Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toilet Seats for Christmas and Other Fun

We got the kids a toilet seat for Christmas.

Yes, you read that right, a toilet seat. Aren't we wonderful parents?

For those of you who know about our four gifts for Christmas tradition, this is not part of the four gifts. This we are considering a bonus gift. We are just spoiling these kids aren't we?

Our house has two bathrooms. Our bathroom came with a wooden toilet seat. The kids' bathroom came with the standard white seat. What they are made of I have no idea. The kids thought they had been shorted. They protested that our toilet seat was so much more comfortable than their toilet seat. Kellen especially would use any excuse to use our bathroom instead of his own. A daily question would come from him, "Mom, can I use your bathroom?" My daily response, "NO!" Call me selfish, but my bathroom gets enough stink without adding the funk from an eleven year old boy.

Time passed, and eventually our much loved and coveted toilet seat developed a crack. No one wants to get pinched by a crack in a toilet seat now do they? Tim picked up a new and of course, wooden toilet seat for us.

The kids were so in love with our wooden toilet seat that they begged us to put the old cracked one on their toilet. We of course, refused because if anything is going to be hurting their behind we want it to be intentional, not just an accidental pinch from the toilet seat. They would have to make do with their common white toilet seat.

Then I had an idea. Wouldn't it be fun to put a new wooden toilet seat in the kids' bathroom late Christmas Eve? We could install it and even add a bow and a ribbon. Tim outright laughed at me, and argued that there was nothing wrong with the toilet seat that was already in there. Eventually, he did think it would be a fun extra gift for the kids, and agreed to pick up another wooden toilet seat.

Unfortunately our plans were a bit spoiled by an eleven year old, who amazingly, while watching a movie on the other side of the house, can hear me talking on the phone to his father about a surprise Christmas gift. Yet, he can not hear me when I'm am right in front of his face asking him to unload the dishwasher. Uncanny.

Even with the surprised foiled, Tim bought a new wooden toilet seat. Kellen installed it, and now everyone has happy bottoms while taking care of business in the bathroom. Merry Christmas!

And if that wasn't enough fun for one post........

Remember all the snow we got last weekend? With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, most of that snow is still here.

Nolan has an issue with underwear. He loves boxers, but prefers to wear them alone. If he is wearing sweat pants, he never puts underwear on unless made to. He will wear underwear with zip pants, though, after learning the hard way that zippers and naked bottoms do not go well together.

Sunday, when I came home from work, Kellen informed me that he owed Nolan a dollar. This was a problem because Kellen could not get the safe where he keeps his money open. That is another story, but I promise that the snow, the underwear, and the dollar are all part of the same story even though these paragraphs seem totally unrelated.

Apparently, while I was at work, and Tim was working outside, the boys were in the house. Nolan was having a boxers only day, and it was getting on Kellen's nerves. Kellen bet Nolan that Nolan couldn't run to the Y, a spot in the driveway about 1/4 mi from the house, in his boxers and crocs in the snow.

Did I mention that Kellen owes Nolan a dollar?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

They warned us it was coming. We saw it begin before we went to bed Friday night, but there is just something amazing about going to sleep with no snow on the ground and waking up to this.

The roads were terrible, and the electric was out most of the day, but the kids had fun playing in the snow and sleeping by the fireplace. It really was a great day to play in the snow. The snow was heavy and wet, perfect for packing, and the temperatures were not bitter. Tim was having fun playing in the snow too with the four wheeler. Well, until he got stuck anyway. Power came back on last night, the roads are clear, and this will all likely be melted away by Christmas day when the forecasted high is 45 degrees. Enjoy the snow while you can!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Homestead Happenings

With lows in the teens, and highs just barely reaching into the 30's, winter has officially reached the 100 Acre Woods. We had our first snow Saturday, and some of that pesky stuff is still sticking around for now.

I'm not much of a fan of winter. Yes, snow is beautiful, and really I do enjoy going out to sled with the kids and play in the snow. I just get worn out dealing with the practicalities of winter. I tire of the constant mess of coats, gloves, boots, and hats times six in a space that is entirely too small for all that stuff and my laundry. Keeping water available for the animals during freezing temperatures becomes like a part time job. And of course driving in the winter is no fun...but other than that winter is just great!

