Tuesday, January 27, 2009


We were off the the famed Spam Museum in Austin, MN today. We learned about the history of the Hormel family and the meat packing industry. We found out that Spam was shipped to soldiers during WWII. Did you know Hawaii eats the most Spam in the United States? We found out all these interesting things about the curious mystery meat in the blue can. What a fun place to go. Admission is free and the people working the museum have an unrivaled enthusiasm for their beloved product. Besides the history of the product, they have an interactive exhibit in which you race to can some spam as they do in the factory. AH and cousin loved it. They were each able to complete one can in 47 and 48 seconds. The exhibit also showed us that the nearby plant was able to can 397 cans of Spam in that same period of time.
Of note, AH is a seasoned vegetarian. He asked at age 9 if he could be a vegetarian. As long as he has been alive, AH has not really been a fan of meat. He presented me with several arguments that made sense to both of us. He respects that his family has different beliefs and values when it comes to meat eating and we really couldn't deny him our respect of his beliefs. Despite his beliefs, AH had a great time at the museum and actually tried Spam!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It was SO cold....

Well, we here in the tundra are about to come out of our annual deep freeze. It is going to be balmy here tomorrow with a high of 8 degrees ABOVE zero! I've always loved the fact that I don't have to go out on these cold days since AH and I homeschool (I drove him to school before)well, today with a high of -5, our school district cancelled school. (This never happens in our school district!) AH and I had a class at Como Zoo this morning that wasn't cancelled! So the coldest day of the year finds my 17 yo son, AD, cozy in his bed while AH and I were in a cold car for 30 minutes through cold, black ice and cars spinning out!
We did get there in one piece and had a great time. Because I woke up late and was worried about our drive, I forgot my camera. So no pictures today. It was a small group that gathered before hours to learn all about primates. We were lucky to have Dave B. as our instructor. He was great with the kids and kept the class moving. The last 1/2 hour of the class was spent in the primate building watching the volunteers and zookeepers setting up enrichment activities for the animals. We got to watch as the Gorillas were let into their area and each raced to a feeding puzzle. One gorilla was getting frustrated with his puzzle and decided to just break it in half and get the food out! The kids got a kick out of that!
The Orangutans had to find hidden pieces of pomegranate. One Orangutan found four pieces and wouldn't share with anyone! Finally she did share, but with her young child! We watched as another Orangutan approached the young one and grabbed the fruit right out of her hand!
AH and I are glad we were able to make it today. We even walked the zoo to see the other animals after class! We Minnesotans pride ourselves on our toughness in cold weather. I'm not sure why, maybe because otherwise we would be considered crazy?!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Cuddle-Up Day!

In honor of Cuddle-Up Day AH and I did school work while we cuddled in bed. What a treat! The Qin Dynasty of China, math review and practice, and reading about the history of the celebration of Epiphany have never been so engrossing! It's silly things like this that make our homeschool experience special.

Our 3 Kings!

We are also celebrating the season of Epiphany today. We read the biblical story of the Magi visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and I am baking a Kings Cake to be served after dinner. AH and I hid a gumdrop in the cake (in lieu of a baby Jesus). Researching Epiphany on the 'net lead to a lovely home blessing ritual that I am going to lead tonight after dinner. Even with a 3 kids and 23 years of marriage, I still find it fun to try new things!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, January 5th, 2009...

Outside my window...I see the neighborhood kids bundled up from head to toe walking to the bus stop

I am thinking...that it seems unusually cold in the house this morning!

I am thankful for...my toasty warm purple and pink socks!

From the learning rooms...in addition to the basics, we're going to be reading about Epiphany, the baptism of our Lord, and celebrating Cuddle Up Day by doing homeschool in bed tomorrow!!

From the kitchen...we will be making King's Cake tomorrow

I am wearing...whatever I could grab in the dark this morning: a Twins T-shirt, black slacks, and, as you already know, my purple and pink socks that match nothing I'm wearing!

I am creating...a red crochet dishcloth

I am going...to run errands this afternoon

I am reading...gardening books

I am hoping...to put all our Christmas decorations away this evening

I am hearing...nothing. Doug was up and out of the house early for a day in court, AD is off to school and AH is still sleeping!

Around the house...lay a dog, a cat and 2 guinea pigs...all napping.

One of my favorite things...is getting up early (when I have had enough rest) and having an hour to myself just to putter, finish a crossword puzzle and have some coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Baking, cuddling, Wed. afternoon homeschool group.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

I guess there's always next year...


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