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Posts posted by Laurel-in-CA

  1. On 11/8/2019 at 6:56 PM, Kareni said:

    I had a wonderful time with my friend (thank you for the good wishes); there was a lot of conversation and laughter. I managed to squeeze in a little reading time on the train and after my friend departed.

    I quite enjoyed Quarter Share (Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper Book 1) by Nathan Lowell. I started it yesterday after my friend left, finished it today, and have begun book two. It's classified as science fiction because it takes place in space, but it's a rather mellow story with no battles. The Trader's Tales name of the series is accurate as a lot of trading takes place. This book would be a fine read for teens as well as adults.

     "The Golden Age of Sail has Returned -- in the Year 2352!

    When his mother dies in a flitter crash, eighteen-year-old Ishmael Horatio Wang must find a job on the company planet company or leave the system--and NerisCo isn't hiring.

    With credits running low, and prospects limited, he has just one sign onto a deep space freighter for two years. Ishmael- who only rarely visited the Neris Orbital and has never beenoff-planet alone before -- finds himself part of an eclectic crewsailing a deep space leviathan between the stars.

    Join Ishmael and the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick as she sets solar sails in search of profit."


    I also read and enjoyed Polaris Rising (The Consortium Rebellion Book 1) by Jessie Mihalik which I'd describe as a science fiction action romance. While I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, I don't think this is a book I'll be quick to reread. (Adult content)

     "Polaris Rising is space opera at its best, intense and addictive, a story of honor, courage, betrayal, and love. Jessie Mihalik is  an author to watch.”--Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author

    A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

    In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

    Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

    When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

    But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . . "




    I enjoyed the whole series of books that follow Quarter Share and take the hero through captaincy of a trading empire. Good stuff.

    I read Polaris Rising this week....I'd read a sequel...I guess. But not sure this feisty heroine is that unique.

    Love SciFi recommendations!!

    • Like 3

  2. 5 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

    Or anything else that works. A local mom here started a board game day every month at the library, and also put together an event for kids to play games on tablets/laptops at the local coffee shop weekly. that's what her kids like, so she set it up 


    Another mom and I from our co-op started a teen game night to help our girls feel more comfortable with the new group. It's been pretty effective.


  3. Y'all need a park day. If you can't find one, make one by showing up at a centrally located park with clean bathrooms and good visibility every week or every other week at the same time. Bring snacks, drinks and camping chairs and a game or two to keep in the car. Also a basic medical kit for scrapes. Stay at least 2 hours, maybe more. Moms can talk or crochet or whatever, kids can play very open-endedly. We always had a group building forts, some moms walking circuits, some moms breastfeeding, and everything in between. Even if other homeschoolers don't come, by hanging out regularly in the same time frame you may find them or find other friends. I hope you can find that.

    My family has also done 4-H. It led to adult mentors for a couple of my kids, but not too many same-age friends. And it was GREAT preparation for public speaking (we went to statewide competitions several years) and learning the rules of order for conducting a meeting.

    • Like 1

  4. On 10/9/2019 at 1:13 PM, MEmama said:

    Substantial areas of my hometown burned to the ground last year.

    This doesn’t strike me as a sexy or sustainable solution,  but I’m willing to guess an awful lot of people would rather make do without power for a few days than lose their homes, their neighbourhood or their entire community again. 


    Anything is better than another firestorm and the 4500-plus homes that burned in 2017 in Santa Rosa CA. Both southern and northern CA can get very high winds. In SoCal they're called Santa Anas, usually hot, blowing off the Mojave desert to the sea. In NorCal they're not always hot, but just as dry. This year they clocked wind gusts of 90-100 mph in the foothills/higher elevations, 50-60 mph sustained. Once a fire starts, the winds drive its expansion pretty quickly. They also create a lot of debris, downed branches, etc., which can impact power lines, hence the pre-emptive shutoffs. About 2/3 of my county (Sonoma) was shut off and about 1/2 evacuated for several days. But this time no loss of life from fire (one person killed by traffic accident), only one major injury. Once we're back home we STILL have to wait to have power and gas turned back home. Our house has power but no heating and nights are cold! But anything is better than another firestorm, right? Cooking in my crockpot and microwave and thankful for it.

