Sigh of Relief. Again.







Show me the person that is homeschooling children and is totally, without any doubt, confident that they are learning what they will need for the years ahead. I dare you. That person does not exist. If you do meet one then I believe they are lying.

At this point in time I have two children still at home. Three others have flown the nest. I cannot say the three that have left knew it all. They did not. They have had times of struggle. I have had times I wished that I taught them this or that. Over all though, they are fine. They all went to high school and did very well. They all got into college. One graduated. The other two have decided that it was not worth their time. Or money. They are working, living, having fun. They are bright and relatively happy.

Recently we have come to the point in my eldest daughters life where she desires to meet new people and do something a bit different than homeschool. This happened with all my sons as well. She will attend 8th grade at the Jr. High School in the fall. She already knows a few of the kids from Strings class and from softball. I believe socially she will be fine.

I had a meeting with the guidance counselor to see what classes she would be taking and to gauge the level of study from these classes. My daughter wanted to see how behind she was. This is typical too. I do not us a curriculum. My children do not want one. They are very happy with the way we do things here at home, that is until they are about to go off to school. Then they start to question whether they have gotten enough.

The guidance counselor was very nice and sent me a link to get into the curriculum of all the subjects for 7th grade. With the exception of a Holocaust unit and Poetry she was at grade level. Hmmmm. Not too shabby! So as I did with the first three I blew a sigh of relief. Again.

We will most likely read about the Holocaust more in depth this summer. We will also study some poetry. My daughter will finish her math for the year. She will be fine.

The other day I was walking with my youngest daughter out in the woods behind the school while her sister was in Strings class. I started thinking how this youngest daughter has not had the academic attention she needs or thrives. I started doubting my abilities. Again. But then I stopped. We were walking in the woods. We were seeing fungi, and flowers, and trees. She was telling me what certain trees were. We stumbled upon a hole in the ground and uprooted a woodchuck. She immediately tried to follow it and discovered five other holes around the knoll. She told me that tunnels were probably all underneath us. She is fine. She will be fine. I will still have my doubts every once in a while but for the most part, this homeschooling thing really is working.



Here, There, Everywhere









The busiest time of the year is here. No other time during the year am I being pulled in so many different directions. I am appreciating each morning here at home because by 10:30 I am out of the house and sometimes don’t return until night time. Suppers are a real challenge. They must be easy, quick and healthy! We did have hot dogs last week though. Sometimes it is the only way. One day this week we may have to grab something out!

I went to visit my son last week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and spent the night. It was so nice to see the things he is working on. I even worked on one of the boats!  Everyone was very welcoming and I was quite comfortable.

I went on a knitting retreat in Portland. I had the best time. Who wouldn’t? Yarn, knitting, wine, chocolate. We went out to eat. We knit. I learned how to double knit. We had a party with door prizes and yarn swaps. We knit. We had cocktails together and knit. It was really fun to be around so many like minded women.

Softball season has begun. The girls are on different teams. One is playing through the school, the other through the recreation department. Pretty much every night there is softball. One in the afternoon, one in the evening.

This is gardening season too. I have been out planting early things like greens and peas. I went to the Fedco tree sale and picked up some tomato seedlings. I wanted to get blueberry bushes to replace the ones that were damaged this year but they were all out! My asparagus is up and the garlic too. Next week strawberries are being delivered! So excited about that.

We are trying to keep up on our homeschooling too so we don’t have so much to catch up on during the summer. Both girls are on the last parts of their math. We are reading about the ancient empires right now. Just finished reading the Iliad. Now we are reading the Odyssey. We still have to finish biology. Waiting a bit for that. It is all the summer things like caterpillars and frogs. I went for a walk in the woods last week and found some owl pellets. The girls couldn’t wait to dissect those!

We have started our daily walks again. Last week we even got a bike ride in, dodging all the rain drops. Boy has it been rainy!

This weekend all my sons came home for a visit. One had just got back from a road trip out in California! I wanted to see pictures. I did and it looked like he has a wonderful time. Another son helped me put my flower garden back together. It got ripped up during some pipe work. That is how the blueberry bushes got damaged too. He helped me see that it is still pretty and all will be well.

In between all the running around I have put together a quilt block. Quilted a block or two on the picnic quilt and finished a sweater. I will show that in a future post. I have to make time for my crafts. It is for my mental health.

So things are pretty busy. I know it will settle down after softball ends. And the garden is all planted. Then I can sit outside, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax.

Yea, right.

Slowing Down

The pace of our days seem to be slowing down. It is a natural thing I suppose to slow down this time of year. I am not visiting my garden as often these days. Yes there are things out there still growing but it is a slow growth. The sun is lower in the sky and doesn’t penetrate through all the leaves that are still on the trees. It rises later and sets sooner. Once the leaves are gone the sun will be brighter here but by then the frost would have done its job. I will get out to the garden and put the hoops out soon, but not yet. The chickens are gone so that chore has been eliminated. The wood is all stacked. There are a few leaves starting to change and redden nicely. We have had a few little fires here to warm it up from a morning chill. So cozy, I couldn’t resist.


