Tuesday, December 01, 2015


9.30    - minecraft
10a    - research & writing: 5 facts about shrews
10.30    - NaNoWriMo: writing author bio, reading edited bio
10.45a    - break

12p    - reading: animal books - silent reading
12.30    - break

1.15    - video: The Double Helix
1.30    - Mankind ep 4: Warriors
2.30    - .5mi walk
2.45    - minecraft
4.30    - done

I was down sick for the day - did a few of the things we had planned, but not all of them.
We have been working at filling in all the gaps for the NaNoWriMo book... author's page, title page, cover etc...

We started on How to Be a Pirate this weekend, the second book in the How to Train Your Dragon series.

The sherriff came by and said our dogs need to stay in the fenced yard from here forth.  It is as if the city is moving directly to our doorstep.  Some neighbor (probably the one that just moved here from a big city last year)  tried to take a leisurely walk along the county road and was escorted by our dogs for the entire length of our property.  Because this scared her, our dogs must be on a leash or fenced.   I would like to make a point, though, that I do not consider the county roads to be safe to walk on for other reasons - the speed at which people drive, the coyotes and it is Deer Hunting season.  We will attempt to keep our dogs in the fence - although our neighbor  is going to see a lot more coyotes because of it.  I already see several a month on the far side of our property.  Our dogs have been a buffer zone between the road and their property -- patrolling and keeping the local pack to the South.  Just a few months without that buffer zone I would be scared to let Esme out in the yard even in view of the house...without at least one dog next to her at all times.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Art bits

Fish Under Sea
inks, colored pencil and paints
I told Esme that Mom needs to practice her art, too.  I made a little doll tonight - one of those 'I don't know where this will end up, but we'll see anyway...' type projects.  They always turn out different.  I tried lots of new techniques, playing with layering up the hair and adding embellishments.  Esme didn't like the face embroidery - she said it had too much lipstick.  I do need more practice - had to get out my glasses to do the eyes.  (pic tomorrow, or so...)
Anyway, above is the painting I did Thanksgiving Night.  I need to practice more on that, too.
Not much else -- getting through the weekend, thinking about ideas for Christmas presents, fixing Esme's computer games with Daddy's help so they run again...The mittens will be finished in another day or so - set them aside tonight to play with sewing.   Esme and I have started on 'How to be a Pirate' the second book in the How to Train Your Dragon series.

Friday, November 27, 2015


We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving at home.  Mark made pork chops and sweet potatoes.  Grandma Irene came down and we watched Chicken Run, then took a walk to the lake.  On the way to the lake Esme found a big piece of bark under a tree and showed us it was shaped exactly like a Roman shield - by running down the path at us with it held up before her and another big stick as a sword.  *heh*  She then said she could use it for camouflage and hide in the woods just like the Britons did.  The history is sinking in.

Esme and Grandma went back to her house for a sleepover (Lucy the puppy missed her story hour....she was a bit worried.)  Grandpa Harvey and Grandma Gale called from their new Southern home.  It was nice to hear from them.  I knitted one and a half new mittens for Esme and did a little painting inspired by Michelle Morin's beautiful naturescapes.

Now for the craziness that is retail on Black Friday.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinovember

The dinos really want to get our Thanksgiving Dinner :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


It is the day before Thanksgiving, and we are all taking a day off.  Esme's rat (received from a friend a year or two ago) had died last night... so she had to say goodbye to him.  Other than taking care of that sad thing, we have cleaned the house a little and planned what to make for tomorrow.

I was looking at mitten patterns to knit earlier and Esme said she needed her new mittens to be 'werewolf' mittens, with dog paw prints on the palms.  OK.  I had asked her last week if she needed new mittens this year.  And she does.  Her thumb is almost twice as long as the pair I knitted for her two years ago.  I'm also adding more to the queen sized afghan I had started back then - a bit at a time, here and there.  The blog is called 'Knitowl', and there is knitting done - slipper socks and mittens, scarves and hats, rugs and blankets... but they get done when they are needed and I don't find myself looking through hundreds of patterns or yarn very often anymore.  Although, just because I thought of this, I did a little of it today.  Found hardly any werewolf patterns ;)  -- but I can improvise.  Most of my knitting is actually improvisation with materials on hand.  Oddly similar to my method of computer programming.

Will put this here so I can reference it later.
Mitten knitting guide I found - vintage knitting free patterns

The other thing Esme said she wanted for Christmas was birds.  I know what she means - something we saw at the store, but I'm thinking of felt creations, too.  This season is always full of so much for us - Esme's birthday, Thanksgiving, Mark's birthday, then Christmas - all flashing by in the blink of an eye.  I've scarcely gotten things wrapped up from one and we're on to the next.

I'm thinking we need to start getting the greenhouse area ready again, too.  I've already sneaked a peek at the seed catalog.  Even though the garden was so terrible last year...

I just finished reading the Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, and the second book of the Matched trilogy is winging its way to my ebook.  It has to charge some, though...Esme finished Droon #4 City in the Clouds tonight.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday before Thanksgiving

9a    - Capitalization sentences worksheet (continued from yesterday).  Her handwriting did improve.
9.30    - art: NaNoWriMo illustration : transferring a pencil drawing to a larger sheet of paper.  Looking up Chinese characters and putting them into her drawing.

She drew a pencil drawing first, and then transferred the important parts to the larger sheet of paper with a pencil. The painting part was a collaboration.  I think it is a lot clearer than the crayon drawings and a lot more details show through.  The Chinese characters are for 'food' and 'chicken'.  The dragons on the right have French Fry containers on their noses.

11.30    - break
//we went to town to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
We are intending to give Esme the next few days off - as her public school district is also getting those days off.  I am home for the next two, so we all get a rest tomorrow.

12.15    - Galapagos documentary : Forces of Change.  We watched the other two episodes on this documentary over dinner some nights and did not count it as school.  It was an excellent show.
1.15    - break
//walk to lake
 We brought the puppies to the lake.  They were very interested in everything Esme did.

 Esme and Lucy

Skipping rocks - with great success.

4.15    - spelling 27,28 of Second Grade Spelling
4.30    - khan math : Equivalent fractions : This was hard for her to grasp at first.  She despaired awfully over a very simple question...sidelined herself and argued.  But she did get it partially...especially after I made her watch more videos explaining the idea.  We will review again later.  I know she is ready for this.

Mark says we need to press harder for her to get all of her school done early - as she gets cranky when it is spread out.  However, she is cranky when we rush it, too... we'll try to get the timing closer together and see if it improves or not.