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

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Musings... April 13, 2015...

Outside My Window...
It is cool, overcast, and very gray right now, though I think we are supposed to have sunny afternoons this week, and by mid-late week, temperatures are supposed to be in the low eighties for a couple of days before dropping back down a tiny bit!

Around the House & Garden...
We're planning a series of home improvement projects over the next several months, all DIY of course. Among the tasks to be done:

1. Our biggest project (I think) is the kids' bathroom: we'll be ripping out the old cheap tile in the kids' bathroom. It is not attractive, and is worn, and in some places, a little stained. We're planning on simply relining the shower/tub area with acrylic liners (something like this) as it would be easy to install and easier to keep clean. And the walls (where there is currently some "decorative" tile) will simply be painted with a water-resistant paint. The floor is currently plywood, as the previous owners had it carpeted (???), so I am looking at using something like marine paint (and I love this color!) to refinish that.

2. Ripping out all the remaining carpeting in the house. It is who knows how old. I don't like carpeting. The only rooms that have it now are the living room, the family room, and my bedroom. I think my room has the same lovely hardwood I found in the kids' rooms, and the family room will have to have some sort of floor treatment done, as it is concrete under the carpeting--it used to be a large patio before the previous owners turned it into a full room. As for the living room, it is relatively small, low traffic, and the floor isn't great, though it is wood. We'll either refinish, or try out paper-bag flooring!

3. Setting up a gray-water system from our washing machine for backyard watering.

4. Finish the landscaping in the front and backyards. This, I am sure, will actually be an ongoing project, as we change up seasonal plantings, etc.!

5. Rebuild the chicken coop and run. I want to move it and make it a bit larger, with better winter drainage.

We're doing vegetables in containers this year, since we're in the fourth year of drought, and our soil is pretty awful. The apple tree is starting to bloom at long last, and the cherry tree is already dropping petals everywhere! We have baby fuzzy green peaches on the dwarf peach tree, and our grapevines are coming back nicely, though the raspberry vines don't look as great. I picked my first 4 artichokes over the weekend.

In Our Homeschooling...
More Fred this week for math! We wrote some haiku last week, and The Boy did some brainstorming for his writing project, so this week he'll work on narrowing down his ideas and an outline. The Girl and I are enjoying Pizza, Pigs, & Poetry, so we'll continue with that. Today's plans include another episode of The Amazing Race, and charting their travels on our wall map. We'll watch some more Big History this week; The Boy will work on some chemistry; and The Girl will learn more about cold-blooded creatures.

We're chugging along in An Everyday History of Somewhere, as well as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. We are trying to decide if we want to work through Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings as a family next year, or not. It would be the only topic we'd all be doing together! In the meantime, The Boy is reading Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories; The Girl is enjoying Understood Betsy, along with a stack of frog and bat related titles (nonfiction); and I am just starting The Garden of Letters, by Alyson Richman. I really loved The Lost Wife, and am hoping this one is as good!

The Girl has requested "more vegetarian meals", so tonight will be a chickpea vegetable curry. Also on this week's menu: a homemade pizza night; veggie burgers and homemade sweet potato fries (I finally got the whole family hooked on these rather than regular homemade fries!); and some sort of soup made with stock from roast chicken leftovers.

Going to a concert was definitely a highlight this week! We didn't really care about the magician, or the dancers, but any concert that begins with Night on Bald Mountain and finishes with music from Harry Potter is good! It also included music from Lord of the Rings, as well as In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Greig) and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and more, all beautifully performed. As The Boy said, even if you are really familiar with the pieces, hearing them performed live is a fantastic experience!

We've been biking...

And skipping stones...

And watching movies (such as Monty Python & the Search for the Holy Grail with the family, and I'll Follow You Down with M, the second of which makes me want to re-watch The Time Traveler's Wife, with M), playing cards, hanging out... just living each day!

And M has been named, after ONE month at his new job, Assistant Manager. There should be a raise coming soon, once he's past the probationary period!

And on the Agenda...
I am back to tutoring this week, after having last week off from one student, and two weeks off from the other! Plus I have volunteer hours at the teen crisis center. While I am enjoying the work, and I know it is valuable, I will be glad to get those evenings back soon. The kids and I are also doing volunteer work next weekend, setting up for a big event. And they are going with my sister's special ed class to a school show tomorrow at a local arts center.

Fencing and roller derby are on the agenda. The Girl is getting ready for her first full weekend tournament, many hours from home! So practices have been tough lately, but she's hanging in there, and learning a lot!

Have a good week!

1 comment :

  1. Well done M!
    It sounds like a really good week. We're not thawed enough for the stone skipping yet, but I have high hopes for the end of the week. :)


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