Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lazy afternoon

Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort. - Jane Austen

Sometimes you just need an afternoon of lounging and lazing. This was yesterday afternoon for me. It was overcast, cool and breezy outside. There was also smoke in the air, probably from a brush fire, which was unpleasant. Staying indoors was just the ticket.

The LB and I finished our homeschooling around 2:00, which is also the end of the GB's rest time. She has rest time every afternoon. She needs it and so do I. Her rest time is also valuable time I can spend alone with the LB, working on his assignments.

Sidebar: We are partial homeschoolers, providing 50% of the LB's (and in the future, the GB's) education that way. I've only touched on this here on my blog. We're very fortunate to attend an excellent public alternative school, where this is a requirement for all families; the children attend school four half-days a week (the LB is in the early morning session, 8-12) and the rest is done at home. We love it. We feel that it allows us to have more involvement in their schooling without having all of the responsibility ourselves. The school is wonderful and the teachers are some of the best I've known and we're very happy with this arrangement.

So homeschooling was done and now it was time for our daily book on CD. We're currently listening to Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos, by Robert Lawson. This book was published in the 1930's, but it's not "old" at all; the story is engaging and funny. We try to listen for about 45 minutes every afternoon; we usually get through at least one book per week. We've heard lots of great stories this way.

I started recorded book-listening with my small Bears last summer, as a way to build quiet activity into the afternoon. The children do something independent while they listen. I usually crochet. The LB is much better at finding things to do than the GB is; she often wants to watch me. Which is fine, as long as she's peaceful. Usually, we'll have a companionable session of listening and making (and playing).

I was working round two of the border on my granny afghan. I plan to do another several rounds and then it will be done. I'm more than ready for this blanket to be done.

I've had to change my plan yet again, unfortunately. I just didn't have enough of that main blue color to do my Plan B, so we've moved onto Plan C, which is the final plan because...enough already! Nearly three months in, it's just time to get on with my life. The afghan will be plenty large and the border has given it a very finished look. I am sold on blanket borders, by the way. I will always do them from now on.

I do enjoy working the border. I find it soothing, just repetitive granny cluster-making, round and round and round. It was a little chilly in the house and I liked having a blanket on my lap as I worked. My feet weren't cold at all, but my legs and ankles were. The blanket warmed me up.

When our story ended, the small Bears watched their daily hour of television, starting at 3:00. I took the opportunity to retire to our office, where I checked email, read blogs and drank tea. This is my "me time": my children are only in the next room, but I make time for this ritual every day. I look forward to it. This time resets me.

After my tea was drunk, I came out to start thinking about dinner. I lit my new candle, picked up at Kohl's on my escapee evening last week. The scent is "fresh flowers." It's flowery, anyway. I like it well enough. The color is really pretty, sort of a coral-pink.

I had pork chops thawed already. I started chopping vegetables. I go through a lot of fresh vegetables around here. It's a good thing, but in a few years I'm going to need a farm. I only had baby carrots left (I need to shop), so those were chop-free. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it all. I looked at it for a few minutes while I deliberated.

Then I got an idea. It's something my mother and grandmother often made, with pork chops and roasts, beef roasts and bone-in chicken parts. It's quick and easy.

See, I told you I was feeling lazy. It's McCormick's Bag 'n Season! I don't make this very often, I do try to have a from-scratch cooking (and eating) experience most nights. I keep one or two of these kits in the pantry just in case. Occasionally, it's just nice to have your dinner cooking all in one place, at the same time, making its own gravy. It was delicious; the meat was tender, the veggies perfectly cooked and there was plenty of gravy to go around.

As for clean-up, I just had to throw away the bag and stick the baking pan in the dishwasher. My laziness was not disturbed in any way. I did end up doing more productive things in the evening, after the small Bears were in bed - laundry, some kitchen cleaning, washing-machine maintenance (involving its cleanliness; perhaps a future post), and eventually, some more border-crocheting. I went to bed tired, but feeling good about my decision to keep things semi-lazy.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day to me. Your school sounds sounds great. I don't know of any like that around here but it sounds like a great idea. Sometimes dinner just has to be quick and easy. It had lots of veggies. I would not feel too guilty about it. :)

  2. Your post brings back wonderful memories for me of when my children were young. We also homeschooled, and many hours were spent curled up on the couch together while I read aloud (at that time we didn't have access to books on CD). I love the colours in your blanket!

