Sunday, October 18, 2015

Morning scenes...

We are up to our eyeballs into our homeschooling routine again.  The easy rhythm of summer days has given away to more structure, where the kids sit down at the kitchen table after doing their morning chores and start on schoolwork.  By the time the boys have finished math, language arts, social studies, science and German, it's lunch time, and they are done.  Yep, done.  The whole school thing takes them three hours instead of all day (our kids would have to ride the school bus for a total of three hours to attend public school), and the rest of the day is free to do whatever they want ("Wanna help me muck out the goat barn, boys?").

Lately, this free time has involved fishing.  We are waiting for the Silvers (salmon) to come upriver, but so far they are not complying.  We know the sunny days and blue skies are numbered, so we really take this task seriously.  As seriously as it can get, basking in the sunshine, bald eagles flying overhead, water twinkling, mountains showing themselves off in the distance...

I told you that I have been bitten by the fishing bug, right?

Instead of catching fish, Luke catches Eva
As always, I'm very focused on food: growing it, tending it, harvesting it, preserving it - and eating it!  The other morning, I was struck by its beauty.  Chevre drained by the sink, Greek Yogurt hung above it, oatmeal with blueberries and blackberries picked months before bubbled on the stove, and a frying pan with greens from the garden and our own brilliantly orange duck eggs finished up the still life.  Beautiful food!

While the boys do their schoolwork, I make cheese, do dishes or finish making pickles.  One of my friends gave me her cucumber pickle recipe, which our family has fallen in love with.  I store the finished pickle jars in the fridge, because although they kind of seal, they are not really canned.  These dill pickles are super crisp and super easy, so I cranked out a total of 25 quarts one morning.  That should keep us in pickles for a while, although the kids eat a jar a day.

Yes, yes, life is busy, with homeschooling, farming, finishing up my online cheese making class, and trying to keep the house somewhat clean (good luck with that).  I try to find a quiet, peaceful moment whenever I can.  So the other morning after milking the goats, I wandered in the yard for a few minutes, while Eva helped do chores.  I found some peaceful fall scenes I want to share with you.

With all this business and attention on the boys, I make it a point to give Eva some quality time.  She plays contentedly by herself for hours, so it's important to do something special with her every now and then, don't you think?

Yesterday, we walked up the dirt road behind our house.  Here is where it led us.  Not bad, eh?


  1. Corina, I love your kitchen sink. Where did you find it? And would you be willing to share your dill pickle recipe?
    Thanks for sharing a little piece of your homesteading is beautiful.

    1. I love my kitchen sink, too. It was in the house when be bought it one and a half decades ago. (The house didn't have a bathroom, back then, just an outhouse, and no running hot water). I will post the dill pickle recipe soon, I hope!

  2. Hi Corina. I love your posts! We homeschool, too. I was just wondering, if you don't mind answering, what time do your boys get up in the morning? I have an 18, 15, 12, 10 in a few days and a 6 year old I am homeschooling and they don't quite like to get up in the morning!

    1. Wow, you must have lots of hormones raging in your house! All this teenage energy! From what my friends tell me: teenagers like to sleep a lot. I have noticed that my sons would stay up really late if I let them, and then get up late. 9 am is really, really late in our house. I'm not okay with that, since it doesn't fit into our schedule. If they sleep late, it messes up our routine, because by the time they are done eating breakfast etc, it gets late... Actually my boys have been getting up at 6am, sometimes at 5am. One of them gets up that early to go fishing, the other to use wifi. We use bonus bytes until 8am, so we try to do stuff that takes upload and download speed before 8am.
      However, I think every family has to do whatever works for them. Some mothers relish letting their kids sleep in so they have their own mama quiet time before chaos starts. I wonder if our early getting up will change once the kids turn into teenagers, since they really do need more sleep...

  3. Thank you for replying, Corina! I agree. Getting up late does mess up the routine. That is where we are right now, though, so I just have to go with it! Have fun in all that you do in that beautiful, amazing place that you live! Ruth

  4. Hey Corina, did you all get the memo about the Skagit closing to salmon due to low numbers? effective on Monday, you probably know by now.
    Just so you know!

  5. Corina, I love reading your blog...your life seems so beautiful and healthy..I can smell the fresh piney air just reading your posts...ha ha. Love all the photos. A couple of questions...when will Eva start her homeschooling studies? Does your husband have a formal job?
    Those pickles were gorgeous...pls share the recipe. Thanks Terri

    1. Terri,
      Thanks for your sweet comments.
      Eva is doing homeschooling already just by living life. Helping with chores, being immersed in being read to, etc, etc, etc. In terms of "formal book learning", she will start when she shows an interest. She knows all of her letters and writes her name, but I am not pushing this skill at all. In Waldorf philosophy, reading and writing is not introduced until they are older. I like that. They teach kids to knit before they read.
      And my husband does, indeed, have a formal job: He has his own business planting trees for salmon habitat restoration. Plus, he teaches wilderness skills.

  6. We just got back from a week's vacation on the southern coast of Oregon and as I sit here I think of you because of your comment on the salmon and your previous post about smoking salmon. I am eating smoked wild chinook salmon we got from a little side of the road place. I am eating it on fresh bakery bagels with organic cream cheese. Yum! We also figured out why CA does not have any water! Those punks in Oregon have it all. ;-) We were flabbergasted at the size of their rivers! Our rivers are dry or look like creeks. Even the mighty Sacramento Rover looks like junior size next to Rogue, Siuslaw or Umpqua.

    1. Those punks in Oregon!!!!

      Isn't smoked salmon awesome?


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