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Posts posted by mellifera33

  1. The spring bulbs that I planted last fall are waking up--lots of crocus, some squill, glory-of-the-snow, narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, grape hyacinth. I've been "winter sowing" and have lots of tiny plants. Most excited about clematis and hollyhocks. I've planted out some larkspur, baby blue eyes, and double daisies. Next will be some columbine, pansies, nigella, snapdragons. Planted some peas, sweet peas, kale, and broccoli directly. Need to plant nightshades inside under lights. Did some bare-root fruit trees--multi-graft pear in the front yard, columnar apples in pots on the back deck. Planted some euphorbias that I got cheap at a clearance sale at the local hardware store, and they're about to start blooming. The kids will be excited about those--we call them eyeball plants. :)

  2. I can think of very few scenarios where I consider  house tours appropriate: housewarming party, major remodel. Or showing a job candidate we entertain what kind of house their salary will buy (since we are in a low COL area, this is pretty relevant).

    Otherwise, house tours, to me, smack of showing off. "Look how nice my home is and what great stuff I have!"? Nope.


    You would be very confused by my house tour. "Why is she showing me her hand-me-down furniture and perfectly average house?" lol


    The only thing better than a house tour is a garden tour. I love it if the host shows me around the garden, especially if they tell me the cultivar name of every plant. Heaven.  :hurray:

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    ETA2: and I get that some people don't intuitively have a lot of marketing sense... I just don't get why when trying to sell something worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, some people don't put in some effort to either get a good realtor or learn the basics of marketing. The amount of money you'd make per hour (by having the house sell faster or at a higher price) by learning the basics seems like it would easily justify the effort.


    When we were looking for our current house we laughed for days over a listing that showed a bedroom with what looked like a big blanket thrown over a teenager who didn't want to move off of his bed for the picture. We wondered if the kid was included with the house. :D

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  4. Yeah, this is why I always time our school years to end around February/March.  I have the same problem during this time of year.  Our school year just ended a couple of weeks ago and we were dragging ourselves across the finish line.  By February, I am bored with what they are doing (and so are they!).


    I thought about moving to a semester system or "one subject at a time" because of this.  We tried the "one subject at a time" a couple of years ago and it was awesome.  The only bad thing- it backfired.  We had so much fun with one subject that we spent a really long time on it.  Too long.  And I felt like I was rushing to catch up.


    I love the idea of one subject at a time--my college had a January term--one month, one subject, and I loved it. If we didn't need to keep our slow and steady pace for math, spelling, and Latin, I'd be in. I'm hoping that the byl unit study will be a good happy medium--we can keep at our core subjects at a steady pace, and spend the rest of our time in the deep past. :)

  5. We're past the Februarys, and into the MUST CHANGE EVERYTHING phase of the year. This spring, my dream *this is finally the thing that's going to fix EVERYTHING that's wrong with my homeschool* curriculum is Build Your Library. I'm trying to keep it manageable by starting with one of the unit studies. I'm just about to go search for ALL THE BOOKS at the library and local used book stores. Does anybody else do this? I know educational new beginnings are supposed to be in the fall, but hey, BYL is my current squirrel. 

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  6. Yes, it's messy. It's exactly as messy as my bedroom. I tolerate more mess in a bedroom than in a "public space" in my own house, but wouldn't think twice about it in somebody else's house. After growing up with a mom who was immaculate, I thought that my space was hopelessly messy--until I visited other houses where young children lived, and realized that my mom was the weird one. Now I think I'm right in the middle of the house messiness spectrum. :) We still run around and do some "smoke and mirrors" cleaning before my parents come over, tho.


    I agree with some previous posters that it has that "temporary" look about it--nothing on walls, things kind of thrown together. In that way, it's also like my bedroom, which is kind of a catch-all room in my house--It has our bed and dressers, but also the computer and printer, a rolling cart of craft supplies, a small chest of tech flotsam and jetsam, etc. It reminds me of my male college friends' living rooms.

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  7. He might want to look at the winter sowing pages on FB. They use milk cartons as miniature greenhouses, plant seeds all winter, and the seeds germinate as the temps get warm. I've started it this year with good results so far, but I'm in a warmer zone. There are plenty of people on the fb pages with good results in zones 3, 4, 5 tho. :)

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  8. Years ago, to help my kids remember the states of matter, I told them that poop was solid, pee was liquid, and farts were gas.


    They remember this better than anything else I ever told them.  Wish they could move on ....


    I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who used this method to teach states of matter. lol


    I taught my kids the jingle bells batman smells variant. We were stuck in traffic during the middle of a move and they were tired of being stuck in the car and were whiiiiiiining incessantly, but then they were so delighted by the song that they sang it for the next 45 minutes. Which was better than whining, so I guess it worked.

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  9. Does your healthcare system have an online portal you can use to send messages to your doctor? Or can you leave a message with your doctor's nurse/medical assistant? I think that the info about how much you are bleeding is important enough to let your doctor know. 


    :grouphug:  I understand being thrown off when dealing with an unexpected person in the doctor's office. When you're already in pain and feeling vulnerable, every little change is a big deal and can mess with one's thinking. 

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    I am generally of the view that we were, in many instances, better off when things were closer to that older model.  "Safe" isn't as well defined a term as people sometimes like to think, nothing is absolutely safe.  And there are always trade-offs.  A lot of kids now lack opportunities for practicing executive function, they are anxious,  unhealthy from inactivity and don't get to spend much time outdoors.




    This is so important. It's easy to let anxiety take over decision-making, but kids need to be able to take reasonable risks and develop competency in basic life activities before leaving the nest. 

