Monday, December 31, 2012

Assignment: The Pirates of Penzance -- posted by Mom

Lo and behold the 1983 Linda Ronstadt/Kevin Kline version is on Netflix as well!  Also Gilbert and Sullivan.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Assignment: The Mikado -- posted by Mom

The 1939 version is on Netflix, and I'd like for you all to see it. It's a wonderful Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. You'll love Gilbert's wit, but you must pay careful attention or you'll miss a lot, that's why I'm looking forward to watching it again with whoever still needs to see it.

Gilbert and Sullivan:

Also, I enjoyed reading the reviews on IMDb.

Here's the Wikipedia link:

Also, check out this page on D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Homeschool provided by Netflix and Wikipedia, lol.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Overheard -- posted by Mom

Richard, with a great Christmas idea for his dad: "Hey, why don't you sing that partridge in a pantry song?"

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Have To Tell On Myself -- posted by Bill's Wife

Months ago Bill called me while he was out and about fulfilling his Saturday honey-do list, to ask me the simply question of how many sweet potato slips I wanted to plant.  I was in the heat of busyness, burdened by too many demands, when the phone rang. I remember feeling angst from but another question that day so I blurted out an answer just to get off the phone.  Mind you, I didn't bother to ask how many came in a bunch, or bother to determine how many we would actually need.  I just hastily made a command decision, barked out an amount, with no information.

We are currently curing well over 500 sweet potatoes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Francisco Paz -- posted by Momma


This is Recordandote ("Remembering You", I think?), the piece Francisco played as a farewell to your Aunt Mary when he was leaving St. Louis.  I love to hear her tell of how he lifted her off her feet after playing this for her.

They met when he was in St. Louis attending the music conservatory.  He was playing at Union Station at the center of the grand salon on the 9 ft concert grand piano.  They bonded like mother and son.


And, by the way, it is not his father Papio's composition.  I confused it with something else.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Post! -- posted by Mom

Wow, it's been ages since we posted anything.  I had no idea it's been that long.  Of course, autumn is a busy time with hunkering down on studies once the summer gardens are harvested and pulled up for replanting.

The winter gardens are now planted (save another row of mustard greens and some more carrots) thanks to Sarah "Hardy" Grace and her compost-and-manure-shoveling sidekick, Johnny "Laurel" Allen.  What a pair they are!  I've laughed myself silly listening to their lighthearted banter whenever something goes wrong.  Tongue-In-Cheek Sarah automatically blames John for everything, and John automatically takes the blame for everything.  You should hear his mea maxima culpa for something like... too much rain.

Anyway, I'm here to post a link for Spencer (mostly) to an op-ed regarding last night's presidential debate:
Hopefully now that we're seated at our desks in earnest, we'll have more to share on this here family cork board.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Black-Hearted Irish -- posted by John

This song is sung by my friend Mrs. Sarah.  Here's the description under the video:

"A satirical folk song about a professional Musician and his passion for Guinness!

Lyrics written and sung by the Musician's Wife, Music and melody written and played by the Musician in question!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swimming Holes -- posted by John

Here are 60 or so pictures from our trip to Sliding Rock in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sliding Rock is a 60 foot waterfall slide that drops into a deep pool. We also went to Looking Glass Falls but we left the camera in the van so I'm posting a video from online.

We dream of going camping for a week or so and hitting all the swimming holes up there. It was so much fun, and man were we sore the next day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Contra Dancing -- posted by Mom

We had heard of contra dancing, but none of the kids had been particularly interested in it until last weekend.  A friend convinced Will to round up the older kids and they went Saturday night.  To my surprise (and theirs), they had a blast!  They were out until the wee hours with all these people they met.  Oddly enough, the next morning we were visiting a church and many of the people they were hanging out with the night before attend that very church!  They didn't miss seeing each other since they were all dragging into the late 11am service.  Haha.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Well... we're not totally averse to Five Guys as you can see. -- posted by Mom

Is it still considered a small burger when topped with every single topping such that it all can't stay within the bun?  And yes, she devoured every bite.

Five hours later and she's no worse for the wear, and probably lost weight. Every time I see those boney clavicles, I want to snap her "like a chicken" à la Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rahm Emanuel: “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values." -- posted by Mom

Ya think?

I woke up to a Drudge headline linking to THIS.

God bless Truett Cathy's son, Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, for taking a godly stand in this perverse generation. For awhile now Chick-fil-A has been the only fast food restaurant we feel good about patronizing.

