Posts Tagged ‘outings’

00002 Overcoming my ambivalent feelings about zoos, I took the kids to one today so that they could learn about frogs and toads. A particularly timely topic given our tadpole project. Our zoo doesn’t have much of a reptile house, but we were shown an interesting powerpoint presentation, saw reptile skeletons, and afterwards, took a tour to see some of the other animals.

I’ve taken the kids there a few times in the distant past, and remember lots of dragging feet and complaints of boredom, but this time I should have packed a lunch and made a day of it. The animals were all out and about, highly visible and very active. There were lots of baby animals, and we witnessed a few dramatic fights.

When we went past the fox enclosure, I saw the well-worn ring that the animal had made around the inside perimeter of it’s fence, and felt sad. I know that captive animals generally have twice the life expectancy of wild ones, and that zoo breeding programs have made a difference for some endangered animals, but I still feel uncomfortable about the idea of wild animals being in cages.

It did make for another interesting discussion in our ongoing “Advantages/Disadvantages Game” though. Would you rather be well-fed and safe but give up your freedom, or have to hunt for food and worry about predators but be out in the wild?

Speaking of wild animals, I took a picture of J’s hands when she got out of the van at the zoo. Isn’t someone in charge of cutting that kid’s fingernails? And look at the dirt!


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Spring Break

The Canada Geese are back, winging low over the still-frozen river in search of open water. Spring is here, Spring Break is here, and while many people will be off on some sort of exciting travel adventure, we’re still here.

That’s okay though.

Realizing that it might be in my best interest to have a semblance of structure around here for the next week, or at least one outing a day on which to hang our hats, I tried to come up with a game plan. With every single school aged child in this city on holidays, I absolutely refuse to enter any public building, so exciting visits to the museum were out. Nature walks, well, okay, maybe one of them, but what to do with the rest of the days?

Then it hit me. My brilliant plan. There are at least four little diner type eating establishments quite close to where we live. We drive by them every single day on our way to diving, and I’ve always wondered what they looked like inside. So I decided that the kids and I would walk to one of those places every day for lunch, check it out, rate it on our private score sheet, and then walk home. A bit of exercise, some fresh air, greasy diner food, and I don’t have to make lunch.

Today we went to The Nook. What a dive. Honestly, they could try painting the place. It was well-visited though, there was all-day breakfast, and the portions were absolutely enormous. I think we were all a bit new to the idea though, because it was kind of strained and awkward, staring at each other and making conversation while we waited for our omelettes. I guess we don’t go out to eat that often.

I didn’t have my camera with me, or I would have included a shot of the mini plastic sunflower on our formica table. It was quite a cheerful little thing.

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Friday Fieldtrip


Went to the conservatory to learn more about fair-trade coffee, and check out displays from some of the local organizations involved in organic farming, and the 100-mile diet. The kids tasted goats milk, took home a parsley plant, and played hide-and-seek among the tropical plants. They ran into some other homeschoolers too…..

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DSCN0636 Went to the library yesterday. It’s a once weekly outing, a 20 minute brisk walk through our neighborhood. The kids ride their bikes, or scooter, or rollerblade, and I pull the trusty wagon.

It’s a great wagon. My friend’s dad made it for her, and we get to borrow it. We use it to pick up our vegetables once a week too.

There’s been a lot of talk around here about all things green. I’m glad that we live in a neighborhood in which we can walk to get what we need. I like being able to do more walking, and less talking, in my efforts to teach the kids about the environment.


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New Sport?

Cross-country rollerblading.

Over grass, mud, gravel, and sidewalks. Need to watch out for cracks, sticks, rocks, and slippery leaves.

Extra challenge: stairs.

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This Afternoon


Once a week, we walk Jay to knitting. It’s a drop-in class at the local second-hand shop. L used to go, and Jay used to come with me to drop her off. Jay used to sit quietly, mesmerized by the knitters, while I browsed for clothes. Now it’s her turn to take the class, and she loves it. She loves the act of knitting, the scarf that get’s longer and longer, and the chance to sit and chat with the other little knitters.

Tee has no interest in knitting, but he likes these days too, because after we pick Jay up, we go for a hot chocolate.

Cosy, huh? I love the way the yarn looks on the shelves. All those colors….

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Indian Summer


Took the monkeys to the monkey trails, where big kids ride their dirt bikes. We had it all to ourselves. Well, they did. I opted out. Took pictures instead.

We saw a gaggle of geese on the river, another ominous sign of what’s to come.

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