Thursday, September 29, 2016

The time from Michaelmas to Christmas, when night rules the day, and the earth grows cold and dark, is the shadow time; light and life retreat; soil and water turn to stone and seal the earth until spring. And now, in these dying days, while the earth is still open, the shadow spirits come forth.

Grey day, dark at four; Hurry home and shut the door. ~ Shirley Hughes

Earlier this month, the harvest moon was the loveliest I have ever beheld: it was immense and golden with a misty halo 'round it.

On Instagram, there is a meme going around: Which three fictional characters are you? I don't have a cell phone, so I can't play on Instagram. But, I can play here! I tried to think of characters that I am actually like, rather than characters I wish I could be:

1) Aunt Becky from the TV show Full House
2) Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter (Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is a hedgehog washerwoman who lives in a tiny cottage and makes her living doing laundry for the animals in the neighborhood)
2) Snow White (Walt Disney's version-because I sing, live a quiet domestic life, and have an affinity with creatures of all kinds)

Which three fictional characters are you most like?

Yesterday was chilly and gray. Luke called me to the window to see these crows mob this handsome sharp-shinned hawk. I went outside and watched the battle for a while. The hawk held his ground, but then the crows called for reinforcements and the hawk finally retreated.

We've been back to our home school lesson work for three weeks now. I only have two students left this year. My oldest three children all have jobs but, thankfully, still live at home. I savor every minute with them.

Sometimes when my two students are working on their lessons, I play with words. The other day I wrote this poem:
I knew your hair
Pale as moonlight,
Dark as well water
Wondering why I 
Open the gate and 
Through the needle
To the garden
Where I knew you
If you look, there is a "hidden" message. : )


At this time of year I think a lot about education and what I want for my children. I believe that education is the lifelong pursuit of developing one’s potential and creativity as a human being, and the  purpose of education is to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, one that is significant for other people as well as oneself. I also believe that the very nature of human beings is to learn. In the same way that a plant’s nature is to reach toward sunlight and water, human nature is to inquire and create constructively and independently from the resources available. The effort needed to learn is a fulfilling, constructive force that results in a positive self-concept unless coerced or pressed beyond one’s developmental ability. 

I have never followed a systematic, graded, artificial scope and sequence with my children. There are a lot of walks in the woods and on the beach, a lot of trips to museums and interesting places, a lot of making and doing. There are lots of stories and articles to share and read and maps to pore over, and music, songs, films, and art. These are the things that make up our curriculum. We make a practice of recording our adventures, experiences and impressions in words and illustrations. We enjoy many--and deep—conversations. Math is our servant, applied when we need it to make sense of the world or solve a problem while cooking, knitting, buying and selling, woodworking, gardening, writing music, planning a trip, etc. We discuss world events and the problems faced by society past and present. We delve deeply into matters of religion and politics.

I cannot say with any confidence that my children's education is "better" than the education provided by schools. All I can say is that it is unique and personal and infused with great love.

I have been enjoying the long, cool evenings with outdoor fires and indoor candles and twinkle lights. Last weekend, a big garden spider warmed herself on the fireplace grate. I waited until she was toasty, then I flicked her off so I could roast my marshmallow.

Lately, I've been so busy with everything that I've fallen far behind in correspondence, knitting, reading, and blog-keeping. I am hoping that autumn's longer evenings will give me more time for these activities. Elvis wants to help me write a letter on my yellow lap desk. : )   

These are my favorite nights of the year. They are perfect for books and blankets, hot tea and cocoa, popcorn and board games. 
I watched the first Presidential debate Monday night with boredom and disgust. Some people point to one or the other of the two candidates as being "the lesser of two evils", but really, there is no such thing; Satan or Lucifer--what's the difference? I wish that the Green Party candidate (Dr. Jill Stein) and the Libertarian Party candidate (Gary Johnson) were allowed to participate in the debates. Perhaps they are just two more devils, but we will never know. I shudder to think about what is happening to this country . . . but of course greed and corruption have been going on for a long time. I believe that my generation and the one before it are the worst that have ever lived--materialistic, godless, narcissistic, immoral, hedonistic addicts. We are leaving our children and grandchildren without a solid foundation and with a hopeless mess from which to try and build their lives. It makes me very sad. 

A lot of people I've talked to said that they are probably not going to vote. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure if it even matters. 

What I will do is keep living and loving and nurturing my family and my critters and plants, and praying and worshiping God with a grateful heart.


  1. Your home looks so warm and lovely (and clean!) I adore the poem, and appreciated too its hidden message :-) I love it every time you write something like that.

    I too watched the debate and tried to see it as entertainment, because otherwise my heart would break. Even living at the bottom of the world, I am frightened of your upcoming election. Please do vote, even if it is for the lesser of two evils. Not voting, or voting for one of the two lesser choices, is akin to voting for the gentleman candidate (if I can call him that). I do not envy you your choices.

    Autumn blessings to you, my dear friend. May your life always be as beautiful, peaceful, and rich as it seems here. <3

    1. Thank you for saying such nice things about my poem and my home, and for giving me such a lovely blessing! ♥

      I must tell you that in my state, voting for one of the two alternative party candidates is a vote FOR Hillary Clinton. Of course, I am 99.9% certain that Hillary Clinton will win the upcoming election regardless of how anyone votes. The Democratic party and her campaign purposefully sabotaged Bernie Sanders and the entire nomination process. That is a fact. It is also a fact that when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State she knowingly compromised the security of the United States which led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. Anyone else would be charged with treason. I *despise* Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton is NOT a less evil choice. I can't think of a worse person to be America's first woman President. It is all very disheartening.

  2. cozy cozy house! I love your poem and I see the hidden message :) This time of year is quite reflective for me and I love the creativity I feel. I hope you are feeling it as well.

    1. Thank you, Karen! I love this time of year the bestest.♥ I do feel more reflective AND more productive in the fall.

  3. Your long nights with tea and blankets sound perfect, S. Peace keep you as the nights grow long. <3

  4. A lovely post. I admire you so much, Susan, being on down the road from where I am now. We have been having fires, too, and it has been so nice. What is that snow scene you have framed?


    1. Thank you, so much for your kind words, Brandy.♥ I picked up that snow scene at our flea market last fall for $8.00. It is a vintage 1970's Grandma Moses print titled "Out For The Christmas Trees". It's one of my favorite things in my whole house.

  5. So many fine thoughts, Susan. I agree with everyone here that your home holds a beautiful light these days. I think you are making the right choices with your educational process. You seem to be teaching how to live in this world and how to explore and discover knowledge. Reading, writing and discussion first and foremost. I have such respect for that.
    Oh! The debate. It was so infuriating to watch that I can barely recall what they even talked about. Maybe because they didn't. I can't seen to get past the idea that Hillary, at best, will be ineffectual, and Trump, at best, will cause us some serious damage in international relations. I, too, fear for our children and grandchildren.
    Meanwhile, it's October and hopefully things will begin to slow just a bit. This year I'm looking forward to a quiet Autumn and peaceful holidays.
    Letter coming . . . .