Tim Hawkins' Chick-fil-A song with Truett and Dan Cathy in the audience:

New Chick-fil-A song:

Original Chick-fil-A song with well over 3 million hits:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Denver Airport -- posted by Mom

Here's the link with pictures (slideshow) of the murals at the Denver Airport:

(Visitors, this is related to a conversation the family had during Bible time this morning.  I'm not promoting any particular conspiracy theory that may be promoted on the link... except that there's certainly something rotten in Den... ver.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sally's New 'Do -- posted by Mom

Up close?  Farther back?  I couldn't decide, so here you go.

I had to force her to take those pictures, especially after I publicly made fun of her for taking the last one... which I also forced her to take. Haha.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'll Fly Away -- posted by Momma

I've been charged with making sure you know this was when Richard was a little boy.

While we're on it, you should also know I had nothing to do with his hairdo or Clemson shirt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Garden & Gun -- posted by Mom



Here is a cover sampling of my new favorite Southern lifestyle magazine.  It's out of Charleston and has been around since 2007-- don't know why I'm just now discovering it.

The New York Times didn't like it.  Well, boo-hoo gives a rip what the New York Times thinks!  Made me embrace it all the more.  The name alone probably confounded them.

The publisher, Rebecca Darwin, with 20 years of publishing experience in New York, hails from South Carolina.  Her response to the criticism was, "There are 40 million people that enjoy hunting and fishing; when you get outside of New York City, there is a whole other world out there.” 


Garden & Gun

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Compulsary Education -- posted by Mom
 Briton Riviére 1887

Assignments 7/10/12 -- posted by Momma

Here's the article on Lew Rockwell your father mentioned at supper last week:  Dirtying up our Diets by Joseph Mercola

There are a number of interesting videos linked to that article with information on nutrition in the wisdom of traditional cooking à la Sally Fallon, as opposed to the unhealthy fad diets that abound.  We know from what the Lord has already taught us, that a lot of physical and mental illness can be healed through good nutrition, but here's some good genuine science (as opposed to "science falsely so called") to back it up.

Obviously the best wisdom on nutrition comes from those traditions passed down through the ages.  The Lord walked with Adam and Eve and their children in those days, and taught them directly.  There's a comedian who has a bit wondering about who, in the beginning, had the brave idea to eat that white oval that comes out of the chicken's rear end.  Without wanting to spoil the hilarity of such comedic pondering, the fact is the Lord taught them to eat that white oval.  He taught them how to eat it raw and how to cook it!  So, in addition to what we glean from the scriptures about food, what the Lord enlightens us on at the mo, we can also look to those ancient traditions that have been passed down.

Look at these articles so we can discuss them soon:

Disclaimer:  I'm not promoting the GAPS Diet, per se, but rather the principles such as incorporating probiotics, fermented foods, animal fat, etc.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating lecture below!  I think y'all will too.  I don't know why it won't paste up closer to this sentence though, haha.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Should Be MY Theme Song -- posted by Sarah Grace

... Aaand it just so happens our Silver Queen is ripe.

This Should Be Our Theme Song... -- posted by Sarah Grace

'Cept we ain't negro.

Cornbread and Butterbeans Lyrics

Cornbread and butterbeans and you across the table,
Eatin' dem beans and makin' love as long as I am able,
Hoein' corn and cotton too, and when the day is over,
Ride the mule, and cut the fool, and love again all over.

Goodbye. Don't you cry. I'm going to Louisiana,
To buy a coon dog and a big fat hog and marry Suzianna.
Sing-song, ding-dong, I’ll take a trip to China,
Cornbread and butterbeans, and back to North Carolina.


Wearin' shoes and drinkin' booze it goes against the Bible.  A necktie will make you die and cause you lots of trouble.  Streetcars and whiskey bars and kissin' pretty women.  Women yeah that's the end of a terrible beginning.


I can't read and don't care and education is awful.
Raisin' heck and writin' checks, it ought to be unlawful.
Silk hose and frilly clothes is just a waste of money.
Come with me and stay with me and say you'll be my honey.


Repeat Chorus

Thursday, July 5, 2012

That's Usin' Your Noodle! -- posted by Momma

Here are some pictures of our watermeal farm. It's not an intentional farm, mind you. Watermeal is an invasive pond weed like duckweed (but worse) that can take over the surface of a pond and wreak havoc with the ecosystem. We had it last year and maybe the year before, but this year it reached epic proportions (a couple of inches thick) and I began to dread a fish kill.

