Month: September 2003

Autumn-time

It’s officially the first weekend of Autumn. In the South that doesn’t usually mean too much. The temperature’s have moderated some already, in the beginning of this month, getting warmer again as well, but staying in a lower realm for the night and early morning, and usually not getting higher than the mid-80’s during the day, if not much lower.

Here the trees generally start changing color and dropping in November. We’ve seen plenty brown and drop already, and some color changing first. Why? The trees “feel drought stricken”. We are out of the drought, but less rain this summer than we’ve had the prevoius two seasons seems to have tricked them, my own analysis, into thinking it’s droughty again. Six years of drought has a heavy toll.

Well, some trees are holding their leaves fine, and some partially, so I’m hoping we’ll see some color in another month or so.

Cinnamon Is Gone

She died as I held her head, outside in the grass.

I’ll miss you Cinnamon. I’m glad you lived with us and had a good life these last 5 years. You’ll be missed by all here. πŸ™

Cinnamon’s leaving

Our dear red tabby seems to be on a downward trend, I don’t recall seeing her yesterday, we weren’t home most of the day either. She didn’t come around at bedtime, but I didn’t realise that on til I heard a weird meow a bit ago, and placed that I’d heard other lowd meows earlier. I counted the cats around, and found it was Cinnamon missing, so the one that had to be meowing. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I called “here kitty!” and all the cats came running, except for Cinnamon.

Bad news.

So I finally found her under Victoria’s bed, laying on her side right against the wall. She howled something alful, but wouldn’t move. I had to move the bed aside to get her. She acts weak, her sides are caved in, and she’s breathing hard at times. She won’t eat or drink.

She looks bad. I have her in the hall bathroom on a pillow now. She seemed grateful for the pillow. She’s not howling just laying there so sad looking. Poor thing.

We got her in Aug 1998. She was 2 that next October. Her owner had put her in a vet kennel, and kept her there for awhile before finally giving her up. She didn’t know what to do with her. We were looking for a kitten a few weeks in a row, and saw Cinnamon in the cage at PetsMart that Saturday in 1998. I felt a need to ask about her, and we decided to take her home with us.

The cat is so high strung, really weird. I’m sorry she seems to be dieing, she’s not a happy cat most of the time though. She likes attention, but not the kind one usually likes to give. She likes hard petting in her own way alone, and it’s hard to figure out what it is each time.

She won’t eat with the other cats. She isn’t liked by any of them. She’s a scardy-cat, and I feel bad. I wish it were different, I wish we had a better time together, and I wish she loved the other cats and they her. But she really seems to be going.

I’ve just spent the last 1/2 hour with her, after writing the above. She is not purring, breathing hard, panting every once in awhile, but won’t move. Won’t drink. I put water on her tongue and she doesn’t even lick –no reflex at all. I anticipate having to dig a hole soon. Frank is out of town until tomorrow night.

I’ve been crying, I’ve asked the Lord to preserve her life, or take her soon, she’s not functioning, she’s miserable.

The children say they knew she was under the bed all day. They didn’t know she was ill. They thought she was mad. They didn’t bother to tell me though. Poor kitty. Poor little pretty red kitty. She is awake, and knows, she must. Utterly sad I am. It’s so hard when someone in the family dies. Even if it’s the cat at the bottom rung. Out of 7, she’s 7th. Very beautiful, a female red tabby, unusual. I’ll dig out a picture of her and post it soon. She’s a looker, or was, just didn’t have a good personality. I’ll miss her anyhow. Her favorite thing was to get under the covers in bed and purr. No more of that I guess. πŸ™

Bluebirds, and other birds lately

It’s been a birdy last 1/2 hour. I haven’t “seen” my Bluebirds most of the Summer. They’ve been around, but the whole family hasn’t been sitting on the fences or anything like that. Tonight Frank saw one, and we started looking, there were 2 adults and 3 or 4 babies. At least one of the babies was an older one, it looks the right age to be one of the nestlings we had fledge this Spring. It was feeding the younger Bluebirds. Siblings will do that, from previous hatches they’ll help their parents with the next round, which was definitely happening tonight for us to witness.

