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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
 
1st-Jun-2019 03:11 pm - Waffles.
rooster
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour.
1 tablespoon baking powder.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
2 eggs.
1 3/4 cups milk.
1/2 cup cooking oil.

Plug in waffle maker.

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add eggs, milk, and oil.
Mix thoroughly.

Scoup batter into waffle maker. Waffles take approximately 5 minutes each to cook.

We usually eat waffles plain or with fresh fruit on top. My favorite is strawberries, but today we had peaches from one of M's trees.



I usually make a double batch.
30th-May-2019 02:27 pm - College Classes.
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H started her summer class this week: Figure Drawing II.

Today I paid for both girls for Fall classes.
S: Sculpture I and Ceramics II.
H: Painting I and Two-Dimensional Computer Design.

Thank goodness for their ESAs started oh so many years ago.
28th-May-2019 10:17 am - Spaghetti Sauce.
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The original recipe called for about 3 cans of sauce to half a pound of ground beef. Those proportions have shifted and the size of the batch I make has grown as my children have grown.

The more ground beef you add, the meatier the sauce. When we were younger and broker, I would use less meat to sauce to add more food with less cost.

Now, usually:
9-11 cans sauce (8 oz). Salted and unsalted.
2-4 lbs ground beef. 15% fat is my favorite.
Garlic salt.
Garlic powder.
Onion powder.
Pepper.
Italian seasoning.

As usual, my seasonings are to taste.

Cook ground beef thoroughly, breaking it into mixed sized chunks. Drain fat. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Cook for at least half an hour to get everything to cook together. Mix occasionally. Sauce can be left on low for hours if needed.

Generally use an equal number of salted to unsalted tomato sauces. If you decide on an odd number of sauces, the extra is usually unsalted (though if I taste the sauce after adding the seasoning and think it needs more salt and sauce, I'll add a salted one).

I used to hate sauce on my noodles as a kid. My favorite way to eat noodles was to fry them in butter after boiling, then add shredded cheese, or just salt. My kids still like them that way, and my husband still thinks that's weird. One of my grandmothers (Dad's Mom) used to serve her noodles in a casserole pan with the sauce mixed in. I hated how that tasted (choked it down anyway, because you didn't waste food in those days). It wasn't till college that I finally understood the point of spaghetti sauce. My now hubby, then boyfriend, made me spaghetti with meat sauce. I think in my entire life, up to that point, I had only ever tasted marinara. Meat sauce was magical.

I've modified his recipe over the years to what it is today. When I was pregnant I added the no salt cans. Laziness switched his chopped garlic to powder. Our friend R (old friend of M from his home town) introduced me to the concept of onion power, so S started being able to eat my sauce (she couldn't stand chunks of onion).

Today it is a staple in our house, and C's favorite thing I make. Extra sauce usually gets eaten as leftovers. It can, however be frozen if needed, or turned into a casserole, which I will cover in another post.
22nd-May-2019 04:58 pm - Larry Correia Story Time.
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Normally I'd link to the original of such a glorious story, but he posted it on Facebook. So here is Larry Correia on teaching Cub Scouts about Capitalism.

I remembered this story because of that dumb socialist meme we were all making fun of earlier. It got big enough it needed its own post. This is about how the only good thing I ever did while drafted to be a Cub Scout leader was to teach a bunch of kids about how capitalism works.

So I had a group of about a dozen boys, and the merit badge was something about finances and fiscal responsibility, but looking at the lesson it was pretty weak, basic, and boring, so I decided to spice it up a bit by calling upon two of my great loves: Accounting and Role Playing Games.

(yeah, it sounds super dorky, but accountants make the best power gamers. Accountants are all number crunching min-maxers anyway)

So the boys get there that night, and I’ve got a game prepped. I’ve printed out stacks of fake money and bought bags of Halloween candy. I explained that the candy could be purchased during the game using the money. The candy represented “entertainment and luxuries”.

The way I set it up was that I gave the kids different career and educational options. Some paid more up front, but with limited opportunities for advancement. I made education cost money and take time.

