Monday, April 7, 2014

Making Your Own Path

 

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I get tons of questions regarding homeschooling on a regular basis.  Sometimes because people are genuinely interested and other times because people are skeptical.  Whatever….either way, it is the path we have chosen for our family.  Our children being involved in the decision.  If they choose to return to public school tomorrow we would be ok with that.  On days that I am frustrated and fatigued honestly that is my biggest threat.  Not necessarily the right thing but I’m just keeping it real.  Heck, I try to be a good Momma but I certainly would never place for mother of the year.  Maine Man’s paternal grandmother actually was honored with that title and she had 12 children I believe.  Imagine that?
 
Homeschooling is not the ideal situation for many but I am fortunate enough to have a partner that believes in it as much as I do.  Sometimes when I question my own sanity he reminds me that we are doing the right thing. I respect MM’s opinion so I know when he says that, he is right.  We are also fortunate to work in positions that accommodate  flexible scheduling allowing us to work opposite so one of us is always home with the kids.
 
My best advice to give someone who is interested in homeschooling is to choose two or three homeschool families in your area and visit with them.  Pick their brains, ask them what they think the pros and cons are, curriculum questions and such.  Homeschool families often take different approaches.  That is the beauty of it, you can do what works best for your family.
 
 
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There are many perks to homeschooling but their is also a great deal of sacrifice.  One of the greatest things is that you get to spend a great deal of time with your family.
 
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However, that can also be one of the most challenging parts of homeschooling.  I am thankful for my job, the gym, and friends and family that the kids spend time with allowing for time apart.  Separation brings a sense of appreciation to all.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweet Tea


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I have never been much for hot tea or cold tea until recently.  My girl loves tea, she even has her own little cabinet plump full of assorted tea bags.  Any how….I came across this post on Pinterest……How I LOVE thee!  Although I will admit to drinking a diet
crackpepsi now and again I have been making and slurping down this tea on a regular basis.
  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 4 tea bags (I like the fruity stuff!)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar
    Heat water to boil with tea bags, turn heat off, add sugar.  Steep for 4 hours or if your me an eternity.  I initially started with the1/2 cup of cane sugar but I’ve slowly weaned myself down to less than 1/4 cup as suggested by my sister in-law.  She said “you won’t miss it” and she was right. I have also used maple syrup as well for a sugar substitute.
    Cool and serve in a glass overflowing with ice……

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Home is Where the Heart is...

    Once again blogging from a lonely hotel room in Boston, MA on a medical mission with a family member.  The medical care is great!  The proximity of all the hospitals I am certain is definitely a life-saver for many but damn this isn’t my thing!  The only other perk to this stay in the city is that I gain a greater appreciation for my family & home in the country every time I come.


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    In Boston….I wake to sirens blasting and horns honking.  Actually they can be heard 24/7.  This place could be burning around me and I would be oblivious because one becomes so desensitized.


    In Maine…I wake to my son’s roosters singing their tune.  They start around 5 a.m.  If the hens make any abnormal cackle we jump out of bed for fear the fox is after them.  Maine Man usually just in his skivvies with shotgun in hand.  My neighbors love us I tell you!


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    Fresh Tomato Soup made by Flower Girl….she is a good cook when she wants to be.


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    Eggs are plentiful right now.  Country boy’s hens are laying TONS.  If anyone local is interested they can be purchased for $3/dozen.  My boy is currently saving up for a well and septic system.  The boy has big goals.  His plan is to build a house on our land while in high school. That will be a post in and of itself.  If anyone can do it I have not doubt he will. Help a brother out …GO buy some eggs from the poor boy!


    In Boston… I eat out every FREAKIN’ meal.  There is NO local grocery store in the district I am currently  in.  Even if so there is no refrigerator or microwave in the room.


    In Maine… I eat good, real, homemade food everyday. With much of the meat, all of the eggs and some vegetable we raised with our bare hands in our back yards.  With the exception of eating in the cafeteria at work because I am too stinkin’ lazy  tired to prepare meals ahead and off course the occasional takeout.



