It’s That Time of Year…

We're back to school for another two weeks before we begin our winter break (to start back up in January).  I'm ready for it!  We took Thursday and Friday off this past week and it was nice; made me realize how much I DO need a bit of respite from school.  I'm really looking forward to all our Yule activities!  The calender for December has really filled up, but without the worry of getting our school work done, I'm happy to be busy with the bustle of the season.

Work-wise we are doing well… on schedule with all of our subjects.  The only thing I'm stressing a bit about is science; we haven't done as much as I'd like this semester.  With that in mind, I've signed us up for a bunch of fun activities and projects at the Nature Center during the month of December.  Though technically we're in the Physics phase, a little nature study will be a welcome change! 

I'm almost done with my shopping… since our holiday is a mish-mash of French, Catholic (DH) and pagan (me) traditions, I find myself in the position of getting a few things to be from Santa (stocking and a few under-the-tree gifts), Père Nöel (a couple gifts under the shoe), and me (on the Winter Solstice I give each Peep a small, usually handmade gift).  We don't go crazy with the gifts… I mean, it shouldn't be about the STUFF, you know??  In the past it was more difficult… friends and family literally inundated the Peeps with toys and trinkets.  After years of gentle persuasion on my part, they've all mellowed considerably in that regard, which I very much appreciate.  A few special, well-thought out gifts are much more appreciated these days, as they've learned to value quality over quantity.

At any rate, for now, we will spend our days the next couple of weeks concentrating on school,  while visions of sugar plums dance in our dreams at night.

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More Bounty from the Garden

Herbs are amazing; they just keeping giving and giving!  I still have
most of my culinary herbs going strong in the herb bed just outside the
kitchen (most of the medicinal herbs are located out in the garden,
which is a bit of a walk).  So, yesterday I gathered a bunch of oregano
and white ceremonial sage.   I've been hearing so much about the
wonders of oregano oil, especially as it pertains to flu, so I decided
to make a batch for myself.  The white sage I've been growing for a while with the intent
of making my own sage smudges.  I finally decided to get around to it! 
It was pretty easy, and the result was pretty cool.  It's hanging from
a kitchen beam at the moment; I can't wait to be able to use it!

The Flu Blues

The flu hit Firefly Farm last week.  Not sure if it was the dreaded H1N1 or not but I have a feeling it was because of the unusual way it presented:  For Peep #1, it was high fever, nasal congestion, and a cough; for Peep #2 the symptoms were high fever, achiness, and a bit of a cough.  For me, it was achiness, stomach upset, a very dry cough– but with NO FEVER.  Apparently that is not uncommon with Swine Flu, but it is unheard of in typical flu.  So I'm pretty confident that's what we had.  Regardless, I started us all on Oscilicoccinum at the start of symptoms.  Everyone one got two doses for two days, and I have to say I was amazed at the effect.  All of us experienced only one really bad day with it.  I also plied everyone with plenty of green tea and garlic, so I think that helped as well.

  I really believe in letting a fever burn out the virus, so I will let it go until it gets very high (over 103 is my marker).  At that point I will give acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but I am really loathe to do that.  For one thing, as I just mentioned– I want the fever to do it's job, but mostly it's all the extra CRAP they put in children's medications!  Red #40, sodium benzoate, ASPARTAME??  Yeah, here's the medicine to fix your main symptom, served up in a bunch of shiite that will poison the rest of you!    It is so typical of allopathic medicine I want to scream.  **deep breath**  At any rate… I am very glad to be on the mend and hopefully past this for the season.  Now we have a bit of catching up to do with school!

Out, Damned Spot!

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Took the Peeps to see a performance of Macbeth this morning.  Let me tell you, eight-thirty is early for Shakespeare, even for the caffeine-fortified!  Still, it was an awesome show, put on by a small local theatre group. Afterward the cast and director sat on the stage, talked with us, and answered various questions on the art of acting and in particular performing Shakespeare.

Macbeth

Macbeth

The Peeps enjoyed the preformance as well; they had been suitably prepped (I’d hoped).  Last week we read Macbeth from Tales from Shakespeare, as well as a study guide the theatre company provided and character bios.  We also re-listened to the SOTW adaptation from the Middle Ages audio CD.

 

I don’t know why, but I feel there is value in being well-versed (or even partially-versed) in Shakespeare.  The stories are timeless, the writing lyrical, and the characters compelling.  Fortunately for me there are so many wonderful adaptations to gently introduce  younger students to the world of the great Bard of Avon.  Even when the Peeps were little I remember reading them a fantastically illustrated version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream that they absolutely loved.  Hopefully, I am instilling a life-long love of his work, if not outright bardolotry.

ETA:  My favorite quote of the play, spoken by Lady Macbeth to her husband after he has made a scene of seeing Banquo’s ghost at his dinner party:  “You have displac’d the mirth.”   LOL