Saturday, May 31, 2008

Waldorf Moms, a poem

This poem was written by Brianne McPhearson, 7th grader at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. ROFLMAO!

Waldorf Moms

Waldorf moms wear cotton socks
Woolen sweaters, Birkenstocks.
Waldorf moms have long full skirts,
Big silk scarves and layered shirts.
Waldorf moms have fluffy hair,
They’re kind and firm and make you share.
Waldorf moms drive Volvo cars
And talk of fairies, gnomes, and stars.
Waldorf moms love Waldorf meetings
Where they greet with Waldorf greetings.
Waldorf moms make Waldorf dolls
From purest wool and cotton balls.
Waldorf moms drink lots of tea
Which has been grown organically.
Waldorf moms serve fruits and meats.
Veggies, grains, and not much sweets.
Their favorite word is “nourishing.”
They love to hike and knit and sing.
They leave the gluten out of bread
And make you spend twelve hours in bed.
And if you fall and scrape your knee
They give you rescue remedy!

Friday, May 30, 2008

My response to Time

Thank you, Anthromama, for calling my attention to the current Time Magazine article on vaccination. Highly pro-vax, but supposedly fair reporting. While this may earn me that R Rating, I will say, what a crock of shit. Go on, have a read.

My response, neither as succinct nor informative as I may have wished, had I not been so angry, is as follows (I decided that they aren't going to care about our responses anyway, but that I had to stand up for my view.)

"What utter rubbish. Next time, do your own research before selecting such value-laden language for your yellow journalism. Time Magazine should be ashamed of itself for this one-sided, half-assed reporting of the facts."

I would love to see an accounting of Time's advertising....pharma, anyone?

**aaah, interesting to note, I see that CBS News came out on the 12th of May with the former Director of the NIH, who stated that "public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are “susceptible” to vaccine side effects - afraid the answer will scare the public. " And unlike Time Magazine, CBS provided research to support its reporting.

**note 2: If you are at all interested in this topic, or if you need ammo to back your non-vax decision, may I suggest you goto http://generationrescue.org/index.html. Get past the celebrity, the research is all there and easy to read.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OK, Mountain Pulse, you inspired me

Well, I posted on the board. I said that I was uncomfortable with the direction of the thread and that it may well be the thread that ends my participation in that board. The response was that I simply should not have continued to read the thread!!! So then I let rip.

Suffice it to say that I may no longer be welcome by that Curric writer, but I have never been known for my calm, quiet demeanor. heehee.

TTFN.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

On the HSing front

I did write a post about Al-Jazeera (totally weird subject, I know), but I have deleted that as too OT for today. I wanted to talk a little about Homeschooling (wait, is that what this blog is about???)

I have seen lately that Biggie is in need of more structure and more responsibility, but I didn't know how to address that and still respect her young age. So after much tho't, I instituted a weekly assignment sheet consisting of three tasks: memorise one poem of her choosing, learn by memory one simple song (her choice) on the piano, and undertake one new household task to be performed daily. She is expected to work on these assignments each day, and on Friday afternoon, show her father what she has learned. This assignment sheet is separate from our Lesson, which is currently numbers (more on that later). Wow, this is working really well! (I know, shocker! Now that I have said those words, it'll all go to custard this week.) On Friday morning, before I was even out of bed, she had completed her three assignments and had taken out her Main Lesson Book and chalk board and begun her academic lesson! Woohoo.

The academic lesson is Math. We have been using the chalkboards and manipulatives to work on number ladders, deconstructing the whole into parts. We are doing this slowly, and it has been my goal to use this lesson to introduce Main Lesson Books. The idea is that we practice and practice until we have the lesson in our heads before we put a final draft in our books, complete with appropriate pictures and so on. Biggie already knows her numbers, but regularly reverses quite alot of them, so we have been walking the forms and practicing on the chalkboard, then moving on to our best work. She's doing great, learning discipline (read: "educating the will") and the need to take time and value one's best efforts. I am learning to discard curriculum books. I have chosen not to use traditional number representatives, such as "Two = opposites", "Three = Mother, Father, Child" (*sorry if this doesn't make sense. there's some numberimagery that's pretty standard in waldorf class one.) Instead, I am using number imagery that is about HER, or about US. For instance, in our MLB, two = two daughters and two cats; three = triangle, three primary colours and three females in our family.

I am seeing that my homeschooling is changing, evolving. When I started, I wanted the book that told me what to do everyday. I spent a ton of money on currics. And while I still think those currics have ALOT to offer, I now want to understand the big picture and then make it apply to us. I am stepping away from the prefab stories and I am beginning (very small beginnings, mind you) to create my own. I am also learning when to step away from the Waldorf Way. Not to say that I am not still a Waldorf HSer, but I am trying to get past the dogma and the trappings of Waldorf and embrace the intent of the message.

For instance, I have wanted a gnome cave for our Autumn nature table. Well, I just didn't have anything suitable and I don't know woodworking. But in the back of my brain, there was a solution itching, itching to come out. I just couldn't put my finger on it but I knew that it was there. Lo and behold, the Tinkertoys! While the girls slept, I made the best cave frame out of their red and green and orange and yellow tinkertoys: no they are not natural and organic (-shaped that is), but they are totally open-ended and just plain fun to play with. I draped the cave with silks (see, now they learn that they can mix up their toys) and created an entire gnome world with jewels and mice and toadstools, etc. I even had DH help me make gnomes out of beeswax and acorns! Man, did the girls love it this morning. And I feel like I helped them learn how to create CREATIVELY.

