Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learning Notes: Weeks 11 and 12

Weeks 11 and 12 already. Time is going by more quickly than I anticipated. What with the sickness and the allergies and who knows what else, we are still managing to put in a decent amount of learning and the girl could not be happier!


Continued working on telling time
Writing number
Counting by 2's, 5's and 10's
More addition and Subtraction practice with worksheets
Played Shut the Box and UNO
Learned More or Less
Counting by 5's to 100

Language Arts:

Read stories on Starfall
Teaching Reading Lessons 52 through 57
Bob Books with accompanying activities (which are way too easy by the way)
Lots of reading both aloud and to herself
Played pony phonics game several times
Sight word flash cards
Handwriting practice


Finished Bird Study
Hummingbirds, Purple Finch, Canada Goose and Snowy Owl and American Robin
Completed bird book

Completed weekly assignments
Attended 4H meeting. Topic: Dogs

Painted some Christmas ornaments
Made a book mark
Illustrated and narrated some pages for Literature journal

We also set up her new desk. This was my Grandmothers but I cannot remember it in her house. No matter. It is solid wood, has several compartments for her supplies and under the writing surface has ample space for my sewing machine and basket and all sorts of other things. The beauty of this desk is that it fold up to look like a cabinet. Everything out of sight. Love it. Thanks Jen.

 Outdoor Activities:

Made a snowman
Spent several hours playing in the snow
Went on our first snowshoeing outing of the year. It is so nice to have a golf course a mere two houses from our home to trek on. So peaceful. Lots of fun.


Birds of Prey
Birds of Canada
Birds at my Feeder
A child's First Book of Birds
Usborne Pocket Nature: Birds
An Introduction to Backyard Birds
The Chick Book

City Dog Country Frog (several times)
The Little Puppy
The Little Kitten
The Little Pig
The Little Duck
Balto (x3!)
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Observations From The Mat

I have had a lot of opportunity to "break in" my new yoga studio floor this past week or so. The space is so inviting, so clean, so..."earthy". I love the look and feel of it.

What I have noticed :

*It is cooler in there than it was with the carpet
*The acoustics have changed, of course
*It kind of hurts the tops of the toes when moving from Upward facing dog to Downward facing dog. Actually, it hurts a lot but I'll get used to it soon.
*I find it harder in some asanas (like tree pose) to keep my balance as long as I used to
*My knees do not like kneeling on a mat that doesn't have carpet under it. Not at all
*Savasana will take a bit more getting used to for the same reason

But, despite all of these complaints differences, I really love it.
I feel a slow definite contact with the floor which helps so much with the feeling of groundedness and with alignment. It is uncluttered and the wood has a soft glow and it just feels right. I have been in there more in the past weeks than I have in a long time.

I am so grateful for having stumbled upon the practice of Yoga all those years ago.
I appreciate the study of it and its benefits to the body, mind and spirit.
I love its therapeutic applications. Asana for every ailment, every energy level, every mood.
Yoga is one of the best gifts I have ever given to myself.
I plan to dedicate myself to its practice, study, lifestyle and philosophy in the coming year.
It will be my New Years gift to myself.
As I have said before, I am more myself when I am on the mat than in any other place.

Practice and all is coming.  Sri Pattabhi Jois

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yarn Along:Three

Joining Ginny at Small Things and the girls for Yarn Along Three.
 A post about what we are reading
and what we are knitting.

Rather than bore you with the same Tomten Jacket that I have
posted here twice before I bring you...
the dishcloth.

I am using Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.
Naturals. In Guacamole.
At $1.25 for a 42.5g ball I can make 2 dishcloths.
(read tongue in cheek)

And I have just picked up from the library the book
Winter Solstice.
I got the idea from a post on last weeks Yarn Along.
I am going to start it tonight and am quite looking forward to it.

My jacket is coming along slowly but surely.
I am not going to make the sleeves as contoured as the pattern asks
so I have a little bit of figuring to do.
It feels good to hold these small bamboo needles as opposed
to the large metal ones on the sweater.
I haven't quite got used to the "nails on a chalkboard"
type of sound they make as I knit.

