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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Musings...

I meant this to be a Monday Musings post, but ran out of time!

...Outside My Window...
We've had plenty of rainfall lately (yay!), but are getting a few days off, for everything to soak in and dry up a little. The fields have gone from a brown so dry and crispy that it looks like it might spontaneously combust at any moment to a rich, rich green. The skies are still and gray; it is chilly out. Little pools are forming here and there, and that's where the egrets gather.

...Around the House & Yard...
M has been hard at work, between rain showers, building my patio, and some planter boxes. We'll have a really lovely seating area by mid spring! I still have olives to pick, and then trees to prune—apple, olive, and cherry. After M finishes the patio area, we'll work on raised beds for veggies. And I need to work on the front yard design a bit more.

It looks like we'll also have a pretty decent-sized plumbing project coming up... the bathtub faucet won't stop dripping. I was able to stave it off for a while with new washers every month, but that's not working as well anymore, and the plumbing is so old that it is hard to get replacement parts. We'll have to tear out old (cheap) tile, and look at relining the shower/tub walls too.

...In the Kitchen...
We had a very lean couple of weeks food-budget-wise, which was actually good in that it got me really planning and thinking again, rather than just cooking whatever popped up in our minds. On Mondays, I work back-to-back jobs and attend a class (teaching writing to ELL students), so that will officially be our crockpot night! I also have to plan out packable lunches for The Boy, when he's off on his internship all day once a week.

...In Our Homeschooling...
History, through Downton Abbey, is going very well! At the rate of 2, and sometimes 3, episodes per week, we'll finish up all six seasons by the end of our school year in late June. We'll be working on finishing up the Romanov book over the next 3 weeks, and I have some movies and documentaries planned along the way. I'm trying to not overdo my planning this time!

The junior college, well... that didn't work out as well this semester. The intro to engineering class turned out, from the syllabus, to be an intro to the field of engineering—research on types of jobs, how to work toward getting them, etc. I am sure it would be a very useful class for a potential engineer, but it is not what The Boy is looking for at the moment. So he's taking a semester off from college, to focus on his studies at home, and his auto rebuilding. Also, last semester, he was so overwhelmed that he missed a few months of fencing, which he doesn't want to do again.

And we're seeking out a science focus for him. The online robotics course he found intriguing has a lot of higher level math, and he's just not quite there yet. We'll find it.. possibly biology (though that might be good for both kids for next year) or just an overview of science?  And he found something! Imagining Other Earths, from Coursera. It is both introductory and self-paced, wich he's happy about.

The Girl is doing pretty well with her dinosaur paleobiology course, and we're making progress with spelling. Math is going very well with both kids! And we're actually doing math 4-5 times a week!

...Reading and Watching...
Besides the Romanov book linked above, we're still reading A Wrinkle in Time, and we just started The Royal Road to Romance (which sounds cheesy, but is actually a fabulous travelogue from the 1920s). I'm reading The Death of Artemio Cruz, along with my students; various articles on  multilingual literacy and writing for my own class; and A Live Coal in the Sea by Madeline L'Engle for fun. The Girl is still deep in the world of Harry Potter, and The Boy has just about wrapped up Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Besides our Downton Abbey habit, The Boy and I are finishing Lost soon, and the kids have started watching The X-Files.

I finished up another scarf, so I am in between knitting projects. The Girl has been doing a lot of clay crafting, some stop-motion, and plenty of painting recently. The Boy is working on landscapes in Blender.

...On the Agenda...
Fencing, derby (full practice schedule starts up the first week of February), college (for me), plenty of work, car repair internship, etc., etc., etc. We're always busy! Next week should be a little calmer though, as I don't have any scheduled doctor's visits for my dad (I have two this week... regular doctor and optometrist). I also want to check out Mango Languages, as our library offers access to it for free!

Speaking of my dad, we moved him this weekend. He's still in the same independent living facility, just in an apartment that is much closer to the dining room, and activity rooms. It took us (me, my sister and brother, my mom, The Boy, and The Girl) 7 hours to pack his one bedroom apartment up entirely, move it all, and unpack it again. Phew! We're hoping that between the move, the exercise classes he's started, and the physical and occupational therapy, he can stay where he is for a while to come.

I hope your week is good! I'll leave you with a nighttime picture I took of one of my mom's trees starting to bud out.

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