The girls are reading more.  We have spent nice days out on a blanket coloring our maps.  I am knitting more and finding lots of time at night to sew while the rest of the house listens to the Red Sox. I made a soup. Roasted a chicken. There is just a nice, slow, cozy feel to things right now. I hope it lasts a long while.



I am hoping you are finding some time to slow down and get cozy as well!



Summer Days

It really is still summer. Even though I found beautifully colored leaves up north this week while camping. Even though September has arrived. It certainly still feels like summer with the warm and (yuck) humid days.

The ocean will call me a couple more times. I still have lots to harvest in the garden. Technically the calendar does say it is still summer. So it is. But not for much longer. That is fine with me because honestly Autumn is my favorite season.

I felt like this was a good time to do a little photo recap of our summer here in Maine. We biked, hiked, swam, and just soaked it all up.






photo 1 (9)







photo 4 (8)



As you can see I worked on my tan. I got a little darker over the summer. I took a picture of the leaves I found while camping up north. It is coming. Fall that is.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Our Garden – Part 2 – Fall Garden

It is September second and fall is right around the corner. Just three short weeks away. The vegetable garden is still in full swing. It hasn’t caught wind of the impending season change. I don’t know why it hasn’t since the daylight has sure decreased.


We have been canning and freezing like crazy. The tomatoes and zucchini and squash are doing very well. My second crop of beans is coming right along and I just know next week is sure to be a time of heavy picking.



My husband made salsa recently. His famous award winning one. We didn’t make as much, since only four of us live here right now. I will be freezing tomato sauce very soon.


There is still quite a bit more to do as far as canning goes. I hate to think about it, but I still have to do more dilly beans and pickled beets!

And speaking of beets, I planted my ‘fall’ garden a few weeks ago and things are up and thriving. Even in these dry times we are having. I hate calling it a drought because it doesn’t even come close to comparing with California or other states (or countries) that are having severe droughts.


This is my third planting of beets. I planted them in a raised bed that is equipped for a hoop house to go over it when the freezing temps start. Hopefully by late November I will have fresh beets. I am hoping the second crop of beets that I planted will be harvested soon. The beets are not very big, because of the lack of water, but they are alive and still growing.




Greens, Greens, Greens. That is what is in a fall garden. They are growing. Slowly. Look at that dry soil! I even water occasionally. I am mindful of my well though, so not as much as the garden really needs.


The broccoli! I think, hope, and pray that I finally got the broccoli in on time. It is in another bed equipped for the hoops in case it gets cold before the heads mature. I have been picking off green worms lately. Sneaky little things.


On the left are the first crop of beans and on the right, the second crop. I am still getting a few stragglers from the first planting and the new ones have beans about two inches long. So, like I said, next week we pick! Yes that is a chicken behind the fence. We haven’t got the call yet for the chicken pick up. So we still have the girls for now!

So our garden is still keeping us very busy. How is yours doing?



Not Back to School

You may have heard here that my children do not attend school. At least not all day, every day. One of my daughters plays violin in a strings class during the week at the public school. Public school starts tomorrow. So strings class starts tomorrow. For us, for now, that will be it. It is still summer here. Some of the best weather days are in September. Low humidity, and sunny days are perfect for camping, bike riding and hiking. Maybe we will even get another camping trip or two in.

My girls are always learning. We don’t have to sit at the dining room table and open books and have a lesson for them to learn. In all this great weather before winter settles in we have so many opportunities to learn biology, zoology, botany, and meteorology just to name a few.


Imaginations will still be allowed to run. Houses and forts will be rebuilt and managed. ‘Businesses’ will be ventured. The cold and snowy weather of winter will be the time to come in to read, do projects together and settle into a routine of sorts.



So the feet will stay bare (and dirty), the beach-combing will continue. As always the learning, investigating, illumination, and ‘education’ will continue as well.



Monday’s Menu

Whew! what a weekend. One son came on Thursday night and stayed until Sunday night. The other two sons arrived Sunday morning and stayed all day. We had a really nice time together. There was a little work on the wood, we got it all split. We sat around talking a lot. Laughed a lot. We had a tasty lobster and steamers meal together.


A giant truckload of tree length logs got turned into cut up logs.


With the help of a gas powered splitter and two strong people the logs turn into a pile of split wood.


Which then gets stacked.


What a stack! You can’t tell by the photo but there is still a lot more to stack. It will get done. Before winter.

By night fall we were all tired. I served pie and vanilla ice cream. I made a four berry pie (strawberry, blueberry, raspberries, and blackberries) with a lattice top crust. It was so good. All but one piece got eaten up.


Here is this week’s menu!

Monday: Chef’s salad

Tuesday: Pork chops, summer squash & zucchini sauted

Wednesday: Angel hair pasta with tomato sauce

Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken on grill, brown rice and broccoli

Friday: Steak on grill, sweet potatoes, salad

Saturday: Bean, rice, tomato quesadillas

Sunday: Camping