Monday, October 26, 2009

Threshing Time

Field at the cottage

've been having a grand ole time ! Truely we've been simplifing the home & school again . Boxes upon boxes have been taken out . I have been meditating on the subject of the homestead . My biggest question being of course , Could we do it ? Ok the even bigger question of course being Could Mum do it lol . Could I truely live off the grid for a time ? Possibly in definately ? What would we be willing to give up , to leave this for that ? One of my biggest concerns is not phone , computer or even what to cook on ;-) it is the issue of being cold ! I am such a suck when it comes to keeping warm . I suffer from ecsema so clothing is a major issue for myself & our two boys as well . Yet truely would I give up a 2 1/2 story home in the noisey inner city for a one room home in the bush . Yes ! That is my answer . Do I have romantic dreams , hey this is me talking , of course lol . Often it is the dream or vision which keeps me a going ;-) My dh is the more rounded practical one in this relationship . If we live off grid he will no doubt have a windmill made within the week .
I am truely inspired mostly not by stories or dreams etc. but by my own ancestors . My own relations . I've been dwelving into my grandmother Grace's letters . Gramma Grace was a school teacher , avid reader and most beautiful writer . While at my mother's place this past weekend I went down to the basement . I had on previous visits read my Grandfather & Grandmothers love letters to each other .These are kept ina special cedar box . However down in the basement are boxes and boxes of letters saved . Correspondences my grandmother had with family and friends . I thought to myself that I would begin reading them . So where to start ? Well I think I chose the right batch of letters ! Yes I found a bunch neatly packed in shoebox. These are dated from 1921 and on . They are my Grandmothers correspondences with her dear friend K . K whom I always had known as aunty Kay is actually Kathleen Anderson ! Theletters are indeed letters my Grandmother wrote to K and then letters recieved from K to Grace . I guess when K passed on her family gave them to my mother . The first letter I picked up and read was the first in the bunch dated Sept.6/21 . K and Grace lived not far from each other on thier family farms . Yet this is how they corresponded . When reading I could not beleive how polite and the language used is so sophiticated . I figured out gGrace was 17yo soon to be 18yo . She is writing from the homestead in Guernsey SK . This is prarie farming all the way folks . K lived near Lanigan SK . My grandmother writes how busy she is , how there are dishes at all times of day because the men are out threshing . She is constantly cooking and cleaning and then there is sewing . She writes K could they try and take a trip to the lake on a Sunday . She would ask if she could get away . She did and her sister Betty ( this was my mum's aunt Betty always a grump ) said no there was to much sewing ! In a later letter they do get to the lake ;-) My Grandmother writes how for a break from dishes she will run out to the barn and go way up to the loft with a book . She will go to the farthest edge and look out over the land and she says she can almost see K's place . It has me see that how busy farm life was and is . These two dear friends lived close enough they propably could have even walked to each others homes each day for a visit . Yet work took thier time . Grace write in this first letter how she always loves when it is her trun to get the cows in . She hopes they go as far away as they can so she can take as long as she likes collecting them . She talks of horseback riding bare back best of all . She did so much ! In a later letter she says that she left home to take a job with a Dutch family to get away from her home . Why ? because she felt she was remaining a child and not grown up enough lol !
The later letters some are from her time in University and attending Normal school to become a teacher . She really loved Chem , Physics and agriculture best of all . She wanted to study agriculture very much . I think she was blessed she came from a family that valued education for both the boys and girls equally . Many mennonite families did not and in fact even moved to MX to escape the educated world here in Canada . K also went to Normal school but in SK where my grandmother traveled all the way to MB for some reason . Maybe they had family or friends here I'm not sure .
So inspired yes. I am enjoying simplifing my life . I've found some nice inspiring blogs as well and am going to do a theme on harvesting with the kids . I found this book on wild rice production my mother had I've been craving a wild rice meal for sometime so think this fitting for a unit study .

The stamps on these letters have 3 cent stamps and I beleive the king is George V

Saturday, October 10, 2009

So This is Autumn ;-)

I was thinking of Theresa today , like wow do I have to post pics for Theresa ;-) I read her post about how they do not have much in the change of seasons as when in other states and florida is most certainl;y as far off from Alaska in natural differences .
I'm also planning a study on the Inuit again this winter term so working on putting together projects etc. I found a copy of an old article my Grandmother saved reagrding the artic and its peoples from 1970 . I'll try and scan what I can from that . For now I hope you enjoy the pics . I am off to watch Grandson Silly Ridiculous this evening and making appel pies tomorrow for our Canadian Thanksgiving . Enjoy !
Yep this was only 3 weeks ago +27c
Our sweet little lady jojo

Picking highbush cranberry

Jack & Lizzie

Apple Picking

Lazy Autumn Days for mum
Mum & Brandi dog , her owner broke her leg so she was doing the neighbourly rounds for entertainment

Gramma 's front

That Virginia Creeper grows anywhere & everywhere lol

Some of my pickings for sale

City wood pileBeautiful Fall colours

Winter Fairy House

All set with rosehips , acorns etc.


