Astronomy

I got something new last week. A Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ telescope. We haven’t done much with it yet, as it’s been Full moon and waning from there, but still too bright, or too overcast to see much.

We did see the moon right after rising (Feb. 11th 2009 between 9 & 10pm) just looking gently through the eyepiece, it was bright, but not too much so since it was still low in the sky. It was nice to see it so close, and will be nicer when it’s not so lit up in a few days.

I will want to upgrade some things, but for now I’m getting used to using it, and still need to make the starfinder sit still and be in the right spot to work for me.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of the planets soon, hopefully soon. I have had no luck getting anything in view at night except for that moon, and a distant weird look at some constellations which did not improve in the telescope (since the sky was still too light from everything, from the sunset not long before to the moon rise to my lack of experience with telescopes up to now.)

I’ve also looked online for things to support this newer look into my hobby of looking at the stars at night, and integrating it into the homeschooling I do with my children.

I’ve gotten some things to print out, and some video and audio to put on their Sansa Fuze players every week/month, as released.

Hubble unfiltered (video episodes) and SkyWatch (weekly audio highlights of astronomy news) and Tonights Sky (monthly video highlights of the northern hemisphere night sky) are free on this site: hubblesite.org portal page found here: hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/

The Evening Sky
is a free monthly printable PDF on this site: skymaps.com found here: skymaps.com/downloads.html

I hope to get some things to connect my camera to the telescope for some great pictures. That’s something I”ll be able to use with the sky at night and on land during the day. πŸ™‚

Fly Pen #2

My Fly Pentop Computer bundle, ordered from Leap Frog online, came via UPS a day earlier than they ‘said’ it would be delivered. So, it’s been here since early Tuesday afternoon, and I am enjoying using it here and there ever since.

Now I have to wait to get some of the FlyWare titles that will aide the family in Spelling, Writing, and Math functions, which are products made for the Fly Pen. The top comes off of the unit, and the “Fly Ware cartridge” of whichever title you have fits onto that space. The Fly Pen then works with the pre-printed Fly Paper for whatever FlyWare title you have, and somewhat on Open Fly Paper depending on what it is, as well.

I have Fear Factor games, it came in the bundle I purchased. It’s interesting. There is a pre-printed booklet, and that works with the Fly Pen. I have looked at it, but haven’t used it yet. I have looked at the sample Games booklet that came in the Launch Pad and find them fun and challenging enough to stay interesting to an adult, though they aren’t fully super adult challenging for smaries, you know, of course.

Anyway, there are game modes built into the Fly Pen as well, you use the Fly Pen and draw FlyCons on Open Fly Paper to create menus and game boards. Like for one, FlyMatch has quite a few categories, though not a ton of them, and you draw an even number of circles up to 20 to use as the game board. Then choosing categories and options, you use your game board by touching the Fly Pen to the circles. It’s harder than Leap Pad system games, since it’s blind and audial — you have to listen and remember where things are based on which circle you touched — it’s something to use to get the mind quicker, indeed. 20 circles makes it confusing, but it’s doable in decent time, just something to work at getting better at. It’s challenging for Tweens, no doubt. The lovely thing is, you make your game board as large, up to 20 circles, as you wish. I made two different sets of Fly Match on one notebook page in my Fly Notebook of Open FlyPaper. One is 20, the other is 10. FWIW

I used to do puzzles in puzzle magazines, but had dropped off of that in the last umph years, getting one in the past couple of years, and another sometime before that, but nothing like I used to get them when I was in my younger twenties, and before that too. It’s nice with the Fly Pen to have some mind quickening activities at my finger tips with the proper paper. I hope to get things moving faster and get back to some of the challenging puzzle mags sooner than later. (It’s important to keep the mind as lightening quick as you can all your life, and don’t let it slide for long when getting older, but keep it up, ramp it up, keep it going … )

I really do like this Fly Pen technology. It’s different, it’s interesting, and it takes active interest in it to make it work, and manual writing also, and well, it’s just a nice bridge for paper and computer … but on a different level than computer and printer, by far, quite more archaic, but new, different, a fleck of site into future development possibilities in this technological vein. It’s a tool for writing and figuring things out, and playing interesting match-up games, and making music. It has broader usage than that with Fly Ware, and I hope Leap Frog will develop more in this line than they did in the Leap Pad line, with Quantum Leap Pad especially, that was a dissapointment –> really.

The Positive Method

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, from Chapter 8 on “The Positive Method”.

… To understand all this you have to be willing to see there is no known way to stop the social mutilation positive science leaves in its wake. Society must forcibly be adapted to accept its own continuing disintegration as a natural and inevitable thing, and taught to recognize its own resistance as a form of pathology to be expunged. Once an economic system becomes dependent on positive science, it canÒ€ℒt allow any form of education to take root which might interrupt the constant accumulation of observations which produce the next scientific advance.

In simple terms, what ordinary people call religious truth, liberty, free will, family values, the idea that life is not centrally about consumption or good physical health or getting richÒ€”all these have to be strangled in the cause of progress. What inures the positivistic soul to the agony it inflicts on others is its righteous certainty that these bad times will pass. Evolution will breed out of existence unfortunates who canÒ€ℒt tolerate this discipline.

This is the sacred narrative of modernity, its substitute for the message of the Nazarene. History will end in Chautauqua. School is a means to this end.

This passage is key to how I see “society” and am odds with it, in my beliefs of education, family life, God, Agrarianism, etc. It’s troublesome to have to actually see someone else write what I know deep inside already, that it’s ineveitable, that my views are underdog and won’t surface in my lifetime as majority view of population (though I hold HOPE out that they can be, will be) I cannot accept the forced down my throat junk from “them” that it’s all downhill for me and upward for “progress” … inevitability is there, sure, but I don’t accept it, I don’t and won’t.

I’ve had talks with people about Isaiah’s prophetic passages and Agrarianism and the future and they can’t see what I’m talking about, can’t see past “progress” –and this Gatto passage is great fuel for me, therefore, in understanding the side of people which I have impossibly tried to pass on a vision of Agrarian lovelyness to, NOT a utopia, just a better way to live, just a village living, de-centralized government, farming celebrated, natural things in use, “progress” and “science” put in their proper places, “efficiency” only a tool to be used at the right time –not the “end all” of everything, and so on. A true progress in man, man truly gaining perspective of this Earth we live on Under God’s watchful eyes, it sounds utopian, but ain’t … it’s the far outlook of man connecting in graciousness to the Earth and each other under God, and seeing what is valuable to the soul and mind and body, not perverting anything to gain power over others. A pipe dream many would call it. That’s not my way of seeing it though, I see things going on at some point, getting past this roadblock life we currently have. In my lifetime, nah, in some future generation, sure.

So we strive to do what we can in this age … rhetoric is key. I’m working on ideas for writing more about this and connecting things, in a book, maybe. Not just what this blog post is about … but all of life and how different learning and education and intellect are from schooling … and how society is structured and how it all relates to us with an Old-Time Patriot outlook, home educating our children, worshipping God, living differently from most others, and so on.

This is something to understand as well: people like me don’t abhor technology, just Technology, we don’t abhor progress, just Progress, we don’t abhor science, just Science. Capiche?

We have computers and television in our home. We watch movies and listen to all sorts of music digitally. Some people think this is wrong if we say we are “agrarians” … this is a prejudicial view and what must be dismantled through some critical work of complexity, that which I am attempting to put together. I’ve had these ideas for years and am gathering, gathering, gathering, and getting ready to start actually acting on it instead of just “thinking” about it and “talking” about and “writing blog and message board posts” about it. I mean, by “acting on it” to begin writing things for a “book” to put together and publish somehow. Our voices are important in history. We should shout out the truth.

Positivism? — I like the highs and lows, pain and suffering — it’s what makes feeling good and things going well actually MEAN SOMETHING for the human. Positivism is embued through so much, and I can see how it frustrated my family and made a mess of them (the one I was born into) and why I’ve rebelled against it so heavily. πŸ™‚

I don’t write this sort of stuff on this blog much. I think about it nearly all the time though. I used to have a site I planned to write about Agrarian stuff on, but ditched the idea when I just never got myself to dissect my family self from the actual information in my head. Of course I can’t dissect it away. I do have another website that is dormant basically right now, where I had planned to be moreso my ‘family self’ but find that though I wish to dissect my self from my family self and such, I just can’t. And so it goes.

