Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Off the cuff homeschooling

UMmmm, i started this post last week but I'm going with it!!!

Yesterday we had one of those great moments that made me remember why I love homeshcooling. (yes I do forget sometimes) We had stopped by Sarah and Andy's place to pick up some delicious spinach and basil. When we pulled up to the farm, Gaynor shouted, "MOM! look at the BEES!" At first all I saw was the traditional beehive by the barn that has always been there. Forrest and I both rolled our eyes and began to explain how it has always been there. Gaynor, said "NO, LOOK!" The bees were everywhere. We guessed they were swarming. A dream come true for owners of a brand new Top Bar Hive!!! I went to find Sarah and Andy came up and the kids showed him. Andy and Forrest got the new hive, and andy suited up in a bee keeper suit. I moved the van closer and put all the kids inside with with windows up and A/C on. If you don't allready know, my boys are petrified of bees. Last fall, the three oldest stepped on a nest and were stung multiple times. More importantly they were tramatized which is one of the reasons I really wanted bees. Any way, I got out to take pictures. I still kept away. We had no idea how it would go! I'm not going to go into detail at this point. Mostly because I don't want to spoil the blog that I am sure Sarah and Andy are going to post on their page. But, It was amazing to watch! I was so exited. The hum of the bees was so loud! We all feel much better about bees in general, especially the boys. They even came out of the van to take a closer look when all was said and done.
The point is, if they were in school it never would have happened. Literally. S&A most likely would have missed it as they were very busy getting ready for market. It was Gaynor who first spotted it. Also, not being in a rush to get anywhere certainly helped. We just stayed until it was finished. How many children know how to catch a swarm of bees and place it in a hive? What Fun! i was so excited! ok, click here and go to Marble family farms and see the pics! pretty amazing!

I will try to post again this week. The sun has come out for the first time in about 2 weeks and i need NEED to be outside. bye bye! enjoy the sun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rainy Day Activities

It rained for about 3 or four days this week. This drove everyone to some serious silliness. The big boys were making lunch and being goofy. Harland played outside for about 3 hours!!! He had a great time. Just a Miso container, two "old school" little people and a rubber duck. oh, and a giant puddle. Indigo was painting. He absolutely loves to draw and paint. Especially on himself and/or the furniture and toys.

Yesterday was mostly sunny but the bugs were so out of hand I couldn't work in the garden much. I did get some weeding done before I ran for my life from the snacking black flies. I have also finally caught up on my Mt Washmore. I am on a mission to get this place under control before we leave for Massachusetts. I hate coming home to a messy house.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Forrest has generously allowed me to post this, and ONLY this, Picture of him before the Semi-formal. The theme was "Hollywood" I think, which we didn't even know before we dressed him all "American Gangster". He looked awesome. He is so cool! don't tell him I said that.

Here are two pics Forrest took of Stella. It is funny how different the puppies' personalities are. Stella can dish it out but can't take it. She always starts wrestling with her brother only to start the whimpering and crying when he gives it right back to her. She loves to be brushed as she is a girl and understands the importance of good grooming. She is very food motivated! She fetches the squeaky toucan toy and brings it back to me. She hates her crate. She has an awesome passive aggressive way of letting me know I'm not really in charge, when I put her on her bed "PLACE" she waits until I walk away and then moves 2 feet over to the hearth and lays back down.

Its been raining all week. Great for the garden, less so for four boys and two rambunctious puppies. Mike spread the "poo tea" on the garden, everything seems to be doing much better now. Thank goodness for my wonderful husband. I have never EVER smelled anything sooooo awful! I was gagging the whole time and I didn't even do anything but tell him where to put it. Seriously nasty. but free and effective. We planted acorn squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and butternut, This weekend it will be two kinds of pumpkins and all the tomatoes, maybe the melon as well. The potato plants have popped up, the beets and new spinach and chard are all up, The weeds are trying desperately to take over, we are doing the best we can to hold them back. I will be paying a certain 14 year old to weed the strawberries and onions this weekend. I will take some pics too, I promise! I am also hoping to get the new kitchen floor laid down. It will be nice to have a floor that can be washed, all though I do like the "character" of the tongue and groove sub-floor.
Mike turned 36 Wednesday. I love the six months a year I am married to an older man.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How crazy is CRAZY?

