Friday, March 27, 2009

Homeschool Thoughts and Playing at the Farm

We had a fun day yesterday visiting G&T over on their homestead. While calling it a farm is a bit of a stretch, that is the eventual goal of my friend GS, and he's well on his way. He's got the tractor and the land, over 100 acres in Hartford and some big plans, all of which are slowly but surely coming to fruition. While he clears trees (and generates oodles of firewood!) and tends to the soil, the potential is immense to raise cash crops and livestock to support himself. He is an extremely smart and capable guy, I hope it all works out, and I'd help him in any way I can, which ain't saying much, but it's saying something.

Anyway, it's fun going over there because his daughter, T, is friends with our kids, and they have a blossoming farm, which any kid would love. They all play outside and chase chickens and play with the animals while G and I talk manly talk, i.e., chainsaws and firewood. My favorite topic.

In fact, I cut my first piece of lumber with a chainsaw yesterday. Granted, it was only poplar, but it was a piece, and it was at least a foot in diameter. Did I ever feel like a man, and naturally I wanted to have a steak (cooked medium rare, of course) and a beer for dinner, or maybe some Jack straight up. Then again, we don't eat much red meat anymore, so we had pesto with broccoli cheddar soup and bread w/chimichurri, instead, and felt that much better because of it.

BTW, broccoli cheddar soup is a great way to infuse the kids with the green stuff. You don't even know it's there, and it sure goes down easy. You can even throw in carrots and cauliflower and the taste doesn't suffer in the least. But be aware, you are getting a bolus of fiber.

It's always nice to hang with G, he's a worldly guy who has big city roots, not unlike me, though he's east coast and I'm west. Either way, he's searching for the answers, which is never an easy path, but to his credit, he's keeping his feet moving and exploring his options. In other words, he's moving forward, but sometimes it takes you down the wrong path, but at least you tried. I respect and admire him, and wish him the best.

AND, he's incredibly knowledgeable about real man stuff, especially when it comes to the woods. Trees, chainsaws, lumber, animals, you name it. At times I think he's right at home amongst the trees, and I learn a lot from him. Being from the city, however, means that he's not a one-note player, and is well read and has had a lot of experiences and can discuss a number of topics. So we can talk about pretty much anything and the conversation flows.

Either way, it's always nice seeing him, and I think/hope it will happen more often. Then again, that's up to us.

On the homeschool front, I had a minor epiphany. It seems that I take the path of least resistance and focus on that things that we're good at while forsaking the greater challenges. Part of the problem is that you can't do everything at once, and even though I find comfort in that which is easier and more familiar, I think we have to step away from that and jump into new territory. I.e., in certain subjects we have found our groove, but in order to groove with them, we ignore the less comfortable areas. The only way around that is to get more comfortable in other areas. Unfortunately, I'm finding that in order to do that, we'll have to put the groovy stuff on hold, at least for that day. Can't do it all, as they say, but I think that's the only way it'll get done. Should be interesting.

Until the next time, thanks for reading. And thanks to eric bernard for the pic.

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