Tuesday, August 26, 2014

lately

 

 

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1. One of Sweet Pea & Sunny’s ‘chicks’ started laying. They are the cutest, tiniest chook eggs I’ve ever seen. Eggs in abundance right now.

2. Nursery visit, tree purchasing and morning tea with Lew and my lovely friend.

3. My sister had her baby! Miss Layla May Rose. A gorgy blanket for her made by Joanne.

4. Lew’s first caring role in the Wildlife Rescue group. A baby wattle bird fallen from the nest. An experience it has been, that’s for sure and certain. Lew’s loving it though {now he’s overcome his anxiety about it dying and not being properly looked after and many other worries he’s had a long the way}.

5. Indian Day with our lovely homeschooling group.

6. Kite flying with the homeschoolers.

7. A little photo shoot with my niece.

8. A Happy Birthday for my Dad:)

 

So, your turn now. What have you been up to lately?

 

Kim x

 

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

unschooling days: wildlife rescue

 

A bit of a warning – if you don’t like looking at dead birds on tables then look away now. Just letting you know because it was a bit of a surprise to me, walking into the Bemboka Community Hall last weekend to find rows and rows of tables covered in dead native birds. It took a little getting used to, let me tell you.

 

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Ever since he was really little, Lew’s loved rescuing injured or sick animals. At 3 years of age he would be the one checking the mouse trap first thing in the morning in hope that the mouse would still be alive so he could rescue it from his mum’s cruel motives. His love of animals begun early on and when he was 4 and his love of drawing really started to develop he would draw sharks and marine creatures every day. Dinosaurs were a hit as well.

Walks were always slow with Lew because he’d be wanting to stop every 5 seconds to look for lizards and insects under rocks and bit of bark. This has not changed. He’s always lagging behind checking out the place for signs of animal life.

From the age of 4 he wanted to be a marine biologist. I don’t know how he knew what a marine biologist was back then, perhaps it was from George’s marine biologist antics on a Seinfeld episode which we would watch a lot {do you know the one I mean? If you don’t, then you’re obviously  not a Seinfeld fan and you need to go and get yourself addicted to that show!}.

Now, at 14, Lew’s focus is mainly on reptiles and marine life and predatory birds {and drawing, of course}. He’s keen to get into wildlife rescue and finding animals in the wild. I’m not sure what the proper term for it is but he wants to be able to go and find wild life and study it in it’s natural habitat. He wants to do a snake handling course the minute he turns 18 and he’s already begun handling them, much to my motherly freakings out.

So, lately Lew’s been doing some Wildlife Rescue training. Well, not just Lew, me too. He legally can’t do the training and rescuing on his own until he’s 18 so until then his fantastically dedicated mum is by his side at all of these training days.

What I love about learning along side your child is how their interests become contagious. I’ve learnt so much over the years from helping Lew devour as much information as possible about wildlife and the animals he’s been interested in over the years.  It never ceases to amaze me the knowledge that he has about the things he is interested in. I have not taught him one single thing about native animals. How could I? I knew virtually nothing. It wasn’t that long ago I was calling egrets storks and ravens crows. See, I’m pretty up there now, don’t you think?

OK, dead bird alert!!!!!

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So, the first training day for Wild Life Rescue (the old NANA) was a general one. The ins and outs of rescuing responsibilities and how to rescue animals, mainly kangaroos on the side of the road. Hmmm, and on the way to that training day I happened to hit one with my car. Not the best of starts to Lew’s wild life rescuing.

The next training day was all about rescuing raptors. For you lay bird people, raptors are predatory birds. See how knowledgeable I’m becoming. Ha!

The first thing I noticed when I walked through the doors of the old community hall at Bemboka, a tiny, tiny town in our valley, were the rows of tables. On top of those tables were dead native birds. Next to the dead native birds were tubes and syringes. I had a minor panic attack on seeing all that and wondered if I was going to make it through the day. From the time the talks began I kept thinking about those dead birds and the syringes and wondered what the heck we were going to do with them.

I soon found out.

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Those syringes and tubes were for feeding sick birds. Tube feeding them. Like, in through their mouth and right down their necks, kind of feeding. So we practiced this wonderfully cosy procedure on the dead birds. Yes, we did.

Throughout the demonstration I had in my mind a ‘will not participate in the feeding of the dead bird bit’ kind of stance. I felt the theory would be fine for me. Perfectly fine. Considering my son, who’s passion this is, was perfectly comfortable, over on the next table, feeding away. But, my curiosity got the better of my minor panic attacks and so I had a go at the whole feeding a dead bird scenario {pretending, of course, that this bird was alive and well…not well, sick, but ….you know what I mean???}.

So yep, I fed a dead bird. It was an interesting experience. One I truly don’t need to relive but it wasn’t as bad as I’d initially thought. And the bird was so obliging.

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It was a long, cold day. A lot of sitting and listening to an expert talking but Lew was in his element and loved it. What I liked most about the whole day was watching Lew soak it all in. For a teenage boy who’s never been to school and never had to sit and listen to lecture style speakers for long periods of time I was amazed at his staying power. As mine began to wane in the afternoon, Lew’s continued.

That’s what I love most about the learning journey Lew is on. When learning is self-directed and coming from the learner then they will learn and learn and learn. They will continue learning. Life long learning.

