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Gettin' All-Primal in the Applachians

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  • Hey Bess and Anne (and everybody else who might be reading...)

    Thanks for all of your good wishes - they felt very nice as I read them.

    Bess - I am in what Americans call the "Eastern Standard Time Zone" (shortened to EST), which makes me 6 hours behind Cologne, and 5 hours behind London, except when we move in and out of Daylight Savings time and Germany does that a week after us in the spring and a week before us in the fall. We move our clocks FORWARD one hour at 2:00 a.m. each second Sunday in March, and move them BACK again one hour on the first Sunday in November. The "lower 48" (what we call the 48 contiguous US states - that leaves out Alaska and Hawaii, and assorted islands like American Samoa) has four time zones - east coast is Eastern Standard Time, go just a bit west to the Great Plains states and you have Central Standard Time (CST), go further west to the Rocky Mountains and you have Mountain Standard Time (MST), get across the Rockies and from there all the way to the west coast we have Pacific Standard Time (PST). Alaska gets its own time zone (AKST) as does Hawaii (HST). There are a couple others (one further off the Atlantic coast, and way past Hawaii there are two more) as well, for a grand total of nine time zones.

    We constantly use time zone abbreviations like EST or the phrase "local time" to get our times straight since Yanks/Amis travel a lot and talk to people all over the country even more, not to mention the news and television channels and such.

    Just because I wanted some distraction, I went to the link anne gave me about Pier Head, and continued to read about "leaver" birds and the Liverpool crest and all that. Very cool and interesting stuff. I especially liked the word list you gave me, anne. "Minty" for dirty seems downright contrary.

    Glad you got your weight training in, bess. I got mine yesterday by digging a hole for Cat's coffin, and gave myself a huge thumb blister. Huh. Your way is definitely more fun.

    Just for some cultural fun - around here all of the kids in the county started school 8/22. The last school year ended on 5/31, so we had all of June, July, and until August 22nd for summer vacation. The next federal holiday is Labor Day, September 3. Schools, banks, doctor's offices and out-patient therapy centers (but not hospitals), and government offices are closed, but the stores are all gearing up for a huge sale weekend. Labor Day is the traditional end of summer, and lots of folks like to have a huge cookout party to celebrate. I plan on having lots of bunless bratwurst and just whatever produce my favorite farm stand has on hand.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


    • Just back from collecting my son. Torrential rain here, though we are all in a good mood as Everton our football team won again today. First two games and we have won both -wayhay. Been to the gym today and done what I call a heavy weights session. Though when I look at what others do it is not a heavy weights session. Well it is for me cos I can't lift any heavier.
      Anyway I did squats, deadlifts, dumbbell rows and chest press.
      Had sprinted yesterday so didn't bother today.
      Bess -ferry across the Mersey is a very famous Liverpool song. There were loads of foreign tourists on the ferry. My son and I really enjoyed it. I felt quite sentimental as when we were kids we often had a day out going on the ferry to a sea side resort called New Brighton. It was very shabby when we used to go but my mum used to tell us stories of how popular it was in its heyday. It was a famous Victorian destination and I can remember seeing old photos of ladies in long dresses on the beach.
      In Liverpool we have two Cathedrals -one catholic and one protestant.
      In the words of another famous Liverpool song

      In my Liverpool Home, In my Liverpool Home
      We speak with an accent exceedingly rare,
      Meet under a statue exceedingly bare,
      And if you want a Cathedral, we've got one to spare
      In my Liverpool Home.....

      The statue the song refers to is one of a naked man nicknamed Dickie Lewis' above a famous now closed Department store in the city centre. And of course with having 2 cathedrals we have one to spare.
      In answer to your question Bess the economy in Liverpool is quite run down. There is a fair bit of poverty, though looking at the rest of Europe maybe we are not too bad off. I feel so aorry for the working class people in Greece. Most of the UK wealth is in the South of the country and looking at the news there seems to be a lot of Russian oligarchs and rich Chinese moved into London.
      The weather is better down South so imagine that is another reason people don't usually settle up here.
      Hope all is well Crabbcakes.
      We are off on holiday Monday to the Lake District which is a 2 hr drive from here. My husband won't drive any further. So our holiday destinations are within 2 hrs or we go abroad.


