Under the Maple Canopy

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Working Ahead

Latin Declensions – first and second

The Kids’ Readalouds

2014 Book a Week

93 – “Band of Brothers” by Stephen E. Ambrose
92 – “The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones, #2) by Helen Fielding”
91 – “Paris Letters” by Janice Macleod
90 – “Next to Love” by Ellen Feldman
89 – “Murder and Mendelssohn (Phryne Fisher #20)” by Kerry Greenwood
88 – “Unnatural Habits (Phryne Fisher #19)” by Kerry Greenwood
87 – “Dead Man’s Chest (Phryne Fisher, #18)” by Kerry Greenwood
86 – “Murder On A Midsummer Night (Phryne Fisher, #17)” by Kerry Greenwood
85 – “Nemesis” by Agatha Christie
84 – “Murder In The Dark (Phryne Fisher, #16)” by Kerry Greenwood
83 – “At Bertram’s Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)” by Agatha Christie
82 – “The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2)” by Agatha Christie
81 – “A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple, #10)” by Agatha Christie
80 – “Death by Water (Phryne Fisher, #15)” by Kerry Greenwood
79 – “Queen Of The Flowers (Phryne Fisher, #14)” by Kerry Greenwood
78 – “The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9)” by Agatha Christie
77 – “Murder in Montparnasse (Phryne Fisher, #12)” by Kerry Greenwood
76 – “4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple #8)” by Agatha Christie
75 – “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
74 – “The Castlemaine Murders (Phryne Fisher, #13)” by Kerry Greenwood
73 – “A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple, #7)” by Agatha Christie
72 – “Away With the Fairies” by Kerry Greenwood
71 – “They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple, #6)” by Agatha Christie
70 – “So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading” by Sara Nelson
69 – “Call The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times” by Jennifer Worth
68 – “Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) by Helen Fielding”
67 – “Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10)” by Kerry Greenwood
66 – “A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)” by Agatha Christie
65 – “Raisins and Almonds (Phryne Fisher, #9)” by Kerry Greenwood
64 – “The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #4)” by Agatha Christie
63 – “Urn Burial (Phryne Fisher, #8)” by Kerry Greenwood
62 – “The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)” by Agatha Christie
61 – “Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)” by Kerry Greenwood
60 – “Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher, #6)” by Kerry Greenwood
59 – “The Murder at the Vicarage” by Agatha Christie
58 – “The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5)” by Kerry Greenwood
57 – “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
56 – “Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4)” by Kerry Greenwood
55 – “On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta” by Jen Lin-Liu
54 – “Marshlands” by Matthew Olshan
53 – “Quilt Trip: A Southern Quilting Mystery” by Elizabeth Spann Craig
52 – “Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste” by Luke Barr
51 – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling
50 – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by JK Rowling
49 – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by JK Rowling
48 – “Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3)” by Kerry Greenwood
47 – “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by JK Rowling
46 – “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by JK Rowling
45 – “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” by Robert M. Edsel
44 – “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by JK Rowling
43 – “The Language of Baklava: A Memoir” by Diana Abu-Jaber
42 – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by JK Rowling
41 – “Flying too High” by Kerry Greenwood
40 – “A Bad Day for Mercy” by Sophie Littlefield
39 – “A Bad Day for Romance” by Sophie Littlefield
38 – “How Reading Changed My Life” by Ana Quindlen
37 – “A Bad Day for Scandal” by Sophie Littlefield
36 – “A Bad Day for Sorry” by Sophie Littlefield
35 – “A Bad Day for Pretty” by Sophie Littlefield
34 – “Sizzling Sixteen” by Janet Evanovich
33 – “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” by Janet Evanovich
32 – “Plum Spooky” by Janet Evanovich
31 – “Fearless Fourteen” by Janet Evanovich
30 – “Plum Lucky” by Janet Evanovich
29 – “Lean Mean Thirteen” by Janet Evanovich
28 – “Takedown Twenty” by Janet Evanovich
27 – “One for the Money” by Janet Evanovich
26 – “Plum Lovin'” by Janet Evanovich
25 – “Twelve Sharp” by Janet Evanovich
24 – “Eleven on Top” by Janet Evanovich
23 – “Ten Big Ones” by Janet Evanovich
22 – “To the Nines” by Janet Evanovich
21 – “Visions of Sugar Plums” by Janet Evanovich
20 – “Hard Eight” by Janet Evanovich
19 – “Seven Up” by Janet Evanovich
18 – “Hot Six” by Janet Evanovich
17 – “High Five” by Janet Evanovich
16 – “Four to Score” by Janet Evanovich
15 – “Cocaine Blues” by Kerry Greenwood
14 – “Notorious Nineteen” by Janet Evanovich
13 – “Explosive Eighteen” by Janet Evanovich
12 – “Smokin’ Seventeen” by Janet Evanovich
11 – “If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion” by Paige Shelton
10 – “The Violets of March” by Sarah Jio
9 – “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese
8 – “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini
7 – “The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel” by Jennifer Chiaverini
6 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
5 – “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
4 – “From the Top: Brief Transmissions from Tent Show Radio” by Michael Perry
3 – “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey
2 – “On Chesil Beach” by Ian McEwan
1 – “Letters From Home” by Kristina McMorris



