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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
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We have a heat warning for today and probably for tomorrow.

One of our chickens, Snow (aka Ratboy), has been looking poorly for the past few weeks. Something is wrong with her foot, so she hasn't been roosting at night. She'll tuck herself into a corner on the ground somewhere; sometimes she ends up with chicken poop on her back because she's picked a spot directly under the roosts of the other chickens.

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(picture from a summer two years ago, she's always been a spunky chicken.)

Yesterday it was hot enough that I sprayed her off to cool her down and wash off the poop. At the time I decided she wasn't likely to live out the summer. Today she looked like she might not live out the day. I brought her inside. I still don't know if she'll survive, but I'm hoping getting her out of the heat will give her a shot. She's in an old dog carrier I bought for Arrow when he was a puppy. If she survives, I'll probably keep her in for at least a week.
16th-Jul-2014 10:49 am - karate, fireworks, random
I noticed yesterday that the last time I posted on my journal was the 2nd of this month. I'm not quite sure why I haven't felt like writing things down for the interwebs lately. It's not like we have been too busy for me to post, nor have we been so inactive that I've had nothing to post. I'm fairly certain I have five or six posts worth of pictures trapped on one or another of our cameras.

We went and saw fireworks on the 4th, and M did sparklers with the kiddos the next evening - I took pictures of the sparkler play, but didn't bring the camera to the park for the fireworks. C played glow bracelet fairy again this year - one kid made him take a dollar, so I told C we could donate it. H and S sat near the top of the ball rope climbing thingy and had conversations with a couple of other kids. The boy of the group assumed H was older that she is, so when he found out she is only 13, he told her she made him feel short.

H has decided she is too tall to go trick-or-treating this year. Too bad we don't live where we get trick-or-treaters so she could at least give out candy. I'm thinking of getting ducklings a few days before Halloween, so H can be the duck mom while I take S and C out.

Last month S earned her high green belt and C earned his green belt. Until Thursday of next week (when S tests for her purple belt) S's and C's belts match. I was really impressed with how much of his karate C remembered and was able to render well during his testing, since he had a six month break. C is now the highest belt in his class, by several levels. The Sensei asked him to do moves they had not reviewed in class, since it was mostly populated by white-belts. I think the break was good for C. He is more mature, and now rather than being sucked in by the sillier kids, he's annoyed by them. To earn his blue, C had to work on controlling his own impulses, especially his urge to talk. The only thing he has to work on now is to keep from trying to control the other kids; he wants them to pay attention and follow the rules and stop messing around.

Yesterday M bought me a limequat tree.
My eldest is all sorts of awesome. After reading how Target drank the stupid juice, including the now official Target position that "Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.", she made this:


Here is a rational, reasonable, family-friendly approach to firearms. They even have eye and ear protection.
30th-Jun-2014 10:28 am - C puked last night.
So I woke up at about 4am to a little voice going, "Mom". C was in my doorway - normal protocol if he can't sleep and needs me is to sneak up to near my head and wake me up super quietly, so he doesn't wake his Dad.

Since C had broken protocol, the first words out of my mouth were to shush him, and the first thoughts in my head were not too charitable.

Then he said one of the most dreaded sentences that can come out of a child's mouth at 4am.

"I threw up."

Whoa, time to crank up my sleeping brain and start damage control.

As I joined him in the hallway and closed the door to my room, I started gathering intel - asking questions about, how much, and where he puked, did he make it to the bathroom.

My hope for best case scenario (just a little bit in the bathroom, or even just a little bit in his room) was shattered when C answered in the sweetest little voice, dipped in understatement.

"It's kind of a lot."

I sent him to take a shower and entered his room for proper evaluation of the damage.

Umm...crap, "kind of a lot", indeed.

All over his bed, all over the blankets on the floor, dripping down the edge of the mattress, and even pooling in a spot on the laminate in a gap between the bed and the floor blankets.

So every piece of blanket and sheet ended up in the laundry room.

I stripped the old sheet off the couch in the living room to put on a new one for C. I left the old one on the floor as protection for the carpet. I put out a towel on the couch and one on the old sheets. The one thing C managed to miss was his pillow (he told me this morning that once he realized he couldn't make it to the bathroom he tried to puke away from where he was sleeping), so I set him up with his pillow and a couple of blankets on the couch. He got his own puke bucket (an old Folgers container, standard for puke buckets around here) and settled in for the rest of the night.

I wandered back to bed myself after I started the first load of wash.
28th-Jun-2014 09:13 pm - Picture H made me for my B-Day.
Dawwwww, look what H made for me:


Pony on the the left is the OC H made of me. Middle is H's OC. Right is the OC of my current minecraft skin.
26th-Jun-2014 01:29 pm - Science Experiment.
Air filled water balloons - check.

Thin stream of water coming from the faucet - check.

Brother's big poofy hair to rub the balloons against to charge the static electricity - check.

Good thing I found the little balloon air-pump the other day when I was looking for my missing DS lite.

S noticed the pump a few minutes ago and filled a balloon each for C and herself.

Some balloons ended up against flat surfaces - such as the wall and refrigerator door. The funniest to me was when S let go of her's just as C turned to face me - balloon in his hair.
20th-Jun-2014 12:03 pm - New Truck
My old expedition was getting old enough that I wanted to replace it. It wasn't a rush, but I really didn't trust it for one more trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Thanks to a very good offer on our trade-in (I was seriously worried about the colossal PITA it was going to be to get rid of it on our own) and their honoring of the internet price, this Expedition EL followed us home last weekend:


This morning we got up early to drop off the new truck at their service center, to take care of the four things they agreed to handle before we finished the deal. We get our tires from my old truck (LTs instead of P rated), an oil change (the new truck says when it needs a change, and it was announcing that during the test drive), they have to fix the center second row seat (it won't fold down - I almost cancelled the deal over that issue, but they promised to fix it), and try to ungunk the CD player (it plays of you get a disk in, but it's sticky going in, and it took me a bunch of tries to get my disk back out when I was testing it).

H has been on an early to bed, early to rise schedule lately, so she went with us and M, H, and I had breakfast together after dropping off my truck.
Approximately five minutes ago:

H wandered in to tell me something from the Buffy she is watching.

She looked at my face, and asked, "What's wrong?"

Me: "Oh, I'm just reading a depressing article on the overreach of yet another government agency."

Questioning look from H.

Me: "The FDA has decided cheese makers can't age their cheese on wooden boards anymore."

H: "What are they supposed to age it on?"

Me: "I don't know, I haven't gotten that far in the article."

H: Worried look on her face - "So, does this apply to everyone?"

Me: "Not if you want to make your own cheese, just commercial cheese makers."

H: "Oh, good, so Bobby (4-H cooking leader) can still make her own cheese without getting in trouble."

Me: "Yeah."

H: "Buffy was being reasonable for once, she said to make sure to meet a guy in a public place, in daylight, with friends around. It's the one where Willow is talking to the guy on the computer."

Me: "The daylight thing was probably because of vampires."

Here's the article. The stupid, it burns.
8th-Jun-2014 08:24 pm - Geese at the fence.
When I walk up to the fence of the new geese yard, I usually get a reception about like this:

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31st-May-2014 01:45 am - Goose Comparison.
Younger Toronto, in a much smaller water container than older Toronto (second picture taken a week ago). The smaller is an old feed bowl for the horses that we don't use anymore, so I turned it into a mini-pool for the geese. The larger is a 15 gallon tub I got, for the geese to swim in, a few weeks ago.

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Puppy-Goose 065

It's hard to get good pictures of the geese in water, because they tend to get out and come over to the fence to yell at me, when I get too close.
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