About mid-spring it starts to cover the surface of the pond making it look like a golf course through summer and then dies back in the fall. I didn't pay it too much attention, other than complain about the eyesore of it all, as I was preoccupied with the rest of life. (Have y'all noticed that for a family always venturing into new projects, we can't manage to do two things at one time? In fact, we can't even blog and live life at the same time, lol!)

Anyway, I had googled up and found out that the herbicidal chemicals we're not even sure we want to use are thousands of dollars and there's no guarantee they will eradicate the problem the first year! Needless to say with Bill's car and our air conditioner going kaput, that's not gonna happen just yet unless the Lord orders it.  You know, the best part about being free from care is actually casting it all on the Lord and, well... not caring!  I wish I'd had this freedom years ago when I wasted all that time on pride of life.  Style and image were soooo important, lol.  At the time I would have denied it if anyone asked me if I loved money, since I wasn't really a big spender, but I sure did care about our family's status, haha!  Nevermore.  Not me, sister, free at last!

So, while we get educated (there's a lot of misinformation out there) and decide which direction we should go (chemicals, beneficial bacteria, tilapia, etc.), we decided to scoop it off in the meantime. I know it sounds like a Mike Rowe dirty job, and I guess it is, but we like being outside and we've made it fun.  Actually, it didn't become fun until I quit criticizing them for being boneheads before they found their groove in booming it, but since then, I've enjoyed laughing at their jokes, work stories, and listening to them perform numbers from Les Miz and Fiddler on the Roof!  Besides, I love being on the pond.  I love the James Earl Jones granddaddy bull frogs and the papery dragonflies and the sunbathing turtles soaking it up on logs.  And those splashy fish startling us by nearly jumping in the boat as if to thank us for our efforts... and the oxygen.  I love the breeze and how it ripples the water.  And I love how the harmony of the crickets and toads lull me to sleep in the evenings.  I just love our ugly, dirty old pond with all it's music and activity, just like the "Kiss the Girl" scene from The Little Mermaid (although technically that was a lagoon, I think), and I especially love how the kids have grown up like Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns.  Even Sarah would dangle her bare feet from a tree over the pond as she made her way through the Great Books.

You can see in the pictures the boom we made with 30 pool noodles from Dollar Tree. We go out in the flat bottom boat, make a circle dragging the long string of noodles behind us, and then catch the tail of the boom. Whoever is in the back of the boat, the paddler, takes the end noodles, one in each hand, and slowly pulls the watermeal toward the boat. It gets thick and wrinkly and we scoop it up with screens and pool skimmers. Then we plop it in the boat until we are on the verge of sinking, go ashore, fill the wheelbarrow, and tote it all to the compost pile. It's a beautiful system.

Unfortunately our watermeal has a seemingly supernatural growth rate.  In fact, the neon green color that doesn't show up in the pictures (mommy memo: after car and air conditioner buy the child a big-girl lens for her camera) gives it an otherworldly glow reminding me of Marie Curie's pocketful of radioactive isotopes.  Seriously.  And even though there's still a film on the surface of the pond, it's thin enough for light to penetrate it, which is the most important thing.

Wow, while I was writing this they finished fixing the air conditioner!  We didn't suffer too much even on those 107 degree days (we have fans and the unit worked at times).  We like to keep the windows open anyway and we hadn't even turned on the air conditioner but for a few times before it quit working, so we are as acclimated to the heat as I suppose we can be while living on the screen door to hell.  It's not just high temps here but also the outrageous humidity.  Since we're outside a lot tending the garden anyway, we're learning to do things like eat lots of watermelon and drink cucumber lemonade (oh yeah, delicious new recipe), which helps hydrate and keep us cool.  So all in all it was no biggie.

Oh, I forgot to say Happy Independence Day yesterday.  I don't know why.  I was here babysitting Margot while the rest of the family made the traditional pilgrimage to the Peach Festival to eat peach ice cream, listen to the bands, and watch the fireworks show.  Margot had surgery about a week ago due to an abscessed puncture wound that had to be scraped and cleaned and stitched up.  I don't actually buy that it was a puncture wound to begin with, but whatever, I kept her company and watched documentaries on Netflix.  Bill, evidently feeling sorry for me, swung by Food Lion before work this morning and brought home some Breyer's peach ice cream.  It's just not the 4th without it... maybe that's why I forgot about it until now.  Besides, we don't much feel like The Land of the Free anymore... but that's a whole nother post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nutrition -- posted by Mom


It's no secret that the US food supply is lacking in nutrition.  Heck, there's an entire category on Netflix documentaries dedicated to food.  The organic movement made us aware of how harmful pesticides are to our health, and films like Food Inc., Fresh, Dirt! The Movie etc., have raised awareness of the whole GMO issue, and how heirloom vegetables and fruit planted in healthy remineralized soil is the way to go.  Of course, heirloom produce is rarely available, and even when it is, you can't be sure what care the farmer has provided, as organic certification doesn't address any of that.

