Archive for the ‘These People Crack Me Up’ Category

day fourteen: all about weeds

January 13, 2017 @ 3:41 pm | Filed under: Books, Family, Fun Learning Stuff, These People Crack Me Up

naturejournalpages

1.

A bonus post for today! But this one’s mostly for me: another little addition to our family collection of All About Weeds stories.

Strangely, I can’t find the first All About Weeds story in my archives. I’m sure I must have written about it here! But maybe not. Maybe it was pre-Bonny Glen, a tale posted to a homeschooling message board instead. I suppose it must have been, now I think about it: my Amazon history tells me I purchased the book on July 13, 2002. And it entered our lives as a library book some time before that. Which fact (its being a library book) provides the drama of the first anecdote, actually.

2.

We’d moved to Virginia only a few months earlier (on New Year’s Day, 2002, as a matter of fact). When spring arrived, O glorious mid-Atlantic spring with its abundance of dogwood and redbud blossoms, I was in a mania to know every single plant growing in our yard. Among the books I checked out from the adorable train-depot-turned-library in our little town was a rather dusty tome about weeds. I did say every plant.

I flipped through the weed book but I found it rather dry, and besides, I was sidetracked by what would become a years-long obsession with Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. (Chip, meet block.) All About Weeds sat neglected (so I thought) on a table for a day or two, and then I returned it to the library.

Soon after, Jane (age sevenish, I think? heavens, that was a long time ago) came to me, came to me all in a dither. Where, she begged most earnestly to know, WHERE was that fascinating weeds book?

When I told her I’d returned it to the library, she was crushed. It was the BEST BOOK EVER, I was informed (in tones conveying, yes, both capitals and italics). Full of the MOST INTERESTING information. 

And as my shopping history testifies, so persuaded was I of the merits of this superior tome that I purchased a copy for keeps.

3.

The best and perfect weed book makes a number of appearances on this blog, even if its origin story has been lost to the archives of some distant Yahoogroup. “Bonny Glen Firsts” (published in 2011) tells me it was in fact the second book I ever mentioned here:

Second book mentioned (though not by name): All About Weeds, a Jane favorite for years. Seriously.

(Ah, there you go. Not mentioned by name. I’ll have to dig up that post.)

I find it mentioned in a March, 2006 post called “The Tide Is Going Out“—an early exploration of my tidal homeschooling concept.

The other day a neighbor asked me if we take a spring break. I laughed and said, “Yes—the whole spring!”

We’ve had such a pleasant time the last couple of months, immersing ourselves in some good books and other forms of study. Now the outdoors is beckoning, and our daily rhythms are shifting. Spring is calling us, urging us out of the house. We are a bunch of Mary Lennoxes, unable to resist the rustlings and chirpings, the spikes of green, the gypsy winds.

I keep finding cups of water on the counter with tiny blossoms floating like fairy lily pads: the first bluets and starry white chickweed flowers. Chickweed, so Jane tells me, is an edible plant and quite tasty. (“Like sugar snap pea pods, Mom.”) She has begged me not to uproot the vast patch of it that has taken over a stretch of our backyard mulch bed, just uphill from the strawberries. Another weed, a purple-flowered plant the children call “cow parsley,” is popping up all over the lawn, much to their delight: they suck the nectar from the itty bitty orchid-like blossoms and proclaim it better than the honeysuckle they’ll seek out later in the summer.

Jane, who had been binging on math during the past three weeks, seems to have shifted her attentions to botany. I find myself tripping over her tattered copy of All About Weeds everywhere I go, and upstairs, the microscope is much in demand for the viewing of leaf cross sections. An experiment involving scarlet runner beans has become the centerpiece on the kitchen table.

So there we are, four years later, and Weeds is still in constant use. It seems wee 2002 Jane hadn’t been overstating her affections.

A month after that, April 2006: “Things to Do While Your Mother Is in the Hospital” (delivering your baby sister). This one—which is the post that sparked today’s story and this entire trip down memory lane—made me laugh pretty hard. (Not at poor Rose’s plight. At The Book’s role in her recovery.)

If you are seven…

…get stung under the chin by a wasp.

If you are ten…

…recall a passage from that scintillating classic, All About Weeds, describing the sting-soothing properties of yarrow, and concoct a poultice of newly emerging yarrow leaves with which to soothe your little sister’s wasp sting.

Well done, young Jane!

4.

Which brings me to today. Huck’s birthday post keeps turning up melt-my-heart tidbits in the “related posts” widget at the bottom of the page. I was clicking along a little baby-picture rabbit trail when I happened upon the “things to do” post above. Rilla, who was aww-ing over my shoulder at her adorable baby brother’s toddler antics, was transfixed by this glimpse at what her big sisters were up to on the day she was born. She read the post breathlessly, pausing only to interject “Oh, I love that book!” at the bit about “that scintillating classic.”

