Mud & Mischief

Just our way of home educating our three girls; assisted by an allotment, a Land Rover and a heap of ingenuity.

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Location: South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Now I know why we're having such problems...

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be mese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,

But imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

Some reasons to be grateful if you grew up speaking English:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

22) I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind! For example. If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a tree!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England. We take English for granted.

But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wiseguy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on

Friday, September 23, 2005

Banging head on desk...

In frustration. Irritation. Exasperation. And a whole load other 'ations' that have escaped me for now.

Dropped the two small ones off at playgroup and have come home to spend some quality educational time with Myf. Except it's like getting blood out of a stone. She keeps telling me she wants to write, so I say, ok, here's a poem, let's read it, now copy the first 3 lines.

3, note. Three. Not the whole damned thing. I go to put the kettle on to make some hot chocolate, and look down at what she's doing at the table. She's written the first two, and has doodled all over the rest of the page.

And written "I do not love Mom" in the margin.

Am I such a miserable ogre? Maybe I've been wrong all these months, thinking we'd take it easy, nice and steady, let her 'deschool', find her feet, give her a bit of autonomous leeway. Maybe I should have pulled her out of that school, sat her down at the dining table the next day and said 'here's the maths workbook, do me 30 minutes', followed by 'here's your English workbook, do me 45 minutes'. I know we've accomplished something, as she can now read. But her writing is appalling, she won't sit and do anything for any length of time, even though she moans and complains that she can't write, her letters/numbers are wonky, and basically does the whole 'I'm so stupid' whinge.

She's not - she's bright. Not quite as bright as the other two, but she's by no means dumb. I thought Sonlight didn't work for us for a number of reasons - mainly the strict regime and the religious content. Am I hoping too much that Steiner-Waldorf is going to fill that gap?

Yeah, yeah, I know, we're just having a bad day. Once the extension is finished, yadda yadda yadda.

Doesn't help that it's starting to rain either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

eBay and Sonlight

Have finally gotten around to listing stuff on eBay - whilst I have a huge amount still to put on, I've managed to get some Sonlight stuff on there, that's been lying around for nearly a year, unused.

Kirsty came round for lunch too, which was lovely. Marcus and Alex spent the best part of the day outside with my three, which was good all round. Can't get over how lovely the weather is for late September. She also rifled through the Sonlight stuff I hadn't listed, and went home with a couple of carrier bags full of read-alouds and instructor's guides (no one tell James [that's her James] just yet...)

Apart from that, I've been browsing some Waldorf curriculum stuff - yes, it's that time of year when even the most autonomous home educator gets all twitchy at the sight of books and new ideas. ;) So we're going to go with Steiner as Sonlight quite plainly isn't for us. I've even gone so far as to put a few things in my paypal shopping cart, but need to wait for the eBay stuff to sell.

Off to sort through a couple of bookshelves to see if there's a rare first edition of something or other that might sell for a couple of quid.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A quiet day

It's 9am on a fairly dreary Monday morning. Last night, I was woken up by each of the girls in turn. Myf woke me up at 3am to give me her other tooth that had fallen out. *Why* couldn't it have waited until morning? Tea was talking in her sleep, and then came to tell me she was dreaming. Wouldn't that suggest that she should have stayed in bed? And Piglet was just restless and squawky, not really waking up either but wanting soothing.

So this morning I feel like death warmed up. Not an unusual feeling, mind, just a wearily familiar one. However, there are plus points. I have noticed that when I talk to the girls in a chillingly quiet monotone, I get far better results than when I shout. ;) And when instructed that it was 9'o'clock and she better go find a book and be quiet whilst I had something to eat, Myf did exactly that. I've just peeked into the living room and she and Tea are sat side by side on the sofa, each with a book. And it's quiet. Peacefully, blissfully quiet. Only Piglet, sat in her highchair making random comments about her bowl of rice crispies is disturbing the quiet. And even that is more amusing than irritating.

And now, a double plus, I just had a call from a fellow home-edder D in Retford, inviting me to her HE group this afternoon! It's a church based group, and D's husband works for the Bible College that's in North Lincolnshire, and somehow, we seem to have become good friends. So, an invite to group, and to have lunch before hand in the church coffee shop (which apparently does the best jacket potatoes for about £1.50!) and the day suddenly isn't so dreary after all.

