Sunday, November 27, 2011

What May Really Bless My Life

A little divergence.... I really have no use for stuff. I like one really good knife, and a pan. I prefer sparseness in decorating. I would love uniforms to become acceptable attire. So when people ask me what I would like for Christmas, I have a really hard time answering. Occasionally, I think of something that may really bless my life, but then can seldom remember what that might have been when I am faced with the pressure of suggesting a gift. So for my own sake, when I may have a few extra dollars that are crying to be spent, or for those who may so kindly want to give me something, here I attempt to gather a running list: Food processing implements for my Bosch A Bernina walking-foot Essential Oils Kindle or Nook ( not sure which) Coupon for Photobooks... I have to get these 1000's of pictures on my computer made "real." Shabby gift certificate Knee Length Socks Linen napkin set "Ruby" fabric by C.Roskelly for Moda, or a "French General" collection (ok, fabric may be something I gather) A bolt of Warm and Natural batting Tattler reusable canning rings Really good quality gardening tools Bogs

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Point instructions from

Piecing a Quilt on Point

Piecing a quilt on point
A quilt that is set on point is almost always more interesting than one done with a straight set.  But it can be tricky to piece, especially if you are creating your own design.  The first question always is: how big do I cut the side and end triangles?
side setting trianglesThe side setting triangles on the quilt above are in yellow.  To cut them so that the bias is on the inside and the straight of grain along the edge, you must start with an oversize square and cut that one on an X. The diagram to the left illustrates this. The formula for this is: Size of the finished on-point block times 1.414, then add 1 1/4 inches.
corner setting trianglesThe corner setting triangles (the purple ones in the illustration above) are also cut so the bias is on the inside and the straight of grain is along the edges, but since they include a corner of the quilt, they are cut differently.   These start with a square which is cut on the diagonal. The formula for this is: size of the finished block divided by 1.414 plus 7/8 inch (.875 if you are using a calculator.)
Here is a quick reference chart:
(these numbers have been rounded up slightly)
Finished size of block Size to cut square for setting triangle Size to cut square for corner triangle
4 7 3 3/4
5 8 1/2 4 1/2
6 9 3/4 5 1/4
7 11 1/4 6
8 12 3/4 6 3/4
9 14 7 1/2
10 15 1/2 8
11 17 8 3/4
12 18 1/4 9 1/2
13 19 3/4 10 1/4
14 21 11
15 22 1/2 11 3/4
16 24 12 1/4
17 25 1/4 13
18 26 3/4 13 3/4
19 28 1/4 14 1/2
20 29 1/2 15 1/4
  Could you use this formula to set a block on point?  Yes, you could use the purple formula, or try this one: Size of the block multiplied by itself divided in two.  The square root of this number would be the size of the square you would need to cut on the diagonal.
Conversions from inches to calculator:
1/8 .12 5/8 .62
1/4 .25 3/4 .75
3/8 .37 7/8 .875
1/2 .5 1 1
Now, how do you actually piece this quilt?  You sew it sideways in rows, like this:
How to piece a quilt with blocks set on point.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Curriculum of Top Prep Schools Outlined

Is it just my links....or is the blogging world almost dead during the summer?  As for me:  five days of iron IV's, having the baby, and two units of blood to boost my excessively anemic state from Zombie to nearly Functioning has given me the desire to do another post.

Outline from a youtube video by John Tayler Ghatto.  These are 14 elements that he has found to be the basic curriculum of the leading prep schools in this country.  I found the ideas fascinating, especially compared with the lack of them found in most public schools.  I will share them with you, and some of my annotations.

1.  Understanding of Human Nature using philosophy, history, and theology.   Depending upon our value set, this knowledge is used to either gently persuade and motivate others to do right or to manipulate and propagandize.  Better that we understand it, and can use it for good, and avoid it being perpetrated on ourselves.

2.  Solidly skilled in literacy; including the ability to read, write, and speak to persuade.  In Mr. Ghatto's discussion on this point, his opinion was that students become better at all areas of literacy as they have daily practice.  He said that daily practice was more important than critiqued and coached opportunities that happened less often.

3.  Insight into major institutional forms:  government, corporations, military.  How is the power structure set-up.  I think it is so important to understand these, and yet all I could remember from PS was the basics of government, and only how it's "suppose" to operate, not how it actually does.  I think it is important for us to realize the public face of power structure and the reality of how these organizations run is not always the same.

4.  Good manners, politeness, civility, comfort with formality.  Access to all future relationships begin with these.  Consider the decorum in the average, stereotypical High School.  Manners may be a problem for most of these students.

5.  Independent Work.  In prep school, 80% of student work is student directed and self-motivated.  20% of time is spent receiving direct instruction or lecture from the teacher.  This ratio is mostly reversed in your average high school.  My kids have been taking online classes from Williamsburg Academy, and I must say that the school does a good job promoting student led learning.  The majority of their assignments are given a basic skeleton of criteria, but the bulk of the content is left up to the student.  For more thoughts on this topic read:  Executive Command, a link from Keri Tibbet's e-book site called Headgates.

6.  Mastery of an energetic, physical sport to confer grace, discipline, power, and ability to manage pain.  Consider the natural tendency we as people have in being attracted to a willing to follow someone with strong physical attributes.  Ghatto talked of the doors opened to George Washington because of his mastery of horseback riding and ballroom dance.

7.  The Theory of Access:  No person or activity of interest is out of reach.  Go do the real thing, and meet the real people.  Figure out how to make things happen, don't say "I can't," say, "How can I."