We can’t be sure these all are “our bluebirds”, they very well might be. In the Springtime there are usually three or four couples in the area, seemingly trying for the nest box and area which our yard occupies part of. There seems to be one couple that hold the fort down though. Surety is not part of regular birding though.

Well, it was a joy to see the birds hanging out. They are so beautiful!

Also saw an Eastern Pheobe at the same time. This Summer has been hot, and birding hasn’t been that great. We’ve had some Gold Finches, Ruby Throat Hummingbirds, and Cardinals, that’s mostly what we’ve had. I’ve lately seen Carolina Wrens on the front porch, two of them. Carolina Chickadees have been around at times, sparse though. Myrtle Warblers [butterbutts] are sometimes around too.

Happy Birthday to Asa!

Happy Birthday to Asa! He is 3 today. Three years ago he was a sweet newborn baby boy, born at home earlier in the night.

He got a Radio Flyer Tricycle today, he’s able to peddle and is just such a big boy. His bigger sister got on it and they decided it’d be fun to have him sit on the step that’s on the back of the bike … he fell off when she went where she was not supposed to … and he got an egg on his head and scratched up his cheek. Poor thing. He’s just fine if it’s HIM riding the bike. So now he’s looking tough boy. Glad I got some photos earlier of him with that sweet clear face.

This is a tough day for me, I’m in the throws of allergies still. I sure wish I weren’t. So things aren’t as fancy for Asa’s B-day as I’d like, as if he really cares. He’s having a fine time with a few new toys, never wrapped, still a surprise when he covers his eyes, then opens them to the view of a toy truck, or earlier the tricycle, and later another toy truck. We are giving him one here, another there, etc, piecemeal them out.

I have a cake to ice still. It’s a Black Magic cake, with a few improvements. I use to go all out and do a Wilton cake for each child, but that is something I gave up entirely last year. It’s tough for me to make all those stars. Who needs that stress. If one is good at it, fine, but hey, I make a nice normal cake, stacked or in the pan. That’s nice too! Tastes just as good, maybe better πŸ˜‰

Well, we have another younun’s b-day coming up in less than 3 months. She’ll be 5. She’ll be a bit more picky!

Photo’s online, whenever they are processed. 5th in line is this roll of film.

A New Pledge, and other ideas on learning at home

I’ve been reading different things about education lately … hence these ideas:

I haven’t liked the term “Home School” or the answer to the question: “What grade are you in?” or “Are you ready to go back to school” and the myriad of others that abound.

It didn’t bother me always to use the term “home school”. But it has since our children were born. What is “school”? Well, we don’t do that. We don’t do the opposite either, what’s known as “un-schooling”.

I’ve determined things like “home educate” were better. Recently I saw someone’s license plate that changed my mind … it was a state educator license plate, one of the specialties you can get from the DMV. They hold the word “educator” differently that I do. I can’t use it in any way to make sense then.

Here’s what I’ve thought up today:

Family.

Family Learners.

Well that proves it, there’s no way to say it. It’s a long thing.

“We don’t do school. We stay home and learn things in life as we live. We learn how to read and read books. We write. We learn lots of things.”

What about those books you can buy, “What Your Child Needs to Know in Second Grade” or something like that. Our eldest is 7. He’s not in the school system. He’s not in a grading system. Some people talk to me about it and say “Well he’d be in ‘such-n-such’ grade IF …”

Nope. That doesn’t work. Can’t put that structure on our family. We don’ t fit it.

We are a family first and foremost. The children come along and learn as they grow up, and learn how to do everything they need to, and to know everything they should. It’s not the job for the State to do anything about it. It’s not the job for anyone else to do something about it. It’s OUR job, as a Family, to do something about it.

I know that most families are happy to utilize other things to educate their children. I won’t say they should think on things as I do. My problem is with the intolerance out there for our way.

