It's our turn for a long weekend this weekend - Queen's Birthday weekend - our official acknowledgement
of Queens Elizabeth II's birthday. Mr 15 and dh have gone on a Scout camp, the highlight of which will be the day spent making their own knife. Mr 20 has a board game mini-con this weekend and will be home only to sleep . So the girls and I have the house to ourselves. But Miss 18 is in serious study mode with a take-home test taking up the first part of the weekend and study for final exams for first semester classes occupying the rest of her time. So it is effectively just Miss 12 and me. Long weekends always seem relaxing somehow even though they don't greatly affect what we do. Apart from the long weekend we've had plenty
of other things to smile about this week.
Miss 12 wrote a great essay about the life of a medieval miller. She enjoyed learning about millers and I was pleased (relieved) that she could put together a good five paragraph report. Writing seems to have fallen by the wayside recently so it was good to know the skill itself hasn't disappeared!
We followed up last week's look at Duke Ellington's The Nutcracker with a listen to his take on Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. YouTube is a great help when it comes to music appreciation.
We got some good news about a project we'll be working on over the next few months. For now it has to remain a secret but it has us excited.
Our first postcard from Postcard Crossing arrived from Russia. The only problem is it is written in Cryllic so we have no idea what it says. Since we had to indicate what languages we speak I had assumed we'd only be receiving cards in English. Time to investigate some translations I guess!
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals arrived for us at the library. We spent a fun hour browsing through the book and deciding what to cook first -although I suspect it will take us longer than fifteen minutes to make a meal.
Monday was really cold day and hill suburbs even saw snow. We were happily snuggled up, reading by the fire, while bagel dough rose and a walnut cake was baking in the oven. As Miss 12 while looking out the window at 3pm- "I'm sure glad I don't have to walk home from school right now."
We went back to check on the cygnets and they both seem to be doing well, much to Miss 12's relief. She is fairly tender-hearted. Although she loves nature she does sometimes struggle with the harsh realities of the natural world.
It's good to know that even when things don't go according to plan we can still have a good time. Miss 12 and I went on a birding expedition hoping to see a relatively uncommon bird that had been seen in the location the previous day. We had absolutely no joy tracking it down but we still had a great morning, enjoying the birds we did see, including a kingfisher, plenty of oyster catchers and white faced herons, plus the rarer white heron again.
Miss 12 finished her rag quilt! While it isn't as pretty or as professional looking as the one that inspired us we're both pleased with the way it turned out. It's warm and cheerful, it was basically her first time with a sewing machine...and I have practically no sewing experience to pass on. Plus it was a great way to recycle some favourite old clothes.
Miss 12 discovered this Monarch with deformed wings - meaning it couldn't fly to find food. Since we are a little short on flowers in the garden at the moment she made up some sugar water to feed to the butterfly. She spent a lot of time observing it - and managed to get some great photos as well.