Oh, 2020…

With that news (the whole district is going remote again), I am reminded how much I miss kindergarten.  Four years ago, when Marcia the Younger was in kindergarten, I started helping in her class a couple days a week.  Since then none of her teachers felt that they needed a volunteer to come in, so I stayed in kindergarten.  Last year before going remote, I was in kindergarten three days a week, and Hinckley’s first grade teacher had me come in one day a week.  I really enjoyed getting to see kids learn and help them understand concepts.  Another benefit was hearing some funny things, similar to when I was working at the preschool. I came across one of the notes i made last year of a conversation.

Scene:  At the Writer’s Workshop, where I oversee them drawing a picture and then writing sentences about what they drew.  Also making sure they put their name and the date on the paper.  For whatever reason the paper with the date on it was missing, and I was teasing that one of them ate it.

Girl:  No one eats paper!
Me:  Where is your name tag? Why don’t you have one?
Girl:  I ate it!  …  (then a big grin crosses her face as she realizes what happened)

I was there the day that she lost what was remaining of her name tag.  She did indeed eat it.  Another great quote from her towards the start of the school year:

“My neck hurts from sitting up!” (Said with a whine that only a kindergartner can use.)

Now can we all get healthy and stay that way long enough that I can go back to school!?

Selfish rant over.

How the Prairie Dogs Ended EVERYTHING! (part 3)

—The Beginning as told by Hinckley—

Mom:  …  Okay then. So, what was at the beginning? If that was the middle and the end was the end, what happened before the middle?
Hinckley:  Uh, I already said.
Mom:  When they were in Australia, what happened in Australia?
Hinckley:  Uuh, renember they spreaded all the black, the thing they needed…
Mom:  But they did that in Arizona. What’d they do in Australia?
Hinckley:  No! Australia, renember Australia also got sprayeded all with ….
Mom:  Well, who sprayed it over there?
Hinckley:  The prarie dogs!
Mom:  But where did the prarie dogs get it?
Hinckley:  Remember the plane?!
Mom:  But where did the prarie dogs get the plague?
Hinckley:  Oh, the prarie dogs caught it from the very first one which is kind of weird and kind of embarrassing, but from elephants!
Mom:  From elephants?!
Hinckley:  Yeah!
Mom:  Do you think there are elephants in Australia?
Hinckley:  No! The elephants are in, um Africa!
Mom:  So, okay, so…?
Hinckley:  So, they started at Africa, spread it all, to all the animals there, except for the elephants so. Wait, the elephants did it to all the animals there except for the prairie dogs. The prairie dogs got the plague, then the….
Mom:  Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait, I need to understand. So, the elephants had the plague in Africa?
Hinckley:  Yes.
Mom: And gave it to prairie dogs?
Hinckley:  Yes.
Mom:  And the prairie dogs, how did they get to Australia? Because you said that they got it in Africa.
Hinckley:  Umm…
Mom:  Or did the elephants…
Hinckley:  They got the plane in….
Mom:  Wait wait wait wait!
Hinckley:  In Africa and got the, and got to…
Mom:  So did the elephants go on the plane?
Hinckley:  …Australia to from the plane and they spreaded all the people with it, then they did it to Arizona, and then BOOM! All done!
Mom:  So wait, you’re telling me that prairie dogs got the black plague…?
Hinckley:  From elephants.
Mom:  The bubonic plague from the elephants in Africa, and then they went to Australia and spread it all over there, and now they came to Arizona to spread it all over Arizona?
Hinckley:  Yes.
Mom:  Where are they going next?
Hinckley:  They’re going to spread it all over the world.
Mom:  Why would they do that?
Hinckley:  So that they’re the only ones alive.
Mom:  Oh, so you think that the prairie dogs are trying to take over the world?
Hinckley:  Yes.
Mom:  I don’t know that I like that. Where would I be?! I don’t want to be a prairie dog!
Hinckley:  So, they all did not live at all happily ever after, but the end!

How the Prairie Dogs Ended EVERYTHING! (part 2)