      • Just seen your reply Crabbcakes, glad all is as well as can be. Our kids go back to school first week of September. I think I have bought all the uniforms !!!!!
        I have been googling Ohio and Cologne as I am pretty nosy (in case you can't tell.)
        Though as Bess has already said we find out more in conversation.
        I am rubbish at understanding time zone differences, I sometimes have to organise telephone conferences for academics in different parts do Europe with different time zones. I go into a cold sweat with worry that they will all be ringing at the wrong time.
        Though I have recently found a good website that converts all that even I can understand.
        Right I am going to pack for my holidays. Will be taking my trusty iPad with me to find out what is going on.
        Good night and god bless as my mum and gran would have said.


        • Dear Journal -

          We had the family pet burial last night for Cat. Hubby went to the garage (and the table saw) to build a wooden box. First transferred Cat to the box and tucked him in with small blankets, and the rest of us wrote notes and drew pictures and collected whatever it was that we wanted to add for his journey to the afterlife. I gave Fourth his cat collar and brass i.d. tag. We took pictures of him in his box before we closed the lid, and took pictures of each of us helping shovel or hoe earth on top after the box was lowered into the hole. (The photo thing might seem a bit macabre, but we have used digital cameras for just everything for a long time - I sometimes make Third small photo albums of special events and her surgeries that are too hard or involved for her to describe using her own words so her teachers, relatives, and therapists can use the albums (with my added captions) to discuss stuff with her. The rest of us use them just to help emotionally process hard events.)

          Cat is the fourth of our felines to be laid to rest in that corner of our property, and the sixth cat I have had die while in my care, and it doesn't really get easier with practice - still hurts just as much. Cat was physically the largest of our felines - at 17 pounds and with a monstrous bone structure, he was a huge physical presence (as far as cats go), and the house seems empty, even though I still have 5 more in residence. I guess I just like a lot of life in my house.

          I managed not to succumb to any non-Primal stress eating, even though I have a rotten sweet tooth this week. I did help myself with a can of Diet Coke (on two separate occasions), but the kids sipped some each time, and by the time they all had had a sip or two, half the can was gone, so neither they nor I had much. Hubby tried some soda with me and actually said "YUCK" - which is astonishing because he used to be the biggest soda consumer in the house. He actually said that it no longer tasted like anything he wanted to drink. Wow. Like my new friend annedawso says - gobsmacked. (VERY cool word.) I still am in awe of what NOT being a sugar-burner has done for me - if Cat had died last year, before I had the Primal, I would have drowned my sorrow in potato chips, dip (one of my all-time favorite snacks), and soda, and taken the whole house with me on the snack run. (And everyboy would have gotten their own big bag of chips. Due to allergies, though - one bag grain-free/dairy-free for Third, one bag gluten-free/dairy-free ffor Second, and then four according to personal preference. Nobody wants to share their chips here... we take that stuff seriously...!)

          I brought out a new notebook this morning, and began making my personal Primal cheat sheet with it. I wrote down the Ten Primal Laws, and then some ancillary stuff that I didn't want to forget, like barefooting, cold thermogenesis, yellow light, vocab from Mark's new post on IE (Intermittent Euphoria), and all that. The notebook is just a catch-all thing where I will put just anything, from blog addresses to whatever, so I don't have notes and folded sheets of paper and such everywhere.

          I did find the coolest website this morning. I was thinking of water quality (after reading about sunshine and negative-ion exposure) and started poking around... I found – Online Spring Database and this site is a location clearinghouse for anybody who knows about a spring where folks can go and collect pure, natural water. My Oma (German word for "grandmother") has a spring behind her house, and it has the tastiest, cold water ever. I found a spring maintained by the small city where we travel weekly for therapy for Third, and you can bet that on Monday, I am bringing my one-gallon BPA-free bottle to try this stuff!

          Still no YAYOG, and I still don't care (although I haven't given up on that as a goal). I must be doing something right, because after shoveling (with hubby) our cement-hard, rock-filled crap we call earth on this property (I even had to fill Cat's hole with water and slosh it around to loosen that stuff enough to even break it up) down to 2 feet-plus deep, I am not sore today. I was definitely tired, but not sore. Slightly injured (thumb blister - come on, say it with me.... awwwwwwww), but not sore. Between my last official Journal entry and this one, First and I managed to bike another loop (from the house down to the stop sign and back - two mile loop), and I still can't manage it without getting off the bike and pushing it up the hills, but hey - we were out there.