I've made a decision about the whole currriculum thing too. Sonlight just doesn't work for us. It's a fabulous curriculum, and it's got some stunning resources, read-alouds and workbooks, but at the moment, it's just not right. Which is a shame as I bought the Kindergarten core package last year. So it's eBay time. I've listed a few bits and we'll see how they go. And if they sell well enough, (which I think they might considering one item already has 6 watchers!) I'm going to buy some Waldorf resources in a couple of weeks once I've built up a bit in the Paypal account. For some reason, the Steiner philosophy really appeals to me. I've been borrowing books off Nikki and I think it's time I bought a few of my own. Shall ramble on more about that later - time to tackle the laundry mountain.

That's after I've posted a few pictures to flickr for Dad. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The most amazing piece of artwork ever

Click and up to zoom in, click and down to zoom out.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Positive fruitful day

It's been a good one. Did a mammoth shop, on my own first thing. Went to Asda, of all damned places, fully expecting it to be heaving with panic buying (remember the last fuel strike, when people were buying everything they could get their hands on?), and it was really, really quiet. Maybe because they had no fuel. lol

Did it without kids too, as it's James day off, so he sat on them whilst I wandered the aisles in relative peace and quiet. And as it was the first supermarket shop in over a month, I managed to fill my trolley so full, I needed two when everything had been put into bags. lol No more shopping for me for a month! Except for fresh stuff from the Fieldgate centre (nice food!)

Then we had lunch once I was back, did a bit of gardening, mowed the lawns, fixed the front of my car, and then Hazel, Colin and Romy arrived to collect Toblerone. They also brought Pip and Willow to meet their new room(cage) mate, and we had a living room full of kids and dogs and guinea pigs and it was absolutely lovely. The girls all made instant friends and ran off to do 'things' in the garden, Colin and James retired to the driveway to talk Land Rovers and Hazel and I had about 3 and ahalf minutes of relative peace to have a quick chat before the kids all came piling back in. It was chaos and it was great. Of course, if I'd known they were vegan, I'd have hidden the simmering pan of steak and kidney in the oven, and had some of my ginger biscuits ready to go. :)

Once they'd taken Toby to his new home, I threw the small people into bed for a quick snooze - "I'm not tired" wailed Myf, who was asleep in about 5 seconds flat and stayed that way for nearly an hour. She is not nice when tired. (wonder who she takes after??) Two loads of laundry, some potato digging and shopping unpacking later, we had tuna pasta bake and then I got to go to the lottie. On my own. Whilst James put the offspring through the tub and into bed. I dug up another 40lbs of spuds, some beetroot (not sure what to do with it as I'm not hugely keen on the stuff - might pickle it) and a parsnip. Desperately need to get up there and do some serious weeding. Someone has been throwing their old potato haulm and weeds onto my plot, probably as a mute form of protest. Time to beat that fat hen into submission, I think.

I bathed, read my book and now I'm here, but off to bed. It's the little ones' first day at pre-school tomorrow. !!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

It's that time of year

The first seed catalogue just landed on my mat. :) Which of course, led me to begin speculating on what I'd grow next year. Which in turn made me start berating myself for how crap I've done this year in the garden and so I've wandered over to Muddy Musings to have a ramble there.

And now I'm making alist of everything I want to grow next year, I'm already revisiting my favourite on line seed sellers (browsing Vida Verde as we speak) and vowing, of course, to do it all much better next year.

On a home-ed front, I've decided that tomorrow is the start of our study term. Shall not be mentioning the s-c-h-o-o-l word around here. Three days a weeks, Mon Wed and Fri, we're going to have proper sit down at table and do 'stuff' kind of days. Just a couple of hours in the morning, and then they can do what they like in the afternoon. We need to cover the basics in maths and the like, and to brush up on the whole reading/writing thing.

At least, that's the thoery. Let's see how it works in practise.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Surreal conversations with a 2 year old.

Me: What do you want for dinner?

Piglet looks thoughtful a moment.

'Hula hoops!'

'Hula hoops?'

'And bread."

'Is that all?'

'Bread and soup.'

{Suspicious sniff} 'Do you smell?'

'Couloboutso!* Orange squash! Whistle!'

Rapidly departing child.

Weird, weird day.