In other happenings, this cold spell will probably mean an end to the garden. We harvested broccoli and lettuce into December. The root crops still in the ground need harvested. Now, it is time to start thinking and planning for next year's garden. I recently was introduced to a new seed company, Hometown Seeds. They will be sending me a pack of their survival seeds, and I could not be more excited. The package includes 16 non-hybrid varieties. I am really excited to try the Butternut Squash. That will be a new one to our gardens.

Many of you may remember the decking that has been out by the rabbits for some time now. That decking has become a first class chicken house and storage area. It is not complete, but the chickens are quite happy in their new spacious home. I am quite happy with a good storage space for the animal and garden things, though a little shock out how quickly that space has filled up.

We also are getting ready for Christmas. Last week we made the annual trek to Lincoln county for the Christmas tree. We decorated the tree, and made this year's ornaments at The Pottery Place. Much of the shopping is complete, and soon we will begin the baking and candy making. Christmas will be here before we know it!

Things are busy here, as always. Seems the homestead never slows down, but only changes focus. We are just trying to keep up, and enjoy the process.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway! I'll be drawing a name tomorrow night!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Giveaway - I Used to Know That

You may remember I reviewed the book I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School
a few months back. We have found it to be a useful little book. See the review here.

The publishers are now offering you a copy of this little book that is packed full of facts. This would be a great stocking stuffer for the adults or the students on your Christmas list. Entering is easy. Just leave a comment and be sure there is an email address where I can reach you. The giveaway is open to all in the US or Canada. A random winner will be picked Tuesday, December 8th.

Here is a little article from the author of the book to give you a taste of the book:

12 Days and 12 Facts for This Holiday Season
By Caroline Taggart, Author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

Ever catch yourself saying I Used to Know That?Each holiday season brings another round of cocktail parties, family get-togethers, and corporate gatherings -- and invariably, lots of small talk. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when discussing politics, literature, and other intellectual "stuff," especially when what is thought to be general knowledge is often long-forgotten. Enter I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School. From English and Literature to Math and Science, from History and Geography to Religion and Other-Worldly Topics, this book leaves you equipped to handle any topic of conversation.

Here we've cherry-picked twelve fun facts for the holiday season -- one for every day of Christmas (or whatever holiday you prefer!) Quiz yourself to see how much "stuff" you need to brush up on before hobnobbing with the boss or office crush.

On building sentences: Just what is a "clause"? (Not to be confused with Santa Claus.)

Answer: A clause contains a subject and a verb and may stand alone as a sentence or as part of a sentence (when it is often called a subordinate clause): Santa Claus loves cookies but can't eat them without milk.

How many bones is the spine made up of?

Answer: 26 small bones called vertebrae (Be careful lifting all those heavy holiday boxes.)

Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (1812-70) wrote which Christmas classic?

Answer: A Christmas Carol. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge tries to ignore Christmas and is haunted by the ghost of his former partner, Marley, and by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, who show him the error of his ways.

The fist chapter of this famous book opens with "Call me Ishmael." Name the book and author. (Hint: it makes a whale of a gift!)

Answer: Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Melville is also the author of Pierre and the unfinished Billy Budd.

There's a name for the process of watering your Christmas tree? Who knew?

Answer: Grab the kids and give them this science factoid as they nurture the family tree: Osmosis is a form of diffusion that is specific to the movement of water. Water moves through a selectively permeable membrane (that is, one that lets some types of molecules through but not others) from a place where there is a higher concentration of water to one where it is lower.

Can you name all 6 wives of Henry VIII, father of the Church of England?

Answer: (Listed in order) Catherine, Anne, Jane, Anne, Catherine, Catherine. They are often remembered as divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Sure makes you think twice when complaining about bad relatives.

Who was the 16th President of the United States?

Answer: Abraham Lincoln (R, 1861-65) and yes -- he really was born in a log cabin on a winter's day. Notably famous for many reasons including his Gettysburg Address: "Four Score and Seven Years ago our fathers brought fourth upon this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty . . . "

8. 'Tis the season to be jolly giving! Don’t forget to tip well this season -- etiquette coaches will tell you that means no less than 18%. So just how much should you tip on a bill of $50?