And meanwhile, back at the ranch little tin house with the pointy roof, I am learning too. Lew’s self directed motivation is contagious and spills out all of the time and I can’t help but to soak it in and learn some stuff about his stuff.

It’s cool.

Oh, and it makes me a little less embarrassing for Lew in public. Knowing the difference between a stork an an egret is great. So that’s a bonus.

Kim x

Saturday, August 16, 2014

a little road trip

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Road trips are fun, aren’t they? Especially when you travel with good company.

We recently did a little trip up to Canberra to visit my lovely brother. It was a little family affair – Dad, my sister, my nephew, Lew and I. There are always some funny moments when we travel together. Dad loves to have a go at my driving skills. He also likes to say embarrassing things out the window to passers by. Sarah always speeds and her road rage can flare up at any given moment. They both like to do that taking off thing on me whilst I’m taking sneaky old building shots on the side of the high way. You know, when you get out of the car all nervous about who might see you taking photos and then all of a sudden the car takes off and you’re left there freaking out. Happens all the time to me. Lew and Ov had fun together and when I was in the back seat with them we sang and were silly in between my bouts of travel sickness and photo taking.

And the pies at the Nimmitabel Bakery are yummy. Just saying:)

Happy Weekend!

Kim x

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

lew’s drawings lately

 

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Remember this post about Lew? I mentioned in there that he was working on a series of drawings of old buildings around our area. That one up there is based on that house down there. I love how he adds his own  touches to his stuff. He always has to have something from his imagination added. He doesn’t like things to look exactly as they do in real life. Cool, I reckon.

 

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He’s working on some comic stuff too. I keep coming back to this one in his sketch book and loving it. Love the ruler stabbing out the eye. Yum!

 

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Oh, could be an eye theme thing going on. 

 

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In art class at the moment they are doing self portraits. Lew doesn’t love this one but I think it’s a lot like him.

 

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Everyones. Aren’t they great?

 

Kim x

Friday, August 8, 2014

country life and cows

 

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Twice this week, on our drives around the valley, we have had to stop for dairy cows. Thankfully, on both occasions, I was not in a rush to get anywhere. This might sound a little weirdo but I actually really enjoy having to sit and wait for these beautiful pedestrians to meander their way across the road. They are n.e.v.e.r in rush. Slow and steady. Sometimes they stop and check us out but they are always slow.

 

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As I sit there, in my car, sometimes annoying the pedestrians with my camera/phone, I feel myself breathing. Yeh, you know that stuff that goes in through your nose and out through your mouth? I feel that relaxed thing you get when you’re not going at 100 kilometres an hour – in your head! I notice myself exhaling and then breathing in that yummy dairy smell that wafts about these girls. Ahh, the peace.

 

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At these times, sitting there in my car, windows wound down{or whatever you do with electric windows}, I start to wonder why on earth the term ‘cow’ would ever be used as an insult to any female. Cows are so lovely. They are calm and inquisitive. They have a routine way of living that is so easy to be around. They nurture one another, especially their bubbas. They are quiet yet interactive.They are focussed and they stay on their path. They dwell peacefully together. They are pretty and strong. And they smell good. Who wouldn’t want to be a cow?

 

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I think I forgot how lovely cows are. Growing up I lived in between some dairy farms. When silly health laws were not invented yet, I used to ride my horse down our little dirt lane to the farmer’s dairy next door and pick up a lidded metal pail full to the brim with fresh, creamy milk. Eventually my mum got some cute little jerseys – Blossom and Pokey. Every morning mum would milk Blossom and bring in the milk for the day. Nice memories.

 

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Recently Lew and I looked after some jersey bull calves for someone. They were the cutest little things. They’d moo to us whenever they saw us and they’d follow us around the paddock like little puppy dogs. So sweet.

I think it’s time we got  one of our own.

It could definitely be time. 

Hanging out with a cow could be a very good thing for me to do.

 

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There’s a lot to learn from cows. I’m ready to learn.

Kim x

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

unschooling days with lew

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Watching: An Idiot Abroad, Derek, The Ricky Jervais Show, Extras, Jonah from Tonga, movie and game reviews, Snake docos on youtube.

Reading: Wonder by R.J Palacio, A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by Steve Wilson & Gerry Swan.

Playing: Monopoly {and beating me every.single.time!!!!!}, Minecraft, GTA, guitar.

Drawing: comic book ideas, old buildings, cool villages.

talking about: some pretty serious issues that some friends are going through right now.

cooking: lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, tomato pasta.

sharing: meals with friends and family, opinions about movies, opinions about lots of stuff.

eating: lots and lots of apples! Thanks to the new toy that entered our kitchen.

working: with his Dad every Saturday morning cleaning buses, on a series of old building drawings to make into cards and prints.

searching for: old buildings around the valley to draw.

 

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He’ll hate this photo…eek!

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I’ve always loved this old, abandoned house just outside of town. I got a little bit excited when Lew said he’d like to draw it! Hopefully the owner’s fine with it? I love how you can see straight through from the front to the back. Ventilation! Any excuse for me to drive around taking photos of old buildings. I could do that all day. Heaven!

 

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Beginnings of the old house on paper.

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Lew’s GTA character.

 

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Lew playing XBox. Looks more like a photo of 3 cute vintage bottles, doesn’t it?