Friday, January 05, 2018

the rest of December

While we were visiting my family, I decided to take the scenic route on the way home from the post office and hardware store. I drove down some back roads into steep valleys and climbed around winding twisting unpaved roads thinking I could snap a few pics from my driver's seat undisturbed.
But in fact, I met more cars on those rural roads than I did on the paved road back to my parents' driveway. Ha! So much for the quiet countryside. Anyways, I did pull over for a few shots at the top of a very steep hill that I always dare my husband to not use the the brakes on. Being a wise and prudent man, he never listens. Since I was armed with my camera, I also braked carefully down it as I was looking for good spots to stop and take photos. I found a few before reaching the bottom of the hill and the road which then winds its way back up to the hill my parents live on. That's Pennsylvania for you, hills and valleys with creeks and trees all over the place.
On our last evening there, my brother and family, hosted all of us for dinner where he kept his wood fire burning brightly. With two full bookcases flanking the fireplace and soft comfortable chairs on the carpeted living room, I was almost ready to move in. I did sneak one picture of just him in his kitchen checking on the Italian meatballs he was preparing for dinner. But between meal prep and log burning, we chatted about books and I pulled various ones off to peruse that caught my eye. I found that fantastic bird book and then a book on the writings of John Muir by Edwin Teale. Both have been added to my substantial book wishlist.  I took blurry pictures of the part where Muir is discussing Solomon's attention to nature to defend his own lifelong pursuit of nature study.
So good.
So very Charlotte Mason.
And, having made the acquaintance of a wild flower, so that they can never forget it or mistake it, they should examine the spot where they find it, so that they will know for the future in what sort of ground to look for such and such a flower. 'We should find wild thyme here!' 'Oh, this is the very spot for marsh marigolds; we must come here in the spring.'
'Home Education'

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Hello, 2018

And just like that, we are into a new calendar year!
Like many of you in the northern hemisphere, we have plunged into frigid temperatures here in Ontario, which has limited how much ambition I have for tramping around outside to capture new sunrises and sunsets. So I have turned all my attention to housework projects, most of which involve sorting and packing.
Shane used his time here at home to make major headway on the painting and trim projects needed on the house. Our kitchen was newly repainted right before Christmas Day and then he moved upstairs into the bedrooms after we got back from visiting my parents. He had a lot of drywall repair to do in Seth's room since we had not painted it ever. But with the exception of some of the floor trim, everything is finished in his room.
Our bedroom saw two walls re-painted last night which involved me cleaning up my desk area. But now everything I had planned to pack up is done, so cross that off the list! The other half of the room and the girls' room are the only areas left upstairs to do. And since I did a major clean, sort and pack in their room on New Years' Day, the painting work can happen very easily in there.
We are not doing our regular lessons this week and I'm glad for that, even though I initially had planned for us to be back at it. I'm giving myself permission to do more restful and relaxing work since Christmas ended in a bit of a hectic pace for me. I enjoyed myself for the most part, but it was without much margins. I like wide margins, both in my paper and my schedule.
I read two new-to-me Miss Read books, The White Robin and Christmas at Thrush Green back to back and enjoyed them so much, especially the Christmas one.  I sat in the living room chair and just read and read until the book was finished before getting up to make our homemade pizza and Caesar salad for our New Years' Eve dinner.
In other news, my husband splurged on a new camera for me for Christmas. It was not a surprise in anyway, except that he actually bought it! I picked it out online after reading and watching reviews and then he ordered it online, picked it up from the post office two days later and said we should open it right away. I let him open it, and contented myself with reading through most of the owner's manual that evening. The next day, I charged the battery and then when he came home, he tried it out. I didn't actually take any pictures with it until the Saturday before Christmas since I was quite busy with other projects. But I managed to mess around with it in time to use it for Christmas morning.
It's not a DSLR, but it takes rapid photos with the lens just like one. It's called mirrorless and it smaller than a DSLR body so it fits comfortably in my hand and is easy to take with me. I don't have a case for it yet, so I just have been using my purse and being very careful when we were traveling.
I know very little about cameras, in fact, I probably just wrote everything I know, but I have enjoyed getting better at using light to make better photographs in recent years. Now I'm hoping to improve in the area of capturing candid people shots, starting with my own people.

I finish with a verse from my Bible reading which encouraged me in this new year of 2018:

But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. ~ Hebrews 3:6

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading here.