  Nice neutral colors.
Feel good cotton.
This is a quick easy project with an
oh so near completion date.
Just what I need.

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Tis The Season

Ever hear of Wet Sock Therapy? No? Neither did I until my daughter Jen told me about it. She uses it on herself, her husband and her children whenever they get sick. So... I tried it on myself. I have been sick for over a month. 'Tis true. And anyone who knows me would attest to the fact that I am never sick for more than a day or two. (Could be the dog irritating things as well. But I digress.) So, I decided to try it and wouldn't you know that I felt markedly better after days of getting progressively worse. Coincidence? Maybe. Timing? Possibly. Placebo effect? Uhhh, probably not.

I have always been one to shun pharmaceuticals and opt for natural remedies. Always. So this was a natural step for me. I am going to apply the therapy again tonight and hopefully kick this thing for good.

Below are the steps to take if you have interest. Try it and see if it doesn't work for you.

The Cold Sock Treatment (Wet Sock Therapy) is a simple hydrotherapy technique that is especially effective for relieving nasal congestion in bed at night (frequently better than medications and without the side effects). It also helps to stimulate the immune system in the upper respiratory tract and is relaxing for aches and chills, and helps bring on a more restful night’s sleep when sick. We find it helpful in such conditions as colds, "flu" (not the "stomach flu"), earaches, sore throats, and sinus infections. It is useful with people of any age from infants to the elderly. The Cold Sock Treatment is especially good to use with the nasal congestion of colds and influenza.

Preparations. In the evening before going to bed, prepare by having a pair of cotton socks and a pair of wool socks. They must be at least 90% cotton and 90% wool, respectively. Most sporting goods stores and some department stores carry wool socks. For small children you can use safety-pins to hold a wool sock on that is too large, or rap wool cloth around each foot.

Step 1. Soak the foot part of the cotton socks in cold tap water and wring them out thoroughly. Place the socks close to the basin or bathtub used in the next step. Note: If your feet are already warm (e.g., you have already been in bed) you can skip to Step 3.

Step 2. Put your feet into a basin or bathtub of hot water to warm up your feet. Soak them for a few minutes until they are hot and pink.

Step 3. Remove your feet from the hot water and quickly dry them off. Immediately put on the cold wet cotton socks, and then over them, put on the dry wool socks.

Step 4. Go directly to bed and keep the feet covered through the night. The therapy does not work if you or your feet are uncovered, such as when walking around or sitting in a chair uncovered.

When the Cold Sock Treatment procedure is followed correctly the feet will start warming up within a few minutes of getting covered in bed. The congestion will usually start to be relieved within 30 minutes. It will often work better than a decongestant or antihistamine to relieve congestion during sleep. In addition, it is not uncommon to see a small child or infant fall immediately to sleep after they are put to bed with the Cold Sock Treatment. After approximately four hours the socks should be totally dry, the feet warm, and the symptoms will be much improved (if not gone).

If necessary the Cold Sock Treatment can be repeated through the night or used on consecutive nights. In repeating the treatment in the same night or if an illness starts during the night, it is not necessary to warm the feet in hot water since they will already be warm. Simply apply the wrung out cold wet socks and the dry wool socks and go back to bed.

The above information is from Heartland Naturopathic Clinic.

So now that we are into the "flu" season, what do you do for yourself and your family to keep healthy. Please tell me, I'd love to know. I do not want a repeat of October and November. After all, as you know, I am a winter girl and I need to be outside.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I am almost positive that Athena is allergic to Meg. I know that I have sensitivities too. Each time I groom her or clean her bed I get all stuffed up. That I can live with. Athena's constant post-nasal drip and watery eyes I cannot.

But Meg is such a great dog. The BEST dog anyone could ask for, except for the shedding.
She follows Athena everywhere she goes. She goes to her bed around 7:30 each night on her own accord and we don't see her again until around 8am.

She requires a lot of grooming and has recently begun to follow me when I vacuum so I can vacuum her too. I am not kidding.

