Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Busy Times and Special Finds

We've had a busy couple of weeks. Between homeschooling and work and searching for hidden eggs I haven't found much time, actually - any time, to write. It's sad, but we've still been productive around the homestead.

My oldest attended her junior prom with her best friend and their dates. I don't normally post pictures of my kids online but I love this picture so much I couldn't resist. My daughter is in the black dress. They all had a great time.

 My two younger girls and I have been working hard on learning addition (for the seven-year-old), multiplication (for the nine-year-old), reading different stories and books, and all kinds of other fun things. But, since we can disrupt our schedule in the middle of the day we decided to hunt for the "hidden egg" a local radio station hid on Easter. They release a hint every day until the egg is found. The radio station's last clue was a dead giveaway for us and we drove directly to the hiding spot. As we drove into a parking lot my middle daughter said, "Mom, I bet it's in that bush right there." She was pointing to a little evergreen bush with a nice round hole near the bottom of it. As soon as we were parked my youngest was out of the vehicle and on her way to the bush. She stuck her head near the hole and then reached inside and pulled out a baggie with a yellow plastic Easter egg inside. She said, in a matter-of-fact tone, "Huh. Found it." We giggled all the way back to the vehicle and immediately called my brother. He'd been hunting for it, too.

The prize package was substantial. We won two golfing passes at a local golf course, a party for four at a local bowling alley, a nights stay in at a nice resort in the hills, a brand new iPad (Yay!), and a foosball table! Honestly, those prizes are all very wonderful, but the best part of the whole thing was the hunting. The next best part was the finding. The prizes are just an added bonus.

Those are only some of the things we've been up to lately. The wild asparagus is sprouting and growing tall enough to pick so we went on another hunt. Our haul wasn't worth as much as the Easter egg find, but it was just as rewarding. There's not much else that can compare to fresh, wild asparagus. The season has just begun so I'm sure we'll be getting more, but our first harvest was enough for a meal. The plants are well established so a lot of the spears are much larger than those you find in the grocery store. I thought that meant they'd be woody, but I've since found out that it's the height of the spear, not the diameter, that determines the texture. The diameter is just an indication of the plant's age.

We've also been doing a lot with our animals since it's spring. I'll be making a separate post about them for next week.  I'll have some pictures of the babies. Who doesn't love baby animal pictures? 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review by Alex Wise - Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi
Yann Martel

Book Review submitted by Alex Wise

Usually when I read books, I stick to two or three genres. These consist of fantasy, mystery, and sometimes science fiction. So as one can expect, when I picked up this novel, I expected to either stop a few pages in or read it over the course of a couple months and never think about it again. I never expected to read it within a day of picking it up. Nor did I expect to absolutely fall in love with the author's voice and the main character's whimsical view on life.

At the beginning of the book the author somehow managed to take Pi's childhood and, although it wasn't anything too special, make it funny and interesting. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book was the explanation of Pi's name and how he got both his true name and his nickname. It was written in a way that made me pity Pi and laugh at the same time. I also loved all of the other characters. Pie's father with his businessman attitude that led him to think of a radical solution to the dangers of running a zoo with two young children, his mother's reluctant support of his religious views, and his brother's behavior towards him are some of the things that make the book relatable. Due to the fact that they weren't flat characters, when Pi lost his family I could sympathize with him much better than I would have been able to if the author had just revolved completely around Pi and left them undeveloped and undetailed.

When Pi was trapped in the lifeboat with a tiger, a hyena, a rat, and an orangutan I found myself clinging to every word and even when the book was dark and suspenseful, there was always a moment of humorous relief to make the suspense bearable. The book is like a batch of perfectly flavored salsa: Extremely intense with just enough salty-sweetness to give it a delightful tangy taste that tickles the back of your throat as it goes down.

All in all, I loved this book and I wouldn't be opposed to reading it again. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who loves a humorous story with a plot that is nothing less than epic.

To follow any more reviews from this author please go to her blog: Just Geekin' Around

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spring 2017

Let me preface this post with the disclosure that I'm scheduling posts ahead of time to be sure I have something coming up for my blog. This is, as the title suggests, a celebration of nicer weather.

I was just outside checking on my plants and can happily report the asparagus is starting to peek through the ground as well as the rhubarb. The trees are starting to bud as well as the lilac bushes.  I only hope the weather doesn't get too nasty again.

We recently got a couple of baby geese, Embden, and were given two Plymouth Rock chicks.