Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer school

So, yesterday morning after reviewing all his phonograms and other memory work (Psalm 8, the seventh day of the creation week, The Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13, the latter portion of Ephesians chapter 4, Pater Noster, and Poe's "Eldorado"), and having a handwriting lesson, I sent John outside to run around the house three times while I set up his French lesson. I've found that his eleven-year-old mind works better when his body has had some recent exercise, and it had already been more than an hour since he'd finished helping with milking the goats and putting them out to pasture, investigating the death of a chicken, taking the dog for a walk, and collecting and taking out the trash.

His run took a lot longer than I'd expected and when he came in he was mad as a hornet. Four of the goats had gotten out and gone to our neighbor's house to feast on their apple trees, and while running up the path through the woods to get them, he'd been stung twice by yellow jackets. I put baking soda on his wounds and sent him back out to find another way around. No good. The yellow jackets were stirred up all along the ridge he has to cross to get to the neighbor's.

Naturally I panicked and called my husband. Then, having sent John and Nathan on one more vain excursion, I fitted them out in ad hoc beekeeper's gear: jeans tucked into socks, a cowboy hat with a sheer curtain draped over it and tucked inside a jacket, plus a pair of gloves. By the time Mike got home, John had brought Psyche, the herd queen, home, and penned her up and the other three were following... slowly, but since the queen had gone home, they were on their way, too.

While the guys were out managing the mischief, I made half a gallon of lemonade to serve them when they came back inside. It's awfully hot here now -- in the 90s and muggy. It was past lunch time by then and my two oldest had come back from the library, so we made quesadillas and Mike went back to work.

It was nearly 2 o'clock by the time we finished eating and I didn't feel like doing anything else, so, remembering that Tuesday was the day that The Eagle was supposed to be in the Redbox, I sent Number One Son out to pick it up, and we spent the rest of the afternoon watching it. My three youngest girls are at their grandmother's and they're going to be sorry they missed the movie.

Oh, the two oldest were at the library because Eldest Daughter had an internet class which began at 11:00 (James Taylor's short story class through CiRCE and those of you who didn't sign up for it ought to be ashamed of yourselves), and our internet was down. We have this theory that our local provider houses the equipment in a leaky basement because service goes down whenever the weather gets a little damp.

Today we saw a bluebird in the bird bath and stood watching it for a while. Other than that, it was less exciting than yesterday, but we didn't accomplish much more.

I'm not worried though. It's too hot to do anything besides stand and stare.

I'm enjoying the time off, but I am looking forward to the fall, when all the children are home again and we get back into our cozy routine.


  1. Oh what adventure and fun! I love your days and the way you describe them. Priceless memories.

    We too are looking forward to the fall... it's too hot. Our life is much more prosaic and urban, but I'm learning to be content with it.

    Your description of your 11 year old is very sweet. I can picture him with the jeans and boots, and the name, Psyche, ;)


  2. I know I must be very dumb... but what is CIRCE? You and Cindy talk about it, is it an online conference? I'll google it now.

  3. Silvia, I've edited my post to include a link to CiRCE. It's a wonderful resource.

    Psyche is a beautiful white goat. She and her brother were born on Valentine's day 2006, and we wanted to give them appropriate* names. We called him Cupid so of course we had to call her Psyche (that's my favorite of the Greek myths, and probably the only one with a happy ending!). We used to have a pair of her kids (also beautiful white -- in goats, white is the dominant color) that were born on a Thursday, so we named them Thor and Sif. We had to sell them, though.

    *An appropriate name for a goat, anyway, which for me means Not a Name I Would Give a Child. Names that put pagan gods in their places (even the ones whose stories I love) are especially good. :-)

  4. I *wish* I had someone old enough to take the CiRCE classes. I'll have to settle for listening to their conference CDs ...

  5. Okay, those of you who have underage kids or who live in bizarre time zones (like, oh, say, Pacific) are excused.

  6. Oh. It was so close and so far away!
    I read very fast, for I thought Phsyche was the name you gave to the bee, like Psycho, but yes, I know that myth, and the other pair of names of those goats you sold are fun and great names for animals. I'm with you. It makes sense.
    I grew up in the city without animals. My husband's sister is nuts about animals, the same as her daughter. Now I'm realizing all the animals they've had, and we inherited one of those, have not had people names.
    Our cat that died was Turkish, because our niece thought he looked like a cat from Turkey, with green eyes and gray fur. Our dog now is Chip, as in a chocolate chip, that's how his first owner called him because he looked like one.
    Anyway, mythological names go great with goats, and I like what you say that they put pagan gods in their place!


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