughby were somewhat modern in looks. I couldn't quite figure out what it was about them, but I think it was that the standards of 'beauty' for then and now were quite different, and I don't think Marianne and Willoughby quite fit the bill!
On the other hand, Elinor, Mr. John Dashwood, Mrs. Fanny Dashwood, Mrs. Dashwood, Edward, and Colonel Brandon were all excellently cast. In fact, the Colonel Brandon of the show, really depicted he of the book very well! I have to also admit... Fanny Dashwood was VERY well done!
I was a little astonished to find the 2-part show split something like 1 3/4 hours for the first 1/3 of the book and 1 1/2 hours for the latter 2/3 of the book. It was done very well, but I do think that they could have kept in some of that which they excluded!
All in all, I think a well deserved 5 ***** Stars. Well done!

The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

This book was written by she of the blog SouleMama, and it is a wonderful peek into the art of keeping a family creative.
The book is found in the parenting section of the bookstore (which was a little surprise to me, as I thought it would be in the crafting section ;)), but rightly so. Amanda Soule captures the heart of being a parent, and keeping the lives of your kids really special!
Some of her ideas will not be new to you, you will have run across them before... but I did find many of her ideas to be quite unique, and wonderful ways to make life with the kids special.
This book has had quite a buzz around in homeschooling circles, because Amanda does homeschool, and because so many homeschoolers have been waiting for a year for this book to come out!
I would say this definitely belongs on your shelf, and is a great addition to those other, well-loved and well-recommended crafting books... only this one is a little more than just a crafting guide!
It is also an enjoyable read!
5 ***** Stars.

MaryJane's Stitching Room by MaryJane Butters.

You can find MaryJane at MaryJane's Farm, which you may already have heard of before :)
This is another crafty read, a guidebook if you like, to sewing a few things, crocheting a few things and needle tatting.
This book is a nice book. It reads well, and has a few unique patterns in it... I especially like the apron pattern, which I hope to make in a little while :)
I would not say that the book as a whole is unique- most of the stuff in it is available elsewhere- but I think it is very well done and enjoyable to read.
4 **** Stars.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Seven Random Facts

Jill tagged me, so here I go ;)
The Rules -
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Seven random facts about me:

1. I have been online for YEARS... in fact my husband and I met online :)
2. My nan taught me to knit at age 8, Mum taught me to crochet at about age 6/7.
3. I am the oldest of 5 kids, 4 girls and 1 boy... who is directly in the middle :D
4. I used to work in a pet store/garden center.
5. I once played an angel with a gold face in the school nativity play. Since I was also in the choir, I had to hide at the back so no-one saw my gold face :D
6. My ENGLISH Catholic school was called John F. Kennedy. I never did understand that!
7. I LOVE history, mainly because my parents used to take us to visit historic sites. I loved castles and stately homes, but churches with stained glass windows were my favourite.

Now I tag:

1. My Sister Louisa.
2. Cristina.
3. Nissa.
4. 3Kiwi Homeschoolers.
5. Cindy.

O.K. I can't think of anyone else that hasn't done this yet... so if you have not, you can do it :) Then comment and let me know ;)

Friday, April 04, 2008

More Bloggy Updates

No, your eyes do not deceive you, my blog has changed again. This time I chose a different template and uploaded it... pretty much as is. All I did was add my widgets ;)
Yes, the Meez, Weather and Moon widgets are gone- they just caused me headaches (although I did like them) so I removed them.

Let me know if you have issues reading it or seeing something :) (The addy for the template and people who made it is at the bottom of the page ;))

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mothers and Daughters at Home

Many years ago (well... maybe not that long, but a while anyway ;)) I ran across the Beauty and Grace Academy Blog. It is one of those resources that I love, but don't always remember to link or mention... but everytime I think of something relating to Charlotte Mason and I can't find it elsewhere, I know they'll have something!

Recently, they moved the main blog to Graceful Girlhood, and I am reminded that I really should bookmark it this time ;)

But my friend Dee sent me the heads up for a new enterprise hosted by Graceful Girlhood... and that is Mothers and Daughters at Home.
The premise is to spend the first Friday of each month, a mother and her daughter doing something special together, something that will create lasting memories.

Now I loved this idea... my husband and I have spoken about doing some 'one on one' activities with the children, he with Rebel, and myself with M'Lady. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Perhaps we can bake some cakes together (I am sure she'd love picking one out of my Taste of Home magazine ;)). Or maybe have some tea together (you've seen her tea trolley). Perhaps we can paint our nails matching colours... *grin* (She has only wanted to do that forever). Then again, maybe she might like to spin or knit with me... we could work on something together.
I am not sure the kinds of things we can do. It might just be as simple as reading a special 'girl' book together. I think she'll remember these things!

Not so sure? I was thinking earlier, of one such memory I had. A memory of when my mother had bought a boxed cake mix for me to make myself. Or the times I remember 'helping' her make the cake :) Or when she, my sister and I wore 'matching' dresses... and my brother said we were not twins... but 'twiglets' :D.

In truth, just the spending of time with our parents is all we need to create those memories.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A New Blog and A Sad Tale

O.K. So it isn't exactly a new blog, quite so much as a new look to the blog... but do check it out! I worked very hard to do it, with LOTS of tweaks and twists to the simple minima template, but I am quite pleased with the outcome :)

As for the sad tale...
This morning, the children's favourite climbing tree "Mr. Climby" was chopped down. Not by us... but by the people coming through, clearing the area for the powerlines. Now... it's not that I mind them clearing the trees away from the lines... but I did fail to understand a couple of things.

1. Why use a chainsaw to cut away the brush... which will never reach the height of the powerlines? And why do it at 7:30am?
2. Why must they LEAVE all the sawn lumber where it fell? What could that chipper on the back of the truck be for?
3. Since a small, climbing tree is in MY yard, and not on their easement, and the tree is not yet near the powerlines, nor likely to touch them should it fall, WHY did they have to cut down the tree? And if they are going to cut it... don't just BUTCHER the thing, actually take it down! (See the sticking up branch M'Lady is holding on to? That is what is left!).

Mr. Climby in Happier Days.

I guess the tree-cutting men, just wont have to deal with two upset children... one tear-stained face and one very, very mad one!
Jacobite and I are seriously considering a rope swing to help them get over this loss (it being the only really CLIMBABLE tree in the yard (the rest are too tall or too small)... and considering those VERY sharp sticker bushes (Trifoliate Oranges) as a hedge. Betchya they wouldn't dare attack those!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Somethings are Such Great Ideas

I went blog trawling today. The day started as a grey and misty one, so I took the opportunity to browse blogland. I was actually looking for something in particular... in this case, aprons. I could use a couple more, mine are a little tired!

On the way, I ran across this fantastic idea from One More Moore... a wonderful book cozy for those nighttime reads. I am thinking each of my kids AND myself could use one ;)