Friday, August 30, 2013

Follow This Link!

Happy Summer Day to all of you!  I am trying to take the time to get in here to blog a quick post......
I thought I would posts short posts from my phone while I was in Hawaii, but my iPhone charge only held till 1pm each, alas....I had to spend time enjoying my experiences, rather than reporting them.  :) I did get a fair amount on Facebook......if you were following me there, you are well aware of that fact.  :)
I was planning to blog a little each day after I returned home.......but I came down with what felt like the flu.......even to the point of calling in sick for work.  And then I did go to work a day....only to find the next day after my 16 hour shift that I now had bronchitis.......oh, and that we no longer had water in our home. :/
So, I have been thwarted in my efforts to blog.  Today, I am stealing the time to blog from whatever endeavors I am supposed to be at.  :)  But it shall be a simple post.....should be easy. Well, my body and mind are obviously still in Recovery mode......maybe not so easy, to think.
My interest is always to make the case for liberal education, an education in the art of freedom, developed through the study of works of great literary and imaginative merit, so that our students might come to see how they can free themselves from the received opinions of others, conventions of the day, prejudices that have bypassed the examination of their reason, and the chains of their own ignorance. They require this liberation in order to make a life that belongs to them, freely chosen, once they have developed the capacity to distinguish between means and ends, the good and the bad, the prudent and the careless, the courageous and the foolhardy, and to judge well what kind of person they wish to be because they have reflected on the question and considered their options with care.
Wow.  This an incredible article.  Written by the president of a liberal arts college. All homeschooling parents should read it for inspiration......especially if you have teens or are about to have teens.  I did not get to finish reading the whole thing yet.......but I have skimmed those parts. Willa, you will enjoy this.  Let me know what you think.

This is just a short & quick reminder.....along with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books......that we can keep on educating ourselves.  For some reason, while I was voraciously gobbling up books as a kid and teen.......I missed most of the Classics and have been continuing my self-education since.  I know this of which Kim speaks.  The fog of raising littles does eventually clear. 
And this short post also shares how the olders can lead their siblings into the literature that they love. I just love that about older homeschooling kids.  And the two books they are reading???  Do not miss either of them.  If you have yet to read To Kill a Mockingbird or Farhenheit 451.....please do put them at the top of your to-read pile.  Come back and tell us how much you love them.  ;)
Early this summer, my 22yo and my 18 yo were trying to lead the 11yo into a more well-rounded education.  They were attempting to inspire and stimulate him.  It was adorable.

20 Books You Pretend to Have Read

Because part of my temperament is that "I cannot tell a lie.....", I can easily admit to not having read a book.  Though, it is hard to admit that, being a serious book geek. I think this is a fun idea to consider........

On this list, I can admit to having read 9.  Too bad for me......I wish it were 17.  Maybe I whittle the Classics away on my to-be-read list.  I actually have no interest in reading the three modern books on there.  :)

Do you every pretend to have read a book?  If so, which ones?  Any on this list?  How many of these have you read?

The funny thing is.......I CAN discuss a book I have not read.....because over the years, I pick up on lots of stuff Dickens, for example.........just by hanging out in literature-based places with literature-loving folks.  Willa calls that something......cultural literacy?  I remember looking that term up......that wasn't it.

I have read 32 of the top 80 books mention on the full list.....

10 Books I Didn’t “Get” Until I Was Older

Haha, I love her reaction to  The Metamorphosis.  Too funny.

Willa and I both plowed through books beyond our age level.  Oh, my.  Someone really should have been paying attention to our reading choices.  We were both insatiable and would just grab adult-themed books off of our parents' shelves because we needed to read something and we needed to read it now. 

One example was "Helter, Skelter"........ugh.  I was 12 years old.

Some of the titles are so bad........I will not even name them in public.  ;)

I read most of the Classics at a time when I could understand them well was the current modern lit that I exposed to........just ugh.  Really messed with my literary innocence.

How about you?  Any book(s) that you read too soon???

Health & Fitness

Sleep and the Teenage Brain

      I think it is really important that we understand this about teenagers in general.  I try to let my teens sleep in when they can.  And parents of teens are always talking about how their teens only get started talking at is all body chemistry.  At least this research validates teens.  Love this the analogy at the end.....

Biology’s cruel joke goes something like this: As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Suddenly, going to bed at nine or ten o’clock at night isn’t just a drag, but close to a biological impossibility. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise. Adults, meanwhile, have little-to-no melatonin in their bodies when they wake up. With all that melatonin surging through their bloodstream, teenagers who are forced to be awake before eight in the morning are often barely alert and want nothing more than to give in to their body’s demands and fall back asleep. Because of the shift in their circadian rhythm, asking a teenager to perform well in a classroom during the early morning is like asking him or her to fly across the country and instantly adjust to the new time zone — and then do the same thing every night, for four years.

