Friday, March 27, 2015

Quote for the day: Paul Klee

"First of all, the art of living; then as my ideal profession, poetry and philosophy, and as my real profession, plastic arts; in the last resort, for lack of income, illustrations."   —Paul Klee.

(Gualtieri Di San Lazzaro, Klee. Praeger, New York, 1957, p. 16)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's for supper? Spaghetti pie

Tonight's dinner menu:

That 1970's throwback, Spaghetti Pie (leftover spaghetti mixed with egg, leftover meat sauce, cottage cheese, cheese on top)

Baked potatoes and leftover fish for those who don't like Spaghetti Pie

Apple slices baked with dates and a little cinnamon.
Spaghetti Pie before baking
After baking, with cheese

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What's for supper? Black and white chili

Tonight's dinner menu:

Black and White Checkered Chili, from Saving Dinner. I added an extra can of white beans at the end because I found it too soupy.

Frozen breaded fish, for those that want it

Bread, carrot sticks, and other assorted leftovers.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Starting Term Three, school plans for the week (Lydia's Grade Eight)

Ten things on the list for this week's school:

1. Bible articles from this month's Mennonite Brethren Herald. It appeared in our mailbox and I thought we'd make the most of it.

2 & 3. Start reading our new Shakespeare play and Plutarch's life (Timoleon) for the term.

4. Read George Herbert's poems: Redemption, The Agonie, and Joseph's Coat.

5. Start reading Beyond Texting together.

6. Work on Churchill's New World, chapter 19, about "Cromwell's Terror."

7. Paul Klee, "Flower Myth."

8. The Seashell on the Mountaintop: Chapter 10 De Solido.  "Given a substance endowed with a certain shape, and produced according to the laws of nature, to find in the substance itself clues disclosing the place and manner of its production."

9. Keep reading Perelandra.

10. Start practicing for the Gauss Mathematics Competition in May.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What's for supper? Chicken and spring things, now with recipe

Sunday dinner, first weekend of spring:

Roast chicken
Reheated rice
Butternut squash
Salad
Peach cobbler
Peach Cobbler
The batter is Bettina's Cottage Pudding, from A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband.
1 600 g bag frozen peaches (that's about a 20 oz. bag in Imperial)
A spoonful of butter or margarine, and a sprinkle of sugar

Batter:
1 cup flour
1 2/3 tsp. baking powder (who wants to measure that? I just put in about 2 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 well-beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. melted butter (I have used canola oil and margarine)
1/4 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract (I used lemon)
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F. In a greased casserole or pan, put the peaches plus a bit of butter or margarine and a little sugar. If the peaches are still frozen, put the pan in the oven while it is preheating and you are mixing the batter. Leave it in at least long enough so that you start to smell the peaches warming up. If the peaches are thawed, it still doesn't hurt to warm them up a bit before putting batter on them.
Mix the dry ingredients first, then beat in the egg and milk, adding melted butter and flavouring last. Remove the pan (carefully) from the oven, and spread the batter on top. It will be thick and will probably not go right to the edges, but that's all right, just do the best you can. Put it back in the oven and bake for about half an hour, until the cake part is baked through and starting to brown. I baked it uncovered, but if you would rather have more of a steamed pudding, you could put a lid on it or cover with foil. Makes about six servings.

Quote for Sunday: A preserved Cindy quote on leisure

"It is interesting how disconcerting this idea of leisure is." ~~ Cindy Rollins, Ordo Amoris blog (2010)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Blog pause for Spring Break

I am taking a few days off here to clean the Treehouse and work on a reading/writing project.  Happy Spring Break!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

CM Quote for the Day: A Full Reservoir

 "Now the thought that we choose is commonly the thought that we ought to think and the part of the teacher is to afford to each child a full reservoir of the right thought of the world to draw from. For right thinking is by no means a matter of self-expression. Right thought flows upon the stimulus of an idea, and ideas are stored as we have seen in books and pictures and the lives of men and nations; these instruct the conscience and stimulate the will, and man or child 'chooses.'" ~~ Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, page 130

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cherry Pi for 3-14-15

Sweet Cherry Pi(e)

1 unbaked bottom piecrust, pat-in is fine
1 bag frozen sweet cherries, partly thawed (on sale this week at Food Basics)
about 1/2 cup red jam, any kind, mixed with 1 tbsp cornstarch and a little water (I shook it up in the jam jar)

1 recipe favourite crisp-crumbles (flour, sugar, oats, oil, sprinkle of cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread fruit in crust. Top with jam-water-cornstarch mixture, then crumble topping. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then about 40 minutes at 350 degrees, until topping is light brown and filling is set. If you didn't add enough water to the jam and cornstarch, you may have a slightly stiff filling, but you can always add something nice like vanilla ice cream to go alongside it, and nobody will complain.

Friday, March 13, 2015

OK, now I am really afraid

You thought you'd had your shudder for the day? How about adult pre-school? (link to video)

P.S. Why don't these people who want to fingerpaint and dress up just homeschool their kids?

Some good blog stuff to pass on

A couple of blog posts you really shouldn't miss this week:

The Deputy Headmistress at The Common Room has started a series about the Charlotte Mason approach to composition. This is not just theory; the DHM has a whole lot of years of experience with this, both ups and downs.

The latest Seven Quick Takes post on Afterthoughts has a couple of good links to challenging articles. Plus a cute baby goat.

That's all for now! (Really, there's enough in there to keep anybody busy for awhile.)

Quote for the day: A little, little area where I must rule myself

"I neither could nor would rule my King. (Pleasantly) But there’s a little . . . little, area . . . where I must rule myself. It’s very little—less to him than a tennis court." ~~ Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt
Don't we all want that right?

