What a perfect little paw print!  What I saw while I was organizing my garage :-)

Today (written on Wed. Jan. 25th) I’m organizing my garage! Or I should say I’m supervising the organization of my garage! Ha ha I’m sitting in a rocking chair, in a big fluffy down jacket, telling my son and my niece what to do.


My niece is a real go-getter. She has worked for me many times before. She helped me build my spiral house up on the mountain. I pay her well because she is a very hard worker. She doesn’t let the cold or the wet stop her.

I have two workshops coming up this weekend and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I need to get some furniture out of my house, which is too full, and do some cleaning, but my garage where I want to store some of the overflow is full already.

I called Rachel and asked if she had some time to come help me get organized. I was so happy when she said she did. She came right over.

Then my daughter Melanie called and asked if I wanted the minions over today. LOL, the minions are my grandkids. I call them my minions because they are my little helpers who earn video game playing time by working for me!  I told her I was intensely focused on cleaning but I could use the older two today if she wanted to bring them over.

She brought them over and the deal was that they were to help me until it got dark then they could play video games. They helped for a good 2 1/2 hours before playtime. By then I was exhausted and we all took a break and they played games. Later I had them do another little job, then they played some more.

By the end of the day, Rachel had worked for about 7 1/2 hours. The garage was clean, the house was rearranged, I was out $108 to an excellent worker, I was exhausted, the kids had worked, and I was happy that I had accomplished everything I was hoping to. It was a great day!

My Amazing Crew of Young Men!

 Digging out a bush is hard work! With my health so poor that exertion makes me winded and my heart race, having a crew of young men is an amazing thing.
When my two young grandchildren begged to stay with me for a couple days, I warned them I would put them to work. They eagerly agreed so today we are creating a space for the next vegetable herb garden.

I am very proud of them. I give them breaks every hour to play games for 30 minutes, and then we get back to work. We will have ice cream treats when we’re finished.

Update: after trying to pull the stump out with the truck, and having the rope break, my grandson put his back against the wall and pushed with his feet and knocked the stump loose. It was only a matter of minutes until they had pulled it completely out.

Making a Cottage Art Studio : Part 2 – A Zen Attitude

When Melanie left I felt sad, partly because I would miss her and partly because I wanted us to keep working on the art studio!!!  We put one of the 8 paned windows in before she left, and I put the other one in the next day with the help of my sister, niece, and daughter.

Today I decided to make needed repairs on the structure surrounding the area intended for the French doors and also create a space to install the doors.  I was so happy that I had the strength and energy to work on this section without Melanie helping me.  My son Ryan helped when I needed an extra hand, and so did my niece and her son.  It doesn’t look like much yet but I can see the finished product in my mind, and this cottage art studio is going to be beautiful!

Seeing and helping parents work on projects like this is so good for kids, too.  One nice thing about homeschooling is the kids are home to see and help with whatever project we are doing.  Melanie says watching and helping me work on projects while growing up gave her the confidence to tackle similar projects in her own home.  Seeing her work on this cottage with me the other day was sure proof of that, she was the boss lady and I was the helper!

Knowing how easily I tire, my daughters Melanie and Melissa talked to me about going forward with this construction in a “Zen” way.  Work when I have the energy, rest when I need to, and enjoy each step of the process.  It’s all about the journey.

Gardening With Kids!

IMG_1970IMG_1971IMG_1974These kids really impressed me.  The 3 older boys practically fought over who was going to shovel the bedding mix out of the truck!  We had to set a timer so they could switch out every 5 minutes so they could each get a turn.  Of course, getting a tiny little tootsie roll when they switched out of the truck each time didn’t hurt either.

The younger two, who weren’t old enough to be shoveling from the truck were nonetheless fully immersed in the project.  From digging with a trowel to dodging the flying dirt, they had a ball.

I am really seeing a positive turn in the kids as we adhere to the work ethic for the younger kids in this Thomas Jefferson Education program.  We read together every day, and we work every day, and they have plenty of free time to play outside, interact with each other, and work out issues with our guidance.  Video games are allowed a small fraction of the play time in the evening after the house is clean and chores are done.

My older daughter is studying most of her day, as she is in the “scholar” stage.  They study the theories and philosophies of the great thinkers in history.