Road Scholars on an Eduvacation!
Yes, we're moving on again, but this time like we mean it. In an RV.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're in Utah!

It's only day four, and we've seen so much! From dinos to Leonardo/Renaissance to black holes in space, we've basically covered everything, lol.

Quick recap: the short flight from Reno to SLC absolutely sucked for me - I was so sick! It actually took me two days to start feeling like myself again, which is so weird. Aging? Just general weirdness, probably. Whatever. In any case, after our flight we met my friend Jen at her awesome democratic unschooling school ( It was so fun to see the school I watched her dream up, fully functional, a place where children are obviously enjoying their days. Then she invited us over for dinner, so we happily drove to her house where the kids played (legos and a trampoline, among other fun stuff!) and we all talked and talked. She even had gluten-free pasta for us, so that was a treat! Meeting Jen and her family was a way to start our vacation with a high point!! She also saved us by having a cooler, a backpack, and a sleeping bag for us to borrow - thanks, Jen!!
Xmoms Unite!

The next day we drove to Lehi to go to the dinosaur museum there. We wasted a lot of time looking for food and ended up eating at a pretty gross place, but finally getting to the museum made it all worth it. Thane was SOOOOO excited to be there. Here he is jumping around as we walked in the door:

We saw a 3-D IMAX movie called Where Africa Meets the Sea which was very cool, and then spent a couple of hours looking at dinosaurs. It's really a great museum. We learned a lot and were very impressed by it all.

After the museum we discovered a local place called Iceburg where, clearly out-of-towners, we bought about 20 pounds of milkshakes, LOL.

Day 3 we drove to Provo where we went to the small BYU dino museum. We should have saved the best museum for last, because so far everything has paled in comparison to the big one we went to in Lehi. I did fall in love with the giant sloth there though.

Driving into Provo we had seen a billboard for a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at another local museum, so we drove around looking for that, but instead ended up just touring the entire BYU campus, which to be honest was a little creepy (everyone looks the same there). We did find it eventually (not on campus) and it was awesome!! So far I think it was my favorite experience. They had about 60 of daVinci's inventions there (replicas of his drawings, obviously) as well as some replicas of his artwork. Even though it was all replicas, it was still really educational, and the kids were able to play with and experiment with some of his inventions, which they loved.

Next we went to a great little shop called Against the Grain, where EVERYTHING is gluten-free. Awesome! Then we had a nap for Emrys at the hotel and a swim for the big kids, followed by another leap through time to the Planetarium where we explored space and watched a movie about black holes in the dome theater. I still remember my first trip to a planetarium to see the domed "sky" above, and I was thrilled to see Rhanna's and Thane's excitement during the movie (Thane ended up getting a little nauseated, but Rhanna loved it). After the movie, we went to a Brazilian restaurant where they had a meat carnival - carnivore-Rhanna was in her element and slipped into a meat coma after the huge dinner, lol.

Today we drove south to Price, passing some excellent windmills and picnicking at a sweet little rest stop next to a creek. Emrys was able to get out and walk with his walker a bit, and he had a little crowd of fans at one point who just couldn't get enough of him. That was funny. The highway to Price goes through a very impressive canyon - all of the terrain was much different than I had anticipated. We found the tiny dino museum and let Emrys go wild, since no one else was there, and he had a fun time, I think. They had a tank there with a live turtle and he just couldn't get enough of that! We did find a small place to eat here, but there's only three food places in the whole county, I think, and there was a bowling alley Thane wanted to go to, but it was league night, and clearly nothing else to do in the Price area, so they were completely full. What people do here to make a living I have no idea!!

We are going to cut our stay here short - we were supposed to stay for two nights, but we are going to take off tomorrow instead. We're playing it by ear and trying to be spontaneous!

This was anything but a quick recap, rotfl! Time to get the kids settled down to sleep - tomorrow we will see the Cleaveland-Lloyd Quarry and then head up to Wyoming. Yay! It's an interesting desert scene, but we are missing our trees and mountains, and want to see some (living) animals!

Will check in again soon!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

make love not war!

I went to my book club last night, an outing which will inevitable lead to a lot of posts here, since something always gets me riled up at these things. Aside from the fact that most of the people there thought that "Pillars of the Earth" was a good book (someone even called it "literary" which made me want to poke my eyes out), the main thing that upset me was being reminded of how most families interact.

