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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Yes, I've done it again. Changed my blog title, etc. I wanted something that reflects the fact that this really is not just a homeschool blog anymore. It's a "life" blog. I'd like to share more recipes, gardening pictures as we rebuild/re-landscape, and things of that nature. So it feels right!

I'm sort of overhauling a lot of things right now.

 ...Around the House...
As I mentioned before, I'm reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I'm looking at approaching things (housework and organization) in a different manner than before. I've always cleaned each room as a room unto itself, separate from everything else. The author (Marie Kondo) of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up though, says to look at each category of possessions... bring out all your clothes, shoes, etc., or all your books.. from every room of the house, into one main spot, so you can truly see what you have.

I think our mountain of books might overwhelm even me.

Some critics (on Amazon) have blasted Kondo's advice to get rid of things. Personally, I think our culture puts too much emphasis on possessions. Don't get me wrong.. I love my books. But, there are many I simply don't turn to anymore. And I use the library a lot. I don't need to own so many of them, gathering dust, sitting unread.

Kondo talks about surrounding yourself with only things you love, having a home with only the things you treasure. Or, as William Morris put it,

This weekend, I plan on tackling the first challenge... books (Kondo suggests clothes first, but I'm not dedicated to following her exact advice). Not just mine, but M's and the kids too. I will not (as Kondo suggests) get rid of their things for them, but instead will involve them in the process. The following weekend, we will tackle clothes; again with everyone helping.

Other house-related work that is coming up:
New curtains for the living room
Decide once and for all if we even want curtains in the family room, or if we want it to be more of a "sun room"
Curtains for the kids' rooms

...Around the Yard...
As for the gardening, I'm in charge of the front yard, M is in charge of the back (except for the chickens, and a border by the patio), and we will all be working on the vegetable garden/beds. I'm slowly making plans for the front yard, which is in two sections, separated by a sidewalk. In one section, I have an olive tree that is thriving, rosemary (on both sides of the front gate actually), lavender, and lots of healthy lamb's ear. And weeds. I plan to dig out all the weeds, and plant some of the hyacinth bean seeds I got from a friend along the chain-link fence. I might divide the lamb's ear, and place some in patches around that side of the yard, interspersed with perhaps creeping thyme, or other low-growing perennials, in a sort of patchwork, with some Johnny-Jump-Ups tucked in here and there, and perhaps some other cottage garden flowers. There's also a space I've marked out already for a Mayer lemon tree. As for the larger half, which is anchored by a maple we put in eight years ago, and a couple of boulders, I haven't quite decided yet, except that I want it to coordinate with the smaller "half". So far, there's a matching rosemary bush, lavender, and artichoke plants, among the weeds/grass.

As for the patio border/bed, I want to put in roses, with Sweet Alyssum, lobelia, salvia, etc., underneath. I think that will be both very pretty, and will attract honeybees!

Other yard-related work that is upcoming:
Getting the beds built for the veggie garden (we have most of our own soil to fill them)
 Building a new chicken hutch and run behind M's workshop/shed
Choosing another fruit tree or two to add to our mini "orchard" (apple and cherry now, looking at Italian prune plum, and ???)

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