First- we spent Sunday getting the old garden space ready for winter. Jason and I are both recuperating, and it was slow work, but it finally feels like we have enough of the area sheet mulched to call it good enough for next year. Next fall, we'll talk about extending it.
As I was working at it, ever so slowly, I thought of how strong my arms are getting. I rake and rake and rake leaves. Maybe, to some, raking seems trivial, but if you do it for two or three hours straight, you will definitely feel the "burn". Then, I shovel. I shovel the compost into the cart, I push the cart up a gradual incline, and then I spread it one shovelful at a time over the leaves in the garden. Repeat. I find this rewarding and worth doing over and over again, because it has a purpose.
I love cycling, but I can only "go for a cycle" about once a week with no purpose besides cycling. I will happily run, but even running is more fun if I am going somewhere. Then, I have my own hamster wheel called a rowing machine, and that has been great in winter when I could not leave the children alone in the house. I could get on there and feel at least a muscular sense of accomplishment; my sense of humor is the only thing that made it mentally possible. So, I am very happy to have my "exercise" built right into my life.
Second- Ezra chatted with me as we raked leaves this afternoon about Henry VIII, Mary, and Elizabeth, and the reformation, and how these pieces were interrelated. As he was piecing it together, he threw in the importance of Henry VII making bibles more widely available. Then, we veered into a discussion of the Industrial Revolution, Blake, Dickens, and the English monarchy. He thought perhaps Marie Antoinette was queen in France during the Industrial Revolution because of the dates; I think not, but we're going to check into it tomorrow. He thought she must have been because James Watt lived the same time as she did.
Really, that's what my 9 year old and I discussed while raking leaves- by HIS impetus, and Phaedra listened and chimed in and we sang Peg and Awl. He understands history better than I did after college. I think this homeschooling stuff has something going for it; I think we'll keep doing it.