          For dietary tribulations, we all are feeling the lack of margarine in this house. By consensus (well, by benevolent dictatorship) I haven't restocked the margarine in the fridge once it ran out. The members of this house love their fats, and always have, so we were huge consumers of all the traditional Primal fats like pan drippings and butter and the like, but Second and Third cannot have dairy, so I bought them Earth Balance for most of their lives. Now that I am convinced of the rancid seed oil/omega-6 overabundance thing, I am turning our table habits regarding margarine around and am having a hard time with it. Second doesn't like ghee (thinks all dairy is disgusting - has been dairy-free her entire life) or coconut oil. Third doesn't like coconut oil either - I haven't tried ghee with her yet. Hrmph. Third, especially, is upset - she has sensory problems with food and will only eat if there is a sauce and/or buttery topping of some kind on each food on her plate. We stop-gap with evoo-homemade-vinaigrette, but there must be other solutions I can add to the arsenal.

          I just might throw out a recipe thread today - they are really missing this stuff, and I don't have many ideas.

          So, journal-mine, that is all for today. The goals for next week are the same - more Primal eating and cooking, maaaaaaaybe a little YAYOG, and a way to WOM. Until then -
          I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


          • Originally posted by annedawso View Post
            Everton our football team won again today. First two games and we have won both -wayhay.
            In my Liverpool Home, In my Liverpool Home
            We speak with an accent exceedingly rare,
            Meet under a statue exceedingly bare,
            And if you want a Cathedral, we've got one to spare
            In my Liverpool Home.....

            We are off on holiday Monday to the Lake District which is a 2 hr drive from here. My husband won't drive any further. So our holiday destinations are within 2 hrs or we go abroad.
            Hey anne - I looked up Everton on their website. Holy crap! You don't really have any English players on that team! I don't know of one single player of American football in the pro-league who isn't American. I am showing my almost-complete soccer ignorance, but is this normal for professional Euro soccer?? I mean, England has enough people and enough soccer-mad men to populate a team, so I am perplexed.

            The Liverpool Home song is entirely too cute. I think you English are very good at making up lots of ditties and songs and popular poetry and stuff.

            The Lake District sounds really nice. I'll be googling and bing-ing that for photos as soon as I am done with this post. Ummm - one last question... why does hubby not drive further than 2 hours? That is really restrictive, from an American standpoint, unless there are mitigating circumstances (like advanced age, disability, very young children in the house, no money for gas, etc). In this family, we max out at 4 hours one way for a day trip - when you double that for the return trip, that is 8 hours of driving in one day. We do go farther, but then we just need to plan for an overnight stay.

            Have fun!
            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


            • Let me see -the English Premier League is the most watched football league in the world. It is very big money with the star players earning millions per year. That means each team spends a fortune buying players from all over the world. Our goalkeeper Tim Howard is American and we have had Landon Donovon from LA Galaxy on loan during their close season. Unfortunately the money involved means there isnt much home grown talent as the clubs seem to go for established players. Everton is probably the poorest club in the league as some owners are foreign Billionaires. Our owner Bill Kenwright is a boyhood Evertonian who remembers going the game on his uncles bikes handlebars. Unfortunately for us he isnt wealthy and we survive on loans from the Bank. Luckily we have a brilliant manager who has signed some fabulous players relatively cheap, and sold some for millions more than we paid.
              We do have a couple of English lads in the team. From what I have read I think in American football the money is more fairly distributed whereas in ours there are rich and poor clubs.