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    In Boston….my days are predictable and relatively uneventful. They go something like this…..rise, coffee, hospital, gym, hospital, lunch, hospital, dinner, hotel, drink, bed .  Facebook and Pinterest are my new BFF’s.  The most fun I have is people watching.  Road rage, people running for buses, everyone and their brother plugged in to their phones most adorning ear buds so they can be completely disconnected from society. I like my phone too but there is a time and place.  Sometimes I randomly smile at people as I would in Maine just for sheer glory of their response.  Some are responsive others notsomuch.


     In Maine…my days are unpredictable filled with life changing and enlightening events.  My days off start like this, rise, let the dogs out, see if the rabbit broke out, potentially step in cat puke, stoke wood stove, newspaper/facebook (same thing kinda), feed cows, wrestle sleeping beauty out of bed, start school day off with shared reading, proceed prodding children through school work.  From there on out it is pretty much helter skelter.  For entertainment we do FUN shit like snowmobile, ski, garden, swim, bbq,  trail run, fish.  Outside stuff!!!….I think you get the point…..HOMESICK.



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      “There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”  ~Jane Austen

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    So Close....


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    It’s been a long Maine winter filled with many days with below zero temperatures, high winds, freezing rain, and plenty of snow!


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    There have been forts built for kings, ice fishing for the big one, pond skating, cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobile rides, numerous pots of soup made, many hours of rocking had in front of the wood-stove.


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    Not to mention tons of wood to be hauled and burned, loads of shoveling and plowing mainly done by Maine Man.  Frozen barn doors, chipping water, hauling hay and buckets or water. I love you Winter but I as well as many others won’t be sad to see you go!

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

    Ice fishing and my favorite fish chowder recipe

     

    Maine Man took the boys out ice fishing this week and captured some great pictures along the way.  They even caught some fish!
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    Jeb had no problems keeping up with the boys
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    They had lots of action
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    The boys did most of the work drilling the holes and tending their traps so MM had a lot of time to reflect upon how far they’ve come.  I think in many aspects he was very pleased.  However, he did mention it wouldn’t be long before he would no longer be needed.  Bittersweet for him I’d dare say.
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    With a few pounds of fish needing cooking I recalled my FAVORITE go-to chowder recipe from a post back in 2009.  I triple the batch every time I make it and usually use shrimp and scallops along with fish.  Here is the link directly to the fish chowder recipe.
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    The simplicity of the recipe is what I love the most.  A few staple ingredients and…. Viola!
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    I also love that it is a favorite with everyone in the family.
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    Happy Cooking!
     

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    A Share...


    For the last couple months I have been reading a blog written by Ben Hewitt from Vermont.  He writes regularly about their self-sufficient lifestyle, his thoughts of the world, and about their boys.  He posts random pictures of his boys along with his stories.  He also writes for Taproot magazine which I also subscribe to.
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    On so many levels I enjoy his writings.  I can relate to many of his posts although we are not near as hard-core as they.  He has authored three books and last night I ordered two of them on Amazon, Saved and The Town That Food Saved.  Have you read any on his books?  Looking forward to the my next snail mail package delivery.  Good incentive to finish the two books I am currently reading!

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Putting a Face to your food

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    Post a picture of your kids cute little bunny of facebook and you get a like a million likes.  Post a picture of a side of beef and those that truly appreciate the term “know your farmer” like your post.  The rest think your nuts.  Meat comes in a package from the supermarket, right?  It doesn’t have a face, fuzzy fur and who the hell kills and processes them in their backyard. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t care who likes it and who doesn’t. I just find it ironic how we, as a culture struggle with something that is a part of our everyday life.  I too would probably be closer to being a vegetarian if I had to do the kill and processing.  Maybe not but I can guarantee I would eat a heck of a lot less meat.
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    On the eve of Christmas Eve I came home to a cow hanging in the shed.  Still with the hide in place and his big ole black lashes.  I admit I was a bit taken back. Maine Man had been talking about it for a while but now it was reality.
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    A week later MM and one of his friends spent the day in the barn cutting it up.  As you can see Country Boy helped out.  My girl and I also spent some time packaging the meat.
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    Not many people would dare take on such a task.  One of the many reasons why I love him.IMG_8144r
     
    My freezers are FULL…steaks, hamburg, roasts, stew meat, and above is a brine he made up in effort to make corned beef.  Clever little fellow isn’t he?