Education in America

The Underground History of American Education

Someone reminded me of the book linked above, and I’ve begun to read it, online. I have read PARTS of it in the past. I find John Taylor Gatto’s writings to be fun to read, informative and knod, knod, knod respective.

Myself I was part of public schooling from 5 years of age up to … well, things got really dicey for me in my teens. I had thinking that wasn’t what school wanted. I hated school, in different ways, liking parts of it, but knowing that something could be different, that I was different, not suited to it.

I was 13 when my family moved from PA to FL and there in FL the schools wouldn’t take us children until we had a history of utility bills to prove residency. So moving there in October, I had a bit of freedom before being forced back into school.

I found things really strange when finally I was allowed to register and start going again. First off, I felt like I was signing my life away, and being put into some deep prison, paperwork they made ME fill out, 13-year old me, not that I wasn’t able to do it, but it was administrative garbage and made me sick to have to do.

Then I had to take a vocabulary test. This test would prove to the Admin’s what group I’d be put in. Since I was a literary lover I scored high to perfect on the “test” (a very simple/dumb test) I was put into the highest “track” –of which I think there were 5 levels.

This was an experimental school. The building was a large, round-ish building, divided up into multiple class-rooms, but not “rooms” the whole building was open, with the “rooms” being “dividers” — each grade could hear all the other grades, all tracks could hear all the other tracks. It was mass noise horrific. So we’d sit in our classes and for “test times” have no surety of quiet. Big deal, in actuality, I found it all a joke.

I had been involved in “music” since 2nd grade at my previous school in PA. In this new FL school they didn’t allow me to join the “chorus” since I didn’t have “credentials” that I could only have gotten in a previous class in the very school I was only then joining into. It was an impossible thing. It made me mad, for a short time. Not too long afterward I had the opportuntity to hear the ‘chorus’ and was immensely relieved that I hadn’t been able to join in. It was so juvenile, so beneath my experience and abilities.

That was the first time I had no music or art in my schooling career. The academics weren’t challenging, and I was in the highest track, mind you.

My memories of that time are so clear, and reading some of Gatto’s writings afresh … Dumbed-down isn’t what I was in, it was worse.

Well I had just that one year there, and went to a different school the next year, HS for 9th grade. This was a school so overfilled, it had split-sessions. I went from Noon-ish to 5pm. I had troubles due to Phys. Ed (Gym class) but besides that, it was a bad experience fully from the “feel” of the school. It had an “inner city” feeling to it, while not being part of any megalopolis, just one of the areas in S. Florida, it was situated right by I-95 in very old buildings (relatively speaking) and the teachers were so very different from any previous that I’d had. I think I’ve written about this before, mostly about the Gym class, but also about the Reading Lab I was put into for a spell.

That was a reprieve of sorts, that Reading Lab, where I got to read literature and short stories, and be tested for comprehension and pushed deeper into comprehensioned things, like a chain-reaction based on my comprehension — getting to read further things as a result.

This was individualized, and therefore a dream to attend to. The lady in charge didn’t feel like a “teacher” to me but an ‘overseer’ of sorts, like someone guiding, not necessarily “in charge of me” but showing me the path … though it wasn’t really like that, but just “seemed to be so.” It was moreso Mentor-ish, I suppose.

This wasn’t something that lasted very long, it was an outlet from another English class, just a Lab for a set time. The lady though was thrilled with me and made me see she saw me as quite an unexpected delight to work with. My comprehension was great, blah, blah, blah, which wasn’t inflating to me, I didn’t see how it was that incredible, it was normal, to me. :rolleyes:

I really didn’t like that school, for many reasons, and sooner than later, I refused to go to school. My mother tried to force me, but couldn’t enforce my going, I was a rock about it. I “begged” her to let me stay and she could “school” me at home. My mother didn’t know what I meant and said she couldn’t do that. So I just educated myself, reading every “Readers Digest Condensed Book” that we had, which was a few bookshelves worth of volumes. I watched old movies in the afternoons on the local PBS station. I listened to the radio, wrote things down, just did my own thing.