              Re the driving hubby has a serial case of grumpy old man syndrome over driving distances despite being a very fit, athletic 46 year old. He just thinks it is a waste of time driving any further. He doesn't like being my passenger, think he is just like his dad by the sound of it. When we go to London we go by train.
              We are not in the slightest adventurous. Both of us have lived in a 5 mile radius of where we were born all of our lives. Do you know we live in the house that his mum and dad lived in, and his mum (his dad died) live in the house that her mum and dad lived in!!!!
              Talk about creatures of habit.
              We normally go to the same place on holiday every year- centerparcs in the Lake District. It is a big forest Park with loads of lodges, entertainment facilities, big lake, swimming pool etc. We even stay in the same lodge every time we go. We have been at least 20 times in total. We go for olds of walks, ride bikes, swim, play tennis and my hubby and the boys play in football tournaments there.
              Reading this back I realise we sound rather weird. There again we probably are. Though we are going back to Florida next year, there again we have also booked to go to centerparcs next year in April and August.
              my husband would not go out on a day out without moaning if it was more than an hour away. 4 hrs -we would have no chance.
              We are unusual though, loads of my friends travel long distances for days out and holidays etc.
              Don't suppose you need to go on holidays, it sounds lovely where you live. We live by busy main roads with loads of trucks and cars going by all the time.


              • Originally posted by annedawso View Post
                (totally snipped) Re the driving hubby has a serial case of grumpy old man syndrome over driving distances despite being a very fit, athletic 46 year old. He just thinks it is a waste of time driving any further. He doesn't like being my passenger, think he is just like his dad by the sound of it. When we go to London we go by train.
                We are not in the slightest adventurous. Both of us have lived in a 5 mile radius of where we were born all of our lives. Do you know we live in the house that his mum and dad lived in, and his mum (his dad died) live in the house that her mum and dad lived in!!!!
                Aaaargh! I'm glad you have your hubby and I have mine... I think we would be divorced quite quickly just over that - if we ever managed to marry in the first place, if I had yours. The average stay for me is about 5 years in one place (ranges from 4 to 8), and then I'm off... not that I ever plan anything by some mystical, magical number - it has just worked that way so far, reaching as far back as my infancy. We are in Year 7 of our residency at Crabbcakes Manor and have no plans to move as everybody is still happy here and Hubby's job is still secure as can be for its type. I just may break my longest-residence record (8 years in my apartment in Frankfurt)...

                Your annual Park stay sounds lovely. I actually could go for a bit of tradition like that, as long as that wasn't my ONLY option for getaways, and it isn't for you either, so it balances out.

                As for me personally, I was born with wheels for feet - I get the biggest charge out of seeing anything new.

                I would go to London by train, too. I love trains - wish the US had more choices than Amtrak. Amtrak and local choices are heavily used in urban megalopolises, but non-existent everywhere else (except for freight trains and the odd sight-seeing train here and there). Trains are one of the things I miss the most about Europe.

                Thanks for the soccer info. I saw that American goalie on the roster - and am mighty impressed he is there. Seeing how you are soccer-mad, I'm sure I'll learn more in the future. My German friends are life-long fans of Eintracht Frankfurt.

                So how did you make the decision to go to Florida - twice? There is an awful lot of the US to see, and Florida isn't the only state that has beaches and fishing (although it may be the best known, other than California, for those qualities)... The place is too damn hot and sweaty for me - I've been to Disney twice, visited an aunt (twice) who has lived there forever (on the Atlantic side), and went again three years ago to pick up a car. All trips mostly sucked due to climate, although I do admire Disney for their incomparable attention to detail. And the cruise ship was actually fun. (If any Floridians are reading this - I haven't tried February trips. I hear they are much better.)

                But I get the Northern European compulsion to go to places that are hot and sandy and sunny, having lived in Germany three separate times in my life. Once I actually counted FORTY straight days of some kind of precipitation in Frankfurt, from downpour to non-stop mist, to drizzle, to just every kind of water falling from the sky ever dropped by a cloud. The Germans are generally a hardy bunch, but that period made most of the folks in Frankfurt just crazy.
                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


