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

Monday, June 1, 2015

What a Weekend!...

Yes, that is a very large tree branch, ON MY HOUSE! Saturday afternoon, The Boy, The Girl, and I were over by the computer, checking out footage from The Boy's birthday gift camera (an older GoPro), when we heard a terrible, and very loud, wrenching sound, followed by cracking noises and a tremendous "swish", then an equally tremendous THUD! The only other thing I remember is yelling to the kids to "get down, get down!", throwing myself over The Girl, and seeing The Boy duck and cover his head with his arms. The Girl was screaming.

Then dead quiet. Until M came out of our room, where he was getting ready for work, yelling "What the %^$# was that?" He thought something had exploded... or ???

We saw branches pressed up against the window right next to us (the large window in the picture)... I am so thankful it didn't break all over us! The neighbor's elm branch hanging over our family room menacingly for the last several years had finally cracked off. We had been worried about this for a while, as we've had some smaller branches come down, and the neighbor was trying to work out a way (physically and financially) to remove the dangerous branch. At least we don't have to worry about it any more! And no real damage was done, and no one was hurt. PHEW! And the neighbor already got the mess cleaned up, and offered us the firewood.

In other news...

Outside My Window...
Cool, cloudy mornings. Today, the first day of June, was actually so damp out from the fog that I had to use the windshield wipers a bit this morning on my way in to work, and there were puddles gathering! I'm hoping that will counteract some of the drying out that is already happening around us in the 4th (or is it 5th?) year of drought.

In My Home and Kitchen...
We made a delicious roasted chicken this weekend (it was in the oven at the time of the tree crash), and last night I cooked pappardelle with alfredo sauce, broccoli, and leftover chicken. I plan to make stock this week as well, and Thursday (The Girl's late derby practice night), I think I might make Sopa Seca. Tonight we're planning on split pea soup after fencing. Yes, split pea soup in June, as the evenings are still very cool. I am doing better at planning meals ahead again, utilizing leftovers well, and a lot of homemade foods!

As far as the house, we're keeping things tidier these days, and have winnowed out a lot that we don't need.

In the Garden...
We had almost decided to not grow any veggies this year. Between the poor soil and the drought, we were a bit reluctant to plant. Then M came up with a lovely design for tiered boxes, using scrap wood we already have, and compost from our own garden. We're building the boxes/tiers this summer, and will put in a fall garden. In the meantime, we've got tomato plants, and I am planting more herbs. I've decided rather than a gravelled front yard (as I had mentioned here), to work on incorporating meadow grass and more native plants that attract bees, butterflies, birds, and moths... i.e. a meadow garden/native cottage garden. We've been enjoying the presence of butterflies and hummingbirds, and would like to see more!

And we have fruit coming on...
Fresh cherries ripening

Apple blossoms AND apples
We're talking about adding a Meyer lemon tree, a dwarf apricot, and maybe one other fruit tree to our "orchard".

In Our Homeschooling...
We've pretty much wrapped things up "officially" for this year. However, we are doing some light summer schooling, with the continuance of Life of Fred (math), reading about British history (Great Tales from English History) and bringing in movies as appropriate, and some good books over the summer. We also have plans, mostly with friends, to attend some library workshops for teens: 3D printing and Minecraft coding (The Boy), henna body art (The Girl), origami (both), duct tape crafts (both), etc. And we're hoping for beach days, river swimming, a few trips here and there... We also plan to read a children's version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, as we will be going to see a production of it in July!

I am having fun daydreaming about/roughly planning out the first blocks of our Big History/Science and Big Fairy Tale projects for fall!

Reading and Watching...
We've started Great Tales from English History, and find it to be very enjoyable. We're still reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and have Through the Looking Glass at the ready. We might listen to The Hobbit on audiobook (since we only got a third of the way through it) after finishing The Last Olympian. What are you reading this summer?

We've finally gotten the kids interested in Star Trek! We've started with Enterprise, and then will watch the old series before moving on. We had a two movie weekend, with Total Recall and Daddy Day Care. It was a silly movie kind of weekend, and yes, I definitely consider parts of Total Recall to be silly. This upcoming Friday, I think we'll watch The Eagle to go with British history, and then on Saturday, something lighter.

On the Agenda...
I am down to the last week or two of one of my tutoring jobs, though the student's family has asked me to continue working with her for 11th and 12th grades, (she's in a public Waldorf school). The other student (homechooler) will be tutored right through the summer. I am also back to grading papers for a college English class this summer. Fencing and derby practices continue too. I have four weeks left at work, then am off for seven weeks! M is picking up more hours at his new job -- he's excelling there, and loves it. I love having him come home from work happy! Exhausted, but happy!

Have a good week, and Happy June! Do you have summer school plans?

image courtesy of hourglass-paperboats


  1. Wow! Glad everyone is ok! That must have been quite an adventure.

    We have the opposite of drought here.....we'll get maybe two or three days of sunshine and then a week straight of heavy rainfall. On the plus side, it means that all the apple trees are in full blossom and the cherry trees we added are doing well......but on the down side, my basil all died. I'd love to see a photo of the tiered boxes, if you have a chance; we use raised beds but for my herbs I'd love to add some tiers.

    1. I will definitely post pictures of the tiered boxes when we get them built!

  2. Oh my goodness, Gillian...when I saw that photograph I was sure you were going to explain there is a big hole in your house! I am so glad no one was hurt and there is no damage. I loved M's reaction! LOL

    In garden news: we basically quit vegetable gardening! I feel a little guilty...but not really. :) Although, I think next year we might grow some spring greens in a galvanized tub. And maybe some grape tomatoes or something. I have to confess, I hate the whole process of harvesting, washing, processing...I'd rather watch bumblebees. ;)

    Great news about M's job -- more hours = happy, tired & $$$. Can't complain about that, huh?


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

Thanks for stopping by! I love comments :)