~a month of unschool~buoys, berries, and a boy

we left off last month with quinn saying goodbye to mama for her 10 day research cruise, so this month opens on a happy note: reunion! quinn loved checking out the vessel, the giant fenders, my bunk, and practicing his knot tying on board (he is getting very good at it!) he also liked watching the hydraulic crane thingie (he probably knows the terminology better than me) lift our heavy gear to offload it to shore. we spent a week reconnecting before i went back to work, and he could frequently be seen during that time performing ship operations over the loft railing at the orange house. (here he has several crab traps set and is down filling them with crabs before he goes upstairs again to haul them in.) he also proudly wore his f/v frosti hat any time we went anyplace, even the backyard.

went picking organic strawberries with friends. socialization again!we made some fine strawberry topping that is going to be gone by august at the rate we’ve been devouring it on banilla ice cream.

we found a great new unschooling friend in the form of sparkle stories. listen and love. checked on our food share potatoes, coming along nicely. celebrated the 4th with fireworks on yaquina bay. quinn and dada put together a new bow for quinn, and have been crafting arrows for it one by one (complete with feather fletching and stone points!)

tree climbing- it’s on every mama’s list of skills a child needs to learn, right? also, reading in bed in the morning. ahhh, success. he loveth literature. and, would you believe it, even more socializing? (witness the delicate dance between a boy and a girl sharing strawberries, while the boy can’t be bothered to take off his headphones to accomplish the negotiations.)  and behold, our canteloupes are holding their own… they said it was impossible, but we are so excited to be eating homegrown melons… in late fall. hehehe.


zucchini muffins are in season! quinn takes great joy in bundling me up some parsley from the garden- very, very securely. he’s even eating actual green things, namely peas. “look at that captain and crew of peas in there!” and you may notice a theme with the bow and arrows… i am quite impressed with the way he has taken to the concept of practice. a few short months ago, trying and failing meant frustration for him, in many areas, but he is now very content to try and try and try and try again. it is amazing to see, and makes me think of things like musical instruments in the near future…

bring your mama to the fun work day of the year out on the siletz river… quinn helped my colleagues and i collect snails, as an annual survey of their parasite loads that we perform for fun. quinn got to help collect specimens, feed them (true story: you have to feed organic lettuce to snails, the conventional lettuce kills them), and study their parasites under the microscopes, as they shed them (ahem, poop). definitely counts as science, and not sure, hmm, as socialization? wait, does it count if you can hang with adults…..?

i suppose painting with kids in the backyard must count… we got the honor of returning to the river to release (and catch again, and release some more) the snails of research. volunteer potatoes were dug to make room for more brassicas in the garden, and as a friend put it “it’s like buried treasure!” and this small pirate sure had fun.


cherry foraging mission to the valley… 9 pounds gleaned. also encountered: hawk, dragonfly and turkey vulture medicine, mullein, various other plants of medicinal interest scoped out for later harvesting… a snake that was so sound asleep it let us take its picture… and the site of a future cherry tree (hehe i post pictures of poop).

oh right, we were actually in the valley to pick marionberries, the cherries were a side tangent. the marionberry farm was a return to a place we loved last year- red barn farm, where you too can pay for something genetically almost identical to a blackberry, and yes it is worth every penny all you oregonian too-cool-to-pay-for-blackberry types. i will eat my share of the free variety, but i am looking forward to enjoying organic marionberry lavender jam and other treats this winter… and hey, there is our melon growing gangbusters! woot!

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