                • Yes I sometimes wonder if I married the right man myself. Only joking ( most of the time) though he is a creature of routine, but that suits me after a first husband who was a bit of a rotter. Horses for courses I suppose.
                  Well we chose Florida as it is the only place anyone we know goes to in the US. My two eldest John and Mike love funfairs and to us it seemed the ultimate holiday destination. Foolishly we are going in July so I anticipate a lot of sitting by the pool at the villa.
                  We went in October last time and that was bad enough.
                  You sound very adventurous in your travels. Much more than I imagine most Americans, and defintely much more than the Dawson clan.
                  The train from Liverpool to London only takes just over 2,hours so I go now and agin with youngest son -James to do sightseeing. I am not fond of having a royal family but I like looking at the palaces and all the pomp and ceremony.
                  There has been uproar in the UK this week after nude photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas. The only thing that annoys me is having to pay taxes to contribute to their lifestyles etc.
                  I have never been to Germany, though have been to Spain (loads) Italy (loved it) and Holland (with work.)
                  Thinking about it I have never seen many US trains on the TV. Mostly some type of bus.
                  The weather forecast has improved for our break so should be good. There are no cars allowed in centerparcs after you have unpacked so we can all rides our bikes in safety. Nice to see squirrels, ducks and rabbits outside your lodge.
                  I imagine we might be having the nice weather Bess referred to in Cologne.

                  Crabbcakes - Where do you think you would like to move to next and why? How nosy am I? I can't imagine the hassle of hanging schools, jobs etc. I have only worked in 2 different jobs in my 46 years. I only left the first one after over 20 years as I was made redundant. My hubby is the same, he has only worked in 2 places, he is really lucky as he can retire from the police in 4 years with a full pension. He has worked there for 23 years.


                  • Hello,

                    the weekend is nearly over, although in the US there is still half a Sunday to go (thanks Crabbcakes for the time zone info).

                    Although it was a sad event, I loved to read about your cat's funeral. I mean, I don't have pets, but your cat was a family member for you, and it's nice that you said good bye to him as you would to a relative. Funerals are there for a reason - when we bury a person, we honor them and their lives, and it is an opportunity to beginn to deal with our grief and to support each other. And you did that for your cat and your family. I remember when I was a child and my hamster died, my Dad also made him a little casket, and we buried him in a friend's garden under a bush with nice flowers.

                    And kudos to you for not comforting yourself with non-primal food! Very difficult though to introduce good fats into your family's meal plan, it seems. Have you ever thought of mayonnaise? You could make it yourself and add it to salads or other meals. Mayonnaise could even double for butter or (god forbid) margarine, which I find a total no-go. There are tons of recipes on the internet, even for mayonnaise with bacon fat. Or you could try one of the good oils like walnut or macadamia. (Expensive though.) Extra virgin olive oil tends to get bitter, but it seems that in the US there is "light" olive oil around which is refined (the good Mrs. Eades M.D. wrote about it on her blog some time ago - maybe you can find her mayo-post).

                    I like it that we compare our respective lifestyles here. Mine is very different from yours - crabbcake's and Ann's - again. I have been single now for nearly twenty years, and it suits me fine. Of course for most of the time I was a single mom, so I was not strictly speaking "alone". (Are moms ever alone? I often yearned for a little bit of solitude. And when my life was at its worst - marriage failing, small child and a stressful job - I took off into the mountains alone for two weeks which may have saved my sanity.) But now my daughter has moved out, and for three years I have really lived alone. As I said, it suits me perfectly. I have friends, but I don't have to be with people all the time. I can quite happily go for a walk, to the cinema or even dancing by myself. One circle of friends are women approximately my age (between their forties and sixties), but strangely enough, none of them has children, so very often they have another perspective on things than I have. Other friendships are trickier, especially if you are friends with couples. But I had twenty years to develop a feeling for the unwritten rules, for example, always make it clear that the woman is your best friend, greet her first, if she goes to the bathroom or so only talk about neutral, irrelevant topics with her partner, never meet the male partner alone and so on.

                    In this connection I can tell you another interesting story from Germany. There is a secretary of state who is under attack for his lifestyle. They suspect him to be gay which is no biggie here, because even our foreign minister or the mayor of Berlin are gay. He says that he won't comment on his sexual orientation, but that he has been living happily as a single man for over fifty years. And obviously that's what people can't accept. Maybe us "happy singles" are the next lifestyle vanguard?

                    Now it's gotten really late, and I'll tell you what this "happy single" did today. In the morning I went to a flea market (can you tell I love flea markets?) to look for old jewellery (mostly from glass beads) - alone of course, although I met a few acquaintances. I spent 5 Euro (about six dollars) on some necklaces and bracelets. In the afternoon my daughter passed by to collect some things that she left here, before going home back because university starts again tomorrow morning. Then I took my fleamarket findings apart, washed and desinfected the beads and have so far made a nice spiral bracelet (if you don't know what this is, google "memory wire") in tones of violet.