  3. Sounds like you had a lovely day spent indoors with your little ones. How wonderful. I love that you mentioned homeschooling in your post. Our daughter is not of the age yet to start school, but we recently got some information on the K12 online schooling. We would love to be more involved with her schooling as well. Very nice post! I love your photos as well.

  4. That's very interesting about your homeschooling. I don't think we have half and half schooling here. I sometimes use these cook in bags for sausage casseroles. They do make a quick and easy meal. xx

  5. What a peaceful post! I love the school opportunity you have. It's a perfect way for parents to be fully responsible for the education of their own children with the added benefit of guidelines and structure. For me the best part of your post is the first picture - OMGoodness, that is beautiful! It would make a lovely poster to hang in a sewing room!

  6. Jennifer,

    Your post has given me lots to think about, especially around homeschooling and how you structure your children's day. It all seems so very organised, but it may be that I'm in a very chaotic/disorganised place today!!

    Lovely colours in your granny blanket too!

    Leanne xx

  7. I admire those who homeschool. It's a big commitment! I am glad you had time for a lazy afternoon. Every so often, a day like this is needed to re-charge. Your meal sounds so scrumptious!!!

    Handmade Cuties

  8. Hi Jennifer, your mix of homeschooling and going to school sounds ideal. We homeschooled for a time and it was a good year, but the kids were glad to get back to their friends too, after that time. I think homeschooling just wasn't social enough for them but the way you're doing it seems ideal. I did love teaching the kids though and missed it when they went back to school full time. They are grown up now and my youngest is doing his second year at university.

  9. I must say that I think you lead an exemplary life! Bravo to you! I enjoyed hearing about your day.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  10. I adore your lazy afternoon - it sounds perfectly cosy!

    There has only ever been my daughter and I at home, she's a college student now and I miss teaching her things and reading with her the most.

    The years went by much too fast, but hopefully she has some amazing memories to look back on : )

  11. I love lazy days! That is a great way to cook dinner too, less dishes means a happier Mom here :)

    Thanks for linking up this weekend with the Meet & Greet Blog Hop!

  12. Ah, yes, home is the perfect place to be. I am such a homebody.

    Your children's school sounds wonderful. What a great idea, to partially homeschool and how cool that the school is set up to work in this manner with families.

    Your hour of Tv for the kids before dinner reminds me of the time when my own children were small. They would settle in and watch "Aurthu" on PBS every day from 44:30-5. I NEEDED that time to regroup for the evening meal and as a respite from all the business of the day.

  13. lovely blog! would you like to follow eachother on bloglovin and gfc? let me know! :) il follow you back straight away! xx waiting for a new post!

  14. I like the concept of the school you send your kids to. It's really great that you get to play such an important role in your kids education while giving them the opportunity for social and structural development in an away from home environment.

  15. Great images and a great post... thanks!

  16. I love the bags for cooking and try to use them as often as I can or even the slowcooker. Our schedules are so busy that I don't always have as much time in the evening to cook, clean, and do everything that is required to not wake up to a pile of dishes. I love the idea of the taped stories, I am going to have to try that. My child is off for the next few weeks for Easter so I am always struggling with coming up with something brillant for her to do.

  17. I also haven't heard of half-and-half homeschooling. That seems like a really fantastic option to direct learning but still get social interaction.

  18. Ok, your idea of lazy sounds more like quietly industrious to me! I do love quiet afternoons - although often it depends on what kind of mood the kids are in. Your house sounds like a nice place to be.

    Interesting to hear you part home-school your children. I think home schooling is more common in the US than the UK. It's very unusual here. x

  19. I love your outlook :) Your day seemed so relaxing and nice! I also really like the idea of schooling. Can't wait to read more!

  20. Lazy days are the best and very much needed! I need them a lot these days. I love how Girl Bear watches you crochet, she sounds so much like my little girl. She never tires of watching me knit, or sew. We have started knitting together and she never loses interest, even though she is so young and can't really do it. :o) I am so envious of your blanket, it looks amazing. x


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