Little Bit of This and That


My country girl homeschooler

My late night blogging sessions have abruptly ended, due to school. Yes school. I dread school.  Like, really dread it. The free spirit in me loves the lazy days of summer, whit no schedules, no homework, late nights and late mornings. But alas, the children must be schooled and so like a million other families we are slaves to the time constraints set up by the all mighty school district. I have a high schooler now, which means my days start at the horrible hour of 5:30 am, this will be my reality for the next 20 years as each of my children march through the system, I pray for my sanity and the health of my family, as I do not do mornings well.

I’m really not as put out by it all as I sound.  There is something nice and familiar about the rhythms of the fall and winter with children off to school it means family breakfast and dinners, cool evenings, harvest time. I’ve found a harpy medium in regards to my need for structor and the longing of my free spirit.  The teenagers go to public school and my little ones stay home to be educated with my guidance. For our family this works best, I like the opportunities afforded my older children by the school system, things that I cannot provide. I also enjoy the freedoms I have with and for my younger children who are not strapped with seven hour days and hours of homework at night, I feel like I am giving them the gift of childhood. I know this set up doesn’t work for every family and I am so thankful for the choices we have in education and the freedom to exercise those choices.


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The cucumbers are coming on like crazy and that means pickle time!  I enjoy canning, and I especially enjoy canning pickles. I don’t do one big canning day when it comes to pickles, I just pickle them as they come in, which means a batch every few days or so.

Today we did our first batch, 13 quarts, I’m hoping to get about 50 to 60 quarts this year, the zoo loves pickles and we will easily go through a jar of pickles once open.


Dadzoo Learns a Lesson, Perhaps?


I don’t have any pictures for this post.  Sadly Dadzoo didn’t want me to take any pictures, I don’t really understand why, they would have been awesome. Let me tell you why….

You know how sometimes it can be really easy to get so comfortable doing something that you don’t take the necessary precautions? For example, let’s say you keep bees. Let’s say for the past two summers you’ve kept those bees you’ve never been stung, and slowly you stop wearing your protective gear, and even then the bees don’t sting you. Let’s say that one evening you need to put a new box on the hive, a quick job, takes less than ten minutes. Because it is such a quick job and because you’ve never been stung, once again the protective clothing stays in it’s box and for the first time you don’t get the smoker going and you don’t smoke the bees to make them docile. Because, well, you’ve never been stung before and this is a quick job, surely you won’t need the smoke or your hat and drape, surely.

I’m  betting you can guess where this is going….

Despite all your (ahem) preparation you do end up with a sting squarely above your eye brow. But no biggy, sure it hurt, but you’ve never had a reaction to a bee sting before.

And everything looks good….until about 24 hours later, your fore head feels funny, right about the spot the bee got you, and you look in the mirror and it’s starting to swell ever so slightly. No biggy, bee sting will do that, right? Well, then through the evening it swells even more and more, you take Benadryl, still swells, you go to bed, certine it will be fine in the morning.

At five am the alarm goes off, you open your eyes…wait…..your eyes won’t open, well if you try hard enough, just maybe a crack……  You wake up your wife, she laughs, one eye is swollen shut the other about half way. After a call into work, you arrange a work from home day while your lovely, smart, talented wife spends the day applying ice, herbal salves, oils, zone therapy and infusions, by night you can open both eyes, but the swelling is still very much there.  How will things be the next day you wonder? And where did I put my veil and smoker for next time.

And It Starts


Finally, after weeks of waiting we are starting to pull in a harvest. The beans have come on, about 6 weeks late, and we are getting more and more each day. I’m beginning to believe that I might have food to store for the winter!


Today I canned my first batch of beans, a modest 6 quarts out of the 50 or 60 I hope to do this fall, it’s a small start, but a start.