Friday bullets, Feb. 1, 2019

I am happy to report all survived... parents, children, dogs, chickens, ducks, and horse. I thought about adding cats and quail, but since they never venture outside, the weather made no difference to them.

  • Both J. and A. had school cancelled four days in a row, so it made for a one day work week. It was kind of a like a little mini-vacation. A cold little mini-vacation.
  • We didn't have school and had snow days as well. My rule of thumb is pretty much if Dad is off school, so are we.
  • There was a lot of game playing over the past week. Chess, mancala, pente, Biblios Dice, horses (the Vietnamese version of Parcheesi), and Suspend were some of the games. 
  • At least one child did math worksheets for fun.
  • We also finished reading our most recent book, The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz. It was a very good book, set in Ethiopia in the 1980's during the famine and war with Eritrea. It focuses on two girls who are part of one of the groups of people who flee Ethiopia and end up in a refugee camp in Sudan. It definitely illuminates an piece of history most Westerners are not familiar with. As an adult reading it, it was hard. But it is written in such a way as to be accessible to children without overly traumatizing them. It's a beautiful book, just hard. If you are studying Africa in general or Ethiopia in particular, you should really add it to your book list.
  • After Wednesday, the first day of -29 degree real temperature (that's Fahrenheit for my non-American readers) with below -50 windchill, the novelty kind of wore off, especially as some of us had left the house and lived to tell about it. Other people ventures out on day two. G. decided to head out to the barn with A. so they could let Emmy roam around the barn for a while. (She got very tired of being stuck in her stall.)


  • Aster is the only one who adored the cold weather and couldn't stay out in in long enough for her liking. On Thursday, I noticed this:

It's hard to tell, but that is TM sitting in a lawn chair while Aster bounces off some energy on the trampoline. It was -11 when I took this picture, so it had warmed up a bit.
  • L. decided that she needed to sew something during the week, so made a pattern for a frog and sewed it up all by herself.
He's wearing an apron.




  • On Tuesday, J. and TM discovered that Aster had a weird softball sized lump on her neck. This didn't seem to be good, so got an appointment the same day. Turns out it was a cyst filled with fluid which the vet drained. It is a fairly common thing especially if you have dogs who rough house together. This would certainly describe Olive and Aster. We are supposed to have them play more quietly together. Hmmm, yeah. Today, TM and I had to take Aster in to have the cyst drained again. The vet said it could take a while for it to work itself out.
  • I have nearly figured out my seed order and what I need for spring planting, I just have to order them. I think we are going to add or enlarge one of the gardens, because I think we need more room.
  • One of my snow bound projects was to finish up the post-placement reports we are required to complete on R. and Y. (Only two more years to go now.) I did that, and got them emailed off. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I get a call from an agency social worker today checking up on us. While I didn't give the most gruesome details of life with R., I also didn't make things up. The social worker started out by saying that she had read our report, and doing a little reading between the lines, saw that we had a lot on our plate, and wanted to be sure we were okay and did we need help. I was happily astounded. We ended up having a lovely conversation and they are going to help us with a matter completely unrelated to why she called. I have no hesitation to recommend CCAI as an agency. 
  • P. is currently in the Dominican Republic on the home stay portion of the cruise. They will be there for about a week. I don't have a recent email from her, but we did see a group photo of everyone after they docked and she is in the front of the photo and smiling. We are taking that to mean she is having a good time.
  • J. has been working on an itinerary for when we go meet Phoebe in Amsterdam. Going through London and taking the train to Amsterdam is looking like our most reasonable option. We might even be able to squeeze a couple of days in London on the way, followed by about five or six days in Amsterdam. I might be a lot excited.
  • Just a heads up, Chinese New Year and Tet is February 5. It will be the year of the pig.
  • I think the ducklings arrive a week from today. We should probably think about what we're brooding them in.
And that's it for this week. I'm exhausted and plan on going to bed very, very soon. Have a good weekend!

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