Answer: Percent means by a hundred, so anything expressed as a percentage is a fraction (or part, if you prefer) of 100. So 18% is 18 parts of 100, or 18/100 or .18. If your bill is $50, multiply 50 by .18 to get your tip total of $9. If you're feeling generous, a 20% tip would require you to multiply 50 by .20, for a total of $10.00
50.00 x .18 = 9.00
50.00 x .20 = 10.00
Percentages can also be holiday-relevant when it comes to figuring out in-store sales. In this case, you want to multiply by the inverse of the percentage listed. So if you have a $50 sweater that's on sale for 25% off, multiply 50 by .75 for your total of $37.50. That same $50 sweater on sale for 40% off would equate to $30, or $50 multiplied by .60.
50.00 x .75 = 37.50
50.00 x .60 = 30.00

9. Brr, it's cold outside. But just how cold does it have to be to get some snow around here?

Answer: Did you know that the freezing point of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit? Keep an eye on the temperature and watch your footing for ice on the ground. (See previous fact about those treasured vertebrae!)

Everyone knows Santa and his elves live in the North Pole. But what about the South Pole (aka Antarctica)?

Answer: The South Pole was discovered by Roald Amundsen (1872-1928, Norwegian), who was also the first to sail though the Northwest passage, the sea route from Pacific to Atlantic along the north coast of North America. Antarctica is the only continent that contains no countries -- instead, it is a stateless territory protected from exploitation by an international treaty. A good place for the elves to protest low wages?

11. Which Ocean is bigger: the Pacific or the Atlantic?

Answer: The Pacific Ocean is larger at 69,374 square miles -- that's almost double the Atlantic, which comes in at 35,665 square miles. Making it evenmore astonishing that St. Nick can cross the globe in just one night.

Remember the reason for the Season! Can you name a few things that both Judaism and Christianity have in common?

Answer: Both are monotheistic religions that share the first five books of the Christian Old Testament. Both religions view Jerusalem as a sacred site, the former for the Wailing Wall (contains the remains of the temple that was thought to be the place where God resides on earth) and the latter for Christ's burial and resurrection site.

Happy Holidays to all!
©2009 Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and Beyond

What day is it? No, really. Last week was a blur with all the Thanksgiving preparations and the enjoyment of said preparations and time with family. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have to admit to being somewhat stressed because this year I was pressed for time and a little less organized than normal. I decided early in the week to get done what I could and that any thing I didn't get done really wouldn't matter once everyone was here. That was one of my best decisions ever.

We had a house full. Tim's parents, Jeff and Gail were here. Uncle Vern and Aunt Brenda came from Buffalo. My cousin Pam and her husband Hans came from Baltimore. My Great Aunt Hazel and her friend Terry joined us as did our friends from church and co-op, the Farr's. If you are keeping track, that makes 20, including my family and my parents. The house was packed.

The food was abundant. Mom and I split the cooking duties, and everyone brought something to share too. We had all the fixings, but the desserts stole the show. We must have had close to ten pies and date pudding and cheesecake. I love it!

Friday, many of us went to Blenko and then to Hillbilly Hotdog for lunch. While eating lunch Uncle Vern preceded to tell a few stories about Hans. One of which was a story of how Hans had lost his keys on the ski slope and Aunt Brenda had to drive several hours in a snow storm in the middle of the night to help Pam and Hans out. We all got quite a laugh out of that story. We should have kept our mouths shut.

A few hours later, back here, Uncle Vern was doing something in his car and accidentally locked the keys in the car. Luckily, they have Triple A. After a few phone calls, a tow truck showed up and had the car unlocked in a matter of minutes.

Yesterday, I worked until about 9:30. I needed gas, and stopped at the station right by work. After pumping the gas, I went to get back in the car and the doors were locked. The doors were locked and the keys were in it. The doors were locked and my phone was in the car. The phone which holds the phone numbers for everyone I know, including the phone numbers for my family which are not in the phone book because they are all cell phones. Panic.

Yes, I am that dependent on technology. The only phone number I actually know in my head is Tim's. Tim's phone is a work phone and a different service than the rest of ours. His service is very limited at our house. I borrowed the phone from the gas station to give it a try. I got his voice mail. A little more panic.

Finally, I asked to borrow a phone book. I looked up the neighbors phone number. They have a land line. Their son Josh answered. "Josh, could you ask your dad what my dad's phone number is?" I said, feeling like a complete idiot.

I got the phone number, and after a couple tries got my dad. Twenty minutes later Tim was there with a spare set of keys, and we were both on our way home.