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  11. This is exactly one of the reasons I admire SWB for her composure and humility in sustaining these boards where people criticize the very work that pays for them. I don’t have this grace.


    Well, SWB knows what she's doing, and her books are good, and that goes a long way... :D



    Btw- I’d buy your book. Six boys. Road trips. The military. The unpopulated desert of West Texas. It’s more adventure story than homeschooling!



    My 10 y/o would read Kinsa's book. He still asks about the lady who lives so far in the middle of nowhere that it takes hours and hours to drive to Target. He really got a kick out of the recent ice cream story. And he suggested that she buy an ice cream machine, because he can't imagine living without regular access to ice cream. :) 

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  12. I got to start over last year because we moved. The entire yard was grass. Just grass. So I dug up a lot of sod. lol. Because of the way my property is oriented, I have a small vegetable garden with raised beds on the south side of the house, but most of my gardening is in the front and visible side yards. I didn't want to have a "farmy" look so I made regular garden borders and planted edibles and ornamentals together. Some plants do double duty, like evergreen blueberries (although they are looking kind of crummy right now, after we had a late deep freeze). I am realizing that this approach will make rotating crops a bit difficult, though--a kale plant here, a chard there, and a squash over here-type planting doesn't lend itself to an easy rotation schedule.


    As far as fruit trees, last year I planted a multi-graft cherry tree, and yesterday I planted a multi-graft pear. The owner of the local nursery doesn't sell fruit trees on dwarfing rootstock; he's had the same problems mentioned above and prefers to keep trees a manageable size by pruning. I also planted a couple of columnar apples in giant pots to go on my back deck. Our "soil" is glacial debris--mostly rocks--so digging a hole for a tree is a major production. I went a bit overboard with blueberries--9 varieties--and they are doing great so far, but our area has naturally acidic soil. I picked up a couple of huckleberry plants at a native plant sale, and they are not doing as well--I think that they need more shade than our yard provides. If they can last a few more years until our new little trees and bushes grow a bit, I think that they'll do better. Raspberries are doing well, and strawberries are okay as long as we get out there before the crows do. 


    I'm attracted to the food forest idea, but since my fruit trees are in front, the "forest" would need to be a bit more cultivated-looking than most I've seen. A planting bed "anchored" by a fruit tree and filled in with flowers and herbs is nice-looking, though, and I've received lots of compliments from neighbors, so I guess my yard isn't offensive. Fortunately, we're not in a HOA neighborhood and there are a wide variety of garden styles on the block, so I don't feel too hemmed-in on my choices. 


    Zone 8a, btw. But PNW, so a long chilly spring and a warm but not hot summer. 

  13. It depends on the type of fruit tree and where you live. If you choose varieties that are hardy and resistant to the local pests/diseases, it shouldn't be a lot of work. It's when you're pushing zones and fighting pests and diseases that fruit trees are super needy. Also, it's less work if you don't care if your fruit is perfect and you lose some to critters. I'm not willing to individually bag each apple on my trees, so I accept that I might have some loss to coddling moth. 

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  14. Really? IME, Americans have a crazy variety of vowel pronunciations. 


    ETA: I know this has been posted before, but I think it's super cool. I've taken it a few times and it never fails to peg my city within 25 miles.



    This put me in the right general area of the country, but culturally a quite different spot. I blame my grandparents--I know that I picked up some of the terms in the quiz from my midwestern grandmother and my West Virginia grandfather. :)

  15. i am not that much older than you, just turned 40. At 24, I was teaching for $27k a year. But my rent for my 2 br apartment was only $465. Today that same apartment is still only about $550.


    On the other hand, my 22yr old is making $11 and change an hour and her rent is $295. She has roommates but then so many folks do at that age.


    Wow. When I moved into my first apartment in my area, rent was $650. Now they start at $1290. And we're the cheap option, compared to the next county over. 

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  16. Huh. I've never considered prudes to have an air of superiority. I've always thought of prudes as being somewhat naive, rather than condescending. I've jokingly referred to myself as a prude when something like 50 Shades of Grey comes up in conversation and I'm the only one who hasn't read it. 

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  17. My 2/3 grade classes were mostly boys, so our teacher used to throw parties just for the girls at her house. She would drive us all there in her van and drive all of us home after the party.


    I had lots of rides with teachers--male and female. Nobody thought anything of it. My parents were glad that they didn't have to come pick me up. 


    I remember one day in 2nd grade when a 5th grade teacher walked into our class carrying one of my classmates over his shoulder. The teacher was running late, and came across my classmate, also running late, trying to thumb a ride to school. Teacher picked him up, lectured him, and carried him into the class. 


    I spent lots of hours in the band director's office, talking with him. With nobody else around. That wouldn't be allowed today. His mentorship was good for me, and we're still friends today. 


    My 6th grade science teacher was maybe 5' tall, and he made up for it by carrying around a yardstick and slapping it on the table next to anybody who wasn't paying attention. I babysat his kids once. 


    One of my brothers' classmates had physical disabilities and used a wheelchair. He used to push her through the hallways, running at full speed, and make a sharp turn just before he would have run her into the wall. They both thought it was great fun. I can't imagine the liability concerns today. 



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  18. Sounds like you've got a lot of good stuff in the works!  :thumbup1:


    Your therapy group is interesting, and I like that point that there could be people besides SLPs running them. Really good point. Makes me think if I dug harder I might find some other options for groups in our area that aren't being run by SLPs...


    Our social skills group is run by a whole group of people--I'm not sure of the titles of all of them, but there is a psychologist, several OTs, and maybe even a PT. It's a diverse group of kids, and a diverse group of leaders. It's at a local hospital-based clinic that provides lots of different therapies. It's going pretty well for my ds. 


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