That was my best year in school, once I was home (I stayed in that school for less than 2 marking periods, or just that much.) In January a truant officer came to the house, and saw that I was home and had no beef to make with me, I was “home” therefore not of concern, he was out to find the trouble-makers. (Wow!)

That summer we moved to another area in S. FL and I was enrolled in 9th grade again in the local pubic HS. This school was different, moreso like the PA school I was last in, though still not as “something” to me, further behind academically it seemed. I found the music department to be a great place though, the lady in charge was wonderful and found my talents and let me do things that others in my grade weren’t supposed to do. School otherwise was no fun, not worth my time, it seemed. I survived the year there, and went back for 10th, but ran into my old sentiments of hating it too much and I once again quit. This time my parents contracted with our independent baptist church and made a deal to clean the school buildings nightly in return for tuition-free schooling (they had K4-12 school there.) I started in the middle of the first semester and finished out that year, and it was alright, but little better than public school. I went to 11th and had a struggle at the end due to many things and quit during the last couple of weeks. They tried to make a deal with me, to come to full summer school and make up therefore and get passed to 12th. I was done though. I washed my hands of it all.

I eventually got my GED, just to get it. I didn’t study, who needed to? I guess many needed to, but it was a cakewalk and oh, just something I did “because you are supposed to have a diploma” but it isn’t equal to anything if you are female, which I found out when I later went join the Navy, passing the entrance exam easily, and then them finding my GED and little bit of college not enough to let me in afterall. They tried to strong-arm me into delayed-entry, go to college for more credits, then be allowed in. I washed my hands of them right then.

The college I had was a small non-denominational Christian College. I spent my first year there under a music scholarship and enjoyed much of it, but found certain aspects more than I could stand, and therefore flunked some things. I did go back the next year and attained 2nd year status part way through, but then had to take one of the same classes again that I’d flunked and ended up flunking again (both times being because of the class of personality with the prof. … same prof. both years, I couldn’t do it.)

The point with me there though was my friends were in different classes and I studied there stuff with them … stupid me. πŸ˜‰

I long before had learned that learning is not about “credentials on paper” but “what’s in my mind” and that has satisfied me all along. I have only had the problem of hating the structures I’ve been forced into, and held back by. I haven’t succeeded in life the way I wish I could have, but I’m satisfied overall, in many respects, about the ability to learn what it is I want to when I want to and that feels fine.

I’m a girl, married, stay at home mother of three, and a non-traditional sort of lady (INTp, more intellect than brawn, not as mundane chore-able as a woman is supposed to be as a stay at home wife/mother. Sigh.)

Before I ever got married I knew that my children wouldn’t ‘go to school’ — I couldn’t fathom WANTING to send them away, or give them to someone else. Once I was married and had my first child, I had such a strong emotional tie to him, I was a Lion-ess about it. Still am. πŸ™‚

My children actually play more than they should, no doubt, but I would rather they do that, than even at home “force” them to sit and do “this or that” for educational purposes. I am friendly to “Classical Education” but don’t want to implement it in my home on young children. Though it’s a newer history of extending a child’s childhood into their teens, I am allowing it since I am keeping them home and making sure they read as easily as they can as early as they can without pushing. Thus far my 10 year old is reading heavily since 8 years of age, and my (newer) now 8 year old is reading more and more and more with each passing week. My 6 year old is able to read letters (alphabet) and is reading some words, I’m just not pushing him, letting it come naturally. I have found for all of them that they have reading abilities in the form of symbols from age 4 certainly, and alphabet too, but my allowing of them to play lets the actual “literary” reading ability form through time, and when I “test” them with something, a book, an Ad, something that might interest them, I aide them here and there, just don’t push, and eventually they blast ahead when it’s their time.

I could dedicate myself to have them learn to read at 4 to 6 years of age, but it has no bearing on their ability to read when older. I’d rather them just naturally incline to read and be able to read higher materials when they are interested in doing so.

I’m not for dumbing down thier education, just biding time until they are able to read well, and motivated to read more and able to read for themselves and then guide them into self-directed-learning. I don’t have a curriculum for them, but do choose books and things for them to do, and will be doing more and more of that as time goes on.