I normally try to keep the blog positive as it gives me peace to go back and read it all. However, this morning Mike told me I have "had my angry face on for weeks." What does that mean? Is it possible I have taken on too much? NAHHH. The puppies are wonderful and yet a bit kuku. They are into their toddler years now. Think terrible twos in a puppy times two.

I bought them some new toys and puppy teething bones. It made a big difference. They are learning to play fetch, well, they will chase the ball (usually tackling each other mid way) but they don't bring it back or even usually pick it up. You would all be so proud of me, I cooked and cut up a chicken!!! I wanted treats for the dogs, they are omnivores, not vegetarians but i wanted healthy, organic, local goodness for them. So I got a rooster from Sarah and Andy they had processed and in their freezer. They raised it so I know it lived a healthy happy life. Then I covered it in garlic and baked it. The kids were VERY grossed out. I even cut it up into bite sized pieces and froze it in containers. I have never cooked a chicken in my life. I had to ask around for cooking times and temps. Everyone laughed at me. But, its done and those adorable furry babies love it. They also went to the vet last week. They did have worms so they are on meds and have to go back to finish vaccines after they are better. They were very well behaved other than Donovan hated the shiny floor.

Forrest has been working a lot. Two full days with mike this week, staining a guest house and shed. Today is his first day working the Farmer's Market. He will be selling baked goods for a women down the road. I hope it goes well. I have to admitt I miss him terribly. I am so spoiled and used to having him here. He is great company and amazing help. Its different not having an extra set of hands. His school work is going kind of slow but I think its the time of year. He has met a friend in town and is going to a Semi-Formal with her and some of her other friends. I am so happy for him. He is finally meeting kids his age here in Maine.

The garden is frustrating me a bit. Deer track all through my carrots and radishes. We did have a salad, the radishes are delicious. I pulled out the trellis Forrest was working on for the peas. He just doesn't have the time to finish it and the peas are starting to grab the weeds and each other. I went to walmart and bought ugly 8 foot white metal garden borders. It works. That is all that matters. I decided not to go over there for a couple of days in hopes that plants will be bigger. Mike picked up some fertilizer from S&A (don't you love them!) we will be "side dressing" with chicken poo tea as mike calls it. Not my dream come true but the plant are just not growing. I think years of hay has just depleted the soil. Mike assured me he would make the tea this week end. It is seriously stinky stuff. I cooked the chicken, he can make the tea.
My "HONEY DO" list is long enough to roll out across the floor. We are having a working weekend with eight hour days as of tomorrow. Things need to get done!

I also hopped back on the FLYLADY wagon this week. My sink is shining! (as long as no one gets near it). I need order and routine in my house again or I will just drown in dirty laundry and toys. If you have never heard of her, check it out. The last time I surrendered to Flylady, my home was amazing and organized and I was relaxed and peaceful. I swear it works if you really do it. I have come to the realization that there just are not enough hours in the day. I also gave in to some quick and easy meals this week. Including chili dogs and pasta with (GASP) jarred sauce!

To top it all off, check this out.

YUP, Poison IVY! I had to take him to the Doctor's because Mike and I have never had it. Poor kid is miserable! Him and Forrest were camping out by the river. They were fooling around and Forrest accidentally pushed him down right into it. I am choosing to believe it was unintentional. He is on a regimen of hydro-cortisone, colloidal oatmeal and calamine lotion, with just a hint of benedryl. This kid has had more topical allergies, irritations, bug bites rashes and itches than I have ever seen. We call him itchy scratchy! The pediatrician said the variety that grows along the river here is particularly evil. She also mentioned something I never would have thought of. The puppies. It seems the dogs will get the oil on their fur and then the kids can get poison ivy from touching them. SOOOOO puppy baths are in order. We bathed Stella last night, it was exhausting to say the least. We will do Donovan tonight as two puppy baths in one evening is way too much for Mike and I.

So what have I done to combat the seemingly permanent angry face you ask? I planned a mini vacation, with NO CHILDREN!!!! I know! CRAZY! Mike's birthday is coming up so that is my excuse. We are going to Mass, dropping off 4 children and two puppies with my wonderful parents, and heading to Province Town for exactly one night! WHOOO HOOOO! I think there will be a visit to a good friend who just opened an Art Gallery/Tattoo shop, and yes I believe I will come home with some new art work and hopefully a new attitude. I need this in a big way! Then I can get back to planning our adventure in organic strawberry growing, fiber sheep raising, honey-bee caring vegetable/herb gardening life.