She is getting so much better on the leash too. Athena was able to walk her all the way home from the park by herself. Great improvement.

My daughter Jill, who lives in the city, is going to keep her at her house for a time and then we will see what happens to Athena when Meg is re-introduced. I hope nothing happens but I know it will. Darn it anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Corners of My Home

After shooting some pictures of my yoga studio the other day I thought I'd take some more pictures of our home. Just so you can take a peek inside. (I mostly mean for my sister Lyse, who has never been here!).

This is Athena's room. This bed was a hand-me-down from
her cousins Matheiu and Renee.
There is an ever changing array of "treasures" on the bookshelf.

And this is the best thing we ever did. We put a work table in the corner where she can leave her creations out to work on them another day. This saves us from having to step over them on the living room floor.

The living room. This is were you can find me every day after supper.
Me and my trusty glass of wine.
My spot is on the love seat, closest to the end table.

The kitchen, where it all happens.
My kitchen is huge! So much cupboard space.
So much so that I have way too much stuff.
Way too much.

 The dining room. See the dog bed in the corner?
Not crazy about that but she just loves to be with us and
I am not about to have a dog under the table or sitting by
waiting for some food to drop.

  The learning room. It is on the third level.
 Please ignore the dated carpet.

The learning room again. Other side.
We are awaiting the arrival of Athena's desk.
It was my Grandmother's.
It should be here next week.
That little wee school desk by the chalkboard will not do.

I had some pictures of our bedroom but it I thought that would be kind of weird to post.
Maybe another day.

I really love my home. I have lived in several houses
and have liked them all for different reasons.
Well, most of them. But this... this is my favorite one.
This is my home.

(I probably just jinxed myself and now we will likely move.
My motto: Hold things loosely)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yarn Along 2

Joining Ginny from Small Things again this week for Yarn Along. A post about knitting and reading.

You know, I was going to cast on a dish cloth this week just so I wouldn't have to post the same sweater again. You would have found me out though. Yes, I am still working on the same sweater. Ready to pick up the stitches on the arm holes and continue on with the sleeves. Modular sweater indeed.  I think it will go quickly from here. At least I hope so as we got a pile of snow today.

The book I am reading is called Secrets of Simplicity by Mary Carlomango. So far I am enjoying it but am barely into it at all. I feel a deep need for simplicity right now. As you may have noticed, by profile simply reads Seeker of Balance. And with thoughts of the holidays ahead beginning to dance around I think this book will be just what I need.

I can't wait to see what you all are knitting and what books are catching your attention.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Don't Know What I Did To Deserve This

Like the title says, I don't know what I did to deserve these wonderful gifts from my Love.

The weekend was full and busy for him.
First he sought out, secured and brought home some re-claimed oak hardwood.

He tore out the baseboards, carpet and underlay.
Removed the tracking and prepared the subfloor. 

He painstakingly puzzled the pieces to fit.
It took him roughly a full day of work.

He put everything back together and even swept up the mess.

He literally put blood, sweat and tears into this project for me. Well, not tears. None that I saw anyway.

He did all this for me. All for my yoga studio upstairs.

I am hoping to get up there this afternoon to try it out.

My meditation pillow awaits me.

And on top of it all, before the project began he brought home these lovelies.

 He is a good man. Thanks honey!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Learning Notes: Weeks 9 and 10

The time is flying by. I cannot believe we are finished 10 weeks of schooling already. Although I was sick and we didn't "do" school all four days this week a lot of learning was accomplished.

Played UNO
Counting backwards 10 - 1
Counting 1 - 100
Addition 4 though 7, meaning 4 + 1 up to 4 + 10 etc. She is using kidney beans to tally but has graduated to little ticks on the paper. Some she can do off by heart.
Reviewing telling time. She is getting good at it. Also she is getting good at announcing the speed limit to her Daddy each time she sees a sign. You can bet he loves this. Now he really has a backseat driver.
Played war and crib for counting purposes and learning greater than or less than.