Connected to this is the idea that people are afraid for the children of lesser families, that they’ll drown if the State isn’t involved.

Well, it’ll take many years for people to lose their dependence on “Big Mama, the Educatin’ Arm of the Great Leviathan”. So meanwhile, how about just making an allowance for many modes of education, including Family Education. I’m not saying most people should do what we do. I’m not saying our way is the only way. It’s right for us. That’s what I’m saying. And it’s the right way for some others. Just not the masses of “homeschoolers”, not to even think of the government civilian training centers inductees and instructors of all opposite truth.

Prussian models of education are not what a Biblical family should seek to place around their child. I can recall when I was in “school”. I saw the main thing was “Patriotism”. Learn to automatically stand in lines, raise your hand. “Turn your books to page … “. “Stand and salute the flag:

‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all’ … sit down now.”

Ugh.

That’s one thing I can’t wipe out of my brain.

How about changing it.

“I pledge allegiance to God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, to His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a man, died for our sins, and purchased eternal life for all chosen before the foundation of the earth, and to the Holy Spirit who leads us, our God, the Holy God, three persons in one. I thank God for giving us a Holy Nation, a land devoted to You, under Your Law and Guidance. We humbly ask you to make us righteous, raise up leaders who will do your Will. Keep us in constant love, and care. And thank you for the States Rights that our leaders believe in to be true and good for a Godly Union of Land, and a Union that IS divisible and bound to no one but God, as States each have soverign duty to apply law under Him.”

That’s a rough draft, written on the spot here this morn. Too bad the last part isn’t exactly how it is, but only how it should be.

States Rights aren’t the same as when I say The State, either. Limited Government doesn’t have a structure called “The State” in my book.

Well, I got through school believing in States Rights, how come? I read books. I read what would be called today, Living Books. Biographies, history … that was what I loved. Did I get through school? Not really, I got my GED. Simple little test that was. πŸ™‚

Life isn’t about what kind of school certificates and degrees one can obtain. Nor to be a Statist Dem or ‘Publican. It’s about learning to Love God and to do His Will. To live righteous lives. To truly live well.

Part of that is eating. It’s a big deal to think food comes from a supermarket. We want to counter that notion. Food should come from regional producers, and most should come from farms direct. So our children are home with me, we read and do stuff, and part of that stuff is farming stuff. It’s a good education.

The children are still young. 7, 4, and 3 [on Saturday]. From what I know about me and my husband, and what I see in each of them … we are a family that seeks after knowledge with a vengeance. Fear not for us. We are learning about farming, but will be able to converse on a myriad of topics. Proficient in what we are talented in, and knowledgeable of what other things we need to encounter. It’s not up to a curriculum company to tell us what to learn. Nor the State, nor the Nation, nor a book at Costco.

We don’t believe in Big Government. Different governing entities for the last few centuries have wanted to control their populations with education. That’s scary.

Read the Bible, and good books. Learn foreign languages. Know how to do math that you need to use, and learn how to learn on your own, so that you can pursue higher information about anything if you desire to do so. In our home, we all learn together. So I am 37, and still learning. I love it. I’ll be learning in this life until I can’t see or hear or feel or smell. That’s what we instill in our children. To pursue knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

That Gorgeous September Moon

I just went out on the deck with my Canon Rebel 2000 after spying the moon through the glass of the French doors.

It was gorgeous, looks full, but not exactly quite. I took at least 3 or 4 photos with my longest lense, using a night-time mode. I sure hope they turn out alright. I’ve never really taken night body pictures. Only moon in daylight sky … when aiming at the moon.

After I did that I came in and searched for moon phase info. Couldn’t find it easily on accuweather nor on Weather.com. I didn’t have the patience to REALLY search there. I found a naval site and found a plethora of info. So I got the most relevant data to me for now, and find that the moon is 99% waxing gibbeous tonight … πŸ™‚ It’ll be FULL officially tomorrow sometime after High Noon. Gorgeous pictures if they come out, of a waxing practically full moon, the best view of this September 2003 Full Moon that might be had perhaps. We can’t vouch for tomorrow nights sky conditions. At any rate the view in real life is simply wonderful. A yellow gauze of light around it, the man on the moon looks very cheesey tonight, and very happy too.