Finally, we had a great experience this week while doing school at the Zoo: we ran into one of the teachers from our old W-School and her little group of students whom she is now hsing. How terrific! My girls were able to see that we aren't so terribly marginalised in our lifestyle -- there were the other waldorf kids doing exactly the same thing that we were. We spent two days at the zoo writing down the names of all the animals we saw. We had time to talk to the zookeepers and stop and just sit and watch the animals. We learned which of the monkeys we can hear from our house (the siamang, in case you were wondering) . We were also able to visit the newly opened conservation centre, which houses the Zoo vets. Yep, we got to learn that the Auckland Zoo has performed the only known Hippo castration, and they were kind enough to keep the poor fella's testes in a jar right out in front for the girls to see....right next to the Gallapagos Tortoise phallus. Aaaah, the joys of hs'ing. Can you even imagine how many questions that raised? She's still talkin' about it! Too funny.

Anyway, I have talked for long enough. I now want to see what you wonderful families are up to.

TTFN.

Just a clarification

The lovely Gypsy brought up a concern: you know, I have no issues with people who choose to live differently than do I. I am not bashing those who make different choices. I guess I am just asking that they grant me the same courtesy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Today's Daily Affirmation (see right)

"Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Hobbes: Isn't your pants zipper supposed to be in front?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rant

Ok, hope y'all don't mind a bit of a rant here, but (really) how many people in the world would even follow this complaint. The preface is, there is someone on a board I subscribe to, who is voicing her pro-vax opinions. I have contemplated responding on the board, but the response is really more about me than her (because I am never going to change her mind).

I don't know anything about the person on the discussion, but I want to have a go at her for these gross assumptions that the people who don't vax are ill- or un-informed, or out of touch with the real world. This is something that I know I have dealt with (often) as a result of my choices: people who suggest that I am ignorant or neglectful - because the kids aren't vaccinated or because we spend too much to eat organic food, because we HS (because we WALDORF! homeschool), because we drink raw milk, because my kids aren't allowed food colouring...

What I don't understand is this: none of these choices made our lives easier. It's not like I can source cheap raw milk from the corner market, or that I LOOOVE knowing that I have chosen not to purchase a house so that I can give my kids healthy organic vegetables. What? Like I have so much free time to get my nails done because I homeschool? Or because I save so much money now that I have to buy ALL of our own school currics/supplies/books? wtf.

Do people honestly believe that we chose this way of life without having given it ALOT of thought? without having done our research? Moreover, what the critics don't understand is that many of US have once been THEM. I know I started out taking advil and drinking soda, swearing that my kids would be vaccinated, and I would have probably gagged at the milk ten years ago. Shouldn't it be obvious that something changed my mind? What, like Oprah is talking about Waldorf Homeschooling and i jumped on the bandwagon???? I just don't get it.

So I guess my rant, while sparked by the thread, is actually about people in general and their erroneous belief about we who self-marginalise. Yeah, it's probably my own continued pissed-offed-ness since that woman made the crack about the milk. But now I feel alot better *smile*.

Please feel free to be equally insensitive and un-PC in your responses.

TTFN.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Food Porn Meme

Thank you Domestically Blissed for giving me a chance to talk about food....ahhh, how I love food. I'm sort of like Winnie-the-Pooh with his hunny pot, come to think of it. So here goes:

1. What food do you consider the best “date” food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

Is this like erotically sexy, or like "I would be a fun wife" sexy? Well, I choose the second option, and my answer is sushi. This is both practical and sentimental because my first (blind) date with my husband was also my first sushi experience. Plus, if I were male, I would not want to date a woman who wouldn't eat funky food ( I know ALOT of people who can't get past the raw fish thing and none of them would make me a happy spouse).

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal with—with or without clothing. (saying whether or not clothes are involved is optional).

DH could answer this one for me, heeheehee. George Clooney. Because not only is he nice to look at, but I bet he could hold his own in an intelligent conversation. (yeah, I'm supposed to say something earth-shattering here, but I shall embrace my shallowness for a moment of hypothetical dining.) Oh, yeah, and that's WITH clothes.

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (Food AND the details, please. Candles? Music? Flowers? Hot tub? Dancing girls?

Cold morning, rainy outside, warm inside. Sleep late, wake up slowly (not with the kids screaming at each other over my head), NZ latte (sorry, fellow Americans, but USA coffee is ghastly). Spend the rest of the morning watching BBC's Pride and Prejudice. Get up when I want to, not because someone can't reach the lightswitch.

About this answer: I've only ever had one night away with my husband since having children, so I don't really know what that is like anymore. I'm not trying to slight him by not including him here.

4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?

In my coffee. Truly decadent.

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked Salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? Or something else?

Good quality bottled water. Both wonderful to drink and highly practical!

I'm not a good tagger, but I would like to see the answers from anyone who is not from the US or NZ. (Poppy, tell your mom that includes her!) All these answers made me thirsty.

TTFN.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

I have so much that I want to blog about that I have decided to do it in shorthand. I hope you can understand where my head is.

~ Need a new chair, as I have no place to sit and read and knit, other than my bed. Where is the fine line between stretching my budget to buy something that will last and saving money on something that I will have to dispose of/replace in two years' time?
~ I'm 33. The weight doesn't just fall off anymore and I suddenly have a belly. I have never been a dieter and don't even know how to begin. Coupled with the fact that I love food, well, more than sex. I know I am not making healthy choices and yet I can't seem to stay on track with the good choices.
~When will I be a confident Waldorf homeschooler? I am still riddled with fears that I have made the wrong choice for my girls, for more reasons than my brain can even coherently hash through.
~ I can't prioritise worth a darn: I would rather read than make muffins and I can't make myself get out of bed early because it is so very, VERY cold right now. Would my days be easier if I spent more time planning in advance, or would I just be horrid and resentful because I wouldn't have time for myself. hmmm.

I've typed this from my kitchen counter as I make dinner. The pasta is almost ready. Time to publish.

TTFN.