observation day and mini-me Nov 10

Saturday class observation today.
K has Saturday's off so we were lucky and I didn't need to try to be in two places at the same time and instead spent half of each of the two periods of observation in each class, swapping in the middle in the middle of a hallway somewhere.

Meg's class was looking at processed foods and their core raw ingredients.  They had done the research at home with their parents the night before and now it was time to re-write their notes in a cloud graph (?) format.  Simple enough, right?
Well, it would have been if all the kids had done their homework! Or had parents who thought to double check their facts before telling their kids the answers.  Case in point the girl studying pork and it's processed products had Corned beef as a product.  
Think about it for a second:
Corned beef.

So, as the class descended into pandemonium with a cacophonous chorus of 'Seeeennnnseiiiii!' and 'I don't underrrrrrstannnnnd!' the teacher invited the parents to come and help their kids.

So, I jumped in raring for a chance to get involved.

And Meg hissed at me 'What are you doing?'
'Your teacher said the parents can come and help!' I bubbled back.
'None of the other parents are interfering.  Go swap with daddy.  Now.  Please.'
She was right.
Not that I was interfering- clearly I was helping rather than hindering- but that no other parents had moved from the back of the room.
I thought maybe I'd misheard the teacher and was feeling a bit embarrassed when the teacher reiterated that we were not to hold back and do mingle.
So, I did hear right.
I was just the only one who did what I was told, hey?
Before I got a chance to leave or convince Meg I should stay Meg's friend called out to me to help her.
A-chan has been in Meg's class from 3 year old kinder onwards.  That's six years and three class changes later and they're still in the same class.  There are three of them actually and considering there were three 3yo kinder classes, four Grade 1 classes and five Grade 3 classes it's pretty freaky that they have been together the whole time, right? Anyway, A-chan called out to me to help her describe the process of making ham.  We used my phone to google the process and she was thrilled that I could help and told Meg that I was amazing.
Next I helped the boy sitting next to A-chan describe the process of turning corn into cornflakes. He told Meg my phone was cool and I was amazing.
As I was finishing there there was a grudging mumble behind me and Meg decided I could stay if I really wanted.... and could I help her remember which flour is used to make udon... please?

A little more googling and it was time to swap rooms with K.

Amy's class was doing a class on morals that I remember from when Meg was in Grade 1:
The wolf is nasty and teases people who want to cross the bridge.  One day a bear comes along and teases the wolf who has an epiphany about his antisocial behaviour and turns over a new leaf and apologises and isn't it just so much nicer to be nice to people?  At each stage in the story the kids have to respond to the information and guess how each character is feeling.
It's all a bit boring and formulaic and frankly faked as the teacher solicits plenty of opinions but only writes down the ones that support her argument which annoys me but anyway
everytime the teacher asked a question Amy sat bolt upright and raised her hand as high as she could.
And it made me smile.
That's just like me when I was a kid.
As though the teacher would choose who to ask based on their posture.

Ohhhhhh, go Amy, you little mini-me!

New chefs on the block- Nov 6

Meg made curry- all by herself.
It was so much more delicious than mummy's.
Because she only used the veggies listed on the box.

One serve of plain jane potato, carrot and onion curry please:

Amy was the pastry chef du jour:

Fruit salad with ice-cream because we ran out of yoghurt. Marie Antoinette problem, hey?

It gets Amy's seal of approval.

The finished product.

Hamming it up 'Take a picture of us eating it mummy!'

And just in case I was feeling sidelined in my own kitchen they helpfully used pretty much every dish we own...:

Done! Nov 5

We played the weather roulette game and the scheduling spaghetti game and the machinery learning game and the soothsayer said that November 5th was the day and so we did it.  De-riced the rice.

Co-farmer W looking soooo cool driving the de-husker over to the side of the field so we can load the rice in it's tank into the rice bags you can see bottom right.

Hmmmm, in summary of this year's rice harvest, yield was down on last year which was partly a good thing as last year we were dancing with danger and rice disease as everything was a bit too bountiful, and partly a bad thing based on the super hot summer and the fact that we didn't add any fertiliser trying to correct last year's over-fertilising.

Never mind.  All part of the learning process, hey?

Everything else went so much smoother than last year.  From fencing to ducks, water management and then harvest and de-ricing.

Definitely learning as we go here.

Roll on next year and a chance to further refine our techniques!


mummy......? Nov 4

There is a certain way of calling mummy that I just know means I am going to be asked to do something I will want to say no to.

Just the particular rising inflection combined with a certain plaintive tone and I am already squaring my shoulders ready for the reaction to my no.

But sometimes, even when I know I want to say no, I just get soft and say yes.

Even though I know that before I even finish the final sssss sound I will be regretting my decision.

Today was one of those days.

'Mummy, we want to sew something.'
Sounds perfectly innocuous right?


Amy's brand of particular perfectionalism and Meg's low tolerance for drudgery means that 'we want to sew' always ends up with me completing two sewing projects.


Oh well, they had fun doing the bits they did do.

And I talked Meg down from a dress to a small drawstring bag so that's something.

Nov 3- whose daughter are you?

Some things the girls do make me smile as they remind me of me.
Meg sympathy crying about stuff that happens in storybooks and Amy's collection of notebooks filled with writings and doodlings.

Some make me cringe for the same reason.
Meg's tolerance for clutter and chaos and Amy's never backing down from a fight.

But there are some things they do that just mystify me.
Where on earth did that come from?

I guess those are the K bits in the equation, hey?

Amy cooking is one of these areas.
She is ever so careful and detail oriented and precise and incredibly mind-numbingly sloooooooooow.

Exhibit A: Amy cutting tofu:

Cut one slice, remove from knife blade and place carefully on previous slice in beautiful straight line.


Doesn't it drive you crazy just looking at it?
Or is that just me.....

I cut tofu in about 4 knife strokes onto my palm held over the saucepan in about 7 seconds after all...

Nov 2- cool ideas and this year's wheat

Can you work out what this is?

It's a seeder/ sower (not actually sure what the name is myself.) The seed is pulled down from the bucket on a little conveyer belt and dropped into a furrow the machine makes itself and then the roller at the back tamps the soil down and buries the seed.

Pretty cool, huh?

And this one is even cooler now that co-farmer K (not husband K) added the cross bar with the plastic peg coming down.  Now, as you walk one row you are marking out the lane for the next row.  So all the rows will be straight.  In theory.  I have a fabulous talent for going wonky even when slavishly following a straight stringline...

Still, other than the last line where I got a little excited that I was on the last line the wheat went in pretty straight, right?


It's a lot easier to park...

Yup, a lot easier to park my car  at the moment. Usually i have to navigate the truck, the other car and a chaotic pile of waiting-to-be-carted firewood.

Not at the moment though.


Noone cleaned up the firewood and the other car is still there.

K just realised how busy I am at the moment and very thoughtfully moved the truck to at least make parking easier.

Moved the truck all the way to the rice paddy.

Two days ago.

I'm sure someb of the neighbours must think it's bogged there or it broke down again but they don't know how thoughtful K is.

I mean he did the same thing this time last year too.

What a guy!