Thanksgiving was good. The food was good and the company was great. But next time I think we better think twice about telling stories on people. It may just come back to bite us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today's Writing Prompt

I've mentioned before that Kellen gets a daily writing prompt from Writing Fix as part of his school day. This was the prompt today, "Write about a monument you wish you could build to honor someone you know or knew. What would it be made out of?"

Kellen's response:
A person that deserves a monument is Mom. She puts up with four kids, a farm, and a part time job. It should look like her, though slightly skinnier. It would be made of titanium, and be solid, mounted on cast iron. It would stand at least 500 years.

It was all good until "slightly skinnier." Thanks Kellen, I think......

Broccoli Peek-a-boo

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nolan the Wise (?)

Yesterday the boys and I were out running an couple errands. We stopped at Kroger, and Kellen ran in to get the one thing we needed, while Nolan and I stayed in the car. The Salvation Army bell guy was set up and working. Nolan asked me what that was for. I explained to him that they collected money to help poor people.

Nolan: You mean people who don't have money to buy food to eat.

Me: Yes

Nolan: They should give them some fruit and seeds.

Me: Fruit and seeds to eat?

Nolan: No. Fruit to eat. Seeds to plant a garden and grow their own food.

Quite a bit of wisdom in that statement made by my five year old, I think.

Lydia Appleton future RN?

Lydia will soon be eight. Before our eyes she is starting to change from a little girl into a young lady. It is a bit scary, especially for her daddy. Beyond our fears though, it is so interesting to watch the kids grow and mature, and see their natural gifts and talents play out.

Lydia has always been a nurturer. We could almost see it from the beginning in the way she played with her dolls. Later it could be seen in the kind way she interacted with her siblings, especially the younger ones. Now we see it at many levels from her play with toys to her desire to take drinks and snacks out to Papaw and Tim while they are working. Most recently, though, we've seen it in her care for those who are hurt.

This summer Lydia started taking over the nursing duties here in the house. If someone is sick, she is ready to take them a drink, or sit with them. If one of the younger kids gets a scrape or boo boo, Lydia often beats me to the crying child, comforting soothing, and even cleaning and bandaging.

This week Papaw had an accident right after I left work. He was working on the dozer and had to bring it to a sudden stop, which sent him flying into one of the roll bars, head first. The result was a large gash to his head. I was not hear to witness this first person, but if you've ever seen someone with a cut on their head, you know the amount of blood that is involved. This was a cut that required 16 stitches and 9 staples. By all reports Papaw was a bloody gory mess when he first came up to the kids after the accident. Nolan later told Papaw that he looked like he was dead (because of all the blood.)

You might think that the sight of all that blood would make the kids panic. None of them did, but some did turn away at the sight. Lydia began tending. That is who she is.

We've been blessed with wonderful children. All with differing styles and personalities. I think, as their parents, it is important to acknowledge their strengths (and weakness) to help guide them on this path to adulthood. Perhaps Lydia will use that nurturing personality to be an nurse, maybe a teacher, maybe she will choose to be a stay at home mom, or maybe she will choose something entirely different. No matter, we will enjoy the process and watching our sweet, kind, nurturing girl become a lady.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Fall Fun

Thursday night we all planned to go for our annual visit to the Pumpkin House. At the last minute Lydia and Nolan traveled to Ohio with my parent to visit Uncle Jake and Aunt Delilah and of course the cousins. We decided to take the other two kids anyway and we invited one of Kellen's friends.

We were surprised at how much more there was still to set up. It probably was only about half set up, but still very cool. We may return early next week to see the completed work.

Look! We found the treasure map! :)

Yesterday Kellen and I broke out the leaf blower and rakes to try to clean up the front yard. It is amazing how many leaves come down in our tiny front yard. We are chopping the leaves to use as mulch and compost, but Kellen felt cheated when I was only sweeping them up because there was no pile to play in. So, we raked everything into one pile first. Then we chopped them up.

The kids had a good time playing in the leaves. I greatly enjoyed the physical activity on a beautiful day. The asparagus will appreciate the nice cover of mulch and the compost pile will turn those leaves into some pretty soil for the rest of the garden. It was a fun and productive afternoon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Lambs

For the most part we allow our ram and our ewes to run together year round. Sheep cycles run with the seasons, like rut with deer. The ewes begin to cycle when the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler. Gestation is about 147 days. All that figures together to give us lambs around January of February.

