Friday, October 20, 2006

Sit, have a cuppa'

Saunter on over and have a cup of Tea with Ren. She has some wonderful comments on community.

ALL are Welcome!

We spent a lovely morning with our homeschool group. It was games day. Everyone brought their favorite games. I'd say there were somewhere between 20 and 25 children playing happily all morning. Even tho the group has had its ups and downs the last little bit I still feel so good when we have days like that. As I have said before I haven't had too many problems with 'others' about homeschooling. Whether with the 'schooling' world or other facets of the homeschooling world. I knew early on a group like SOFH would be the only way to go so I never tried the religious groups. I have too many faults with 'religion'. Religion is so different from spirit. I was reminded yesterday of how lucky we are to have SOFH. Every now and then a new member will join us from another group. Yesterday, I met a lovely woman who had been a member of one of those religious groups. She left because the 'Christians' of the group were arguing about who should be allowed in their group. Catholics shouldn't be allowed because they aren't Christians. Episcoplaians weren't Christians and so on. In my book no one can decide who is or isn't Christian. My brand of 'Christianity' is so far different from most tho that doesn't make me any less of a good person. Being a 'Christian' is being honest and kind and loving. Guess what folks Catholics and Episcopalians can be all these things - just like Muslims, Buddists, Native Americans, Atheists.... I am so glad I have found a group where it doesn't matter your religion, or your ethniticity, creed or even educational ideas. Here's to more great gatherings!


It is somewhat hard to tell from the pic due to the light but those two creatures are a frog and a dragon. The boys have been taking a theater class the last few weeks. Their last gathering was Wednesday and they put on a small play. The boys enjoyed it so much they want to take the next set of classes.

I found it very odd that out of the 10 children only 2 parents showed up to see the fruits of their labor. I see this as an example of the blessings of homeschooling. I am not saying those parents don't care about their children, I am sure they do, tho living the 'schooled' life sure does get them used to letting someone else raise their children. I can't say that all those missing parents didn't have valid reasons for not attending but 7 out of 10 children didn't get big mamma/papa hugs after their hard work!

As for a little more Thespian work I am back at ETSU this fall as a standardized patient. I am enjoying the work. This group is so different from last year. Last year's group, with some exceptions, did not start out as communicators - hence the importance of the program. This year it seems like most have excellent skills which makes the scenerios go quicker.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bit o' Frost

We have had a bit of frost the last couple of mornings. The idea is settling in that winter is on its way. I have been putting off the idea of a fire or turning on the heat tho soon I will have to do one or the other. This morning it was 61 degrees in the house tho it has quickly warmed up with the sun. Now most folks would question why we haven't turned on the heat yet. Tho I do have at least one friend who would say "61? Yep, thats about right." The obvious answer would be why turn on the heat when it is cold, while we are sleeping, just for a few hours. I do have to think that it is partly that wonderful, crisp feeling I get when I get up in the morning and think about a hot cup of coffee and the wonders of fall. Mostly our woods are full of tulip populars. If the combination of cold and water isn't just right the leaves turn brown and fall before much beauty is seen. We do have a few hard woods that brighten the landscape and we got an eyeful of beauty fall while in Pennsylvania. So, with more wood than I can burn in a season out back and a full tank of propane bring on whatever winter has to offer. I will be glad to put up the mower for a few months!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Little Devils Enjoying Their Den

Take You Ridin' in My Car, Car

I love to travel! I love being home too tho there is just something exilireating about being on the open road. Since M is now a travelin' man we have some nice opportunities to get out and see what the world has to offer. This past weekend we headed off to Bloomsburg, PA. Bloomsburg is northeast of Harrisburg and pretty much out in the middle of nowhere (no offense to the middle of nowhere as we live there too!). A nice little college town that was full of wonderful weather and pleasant people. We intended to see lots of historical things over the weekend as we had our pick of places that were close: Philadelphia, New York City, D.C. We chose Gettysburg for our first day. Another lovely little town. It was somewhat cold and overcast and, as in everything, we were on a budget so we purchased a '2 hour tour' CD and had quite a nice afternoon driving the battlefields and stopping at our leisure. The boys liked Devil's Den the best. Pretty much just a big boulder field where the southern snipers kept the nearby union forces at bay til the end of the battle.

We decided to head to Philly for the weekend. Here we saw once again how Homeland Security is wasting our tax dollars! After standing in line for 1 1/2 hours to see the Liberty Bell we realized the hold up was for security! Big signs everywhere about what is not allowed inside. Now I am all for watching out for suspicious characters and such but the process by which they do this is ridiculous. Of course, it hadn't crossed our mind we would have to be searched and M always travels with a pocket knife - or in this case 3! So while we are busily stripping off jackets and going through the metal detector our backpack sails right through without a hint of knives traveling inside. No, the security people spend an extra five minutes patting M down because the buttons on his overalls sent their detectors up a wall. But we finally did get to see the Liberty Bell and went from there to Independence Hall, Ben Franklin's musuem and Elfreth's Alley. We had planned on stopping for the evening in New Hope. In the 1920's many artists fled conservative Philly to a community more in tune to their own needs. Near here is also where Washington crossed the Deleware. We were unaware there are NO HOTELS in any of these small areas and our search for lodging for the night took us quite awys away from New Hope. Which causes us to look for other attractions the next day. We headed to Reading and found Goggleworks - a wonderful community co-op of artists. A couple of glass artists were in the glass studio and all of us were fascinated for an hour watching them make glass mugs. Definitely worth missing our planned stops. Another place we stopped in on the way home was Centralia. About 40 years ago, due to some trash catching fire, the coal mines under the town caught fire and as they were unable to put the fire out it is still burning today. The roads and driveways are still there tho most of the houses are gone. I would expect it would seem like an eerie, surreal step into the Twilight Zone if one didn't know the history of the 'town'. If you follow the link you will see a picture of the town 'today'. I am not sure when 'today' was tho I can say not even that little bit is left now.

Monday we the boys and I headed off to see a few covered bridges. Being that we have one covered bridge near us I had always assumed there were few left. Guess maybe that is only around here as there are 24 just in the county where M was working! We managed to see a handful including the only twin covered bridges left in the country. I should say they 'were' as one had been demolished in a flood this past summer. The county is in the process of deciding if the million dollar price tag to rebuild is worth it. The coutryside is lovely there. Very neat, lots of small bedroom communities. Reminds me a little of home tho without the bigger mountains.

A couple of odd things about the area. Tho the weather was perfect all weekend we rarely saw people out and about in the small communities. No one sitting on their front porch, no one fishing on the many lakes or the rivers, no bikers. We are used to seeing people walking all over the place on beautiful fall weekends. Surely they didn't all go to the Eagles game. Another strange thing were the signs on the highways. Huge signs warning you of aggressive drivers and drunks. Everywhere you looked there was signage about these two groups of people. Made it look like PA has a corner on the market of bad drivers and one was going to jump out at you on every corner. We didn't see one.