I want my chidlren to have developed intellects, to THINK, and to learn lifelong, for themselves. I want them to develop their specific talents and not limit themselves to anything particular but be diversified … the old-time way, the early American, the Athenian … etc.

I am thankful that my children haven’t had to be stigmatized at all by an external institution. What a magnificent background in this day and age in the USA. I’m trying to get them reading good materials and to be responsible in chores and thinking for themselves, to be ingenious when the need arises. We have animals to care for. This is a high calling, and one that I think so many people don’t consider a high calling, and few have ability to even have animals to care for (and some don’t even want to have the ability.) Animal husbandry is something one can learn about in books, but hands-on is greater. The experience gained, the responsibility gained, the satisfaction gained … it’s hard, but good work.

So I am hacking away at the full book online linked at the beginning of this post. It’s something I’m thinking that I’ll take index card notes on and jump off from that to read more source on history of the world in education. I read chapter 7 first, then started back at the beginning. Somewhere in there is talk of Athens, and it clicked with some memory of mine from my childhood, reading something somewhere and seeing the free society clearly in my mind and feeling as I did at that young age thinking about it, the clarity of freedom and ultimate understanding and living. πŸ™‚ I’m ready for a full-tilt study of Athens right now. Yummy.

FLY Pentop Computer 2

I just ordered a Fly pentop pack from the Leap Frog site. We were at Costco yesterday and inquired about the sets that we had bought one of earlier, and they were out, and also learned that another store in a deeper populated area near Atlanta does still have them, but they were the original price still, that the 2 Costco’s that we go to are some of the stores that don’t move as much merchandise, and so they get deeper discounting to move something out totally, afterawhile. Ah, yes, we note this to be true and now have the words of the staff to support it. We do like our Costco, the newest one, it’s further up and out, and more our style, and we don’t like the heavy traffic and feel of the stores that are closer in.

I also looked on eBay a bit, but knowing that I had seen nice prices on LeapFrogs site when looking at accessories last week, I went there today as well. They have the “Extreme” bundle for $74.99, and on eBay I saw that being sold for $95+ … so with shipping and tax on LeapFrog’s site, it came to $90.98 and will be shipped ground. I couldn’t find a deal like that on eBay for the same product. I could have found a different package, or pieced something together, but the point was, to get more than the Fly Pen basic-ness for less … I could find the pen somewhere in some store for $49.99 + tax, without a charger. We could have trotted over to another Costco and found the Hello Kitty package for $69.99 + tax, and for both have to travel around looking and using gas and energy of our own. So instead, I got the Extreme package on Leapfrog, it has Fear Factor games instead of Hello Kitty or Harry Potter (like the Costco bundles/packages) plus it has the Fly speaker. This way I didn’t get Flyware that I didn’t want (HK or HP) and did get a game Flyware, and speaker and all the stuff that comes in the main bundles, the Flypaper Notebook, the pen and charger, and Launch Pad and all that rest that comes in the bundle (the little pieces.)

It’d be nice to have it earlier, but since it’s holiday time and not wanting to go out looking for it, and not wanting to pay for expedited shipping and not to have it get here before the weekend most likely anyhow, it’ll get here when it gets here, and it’s worth it to have patience.

It’s going to mine and I’ll share it with my eldest, in having him use it for some things and just not have it be “his” alone.

FLY Pentop Computer

At Costco this end of the year holiday season they had/have in their “toy” section the newer Leap Pad thingie called “Fly Pentop Computer” –I was aware of this product since it came on the market, but wasn’t sure about it at first, and then learned it was a Leap Pad product, and then finally delved into the website marketing the actual device, and found it probable to be interesting to our family.

That ‘delving into’ was several months ago.

So what was/is in Costco was the actual device and recharging system, and additional product, in the simplest case to just say, it had a full size Fly Notebook, and the Hello Kitty Scrapbook kit (a Flyware product, that is, “software” for the Fly Pentop Computer.) Obviously being marketed towards girls. Another version was same except for having a Harry Potter Flyware Game instead of Hello Kitty. I don’t recall the former price, but it was upwards, high enough for me to say, too bad. I knew that in the stores, when I had LOOKED at it there sometime in the past, the actual device was sold for $99 without the recharging system.

