Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Our goats are so lazy.....(how lazy ARE they?).....well, they're so lazy they prefer to use the lawn mower instead of trimming the grass with their teeth!

I'd given up all together, when three different asked on three separate days whether I would ever post here again.    

I tried.  I tried to come up with something witty and clever that included "reasons for not writing."  Got nowhere that wasn't cliche.

I toyed with the idea of not writing at all, but I miss it and enjoy it.

Finally, after re-telling a Strange but True Story of Events that Really Happened to Our Family to a fourth person, I knew I was at the end of my list of excuses.

So, welcome back to our garden and some true stories that are rife with ridiculotory and incredulousness, along with a smattering of (frighteningly Conservative) opinion, cute kid pictures (human and animal), foodtalk, and stories to make you smile, laugh, shake your head and (most likely) cringe!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chickens love cherry blossoms

Yes, our chickens are eating the cherry blossoms that have fallen off our ornamental tree.  I know that cherry leaves contain cyanide (did you), but hopefully the blossoms aren't tainted.  If they are, I have my next blog post!!!

Speaking of a post....

I actually thought it had been eleven months since my last post; at only ten, I'm encouraged!

Well, about that truck......
The transmission was fixed, and Andy has been driving it.  I got a 'neused' truck via Craigslist because the Escape was having other issues.  As of last weekend, it looks like the engine is losing compression (whatever that means ~ there is a bunch of oil all over the inside under the hood).  We'll keep driving it; there's always the other truck for a backup.

So many things change in ten months!

Bobo and Coco joined our family, two wethered  goats.  They were supposed to be pasture-mates for a dairy goat, Lilly, who joined us in February.

Unfortunately, Coco couldn't be kind to his new friend and had to find a new home.  So he left with a nice family from Goodview.

Lord willing, Lilly will kid in mid-June, and we're looking forward to goat milk and late-spring kids!

The girls are plugging away at co-op, school and church.  Speaking of church, we've joined a church just up the road As far as our garden Burnt Chimney ~ and are glad to be active there.  We're also involved in a Bible study with some other homeschooling families, strengthening relationships and encouraging one another in our parenting journey.  So thankful for the relationships there.

Lesseee, Andy survived a bout with MRSA after a scratch from a branch when he was cleaning out the woods behind our house.  While it was scary for a couple days, once the antibiotics began to work, he's well on his way to recovery.  We're so glad it didn't have more serious, long-lasting effects.

I had considered not blogging anymore.  Time is scarce around here, what with schooling, keeping up with the house and animals and doing whatever it is we do.  But I enjoy reading others' blogs and keeping a sort of record of what is going on in our lives.  So, I'm going to try and start back again.

One problem was that our desktop computer is in the basement, away from our day to day activities.  I've been using the laptop which allows me more freedom to move around.

Another problem has more to do with privacy concerns.  I'm still not sure where I stand on that.  When I log on to the Internet, do a Google search and pull up my name, my kids' names, my parents' names, where I've lived, my political views, etc., etc. on just the first couple pages of my search, I wonder if blogging is such a good idea.  Notsomuch for "bad guys," but for the government and REALLY bad guys.  And as I grow older and my kids grow older, I find myself having really radical ideas insofar as the mainstream is concerned.  Nothing wacko or crazy, but just momma-bear conservative.  I dunno.  I'll have to think about that a bit as I decide what to write.

Anyways, look for more garden posts and chicken posts and goat posts and family posts.  November marked our first full year in this home and I'm starting to get the hang of seasons and cycles here.  Its going to be a great year!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Truck Troubles

I Thessalonians 5:18:  "In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of Christ Jesus...."

1.  We're thankful that only the "Drive" gear went out 22 miles from home and we still had "1 and 2" left to drive back.
2.  Thankful that when 1 and 2 gave out, it was in walking distance to the house.
3.  Thankful for Hannah's and Andy's strong legs to carry them up the hill and around 1 "S" curve to the house.
              3.A.  Thankful that I was not alone with the girls when it gave out!
              3.B.  Thankful that the weather was pleasant when it gave out!
              3.C.  Thankful that we were on a straightaway when it stopped going forward.
4.  Thankful that, although its gonna' cost a whole stinkin' lotta' money to fix my truck, we have the means to get it done.
5.  Thankful that we were safe on that long, long drive home, and that the transmission didn't actually fall OUT of  the truck, even though pieces of the transmission fell INTO the truck.
6.  Thankful that we live in such a beautiful area and got to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way home!
7.  Thankful that the transmission place was able to send a tow truck and include the cost in their bill.
8.  Thankful that they were able to get my truck first thing on Monday morning and get right to work on it!
9.  Thankful that the girls and I enjoy being "homebodies" and, to us, there is really no such thing as "being stuck at home."
10.  Thankful that Andy saw this may have been a roundabout answer to another prayer we had about another venture we were going to pursue.

Coincidentally (yeah, right), our history lesson today was about the Greek mathematician Archimedes.  He's the one who first used ropes and pulleys, which provided a better way of lifting.  It was a great tie-in to the use of a winch to drag my heavy car up the back of the tow truck.  It made history come to life ~ exciting!  So there's a reason #11!

All aboard....

Hey, look at those pretty flowers!




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Never a Dull Day (or Night)

That was SOME storm that rolled through last night!

