In case you were wondering

The dreaded Social Studies test? She made a



Confederation, confederation, confederation

Mallory has a big Social Studies test today. She’s not doing well in Social Studies, this year. When I asked her why her grades were so low, she said, “I don’t like Social Studies. Besides, no one can be good at everything.” I thought this was a fair point, but let her know that it was not acceptable for her to do quite so poorly, whether she liked it or not.

We studied for hours for this test. We read the chapter twice, summarized main points, went over vocabulary words, filled in blanks and did true/false quizzes. There were moments when I despaired – as when I asked, “The villages of the Cherokee people came together to form a...” and she said, “Um...bison?” But I think she knows the material pretty well; honestly I’m not even sure what else we could have done to get her prepared. I told her we would like for her to get at least a B.

I know she’s nervous. I’m nervous for her. I slept poorly all night.

But, I also know more than I really wanted to know about the early peoples of North Carolina. Ask me about the Three Sisters or the Green Corn Ceremony! And think good thoughts for her today around 1:30.


Even more fall fun! Man, I'm tired

Yesterday the girls and I went to a pumpkin farm -- it was "Scout Day" so the girls got in free. (I paid $12) (The pumpkin was not included) This was, in fact, more than just a pumpkin farm -- it used to be a tobacco plantation, but ten or so years ago its owners decided to diversify into organic produce and "agritourism." So they grow strawberries and blueberries, and cabbages and carrots, and they sell their produce at farmer's markets and through CSAs. And they do school tours and scout events and they turned the back 40 acres of their farm into a huge playground.

I love this place. Every time I visit I think how fun it would be to run such a place myself. (I know. Please. I grew up on a farm and I know it's really not that fun at all.) But it's all so wholesome and pretty and nice. And I learn something new every time I go. For example, did you know that asparagus in the field looks like this:

It's that weedy-looking stuff in the foreground. Huh.

The farm also a huge variety of pumpkins, not just the kind people buy for jack-o-lanterns. There are peanut pumpkins:

and squashy "Cinderella" pumpkins:

and "warty" pumpkins:

and stripey Mexican pumpkins:

Here is an impressive tower of pumpkins, but what I love about this picture is that scrap of sky at the top. That's a Carolina blue sky. Every time I see the sky looking like that, I'm glad that I moved here.

The farm also has animals, such as Rosco the donkey:

and some baby pigs:

The girls love the playground at this place. I love it too, because everything is made of a re-purposed something else. There's a cow train made of old barrels, and swings and an obstacle course made out of old tires. There's a huge underground slide and tin-can stilts, just like in some Ramona book:

There's a giant bin of corn kernels, and an inflatable thingy to jump on:

And of course there's the hayride that gets you there:

Anyway, it's a good time. And as I said, I know better than to romanticize about life on a farm...but this place makes me do just that, if only for one autumn afternoon every year.


Fall Fun

Whoooo wanted to buy my items at the craft show last weekend?

Nobody, apparently. Which is okay, I wasn't counting on sales to pay the bills.

Mallory also made a craft:

...and got her hair sprayed pink:

...and ate lots of cotton candy:

Phoebe, ditto:

Then we spent a loooong time in line to get their faces painted, but they were very pleased with the results:

It was a lovely day, in spite of being not-profitable.


What now?

Not to sound like a commercial, but we switched to Vonage for our phone service. We considered dropping our land line completely but that just seemed too daring. Anyway, you can set up your voicemail to automatically forward transcripts of any messages to your email account. With hilarious results! For example, yesterday we got this message from the town council, which makes all kinds of robocalls to announce exciting town happenings:

This message is from the town of Xville and it's not an emergency. We are calling to let you know about our babies and microchip pet clinic on Saturday At Main Street, Park the park which is at 200 South Main Street.

A babies clinic! Ha! When it's really a rabies clinic!

So I'm getting entertained on top of saving on my phone bill. What a deal.

Speaking of money, I'm going to be (attempting to) sell my crocheted wares at a craft show this weekend. I have no idea what to charge for my products; I have even less of an idea if anyone will be interested in buying little owls and little owl cell phone cases at any price. (Also: I may have overdone the owl thing.) I will try to take a picture of everything before I offer them to the world. Wish me luck!


What's making me happy today

Seeing these pictures on the October page of my 2011 Shutterfly calendar: