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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
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26th-May-2016 10:36 am - Zoo trip from January.
I realized I still had some pictures on my phone from our January zoo trip. It seemed reasonable to turn some of them into a post before I downloaded and deleted them.

Our zoo has a nice area for it's flamingos. It's resonably quiet and not in a super busy spot (unlike the San Diego zoo, that puts them front and center at the entrance, where the crowd gets an impressive sight and the flamingos get stressed - unless they've finally changed that, I haven't been there in a very long time).

Even better, though, is that there is a cool little area for flamingoes, off a side path, that is even quieter and more secluded than the main pen most people know about.

H, S, C, and our friend A.

And this is where they hide the babies!

25th-May-2016 03:25 pm - Fun with static electricity.


C has excellent hair to charge up the balloons.
18th-May-2016 04:50 pm - Today.
So the kids are all outside.




I'll let that sink in.

They are playing a version of a game H learned about during her one year as a Girl Scout. Extreme statue feather duster, water challenge (we flooded today). The extreme and water were definitely added by my kids, not the girl scout troop.

Earlier they were all playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl together.

Before that H and S recorded three episodes of their new Youtube series Town of Salem (For anyone interested enough to follow a link, this is their first episode). H is the editor on these, so other that a little technical support from me, it is all their efforts. S was super excited about the chance to record, because today was the rare day that the kids had nothing scheduled.

I've been getting S up at 9am everyday for the past two weeks in preparation for her conditional black belt testing this Saturday. Last night C asked me to get him up at 9am, too, so he could get the living-room computer (the only desktop we have for the kids to use), but he accidentally fell back to sleep for a little while after I woke him, so he missed his shot. He was remarkably cheerful about it, especially considering how bloody early in the morning it was.

Weirdly pleasant, peaceful, productive day today. (ETA: At least until I cursed it by saying so on livejournal - kids just came in fighting, right after I typed that last sentence).
I'm being a good unschooling parent, by hiding in my room and adding scheduled content to my Tumblr: crazychicknlady, while H and S work on making a screen capture recording of Town of Salem for our YouTube channel: thesunandmoon3.

4th-May-2016 01:25 pm - It's Hot Today.
We've finally shifted into that time of year where it is hot around here.

Today is likely to run in bits and spurts. Pushing myself to accomplish tasks outside, intermixed with flopping exhausted inside to cool down for a bit.

Then wash, rinse, repeat.

So far I've scrubbed out some waters, and cleared out all the weeds in FluFlu's yard. Unfortunately, his two hens died in the past few weeks (the second one, Carrot, died yesterday). We don't know what killed them, but in a matter of a few hours they went from normal to twisted heads and wobbly, to unable to stand, to dead. The weeding was to kill the Silver Nightshade in the yard, in case they poisoned themselves eating it. I also moved their house, dug up the old floor, threw out the old layer pellets, and moved FluFlu's scratch to a new area. That way if there was a fungus or bacteria to blame, I've exposed them to the cleansing qualities of our heat and sun. If FluFlu survives the next month, he's likely to be fine long term.

Next thing for me to do is scrub out more waters and clean up horse poop.
After M got home yesterday evening, we decided to just pay the fee and use PayPal to secure S's spot at her EVHT party. That was a load off my mind. Time limits, forms, technology, and worrying about screwing things up for my kid, are a perfect storm for stress for me.

Later, M and I went on a very pleasant walk, just the two of us (we snuck out with a couple of fudge bars that the kids didn't know I'd bought yet).

When we got back, C and H were engaged in a friendly game of Magic. It took two or three hours to finish (C won).

Because of the Magic game, H, S, and I got a late start on our evening walk (though, I did get a lot of cleaning done in the kitchen while waiting). There was a lot of Pokémon talk on the walk. By the time we got home, S wanted to continue talking about it, so she followed me out to the backyard since I still needed to clean up the horse yard, feed the horses, and put them up for the night.

It was a fun conversation, but at the end I stumbled onto a touchy area about Mega-evolutions. S ended up ranting about how Flygon deserved a Mega-evolution, but never got one due to artist block affecting the creator.

This rant continued part way into the exercises the kids and I have been doing most every night for about the last month (S has her conditional blackbelt testing coming up and she's worried about passing the fitness part, so we've all been working out to help and encourage her - plus extra excersize for the rest of us isn't a bad thing). By the end of the exercises S was feeling better enough to challenge C to a game of Magic.

C won that game, too. It was an unusually short game for those two. While they played, I layed on the futon nearby and watched an episode of Rules of Engagement and a partial episode of How I Met Your Mother.
S has an end of year party coming up with her homeschool teen group. They have been stressing that there are limited spots, so signing up and paying right away is important. I just noticed the email announcement that provides the link to the sign up page this morning (email was sent out 3 days ago, but I failed to check my inbox this weekend). I immediately put her on the list, but to hold her spot I have to pay the fee to attend. So, of course, in this day and age of online signups, the fee is supposed to be payed through paypal as a friends and family payment. Easy peasy, right? Especially since the instructions on the signup page said this could be done without a fee. Yeah, apparently I don't have the proper super secret set up and it will indeed cost me a fee. So now I either pay Paypal for the privilege of making this payment for me, or I pay the US mail the cost of a stamp to send a check, or I don't know, maybe I can spend some gas to drive the money to the person I need to get it to (assuming she ever gets back to me about this). In the meantime, I have the whole "limited space" thing hanging over me. I wish I could just pay cash at the door like they used to do for the dances.

On a completely different note, this post was incredibly hard to type thanks to all the crumbs C has gotten stuck in my keyboard over the past few months. Off to try to solve that particular problem with the air pump.
1st-May-2016 12:57 am - Watching TV with my girls.
Even though we have Netflix, lately we've taken to watching free broadcast shows on the actual television. Not new shows, but reruns of things that we could likely find on Netflix and watch in order and without commercials.

Last night I ended up piled on our aging futon with H and S, watching a couple episodes of Law and Order - SVU. When we ran out, H switched it to Qubo and we watched an episode of Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse. A good end to the night.
19th-Apr-2016 01:27 pm - Fang the duck is a good momma goose.
Last week, Fang, the fawn and white runner duck, decided to start sitting the goose egg nest.

Fang is the sole survivor of the great duck slaughter of 2015. After the owls took out her flock, she attached herself to the two geese in her yard, Wobbles and Wet Neck. She is bonded to them. Even after we put the new ducks into the yard, Fang still hangs with the geese (we sometimes call her the third goose in that yard).

This morning I swapped out the two rotting eggs she was so carefully mothering, with two freshly layed eggs from the other geese. This way she might have a shot at actually hatching something.

ETA: Well, a flip switched in her head, and Fang is no longer trying to hatch the eggs. (April 24th)

ETA 2: About two days after the last edit, Fang started laying eggs again, something she had taken a break from while being broody.
17th-Apr-2016 12:26 am - County Fair 2016

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