                    Looking forward to reading from you soon!


                    • That was very interesting reading about your lifestyle Bess. You sound like you have a lovely life now with a nice group of friends. Divorcing is a very difficult life change, I think I was at the lowest pint of my life. Not helped by the fact that when my husband left me for another woman my mum had just died. It seems like a distant dream now -thank goodness.

                      I think there are more and more men and women not having kids for whatever reason. My brother in law in his late 40's has never had children, nor has one of my close friends in her early 50's.
                      It is a shame though that you have to be so sensitive when with couples. It's a minefield out there.

                      Is the Secretary of State single? If so I can't understand why the attacks. Though if he is married i suppose living as a single man for over 50 years isn't acceptable to most. Knowing me I have got the totally wrong end of the stick.

                      I like going around car boot sales, probably a lower class flea market. We have a few on a Sunday very early nearby. In fact I intend to do a car boot in the next couple of weeks to get rid of the clutter that has built up. My 9 year old has loads of toys he has never played with tht I will sell.
                      I never have the patience to do any thing involving crafts. I have decided that I would prefer to pay someone with more patience. Have bought some handmade jewellry off eBay and etsy.
                      Just googled the bracelets and they look lovely. You are very clever (and patient) to be able to make them.

                      It will be interesting to hear what life is like in the US if you are single and the social etiquette for dealing with single /married friends.
                      Last edited by annedawso; 08-26-2012, 03:02 PM.


                      • Hey Anne - lots of comments and questions, so here goes...
                        What is a rotter? What are funfairs? And explain centerparcs more, please.

                        As far as me being an adventurous American as far travels go, I have to tell you that I am dead average, nothing special. There are tons of Americans who blow me out of the water travel-wise. I wish I could do more traveling, but Hubby and I won't pay for trips with credit cards (meaning the money must be there), and Third's therapy bills are big still. So we squeeze things in where we can.

                        I don't know where I would go next. The Kids Crabbcakes are so happy here that they have asked us to never sell this house - they would like to come back regularly, even if this place becomes a shared family country vacation house between the four of them, should Hubby and I want to go somewhere else later. That actually makes me very happy, knowing that they are at peace here.

                        I do know that I don't want to live (for any longer time span) anyplace that is hot most of the year. I also kind of like greenery, so no place too dry. I do want four seasons. If I had to hop onto a private plane right now, I would tell the pilot to head for Washington State, as far as the US goes. Honeybuns lives in Washington, and if you haven't checked out the photos on her journal, you are missing something. I have wanted to see the Pacific Northwest for some time now. I think I would like it out there, culture-wise and all, from what I hear of it. Hubby has been to all the US states except two, I think, but he travels for business now and then and that is how he gets around. Hubby and I have also talked about eventually moving to a small college town - we could never lack intellectual stimulation that way, nor ever really get "verkalkt" (German word - which is that state where you are old in age and psychologically just impossibly inflexible to boot) because there would always be hordes of young, idealistic people around to keep me young-thinking and up-to-date, and I could always take classes. And I would like to be close to Nature - look out my window and see something beautiful, not endless suburbia (or worse...).

                        You don't know, but I homeschool First, Second, and Fourth, and always have. Third goes to a special school just for kids with multiple disabilities. So we are flexible as far as schooling goes. Hubby works from home, but for a company. Hubby has worked for this same company for over 10 years, 7 of them from our home office, so we are flexible there, too. We are here because this is the right place for us for this period in our lives.

                        In the end, I would like to see every state in the Union, too (I have never seen a desert, so Arizona and New Mexico are high up on the list). And some of Canada. And my obsession, as far as foreign countries goes, is to get to the Faroe Islands.

                        Hubby would have a nervous breakdown living for so long near busy roads. He does much better out here. He doesn't hate cities at all, but would really rather have his house where his nighttime hours are quiet.