Imagine our surprise when we noticed a few weeks ago that Maggie looked very close to lambing. We put her in the nursery pen and waited. Every morning Lydia goes out and checks for lambs. Last night Tim thought he heard Maggie during the night. This morning Lydia went out to check and didn't come back. Nolan went out to see what was going on. A few minutes later he ran back into the house yelling, "She had her lambs!" Then he was right back out the door. She had two little rams.

Checking the gestation chart, shows that she must have been bred in late May or early June. She had lambs still nursing then that had been born in January. I can only assume that our cool, wet spring must have caused her to cycle early. The other ewe that would have been breeding age at that time does not appear to be close to lambing though. Strange.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recycling Field Trip

Today we traveled with a couple other families to Rumpke Recycling in Hanging Rock, Ohio to learn a little more about the recycling process. We've recycled for a long time. We started when we lived in Akron where recycling was easy. We had curbside pick up and only had to place our recyclables in blue bags and set them out with the rest of the trash. It was so easy, why wouldn't we recycle?

When we moved here about 4 years ago that easy recycling went away. They don't pick up here, and at first we had a hard time finding a place to take the stuff. We did eventually located a drop off that was convenient for Tim to drop off while driving for work. The only problem is they do not take glass. Since moving here our recycling has been mostly consistent. We save metals to scrap and get paid for. Plastics are taken to the drop off. We shred our paper and use it for chicken bedding. Cardboard we burn, but glass ends up the trash, though that may change. Rumpke takes glass. They are not close to us, but Tim drives right by there every week. They also pay for cardboard, paper, and newspaper.

Our visit to Rumpke was interesting. They are a multi-purpose facility with drop off bins and buy-back facilities for the public, general trash collection for nearby communities, and corporate recycling services. They purchase recyclables from the public or from businesses, sort them, and bale them for further processing.

The picture below is the baler. The second picture is shredded paper purchased from a company that provides shredding services to other companies. The third picture down shows cardboard that has gone through the baler. Our guide estimated that all the cardboard in the picture below would make about three bales.

This picture shows plastic products purchased from a nearby Pepsi facility. The white tubs were made to hold some sort of chemical, but the stacks to the right of that are brand new bottles and labels that had been discontinued and were no longer needed.

A couple of interesting facts we learned today:
  • Bauxite Ore, the raw material for aluminum, is no longer available in the US. All raw materials for new cans must be imported.
  • Making a new steel can from raw materials can take four times more energy than making a can from recycled steel.
  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60 watt light bulb for up to 6 hours!
Recycling just makes sense to me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Fest '09

For the second year in a row, the building we use for our homeschool co-cop was not available for one of our meeting dates, and we decided to have the group to the 100 Acre Wood instead. It has been dubbed "Fall Fest."

We never did get a count of how many people came. Most of our co-op were here, and there were also several other homeschooling families that came, and one family that pulled their kids out of public school for the day. We are guessing there were close to 100 people on the farm yesterday.

Much of the group went on a nature walk and hike to the creek. We visited the animals, played games, took hay rides, and roasted two small hogs for lunch. I didn't get a lot of pictures, but here are a few. I know that some of you were happily snapping away. Can't wait to see the shots you got!

The Hogs the Night Before.

5:00 AM Lighting the Fire.

12:00 Mmmm Mmmm Good!

Donut Eating Race

Who Needs a playground?

The Kittens were very popular. Why didn't anyone take them home?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Should I be Concerned?

I am a little concerned about Nolan. I think perhaps there is something wrong with his feet, or maybe his legs. He just doesn't look right when he walks. I wish I could say that this was a one time event, but he has been doing this for weeks. For some reason though he only behaves this way in our house. Do you think I should take him to the doctor?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Nina and the Pinta

Last week we had a little pre-Columbus Day field trip. The Nina and Pinta replicas were in town, and we joined some fellow homeschoolers for a tour. It was very interesting. I was a little shocked at how small the ships were, considering the voyage that they took. Our guide shared a little history with us about the ships, the voyage, Columbus, and navigation at the time. Here are a few pictures from our visit.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Now Entering the Pre-teen Years

Kellen and I have been butting heads a bit lately. He is showing us some glimpses of what the teen years may be like. It ain't pretty. But sometimes it is rather funny.

