Wednesday, 13 February 2008

This and that

Don’t the days pass quickly when the sun shines? I think they do. In terms of light they may be longer but they seem to pass by so much quicker. The weather has been glorious so far this week. We have spent hour on end in the garden and it’s been great.

Our handy man called round yesterday to heighten the fence around the vegetable patch and the job is almost finished. Soon there will be no excuse not to get to work there. I feel a little sad that the garden now has that ‘allotment feel’ with yards of fencing and chicken wire but I’m hoping to be able to disguise it with nasturtiums, sweet peas and other beautiful climbing flowers come summer. As it’s in the vegetable patch I think I will check out companion planting and try to make my fence look attractive with something which will also be beneficial to the vegetables in terms of attracting or repelling pests.

Tomorrow being Valentines Day we decided to enter into the spirit. We took a sheet of baking paper and lots of wax crayon shavings.

Ironed them till they melted and then cut hearts from the paper when it had resolidified. My photograph doesn’t do them justice. They look really pretty with the sun shining through them in the window.

We also baked Squash and Molasses Bread. It’s own of my own recipes which we enjoy but may not be to all tastes. It’s a far cry from light and airy wheat bread. Much more stodgy and earthy. We peeled, seeded and mashed a whole baked butternut squash then mixed it with 300g of rye flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoonful of black molasses. Kneaded for a couple of minutes then put it in the oven at 180 for about twenty-five minutes, or till done.

I have been thinking a lot about blogging our big project on Africa, which we finished recently. It was great – culminating in an authentic African meal cooked by my friend Soo. I keep putting off in the hope that Blogger will sort out the technical problems which are affecting me and no doubt many others right now. Trouble is if I put off much longer I’ll forget things. I sometimes wonder if blogging is the best way to record stuff anyway. I’m not really up to speed when it comes to technology and I don’t know how easy to would be to loose all this information.

Miles has mastered the climbing frame and Hermione has learned how to click her fingers. Their new found skills have kept them both quite entertained. Hermione is still desperately trying to master her bike without stabilisers and has lots and lots of bruises to show for her efforts.

We’ve not done a great deal other than mess outdoors. I think we are reaching a bit of a turning point in how we plan our days and what we will do in terms of anything remotely structured. Miles is becoming less consistent in having a nap now so there is no longer a set time that I know I have to give Hermione undivided attention. Also, we are coming to the end of the Five In a Row texts we have. Hermione really enjoys this story based approach to learning and I think that is the way forward, but I just haven’t figured out how exactly yet. Part of me is tempted to just go ahead and buy another set of texts and manual from Five In A Row but on the other hand I may prefer to choose our own texts and do it all myself. Generally speaking I only ever use the Five In A Row manual to get the ball rolling and then decided to use my own ideas instead! Perhaps I ought to look into the option of different literature based learning resources. It would certainly be right to say we’re at a crossroads and so long as the weather is as glorious as it’s been today I suspect it will stay that way. We get so much inhospitable weather you certainly have to make the most of it when it’s good!

Somthing else which has been bounding round my head as I've been out there, picking up what's left of the leaves on the lawn and cutting away old growth to make room for new, is the information contained in this blog post. Proctor and Gamble are donating sanitary towels to young girls in some parts of Africa. I won't go into the deatils as the blog post I've linked explains it all so well. Genuine concern or exploitation? I know what I think. Well, I dared to suggest to the local home ed group an evening to make reusable shopping bags - I wonder how reuasable sanitary towels would go down *grin*. Best not try that one I think, although it may be time to start thinking about making some for myself. Most of mine are about six years old now. Hmmm, off to check out what fabirc and bits and bobs we have lying arond...


H said...

I would like to make reusable sanpro Claire! In fact I have various patterns and am collecting the fabric to do so. J is also keen. Ask away at the group, you just never know!

soo said...

I would also like to add to my collection as well as helping others, so I would be up for another sewing night,but will probably need more machine lessons.


redmoonbev said...

It's been on my 'to do' list for a while too. Go for it.

Linda @ The Briar Patch said...

Love the effect you got with the crayons. We've never tried doing that.


CJ said...

So much in one post to comment on!

Loved the waxed hearts, very pretty. Must try something similar.

I like the look of your squash bread, I might make it to try for the MIL, as she can't have any wheat products, well I shouldn't really, nor have numerous other things!

I think you can back up your posts somehow :-/
? why not ask on one of the yahoo groups. Actually thinking about it, I need to do this too, as I've got so many resources now, I'll never remember them all!...eek

You could maybe just print out your blog posts and keep them in a's what I'm thinking of doing, when I get around to doing a 'proper' HE log about our HEing.

I don't know much about five in a row, what's it like?

On one of the blogs I visit, there is someone who makes reusable sanny's they always look good, I'd go for it if I were you, I'm a mooncup girl by the way ;-0

CJ x

PS, seen your comment on my gardening blog :-)

Wobblymoo said...

If I can get there I'm up for it, it's ridiculous that they are donating tampax especially. How may cases of toxic shock before they can't afford to replace them as often as they should before someone actually realises the cause.

Claire said...

I'm delighted and suprised at your interest ladies. Hopefully we can sort something out for those of us who are local.

CJ - I also was a mooncup girl till the arrival of Miles. It never felt the same somehow after that delivery so I stick with cloth now. Last time I saw my mooncup Hermione had it on the head of one of her barbie dolls :-)

Five In a Row is essentially just a collection of story books with a manual which suggests activities to do about the story. A story based approach suits us best. We can keep it as low key or involved as we like, depending upon the general mood and other commitments that week. We can do it on the sofa or in the garden, it's quite relaxed - or is when you do it in our fashion :-) The idea is that you read the same story for five days and each day build upon it by exploring a different avenue with it. The books tend to be good so you don't have to be hunting yourself for good kids books and although I don't tend to use the manual a lot, it is good for times when you just can't be bothered to think yourself.... You can buy just the manual, you don't have to buy a package. I think the manual alone is just about £10 and then you can pick up the books from the library or Amazon Marketplace.