So what did I behold yesterday as I and the childen fooled around in the back aisles of the store for a bit as hubby was gathering a few things to buy as presents, that he didn’t want us to see, of course, –> there in a new demoted spot on the floor was a small pile of Fly/Hello Kitty and Fly/Harry Potter’s –> with a lower price, much lower –> something about $49 …

Standing there I contemplated, and reflected and thought deeper and deeper than that, then proposed something to my newly 8-year old girl –> to use the birthday money she had just received from her Aunt the other day, and pair it with the other $10 I knew she still had … and see what her Daddy would do about making up the rest of it for her, or just going halfies with her, or something.

So it came to the end and yes, we got it for her. I am thrilled with it myself and wish to have one for my own use. πŸ™‚

It’s really cool and it will aide my dear daughter to clean up her writing style and use logic to use functions on the device and the basicness of it, it is an audible reminder and audible aide to things written.

Why do I really like it? It makes “interactive pages” and they are created by the user. The user does have content available that is pre-printed. Also “open pages” of Fly Paper that the user puts on what they want. Writing out functions to work with the “pen” is simple, just find the menu item you want to use, and follow the audible directions to make a “Flycon” shorcut to that item, and submenu sorts of thing from “FlyCons” as well as ‘things’ like a calculator, and a little piano keyboard, for the main starters.

I easily made a simple keyboard when sampling how to use it.

Once you make something on a page recognizable to the “Fly Pen”, it works. It works. Again and again. Turn the Fly off and use it another time, in other words. It really is cool.

I am 40 years old and this is my kind of thing. I am geek-like though. I love computers, but love paper still. I have had two different Palm devices and for little me, THIS FLY SORT OF THING replaces the Palm for much use, and takes over where the Palm doesn’t work for me, and really does stuff that is so really, really neat, and useful and well, I don’t have one though. My 8-year-old girl does, not me. πŸ™

My 10-1/2-year-old boy would like one too now. He sees how it is and says “It’s better than my Palm” –he has his Daddy’s old one, a Palm V …

My Palm is a Palm Vx and it sits in my backpack and I do nothing with it. My more resent palm was a new one in the last year, and it lasted just over 6-months, with little useage on my part, the screen got weird orange blob and nothing could be done to fix it. Soonly later the whole screen when “under the orange” ick. I’ve taken it apart and tried this and that fixes people talk of on the Web, but all I did was manage to tear off the speaker wires from the board, with my opening it up and closing it up and later doing more, and later more, and the stress busted that up. And very lately I tried to look at it again, and fooled with it, now it’s totally dead. It was not useable anyhow, being a “visual” thing, with some audio abilities (my main reason for getting it, audio books, Audible.) I did like it better than my Palm Vx, of course, but since the Palm Vx still works fine, the newer Palms I see as cheap crap, yes, that. The “affordable” sort were, and now only one horrid model is on the market. Others are maybe stable, but are ‘out of range’ in pricing.

I loved the color interface, it made it more useful for me, than the monocromatic Palm Vx, so it’s the Vx that won the longer-life race, and it is not very nice, to me, for the lack of color.

The Fly Pentop is the sort of thing that fills in what I thought would be great, but didn’t have, with a Palm of any color or lack thereof.

I am hoping something like this be more adult marketed, there are “digital pens” out there, but they put on your computer digitally what you write on paper. I like the “Paper is interactive” side of the FLY … I love it and must say again, really want one of my own.

I am seeing in my head what my “notebook” would be like, and I could fill it in with color gel pens, make my usual doodles and such, all around my “interactive” stuff.

It’s really easy to figure out for a big person, and a small person needs some help and understanding maybe, but older children would probably do aright from the start with it.

For “right-brain” sorts of people, it’s good practice with the “audibleness” of the FLY (listen and translate to something on a page (directions to make, do, etc.,) “hear” reminders, “hear” the time or date, and so on, and I really think it aides in so many areas of education and life, it’s a really cool thing, but a real tool to use.

