Friday, December 26, 2008

A Great Storyteller!

One of our favorite storytellers, Jonathan Kruk, has a sweet Christmas tale up on his website:

Jonathan Kruk's Lonely Christmas Tree

I highly recommend him. We listen to his CDs all the time in the car, and we sort of stalk him, attending many of his local performances.

Go listen! We consider him a local treasure.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Playing with Clay

I am taking my pottery class again, but spent most of the semester utterly devoid of inspiration. Finally made 2 things I actually like, though they're both still waiting to be fired...

First is a bas relief of a scene from a story I wrote for Mikro. He didn't want dinosaurs to be extinct, so I made up a tale involving a fairy and the gift of wings, and ended it with the dinosaurs having flown off to another planet and escaped death by asteroid...

And the other is to commemorate our year of homeschooling.

Click to see detail...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Summer

I'm not online much, or posting, because my 7 year old computer is so full I can't download my camera or reliably get email without deleting stuff off the two maxed out hard drives. So I'm working on backing everything up, slowwwwwwwwwwly, manually, and then hopefully I can get this dinosaur running...

We're having a great summer so far. Lots of time spent at the local swimming hole, where Mikro is taking swim lessons, and playing outside in the yard. Field trips to things like the World Science Festival, Prospect Park Zoo, local historic sites, and I forget whatall else. Since I can't download the camera (which substitutes for my short term memory), it's all rather a blur.

We have a new pet-- a tiny little frog for whom I am learning how to make fruit fly cultures. Homeschooling definitely leads one down some unexpected paths! We released the mantids a while back, and were a household sans creepy crawlies or critters for a few weeks before Tiny Blue Hopper (who is tannish greenish, but named by a 5 year old) took up residence.

Will check in when I can, but until I get this machine to behave, it will be sporadic...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why a Parental Rights Amendment Isn't Such a Good Idea

Why do so many people have fundamental misconceptions about the fact that the United States Constitution limits the authority of the United States Government, rather than limiting the rights of The People to those specifically enumerated? The recently proposed parental rights amendment is likely to result in legislative attempts to codify and limit what is now a broad and fundamental right, which has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court. See Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35 (1925).

Here's a much longer analysis by Home Education Magazine of the folly of this proposal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Long Time No Blog

It's hard to believe that May is already half over. I haven't been online nearly as much as I used to be... which I guess means I have finally acquired a Real Life, LOL. Homeschooling takes time. We are forever off to a nature center, park or museum, it seems (and my decrepit body is getting even with me, big time!).

Mikro is starting to sound out words and show an interest in learning to read. I keep assuring him that, even when he is able to read, I will still read to him, because it's fun for me, too. This is so exciting! Right now some favorite books are Grasshopper Pie , Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast, Dinosaur Poems and Dinosaur Babies. I have to dig out his old favorite, Oddhopper Opera, now that it's spring and the bugs are back. He enjoys watching the PBS pre-reading shows, like Between the Lions, Super Why, and Word World. And I just picked up the BOB Books, but I'm not pushing. I'm going to let his interests drive this train.

Speaking of driving... The big news is, I've started driving. (I ***HATE*** to drive. It is an exercise in suppressing terror. But I'm doing it. Because if I'm going to homeschool my kid, I figure it's on me to show him the world, and that's going to be much easier if we have a little more control over our mobility.) So far I'm only driving locally (still haven't been on a highway in 16 years...), but the car is no longer an expensive lawn ornament. It runs well, but it has an unfortunate leak somewhere, so the floorboards are forever wet every time it rains (and this spring, it's been pretty much every other day soaked). So I'm not here as often, and when I am, I'm usually outside, swinging on the porch swing while Mikro runs around like crazy and scares away the wildlife.

I've also discovered that the car makes a pretty good bird blind (my binoculars are a permanent fixture in the car cup holders at this point), and we've been having some interesting guests at the feeders. Mikro has *some* patience for birdwatching, but not nearly enough... I hope he will pick up on my enthusiasm. He does like the idea of feeding living relatives of the dinosaurs...

I'm going to post updates for the past month or so, but they'll be back dated, since my blog and my photo directory (which is in date order) pretty much substitute for my messed up short term memory...

Leaves from My Sketchbook

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birds, Blooms, and Other Springtime Sights

I don't know what this critter is: it's very long and solid muscle, almost a solid cylinder. Doesn't have a mouse/rat -like tail. I suspect it might be a mole. Whatever it is, it likes the nuts & berries bird seed mix I put out...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Homeschool Nature Class: Wildflower Hike

Class today was on identifying and counting wildflowers in the park. It involved a hike around the "Nose", a peninsula jutting out into the Hudson, on which the Nature Center sits. The kids hiked around the very steep trail. Mikro did it without me (I'm still using a cane since I sprained my knee 9 days ago...), but with a little help from his slightly older friend, Cassie. I was so proud of him!

We saw some wonderful birds at the feeders, and elsewhere. And we saw the remains of a hawk's lunch...

After class, there was playtime at the playground, and in the trees... And after our friends left, Mikro and I headed to the beach, where we watched the geese, and waded in the ***cold*** waters of the Hudson River.

Unfortunately, late in the evening, I discovered that I had picked up a tick...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventures with Leela: Katonah Museum of Art and Muscoot Farm

We ventured out with my friend Leela to the Katonah Art Museum, where they were having a show on single object still lifes. Mikro enjoyed his first exposure to an art museum, especially running around in the sculpture garden...

Then we were off to Muscoot Farm, where spring and baby animals go together. We saw lambs and pregnant goats, and even got to watch one goat go into labor. (Unfortunately, the kid was a breech and she was having a hard time of it. As we left for the day, they were talking with the veterinarian about a possible Caesarian. I still wonder how it all turned out.) The magnolias were just beautiful, and Mikro made fast friends with some kids and played tag, and they improvised a slide from the cellar door of the farmhouse..)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Day at the Park

Firsts: sliding down on his belly, backwards; climbing a tree (not a very difficult tree, but for a kid with sensory issues who doesn't enjoy being off the ground or off balance, this is progress, woo hoo!). And, to top off the day, there were bubbles!