Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Zoo Field Trip

"This is my favorite goat!"
One of the great advantages to homeschooling is that when it's 60 degrees and sunny on a Wednesday in February, you can just decide to take a zoo field trip.  We hadn't been to the zoo in quite a while, and it was a gorgeous day, so we had a great time.

The kids have always been fond of the animal statues around the zoo, and since it wasn't terribly crowded, they got to spend plenty of time on them this trip.

It also happened to be International Polar Bear Day, so there were some special things going on in the bear area.  We got to pet and compare a polar bear hide and an arctic fox hide.  The kids also liked getting a close look at a polar bear claw.  The zoo workers also did "bear enrichment" with the grizzly, so we got to see her eat fish and meatballs while showing off her paws and sides.  Gyunay especially liked when she stuck out her tongue.

Monday, February 25, 2019


I just realized that I have posted very little this month.  It does seem like this February has been pretty busy, though.  We've boiled some sap and planted some seeds.  Nathaniel pulled the taps from the maple trees yesterday - or actually, he taught Elijah how to do it.  So I just have to boil the remaining sap and store the supplies for next year.  I would have boiled yesterday, but it was crazy windy here, so I couldn't.  I really could have today, but I didn't really think about it.  Sometime this week, it will get done.  Today, I was more interested in clearing out the big freezer, since we are buying 1/3 of a cow and 1/2 of a hog, and all that meat is coming on Saturday.  On the upside, I had a bag of frozen cherries that needed eaten, so I made a pie!  I do so love pie...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Baby Love

I got to meet my newest nephew this weekend!
He's just the sweetest!   I was so happy to get to hold him.  

All six of us were looking forward to seeing this little guy.  Elijah was bummed that he had a cold and couldn't get too close.  Gyunay wanted to "pet" him, but I said he could touch his toe.  He was delighted to see how much bigger his own foot is than a baby's.  (He's all about being big!)

Speaking of Gyunay, here he is behind one of our 3 quarts of maple syrup.  The trees Nathaniel tapped for me have been providing sap, and I had a second boil day today.  We are still collecting sap, although we plan to pull all the taps this coming weekend.  I hope we get quite a bit before then, and we may produce over a gallon this year!  We've already ate some, of course.  I fixed French toast for dinner one night, and today I let the younger two have pancakes for lunch.   

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I've been starting seeds, both in the living room and in the sunroom.
These are in the living room, because it still gets below freezing in the sunroom, and these seedlings wouldn't make it.  On the right are tomatoes, several heirloom types.  On the left are some more tomatoes, some tomatillos, and some peppers which have not yet sprouted.  I'm very pleased with how they are all doing so far.  In the playroom, I have more cold-tolerant plants sprouting, like cabbages, broccoli, kale, and chard.  It is still early for planting seeds, but I am pushing the growing season this way.  I also have peas sprouting in the playroom in large pots, and those should do quite well with the cool weather.

Most of the time, I find Lydia curled up with a book these days.  Since it's been so wet and rainy, she has been inside much more, and she has been devouring books, mostly American Girl and Dear Diary books, but also others, including nonfiction on animals and lots of pioneer stories.  She's read the Little House books twice already this school year.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Review - Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard

Never Let Go
Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard is an action-packed romantic suspense novel set in the present day.  Kuddos to the author on making her main female character a forensic genealogist, which is a different twist to these types of novels.  I enjoyed that aspect very much.  I also liked the main characters, and felt that the relationship between Willow and her grandfather was particularly well done and a realistic portrayal of a granddaughter grieving for her grandfather and mentor.  Some of the romantic elements of the story seemed a bit repetitive, but it was a solid read, and I enjoyed it.  There were plenty of twists to keep the reader interested.  This is the first in a series of novels, but it is a stand-alone story. 

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

January Harvest Totals and Gardening Plans

January's harvest list is pretty small: 95 eggs and 8 little Purple Dragon carrots.  I've been planning and plotting, though. 
Yes, this is a new pile of dirt.

Because I wasn't home when it was delivered, it is slightly off-placed.  We have started moving it to its rightful place, but the work is slow because the dirt froze solid in the polar vortex last week.  So we haven't been able to move much, as it will take a while to totally defrost.  In the second picture, you can see some of the log pile to the left, which I have since covered with rabbit manure and food scraps and will eventually get mounds of soil added.  The hugelkultur will be a U-shape when it is all said and done, with the curve of the U along the driveway, to capture the most sunlight.  The right side will be the old hugelkultur bed, and the left side is the log pile pictured on the left above.  I plan to plant sweet potatoes in the bottom of the U, to give them the most sun possible.  I'm still debating about what goes where on the sides.  Also, I have to work on preventing deer and rabbit attacks to my plants.
It isn't all garden planning, of course.  Saturday, we traveled to visit my nephew on his second birthday.  Gyunay enjoyed playing blocks with him.