& more colour

Yet yet even more autumn colour

Sharon is an Autumn cat

These are my fav coloured marigolds

Gourd growing up our sunflowers

What would a Fall Day be without Ponies , horses and cows

Adventure Boy !Rocky Beach

This is His fav beach of all
How could this not be a boys fav beach ;-)

And Yes , ! Just for You Theresa !


Summer Fairy House we use as our creche

Garden Slumbering


Fairy House under snow . I just placed spruce branches over the doorway yesterday not knowing it was going to snow . So That is Autumn a lovely and very unpredictable season . Hoping Yours is just as much fun !

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some oldies & goodies

Well I am finially feeling as if we are getting into our thing . I've begun again with our teatime routine . I cannot beleive how long we've been having teatime now ! I just found this little article I wrote just ages ago regarding our older boys and teatime . They are now 21yo & soon to be 20yo ! So This goes to show how well we appreciate teatime .
We've gotten out our fav nursery rhyme book , this was my book as a child . We have many favs but this one is a given at our teatime table always along with Tasha Tudor's illustrated poems of Robert Louis Stevenson I of course am posting the many treasures I've found that belonged to my grandmother such as her brothers Victorian Readers dated 1898 . the boys are finding these fascinating . I also discovered her Canadian Poetry
Magazine collection . The copy of Ryerson Poetry titled scrub oak was by Thomas Sanders a family friend .
As Autumn blows in we are bundling up , getting back into classes etc. This weekend is already our Canadian Thanksgiving ! We are going to try for pumpkin & apple pie for our celebrations ! I'm a tad slow as I like the boys to have a poem prepared for company . Perhaps a few drawings will do ;-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Overwhelmed & Simpling it Down

This is such a gorgeous time of year , Harvest moons & orange pink sunsets on golden fields . We really have that here being in a prairie province . Yet somehow the issue of school for me this year is that of overwhelming , where am I ? What to do ? I've not got it together feelings . Like I'm supposed to be doing school now anyway ? I feel overwhelmed with projects already going , sewing , baking , harvesting leaves , needles , barks etc.
If living not our school ? Yes as CM/ unschoolers yes . My home is in need of a major overhaul . Books need to go out the door yet I only seem to be bringing them in ! So plan , do I have a plan ? Yes I do , keep it simple . Thats is my plan . so far that is about as far as I have gotten lol . Ok maybe it is having a now teenager in the home again . He feels like doing less and I feel he needs to be adding more . It is causing friction big time as it did with his brother before him at this same age . How can some like our ds #1 be such a go getter and then ds#2 & #3 be the ulimate in extreme lazy ? ds#4 appears to be like the ledest so I hope a smoother sail is in order .
So keeping it simple . I know this means cleaning up our lives . This means in all aspects be it prayer life or school life . Every room in this house has stuff in it . All neat , cool & interesting stuff . Not junk even but it is just to much .
So a de-clutter is in oredr and I am starting with our school areas . This means books . I am vowing to read the books we have . Please no more temptations to buy ;-) if we are in need of a new book I vow to hit the library .
Ok I also hit MCC thrift as books are only .20ea also our library does not have many religious books but they almost have any book on a homeschoolers list , plus videos & cd selections for free .
I am reading all the books that I inheritated from my Grandmother this yr. This will keep me very busy and cozy & warm with good stories this winter . I've begun the Secret Passage by Dorothy Russell this month then Fanciful Tales and more goodies to come . I am using the books we already have from Sonlight & Beautiful Feet for american history again this yr. For Grammar I am trying the Primary Language Lessons with ds8 and Simply Grammar with ds13 Both boys want to concentarte on reading the handwritten word this term so I am searching out resources for this . I am considering copywork from Queenshomeschool but not sure on this yet as usually I just use psalms , famous quotes etc. For reading we've as I said tons and tons of books but ds13 struggled with reading alot and he just started when he was 10yo . We use the pathway readers and both boys enjoy them so very much . ds13 likes the workbooks but I do not force them on the kids . ds8 tends not to like workbook format and just enjoys more creative freedom . I also inheritaed the Mcguffy readers from my great aunt so we may also choose selections from these as well I am also considering spelling wisdom through Simply Charlotte Mason but again am not sold on it yet .
I have been guilty of the curriculum junky and trying anything and everything . I am always led back to simplicity and Charlotte Mason learning . I'm staying away from those overwhelming blogs and sticking to those that give calm and leave me with peace in my heart
For my mum self I am leaving complcated items behind . Even though I have sonlight books I am not touching the IG again . I'm re-reading a CM companion & my pocketful of pinecones . Doing nature study simply and we are doing a focus on Poetry this yr. both reading and writing poetry . Mum will have her fav too I am working on making a program up for Christmas celebrations with the boys to recite for family over the holidays . I'm not sure at all yet about art study or music . I would like to study waterhouse and Pre-Raphaelites yet also think a nice study of sculpture would be fun for the
boys as well . dh & I caught a great documentry on Rodin and I was reminded how much our two eldest sons enjoyed the study so well .
Then there is the topic of religion and I think that is best saved for an additional post ;-) for now I am going to go prepare juice for jelly and get on with the day . Sit down to rosary , tea and a good book while the stew simmers . Tomorrow a box run is most in order to begin the de-clutter spry