Just as I was about to post this Asa came up and looked outside, and guess what he said “I saw the moon!”

Which reminds me of his birth. Ah, I have a connection with the September Moon, [minus any mystical weirdness –it’s totally a romantic notional connection] I knew there was something drawing me out there with my camera.

In 2000 I was overdue with our third child. The Full moon was approaching and the midwife and I joked about waiting for the full moon, or something like that. Well, the night I went into labor, the moon was waxing towards Full. Proof following:

2000 Phases of the Moon
Universal Time

NEW MOON FIRST QUARTER FULL MOON LAST QUARTER

d h m d h m d h m d h m

JAN. 6 18 14 JAN. 14 13 34 JAN. 21 04 40 JAN. 28 07 57
FEB. 5 13 03 FEB. 12 23 21 FEB. 19 16 27 FEB. 27 03 53
MAR. 6 05 17 MAR. 13 06 59 MAR. 20 04 44 MAR. 28 00 21
APR. 4 18 12 APR. 11 13 30 APR. 18 17 41 APR. 26 19 30
MAY 4 04 12 MAY 10 20 00 MAY 18 07 34 MAY 26 11 55
JUNE 2 12 14 JUNE 9 03 29 JUNE 16 22 27 JUNE 25 01 00
JULY 1 19 20 JULY 8 12 53 JULY 16 13 55 JULY 24 11 02
JULY 31 02 25 AUG. 7 01 02 AUG. 15 05 13 AUG. 22 18 51
AUG. 29 10 19 SEPT. 5 16 27 SEPT. 13 19 37 SEPT. 21 01 28
SEPT. 27 19 53 OCT. 5 10 59 OCT. 13 08 53 OCT. 20 07 59
OCT. 27 07 58 NOV. 4 07 27 NOV. 11 21 15 NOV. 18 15 24
NOV. 25 23 11 DEC. 4 03 55 DEC. 11 09 03 DEC. 18 00 41
DEC. 25 17 22

2000 Moon Phases

Here’s the exact time of Full moon on that day for us: Full Moon on 13 September 2000 at 3:37 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Asa was born at 1:57am approx. September 13, 2000. So it was full, like now, just not “absolutely officially”.

It’s a nice moon, that September moon. The Full moon for September 2000 occured 12-something hours after Asa’s birth. The Full moon for September 2003 will occur 15-something hours from now, when I took the photos and felt the need to do so without prior thought of what’s written above. Interesting cooincidence. Close, not exact, but similar and my baby will be Three years old on Saturday! πŸ™‚

These photos will be in the Photo Log eventually. Film takes awhile, and there are three rolls ahead of this one, which is still in the camera.

Cooler weather, Fall is coming

The weather has gotten very nice since this last Friday. The heat isn’t as bad, and it’s much cooler outside in the morning as well. It’s been overcast quite a bit, but it’s more than tolerable since it isn’t muggily too-hot any longer.

The worst thing is though, the allergies things seem to be much worse now too. Russell and I are the ones suffering the most. If I forget to take Claritin 24-hour I’m miserable. I didn’t take any yesterday. I had a migraine and totally forgot to. I have only been taking it since this year, but using it only when I know it’s been miserable allergy time. So the only reason I’ve used Claritin this year, is because I was so miserable in the Spring, and Benadryl is not an option for me. It knocks me out at a miniscule dose. This year allergies have been much worse for us, and others we know have reported the same thing. So it’s now Fall allergy time, though it’s technically still Summer.

I see signs that Frank and the other two children are affected too. We are an allergy family. Both Frank and I have plenty of symptoms we bring into the mix. Russell seems the most sensitive of the children. He was the only one vaccinated up to age 4 as well. Victoria up to 18 months, and Asa never. He’s the least bothered, Victoria is semi-bothered. It’s interesting. And very true as well.

