Rainy Day Daybook

For today… Wednesday, July 29, 2008

Outside my window… it is, as you have probably already guessed, raining. It’s a welcome rain though. We’ve been baking with temperatures here lately, and the rain always seems so soothing.

I can hardly keep up with the goings on outside my little window here. Since last we visited so much has happened in the natural world…literally *right* outside our window. I think I told you that Mama Killdeer successfully hatched 3 of the 4 medium size-ish eggs, right? They’re happily foraging about. Then, Mama Mockingbird decided to nest right in our crepe myrtle just outside the kitchen window in the front gardens. That’s why she’s been so severely scolding our cats! She hatched her 3 little eggs. They all grew so quickly and two of them moved on, but one was not ready to leave Mama as soon as the others. In fact….the children showed up at the back door holding her one morning!!!!! Ugh…lesson in being gentle with nature….not picking up wildlife….observe first. So after a frantic search to find out that mama birds do not indeed abandon their nestlings after they’ve been touched by human hands we placed her back in the nest. She kept escaping the nest and was unable to fly, so we kept putting her back because of the two cats on the ground. Mama Mockingbird kept feeding her, and I’m happy to say she’s now left the nest for good and Mama Mockingbird has now left the gardens in peace. The cats are grateful not to be scolded for their morning sip of water from the pond! What a blessing for the children to be able to observe nature right outside the kitchen window.

And, I know I shouldn’t go on here….I know you’re all wondering what in the world I’m wearing!!! LOL!!! But…I simply must tell you of our other adventure!! Grandpa accidentally disturbed a skink nest when he was helping Grandma transplant some flowers. He immediately brought 11 skink eggs to us in a paper cup. We were concerned they wouldn’t hatch – apparently there is a little air bubble in the soft skink egg and if disturbed or turned the wrong way, they won’t hatch. We didn’t hold out much hope, but pressed forward. We delicately dropped the eggs one at a time into a small bowl of water hoping the air bubble portion of the egg would rise to the top. Carefully, we moved them over to our little plastic aquarium nestling the eggs delicately in the moist soil. We covered them with dirt, set them on the window ledge right outside the learning room window, and misted the soil daily. A week and a half later ALL 11 BLUE TAILED SKINKS HATCHED! It was such a joyous day here. We immediately scratched what was left of lessons and went out for the rest of the day. 11 little blue tailed skinks! I simply can’t wait to show you….so indulge me for a moment and then I’ll tell you what I’m wearing today, I promise!

And the release next to our pond…

I am thankful for… these very quiet weeks we’ve had. We have been blessed with days at home. All our outside the home commitments have been managed in a way that has translated into weeks of quiet and time AT home. We do have Mass once a week and try to go to the library and appointments on that day, but the rest of our week has been blissful. I know this is only a season, and likely a short one, but I’m so very thankful for it. I don’t feel rushed. The kids feel free to explore and create at home and so do I. It’s a delight and I’m jealously guarding this quiet time for as long as I can!

From the kitchen… sigh…I just realized I forgot to take my roast out of the freezer yesterday….another sigh. I’m not sure what I’ll do for dinner now. Blast! I was looking forward to that roast! I wonder if it would thaw sufficiently while it was cooking and still have time to cook? Hmmmm….may look into that!

I am wearing… finally!!! I know you’re all waiting with much anticipation! LOL!!! I am wearing a blue linen skirt, a cream 3/4 sleeve shirt and bare feet. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s rainy and humid out so my hair is curly and a little out of hand – I’ll go grab a clip for it soon! And, how shall I describe my apron? It’s a half apron tying around back and it’s vintage (that’s a pretty word for old). I picked it up at a favorite flea market the last time I was visiting with Mom. We’re both pretty sure it was made from the material of those old flour sacks. It makes me happy to wear a testament to frugality. It is constructed of panels of alternating solid cream and checkered blue with rose pink colored flowers. Looks perfect with the blue of my skirt and the cream of my shirt.

I am reading… St. Benedict and St. Therese, the Little Rule and the Little Way. I haven’t read too much in it lately because I’ve also been reading and assessing the text for Latin Alive Book 1 – Sweet Pea’s Latin program for the year…and some extremely delightful natural history books! My, but they are treasures! I’ll have to do a little review on some of them sometime soon! So, typical me….I’m reading about 10 books at once!