Fortunately, we've isolated ourselves from most of this crazy culture, but every once in a while we venture out and are astounded at how most people live their daily lives! What is it with the warring between parents and children? Rarely do I hear such unpleasant talk as I do when a parent is talking about their child, and most of the listeners seem content to play along. "Oh, she just turned 13, so the next 5 years are sure to terrible!" with lots of eye rolling and snickers and good-luck-you'll-need-it wishes. More eye-rolling when describing how said 13-year-old has posted rules for how her parents should behave in public, so as not to embarrass her, but cheering when mom fights back with a list of chores that she'd better finish or else! - that'll get 'er! God, what a way to live.

This is not normal behavior. It's not natural behavior. It's common in our culture, certainly, but it's not normal or natural. Family units are designed to work harmoniously together toward common goals, and the dynamic most prevalent today is enemies grudgingly sharing space while working towards completely separate goals. This dynamic has grown up due to the institutionalization of children (schooling) which broke up the family unit. Among other things, the inherent age segregation in the school setting sets up this Us vs. Them mentality which I find absolutely abhorrent. I especially resent being in a group who assumes I am complicit in this war, including me in the snickering, eye-rolling, and back-stabbing just because I happen to be a parent.

Here are some basic revelations (i.e. what I would love to say to people who diss their kids in public). If your child doesn't treat you respectfully and lovingly, it's simply because you did not treat him or her with respect or with love during the years when they were learning how to be their best self. Children are hard-wired to love and respect their parents, so if you have modeled for them a different dynamic (by parenting with fear, manipulation, coersion, or neglect, and/or by abdicating your responsibilities as a parent to parent-substitutes) and are now reaping what you have sown, then it's your own damn fault and you should shut up and quit complaining about it.

Ahh, okay, now I feel better.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Swooning Over Scientists

Lots of people have favorite musicians or actors. . .does anyone else have a favorite scientist? I get about as excited about some of my favorite scientists and naturalists as some people do about other celebrities. So here's my very favorite, geologist Iain Stewart:

He explains a lot of human cultural history in terms of geology, such as how geology has shaped fine art through the ages. Some of his perspectives were so eye-opening and exciting the first time I heard them, and he explains basic geological (and other scientific) concepts in such easy-to-understand terms (much of the time using food to illustrate, lol) that even children have no problem assimilating the information. If I had to make one science recommendation for other homeschoolers, this would be it. He's just all-around awesome, and plus he has an excellent Scottish accent. ;) So if you have Tivo (or whatever), search for "Hot Rocks" (there are 9 different episodes) and "Earth: The Biography" (5 episodes, also available on DVD). Those are the US titles, BTW - in the UK they are named differently.

And my favorite astrophysicist (come on, everyone has one of those, right??) is Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Nova Science NOW as well as frequent guest on the Colbert Report (so you know he's a cool guy!)

Click here to can catch up on Nova Science NOW if you've missed it this summer. You can watch various segments from the show there, and again, not only is there some great information and sometimes a new perspective to be had, everything is explained so easily that the whole family can learn together.

That's all from Geek-ville today! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Names are Important

Okay, so I've added all my sordid details over to the right, which makes this thing official. When I told Abe about it last night, his first question was, "What did you name it?" When I said 'Walking Away', he laughed and said. "That's perfect! But hey, why not 'Running Away'?" and I immediately said, "Because I'm not scared [of Mother Culture]!" and he agreed that walking away was much more defiant and perfect for us. :D

I assure you this is not meant to be a food blog, but actually, I do believe that nourishing our families from scratch is a subversive act in today's western society, so it does fit in here. Last night I made apricot jam, and this morning I made some gluten-free 'graham' crackers, so I must share a photo.

I guess I'll go now and tell somebody this mic is on, lol.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Post!

What should a first post be about? I think I'll share a nourishing and creative photo of some gluten-free baking I did last week to prepare for a road trip.
I am so pleased with the new recipes we've found lately. GF baking has come a LONG way in the last 10 years! It was back then that I first eliminated gluten from my diet (pregnancy can be hell on auto-immune responses), and although I did master a few recipes, I must say that the selection of comfort foods was pretty slim. All these new flours now! Teff, Sorghum, Garfava! Woo! Some actual nutrition! I used to love sprouting my own grains for flour, but most of these GF grains seem too small to grind in my home grinder. I'm not sure yet. When I get some time, I'm going to experiment.