Taking the Scenic Route

Spring Flowers

29th March 2010

Spring Flowers

I picked up a few packets of seeds at Aldi and we attempted to plant them.  It was way windy, so it will be interesting to see how many of them made it in the planters and how many we have in the lawn.

posted in Garden, Spring, The Kids | Comments Off

22nd September 2008

I think I found the problem with the tomatoes.

Looked it up. It is a Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca Sexta), a close cousin to the Tomato Hornworm, but the Tomato one has a black horn and the Tobacco one has a red horn. Both eat tomatoes. I discovered that this is the last stage before it goes into a cocoon and emerges a gigantic, beautiful moth. It is horrible in gardens for tomatoes, but a good pollinator and I am trying to figure out what I want to do with the sucker. I really hate to kill it, but I want my tomatoes. It didn’t seem to be going very fast so I figured I would think about it overnight.

Today I did incorporate the caterpillar into the home school. Instead of having Zane work with pictures on his Visualizing and Verbalizing work, I took him outside and used the prompt questions to observe and describe the caterpillar. Some of the things I was planning on showing him didn’t work so well in real life. After looking at videos of the hornworm on YouTube (there are lots), the bugs apparently ooze green goo out both ends when they are disturbed (like when people pick them off of plants). I was going to annoy it with a stick and show Zane that because I knew he would think that was cool. The worm was slumped over and showed almost no resistence to being moved. I put him on the ground and he responded just enough to let me know he was still alive, but probably not by much. I guess mother nature took care of the decision for me.

I did find one person online who likes these critters enough to raise them. Apparently, they are also used a lot for scientific studies, sort of the lab rat for the insect world, because they are big enough to really see the organs with the naked eye and easier to dissect.

Later this evening or tomorrow I plan on helping Zane look up info about it and attempt to have him to make a report (as much as we can…might be pretty short. lol), but I am really tired and he isn’t cooperating well. (he usually does, so I assume he isn’t feeling great either)

And one last bit of good news, Finally, we have a red pepper. mmmmm

posted in Garden, Homeschool | Comments Off

12th July 2008

Lazy Summer Days









posted in Garden, Summer, The Kids | Comments Off

29th May 2008

The little Z

If Zora doesn’t have a purse, she pretends other things are purses, including old shoeboxes.  (I am not a purse person, so we are blaming Zach’s mom for the shoe and purse gene.  lol )

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And…the garden saga continues

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Zane was excited to see a tomato on the plant and picked it.  Zach took him to the plant, showed him the little tags and explained to him that we have to wait until the tomatoes are red, like the picture, to pick them.  Zora has been a little obsessed with the little fruit laying in the garden.  (hence the picture)

When Zane saw this picture on my computer, I asked him “What is that?” (pointing to the tomato)  He didn’t answer the question, but instead said “That’s not red.  Don’t pick it!”.  lol.  I think the lesson sunk in, even if he didn’t really hear my question.


posted in Echolalia, Garden, Zane, Zora | 2 Comments

23rd May 2008

First Gardening Attempt

We have no clue what we are doing, so I am sure we will give experienced gardeners a giggle.  Hey, you have to start somewhere though, right?  Zach handed me the money he got from my parents for a graduation present and I ran to Home Depot and Target and got our supplies yesterday.  Today, we pulled everything out and got to work.

Putting drainage holes in the buckets.  (some cheapo buckets from Target…$6/each instead of the $20 cheap plastic pots at Home Depot..if I am getting something cheaply made, it better at least be cheap. lol)  We discovered our drill doesn’t work any more, so we had to improvise.

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As we are putting holes in them, I hear in the background “It’s dark in here” and look up to see this:

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Which starts this:

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Back to the project, adding rocks for drainage  (the farm girl in me had a real issue with paying money for rocks.  I feel so suburban now)

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Adding the potting soil.  There were easier ways to do this, but this way the kids could really dig in and help.

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The only picture we got of the planting process because our hands were too dirty to pick up the camera.  It involved a lot of “be gentle, don’t hurt the roots”, and “Zora, leave the sticks in there” and “which plant do you think this stick goes to” (will be interesting to see if we got it right when they come up).  Zane was a big help.  Zora was trying to be a big help. Zora should have had a longer nap this afternoon.  lol.

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Finally, giving the plants a drink.

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Our container garden:  patio tomatoes, a beefsteak tomato, a cherry tomato (breed for containers), sweet green pepper, sweet red peppers, sweet orange peppers, tabasco pepper (which was what I apparently grabbed instead of a second green pepper), two kinds of basil (sweet and spicy), rosemary, Texas tarragon, oregano (I think), mint and parsley. 

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I hope it actually grows.  It was fun planting it.


posted in Garden, Summer, The Kids | 5 Comments

20th April 2008

Birthday party and Church

The Party on Saturday 

Robert’s middle child turned 8.  The gaggle of boys were really loud and rowdy, and Zane came to the backyard to be with the girls instead.  They shared wagon rides and then helped Dori plant tomatoes and cucumbers, then water the garden.  I think they enjoyed the garden more than the rest of the party.

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Church today.

Finally, everybody was well enough to resume the Sunday School project for Zane.  I felt really good about it when we were done with the hour.  Every time I go to the Kid’s Ministry stuff I am left more and more impressed, and both kids seem to love it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the whole program and the people I have met there.

However, the worship service was sooo bad.  The songs were annoying at best, weird melodies that I didn’t recognize and couldn’t figure out the alto/tenor parts to be able to sing (and the soprano lead was beyond squeaky for me) and just seemed uninspired.  The sermon taught me a lesson in patience and the ability to resist temptation.  (the temptation to chuck the hymnal at the preacher, a first for me).  I just spent most of the sermon wondering if the guy ever actually studied biblical history and understood what the original documents say instead of the outdate, narrow interpretations of them.  I am used to educated, intelligent ministers who, even if I don’t agree with them, at least are reasonably logical.  This guy was out to lunch.  I am not sure if I even want to go to another worship service there at this point. 

As much as I want to, I will probably keep going for a bit to see if this is a fluke, or if it is the norm.  I need to exercise patience and see if it improves.  We will be able to go to a different service or Sunday School after Zane is mainstreamed into the Sunday School program, so I need to just hold my horses right now.  I was hoping to be able to take Zane into the main service and get him accustomed to it, and this is the only reasonable option for that right now. (there is a service before his Sunday School, but I don’t want to wear him out in the big service before SS,  so I need to give him time to adjust to SS first, then we can go to the earlier service without it causing as much difficulty for him).

*sigh*  I wish I could combine the University or Chapel Hill service with the program at the MB church.  Right now, it is more important that the kid’s needs get met than ours though, so I will have to just suck it up and deal.  At least it does accomplish one thing very well…stimulates lots of discussion in the car afterwards.  lol

posted in Autistic Life, Birthday, Church, Friends, Garden | Comments Off

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 3 months, and 17 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 3 months, and 21 days old
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  • Some days, doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect – on any front – and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else. — Fred Rogers

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