That's why we decided to grow our own food.  It's affordable, healthy, delicious, and makes for a wholesome family hobby.  We've always been drawn to that kind of lifestyle.  The ideal pancake breakfast for us is made from freshly ground 100% whole wheat pastry flour, eggs from our free range chickens, fresh goat's milk, juicy blueberries from our blueberry bushes, buttered and drizzled with 100% real maple syrup.  It just hits the spot.

Unfortunately with all the family tumult over the last five or so years we let some things go as we were inexperienced with handling trials while also maintaining livestock and a garden.  I still don't know how to have livestock bred while also dealing with life and death.  Surely it's possible, farmers have managed it for ages.  Of course most farmers aren't also employed by a bank.  And since Bill is in finance and travels a good bit, we can't even take advantage of banker's hours during the week!

Nevertheless, some of the boys are committed to tending the farm because they get it.  And they love it.  Even if it turns out not to be their "thing" when they're grown, I have the satisfaction of knowing my kids can grow their own food for their families if need be.

We have a farmer friend, James, at who offered this concise blog entry on the matter back in 2009: It’s Offical: Supermarket Produce = LOLZ

Also, check this out: You Say ‘Tomato’, I Say ‘No Flavor’: Did Color Kill the Tomato Taste?

I left this post in order to go out with the kids (Will even pulled up from work just in time) to pick our first harvest of corn for supper.  WE BEAT THE RACCOONS TO IT!  Yippee!

June Days -- posted by Sarah Grace

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Day At The Zoo -- posted by Richard

We went to the zoo. I rode a pony. We had a delicious lunch at the farmer's market. We bought a basket of peaches.

The end.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ReallyReallyRidiculouslyGoodLookingFarmGirl... -- posted by Mom

... is in love with having more and more plants and seeds.

And kittens.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

They're So Fluffy!!! -- posted by Sarah Grace

So I've FINALLY taken some pictures of the kittens! I've wanted to do this for weeks now, but they were originally too skittish to even attempt a phone shot, much less a real camera.  But now that Poppyseed moved them down to the house a few days ago, they've become quite comfortable around us (thankfully the clicking of my shutter doesn't bother them either), and I was able to take some up-close pics at playtime.

This is Harvey... named after Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, from Batman.  Spencer and James are totally responsible for that name.

You see the kitten in the front with the orange tuft on its forehead?  TinTin.

This is Kiwi... he loves to polish our shoes.

His name is Fluffles.  Richard named him Fluffles.  Richard has "dibs" on Fluffles.

Fluffles and Kiwi wrestling on my lap.

Momma taking a nap while I babysit.

Fluffles loves to lounge on our laps.  There are way too many L's in that sentence.

We haven't named her yet, so we just call her The Little Brown One in the meantime.


Supper time.

Daddy's home!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ladybug Fun -- posted by George

Mom and Sarah go out to check the garden every morning, and they always look closely to see if everything is all right.  A few days ago, they found what they thought were clusters of what looked like ant hills on the peas and beans, but it wasn't. Ants were herding bugs called aphids, because the aphids eat the plants and produce nectar that the ants eat! So the ants collect the aphids into one place, and they pile on top of them to protect them and to milk the nectar from the aphids.

We have two organic methods of getting rid of the aphids and the ants. One is neem oil, which makes the aphids act drunk so they forget to eat and mate. The second method is to order a bag of 1,500 ladybugs!

Yesterday the whole family went out and released the ladybugs in both gardens.  Normally when you order ladybugs, some of them die during the trip.  But amazingly, all of ours LIVED!  And even though they didn't immediately start eating the aphids (they were waking up from being in the refrigerator after their trip), it sure didn't take long. I was holding the bag of ladybugs, and lots of them started crawling up my arms!

A couple of the ladybugs started to mate... so they must not ALL be ladies.

Here's the ladybug that crawled up onto my neck... even I'm getting some ladybug love!