* Italian for smelly bottom

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The world just gets odder

Parents to get public money to run their own schools

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another wasted morning

My children are sitting watching Alice in Wonderland (so much for the no-tv-in-week policy). I've spent the morning on the phone, sorting out an insurance claim that isn't going to happen, doing posters for the new playgroup (why do I get myself into these things?) and intermittently talking to 3 or 4 people. And it's now 11am and I feel like it's another morning gone, swallowed by bugger all and msn and blogs and irrelevant crap.

Myf has done some reading though - I didnt know she knew the words 'invitation' and 'beautiful'. She's constantly surprising me at the moment. Piglet made me smile too - I was wiping pink stamp pad ink off the kitchen surface, muttering to myself about how everything round her was going bloody pink, and she says "But Mommy, I like bloody pink." :) Everything is now bloody pink, which would probably offend the grandparents, but it's making me smile. Tea is having a difficult day, but at least she comes for a nice cuddle after each bout of tears.

Need to walk down into the the village, take the posters to put up in the library, post office, newsagents, etc, return library books, buy some veggies and maybe some pork chops for tonight. No idea what time James is back from Shropshire, but hopefully it'll be with a working truck.

Merry, where did you get your TT from? I feel I have a need for one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Term starts

At least, it seems to be starting for almost everyone else on the blogring. Have just read my way around (first time in ages, apologies for the slightly surreal comments, too much whiskey and not enough hot water...) and am feeling somewhat unsettled at the amount of stuff people have started to do.

Today we have done precisely bugger all. Got up, had breakfast, let them put the tv on, made them switch it off for fighting, tried to tidy up but was undone by Piglet. Went to Nikki's, had lunch, came home, made them all nap. Played in the garden, ate a late tea, bathed them and put them to bed. And not a lot much else in the middle. So am now feeling a tad guilty, especially after reading accounts of maths and English and science and lots of drawing and painting and arty type stuff going on. :( When the playroom is finished... that's turning into a mantra. "When the playroom is finished we will [insert name of suitably entertaining/ educational/ stimulating/ inspiring activity]" :::sigh:::

At the moment, it's just brickwork, to about 3/4 of the required height. So much for only taking 4 to 8 weeks. They started digging the foundations the day we went to Kessingland! 10 and a half weeks - the builder said it would be 4 weeks until the roof was on and another 4 weeks to 'first finish', which is, as I understand it, basic plastering, wiring and plumbing done. It's taken over two months to get half the brickwork up. I'm starting to get a little irritated, which is never good. Especially as our builder goes on holiday on the 26th for a fortnight.

edited :/

Off to top up the whiskey. :-D

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bizarrely - Simply Knitting

I want back copies of this magazine - it's great. However, as issues 1 - 3 are going on eBay for upwards of 10-15 quid each, it seems I'm going to have to wait awhile to get my hands on them. Unless any of you good folks happen to have them lying around and are willing to pass them over for a while - I'll send them straight back once I've copied the patterns out of them that I want!

Bizarre request, I know. But that kind of typifies the weekend we've had. It's been a good one, on the whole. James got back from work at 6ish on Friday, and we hooked up the van and took off to Skegness for the weekend with the DOC. Did a treasure hunt on Sat, followed by a couple of fabulous green lanes (picked about 2lbs of sloes on one - was very please with myself) and then spent most of Sunday bogging the white truck down in the most wonderful sticky clayey mud on an old WWII airfield. The conning tower was still there, standing stark and ruined, windows long gone, which leant a bizarre backdrop to the day.

Pulled truck out of mud eventually. I just love the sound of an exhuast pipe under water - blub blub blub, had to climb out of the window and stand on the hood to catch the rope, except I couldn't do a great deal with it as there was 2" of mud on the hood and there was no way I was lying on that to try and reach the recovery point, that was over a foot under muddy water! Will have photos to blog shortly.

Ok - slight bloggus interuptus there. 5 hours later, I've come back to the puter and have completely lost my train of thought. Hate it when that happens. James has diappeared to Shropshire to beat the orange truck into submission (hopefully) so I have a peaceful, quiet house all to myself. Guess I'd better finish this post and go tidy something up. House is a dreadful tip, is very depressing and I find myself finding more and more things to do either in the garden, or on the computer, or at someone else's house entirely, just to avoid dealing with the bomb site. Ho hum.

Sometimes I toy with the idea of hiring a cleaning lady, but then the OCD would make me clean everything before she came round. I know people with no kids and part time jobs that have cleaning ladies and ironing services and sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I could live like that. Never mind, I still have that lovely big skip out the front of the house - need to fill it up! :)