                        So, I am off to make a quick tomato soup. I have the munchies again, and this mood needs feeding...
                        I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


                        • You know some of the words I use others from the UK may not even know them. There are so many regional variations.
                          Rotter- as in someone is a rotten scoundrel
                          Funfairs - I suppose our small version of amusement parks. I spent many happy days going with my family to these. We also used to have a few massive outdoor swimming pools that were built in the 30's so were very retro. They held 1000's and the water was freezing. Unfortunately they are all closed round here now. Probably something to do with the lack of sunshine in the North.
                          Centerparcs - It is a holiday village in a forest setting - 200 acres. There is massive indoor swimming pools with slides and several restaurants. Sports centre with loads of table tennis tables, badminton, squash Courts. There are 100s of activities - just a few- quad biking, horse riding, tree trekking, roller skating and my husband and kids favourite -football tournaments. Gives a chance for the Dawson hubby to show how fit he is in his 40's compared to the younger dads who obviously don't play very often. I knew him going the gym every day and playing football 3 times a week would come in useful some time!!!! I must admit I enjoy watching them. We have a good laugh.

                          I didn't realise you home schooled. You must have the patience of a saint. When ever I try to show my kids any school work it ends in a row. Yet for some reason thy are as good as gold in school. I suppose it does make moving easier.
                          I think it is lovely that the kids love their home so much. I wonder if that will stop your desire to wander until they are grown up.
                          I like the seasons in the UK but I wish we had a proper summer as opposed to just a few weeks of sunshine.
                          Must go as kids are wanting to go for a bike ride.
                          I love being here in centerparcs Probably as close as I will ever get to living somewhere like the Applachian Way.
                          Also I have been very good on holiday - joined their gym and been doing a mini circuit of a morning before the rest of the family have had breakfast. Though have ate too much chocolate.


                          • Hi all!

                            I've been writing less lately, as I have a lot of work to do. I got a new novel in, so now it's translating one and a half novels until November 1st.

                            Like Anne, I am also amazed that you homeschool three of your four kids. Same thing here, my daughter wouldn't listen when I tried to explain something to her. We even got the quite absurd situation that she was very bad in French although I studied French and am not bad at it. So homeschooling would have been a disaster, but it's not allowed in Germany anyway. What do you think, why is it so common in the US? And do you have to follow a certain curriculum, or can parents just teach their children what they think is right? What about graduations / diplomas? Do they get a high school diploma, and can they go to college / university when they were homeschooled?

                            About travelling: It was interesting to hear about your travels / holidays. I travelled a bit when I was younger and lived in Argentina for six months in 1986 when I also got to see parts of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. While my daughter was still at home, our vacations were always at very "touristy" places, where she got beaches, sun and German children to play with. So we went to Italy several times, and also to southern Spain. In the future I plan to travel more again, on my own. You know, just taking along a backpack and staying in hostels. (Another good reason for doing Primal, you have to be fit to do this.) But this will have to wait until my daughter finishes her studies and finds a job. For now, I still pay her rent and living expenses, although she is also working, but this mostly goes into gas for her car (expensive here). Anyway, in a year at the most she should have found a job and have her own apartment, and then I am ready for some changes in my life!

                            Crabbcakes, yesterday I got to see the Appalachians in a documentary. Beautiful landscape, although they showed it the way it was two or three hundred years ago, so just nature, no cities, because it was about the history of the Cherokee indians. A very moving account about the famous "Trail of Tears" when autorities forced the Cherokee to leave this part of the US.

                            Here it's early Tuesday afternoon, it is cloudy and looks like autumn / fall has begun already. Children are back to school, everybody is back from their vacation; maybe this also contributes to the feeling that summer is over. But meterologists predict a sunny autumn, let's hope they are right.

                            Have a nice day all!
                            Last edited by Bess58; 08-28-2012, 06:17 AM.


                            • Hey there, bess and anne! (and everybody else who happens by here...)

                              anne - thanks for the definitions. I know a few Brit phrases, but not very many. I think I understand about the Centerparcs - there is this place not far from where my Oma lives and sounds just like that - indoor sports of all kinds, outdoor sports of all kinds, vacation houses to rent, etc., all in one place. Yay for the Dawson Dad-hunk! Your sons must really like having a sporty father - my daughters have a father who is much more inclined to intellectual pursuits (to the exclusion of any sports).

