Adventures in Unschooling

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Earlier this week I took a trip to my local reuse centre. And as usual I came home with a whole big bag of loot.

There were art kits, vintage patterns (stay posted), miscellaneous supplies for Native American studies, some sponges and ice cream pail lids for painting, a big sun lantern and some rolls of fabric of course.

In the mix I found a small stack of these unfinished pirate masks:


We painted them using watercolours.

To be frank they haven’t gotten a lot of use but with the small fee of the reuse centre they were technically free! So… Ships ahoy matey!

We were near the Chinese Supermarket so we decided to pop in. Boy am I glad I did.

We found some special items:

We were able to try mangosteens and lychees and I found some raw nori as well as oyster mushrooms for half price. They also had wolfberries (goji) for a fraction of what health food stores and grocery stores sell them. Can you believe that that bag only cost me $3.50? I couldn’t!

The only thing I knew about mangosteen is that the health food store sold big bottles of mangosteen juice for about $30!

Turns out they are not only cool to look at but also pretty sweet. We were all pretty happy with the mangosteen. They are a bit pricey though. Three of those beautiful apple looking things cost me over $3.00.

The lychees are a bit more starchy tasting and not near as sweet but they sure are juicy. When I would break through the shell they would squirt everywhere.

By and large, this was a much better experiment than the durian and dragon fruit.

I love exposing my kids to new tastes and textures. I also love teaching them about food and animals and I like exposing them to different cultures and this was a way to do all of those things.

This grocery store had a very broad live seafood department. My kids got to see live king crabs, regular crabs, lobsters as well as a variety of mussels etc. Right up close. They got to see a mussel’s “tongue” go back in when I touched it and see big cod fish and smaller fish of other variety.

After seeing the fish dead by the tanks Trey told me that he didn’t want to eat fish. Good! But that doesn’t deter him from his carnivorous taste for beef and chicken. Hmmm…

It certainly does add something. I love the improvement. It’s not as amazing as if we had replaced the cabinets but the old countertop was disgusting. It was who knows what colour originally but all we can tell is that it was painted bright blue once and then repainted this gross beige colour. Now it has some spank to it!

Below are the pictures that include the new curtains. They were taken at night so the lighting is quite dim.

I have recently closed my Facebook account. I am not going to go into the reasons other than I have been re-thinking the role of internet in my house. I know that I spend some of the best hours of my day on here instead of with my kids. I know that it has been a great place for me to research, get raw recipes and find like minded people. Something that has been a terrific comfort to me as I bravely go where no one I know has gone before. I am also looking forward to getting out of Alberta and into BC (fingers crossed) where there are more people like us.

When I read unschooling and raw food blogs the majority of the Canadian ones come from BC and Quebec. There seems to be a change of values on the extreme ends of Canada. I can’t speak for the maritimes though.

I guess I am feeling pretty lonely. I know I sort of do it to myself. I could just keep my mouth shut and go with the flow. Maybe try to catch the latest episode of some ridiculous reality show that everyone is watching. But that’s just not me. I am starting to feel like I am just going to have to embrace that and accept that I may not have as many close friends as I’d like.

I bet my husband will be better able to forge bonds in his next career but that doesn’t ensure success in their mates and I forming lasting friendships.

My other big problem is that I have failed to get involved in my community. Every time I say I am going to take an art class I punk out because of the money. I have a hard time spending money on stuff like that when I know we have other priorities right now (living life in limbo SUCKS!).

And my area has a monthly pot luck for vegetarians, vegans and raw foodists and I haven’t gone to a single one. I keep telling myself that there is no point in making friends now since we’ll be moving soon enough. And I do feel that way. But I hope that this doesn’t become a recurring theme for me.

I certainly intend on getting involved when we finally do get settled in somewhere. Hopefully by early 2011.

I want to join a Farmer’s Market committee (or whatever they call it) and maybe start doing some activities in the community. Art and yoga come to mind. It all depends on the location of course.

That’s about it for this morning. Thinking about life and printing off recipes for my binder.

We thought her area looked bare so I made her a canvas.

There, much better.

After many, many months I finally unpacked and set up Anna’s bed.

It took a lot of reorganizing in my room to make it all fit but it does now.

I also took some time to sew up that comforter for Anna. It was a duvet cover I bought at Goodwill a long time ago but I stuffed it and then stitched it in place. It’s not my best work but at least she has something pretty for her bed. 🙂