An Educational Trip

Last week we left John at home working with all the animals to keep him company and traveled the few hours north to my family’s cabin to help with the annual spring clean up. It was the first time we had spent away from the house in months. We were off the property! I was ready for excitement, what I got was education.

I learned that the kids do not in fact need to pee every hour on a car ride. As it turns out, after months of Covid talk and faced with public restrooms and face masks, they can all hold it the whole 3.5 hour drive. A fact I will remember.

I learned that this railing still doesn’t seem “safer.”

I learned that a change of scenery will not make a single bit of difference in the amount of fighting the girls do.

I learned that if Grandma and Grandpa are the only people they have been able to see in two months, the additional presence of Grandma and Grandpa won’t make a bit of difference in the referenced fighting.

I learned that different chores, no matter how enthusiastic you present them “Yay! Let’s rake pine needles!”, are still chores and they will whine about them just as much.

I learned that Clara will happily pick up and drag home every bit of garbage and “treasure” she can find when out for a paddle.

I learned that Jane will pack herself up two live snails to bring home without asking for permission.

I learned that Ivy can make fantastic cookies in any kitchen.

And I remembered that life always feels better on the water.

Staying on Top

Today is the last day of the April Squares challenge hosted by The Life of B. A month of square pictures, posted everyday, somehow themed around the word “top”.

It was a good way to get back into the habit of keeping the camera handy. It was good to get back into the habit of blogging. On days that my still recovering brain was up for it it felt good to blog surf again and see other “top” pictures.

Some days I wobbled. There were days that I stretched far for the “top” connection, for a photo that might work and to post before midnight.

But I stayed the course and posted the whole month.

The last months have been rough ride but some things never change. Taking on a challenge and coming out on top always feels fantastic!

On Top of the World

Clara loves pigeons. I think her pigeon love may have started with a young barn pigeon she tried (and sadly failed) to rescue a few years ago. Since then she has successfully raised multiple pigeons by hand. Young or sick pigeons have accompanied us on family vacations and at least half the time she has a pigeon living in her room with her for reasons that we at least tell her Dad are quite valid.

Last fall, for her birthday, we wanted to get her some more pigeons. Plans were made, pigeons were promised, housing was constructed and six long months (for a ten year old) later, we made it to the big day.

Today Clara brought home a flock of pigeons that needed a new home and new person to love them.

Clara is truly on top of the world today!

And the pigeons are settling into their new home nicely too!

That last picture (the square one of course) is my contribution to today’s April Square’s challenge, theme “top” hosted by The Life of B.

Spun Like A Top

We were gifted a fun egg decorator this year that we immediately dubbed “The Egg Lathe. ” Today we pulled out traditional egg decorating supplies as well as The Egg Lathe and three hours later the kids decorated four dozen duck and chicken eggs and three goose eggs.

They turned out beautiful but unfortunately we are a family where zero people eat egg salad.

I hear you can make chocolate chip cookies with hard boiled eggs. How many bags of chocolate chips do you suppose we need to get through four dozen eggs?

I’m participating in the April Square hosted by The Life of B. Have you figured the theme out yet?

Top o’ the Morning to Ya!

It’s Sunday morning, we have, of course, no where to go. I’m pretending to sleep in when Jane shows up to “snuggle” (i.e. asks three thousand questions and demands one million items). After a long three minutes of such talk I caved and threw my phone at her in self defense so that she could check out every filter on all the platforms my phone can offer.

The end result was this picture.

I quite like it and I’m saving it because I think it will come in handy for handling the current most common questions I get.

“How’re things going?” – see above picture.

“How’s that homeschooling thing?” – note how I can no longer smile a real smile.

“How are the kids handling it?” – check out that kids face and then you tell me.

“What’s it like with the kids home all the time?” – please note how I no longer even have enough personal space for my entire face.

Top o’ the morning to ya! I hope you and yours are safe and healthy and that in the process of staying that way you still have enough elbow room of your own to see out of both eyes!

I’m participating in the April Squares challenge over at The Life of B come check it out!

Reading Concerns

Clara has always struggled with reading.

She dropped behind her classmates early on. It wasn’t surprising given her complete and total lack of interest in the entire “learn to read” plan . Given a list of words to practice such as “the”, “two” and “go” she would respond to flashcards of the same with answers like, “turtle”, “grapes” and “birthday cake”. And with that less than auspicious start, she was off on the road to reading.

Over the years she has, of course, greatly improved but in a house full of readers, she is a listener. Happy to listen to audio books for hours and beg for chapter after chapter of whatever our current nightly read is.

This has been troubling as a mother (not to mention as a reader and an author) but Clara has always been disinclined to acquiesce to anyone’s plan just because someone thinks she should. When I worry, I remember how much she likes books and stories and figure that eventually Clara will decide that reading is important to her but it’s not going to happen until she darn well feels like it.

Two nights ago I gave her yet another pile of books that I thought she might be interested in and now I have a new worry.

Will the girl ever get enough sleep again?

Clara has gone to bed hours past bedtime since she picked up Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. Of course as a life long “just one more chapter before bed, oops it’s 2am” sort of girl I’m not about to throw stones. But as her mother I am a bit concerned. Not only is she not sleeping but what book do I give her next?

Book suggestions welcome!