How I hate favouritism

Boo went up to seniors this year - she's in year 7 and there are only four of them in her little school, two boys and two girls.
Unfortunately the other girl is fully installed as a golden girl who can do no wrong.
She is continually pointed out as being 'good at math' when she has seven corrections in her work to Boo's ... er... zero. Oh well, says Miss, they're only little corrections.
She got an A1 for a Science paper for which Boo got B2 (the workings of the science teacher's marking scheme are impenetrable) - yet there is no discernable difference in their work.

How to go about it? We are committed to school now, and the girls love it. I don't want to become a whinger (I am going to whinge about H's history AGAIN so really will have played my whingeing card) BUT I don't want my daughter to feel second best for five years because of complex family loyalties and prejudices within such a small community.

Although, lets face it, when she comes out of here, given she wants to do veterinary medicine and hopes to go to Cambridge to do so - she will have to face up to a fair pile of discrimination, and she will have to overcome it.

I think it's gonna be a case of some extra attitude training...

Through the Looking Glass

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You get it. You have a moment of brilliant clarity. You know what you must do. But you can't. Yet.

This happens to me all the time. Today I went to the doctor. The main issue having been dealt with, she cunningly cut to the chase - my slightly obsessive fear of cancer.

My father died of cancer, my mother died of cancer. Last year, my brother died. Of cancer. I am a bit obsessed. I admit it.

Now, today was the day a doctor told me, good food, more exercise, less stress ... and actually applauded our raw milk. Good grief. She recommended that I buy a book - an anti cancer book - and I came home, and looked at it online and realised, it was not a book I needed. It was in fact, a simplified, general public sort of a book, on a subject about which I have read at heavyweight, insider level and into which I have waded in real life ... but somehow ... I lost it.

The real deal is 'Nourishing Traditions' and I immediately knew. I had it. I needed to reclaim the joy we had in that most radical of expressions of freedom - the growing, rearing, fermenting, preparing, loving of your own food.

How is it we have these insights, as part of our own intentional journey, and then - well - lose them?

So I come home, filled with joy, passion and a reclaimed understanding of my mission. Only to realise that we have the family visiting this weekend, as well as a horse show to go to, and what I actually have to do, for the moment, is turn out the vast quantities of food I've planned for the weekend, yes planned, mind you - at my lowest ebb of intentionality - not even going to list it all - I have however just peeled, parboiled and frozen in bags, 80 potato pieces which over the course of the weekend will be mashed, boiled, roasted - and I have puddings (spelt, yes, and honey, but even so ...) and peanut butter cookies stacked high. Oh dear.

Now, this is always happening to me. I know what I must do. But there's a stack of committments between me and ... it.

About to go into a tailspin of self pity, I realised, hey. We eat at least two or three meals a week produced entirely by US. (That's us, with God's grace) The meat, the eggs, the milk, the vegetables, the bread (OK, not growing the grain yet) We grew it all. I lost it a bit. But it's not the end of the world. I still have children who prefer not to eat shop bought bread at all, and eat raw vegetables for fun.

And my goat herd is about to be registered and named (watch this space) and I am going to get fresh, local vegetables into the hot little mits of local children if it kills me. So it's not all bad!

Autumn is here

and it is my favourite season.
Today though, was not in the top league at all, two of us down with colds, and far, far much to do - including the carpet cleaning company who boasted a special offer for their basic service, and obviously wanted to quote for the fuller deal.
The basic was £8.99. The real deal was £550.
Sadly, our carpets got the glorified (read: noisy) Hoover for £8.99. Won't fall for that again.
Bone tiredness, a sore throat and a head ache prevented me from doing more than hauling furniture and feeding the family.
After supper, however, H and I got our second wind. Some friends have gone away and asked the girls to water and pick tomatoes in their greenhouse, and make use of same. With our polytunnel ones as well, for once we truly have a surplus, and H and I canned 8pts in their own juice - now I know to my hard core canning American friends - yes Jane and Deanna, I do mean you - 8 pints is barely worth heating up the canner for, but hey, we seldom run to a real surplus and it was exciting for us to actually fill the thing up!
Now, canned tomatoes are not exactly expensive, and I am reminded of Herrick Kimball, who says that while 'moderns' can't help but 'do the math' and point out it would be easier and cheaper to buy (in his case, frozen strawberries, in mine, canned tomatoes) in the supermarket, agrarians :
' ..see the value in the doing of planting, rending, harvesting, processing, and putting up our own food. We see value in knowing where our food comes from. We see value in the assurance that this food is pure and safe. We see value in the incredibly superior flavor of homegrown and fresh picked food. We see value in being able to take care of our own food needs and not being dependent on the industrial providers, even if it is just in part. This is freedom. This is part of what makes The Good Life good.'

Freedom is important because the rules can change at any time. When I first started making our bread by hand, plenty of people told me I was barking, since bread was CHEAP. Well it's not cheap now, and even at a pound a loaf, it's next door to inedible, so thank you, but I'm rather glad that making two loaves every three days or so is now second nature, and both daughters are equally capable of doing the job if I am busy.

It's been kind of dark, of late. I won't pretend we are without our problems. But Ibelieve in the agrarian life. I believe it's worth fighting for.

Blog Hopping and Lovin' It!

Fabulous Farmama

Plain and Joyful Living - and a chance to join in Hand Made Holiday 2010

*edited to add: Jo C - if you don't love these, I'll eat my farm hat!

I'd like to thank all the small people ...


Awards, you either love 'em or you hate 'em.

As I seldom actually GET awards, I am still quite keen on them, and I am particularly chuffed with this one, because it's made me come out from behind the sofa and try to sort out the mess that is my blogging life.

I still find This Little War and Chestnuts hard work, it does not as yet come naturally to me to dot over there and talk about stuff. Whereas Hedgerow Days has always come naturally. I wonder if it's the platform - I don't particularly like Blogger, but it is easy and I have lots of friends and followers on here who don't seem to like WordPress nearly so much.


Anyway, Elaine at Our Day honoured me with this award, and I'd like to say thank you to her and pass it along.

The rules say I have to tell you seven things about myself and here they are:

  1. I have a potentially life threatening Jelly Baby addiction. It has got to stop.
  2. I am naturally an owl - being married to a farming person, I have to fight this the whole time and try really hard to go to bed at a decent hour, as I have to get up at an indecent one.
  3. I am still battling on with the challenge of relaunching my growing/veg box business. I want to bring good things into peoples lives
  4. I love Christmas. Many christians aren't so keen on it, seeing it as commercialised, or pagan, or 'OTT' - but hey, I fail to see how you can make too much of a song and dance about God becoming man.
  5. I adore Nella Last's books - and all things 1940s. I'm a bit of a WW2 anorak, and my family occasionally find themselves on rations.
  6. I love Waitrose but I loathe Blooming Hestonthall! My heart belongs to Jamie, so I shop in Sainsburys. My husband says I illustrate perfectly the power of the celebrity endorsement! (also, I can't afford Waitrose!)
  7. I always wanted to be Olivia Walton, but I married late and only had the two children - I'm counting on one of them having a large family, at a young age!
and now to pass it along ...

First off Jo, at Pioneer Country because she's just changed her blog name, and I call that versatile, don't you?

Deanna, oh my friend of long time, Deanna at Our Plain and Simple Life - don't know about versatile, but you can always rely on Deanna to say JUST what she thinks!

And my dear Ellen at Bluestocking Belle to welcome her home to Georgia after her summer in Maine, and give her something to blog about!
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