It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

>> Monday, October 20, 2008

Today was our Homeschool Immigration unit on Ellis Island. It was given by Jennifer Steward and it was wonderful.  Ellis Island was re-created in the church auditorium and there were 85 homeschooled kids who showed up dressed as steerage passengers from Europe.   They all went through the many procedures it took to be accepted into America, or turned back if they didn't pass.  We then had a lunch of potato soup and bread, got pictures taken in costume to put in with the unit, did quilt blocks, wrote a page of what they had learned and generally learned a lot and had a good time doing it.  Hurray for interactive, immersion type learning!  

But can I relate the happenings on our way to this great learning experience?   Hmm?

The day started with all kinds of upsets and vile attitudes (the word "vile" in this post is not overused) and it made us end up blasting out of here late. We were not one minute from home when there were a flock of wild turkeys in the road and two of them didn't move to the side, so I had to slam on my brakes to avoid a feathery collision.  Not two minutes later we smelled bacon. Oh!! Did the crock pot full of the best potato soup I've ever made tip over? Yes, indeed it had. All over. As in total loss. Twenty servings.  My contribution to the Ellis Island experience, now embedded in car carpet, spilled over our changes of clothes, a skateboard, books, backpacks, etc.  We stopped on the side of the road to clean up the back of the car and we could still see home from the road.  Should we have seen the writing on the wall and turned back then?  Perhaps.  But we were also taking our cat in to be neutered. All the preparations had been made, it seemed like we should push on, so push on we did. And almost immediately the cat's insides decided the stress was too much. Oh, is  there a more vile smell in the world?  I think not!  We had to stop and empty the cat carrier, late or not.  Okay! Back on the road. A few more urine. Now really, *that* has GOT to be the most vile odor ever!    More turns, more intestinal production, another stop.  Certainly we must be at the end of this by now and things will start looking up. No.  He ended it all with diarrhea, mixed with the mess already in the carrier and now all in his fur. There was no emptying anything after that and we had a full hour and a half drive left. All this had happened in the first five miles out, before we even hit the highway.  It has to rank up there with one of the most stressful trips I've ever encountered.   I'm surprised they didn't kick us out of  Ellis Island and send us all home. 

And that's the way we did things around here today.  I'm hoping we got it out of our systems because we've got another long drive tomorrow. But no more soup or cats.


This Years Crop

It's the first year I've tried potatoes. While we didn't get a lot, it was majorly exciting and something we'll definitely do again. We did get lots of volunteer garlic but I didn't think of taking pictures and the same with the tomatoes and the green beans. I planted an entire package of chard and got three little plants, then the deer came along and ate most of that. I have a few leaves in the refrigerator but it seems hardly worth cooking for such a small bit of greens.  I probably should have gotten a picture of that pathetic little harvest.  Harvestette. Anyway, it's still fun and I love having a garden.  


Not A Water Leak

>> Sunday, October 19, 2008

HoneyHusband was out on the porch and thought he heard water running in a faucet. He checked all over and even turned off the water pump. Still hearing the noise, he tore a board out of the deck siding to find what was making the sound.  Yikes!  Not a water leak at all! The cat was harassing this guy. Isn't life in the country wonderful?

(It's a (now dead) rattlesnake, for those of you fortunate enough to not have them around)


Beacon Rocks!

>> Monday, October 13, 2008

Is this a fantastic view of the Columbia River, or what? And this is only halfway up! Trains that look as small as toys run right past the Rock.  It's a glorious place to hike!
Except for the climbing. It's 480 feet high with a mile of switchbacks to get to the top. Fifty two switchbacks to be exact. Bring water. 
Cheerful pose at the top. But guys, it's all downhill from here. You made it! Hurray!  Guys? Hello?  I don't think they are listening.


We Got To See the Yarn Harlot!

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

Precious Daughter 1 and I spent a lovely Saturday together, hanging out and going to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  For those who haven't been introduced yet, please stop reading here and go immediately and find yourself delighted.  I've gone to see her on three book tours now and I can hardly wait for the fourth, and even though my shortest travel has been a quick three hour round trip and the longest was a 12 hour round trip, I consider it time well spent. 

Hanging out with my grown up daughters has got to be some of my most fun time ever. I had no idea I was going to enjoy my children this much! I'd love to quit everything and just play with them all day, every day.  They are such a blast!   Precious daughter 2 is coming over tonight to make lasagna with me (her idea!) and we'll have a nice dinner together.  This feels like the calm between storms while there are still struggles with other family members and their growing pains. I love how God can remind me that things will get better and I not only have a lovely now to enjoy, but I still have a future and a hope coming. 

You know. So I don't run for the hills after a rough day like today.