The chip doesn’t fall far from, er, the older chip.

5.

We found the book, you know, during last week’s grand shelf-cleaning. It has been returned to its permanent spot on Jane’s bookcase.

I think he means “with affection”

December 30, 2016 @ 9:12 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Huck: What’s a word starting with S that means love? Oh, I know! SMOTHER!

 

 

Planning ahead

November 2, 2016 @ 1:27 pm | Filed under: Family, These People Crack Me Up

Scott: I got you a present.
(demonstrates opening a soda can with magical doohickey)
 
Me: That’s genius. You’re a genius.
 
Scott: See, that’s what you’ll think every time you use it. ‘He was a damn genius.’
 
Me: …why am I thinking of you in past tense?
 
Scott: Because I’ll be dead.
 
Me: WHY WILL YOU BE DEAD?
 
Scott: Because you won’t need to use it until after I’m gone. Until then you’ve got me to open your sodas.
 
Me: Are all geniuses this morbid?

Seal of Inevitable Fate

October 21, 2016 @ 4:30 pm | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

I came home from the drugstore to find Huck in tears. His friends across the street have been away for a week, and just got late last night. He’d been eager to get through lunch so he could go play with them. Lunch, under the supervision of his big sisters, was what was happening while I ran to the store. Upon my return, he was waiting at the door, the picture of tragedy.

He poured out his tale of woe: something had gone wrong at lunch, and Rose had decreed that he wouldn’t be allowed to play with the friends today. This sounded…unlikely, so I sought out Rose for clarification.

She burst out laughing. “The boys were squabbling at the table,” she informed me. “So I told them if they couldn’t get along, they wouldn’t be able to play.”

Because, you know, if you’re a seven-year-old boy of tumultuous emotions, “if you can’t get along with your brother” is an injunction tantamount to “never.”

ON PURPOSE

August 15, 2016 @ 3:45 pm | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry, These People Crack Me Up

purge in progress

purge in progress

Our school kid starts back tomorrow. That usually triggers a tidal change for me: I start thinking in terms of revamped daily rhythm and freshly curated bookshelves. I tackled the shelves this weekend and am giddy today at the sight of rows of Books I Suspect Particular Kids Will Love This Year.

I realize I can’t throw a statement like that out on this blog without SPECIFICS, so I’ll share some booklists soon.

I’m also working on another skin care post, per your requests. My own routine plus (ding ding ding) success in the non-shiny sunscreen quest!

Until then, I’ll leave you with a Huck story. I mentioned I’d been invited to a Pete’s Dragon screening but declined because I could only bring one kid. Huck’s response: “Yeah, that would be like a mom and dad making mac and cheese ON PURPOSE when the kids weren’t home.”

Assorted Friday notes

August 5, 2016 @ 1:18 pm | Filed under: Books, Family, Fun Learning Stuff, Periscope, These People Crack Me Up

I did a Periscope yesterday on a topic that had been requested by a Brave Writer mom: How I make time to pursue my own interests and hobbies while homeschooling, writing, juggling doctor appointments, etc. Great topic!! Had a lot of fun with this discussion.

And here’s the book I mentioned in the scope: Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. As I said, this was my second time reading it, so you know it was enjoyable. A comic yet touching epistolary novel in the voice of a beleaguered, earnest, overly frank, romantically inept English professor at a second-tier university. Now, you know I’m a sucker for an epistolary novel! This one’s academia setting gives it a unique flavor. You’ll never read letters of recommendation like these in the real world (alas).

leafmotif

What’s happening in my house today:

Receiving_a_fax_from_Grandma_and_Grandpa._Today_s_technology_lesson_brought_to_you_by_1992.__amazeditstillworks

Receiving a fax from Grandma and Grandpa. Today’s lesson in technology brought to you by 1992. (I’m amazed the thing still works!) Huck really wanted to reply by putting his piggy bank through. Perhaps we’re still a tad fuzzy on how the tech works. (Let’s face it, it always seemed like magic to me.)

leafmotif

This one’s for Emily:

HSinfluences

My “things that influenced my homeschooling style” slide from the Brave Writer Retreat.

 

 

Merriam-Webster, take note

June 5, 2016 @ 10:35 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Huck, who is in the room for a lot of grammar discussions between the older kids and me: “That dog is jamping all over the place!”

Me: “What’s jamping?”

Huck: “The plural of jumping.”

make that Puck

May 16, 2016 @ 9:39 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Me, happening upon a small boy industriously wielding a feather duster on the bookcases: “Wow! Thank you!”

Huck, a certain gleam in his eye: “I need lots of dust so I can shake it in Rilla’s face.”

Subtle

April 8, 2016 @ 5:52 pm | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Huck, oh so casually: “Mom, I like it better when you leave the bag of marshmallows on the counter after you make lunch. Not for any reason. I just like it. FOR NO REASON.”