My son, whom I said above said he also would like one, said also that he’d love to share his [future FLY ]with me. Nice idea. Don’t know if it’d FLY though. FWIW :LOL:

Shellfishness

My hubby is home since last evening. It’s now morning, and talking about when I went to bed (I shall not report it, it is quite shocking) and what I had been doing beforehand last night, he got a gleam in his eye and put in a PS2 game that he’s been playing of late … Medal of Honor: Frontline (we get games used, most often, so they aren’t cutting edge new, but some are, not that one though …)

He sat on the hardwood floor for a bit, and had pushed the coffee table way back to give him floor room. He got sick of sitting there fairly soon, and on standing he pushed the table again, turning it sideways, but crooked and as this was happening I half-way queried him to his purpose, and he responded that he was going to get a dinning room chair, but while this was going on the teasing mind was active in me and I said “Daddy’s sellll-fish!” about how he was re-arranging all my furniture to make himself comfy and play his game, not taking the rest of us into account, but I was teasing, it’s true, yet not a big deal, just something to point out the most usual sin in all of us humans.

The funny thing was, the two children sitting on the couch were my two younger and on hearing me they started chanting over and over and over “Daddy’s shellfish, Daddy’s Shellfish” in a sing-songy way.

This was quite hilarious IRL, most particularly since I abhor eating shellfish and won’t tolerate it in my house at all, and won’t let my children eat any of it anywhere else either. FWIW

Our Room

I”ve been busy. My hubby agreed to move his “office” into the little area next to the “family room” and let me have the room his “office” was in. This is a big deal, a really big deal.

His desk is long and obnoxious to a degree, but it “just fits” putting it in that one position. Phew! I am glad of that.

The office room is/was full of stuff and a mess, mess, mess the messiest mess of messiness here. I’ve wanted to do something with this room for a long time and now have my chance to clean it out and set it up for crafty usage. πŸ™‚ The computer desk, desktop computer, is in there now, here actually, where I am typing currently.

I’ll set up the “daybed” again, it’s been dismantled propped up on the wall in here for months now. It was my last baby’s crib, it’s a convertible thing and the mattress is a good cotton/wool mattress, so I like using it as a light sitting device. I want to reinforce it and put a board under the mattress, then it will be more solid, for a bit heavier use, but never, never, never for grown man usage. I am small and children are OK to sit on it, and I’m just a big kid, in that way. It looks charming though and will look fine with a nice cover and throw pillows, maybe a foam sort of daybed shaped cushion to make it more “couch” like.

The sewing machine will come in here too, and I’ll try to activate it again. It still works, but “how well will it work” is the question. It’s an older machine, built in the 1960’s. I got it in the 1980’s from someone my mother cleaned for. It needed a tune up then, and worked flawlessly afterwards. It’s sat around for a long time now, and has been moved to three different addresses since getting it fixed up back then. It’s a Singer, and looks just about what the picture in our old encyclopedias, that were printed in the very early 1970’s –that I grew up with, of “sewing machine” was. I don’t have those books, but then I could compare it since it was in the 1980’s and we had the set still. My machine looks older, but very similar. A real retro vintage look for sewing.

I’ve always liked it. It’s fancy, electric, but very manual as well. Lot’s of gadgets that are fairly complicated, depending on what the task is you wish to complete. I just like to use it to do simple sewing, constructing garments simple-like. FWIW. The last thing I made was a dress and pinafor for my daughter when she was One year old. I miss sewing, and really want to get back into it for making skirts, instead of buying most of them for me and my daughter. I have never made pants, and don’t think I will. Not for me, I don’t wear them, neither does my daughter. I won’t make them for the boys though, too fussy for me.

Dresses, skirts, and blouses and shirts I can do.

My crafty other things will come into this room too, and also the “home school” stuff will be in here. I still have work to do, get a few more things out of here and then get it set up better. There are three bookcases in here already, one for my stuff which is already on the shelves all along, and the other for DH’s work stuff. I’ve moved them around a bit, and am not sure if I’ll move them anymore. Someone pro-sprayed the walls in here this year, just with a horrible flat paint, and the concrete floor has that paint stuck on it for at least a foot and a half out from the wall, which makes moving furniture nearly impossible, it’s like having sandpaper on the floor. Urg! (This room is on a concrete slab, “the basement” walkout level.)

