Friday, February 19, 2021

Education Doesn't Always Come From School

Yes, I know I have five amazing grandchildren.  They are all individuals in their own right, and I love each of them.  It appears that I write most of my grandchild blogs these days about ten year old Ewan.  I have written about the others over the years, but now they are older and because of the quarantine,  I just don't have access to all the wonderful things they do.  Ewan is the youngest, and it won't be long before he will reach the older group so I have to write about him for as long as I can although I have a feeling he will always be trying new things.

Last week he had a four day weekend.  On Monday, he decided he wanted to sew.  Since we haven't seen them for quite a while, I want to thank our daughter Heather for sending us pictures and keeping us up to date.  Ewan's dad sews a lot of functional items like bags, tarps and workshop aprons so he's a good teacher.  Ewan wanted to make an apron.  His dad had made an apron when he was in middle school and still had the pattern.  Ewan practiced for a while with the sewing machine.  He sewed through paper without thread just to get the feel of the machine.  Then he found some material he liked and started sewing for real.

He stuck with it and soon he had accomplished his first big sewing project.  He has made small little items with a needle and thread, but I think this was his first with the sewing machine.  It isn't a treadle sewing machine that he would use for his old time skills, but knowing him that will come at some point.  He now has a great looking apron complete with pockets. 

Since he was dressed for it, he decided to do some baking.  He has mastered making cookies, Nana's special dumplings and attempted bread a week ago.  On this day, he decided on a new bread recipe. Since a picture or in this case five pictures are worth a thousand words, here they are.

It looks good.  He modified his recipe a bit.  He substituted almond milk for dairy milk because he wanted his mom to be able to eat it.  Notice the kitchen, it's all cleaned up.  He even cleaned up his baking mess.  Ewan may not have had school this day, but he learned a lot of valuable skills.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Secret Room

As I write the stories of my everyday life, my husband compiles the blog stories and formats them to be made into hard covered books for future generations.  He has completed seven books but lately the number of blogs I have written has come to a screeching halt.  I will have to reach deep into my memory to complete the next couple of books.  I don't want to stop writing but the pandemic and age has put an end to any great adventures.  I have written about deer, bluebirds, other wildlife around our home and the weather way too much, so any new ideas I have are few and far between. 

My daughter mentioned a while ago that her ten year old son Ewan is reading at an advanced high school level.  She said it was hard to find age appropriate books at a reading level that would challenge him.  That got me thinking of how and when he became such an avid reader.  I think it was before he was born.  His brother Dylan almost always has a book along with him.  His mother has read to him every night before bed since birth.  Both his parents have an extensive library.  I read quite a bit in my older years but I admit I never was much of a reader.  I like to make things, but Ewan's other grandparents attend every book sale in the area.  This is my daughter and son in law's family room/library. 

This is Ewan's room.
If you look carefully there are several interesting elements in this bookcase.  I am not talking about the massive numbers of books.  I am talking about some details that aren't apparent.  One of details is the little blocks put in the bookshelf frame with hints.

When she was young, our daughter wrote a book about going into her closet and finding a secret room.  I imagine I had read her the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but the details were totally her idea.  I should look in my memories box to see if I still have that book.  My son-in-law also always wished for a hidden room to go to.  Maybe this was foreshadowing because that's exactly what he built for his son.  

Ewan has a playroom off his bedroom.  It is where his toys are kept, and it has an open space to play.  One day he came home and went to his room.  The doorway to his playroom was covered with bookshelves.  Can you see the plywood showing on the right side?  It only took him a moment to realize what had happened.  His dad had built a magic door. 

   Inside the door was his playroom, all intact but hidden.

I would say Ewan is a lucky boy.  Even as an adult, it might be fun to have a hidden space to think, meditate or to hide things when company is coming.  Oh wait, no one comes to our house anymore so I guess I don't need that right now.  This secret room is something he will always remember and will most likely tell his kids and grandkids about.