Part of his school work includes a daily writing prompt. He picks from random prompts at Writing Fix. Today his prompt was, "When was a time you laughed when you shouldn't have?" He chose to relate an incident that occurred earlier today. Imagine you are hearing this story, it will make more sense. This is what he wrote, "A time I laughed when I should not have was when mom was talking to me and told me I was habitual. I asked her what that meant. She asked what the root word is. I told her it was bitch."

Now what he didn't explain is that we were having a serious conversation about how he habitually has to be asked to do everything multiple times. And that after we finally got to the real root word of habitual, he continued to giggle throughout the whole conversation. When I would look at him and ask why he was giggling, his response was, "Oh nothing." Of course we all know exactly what he was thinking about. I am sure he heard nothing that I said after that incident, and the conversation will need to be repeated. Right now he is watching me type while he has a permanent marker dangling from his nostril.

Lord, help me! I don't think both Kellen and I will survive these next few years.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fall Fun

The Fall Festivities are in full swing. Wednesday night we went to the Corn Maze with a group of people from church. I've never seen such tall corn in my life. We entered the maze with family friends, four adults and eight kids. It was quite the adventure. We were the first of our group to enter. We were the last to exit. I know some of you are heading there also. All I can say is the route from #3 to #4 is killer. Good luck, and don't let the kids navigate!

Today we went to the Pumpkin Festival with our homeschool co-op. All the kids got pumpkins to decorate. Vivian made a bunny. Nolan and Lydia made deer. They had a lot of fun decorating the pumpkins. Kellen carved his.

After the pumpkin decorating fun, we walked around to see the exhibits. We mostly hit the historical ones. We watched a potter, a spinner, and a blacksmith. We saw a few animals and looked at some animal hides. We watched apple butter and sorghum being made while enjoying time together and with friends.

I love fall and all the fall festivities that come with it. Soon we will be hosting a fall festival of our own, and roasting our first pig here in the 100 Acre Woods. You can be sure I will be posting more about that later!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Death and Destruction

Some time ago a friend mentioned that she'd like to learn how to butcher chickens. A pretty normal desire considering that she has chickens of her own.

Then another friend, who has no chickens, mentioned she like to learn the process too. She was more interested in the educational value of teaching her children where their food comes from.

We recently met another family, who is homesteading, and they expressed a desire to learn the butchering process. So, we decided to have a butchering party.

We set a date and invited everyone to bring a covered dish to share, and butchering knives if they had them. Then last Friday night two of the families we originally talked to plus a neighbor of one of the families ventured to the 100 Acre Woods, in the rain, to enjoy time with one another and butcher poultry.

It wasn't the best of nights as far as weather goes, but the company was fabulous, the food delicious, and we got rid of a few pesky roosters in the process. I never did count, but the guys butchered chickens and rabbits until it was dark outside.

Not everyone who wanted to come was able to make it Friday. We will be doing this again soon. Susan was the party photographer. If you're not squeamish, you can find her photos here.


Almost exactly one year ago, we tore down the barn of a stranger. That wood and roofing has been used to build a pig house, and part of a chicken house. But I guess a year is enough time to forget how much work tearing down a building is, and run out of lumber, but either way we are back at.

Someone put an ad in the ad bulletin for an old house that needed torn down. Yesterday, the destruction began. This picture is what I found when I went to the site late this morning. There was nothing left of those corner walls by the time I left mid-afternoon. Two trailers loads of lumber have come so far. There is more to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Point Pleasant

Today we went with several other homeschooling families to Point Pleasant WV. Point Pleasant is a small city located where the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers meet. This area is rich in history including the lore of the Mothman. We arrived a bit early and took a minute to get a picture with him.

Next we met up with our friends at the Point Pleasant River Museum. Here we learned about the Silver Bridge that collapsed in 1967, saw various artifacts from the boats of the Ohio River, but one of the best things was the aquarium. The museum has a large aquarium filled with the fish of the Ohio River. I was surprised at the variety included in the tank, including the exotic looking Paddlefish.

Then we crossed the street to Tu-Endie-Wei state park where we learned about Chief Cornstalk and the Battle of Point Pleasant. We walked along the river to view the historical murals that are currently being painted on the flood walls. Those murals were quite impressive. I hope to return again once they are complete.

We had a good day. We all learned a little history, even though some thought football was the topic for the day. We spent time with friends, and enjoyed a warm fall day. This is my kind of homeschooling day.