Utterly Immersed

It’s all good.  But regular life has been trumping internet lately.  Here’s a quick rundown, in the event that I manage to finish this post before something else presents itself:

Contagious Illness Unit Study at an end? I’m hopeful.  No one has developed an illness in over a week.   We even managed to go camping over the weekend – yay!  Pretty much been a record year as far as minor-but-disruptive afflictions go.  That’s been my number one reason for internet silence; not so much a case of too-ill-to-post, as that caring for whichever family member has the latest strain of plague sucks up just that extra bit of time and energy.  So we’ve held together the larger part of normal life, but some of the extras had to give way.  Gives me lots of fodder for the homeschooling book . . .

. . . On which I am making progress. Albeit more slowly than I imagined.  But it is a much richer work for all the real-life enrichment I’ve been handed.  And very fortunately I have amassed a small group of people I can’t bear to disappoint, so it will get written.  At this point I’ve got the bulk of an outline (quite detailed), one lousy opening chapter that needs to be scrapped, and one middle-area chapter that is getting full but still has a few more salient points to cover.  (Topic: Housekeeping.  And those who know me will assure you, when I say I am writing a book about realistic expectations while homeschooling, you can be entirely confident my housekeeping chapter will not set any unobtainable standards.)

Speaking of which, I am trying to clean out the house.  Just way too much stuff.  (All good – but more of it than we have house.)  I finally figured out that all the cool things my neat, clean, clutter-free friends give as hand-me-downs?  If I want a house like theirs, that stuff is the first to hit to the road.  Luckily, such friends understand the need.  The place does look better, but still needs a lot of work.

But I’m hopeful, because wow my yard is awesome. In addition to contagious illnesses, we’ve also been doing a gardening unit study this spring.  SuperHusband built us a privacy fence, effectively giving a real back yard to our corner lot that was previously 90% front yard.  I had been working on cleaning up that front yard anyway (mostly out of love for my neighbors, who have suffered long enough looking at our debris), and then after the fence went up we put in some blueberries and figs for landscaping in front of that, and meanwhile had been making headway on vegetable gardening and general civility in what is now the back yard.  It is all very cottage-y, in an I-like-tall-grass-and-trees-the-birds-plant kind of way, but we’re pretty happy with it.  And the front yard I’m trying to keep moderately civilized.  Don’t mind the woodpile.  (A real functioning woodpile — we will burn it next winter.)  So all that to say: if I can tame the yard, perhaps I can tame the house as well.

Latin Watch: Verb conjugation is killing us.  Same story in French.  Oh, we’ll get through.  But the pace has definitely slowed to a crawl.  Mr. Boy and I were checking his homework on Verbix today, and I clicked on the Kreyol  option just to have a look-see, and we observed that conjugating is much easier in that language. Mr. Boy immediately wanted to change his course of study.  I told him not ’till he has plane tickets to Haiti .  (Hint: We have no such plans.)  And plus he’d need to know French anyway, so no getting out of it.    But I will observe that the girls are absolutely loving learning ASL, which is, it should be noted, a non-conjugating language.  I begin to see a pattern.

Concerning my own education . . . I finished the Sex Book. (This one).  Good book, recommended for those who fit the target audience.  I will get a review up here shortly.  Summary: I’m glad I signed up for it, and it’s one I’ll be keeping on the shelf for my own reference.   An interesting counterpoint has been reading Love and Control by Cardinal Suenens (The Newman Press, 1961), a find from the parish library.   I’m about halfway through.  Timeless observations, if, again, a little more theoretical than a married lady might hope.  On the other hand, one doesn’t want one’s clerics getting too terribly practical concerning the details of the workings of someone else’s sacrament.

Also culled from the parish shelves:  The Rule of Saint Benedict. Wow, you should read it.  Surely it’s on the internet somewhere.  The translation I had was very readable, quick to digest, and makes a great combo-pack of spiritual and historical insights.  And as it happened, I also brought home St. Odo of Cluny (Sheed and Ward, 1958), which is a translation of the Life of St. Odo, written by his contemporary John of Salerno.  Total page-turner.  I kid not.  One fascinating vignette after another, constantly making you wonder what zany anecdote is coming next.   Lots of pillaging norsemen and monks who are fed up with eating fish.  Just finished the segment on the armed standoff between a house of slacker-monks and the party of civil and church authorities trying to force the foundation to accept Odo as their reforming leader.   Definitely need to read the rule of St. Benedict first in order to understand the action.

That’s enough news for now. I’ll check back with that book review. Happy June.

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