—The Middle as told by Hinckley—

Mom:  Alright, now tell me what happened in the middle.
Hinckley:  Um, everyone was dy-ing.
Mom:  Why were they dying?
Hinckley:  ‘Cause they, wait mom, what’s the sickness that has black as a word in the name?
Mom:  The black plague?
Hinckley:  Yeah, everyone got the black plague.
Mom:  Did they get it from the prairie dogs?
Hinckley:  Yeah.
Mom:  Why were they in Arizona?
Hinckley:  That’s where the prarie dogs are?
Mom:  That’s where the ones I know of are that are spreading the plague. Whats another name for the black plague?
Hinckley:  Um, killing.
Mom:  Bubonic.
Hinckley:  Bubonic.
Mom:  Yeah the bubonic plague.
Hinckley:  So, and before they got that, they were in Arizona. But the prarie dogs haven’t gotten there yet. The prarie dogs were coming towards it.
Mom:  Where’d they come from?
Hinckley:  The prarie dogs came from Australia.
Mom:  Okay, how did they get to Arizona from Australia.
Hinckley:  Uuuuh, they took a prairie dog plane.
Mom:  Okay.
Hinckley:  And after they, and before they took that plane they spreaded all the uh, on purposely, they spreaded all the Black plague that they could spill to the Arizona people as in they spreaded all they need to kill everyone in Arizona.
Mom:  And all Arizona?
Hinckley:  I mean, in the…
Mom:  What about the apes apartments?
Hinckley:  Ugh! Stop! As in I meant Australia.
Mom:  Okay.
Hinckley:  Then they took that plane to Arizona and they spreaded the black plague all over there.
Mom:  Oh, how did they spread it? With a butter knife?
Hinckley:  No. They spread…..
Mom:  With their poop.
Hinckley:  Ungh!
Mom:  That’s true.
Hinckley:  So, and somehow they put the black plague as a liquid into a bottle and sprayed it everywhere.
Mom:  Do you know how prairie dogs spread their, the black plague?
Hinckley:  Yeah.
Mom:  How?
Hinckley:  Um, no…poop?
Mom:  Their poop! So your telling me they put poop into bottles and put water in and they made it liquid?
Hinckley:  Yep!
Mom:  And sprayed it everywhere?
Hinckley:  Yes!
Mom:  That sounds disgusting.

How the Prairie Dogs Ended EVERYTHING! (part 1)

—The End as told by Hinckley—

Hinckley: 1 2 3 The end!
Mom: That’s the wrong story to tell me. Tell me a better one.
Hinckley: Once upon a time, the end.
Mom: What happened at the end?
Hinckley: Everyone died.
Mom: Oh, so it really was the end?
Hinckley: Yeah.
Mom: Of every thing?
Hinckley: Yeah!

Isn’t It Nice

…when you can successfully Rickroll your own children?

On school day mornings, in an attempt to expose the children to many different songs, we (honestly, Jacob is better at getting up first these days) wake them with a song.  Most of the time they haven’t heard of it before.  Sometimes they recognize it from a movie.  These last two mornings we have played Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

And they have been humming and singing it! It is a good thing they stay on mute unless they are supposed to talk for class.  Otherwise we might be inadvertently Rickrolling two online classes.

Garden Tomatoes

In November?  Yes.  Would I rather have them in July?  Yes.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to start eating them until August.  I may have planted later than I had hoped, so, next year I will remember to plant earlier.  Plus, we have this nice frame Jacob built since they were growing so well.

In the middle of October we knew that we were looking at a night freeze, so I sewed some blankets together to make covers for the tomato cages.  We knew we would have a night, maybe two of freezes, and then multiple days of warmer temperatures.  So, it was nice to extend the time for the tomatoes to grow.

October 26th, we knew we were looking at hard freezes.  We made an attempt to save as many tomatoes as possible.  In the middle of my “harvest” it began snowing on me, and kept going well into the day.  I cut long vines and spread them out on the counter.

In a moment of brilliance, as an attempt to make them last even longer, I filled flower water tubes and put them on the ends of the vines, and refill them as needed.

We have been able to snack on the smaller ones, and I have been able to fill two  2-quart sized bowls from tomatoes off the counter.  Here is the “harvest” from this morning.

I really wish we had had lots of the bigger beefy tomatoes.  When I purchased the plants (we did not start our own from seed this year) I was under the impression that I had grabbed two plants of bigger tomatoes, and two cherry tomatoes (one yellow and one red).  as the plants grew it became obvious that they were all small.  So, back to the store I went to purchase a couple bigger-tomato plants.  That time I made sure to only get pots with the label still attached.

I wonder just how long we will be able to see them turn before we have to give up and return the remains to the earth….

Not All Excitement is Good

When you live in small town USA you have to drive a ways to get places.  Today took me out of town. On the drive back my dashcam caught some excitement that was not so fun, but I am glad the view was not more exciting.






Frames 2 through 6 all happened in the same second. While I did see something moving in my peripheral vision, I didn’t realize what I was seeing until somewhere between frames 4 and 5.  By frame 6 I could see the deer, that is off-screen, next to my window.

Keep in mind, the view from the camera looks smaller/farther away than my eyes see. (Remember the warning on the side mirrors, “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? That applies here, too.)

I just hope the car behind me escaped the deer as well.

All is well that ends well. Or something like that.