A Bit of a Confession

I have a bit of a strange confession to make.  I always sort of hope that nobody reads this blog.  🙂

In the beginning, almost nobody ever DID read this blog, and there was something sort of freeing in that.  Someone would occasionally comment and I’d think “Whoa!  I have a reader!” and it was pretty awesome.  I liked getting a handful of comments from sweet readers who felt some sort of kinship with us and otherwise feeling like I was just blogging to the dark.

I have always sort of felt that this was my private homeschooling journal, my barenaked real-me song into the universe that nobody was really tuned into.  I talked about feeling lonely and worrying that I sucked at homeschooling and what the neighbors must think.  I posted pics of our messy house and rambled over nothing and talked about being that woman with the tacky dress and too much cleavage.  When we got Victoria’s cancer diagnosis and spiraled into that epic nightmare of surgeries and fear, this was the place where I finally came and said how I really felt.

I am absolutely unapologetically me here.  And so I don’t usually pin my posts on Pinterest (not that I can — it seems Flickr is hell bent on keeping anything you’ve posted there from being pinned if you didn’t upload according to the secret code of the universe to begin with).  I don’t post links to this blog on Facebook.  I keep it in my email signature, but sort of buried in other stuff and I always sort of think that nobody but those few loyal friends are out there.

I don’t want a big blog following.  I like that it’s a few people who for some reason after all these years kinda like keeping up with us.  I like that I can babble or rant or disappear for a month, and it’s all cool.

I am currently typing in the dusk with a baby 95% asleep in my lap.  One boob is out.  My house is a mess.  I think I forgot to eat supper, even though I tossed it at my family before most of them dashed to pageant practice.

I keep meaning to blog Victoria’s ever-growing 9th grade reading list, and I want to post a list of all the cool things we’ve done lately, and then there’s Jack and Anna’s horse camps that just ended…

I want to get back to that, because I write for examiner for the money and for Magical Childhood for other people, but here… I write for myself and this quiet connection with a few lone people in the universe.  And that, my dears, is why this is my favorite place to write, and why I hope it never gets too awfully popular.  🙂

Raise your hand if you’re out there, just this once, so I know who I’m hanging out with.  Or not.  But know that I’m glad you’re there.  Thanks for keeping me company all this time.

Where Our Cats Ruin a Perfectly Good Science Experiment

I saw an intriguing picture on Facebook this week.  It was of a plate with butter, margarine and reduced fat margarine on it.  It was covered with ants, all of whom were happily devouring the butter and staying well away from those evil margarine products.

The lesson?  Well, ants are far smarter when it comes to nutrition than we are and we should follow their leads, I suppose!

It made me wonder, though…

  • Would we get the same results here?
  • What if we gave the ants healthy butter substitutes, like Earth Balance (all natural) margarine and all natural coconut oil?
  • What if I put sugar in the middle?  Would they skip the buttery stuff completely and just take off with that?

So we made up a buffet of options for our little creepy crawly friends.  I labeled them all (butter, butter flavored Crisco, Blue Bonnet Lite, Earth Balance, coconut oil and sugar) and we found a nice shady spot with lots of bugs nearby to leave it.

And then I returned.  To find this:Where our cats ruin a perfectly good science experiment


Our cats had decided it was an experiment meant for them!

The results were interesting, too.

The cats ate half of the butter flavored Crisco (it seemed to have been chewed and spat back out!), every speck of the Earth Balance, all of the Blue Bonnet Lite, and they merely licked the butter.  The sugar and coconut oil were completely ignored.


This leads to all sorts of new questions, we think, such as:

  • Why didn’t the dingbat cats prefer the real butter?
  • Where can we put the plate where no wildlife other than ants and bugs will find it, and what will they choose?
  • What would the dog prefer?
  • Do we really want to base our nutritional advice on the culinary tastes of various small creatures?

In any case, we have way more butter experiments to do now.  And I think some graphs will be in order…

Back in the Swing of Things

Things are going much better this week (month) than last! Everything is feeling more hopeful and good things are beginning to do their best to outweigh the bad.

Here’s a few of the things we’ve been up to this week…

  • Jack and Anna each started a month-long horse camp that meets a couple of hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Jack goes in the morning and Anna goes after lunch.  They really love it so far.
  • We explored a secluded park with a 100+ year old abandoned stone house and wonderful trails.
  • Jack, Anna and Victoria are all devouring books from the library like crazy.
  • Fiona is happily saying lots of da-da-da-da and flapping and trying to scoot/crawl.
  • We finally got some herbs and veggies and have started our garden at last.  Of course, the morning after I planted my beautiful new herb garden by the back door, the city came and dug it all up and put it in a pile by the driveway, but that’s another story!  And Daryl lovingly got down in the dirt and rescued all those baby plants and helped me do it all over again.  🙂
  • The oldest 3 kids and I watched Super 8.  It was great fun!  It’s a little scary at times but it was a really good movie.
  • Anna is doing a lot of Spanish on her iPod.
  • Victoria has been researching all sorts of subjects.  She teaches me more than I teach her these days.
  • Alex and I have been doing speech practice together to work on some of his letter sounds.  We’re also doing phonics and alphabet fun, plus he loves doing addition to pass the time.
  • We all went to the art museum at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls and the kids played in the art room.
  • Alex, Fiona and I went to the science museum in Sioux Falls.
  • Daryl, Anna and Jack taught old fashioned music and games at the Hubbard House in Mankato.
  • Victoria is still doing a ton of art.
  • Victoria, Anna and Jack are still doing oodles of photography.
  • The middle three kids are spending lots of time outside with water play — water balloons, water guns, the kiddie pool
  • And so on and so forth!

Here’s a collage of pictures since I’m too lazy to blog them all (and there’s a happy baby flapping in my arms as I type!).