Cooking Green Goodness Magazine’s guide to growing good food at home

This is a brilliant inspirational post from Eartha Lowe, which makes me want to grow my own food, and tells you all the ways to go about it, even if you don’t have a garden. Click here to read the whole thing.

Published on May 2, 2020

A Guide to Growing Good Food at Home: Planning Your Space

written by Eartha Lowe, Cooking Green Goodness Magazine

Gardening, for many people, is a uniquely fulfilling leisure pursuit. There are few better ways of quieting anxieties, stilling emotions and regaining a truer perspective on life. The whole point of maintaining a garden is to provide relaxation, or even food for the spirit with your own nurturing hands. However small your plot is, use it to grow aromatic herbs or flowers, attract butterflies, or maybe even vegetables and fruits – if you are really ambitious.

Photo Credit: Ashlie Thomas @the.mocha.gardener

PLANNING

Healthy, fresh food is right at your doorstep, but before you get growing, you MUST do a bit of planning. You can grow food even if you do not have a yard. Grow food on a window ledge, up a wall, on a roof, in a community garden allotment garden, or through a backyard sharing program. Here are some important things to know to start growing food at home.

Why? It’s a good time to explore ways to grow your own food. You get to enjoy healthy, delicious, family favourites right where you live. Growing food at home in your city, is also an important and effective way to create food-friendly neighbourhoods, and space to grow can be found anywhere.

Where? As more and more people are interested in growing their own food and exploring ways to create productive gardens at home, getting to know the small spaces, bigger spaces, or space in between where food can be grown, is an important first step.

https://cggmagazine.ca/2020/05/02/a-guide-to-growing-good-food-at-home-planning-your-space/

Run for it!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To read the story from the beginning, click here

Hurrah! The Flat-Capped Menace’s plans are foiled again!

I think these guys are about to have a great day. Hope you are too! 😀

For more Marvellous Mildred, go to the Marvellous Mildred page!

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Gnasher!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Diversion? What diversion? Ooh, those girls are rascals! Whatever will they do next?! 😉

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A Tricky Tangle

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from last week. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh my goodness! Not the Super Fantastic Mechanical whatchamacallits again!

Will Mildred be able to defeat them before the Flat-Capped Menace gets there? Find out tomorrow!

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Roadworks

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Well done team! But hurry up and get Percy untied Mildred, the twins won’t be able to detain Mr Bottom for long, and the Flat-Capped Menace is heading your way. Hurry!

Percy’s story will continue on Monday. Have a great weekend! 😀

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Time is running out for Percy!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh come on Mildred – don’t leave us hanging! What’s your plan? Is it clever enough and will it be quick enough to save Percy from the fast slow-approaching steam roller? I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. See you then! 😉

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Dastardly

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh my gosh! 😮 Is Percy finished? Has the Flat-Capped Menace conquered his prey? Or will Mildred and the girls get there in time to stop him? Come back tomorrow to find out! 😀

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Oh no! Not Super Fantastic Automatic Electronic Mechanical Clutching Machines!

Story continues from yesterday. For the story so far, click here 😀

Run for it Percy! Run for your life!!!

Will Percy be able to evade the Super Fantastic Automatic Electronic Mechanical Clutching Machines? Find out tomorrow!

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Get Percy!

Story continues from last week:

Quick girls! Run run run!!!

Will they get to Percy before the Flat-Capped Menace?! Come back tomorrow to find out 😮

If you missed the beginning, you can catch up here 😀

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Hurry Mildred, Hurry!!!

Oh my goodness! Will Mildred and the girl scout twins reach Penelope in time? Will baby Percy be caught by the despicable Mr Bottom? Will the Flat-Capped Menace fall out of his balloon basket? Come back tomorrow to find out!

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Look out Penelope!

Story continues from yesterday:

Yes Mildred! Quick! Someone is in trouble!

Will Mildred and the twins get there in time? Come back tomorrow to find out!

And if you’re new to Marvellous Mildred – here’s the first episode.

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Oh no! Watch out Percy!

Story continues from yesterday:

Oh no Percy! Don’t fall for the old apple gambit!

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next! 😀

And if you’re new to Marvellous Mildred – here’s the first episode.

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New Marvellous Mildred starts today!

Oh no! Will Penelope and Percy get caught by the Flat-Capped Menace?!

Find out tomorrow!

If you’re not familiar with Marvellous Mildred, you can read the first episode here 😀

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“We’re doomed!”

The End 😀

If you missed the beginning you can read the whole story here

And if you like rhyming stories generally, there are more on this page 😀

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“We’re doomed!  We’re doomed!”  cried a pink panicked pig.

The other was mute in distress.

“Listen to me,” came a voice down a tree,

“I’ll get you both out of this mess.”

***

“The answer is simple, you need to be brave,

Keep going, walk on, don’t look back.

The forest will feed you and shelter you too.

You will find that for nothing you’ll lack.”

***

So the two little pigs changed direction at last

As they chose to live and be free.

