Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Writing Home, S.1 : Ep. 2

How about a post without any pictures?

That sounds dreary, but the laptop's screen is broken, Lightroom is only on the laptop and I have not taken any nice pictures with my iPhone. I'll go through them later, maybe one or two can work.

The topics were, again: 

The weather

The weather is still gorgeous, surprisingly and mercifully.  It has rained one day during the past week, and more rain is predicted for tomorrow.  The day temperatures have been ranging between 25 and 30, very similar to South Africa now, but the nights are colder over there.  All this rain makes me worry about how we will mow the not-lawn at the new house.  It is grass, and we will be expected to mow it, but it is not a level surface you can cut with a regular mower. I think they had a little ride-on-mower, and we will not be able to buy one of those now.  Should we get a landscaper to mow it now and again with his ride-on-mower?  Which makes me start to think about illegal immigrants and the whole immigration debacle and I just do not want to go there right now...

Our house

Yes, it is officially ours now.  Wow.  I love it, although I promised never to love a house again.  We go there every Saturday night for a barbecue (the boys call it camping), and I go there every afternoon to paint, since we decided that the shade of beige was unacceptable.  We are not painting all the rooms now, but we will, eventually.  I am painting Jean's room grey (Winter's Day and Schoolhouse Slate, by Martha Steward).  Our room will be Flagstone and Sandpiper... All neutral, desaturated colors.  We have decided to paint the wood paneling too. I will try to take a picture of the den with its floor to roof paneling.  I feel sorry for the man who installed it, but he has passed on, and we cannot live in such a dark space.  Or let's rather say, we would prefer a surface that reflects more of the natural light, since I am sure we could live in about anything.

 I think I should say we will move when we must.  Although I am packing, (I have taken all my yarn there already, and a lot of the boy's toys), by far the most of our belongings still have to be packed and moved to the PackRat.  And then there will have to be a day that we move the PackRat.  After that, we will have to get another crate for the rest of the things...  I do not think we will get professional movers this time, it is very expensive.  Everyone at church offers to help, but I feel uncomfortable accepting help with a move - it is so unpleasant, I would prefer containing the damage to one family? Who knows what my reasons are.  All I know now is that I should not slack, I should just keep on packing, and by the end of the month it will be over, because we have to be out by the 31st.

At school this week

You can imagine, just doing the core: math, reading and writing, Latin, and some history through reading. And Spanish, which is not really the core, but would make finding illegal immigrants to help easier. (Just kidding!)  Jean finished Meet Robert E Lee today.  He was in tears.  General Lee had difficult decisions to make, it explains the complexities of the American Civil War on a level that children can understand.  Jean deeply identified with the character,  and it exhausted him.  Finding him crying in the kitchen, reading aloud the last two pages to his little brothers to share his agony with them, was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.  

Melva is pretty much immersed in her Math, finishing Pre-Algebra in 5 weeks and starting Algebra in 3 (oops).  She did well in the last in-house math competition, improving her score from a year ago by more than 50%, and jumping several spots in the ranks.  All of that aside, I love the people I meet at math team.  One of my friends will teach a little group Middle English starting in the fall, and another friend from math team offered to lead a book club for middle school girls where they would be free to discuss worldview questions. 

An interesting observation that Jean made this week:  "Bilbo Baggins did not believe in God and Jesus, mamma". "Why, Jean?"  "Because you cannot believe in Jesus and not talk about it. Not for as long as that book is."  Well, except maybe if you grow up in a place where everyone believes?  I was asking myself, because I cannot remember speaking much about God when I was young.  Says the Christian who does not mention her faith in her "about" profile anywhere.  The trick is to tell the truth, though. (Not the truth about whether you believe or not, but the truth about Jesus.)

What I am reading

Which brings me to my book:  The Screwtape Letters.  I have listened through the whole book last week, and now I am listening to it again.  An older, more senior demon writes letters to his nephew, instructing him on how to lead his subject, a young man, safely home to their father, the devil.  CS Lewis is brilliant when it comes to making things clear, and pointing out stumbling blocks in the life of all believers.  This is a book I should reread every year.

One before and after

 This is cheating, actually, since I have already posted these on Facebook.
Move four q-tips to make 3 equilateral triangles:

Clever, isn't it?  We love Beast Academy.

And one terrible picture of the upstairs bedroom and media room, that were connected:

but no longer are... (This was after the first coat of paint, a second coat today made a big difference.  It is so dark, I think I will have to do another coat to cover the beige completely.)  The lighter gray covered the beige much easier (the wall on the left hand side).  Jean loves it, and I am trying to think how I can sneak yellow accents into the room without losing the masculine feel of the room...Yellow battleships, maybe?


  1. Dankie. Wens ek kon Julia en Maria vir 'n rukkie leen, synde ons in elk geval "ongedokumenteerde" immigrante oorweeg :)

  2. Hulle twee nou juis besig om kombuis leeg te maak. Brent begin vandag met fase twee van die kombuis vervang. Ek verwag 'n groot gemors wat ons sal noop om vir 'n ruk lank net klaargemaakte Woolies kos te eet. Maar dit kos ook 'n klomp geld, so ons kan nie nou die Woolies kos bekostig nie - conundrum.