We live in gardening zone 6 (6a if you want to be really anal about it). According to most seed companies and so-called gardening 'experts,' this means that we should not be able to plant anything before last frost date (generally assumed to be March 30-April 30) and we should not be able to grow anything after the first frost date (generally assumed to occur prior to October 30). Most people I know in this area agree with this, and even farmer's markets in our area typically start in late May and fizzle out by October.
However, with just a little extra effort and adjustment, crops can continue to thrive beyond those windows of time. This is a picture of my fall garden, taken yesterday (November 26):
I have two beds this size - roughly 8 feet long by 4 feet wide and 6 inches deep. Aside from the hollyhock you see in the bottom right, I planted these as seeds in late September, after my summer vegetables (tomato, eggplant, cucumber) had pretty much stopped producing. These ar…
Joseph is our next-door neighbor. He and his parents have made us feel incredibly welcome in this neighborhood ever since we moved in last summer. Joseph is about nine months younger than Lucy, so he fits in well playing with our children. One day when he was out with us somewhere, I realized he technically could be our child, age-wise. (Scary when you think about how many kids you could have if you rolled the procreation dice Duggar-style.)
Anyway, Joe's birthday was last week. So on Saturday evening his family invited ours over for pizza and cake. It's kind of interesting because they are Seventh-Day Adventists, so they observe the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. We, belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, observe the Sabbath on Sunday. So we have a narrow window of party time on Saturday night! The kids had a lot of fun with Joseph. He's a great neighbor (and his parents are pretty cool too).
Ranger Truman Lucy and her cousin Landon in the tent
The children's museum has a traveling exhibit called 'Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl' on display right now. It's an interactive set designed to teach all sorts of nature-related facts and skills. The kids really like it. It's pretty fancy for CMOE standards - more like something you'd see at a bigger city's children's museum.
And, no visit to CMOE is ever complete without a visit to the Out Loud gallery's face painting station. (I thought this look was a little scary.)
I don't actually advocate using television as a basis for curriculum, but I have found several ways that it can tie in marvelously to something we are already learning.
We only have streaming internet for TV, or local TV on a very small television. Mainly we watch things on Netflix. I've been pleasantly surprised to find content that fits with things we are studying in homeschool.
America: The Story of Us has a lot of useful content. Lucy read a short book about the Statue of Liberty a few weeks ago and wanted to know more, so we watched the episode that covered that. And more recently, we read a book about Thanksgiving, and then watched part of the first episode, "Rebels," which portrays the arrival of the Pilgrims. This show is entertaining enough to hold their (and my) attention, but also gives a lot of information, and does it in a way that is less static and abstract than what is found in most texts.
We've also found some science information from Netflix'…
It's not even quite 9pm on a Friday night, and I am the only one awake. Or at least, the only one up and awake. David has to wake up at 11:20 tonight and go meet up with another professor and five students, and make a 7 hour drive to attend an all day conference, then another 7 hour drive back home. So he's in bed. I am so nervous about this I could vomit. I have a lot of anxiety in general, but my biggest fear when it comes to David is that he will die in a car accident, and obviously fourteen hours on the road in the middle of the night... it's a bit terrifying.
I was reading a little bit about generalized anxiety disorder today. I used to battle with panic disorder pretty badly, especially in the first couple of years of our marriage. I'm a lot better now in that regard, but I have developed new worrying patterns. After a long time of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy, I have gotten to a point where I can't even recall the last time I had a real panic …
What have we been up to lately? Just having gobs and gobs of fun.
On Halloween (actual day), David had to work. Apparently no one told the Indiana higher education people that Wiccans deserve props too. So I took the kids out to my mom's to trick or treat her house and run around like maniacs for awhile. Here is how she greeted us on the porch. Is it any wonder I'm such a fun mom?
We've also got loads of leaves right now. It's kind of funny to see how our neighbors deal with them. One guy rakes them into big piles, then drives his push mower up into the piles and mulches them into the grass. Another guy, retired, meticulously rakes every day (I've even caught him out there more than once a day), then puts on rake hands and scoops them up. We on the other hand take the laidback approach (would you expect anything else from us?). Rake. Run. Jump. Giggle.
And here's one just for fun. A child happily cleaning. A beautiful sight.