Someone loaned Mr. Fixit a copy of Jean Vanier's five Massey Lectures, Becoming Human (1998). In the first lecture, Vanier lists several aspects of love, using the example of Claudia, a disabled woman living in one of the l'Arche communities. I think this makes a good point about respecting, celebrating and empowering each person:
"Assistants in l'Arche are not there to make people with disabilities somehow 'normal,' but to help them grow towards maturity....Nadine's role, as well as the role of the other assistant, was not to control, possess, or program Claudia, but to help her blossom forth into freedom, to encourage her to grow and to accept herself as she is. Claudia's life is her own secret."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What's for supper? Potato dinner, change of flavours

Tonight's dinner menu, changed slightly:
Two skillet dinners, one with ground beef, one with romano beans; pizza sauce, celery, onion, tomato puree, mushrooms, leftover potatoes, seasonings. Italian cheese blend if you want.
An experiment-cake made with blueberries and half a bag of frozen cranberries. It is very soft and fruit-heavy, so definitely a fork-eater.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Looking for good definers

In How to Read a Book, Mortimer J. Adler spends some time on the problem of, literally, "coming to terms" with an author. That is, making sure that we understand how he defines or uses certain words, because one person who writes about "love" may mean something different from another.

In Concerning the Teacher, St. Augustine says pretty much the same thing:
"He merely calls the thing about which he was thinking by a name which is other than the one by which we call it. We should agree with him at once if we could read his mind and see directly the thought which he was unable to express by the words spoken and the statement made. They say that definition can cure this error, so that in this case, if the speaker were to define what virtue is, it would be clear that the controversy is not about the thing but about the word. Now I may grant that this is so, but how often is it possible to find good definers?"

What's for supper? Starts with P

Tonight's dinner menu:

Polish wieners
Potato casserole (chopped potatoes, vegetable broth, olive oil, smoked paprika, kosher salt)
Peas

Last night's fruit crisp.

Quote for the day: why not to rush through lessons

First posted here March 2013. From The Divine Comedy: III. Paradise, Canto V, translated by Dorothy L. Sayers and Barbara Reynolds.  Beatrice says to Dante:

Thou must sit still at table long enough
To let digestion work, the which would fain
Have more assistance, for this food is tough.

Open thy mind; take in what I explain
And keep it there; because to understand
Is not to know, if thou dost not retain.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quote for the day: Critics can be their own worst critics

"I had grave doubts about my fitness to discuss the question of research in the humanities, because I have been deflected from everything that could conventionally be described as research, in the sense of reading material that other people have not read, or have read for a different purpose." ~~ Northrop Frye, "The Search for Acceptable Words," in Spiritus Mundi

What's for supper? Oven meal

Tonight's dinner menu:

Honey-mustard chicken
Baked sweet potatoes
Casserole of leftover Pasta with Garlicky Greens and Beans (mostly just the pasta) plus cheese, milk, broth, and extra seasonings

Cranberry-blueberry crisp.

Updates to Lydia's Grade Eight

I have updated our Grade Eight page to show some plans for Term Three.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Sun is Out

Spring is on the way; it's up to 3 degrees (Celsius), sunny, and it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow.

Maybe I will even have a snow-half-gone photo to put at the top of the blog.

Term Two Exam Questions (Lydia's Grade Eight)

Some of these are from the online exam questions for AmblesideOnline Year 8; a couple were taken from original PNEU school programmes; and some are questions of my own invention.
Christian Studies
1. Tell back a) one of the Old Testament passages and b) one of the Gospel passages from your recent readings.
2a. How does the story of Perelandra seem to parallel that of Adam and Eve (so far)? How do you think it is going to turn out?
OR
2b. Give some examples of ways that artists have tried to emphasize the humanity or the divinity of Jesus. If you were an artist trying to show what Jesus is like for your own age group, time and culture, how might you portray him (but not go "too far?") (You do not have to draw it, just give ideas.)

Mathematics
Questions are attached.
English Literature
1. Make a list of the chief characters in a) The Merchant of Venice or b) Fierce Wars, Faithful Loves, and write a short description of one out of EACH book. Make a list of favourite lines in the case of a).
2. What do you know of Sir Francis Bacon and his "new ways of wisdom?"
3 What poems by George Herbert have you read? Give the substance of two of them.

History
1. In what ways did Charles I set aside the Magna Charta? Describe the "storm that followed."
2. How did Puritanism affect English culture in the 17th century?

Geography
1. Describe, a), a journey across Tanzania from the coast to Lake Tanganyika, b), the island of Zanzibar. Give a rough sketch map.
2.  Give examples of the conflict that arose between Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. What finally happened to show that they should go their own separate ways?
Natural History and General Science
1a. Explain in detail one of the scientific things that "don't make sense."  OR
1b. How can the universe be said to be "elegant?" Explain in as much detail as you can.
2. Describe some of the early work of Nicolaus Steno.
3. What do you know about lemmings? What principle does their life cycle illustrate?
4. Write either an interview, a journal entry, or a dialogue relating to one of the incidents from Exploring the History of Medicine.

Citizenship/Government

1. What is the trouble with political power? Give examples.
2. Read either of the editorials marked from last week's newspaper, and write a response, based on your understanding of liberty and democracy.
3. What do you know of The Way of the Will? (How do we live best by using our wills?)

Reading Skill (How to Read a Book)
1. What are some legitimate ways of disagreeing with an author?
Picture Study
1. Describe a picture from this term's study of Albrecht Dürer.

Recitation
Recite the memory work you have prepared.

Singing
Sing your favorite hymn from this term.

Handicrafts
Show some work in handicrafts from this term to someone outside your family.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Quote for Sunday: T.S. Eliot, From fire by fire

“The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.” 

~~ T.S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"

Illustration from The Princess and Curdie, by George MacDonald
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