8.      Responsibility to Daily Tasks.  I know that some schools are in conjunction with ranches/farms because of the natural consequences that are associated with doing/not doing the associated chores.  These become essential to personal character development.

9.  Arrival at a Personal Code of Standards for production and character.   This one reminded me of "mentor meetings" as per TJED, "running partners" as per Williamsburg Academy, and "laying down the rails" per Charlotte Mason.  I suppose any noteworthy educational philosophy will have this as a core prinicple.   It always includes someone holding you accountable to the personal standards that you are trying to develop.

10.  Complete ease with the arts:  art, music, drama, architecture, etc.  

11.  Ability to accept and overcome challenges.

12.  Habit of Caution in Reasoning to Conclusions

13.  Constant Development and Testing of Judgements.

14.  Power of Accurate Observation and Recording 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


“We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness….God has only one intended destiny for mankind—holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity–He came to save us because He created us to be holy.” -Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My compared to others I know

I am married to a cowboy.  He makes our living by farming and he is a great farmer, but in his heart he is a cowboy.  I have friends who are married to professionals:  doctors, CPA's, and the like.  Our lives are completely different.  They schedule their lives, vacations, educational plans, activities atleast a year in advance.  I'm lucky to get to know what we might be doing this afternoon.  You see, at any time, the weather may change, some farming or ranching "emergency" (all the cows getting out) may happen.  Who knows.

Last night was one of those whimsical nights.  Somehow our whole family ended up at a friend's house.  They had some roping calves and some smaller beef calves in their arena (the ones just right for little boys to ride.)  And we had a rodeo of sorts.  The little boys found a rope and a bell and became "bull" riders for the night.  Even after coming off on their heads a few times, they still wanted more.  And the older boys did a little steer wrestling with the roping calves.  If I was a really good mom, I would have taken pictures, but alas I can't find my camera.

The whole thing just sort of makes me laugh.  Our life is whimsical, a little hectic looking, and often unplanned.  But sometimes we just end up doing really fun stuff.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Suburbia Revised  by Ruth Wren from Zero- Waste Home

Finally free

from the grasping gasping needingness

of the constant wanting nothingness

of the endless hunting shoppingness

of suburban modern emptiness

My time

is finally mine to give away

Never more to waste away

on the the endless quest for more to pay

to bring home more to throw away

Wanting less and

Needing less and

Finally having more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Social Justice" and Freedom

The cry for freedom, less government, leeriness of programs to help us all out is ringing louder and louder with each passing day.  Yet, the pleas on the side of the "left" can't help but to garnish some empathy and understanding.  Who is right?  How do we as a nation, state, community move forward with truth?

I have come to believe that the major mistake the good intentioned, pure in heart liberals make is the level on which they want to to establish their principles.  As human beings we should absolutely work toward a fair society for all, where everyone can reach their fullest potential and should not have to live with the continual inequity of basic needs.  Teachers should be well-respected and adequately compensated.  Monolithic companies should not own all of the means of production only to enslave those who fall prey to needing their services, products or employment. 

But, all this "social justice" has to be administered on a local level.  In fact, it's not really administered, it is brought about by all because of the love and concern we should each have for our fellow man.  Imagine the poorest neighborhoods in America saying, "we are going to rise up and change this."  But instead of demanding that the federal government take from others to just give to them, they ask some different questions:  how can our neighborhood by productive,  what do our neighbors need that they would pay us for, how can we empower our families to be strong and teach morality to their children, how can we encourage mothers and fathers to get married, and stay married,  how can we clean up our own streets, how can we fix up our houses, how can we become the capable self-respecting people that we were meant to be, how can we be an asset to one another, to our state, to our nation?  These are the only types of questions that will bring our nation out of its crisis.

Looking to federal government to continue to pilfer money from those who produce and give to those who have lost their initiative will only bring us to complete financial ruin.  Allowing the federal government to continue down the path of more and more regulation ONLY serves to steal freedom and choice from its people.  The drafters of the constitution new this, and wrote the constitution accordingly, severely restricting what the federal government was actually allowed to do. 

Communities, neighborhoods, states, rise up and be productive.  Find the best that is in you, and go to work.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

J. Reuben Clark

It does seem to me that we parents have not only lost all control as to what out own flesh and blood - I use that term instead of children because I should like to make the ugly fact as poignant as possible - I say we have lost all control as to what our own are taught... and also we are not even consulted about these matters. Now as a matter of principle, surely we who pay the costs and furnish the students might with propriety have some voice in what they whom we pay shall teach those students... I am willing that every man shall believe what he wishes, print what he wishes, and say what he wishes within his Constitutional rights, but I am not willing that he shall exploit all his idiosyncrasies in teaching my flesh and blood while I pay the bill! I insist that he shall have all the personal freedom he can carry, but I am not willing to extend that full and complete freedom into a gross license and then pay him to abuse that license to distort and debase the minds and hearts and bodies of those who belong to me and are dearer to me than life itself. (Prophets, Principles and National Survival, p. 188.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What does the process of a Liberal Arts Edcuation look like....

Read:  The Student Whisperer by Tiffany Earl and Oliver Demille

This book has been very inspiring to both me and my 16 year-old daughter.  Tiffany shares excerpts from her commonplace book that she kept as a student under the mentorship of Oliver DeMille.  It makes me yearn for that type of education, that depth of understanding into the classics, and the
connections and original thought that it helps to create.  Definately recommend this book.