Friday, September 3, 2010

Other Things to Keep Me Busy

Someone asked me a couple of days ago if I have any "girl time." (And she obviously meant for *me*!) I don't have too much in the way of outlets yet, but am getting a lot of pleasure out of working on the house and the yard.  The moving in process is now going forward at glacial speeds (as the kids take up a lot of my time and energy during the day).  But outside, I spend an hour or two four or five days a week working on things.

A couple of days ago I started working on the blueberry bed.  The picture above is the grassy hill (which is super-steep and nearly impossible to mow anyway) and this second picture shows my slow progress shoveling out sod and beating the dirt out. I managed to get about six feet by six feet cleared.  I have fond memories of my Mom and Dad doing this. We had a lot of gardens around our yard and my folks worked hard together to have fruit beds (blueberries, strawberries, apple and pear trees); a large vegie garden and general gardens with mountain laurel and rhododendrons.  Anyway, this bed I'm working on is for the blueberry bushes I mentioned the other day that'll be coming in the mail in a couple weeks.

Here LD is helping me get the dirt out of the sod clumps.  Once he lost interest I 'wondered' if we might ever come across Indian arrow heads like the ones our friend gave to us one year (he collects them semi-professionally).  LD lept on that and looked for arrowheads in the dirt as I dug!  That led to a good talk about Native Americans.  He didn't know much about Native Americans as we've just moved to the country and it was a great informal learning-session.  The best kind!  The kids also are learning a lot about gardening, soils, compost, what "healthy" soil is, the role ants/bugs/bacteria and such play in creating a healthy environment.  We looked at the rich dark soil under the leaves in the woods and compared that to the hard clay-like soil we've chosen for our blueberry bed.  The kids certainly are getting an idea of how hard farmers have to work (I've worked on this for a good 6-hours now!)

Mowing is also keeping me fit and active.  I split the lawn into three sections and each section takes me about an hour and a half to do. (We definitely need to get a ride-on mower when we can work it into the budget.)  In the last picture you can see the beams where I laid out a small path that I built.  It leads to the compost pile I set up last week.

I also meant to talk about other activities going on in our homeschool (math games and such), but as always I'm out of time!

I hope to post about trash-o-saurus later today too (hopefully)! It's been a fun project!

Just a few nature shots from around the Homeschool Den:
This vine seems to be taking over! My aunt said she thought it was a kind of Morning Glory.
We have about a half-dozen frogs and a number of tadpoles in this tub at the moment.  We'll let them go back to the creek, but the kids sure do enjoy watching the frogs!
I believe it the frog above is a Pickerel Frog.  It is said to be toxic to some animals (and they can even poison each other in collecting jars). [Yes, we washed our hands VERY well after touching these!!]  I'm guessing the toad below is a Fowler's Toad.
LD misses his friends and especially wishes he could frog-hunt with his long-time friend, B, but the good news is we have met some other families who love nature and the outdoors as much as we do! The kids all had a good time hunting for critters yesterday in the creek/woods.

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