    Adding: They probably were overly cautious and evacuated many more people than needed, but a lot of areas don't have many ways out and traffic can be crazy. This year instead of being surprised by fire (2017) we had time to pack and evacuate in day time. That was huge! I still needed to get some winter clothes, but at least I had socks and underwear and our wedding album and passports....all of which I forgot in 2017.

    • Like 3

  5. Spend the day in 3 layers of clothes waiting for my gas to be turned back on. Thankful that we didn't lose electricity during the fire and evacuation, so I don't have a nasty refrigerator to clean out. Thankful for returning to my own bed instead of an air mattress on friends' floor. Goodbye, Kincaid fire, please no more fires this year!!

    • Like 2

  6. 1 minute ago, StephanieZ said:

    You can also do sprinklers and a slip n slide. You can make an amazing DIY slip n slide for teens/grown ups if you have the right yard and don't mind hurting the grass a bit. (Google it.)

    I got little water guns and some water balloons and buckets. Unfortunately, we have retaining wall all around our back yard and sliding would not be safe.

    Good ideas, though!

    • Like 1

  7. 3 hours ago, ZiMom said:

    Any idea where the leak is located?  Is it in one of the pipes or in the actual tub area?   We had a leak in one of the pipes and by switching the controls were able to limit the water from going through that pipe.   

    We think the leak is in the tub itself...saw bubbles coming up.

    Tub has had water in it all winter, so not dried out. It was a slug habitat, though. Eeew.

  8. We're having what was supposed to be a teen hot tub party for our homeschool group this Saturday, so dh was cleaning the hot tub out for summer. Unfortunately, we seem to have sprung a leak in the tub. Does anyone know if it's possible to patch this somehow and what the process would be? Thanks....we hardly use the hot tub, but with the leak I'm nervous about even turning it on. I think we are switching to squirt guns (it's been <100 degF this week) but would still like the hot tub to be functional. Help!

  9. Here's what we've got for an artsy dd:

    Math -- Financial Principles (Dave Ramsey workbook & DVDs, co-op class, outside reading) -- she's finishing MUS Alg. 2 this year

    Science -- Health (Abeka + co-op class, outside reading) - already done with Bio & Chem will last into this summer.

    History -- US history @ home, probably using K12's American Odyssey

    English -- HSLDA online English class

    Foreign Language -- Spanish 1 & 2 @ CC; taking Spanish 1 in the fall with a friend so they can study together. Hoping the background in latin will help with grammar and vocab.

    PE -- Still need to do 1 semester, may take it @ CC in the winter semester

    Bible -- Still need to do 1 semester, will probably work through a catechism of some kind.

    Other -- Get her license!!!

    We're expecting that most of her senior year will be at community college.

    • Like 1

  10. 14 hours ago, Lori D. said:

    I still remember the very first/original WTM board and you posting about your now-almost 16yo driving you crazy as a toddler climbing the bookcases! (:D

    Long time ago and a different house. LOL

    A reminder that even the frustrating seasons will change and the challenging stages will pass. She's a pretty cool kid now!

    • Like 4

  11. 3 graduates and 1 still working on it!

    26yo -- BFA, working at Goodwill while taking graphic design classes, will be job hunting in May. Has medical issues that make it very hard to freelance (she needs insurance) and that have limited her stamina for side jobs, plus she is still a 4H horse project leader and that takes up most of her free time. We joke that she must love the horses more than the rest of the family, since they're keeping her from moving closer to us. Really, she loves her independence but we miss each other. She would LOVE to get a job that involves both travel AND art.

    24yo -- BA Communications, AA Speech, Cert. Marketing -- summer job thru college was at a local zipline tour, where he still works p/t. After college a prof recommendation got him a f/t media/marketing job with a local company but he and they were both frustrated with his learning curve. He has cut back to working p/t (3 days/week) on video and social media projects while also working 3 days @ zipline company.

    22yo -- AA in Humanities -- summer job as lifeguard at senior center led to doing in-home health care for disabled adults, including seniors, while at community college. Quitting both her jobs in May to backpack in Europe for the summer with a friend. Not sure what next.

    almost 16yo -- took her first class at community college this year, planning to get an AA and take at least one gap year. We shall see.

    • Like 9

  12. I'd love some recruiting ideas. Our AHG/TL group is at a large church but people there sort of expect church activities to be free and are a bit put off when they find out we charge dues and they pay for uniforms. We used to have a local homeschool convention and advertised there, but that has dwindled and died and we are at a loss as to where else to publicize because public schools won't advertise for religious org. and private schools are unwilling to advertise for us as they see it as competition for tuition $$ or else have a GSA troop that they funnel kids to.

