Thursday, July 16, 2009

Come Sit With Me, Let's Feel The Whispers..

I sat up on the hill by the garden this evening, the skies settling into a pink and purple dusk. The cool green grass underneath me, and perfect gentle breezes lifting my hair up just enough to taunt a playful kitten in my lap to swat at the blonde strands as they swept across my chin and neck.

"Hey now," I playfully scolded as I plucked his paw off my collarbone, "let's put those claws away, Mister."

Winnie, Truffle, and John, the farm dogs (not one over 10 pounds) played tag around the garden and, as it seemed, I was "base", as one would come careening around the pumpkin patch and collapse by my bare feet as if to say "SAFE!". The kitten in my lap didn't pay them any mind, he was still stalking my strands of hair.

Dusty was quietly making his "rounds" in the garden; carefully inspecting the tomatoes, then the cucumbers, and then over to the green beans, picking off a few to bring to me for approval. "Oh those are good ones!" I praised.

He is very proud of his garden, and tends to it diligently. He knows when things are about ready to pick, and when they maybe need another day or so. A very important job for a five year old!

Baby Sam toddled around behind Dusty for a bit, picking off a few cherry tomatoes and tossing them to the dirt. After awhile he went to the little wooden wagon and climbed in, then back out, then back in, 'cause he could.

Isabelle came out of the house just as a breeze caught her by surprise, sending goosebumps up her body. "It's COLD tonight!" she said softly, rubbing her arms against the chill.

"Ohhh it's PERFECT!" I cheered. Isabelle came up to the garden and stood over me, watching as the dogs chased and tore around the yard, literally ripping up bits of grass as they went. It was very comical. Little John can turn on a dime, and leaves zigzag tracks all around the place. He gets to going so fast ya can barely see his legs pumping underneath him.

"Come sit with me...." I lovingly invited, pushing the kitten aside and motioning to Isabelle to sit in my lap. Down she came and got situated. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her in close, she leaned into my warmth.

It was certainly a cooler night, very unusual for mid-July. No humidity, no mosquitos. Isabelle's hair was long and wavy from the braided pigtails she had had in earlier, and when the breeze picked up again it too swept her strands across her chin and neck. She reached up and pulled it back away from her face.

The trees were swaying with the winds, leaves rustling like an early-autumn evening.

I turned my lips to her ear. "Let's feel the whispers in the breeze." I said quietly.

She turned her face slightly "Huh?" she asked. "What do you mean, "feel" the whispers?"

"Well", I explained, rocking her gently in my lap. "There are stories out there, waaaay out in the fields and farms and woods. Old stories and secrets and memories from long ago."

"Like Little House On The Prairie? Like THAT long ago?" she asked genuinely.

"Yes," I smiled. "And even stories before that time, and some after that time." Izzy was listening carefully.

"And sometimes, when the wind blows just right, and at just the right speed like tonight, it can gather up those stories and secrets and memories from the fields and farms and woods.... and carry them along and make whispers out of them..... But they don't speak to you in words you can hear with your ears."

"They don't?"

"No", I continued. "If you sit quietly and listen closely, as the breeze comes in around you, you can feel those stories and memories, and it will SEEM like you can hear them, even if there are no words.... Girls in aprons and bonnets, ladies in button up shoes and petticoats. Horses and buggies clip clopping down the road.....Ornery boys throwing rocks at their sisters" I giggled, pointing to her little brother who was now trying to drive a stick in the ground next to the bean plants, unaware we were speaking about him. Izzy smiled.

"So", she said. "I don't actually hear words, I feel them from inside, like in here?" She tapped on her chest.

"That's right!" I said, happy that she was sort of understanding.

We sat and enjoyed the splendor of the evening, the skies turning into darker purples and grays now. Dusty chasing the first few fireflies of the night. Sam tossing handfuls of kibble to the cats out of the feed bin. The ducks and chickens were quietly settled in.

I looked down at Izzy, who was gazing out past the garden towards the fields as some nice breezes blew in..
..and I think she was listening closely to "feel" some whispers, hehe!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Adventures In Homeschooling!

