January 28, 2015

Nature Walk, January

This nature walk was inspired by having to catch my horse, who insisted on escaping during the coldest days of the year.  Every day, usually around dark, he would break through the fence!  It has been about three weeks since this started, and he has now been in for five consecutive days, so I'm hoping I've finally got him trapped.  

Anyway, on this particularly day, we went on a horse hunt, because he wasn't in his usual spots.  We walked down to the valley below the house, near the creek, where it is often wet and marshy.  The wet spots you see are actually ice, so The Boy had a grand time walking around on it.

After walking to the end of the valley, we came back through the woods.  It was gorgeous, brisk, and full of limbs the path that we moved out of the way.  Since we weren't tramping too quickly through the woods, we spotted deer tracks, some gross black mushrooms (below), and these cool, twisted trees.  I haven't figured out what sort they are, but The Boy quickly determined that the twisting was due to vines growing around the young trunks.  The vines are still there in the top picture, but in the bottom one, either the vine fell off or is now inside the trunk.  Fascinating.

After coming back via the woods, the horse was standing near one of his gates, waiting for food (sigh), so I let him in, then snapped this picture of the ice and snow-covered pond below.  The Boy wanted to know why it was melting in circles, and my best answer was that it warms up around the edges first, and the warmth spreads equally.  (Was I right?) That doesn't explain that dark spot near the middle though...could be where he through a rock in, because one can't have ice without throwing a rock on it when one is 10 years old.

And here are a couple of photographs of one of the black mushrooms we found - does anyone know what kind they are?  We also found several smaller, spongy yellow ones but I didn't get pictures of those.
top of mystery mushroom, before we disturbed it
underside of the mystery mushroom

This post was shared with Nature Study Mondays and the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival!

January 8, 2015

Beginning Keeping

Within the Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason community, last year the art of "keeping" leaped into the spotlight with the release of The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason (see also here and here).  I used to be a Keeper, but when life got busy, it went to the wayside.  Some positive peer pressure on the AO forum has me taking another look at the keeping way of life, and I'm determined to make a go of it again.

As Brandy suggested, I'll be adding notebooks slowly to my life so I won't overwhelm myself, or my son, who will be tagging along for his own education.  As he nears AO year 4, his own note booking is about to begin in earnest, so I'm going to lead the way.

I already have a journal for dumping my thoughts, but don't use it very often.  That's okay, its there when I need it, and its feelings aren't hurt when I leave it in a drawer.  I also started a prayer journal last year, with the intention of writing down requests as they came to me, praying over them regularly, then putting down the dates they were answered.  Oops - that fell to the wayside as well.  I will be picking that one back up, but not posting about it here, as that is a very private notebook.

So, for 2015, I plan on adding to my private and prayer journals the following:

1. Commonplace book, for keeping direct quotes from books and what-not. Started Dec. 2014 (I'm totally counting it for 2015!)
Started out as a journal when I was much younger...

Rediscovered as an adult, with many pages ripped out...
...so I decided to make it my first commonplace, knowing it was already imperfect would help me to just. do. it.

2. Bullet Journal, for keeping lists, notes, to-dos, goal tracking, and all those things I need to remember but aren't convenient in Evernote (which I use extensively already). Below are most of the pages I'm already using, by request (I'm talking to you, Dawn Girl!)  Started January 2015

3.Price Book, for comparison shopping of grocery items, to be updated at least every 6 months and adding new items regularly (bi-weekly or monthly). Example. Start goal: February 2015

4. Nature notebook, for our weekly nature walks; to include drawings and observations. Yes, we started one a few years ago, but let it slide. Start goal: March 2015

For Jan and February, I am planning on tracking the weather, as that is the current nature subject on AO.  Here's what we've got going on there - he tells me what to write, or I tell him what to write, so he participates each time in some way.

5. Book of  Centuries, which has a goal of one entry per week of an item, person or event that strikes me as important for a particular year in history.  I'm considering one of these  for both my student and myself.  Until then, we will get in the habit of adding to our timeline. (What is a BoC?) Start goal: September 2015

Most were inspired by the ladies over at AO and/or Charlotte Mason.  The price book comes from trying to be more frugal and eat healthier simultaneously, and I've seen it suggested many places over the past few years so am not sure who to attribute that one to.

My goal is to post once or twice a month with photos of our notebook keeping efforts, and to join in the link-up here.  If this is something you'd like to start to help your mind and soul keep growing, join us!