                              bess - the bead thing sounds heavenly. I love beads - sometime I will get to learning that, but in the meantime my mother-in-law gives me her very nice bead necklaces that she no longer wears. And I love yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, and all that, too.

                              re the homeschool thing... wow - I don't know where to begin for a Brit and a German (Americans amongst themselves don't need to explain cultural issues as we are already familiar with our own cultural quirks and stuff, you know)... Okay - I will preface this by saying to all your questions, whatever they may be, the shortest answer is: "It depends." Seriously. Yes, homeschoolers get diplomas and get into colleges and universities (but not all choose to go). Yes, homeschool parents can teach their children in a way that they believe is best for their child (but all are 1. most certainly interested in a strong Language Arts foundation and good math skills, and 2. somewhat directed by the laws of the state they live in).

                              As for why homeschooling is so popular here? I can't speak for all parents who choose this model of education, but I will tell you that the reasons to keep a child out of public school (or even private schools) are as individual as the patterns of snowflakes. But they do let themselves be roughly grouped. So here is a rudimentary list: kid is chronically ill (or has life-threatening allergies) and misses too many regular days of school; kid has disabilities and parents don't want the bullying from other kids or the fights with teachers; kid lives in a physical location inaccessible to schools; kid is with the parents on a religious mission somewhere outside the US; kid is extremely gifted somehow and regular school is just too dumb; parents want a very rigorous academic curriculum and don't see the public schools as providing that rigor; parents are total free-thinkers and don't want the strictures/structure of public schools; parents are deeply religious/faithful and want that reflected in the education of their kid; kid is an Olympic hopeful (or other athletic Wunderkind) and needs many hours of training, so school is done differently out of necessity; parents do it out of desperation because somehow they find themselves with a kid just not meshing or performing at the public schools and sinking fast (emotionally, academically, socially... whatever the reason); kid is in Hollywood and working; kid is home because the parents see public school as unacceptably encroaching on family life (totally true, IMHO); the parents have a family business and the kid is being groomed to take over leadership and needs more face time at the company; the local public school system a kid would attend is dangerous and broken beyond repair; and I have come across a new branch of the homeschool family: African-American parents who are sick of the racism (blatant and otherwise). So if you add all these things up, that equals a lot of American kids.

                              I hear you two re the fights with kids during homework thing. I have a philosophy about that, but it will have to wait a bit, as I have to get with Third and do another 30 minutes of home-therapy. We are embarking on a year of diligently ameliorating some of her vision issues, and that requires 2 x 30 minutes of therapy five to six days per week. I'll be back here soon...
                              I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


                              • Hi Crabbcakes, Bess and anyone else,
                                Wow, I have never known any of my friends or even acquaintances to home school in the UK. I am sure there must be some who do it but it is defintely the exception. I suppose thinking about it most of the women I know work so it wouldn't be feasible for me to have ever even considered it. Saying that my two eldest are very good at science and maths, so they would have had to school me!!!
                                I can't believe how many seem to home school in America. The only concern I would have is how would you know if the kids were getting a decent education or if they were getting brought up properly. Though when I have sometimes seen the school gun shootings I have thought how do you cope with it all. I take it the schools in America are free. All our state educated schools are, though with the cut backs how good they will be in the future is questionable.
                                I can't believe how well travelled you both are. As you can see I have never been one for adventures. We are just having a family table tennis tournament and I am being beaten even by the 9 year old.
                                We have been in two football tournaments up to now. Yesterday my lot were teamed with others who to be frank weren't very good and they were the tournament whipping boys.
                                Today however they were with other good players and won the tournament. Considering it is just a friendly game the difference in their mood when they win.
                                Been quite active today, bike rides, the gym, walks etc etc. Enjoying the break. Going to an American diner called Hucks tonight and I will be having not very primal BBQ ribs. Though unlike US no big portions or free refills.

                                Bess I think you are really brave back packing alone. I worry too much and should try more new things. You sound like you are very busy with your translating.
                                I wonder if my kids will ever be able to support themselves financially. House prices are so high and wages for young ones seems to be going lower and lower. My eldest is at university studying pharmacy but lives at home. He is a home bird but my middle son who is 16 can't wait to go backpacking and go to festivals etc. Once he is 18 he will be off travelling. Wish I had halve his confidence.

                                Speak soon