{ Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschool Mom }

I have been living carefree, as if summer would last forever. Casual breakfasts at 9:00, lingering discussions over the kitchen table with my cup of coffee…late lunches at 1:00…cat naps on the sofa….easy, cool dinners created with garden produce. I have awakened in the morning thinking: maybe we will go to the beach today? Or the farmer’s market? Or perhaps we will grab our books and art supplies and blankets and fall asleep in the sun?

Fun bike rides on rail trails over the summer.

Not anymore. It is time to pay for the slothful sins of summer. I should have been hunting down appropriate textbooks and gathering resources. Week after week, I saw the universe of school supplies, shining from a distance in the aisles of Walmart. But did I walk toward the light? No. I lived in avoidance, by walking the long way round, through automotive or pet supplies.

Now, I humbly and hurriedly dig through a tangle of spiral wires, only to uncover the wide ruled notebooks that nobody wanted. I have ordered books on Amazon, but they won’t arrive until next week. My younger son asked yesterday, “I wonder what the spelling words will be?” I muse internally, “Hmmm, I wonder, too…” I start scratching down a possible word list.

How could I have lived in such denial? Even now, just hours before the bell rings, am I planning? No, I am sitting here at my computer, looking for suitable photos to post here with my ramblings.

The air is chilly. The coffee is brewing. I don’t know what I will serve for breakfast. The First Day of School has arrived.

More soon.

We discovered a lovely new beach this summer. I wish we had gone just once more…
This is me. I turned 55 this summer and I have been homeschooling for around 25 years.

{ 7-Green Summer }

IMG_20180830_145116Summer was dewy mornings and mossy smells and strident cicada songs. Its scenery was a scrim of seven different greens.

Hot and slow days became beach days. We sifted sand through content toes, then raced into the lake again.

Steamy, sweaty work and walks alternated with trips inside chilly stores and brain-freezing smoothies.

Now, tomato plants are curled up in the fetal position, but the zinnias are gaudy in their prime.

Their tiered blooms offer fast-food to uninhibited hummingbird moths.  I watch their straw-tongues sip, then zip! They are gone.

Weedy tree-fruits tangle together and creeping vines shroud the trees.

The sun sinks into a humid horizon and crickets lullabye summer to sleep.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

Photo by Gino Luciano

{ Seasonal Me }

After a sun-robbed

Bone-bitten

Blanket-wrapped

Winter —

jonathan-mast-554321-unsplash.jpg

 

I’m always ready for an Early Spring.

groundhog day

I’m an April snow-be-gone

Window-hoisting

Clutter-banishing gal

But wait – did someone say “Garage Sale?”

Drinking vernal sun

Through white Nordic skin

I’m an impatient trail-trekker

Lake-walker

Eager for

Jean-jacketed

Picnics-at-parks.

jay-wennington-280323-unsplash

I’m a teacher-on-summer-recess

Swimming-lesson-spectator-mom

An eye-on-the-sky weather-watching

Clothesline-addicted

August-birthday-babe.

kelly-sikkema-412308-unsplash

School? Already?

Pondering plans

While I’m apple-picking

Pickle-packing

Toes-in-dirt

Garden-gathering until

First frosty flakes.

Goodnight, garden.

nick-cooper-488230-unsplash

I’m a dark morning errand runner

Defying slick roads

Stocking up for the Big Snow

I can hibernate awhile

With coffee

Cream

Eggs

Milk

Bread

Cream

And coffee.

nathan-dumlao-397508-unsplash

Swadddled in a snow blanket—

Waiting for Christmas,

Birthdays,

And Valentine chocolates to

Usher me to the edge of winter

Where I stand

Toes on edge

Ready to jump

Into an early Spring…

samuel-scrimshaw-361576-unsplash

(I had the idea to write this as I labored with dirt-encrusted toes in a 90 degree garden yesterday.  In retrospect, the scene was so unlike who I am in the winter. If you ever write a seasonal look at yourself — please let me know.  I’d like to read it! )

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/one-way/

Photo credits:
Winter Cabin:  Jonathan Mast
Pool: Jay Wennington
Apple tree:Kelly Sikkema
Coffee: Nathan Dumlao
Frostbitten Garden: Nick Cooper
Lady on cliff: Samuel Scrimshaw
Early Spring? Photo from Groundhog Day movie

{ Turkey Bowl XVIII }

My husband — the Commish — started an annual tradition after we moved out to the country.  Every year, he heads up a football tournament on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

IMG_20171125_094852
After a quick massage, the Commish does some pre-game stretching exercises.

It’s called The Turkey Bowl.

IMG_20171125_095015

He hosts 10 teams, divided up into two main brackets: The Gold Division and The Top Gun Division.

The tournament support team is busy in the kitchen, where the oven is bursting with muffins, cookies and hot sandwiches.

IMG_20171125_094939When the first vehicle turns into our long driveway, someone gives a shout.

The young, the old, the underdogs and the superstars arrive around 9:00 a.m. through sleet, snow or sunshine.

Clad in tights-under-shorts, the brave warriors place their snack offerings in the spacious garage and head out to the field.

The Commmish has it all planned as written on the huge white board.

IMG_20171125_095239

At 11:30 they break and The Commish will give his annual speech and designate someone to give a blessing on the tournament.

Turkey Bowl XVIII has begun.

IMG_20171125_135022
The Commish is 58 years old.

IMG_20171125_095729 (1)

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day: underdog

{ A FULL Schedule }

simon-maage-351417
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. –William Arthur Ward

  • Wednesday: Family Thanksgiving #1
  • Thursday: Family Thanksgiving #2 + family birthday
  • Friday: Family birthday
  • Saturday: Big football “Turkey Bowl” tournament XVIII
  • Sunday: On duty in the church kitchen. Drive home, hopefully eat tryptophan-rich leftovers, and collapse in a stupor.

 

Photo credit:

 Simon Maage

{ Pumpkin Butter }

Pumpkin butter is a sweet (dairy-free) spread for bread, pancakes or muffins.  It’s deliciously spiced and very easy to make.  (We use those pumpkins that have been decorating our front steps!)

Bring a jar of pumpkin butter for the hostess at holiday gatherings. This is my own simple recipe and it makes about a gallon of pumpkin butter.

pumpkin1

 

  • 4 quarts freshly cooked pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • A few pinches of salt

images

 

 

  1. Combine and cook on the stove or in a roaster oven.
  2. Stir frequently as it simmers on low to medium.
  3. The pumpkin butter is finished when it is thick, dark and stays put when spooned into peaks.
  4. Divide into jars, leaving ¼ empty at the top.
  5. Label and freeze.

 

images (2)

{ School Can Be….Interesting. }

school

 

The first report drafted by one of my students included this summary:

 

Iceland is truly an interesting country with interesting people and interesting traditions of which I will leave you to read about on your own.

 

As I sigh and circle the word *interesting* three times in red, I make a mental note to shun this overused word.

Four years ago, my cheeky son (then 14) wrote this farce report on Iceland just to shock me:

Iseland is cold.

Amarica is worm.

Iseland is a plas explowding with culcher and tradichin.

Maybee U wil visit som day.

 

What is it about Iceland? Maybe it’s one of those places you must see rather than write about 🙂

On a better note, we have had some school success thus far:

Last week, everyone earned at least 90% on the final spelling test!

Words like crumb, subtle and acquire were even mastered by my 8-year-old.

 

Note to self~ The 2017-2018 school year: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crumb/
Crumb“>