And then each turn, I gave the kids money based upon their job.
First turn was hilarious, as the kids who have jobs that paid $10 only got $7, and I explained how taxes worked! All of them were like “What a rip off!” And I was like, oh, kids, we are just getting started, life is a series of nut kicks.

Then I made the kids budget. I had a list of expenses on the board, housing, food, transportation, insurance (and this one would come up again later). And whatever money the kids had left at the end they could use to buy candy! $1 got them a little fun size bar.

So the first few turns go the way you’d think, with the kids going nuts and immediately spending all their leftover money on candy bars. The smarter ones were getting suspicious though and starting to squirrel away money for later though.

Then I pulled out the Random Encounters table and my 20 sided dice. Oh, you kids thought that all there was too this was me feeding you candy? Oh no. Shit’s about to get real. And then I start rolling. Uh oh, you broke a tooth and need to go to the dentist. Give me a dollar. Your car broke down and needs a repair.

So now the kids are having to spend money on all those expensive things that happen in life. Only most of them don’t have savings because they’ve been spending it all on candy. Which was when I explained the concept of DEBT. 😀

So now I’m playing the bank/credit card company too, and I am super happy to give them extra dollars this turn! So they pay off their expenses. Some of the dumber kids get loans and use it to buy more candy. One kid actually surprises me and asks if he can use the loan to buy more education so he can get a better paying job next turn. HELL YEAH YOU CAN.

But then next turn for the kids who took out loans, in addition to yanking out the $3 for taxes, I also yank out an additional $1, and now I explain how interest works. Oh yeah, and this is just the interest. You still owe me $1, and I’m going to keep pulling out $1 every month until you pay me that back. And the kids were like, WHAT THE HELL MAN! THIS IS BOGUS.

And I’m like, no kids, this is Discover Card. Pay up.

So now things have gotten grim. The kids who didn’t delay gratification can no longer afford to buy candy bars. They have discovered that paying interest sucks.

Kids are getting smart. My car is broken? What if I take the bus. Okay. That’s thinking. I’ll give you that.

The random encounters table keeps pulling up events. Some are good. Some bad. This isn’t fair, they say. EXACTLY. Life isn’t fair. You lost your job. Instead of the $7 you were expecting, here is your $3 unemployment check this turn. “Good thing I’ve got savings!” High five.

And to accentuate how unfair life is, at that point I started having CANDY SALES! So now instead of $1 to buy a candy luxury, this turn the candy store is offering TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! The kids who have been building up savings are all excited, because their delayed gratification early on is now paying off big time. But the kids who glutted themselves early on are selling plasma in order to pay their interest payments and couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity when it came along.

And this is the moment when truly amazing learning occurred, because some of the kids saw an opportunity and started investing by buying excess candy when it was cheap, and then selling it to the other kids later for a profit. I hadn’t even thought of that when I was putting this together! One in particular cornered the market on the more popular Reeses and Butterfingers, and then sold those to kids who didn’t want inferior Tootsie Rolls for a profit.

Remember that thing about how one of the budget items was insurance? Well after several turns of it not being used, a few of the kids figured they just wouldn’t pay that one, and it would give them more candy money… Oh, how I had been waiting for someone to blunder into that trap. Because then when a serious medical emergency came up on the table I was taking fistfuls of money from them.

Some kids intuitively grasped the time value of money, delayed gratification, and return on their investment. Others absolutely choked. Of the 12 kids, we had one who we decided wound up in prison after he turned to a life of crime (candy theft), and another one who ended up crazy rich because he built a Twix trading empire. Some had terribly expensive random encounters, fixed what went wrong, and eventually got more candy, while others just fell apart and complained how the game wasn’t fair.

Bingo. And it never will be. Better get ready to handle your shit. Learning has occurred.

Now this story may cause some butt hurt among a certain section of the populace who believes in an archaic economic system which has been hot garbage, but to humor you if I had done a socialist version of this game I would’ve just declared a couple of them to be winners and given them the whole bag of candy, thrown a few others in the gulag, and then declared everyone was dead of starvation three turns in.

For the record though I was a terrible Cut Scout leader. I don’t do the whole singing, cheers, play dress up, rah rah thing, and I’ve got zero patience for crying. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t rock the Budget Badge (also, years later I still get drafted to do the rifle one).
17th-May-2019 02:52 pm - Day 8.
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If all goes well my family will be back very late tonight.

