Signs of Life

Signs of life are popping up all over the garden, heralding the return of spring:

Meanwhile, the hens enjoy some sunshine after I've corralled them in the run for the evening…

Good Reads (and Eats)

A friend of mine at our knitting group gave me a couple of books recently that were excellent.  Neither of them were my usual reading genre but I wound up thoroughly enjoying both nevertheless.  The first is called The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood (a local author to boot!).  

It was a sad, sweet story about how knitting can bring people together and also be therapeutic in times of tragedy.  It was so much more poignant than the banal Friday Night Knitting Club (*blech*) with multi-dimensional characters and a refreshingly unpredicable plot.  In addition to the compelling story it really made me want to try to knit a couple of different things I've never tried before (including my first sweater! But that's a topic for another post…) 

The other book, given to me by the same person, is a memoir written by Gesine Bullock-Prado (Sandra Bullock's sister) called Confections of a Closet Master Baker.  Talent must exist in spades in the Bullock family because Gesine is a superb writer who made me feel her passion for baking so palpably that I actually am planning to try several of the recipes (yes, the prose is dotted with recipes!).  I'm not a big cook, and certainly not any kind of baker, but seeing the world of baked goods through her eyes has inspired me to try my hand at whipping up a batch of Savory Rock Scones (scones are one thing I CAN do) and maybe

even the Maple Pecan Sticky Buns.  Mmmmm….  And as an added bonus, the book was unexpectedly and downright hilarious.  The author is funny, witty and doesn't mince words, especially when dressing down the shallow, self-absorbed Hollywood types.  Very few books have me laughing out loud like this one did.  Intrigued by the book, I had to go check out Bullock-Prado's blog over at blogspot and was so glad I did.  More anecdotes to enjoy, as well as many more recipes.  

Ah, I love a good read!  Now the only question is, what to move on to next?  I'm considering re-reading Mists of Avalon since it's probably been a good decade since I last read it and I've been feeling in a very Morgraine mood (I'll leave that one to your imaginations).  Or I may try to find something else by Ann Hood…  Then there are always my herbal tomes I like to dust off and peruse for more concoctions to whip up, my garden books to look for inspiration for this year's cornucopia of herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit.  Or, I could just find comfort in the pages of my trusty ol' sci-fi/fantasy fiction… oh I dunno, what to read?

School Update

I haven't posted an update about school in a while, so here goes…

Things have been moving along pretty well, despite the fact that we've had several days this month of field trips and playing hooky!  We took a Monday off and went with some of our homeschool friends to see Avatar in 3-D at the iMax theatre.  (But, we made it up another day… that's the beauty of homeschooling )  The Peeps were so cute, they kept trying to reach out and grab things, like they weren't quite convinced it wasn't actually right in front of them, even though they knew better.  Gotta love kids…

We also took a field trip to Boston to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science…. it was awesome!  I wish they had allowed pictures.  We loved seeing all the props and sets up close.  I'm such a knitting geek that my favorite things were getting an up front view of Ron's sweaters and other goodies knitted by Mrs. Weasley. LOL  But, the best was the gorgeous knit blanket on the end of Ron's bed!  I soooo wanted to snap a picture to reference later but I didn't want to embarrass the kids by getting thrown out of the exhibit.    It inspired me to start working on my own patchwork blanket; it'll be a great way to use up leftover yarn!  Fortunately the Harry Potter Lovers Group at Ravelry had some great screen caps (page down) of said blanket.  *drool*  Anyway, we spent the whole day, had lunch, and got to look around other parts of the museum as well.  Fun day!

Our book work is moving along on schedule and I hope to be finished with the bulk of it by late April early May.  The exception is history–Story of the World has 42 chapters and we do 32 weeks of school, so that means that even if we double up a couple of weeks we will go right into June with history.  Which is fine since we really enjoy history and with our other subject finished up we can really sink our teeth into the topics.

Speaking of history, we are spending the next few weeks studying WWII and the Holocaust.  Ugh.  I truly believe there are things worth fighting for.  I'm a peace-loving gal but seriously, sometimes people need a little ass-kicking!