Hopefully this will aide me in my scrapbooking and rubber stamping and other endeavors, and I hope to get some of my photographs enlarged and framed to go onto the walls in here and around the house. I’ve “always” wanted to do that, and never have. (framing is what stops me, it’s so expensive!)

I’ll try and come up with a innovative way to deal with enlarged photos. Not the “frameless” plastic “frames though, well, maybe some of them could be that, I’m not sure now. I mean, I am open to anything else mostly. πŸ™‚

In this whole affair is my husband’s office, and he’ll be in the “family room” now, so it’s still a dicey affair with three children in the house and hubby on the phone a lot for work. It’s something that we have to work out though, he needs space, but so do I, so do we, as a family, and me and the children as “living here all the timers” since we homeschool. We used to talk about sharing the room that is ‘mine’ now, but I couldn’t see that working and said so, my stuff being family oriented (very little ‘selfishness’ involved in my crafty things) I need to spead out and build up and have work stations. DH’s space took up a large portion of this room, and now that the desk is out of here the room feels bigger. The small space his desk is in now works since it’s just big enough, a cushy corner of room next to the bigger square-ish family space, so he’s next to open, and has plenty of room to move around out of the way, and has a little view through the bathroom right in front of his desk (a bathroom we still need to finish!) We’d like to find a nice headset for him to use with his phones in the house too, noise canceling mic and headphones, if possible.

The family room will needs to be “finished off” –we don’t really spend much time there still. Most of the drywall is up, just a little left to go around the outside edge of the ceiling, and the paneling isn’t up yet. We have things to do alright, and it just takes a bit of time, and a lot of brawn.

I actually did some brawny work on the ceiling in the ‘office’ yesterday and the day before. There was a big hole that was made to pull some wires, and never was repaired. For many reasons we need to rip out the ceiling and put in a new one someday, so for now I just put in a temporary patch, not “temporary” but a sloppy patch is better than a big hole over your head. It was hard enough to do this myself. It’s done though, which is a big relief. One day I’ll empty the room and we’ll rip the ceiling out. That will be a great day, but until then I’m making this a great room, and when the day comes, it’ll be easy enough to move my well organized room out to do the work on the ceiling. πŸ™‚

August begins, already

Where’d July go? Blink.

Apparently (I venture to guess) many children are saying this too, since School begins this week or next week, for many. Yikes!

It’s not affecting MY children, they learn at home, and we don’t do things according to public or private schedules. We won’t get heavier into things until, well, not until we do. We learn throughout every day and “formal” learning isn’t what we do. I’ll get into doing more CM stuff as the Autumn comes along.

As it goes, I’ve never seen such a quickly fleeing July, it being the month that is MY month, with my bday, sister, dad, hubby, and more, in it. It never was fast per se, even in adulthood. This year it went fast –I will guess due to hubby business travel.

I was most assuredly bothered by the July 4th “Back to School” ads in the newspaper. Now I know why they were so very early, I just learned yesterday that “schools begin this week” around here. It seems earlier and earlier by and by. When I was young school didn’t begin until after Labor Day. Later it began the last week of August, then in another place it was the third week of August, but never earlier. I loved July as the one full month with a buffer of two or more weeks on each side of it, OFF. Delicious Summertime Funtime. Ah…

Funny Talk From Little Ones

I’ve been doing some work with our 5-Year-Old Boy, letters and writing. He knows a lot and is very mature in thought processes, coming up with interesting statements often. So coupled with my working with him, this morning I pulled out a box of Picture Cards that I have, and showed him one, it was a wreath. I asked him what it was, and he said, “Um, it’s one of THOSE,” pointing up at the wreath hanging above our fireplace.

Alright, I thought, he knows what it is but can’t always know the word, typical VSL. So I looked through the cards and found one of Jim, card 32, which is displayed directly below. He doesn’t know the card is “Jim” but should have ID’d it as “a boy” or something like that, a name of something. Jim is a character in the phonics series that the picture cards belong to. Vintage “Dot & Jim” a.k.a. “Phonetic Keys to Reading” .

He looked at the picture and immediately:

“It’s a human jumping in mud,” he said quite matter-of-factly.

ROTFLOL πŸ˜† πŸ˜†