And then........the research that comes in from the high schools that had later start times:  was "flabbergasting"

Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

I really think this chronic inflammation, whatever the cause, is seriously a problem in our culture......I work in healthcare, and there are so many people (patients) who ignore the advice to sleep well, exercise, eat healthy foods and generally take care of yourself........and yet are willing to put drugs into their bodies and require hospitalizations and other procedures......when if they could have prevented so many of the problems in the first place.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

I think I have read other research supporting this doctor's claims about the cholesterol. 

Either way, the bottom line:  "What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet. "

Turmeric Tea

I actually found this article before the one above........but it ties in nicely to follow.  I have a daughter who has unusual health problems and I can see how  chronic inflammation could be a part of her problem.  I have given this page to her and she has since done more research.  Buying the turmeric in capsules is way too expensive for several of us to take so we are going to buy some organic turmeric and make our own capsules.  I am not sure that we can get enough in our diet just with cooking.

I also have a teen who is a serious athlete.  For some reason his body rebels with aches and pains.  He pushes himself very hard on the fields.......even doing two sports at once.  I am hoping that the turmeric will help with the chronic inflammation he is obviously suffering.

By helping to reduce inflammation in the body, turmeric seems to be able to accomplish much.........

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
 3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
 5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
 7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. 
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. (I really want to explore this....) 
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
 14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer. 17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
(Borrowed from the link above)

I really think this is worth a try.  When I mentioned this turmeric idea to a few friends.....turns out at least three them were already taking is that they never bothered to mention it to me.

Hey, Willa.  I think this might be worth trying for a certain offspring of yours.....let's talk.

If anyone else decides, after your own research, to use turmeric, please share your experiences afterward.  Thanks!


A good week

I happened on Theresa's post while I was at her blog for another reason.  It is just a short post, but filled with several moments of inspiration for me.  Theresa also only has one left to homeschool.....and our styles are similar and the ages of the one left are close.  I know most folks are just getting started with their homeschooling year.......and are yet to be in the throes of "spring doldrums", but I personally feel the doldrums almost continuously right now......and her designation of Mondays as “curl up and read day” may be something I need to keep in mind, especially now that Malachy and I may have most of our Mondays free (minus driving his brother all over....).  I also like the reminder for Tuesday teatime.  She was doing poetry.  That is how we used to do our teatimes when the older kids were younger.......but Malachy will get tons of poetry from his older sister's writing maybe we will do Shakespeare stories or composers or........oh, maybe natural history books.

Thanks, Theresa, for reminding me of the simple stuff.......that goes far in making good memories and fun learning.  I really needed to be taken back to my favorite homeschooling ideas......Now, to remember these things.


Homemade Sprouted Whole Wheat Crackers

Num.  If you make these, I want to know.  They look yummy. They sounds yummy.  I would love a healthy substitution for wheat thins......which I only eat a few times a year......I DID just get a giant jug of coconut oil.....

Healthy Snack Substitutions for Kids.....and Adults, too

My kids grew up with Stretch Island Fruit Leathers as a special travel snack........way back when. Might be cheaper at Costco....when they have it.  They used to have it.

Yummm.....the cheese crackers look good. 

Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk

These links led me to this sure looks like fun.  Does anyone have a copy of it?  Can you give a review?

Okay!  Time to post this!  I have been working on it for a couple of weeks......I finally moved some of the links to another future blog post so that I could finally get this one wrapped up.  I think I have saved at least a hundred links for us........

Blessed last days of Summer to you!


PS  I am pretty close to being healed now........just trying to find some kind  of our crazy changes-every-week kind-of-life.  NOT really finding it yet  :)


  1. Well you are doing better than me, of the 20 books I have only read, blush 6. Talking about books children don;t get, my 13yr old recently read To Kill a Mockingbird and we really haven't covered certain aspects in the book, I asked him if he knew what it was about, he got that the woman was abused but he thought it meant being bashed, it went over his head that she was r***d

    1. Erin....that is only three blushing allowed! :)

      Probably nice that he missed the r***d part...... :)

      I love the way that book is written.....and I just love the character development.....and the way the race issues is so well reflected from that time period......and I love how Scout is "homeschooled" along with her schooling ;)

  2. The turmeric tea recipe is pretty tasty! Thanks! I have a lot of Alzheimer's in my family so I am all over anything that looks like it has potential in reducing dementia.
    And asforthe sleepy teen article I Amin 100% agreement. I know my teens function best as the sun is going down, not up!

    1. that teen thing is so hard on parents...especially for parents of littles and teens. Not me anymore :(

      Thanks for the rec on the tea!

  3. Good grief, please forgive the typos. Sheesh!

  4. numbers are good reminders.

    Of the ten I read only 3. Of the 20 I read only 9.

    A few things written about the good tumeric and you have written 20.


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