Shoveling Out, and Moving On…

This was a wild week of weather and whatnot!

Fat Foot…

My poor hubby has a chronic condition called gout. For any of you out there who have never had it, it is a terribly painful condition (usually of the feet, particularly around the big toe) where uric acid crystals build up like tiny needles in and around joints. For any of you who HAVE, I don’t have to tell you how painful it is. Even the brush of a bedsheet over the affected area elicits reflexive karate chop motions from my dear spouse. Just before Storm Nemo swept thru the Northeast, gout swept thru my husband’s left foot, causing it to swell to uncomfortable proportions. We have all pitched in to take up his fatherly slack (as best we can), and take turns entertaining him.


Then Storm Nemo hit. And hit. And hit. When all 30 inches or so had finally landed, I was forlorn. I’m tough, but I wasn’t sure I was tough enough to dig out from all that snow. Soon, my eldest son would call and suggest that we help each other dig out, because, “misery loves company.” My youngest helped a neighbor dig out, then I helped my eldest son dig out, then my middle son and his girlfriend came out and dug their cars out , then a neighbor came out and helped us all finish, then everyone came over to my house and helped me dig out. Then another neighbor came to help push my car out so we could clear the spot. Then we dug his car and his wife’s car out (you can see a white lump that is Erica’s car, in the photo), and moved on to my husband’s truck. Someone else dug a path to the laundry room. Someone else found the recycling bin that had been plowed in by the plow. Four hours later, we were all cold, and wet, and exhausted, but we got to know one another better, laughed together, and really celebrated community. It was well worth a line of wet socks on the edge of the bathtub. (PS My husband tried to come out and help, and one of my neighbors scolded him! That’s love…)

Food, Glorious Food…

Fortunately, I had done a big shopping trip a day before the storm hit, and we didn’t lose power, so I could cook. We cooked a lot, just in case we DID lose power later (we didn’t). One meal we enjoyed was a great crockpot chicken and mushroom gravy:

  • Put 4 boneless chicken breasts on the bottom of a slow-cooker.
  • Add 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic Condensed Soup (do not add water).
  • Rinse the soup can with 1/2 a soup can of hard dry cider – add to pot.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and soul seasoning (optional – we like it).
  • Cook on high power for 6 hours.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

File, Not Found…

UN-fortunately, the great coupon file I created last week got left in my shopping cart when I did my big shopping. Wah. I consoled myself, saying 1) it’s only paper; 2) it took me only a month to create, so I can create another one; 3) whoever took it home must have needed it more than I do.

Fine Arts…

We took advantage of the indoor time created by the blizzard to start SQUILT (Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time) for our fine arts homeschool work. We started with “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” by Claude Debussy. My son loved the music, and the activity, and asked to do it again! Then we observed Renoir’s “La Grenouillere“, and read three poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson. A great winter day of homeschool.

Here’s a great notebooking page I used for the artist study.

I collect lots of ideas for the arts on Pinterest.  Follow my boards for more ideas from other homeschoolers:

Funny Stuff…

My son’s girlfriend owns the first season of one of our favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory, on DVD. We began a marathon of BBT watching during the “shoveling out” days — I love the egg-heady conversation about Star Trek and photons, differential equations and Darth Maul, space travel and comic books. I also love the themes of lasting friendship, and the (mostly) family-friendly humor.


February 14 was Valentine’s Day. It is also our anniversary. We celebrate it as a family holiday, since a marriage is the birth of a family. My youngest son was just as excited as we were! Check out the jewelry I got from my sentimental and incredible husband. He is a keeper… xoxoxo

Forging on…

Next week, we will continue with our studies of nests with some notebooking activities, learn about Benjamin Franklin and Pericles, study the founding of New Haven Colony and U.S. Geography, continue reading Robinson Crusoe, Cymbeline and the poems of Tennyson, and learning more about the works of Debussy and Renoir. I’m looking forward to it!

Everyone, hug your honey-love, kiss your babies, thank God for the love in your life and home, and have a terrific long weekend!

~ Kim

Homegrown Learners