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Weekly Wrap Up: Harvest, Outing, and Educating Girls

In our life this week

Fall is obviously beginning.  Besides a Labor Day storm and long power outage, we also had frost.  We’ve been harvesting the garden, wearing extra clothes, and ignoring the pool.  And some of us are dealing with a tummy flu which may or may not be due to birthday candy.   Probably not, though, because my tummy is queasy and I don’t eat candy.

This was Mr. 18’s first week of university classes.  After enjoying his cheerful grin almost 24/7 for 18 years, I miss him.  So do the girls; mealtimes are sometimes very quiet without his frequent, “Hey Mom, did you know…..”  But we’re adjusting to our new normal, and he’s moving on, as he should be.  What a blessing that he is able to commute with my husband! The two of them get to enjoy special time together now.

All three girls spent a lot of time with friends this week, the last fling before everyone settles down to schoolwork.  It was and is fun, but I’ll be thankful for a peaceful routine.

And I ordered my first ‘grown up’ pair of glasses, i.e. progressives. Sigh!

My husband and I attended an end-of-season get-together at acquaintances who run a winery.  By ‘coincidence’ my husband sat beside someone in the same line of work, and his wife was a sweet stay-at-home mom who, like me, is deeply into nutrition and is sending the first kid to university.  All that was so much fun, but the party itself was a culture shock.

The best part of the week was our trip to Upper Canada Village, an extensive outdoor museum featuring an 1860’s village in action.   I’m hoping to write a post about our day there.

In our homeschool

Despite the upheaval of fall, especially all the harvest work, we did have a good school week.  We are all getting used to our new books and requirements and to the daily effort of focusing.  This is always difficult, and when frost threatens or the harvest needs to be picked, even mama gets distracted.

One advantage of having only older children is that I can do a lot of the preserving in little spurts here and there while the girls study.  And, even better, I can put a book on the counter (we have a clear stand-up recipe book holder that holds textbooks very well) for spelling tests and more.  Of course the very special books, like our century-old English Literature for Boys and Girls or the expensive science texts, never go on the counter.

I’m so thankful the girls wanted to start school early, because that means we are ahead of where we had planned to be. That is always so much more peaceful than feeling behind.

In our garden

We’re harvesting the first tomatoes, peppers, melons and corn as well as almost everything else.  It was a great year for melons, apples, and pears, and I need to get more organized about dealing with the bounty.

We are eating pears, beans, raspberries, elderberries, apples, salad greens, onions, garlic, carrots, cucumbers, radish seed pods, tomatoes, New Zealand spinach, peppers, melons, rutabaga, beets….

Many of the flowers are fading, but our blue morning glories, being close to the house, survived the first frost.  Miss 11 commented that black-eyed Susans bloom all year long, and it seems so.  At Upper Canada Village, they used their black centers for the black spots on a floral collage of Queen Victoria’s crown!   We still have some hollyhocks, red poppies, purple coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans, as well as the blue morning glories.  The fall sedum is just beginning to turn pink.

In the kitchen… Apple gingerbread.  Eggplant soup without the broth (i.e. stew) so the menfolk can take leftovers for lunch.  All sorts of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Steak and corn on the cob.  Bruschetta.  Stuffed peppers.  Chicken wings from a box (the first time ever; they were yummy and gluten free but I got really itchy afterwards…).

Some of my favorite things were

  • The ripe pears on the second tree.  They are so sweet!
  • Our trip to Upper Canada Village.
  • Monday’s power outage.  When it got dark, we went to bed (very early), and it was such a treat.  Electricity is a wonderful blessing, but it has allowed people to forget that they need sleep.
  • Miss 11’s birthday party.

Questions/thoughts I have…   I love gardens, especially heritage gardens like those at Upper Canada Village and Dundurn Castle.  Although flower gardens are beautiful, heritage vegetable and herb gardens are fascinating.  Someday I want to learn about the herb garden that William of Orange’s mother, Juliana, had.

Fitness… Again my steps averaged well over 11,000 a day.  I’m gently starting my physio and calisthenics exercises again.  Obviously we’ve been enjoying a lot of fruits and vegetables… but very little yoghurt.  Between one thing and the other, I enjoyed very few afternoon rests this week, and that is bad for two reasons:  less rest and less Bible reading.

Some of the things I’ve been working on

  • Schoolwork.
  • Harvesting the orchard and garden.
  • Reading.

We’re watching and playing

The kids and their friends watched Amazing Grace.

I’m reading… Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.   I finished Splitting Harriet and Mathematics: Is God Silent? Currently I’m reading (very slowly) The Discoverers, Standing on the Promises, The Passionate Mom, 1000 Gifts, The Adrenal Stress Connection, and Saving Leonardo.  Occasionally for a quick break I dip into The Little Book of Talent.

Reading Aloud… The children and I have started Job.

When my husband is home for meals (very rare these days) we read Acts.

I’m grateful for …. Upper Canada Village.  Friends.  Books.

Quote or link to share….   You know how some people suggest godly girls should not spend much time on academics?  Well, here’s a brilliant list of Ten Top Things Girls Should Study (But Rarely Do).  If you have girls, read it; if you used to be a girl, read it too.  Even if neither of those are true, read it anyways. It’s worth it!

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up .

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One Comment

  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great week. That eggplant stew sounds interesting. You made some very yummy sounding food this week. 🙂

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