I am hearing… the windchimes softly singing on the front porch, and the humminbirds voraciously dashing to the feeder. The rain has lessened since I started writing, but there is a gentle breeze still.

Looking to the rhythm of the liturgical year… I need to pull my August file out and make some plans. I haven’t done that yet. I have been thoroughly enjoying Meredith’s book, Mondays With Mary and including some plans from her book on our iCal plans. Sweet Pea and I will pull together some lists and plans from that for the month. And, Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things has an absolutely delightful set of liturgical tea plans that focus on simplicity. I have added those to my liturgical year files – I love simple and lovely liturgical year plans!

The actual month of August contains one of my favorite holy days – the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – we’ll plan something very special for that day! August is full liturgically – this is definitely a month for simplicity!

In our learning spaces… I’m so relieved and happy to tell you we’re humming along! We’ve nearly a month in and that feels good! Yesterday, the children asked to set up the science corner with the microscope. We did just that! And it was like Christmas morning opening up and setting out all the treasures in our old science stuff box. As a child, I grew up in a lab. My dad is a microbiologist and my mom is/was a lab tech (she’s a happy mom at home now, but you still won’t catch her without a sharpie in her apron pocket ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) – my toys were petri dishes, agar, incubators, beakers, and miles and miles of rubber tubing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our playground was the empty conference room and those great high back leather chairs that, if pushed with enough force, would race down the length of the hall at the medical school my dad taught at. Such wonderful memories…but I digress…back to the science shelf….mom was, as you can imagine, the fortunate recipient of many discarded and excess science materials from my dad’s labs, and when her days of homeschooling came to a close, I inherited them all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sweet Pea and Sparkly had so much fun setting things up…Sparkly was overjoyed because he found a counting clicker in the box (used for counting colonies of bacteria). It was a delightful afternoon of setting materials out. Today, we’re looking at an old butterfly wing under the scope!

Around the house… I WILL fold all the laundry today…really…I will!

I will claim a moment for myself… hmmmm…haven’t got any date nights planned for a little while. I’m thinking of a haircut soon though…maybe a trip to a flea market! Those sound like delightful thoughts to dwell on as “maybes”.

A few plans for the rest of the week… Well other than that mountain of unfolded laundry – I hope to get upstairs this weekend and put away some outgrown children’s clothes in the attics. There are a few baby things that Doodlebug is no longer using that need to be stored away in attic spaces. I really hope to get to that…and my sewing basket is overflowing and that is bothering me! I need to do some sewing! 2 of Sweet Pea’s church dresses need mending! And creating and sewing are so fulfilling! I really need to rethink our sewing spaces.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

Isn’t that enchanting? Doesn’t that little opening in the thicket just beg you to go on through and see what’s on the other side? These were taken on our most recent nature walk on Grandpa and Grandma’s land. We went through the forests, along the bamboo side of the property, down to the river, played on the river bank and back again. So many treasures from this nature walk!

She had a hat…I promise she did. She wouldn’t wear it! She was too busy being delighted by the cool water to tolerate anything on her head!

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. I would love to hear your assessment of the Latin Alive book when you get a chance. Also, I saw some of the Pierson books (Among the Pond People) at the conference but didn't get a chance to look through them.

  2. Glad the science box “treasures” are back in use after years of waiting for young hands and minds to find new ways to use them.
    Love to all,

  3. This is too late for your roast but, if you didn't discover already, you CAN cook a frozen roast in the oven and it will cook beautifully! Just make sure that you set the heat at a lower temperature so that you don't have an overcooked outside with an undercooked inside.

    Another idea for frozen roast is, if it's still morning, to put it in the slow-cooker. Cover the roast completely with boiling water and cook for about 8 hours. Your roast will be done and taste great!

  4. Oh, Susan!!!! I'm so glad you commented because I meant to come back and update!!!

    I did exactly as you suggested – I put my frozen roast in the dutch oven at a slightly lower temp, added in everything I normally add, and cooked it all day! It was delicious and turned out beautifully!! In fact, my husband said it was one of the best roasts I've ever made!! How 'bout that?

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