I did it! After 2 years of research, I have finally picked and purchased our first homeschool curriculum! EEEK! I am so excited and can't wait to recieve our package in the mail! Now, I'm not 100% positive that we are going ahead with homeschooling YET, but we're going to try it out for a few weeks before public school starts and see how we like it. If we love it, then we'll keep on going! Isabelle so far is liking the idea, and I have given her advantages and disadvantages of both sides so that she can think about it. She has already drawn this really cute picture of our farmhouse with a bell-tower ontop and a sign that says "school" on the front!

WHY homeschooling, you ask? Many reasons! For one, I like the fact that my children will be able to work at THEIR pace at home, and NOT the pace at a public school. Dusty LOVES to talk about things that he's learning, and tries to absorb every little thing about it before moving on. In public school, he can't sit and ask his ten thousand questions about a topic. No, the teacher must move on, whether he's "got it" or not. Isabelle is a FAST learner, and catches on quickly to most things and is ready to move on before the rest of the class. It doesn't mean she is ready to be put in a higher grade, it just means she's ready to learn something else but she has to wait for the rest of the class.

A lot of public school is standing in line, taking turns, waiting for the teacher to help you, recess, walking to and from the cafeteria or gym a few times a day, bathroom breaks, and then they come home and do homework. I can't tell you how many hours are spent on homework every night AFTER getting home from school! I mean, the parents are homeschooling anyway at night, lol! And dear me if the child is sick for more than two days, oh the homework and lectures they have missed and have to catch up on!

Last year, Isabelle was the first on the bus; it was an hour ride to school, and an hour back. Now granted, bus time can be a great opportunity to socialize or just relax and unwind, but she and the other elementary children were mixed in with high school students and were exposed to a LOT of high school drama and "issues", and I am sure some profanity and who knows what else! Homeschool, we can start at 8am, and be done by 1 or 2 pm or keep working until 3 if we want! Then homework will have already been done during the day, and the kids can read for an hour or so in the evening as their "homework".

Socializing? A lot of people wonder about how homeschooled kids get socialization! There are wonderful outlets available for homeschooled kids, we are already looking into the homeschool PE they have up at the community center. Plus, Isabelle can do an elective such as learning to sew or 4H or some other outlet. Also, I have just joined a small group in the town next to us who gets together to do group field trips once a month! How cool!

The other things I have planned are incorporating homeskills into our curriculum such as gardening and cooking! And cooking and math go together! I will be doing a TON of art with them also, and we'll do field trips to art galleries and look for things to photograph and paint or draw. Dusty LOVES to build so I will work with him on learning structures and shapes.

As for the curriuclum that I am SO excited about, I ended up going with Heart Of Dakota ( The curriculum has a fantastic layout of daily tasks, and what I love most about it, it has a "Charlotte Mason" type feel to it.

To those not familiar with Charlotte Mason, here is a little run-down of who she is and what she believed in as far as teaching methods, taken directly from

"Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.

By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

For example, Charlotte’s students used living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in story form by one author who has a passion for the subject. A living book makes the subject “come alive.”

She taught spelling by using passages from great books that communicate great ideas rather than just a list of words.

She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God’s creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature."


I just LOVE that!
As far as Heart Of Dakota goes, it IS a Christian based curriculum, and those who know me know I am spiritual but not religious. However, although I am spiritual in a metaphysical nature and free spirited in a hippie manner, I love Christian morals and infact I love reading the history of the Bible, but if it begins to feel a little too overburdoning for me in the "Jesus"/teaching style, I can omit a little here and there.

The other thing I love about Heart Of Dakota is that it can be adapted to other age levels, it is VERY flexible! The reading is awesome, you can go with their reading selections or make up your own list of books (this is especially good if I want to go on a more fantasy route like The Hobbit or something of that nature). However a lot of their selections are pioneer and prairie based books which I simply adore! But I want my kids to find their own adventures in books as well, and Heart Of Dakota lets you be a bit independent like that!

I'm not sure how the math and science will be but we'll cross that bridge when we get there (IF we get there, lol), we can always supplement with our own program if we don't like what HOD provides. That's what's so great about it!