    Any suggestions?

  13. On 3/28/2019 at 6:54 AM, vonfirmath said:


    Who owns the drop box? How do you ensure it gets kept from year to year?

    Dropbox account belongs to the troop. We have some general folders (Level Awards, Ceremonies) and then yearly folders with special events, badge stuff that we do, schedules, etc. And some photos, altho' most of those are now on the troop's private FB page.

  14. 8 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

    We use Troop Track for record- keeping (badges, service hours, awards) and general communication.


    We keep lists of prospects and former members to invite to big events in gmail, and that's also where we handle inquiries about the troop. It seems so much simpler than TT, which we keep just for the scouting stuff.

    • Like 1

  15. 4 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

    Love the dropbox suggestion! Brilliant. Definitely doing this.

    We have 7 or 8 years worth of records in dropbox: forms, board meeting minutes, flyers, etc. And keep our yearly budget there too on a specially designed spreadsheet. We use a separate program for tracking badges/service hours and gmail for troop communications. Dropbox has been GREAT!

    It was especially helpful during the 2017 fires in our area when board members were evacuated all over the place....our treasurer records burned up in somebody's house, but we were able to recover most of it from online stuff.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  16. 2 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

    My post went poof! Write down everything you do. Packing list for Court of Honor? Save it. List of how many sodas sell at rodeo depending on temp? Save it. And ask your out-going folks to do the same. You may not do the same stuff, but a starting point is a wonderful gift. 


    This is so true! Just this week we were reviewing our figures for selling soda floats at our charter's Easter event -- 2 years of records with 2 different types of weather and we have a good roadmap for what we need to buy this year.

    We keep a special events folder in our dropbox for each troop year and put all the planning and schedule and gear list, etc. documents in there for future reference.

    • Like 3

  17. Still all over the place for dd next year.

    Spanish 1 & 2 -- dual enrollment @ local CC -- We may even have a bunch of homeschool buddies taking this together (I hope).

    MUS pre-calculus at home -- she could take math @ CC but I don't want to combine that with Spanish, which will be weighty.

    US History -- I have American Odyssey for this and may add in some SL reading

    American Lit -- looking @ Lightning Lit for this, 2 semesters

    Health -- we must tick the box....

    PE -- maybe something @ CC

    Art -- entering contests for fun -- we already have too much of this on the transcript, LOL.

    Bible -- we need another semester's worth to meet our PSP's requirement for graduation. Any ideas for something enjoyable?


  18. Wordly Wise will extend vocab but it's not a spelling program. Of course, so will any number of other vocab-focused programs. And then there's remembering the spelling *while* you're writing. One year my son tested out of Spelling power -- words like rheumatism and chronology -- but misspelled bunny in his writing (buny) because he could spell in isolation but couldn't keep it in his head while writing. That's mostly practice to develop fluency.

  19. Travelling is not my favorite thing, but we have some air travel credits from a cancelled trip that must be used before April 1. 15yo dd wants to go to Hawaii and I am finding it so hard to take the steps to make it happen. Can you help me with some positive and/or low-cost lodging ideas for Oahu in March? Help this non-traveller plan something for the sake of the rest of the family!

    • Like 1

  20. I am being silly, but here you are. Now nobody will see your face in the photo!;qid=1547529143&amp;sr=8-1-spons&amp;keywords=balaclava+women&amp;psc=1

    Or you could get one that makes you look like a snarling predator?

    Sorry. I hate pictures too! My dh has to go to Wisconsin next week -- we live in CA. I just got him snap-on ice cleats for his shoes. For his birthday he got a long Squall coat from Land's End and some lined waterproof gloves. Oh, and wool socks. I love the hand/foot warmer suggestions.

    • Like 1

  21. I've had 3 homeschooled all the way and on to college -- every one a slightly different path and outcome. So, plan for them to be individuals! LOL

    My 4th kiddo is 15 and just took her first class dual enrollment, with a homeschooled buddy. Her big victory (besides the A) was that nobody (even the prof) figured out she was homeschooled or just 15 until the end of the semester. Now, on to driver's ed.

    • Like 2
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