I’m calling it quits for the year with our read alouds a few days early.  2014’s list is up and 2013’s list is finalized with a few geeky number-y bits.  I blame E. Nesbit’s “The Enchanted Castle” which on its face seems like such a wonderful book, but in practice is not easy to read aloud.  If it weren’t for the fact that Lou picked it out, I would have dropped it a month ago.  Here’s hoping 2014 likes it better!



  • Kids Bowl Free – a summer of bowling at least once a week
  • Summer Camp – through the city rec department and College for Kids
  • Summer Reading Program – two different programs both completed and new books and passes in pocket
  • Camping – we only went once, but it was a blast
  • Summer Trimester – not technically finished until tomorrow, but we started homeschooling again July 1st and will finish up our Summer Trimester tomorrow.
  • Read Aloud – “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan

Begun and In Progress

  • History – the Middle Ages through History Odyssey
  • Math Catch-up – multiplication, division, shoring up fractions, and geometry (all of the things they didn’t cover in school last year)
  • Read Aloud – “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo to go along with The Arrow by Brave Writer
  • Soccer
  • Fall Trimester (on the 7th)

Waiting (Soon)

  • Guitar Lessons
  • Homeschool Gym & Swim
  • 4-H
  • Tea & Art Tuesdays
  • Reading to Maggie May
  • Wisconsin Science Festival

Quit Washing Your Chicken: It Just Sprays Germs Everywhere

Originally posted on Consumerist:

Generations of American cooks are wrong. They learned their wrongity wrongity wrong habits from their parents, or from public television’s Julia Child. Their terrible, filthy habit is rinsing poultry before cooking. Public health experts estimate that as many as 90% of Americans do it, and they want us to cut it out.

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Maker Supportive Parenting


My good reminder for the day.

Originally posted on MAKE:


Shopping cart solar collector on the roof of house – Image created in Inkscape by Ata Amrullah (Indonesia)

Even as a young child, I knew that I lived in a maker supportive house. My parents encouraged me to tinker and they were exceedingly patient and tolerant of the “tinkering process” at our house. Did the kitchen look like a tornado blew through it? “Fine. Just clean it up,” they’d say. Did the garage resemble a garbage dump when I was working on a project? “Fine. Just clean it up when you’re done with your project.”

Even our living room was fair game. My siblings and I would do gymnastics in the living room, using the sofa as a mini trampoline. When I visited a friend who lived three houses away, I was aghast to hear that children were not allowed in the living room. You don’t get to choose your…

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