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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Musings...February Already...


First off, wishing you a happy Imbolc and/or Groundhog Day (depending on your beliefs)! I can't believe we are in February already!

Outside My Window...
Still clear, sunny, and (to me) disturbingly warm -- think high 60s, low 70s -- for the middle of winter. Thankfully, there is again rain on the horizon, maybe by Thursday. In the meantime, the plum trees are starting to bloom, and we have mustard flowers everywhere. It is a beautiful time of year!

In My House and Kitchen...
I fell behind a little on the weekly challenges from 52 Weeks to an Organized Home. So now I am playing catch-up! I'll get there though. We are looking forward to a decent tax return this year, meaning that we will be able to do some more maintenance/upgrades on the house, such as actually painting rooms that have been primered, redoing the front yard a bit, and finally putting in raised beds in the backyard! We've decided on 2-3 larger beds, and then two small ones for the kids.

As for cooking, I'm making a yummy chicken-chickpea-vegetable curry tonight to celebrate the holiday/welcome the longer days. At The Girl's request, we had chicken tacos last night, in the style of the taco truck down the street which is very simple: a small corn tortilla topped with shredded chicken, green onion, cilantro, radish slices, and salsa. Also on the menu this week are homemade pizza, some sort of pasta dish, and soup on Thursday. I am moving our Monday soup night to Thursdays now, as I have class until 4:30, and The Girl has derby practice at 7.

In Our Homeschooling...
The kids wanted to learn about comparative religions, so I found that our library has a number of dvds and audio books from The Teaching Company's Great Courses, so we started with two (half hour) lectures from Great World Religions: Buddhism last night. I also have My Favorite Universe from them, that we might start today (mostly for The Boy and I)., and I am picking up the Secrets of Mental Math, as that is something both the kids and I are curious about! As usual, we have our regular math and writing on the agenda, plus daily quiet reading time, which I benefit from as uch as they do!

Reading & Watching...
Well, I already went over what we're watching at the moment, except I didn't list that we are happily following along with Downton Abbey once more! As for reading, we're continuing with The Hobbit, and I have our rotational reading for the week. We might start reading An Everyday History of Somewhere: Being the True Story of Indians, Deer, Homesteaders, Potatoes, Loggers, Trees, Fishermen, Salmon, & Other Living Things in Northern California (now how is that for a title?), and if we read that, I may swap out The Wild Muir for The Complete Book of Marvels.

I finished A Year of No Sugar, and am halfway through Better Off. While my first impressions were the reverse, I now find I like the second book better! I think my problem with the first is that it is really more "A Year With No Fructose" than actually without sugar, as the author finds substitutes with dextrose, glucose syrup, etc., which truthfully I found a little disappointing. I also finally got to thumb through 100 Days of Real Food, as our library finally has it in stock! I've been following Lisa's blog for ages now, and her book is lovely. Her banana pancakes are a longtime favorite of my kids!

On the Agenda...
The Girl and I are down to the last few weeks of puppy petting with this litter (the Black Labs), and then we'll just have to wait for the next -- there is another litter of two (Golden Retrievers) there that will give us a little more time after the Black Labs are gone--this litter was very ill, and many of them died, so The Girl and I just met the two survivors this week, at 7 weeks old. The Boy is back to fencing this week after recovering from a nasty cold last week. And The Girl is finally back to derby practice, complete with new skates! Our skating rink offers two hours of skating on Tuesdays for $2 per person (plus $4 skate rental if you need them), so that's where we are heading tomorrow, so The Girl can try the new skates out. I was given (much more inexpensive) skates for Christmas, and The Boy has roller blades -- this will be a good afternoon's exercise! I also have my first field trip with my psychology class (Community Mental Health); we are touring some of the mental health facilities in our county, none of which I have ever seen, so it should prove interesting.

Other Tidbits...
When we were trying to decide on a movie for our family movie night, I suddenly realized the kids had never seen Gremlins, so we watched that... lots of laughter! The Boy and M are choosing a project from The Art of the Catapult to work on, and M is going to help The Girl build a bird house and some bird feeders. We're going to do a project from these geography plans sometime this week, making torn construction paper world maps.

I will leave you with a few pictures from a recent hike on Taylor Mountain, where we were happy to discover a beautiful and new (to us) trail, though we still technically have not made it to the peak. Have a good week!





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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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