Language Arts.

Ordinary Parents Guide  up to lesson 52. I hear her all the time now sounding out any word she can find. In Costco today she read 7up. Easy I know but the thing is, she is reading!
Flash cards of sight words and any other we have learned. We have about 50 of them, although she can read more words than that. This is one thing she loves and even asks for.
Read Bob Books


Reviewed Chickadee, Owl and Goldfinch.
4H club work included a wild animals of Saskatchewan study so we spent a lot of time completing the unit.
She filled in her general information such as name, age, date of birth,address, phone number. Seems like 4H will be good for her. She has a meeting this coming up week and the theme of the month is Dog Care.
Read about bird beaks and all weird birds of the world. Did you know some birds throw their feces at predators and some puke on them and still others spit a smelly oil at them? Neither did I.

Music Study:
Reviewed Beethoven and listened to several cd's of his music. She is beginning to be able to pick out some pieces of his. Mostly the 5th Symphony and Fur Elise. I played Fur Elise for her on the piano and she was quite impressed. I was quite unimpressed. My old fingers are not as nimble as they once were.I am quite rusty but I enjoyed it too.


Did a brief introduction to yoga and its benefits.
Practiced yoga 3 times.
She spent most afternoons outside. I mean from 1pm until 5pm every day. Good stuff. She loves snow and lamented today about its disappearance with the warm weather.


Beastly Birds and Bats
Listened to Jim Weiss Animal Stories.
Read the novel Catwings
Moon Dogs
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
We're Back - Dinosaurs (more times than I wanted to)
The Fox and the Hound
Now One Foot, Now The Other

PS I don't expect you to read these learning notes. They are simply my way of keeping track of the years learning.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let This Be A Lesson To You

What do you think would happen to someone who:

Tries to plan and carry out the PERFECT education for her home educated child?

Tries to shop for, plan and prepare healthy whole food meals... every day?

Who keeps her house impeccably clean (even though she has a very hairy dog)?

Who washes all bedsheets and towels twice a week?

Who vacuums her entire house every other day? ( See very hairy dog comment above)

Who forgoes her own pleasure time and time again because that closet really needs to be re-organized?

Who tries to keep up with current events, the latest home school resources and the most recent health news?

Who has to re-wash outside windows which were done mere weeks ago because winter is coming and they are a little  dirty.

Who tries to please her husband and make his life just this much easier?

I could go on and on here but I will spare you.

Why she gets sick of course. Yes, yes she does.

All work and no play makes Mama a foolish girl.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oh no.

I am beginning to suspect that Athena has an allergy to the dog. I hope it isn't so. She has had some respiratory complaints for a whole month now. This has never been the case before. She has a cough that usually only appears in the morning and now her eyes are tearing and she has the sneezes.

I really am hoping it is not what I think it is. This is one GREAT dog, and I am not a dog person. For me to say the dog is great means she is really great. I am puzzled at what these symptoms could be in her and why they are lasting so long. We have had the dog for 6 weeks and she has displayed the symptoms for 4 of them. Is it just a lasting cold? Possibly. Or am I just trying so very hard to ignore symptoms that could signify an allergy to her pooch. I already vacuum the house every other day. The dog does not go upstairs to where the bedrooms are. How can I tell if she is allergic short of taking her for testing. Sigh. What to do, what to do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yarn Along

Ginny over at Small Things has started this weekly peek into what is on the needles and what we are reading so I decided to play along.

This week I am working on the first ever sweater for me! It is the same pattern that I knit for Athena last spring. I loved the look of it and thought it would be easy for me to accomplish. It is the Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I hope it fits me when all is said and done. It is looking a bit large. But... too large is much better than too small now isn't it?

And sadly enough, I am reading a book called Catwings aloud to Athena. When I finally get into a groove
maybe I'll have to read something for myself. And you will not that she just had to sew cat wings on her "stuffed up kitten". She likes to sew and cares not that she put the wings on upside down.

Expect to see this sweater in upcoming Yarn Along posts. I am not the fastest knitter on the block.