I’m glad for signs of Autumn, even with the inevitable allergies.

Liberty time! Apples

We have two Liberty Apple trees in our backyard, and one Mac Free. They are semi-dwarf trees, they two varieties fertilize each other.

We planted these trees when they were small little things, bare root sticks really. They came via parcel post. That was in early Spring 1998. We planted them a few days after they arrived, a day after we found out we were expecting our second baby. That baby will be 5 years old this November.

We originally planted the trees in the front yard, and decided to move them to the backyard after we had a landscape plan developed for us a few years ago. In the Spring of 2002 we finally moved those trees, when they were still dormant. We got a few apples when September came around. The year before they produced a few apples, but they didn’t make it to maturity. Everyone we told that we had moved those trees that year were surprised when we told them they blossomed fine, and were fertilized too. Moving is supposed to be stressful, and fruit trees “tempermental” I suppose.

Anyhow, we had a better deal this year. They were in their new ground for a year when Spring woke them up. I got brave after the little apples started to grow, and pinched many, many, many of them off. The two Liberties have always grown better than the Mac Free, and their blossoming is more profuse. Well we had four and five apples in one spot. One or two in one spot is best. So sacrificing those baby apples is necessary, for some nice apples come Autumn time.

At the end of August I found a few apples on the ground, and we ate them. They were crisp and sweet, but a bit tart still. Today is September 6. I went and check the ground around the trees, as I have since I found those other apples in August. And today there were apples on the ground, partially eaten, and a few non-eaten ones. I saw weird bugs on the trees, same as I had on the tomato plants last week. Those plants have all died off now, so I guess the bugs moved over to the trees across the yard.

At any rate, I tested a few apples and some came right off the tree. I saw a couple of shriveled apples hanging there, and more bugs around, so I made a snap decision and gathered up my skirt and harvested every last apple. They might have lasted another week out there, but the bug issue wasn’t worth it. The children loved the apples I cut up for them this evening. I cut the two that had some soft spots, and a few of the others that are very little. We got several little bitty apples.

Of the average size, we have over 2 dozen Liberty Apples. That’s the best harvest we’ve ever had. I have some pruning to do now. Fire Blight hit the trees late this year. They were into major production when the first sign showed up. So I let it go. It wasn’t too bad, just bad enough that it’d be nicer to have been able to take care of it earlier. We don’t have any way of really taking care of it without spraying the whole tree.

Well, the Mac Free, it had two apples on it this year. One disapeared mid-summer. The other continued to grow, and was one of the ones I found on the ground the end of August. It was a nice size, very pretty. I mixed it up with the Liberties though. I didn’t mean to. So hopefully we’ll get more apples off of it to see what they are like next year. This poor tree had a rough start. I had to prune it when it was brand new, the top was all moldy. Then I let it go a couple of years, and finally pruned it last year so that the shape was better, and the one side of it that was growing more than anyother, but not the primary part of the tree, got stopped properly. Well after that, the rest of the tree took off. So we should see better blooms on it next Spring. Second-year spurs produce blossom and fruit.

I like these trees. They are taller than me, but just a bit. I can harvest them with just my hands with my feet on the ground. I’ll miss them when/if we move ever. Beautiful they are in Spring, with pale pink blossoms, so sweet to smell! In the summer they are pretty, all leafed out with little apples growing every bigger, getting ever redder. In the Fall they are pretty too as leaves change, but can’t recall what they look like precicely. I’ll report on that when the time is right. Winter, they have a lovely knarly shape that looks nice, especially when snow comes down, or an ice storm hits. Winter interest turns to early spring when buds begin to swell … spring comes round again.

Well here we are, at Autumns door. It won’t be long until Winter comes a’knocking, then Spring again. Time flies. But we have apples this year. A nice pie or two are in order, I dare say.

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