All in all, we're ready to give homeschooling a shot, but in the end, it may not be for us. We won't know til we put forth some effort in trying. ;)

I will keep you all posted!

homeschool Pictures, Images and Photos

homeschool Pictures, Images and Photos
(haha, couldn't resist!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Is That Semen In Your Hand, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Today I had to make a run to Drexel to my horse vet, Dr. Paul (Tall Paul). He's the one who doctored Luna when she got her hoof sliced up in barbed wire nearly two months ago. She, by the way, is doing better, but I had a bill to pay, and it was looming over my head.

So I made the drive to the little country clinic and walked into the front office where the receptionist sat taking appointments. The Doc didn't seem to be around so I went ahead and politely settled most of the bill with her and got my receipt and balance due.

I walked out of the clinc and back to my car and got ready to leave, when I saw Doc running like mad out of the clinic to stop me, lol!

He was in his usual green coveralls, which today were covered*t....literally.

And he was his hand......umm....a cone shaped vile of fresh fresh semen....bull semen.

The Doc, covered in sh*t, was smiling at me and inquired after Luna while holding up this delicate vile of semen to prevent spillage, if only he knew how he looked from my view, lol!! We talked of Luna and he asked about the goats (he doctored Marzy last spring when she was ill) and was happy to hear everyone was well.

Ahh, the country life! LOL!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Panic On The Farm..

I groomed John today, our little half Truffle/ half Winnie farm pup. We have seemed to have kept him back as a permanent resident, as his other 3 brothers have all found loving homes. Why? I don't really even like him much. Bays like Winnie, barks at all my clients pulling up. He didn't take up much after Truffle, only in looks. Truffle is quiet, gentle, and retarded, but an endearing retarded. John is annoying, like his mama.

But today....I gave him a haircut and he looked EVERY bit like his daddy, Truffle! And lo! As I shaved him down in a short summer cut, I discovered he even had little brindle markings JUST like Truffle! I had never seen that before! But there they were, little random splotches of brown here and there! Not as patchy as Truffle's (brindle is a rare color for poodles). This makes me wonder if his twin brother...Joe, who now resides in Ohio with the Reiter family, has also brindled out? I know he did already have a few hints of brown patches just like Truffle, but now I'm curious as to his coat pattern.

After I groomed John, he looked and felt fantastic! He ran around the farm and dived nose first into the grass to "wash" off his groom, lol! He pranced high and proud and wiggled hi butt. Even Darin commented on how much he resembled Truffle now, with his new 'do'.

After being in the house for some time this evening, we all went back out to enjoy the cool weather and troll around in the garden a bit.

Oddly enough...I had noticed we were missing a body somewhere. the children were accounted for....but we seemed one

Calmly I called out for John...but he was nowhere. He didn't come to his name or to my usual kissing noises. No big deal...he's around.

A few minutes later...still no John. Truffle and Winnie were present, Boots and Jeans the farm kittens....all "little" bodies were here, but no John.

I walked around the house calling him. I looked far and wide, he was no where. I looked under the porch. Nothing. I checked the groom shop, where maybe he had snuck in behind me and then I walked out, shutting him in unaware. Nope. No John.

This was not usual for him. My heart sunk for a moment. His new haircut...fresh clean, adorable little puppy....isolated road....did someone take him? Did I care really? I thought I didn't like him anyway, annoying little pup, John. Chewin' my farm to pieces. Couldn't leave nothin' put...he had to drag it off somewhere then watch as we all searched high and low.

I walked around the house again, and out to the barn, I hollered out for Darin..he had not seen him either. John was gone. I was now in panic mode.

I walked out to the clothesline, yelling his name. I stopped and listened. Nothing. I called some more, nervousness setting. Ya happy now Rach? John's gone. Your rid of him!

Not moving from the spot I was in, I looked down. Literally...looked down.
There was John. In his new do, but with stick-tights all over his face! JOHN!!! I was never more relieved to see that little retard! Apparently, the water bowl was dry and he had gone down to the creek to get a drink.

I will be able to sleep peacefully tonight, knowing he is safe and sound!

Why though? I don't like him anyway, right? Hmm....

Stupid dog, scarin' me like that. *giggle*