The girls and I were enjoying the almost-end of The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit, a free Kindle download  (Parts of it are hilariously funny, but parts of it do drag on....), which something caught my eye outside the window in the storm.

At first I thought it was a streetlight.  But, then, we don't have any streetlights.  THEN, I thought it might be the moon.  But, I reasoned, we were in the middle of a very strong wind, rain and electrical storm.

Only then did I holler out for Andy to come look at the fire on the power line.  Eeesh.

We called '911' and Appalachian Power, and both made it out in great time.  By the time they got here, though, the fire was out (I tell ya, that was some heavy rain!), but we wanted them to look it over just in case.

Its not much to look at today (look at the brown leaves), but the result is that that AP has put in an order to get all of the trees down that side of the yard trimmed up and off the power lines.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

math laugh

OK, so I had Han finishing up the (Virginia) third grade SOL test this morning....you know, the most recently-released one on the DOE website?  Even though she's only finishing second grade, I wanted to get an idea of where she is; there's a couple areas we haven't learned yet.

Anyways, she got to number 42*:

A girl placed eight blocks like the ones shown, in a bag:
She pulled one block out of the bag without looking.  Which color block is she MOST likely to select?
a.  red 
b.  green
c.  blue
d. yellow

*not copied exactly so I don't get in hot water with the DoE

Hannah stared at the problem for a minute, before she said,

"uh-uh!  I'm NOT puttin' MY hand in THAT bag for NOTHIN'!"


"You can't get ME to put my hand all the way in that bag for NOTHIN.  NO way."

"Han, what are you talking about?  Read the problem again."

"I DID.  And I'm not putting my hand in ANY bag without looking first.  There might be a scorpion in there."

(Allow me to point out that I had prayed for patience this morning, because I knew we'd be doing many many possibly difficult math problems in this test and she tends to go balky during long math sessions.  THIS is how God answered my prayer.)


[Laughing so hard] "What do you mean?  Why would there be a scorpion in the bag?  Look at the problem and just do the problem."

"Nope, I'm not putting MY hand in THAT bag.  Maybe there will be another hand in there that will pull me in."


"Hannah, its a lunch bag. She brought it from home.  Its new.  There are no scorpions or hands in it."

"Then why can't I look?"

"Hannah," (trying not to get exasperated) "its not you doing it."

"But there might be another one of those caterpillars in there that would bite me.  Or a scorpion.  Or fire ants."

"You're not actually the one doing it, though.  The girl is."

"OK, then, it would be blue."

"Why did you choose blue?  (I only asked on this one problem, as I was devastatingly curious!)

"Because its at the bottom and on the side and if I kept my hand on the side to avoid whatever is in the bottom of the bag....."

OBVIOUSLY, probability needs to be included in our curriculum for next year.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The end is in sight!

Less than one month to go for Hannah's second grade year, and WHEW, what a pull these last couple weeks will be!

We were interrupted by a major household move this year, and that, in addition to the various trips and illnesses, as drug our school year out much longer than I'd planned.  There was a point when I thought we were going to be finishing in April ~ ha!

("For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord)

As it is, we're planning to school right on through the summer, although with a different schedule.  We'll probably keep on going with math and grammar, but we'll put more emphasis on science and art.

There is a homeschool book sale coming up in a couple weeks that will help me fill in any missing holes.  I'm looking for a few books and a few other things for our "classroom."

WHICH is on my to-do list.  Our current setup doesn't seem to be working as well as it could be.  I was so used to schooling at the kitchen table that when we moved into this (huge, to us) house, we kind of kept close to the kitchen and living room.  But that is proving to be so very distracting to Hannah.  I'm planning to convert part of our basement into a school room, encouraged by the models I've seen in some of my friends' homes and online.  I'll start on it soon, but probably won't finish it until later this summer.

In the meantime, co-op wrapped up for the year with an end of year party complete with a moms vs. kids kickball game, pizza and popcorn & cotton candy.

What a great group of moms and kids we've met.  I'm looking forward to many years of learning and growing with these Christ-seeking and Jesus-loving folks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


THIS is the hat that won FIRST PLACE in the Awana Crazy Hat contest at church last week.  

THIS is the girl to whom the idea occurred to use cicada castoffs on her hat and who spent only a very little time collecting their exoskeletons (science lesson!).  

We just witnessed the Magicicaida Brood I emergence....of 17-year cicadas.  Fascinating.  If you click on that link you can scroll down to a recording of the sound with which we've been deafened for the last two weeks.  They are quite melodic.

We turned this project into a homeschool science lesson (of course!), and learned that these little critters, whose "shells" she collected, emerged from underground after seventeen years of feeding on the roots of deciduous trees such as oak and tulip poplar (with which this region is well-supplied).

Typical cicadas with which you might be familiar don't emerge until later in the summer and are completely green with shades of brown.  These beautiful babies have startlingly red eyes and an orange tint to their body.  Hard to see on this picture, but THIS little girl is wearing one as a ring:

But back to That Hat:

When I saw the finished product, I kinda knew the other second graders didn't have a chance.  And I think she knew it, too.

Of course, I warned her:  you will forever be known as The Girl Who Wore Cicadas to Awanas.

She can handle it.

And had the Cubbies held a similar contest, I think you'd be looking at a picture of the winner.  Talk about a fascinator!