I had possibly one of the worst nights of sleep last night, so I'm running on fewer brain cells than normal.

I'm trying to get odds and ends taken care of today.

It's been a long week, but I've gotten a lot done here, M and the kids (especially H) got a lot done there, and Opa is done with chemo and home.
17th-May-2019 02:19 am - Day 7 (Belated Post).
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Turns out the sewer problem was an easy, $90, fix.

Opa was released from the hospital and able to come home.

Family should be home very late Friday night.

I managed flood day today. I finished trimming the last of the citrus trees. I picked up some more laundry detergent, which was necessary after venturing into S's room and deciding I needed to wash all of her blankets, too.
15th-May-2019 10:47 pm - Day 6.
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Everyone on their end is getting frazzled. Not surprising six days in, but I wish I could do more for them.

It doesn't help that the sewer is backing up in Opa's house. It started giving them problems last night. That led to a later arrival at the hotel, so everyone got less than optimal sleep (not that sleeping in a hotel ever really results in optimal sleep).

Dealing with the sewer stopped the forward momentum to getting Oma's house organized and drained energy and focus. It isn't fixed yet, but a plumber is coming by tomorrow morning.

Fingers crossed.
14th-May-2019 11:11 pm - Day 5.
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I washed a bajillion loads of laundry today, mostly blankets.

I took the shop vac to many spiderwebs and a decent amount of dust.

I trimmed a couple more trees and hauled many branches. We have a lot of trees. I still haven't gotten to them all.

While washing dishes, I watched an old Cary Grant movie I'd never seen before: The Bishop's Wife. I wish Netflix had more classic movies and an easier way to search for stuff through their phone app.

I rescued a crap ton of stuff from under H's mattress. Yes, under. Not things placed there intentionally, mind you, just the accidental result of the physics of her imperfectly fitting mattress and bedframe.

I got to chat with M for nearly an hour, which cheered me up considerably.

They cleared out Oma's hallway, which was a herculean feat and should make it much easier for Opa to get around once he comes home.

With Oma in tow, M got several bags of recycling to their proper destinations, went to the cemetery, and bought tomato plants which C helped plant.

The kids and M managed to visit a highschool friend and her son. There was Thai food, a snake, a dog, and some chickens involved.

Later they spent some time at a music store that didn't mind the kids playing around with instruments. C messed with some keyboards and an old synthesizer. S got to play with their violins, since they had a loner bow and loner rosin. I'm told she got C to try one and it wasn't pretty. H played around with a Cello strung like a bass. M played guitar and encouraged general mischief.
13th-May-2019 04:54 pm - Day 4, Monday.
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I often wake up on Mondays feeling worn out. Something about the effort I exert to be productive during a typical weekend, leaves me ready for a down day.

I ended up shrugging off this morning's malaise, by tackling the boy's room. I started by hanging a gorgeous quilt his Oma made for him up on the wall, then rehung some of the art that displaced. I refolded some laundry to better fit in his drawers. One thing led to another; once I entered that rabit hole, I couldn't bring myself to stop. I even went so far as to rearrange the furniture.

Now I need to trim some more trees.
12th-May-2019 11:55 pm - Day 3.
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It was strangely peaceful being alone for Mother's Day. I did end up talking on the phone with everyone important, so that was nice. S made a video message and texted it to me.

It rained. A nice cold rain. I managed to trim a couple of orange trees once it stopped.

I got Mocha to take a bath, and shared a video of it to Instagram for H to show to C. I promised C I'd get his goose wet every day he is gone, since she's obsessed with sitting an egg and doesn't seem willing to bathe without encouragement.

I must have been tired when I let the dogs in for their dinner. I didn't secure Arrow's kennel properly and he helped himself to my dinner as well.

I found some small flat surfaces in the house while it was raining, and broke out the shop vac to de-dust the piano.

Opa had his third out of five days of chemo. He was feeling okay today, and even managed to eat half his dinner.

Best Mother's Day present: they managed to get C in to see Opa today.
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