Their salty tears dried on their pink rosy cheeks,

Ever after they lived happily.

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At last they found it!

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

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Oh no!  Poor piggies 😦

Join us tomorrow to see how the story ends 😀

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At last the pigs found it, the place of their dreams,

Their home with the farmer they loved.

But their joy was short-lived when they saw what she did.

Just in time her true face was revealed.

***

“What’s wrong?” asked a magpie who watched with her mate,

“Tell us what makes you so sad.”

“The farmer,” said one pig with tears in his eyes,

“We thought she was good but she’s bad.”

***

“Ah yes,” said the magpie, “we’ve seen it before.

She’s lovely to piggies like you.

She keeps them well fed and happy and fat

Till she sends them to him, two by two.”

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Then the two pigs met a golden stag deer

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

Oh my goodness!

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next! 😀

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Then the two pigs met a golden stag deer,

He was strong and as tall as the sky.

“Please, oh please, help us find our way home!

We’re afraid if you don’t we might die!”

***

“Well done,” said the deer, “you’ve made your escape,

Now hide where he can’t see you.

If you go that way, I’m telling you true,

In no time at all he will find you!”

***

Again the pigs ran and they stuck to their plan

To go home where they felt safe before.

But the butcher came too, now he realised he knew

Just exactly where they headed for.

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Soon after that the pigs met a hare

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

Oh no! 😮

Join us tomorrow to find out what happens next 😀

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Soon after that the pigs met a hare

Who watched them with his gentle eyes.

“Please, oh please, please help us get home,”

They pleaded with sadness and sighs.

***

“It’s not very far,” the hare softly said,

“But it seems to me backward not forward.

If you must go back, go left past the shack,

But I think you had better turn westward.”

***

The pigs did not heed the advice received,

They were young and too green to be wary.

Not looking back, they went left past the shack,

Close pursued by the angry and hairy.

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Before long the two pigs met two robins

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Join us on Monday to find out what happens next 😀

Have a great weekend ❤

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Before long the two pigs met two robins

Sitting atop a green bush.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

We can’t stand here long so please rush!”

***

“I wouldn’t do that, oh no, oh no,”

The robins were both in agreement.

“You should look for a place of your own,

Unless you want more of this treatment.”

***

The pigs were confused but could not wait,

The butcher was still close behind them.

The big bad butcher still huffed and still puffed,

Still annoyed that he still couldn’t find them.

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The two little pigs soon met a fox

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs soon met a fox,

They disturbed her sleep as they had to.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

We don’t know the way but hope you do.”

***

The fox sat up slowly, looking confused,

“You’re not from round here,” she concluded.

“The word you use is wrongly applied

To a creature so cold and hard-hearted.”

***

The pigs hurried on as fast as they could,

Resuming their quest for sanctuary.

The butcher was tired but he kept on

In determined pursuit of his property.

The two little pigs met a heron

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs met a heron,

A wise and dignified bird,

“Help us please, to find our way home,”

And she listened to every word.

***

“That’s not what I’d do,” said the heron,

“If I had a dilemma like yours.

If I were you I’d get off by myself,

Don’t get stuck behind closed doors.”

***

The butcher was near so the pigs ran on

While the heron tried to distract him.

He paused for breath, returning her gaze

And she prayed he would never catch them.

The two little pigs met a kitty

Story continues from yesterday:

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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The two little pigs met a kitty,

A clever and striped kitty cat.

“Help us, please, to find our way home,”

But the cat wasn’t sure about that.

***

“I wouldn’t go there if I were you,”

Was the kitty’s confusing advice,

“Hurry now, don’t let me keep you,

I hope you end up somewhere nice.”

***

Huffing and puffing were not far behind

So the piglets kept running and running.

The cat kept his mouth shut and didn’t divulge

The direction the two pigs were heading.

New story for little ones: The Two Little Pigs – begins today!

Oh no!  Run little piggies run!

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Two little pigs were running,

Running as fast as they could.

Away from the butcher and all his sharp knives

They ran just like anyone would.

***

One hairy butcher was chasing,

Just as fast as he could run.

He huffed and he puffed and he slobbered,

He was crosser than anyone.

One of many possibilities

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

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The end 🙂

Want more? Click here for more Sherman and Geynes stories or click here to go to the main menu, and choose a story from our entire selection, for ages one to one hundred and one.

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Wait a minute

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Come back tomorrow for the end of the story!

Can’t wait? Click here to read the whole story now.

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Sounds good to me

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Continues tomorrow.

Can’t wait? Click here to read the whole story now.

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Ta da! Is this the book you’re looking for?

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Story continues on Monday 😉

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Finders keepers

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Story continues on Monday 😉

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious, looking for clues, trust no one, we’re detectives, amusement arcade, lost and found, blue book that Soren took, Quennel and Demetrius, Demetrius Fennel, everyone seems suspicious when they’re being questioned.  Finders keepers, are you in trouble?  Where’s my dog? music shop

Do you have any theories?

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Story continues on Monday 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious, looking for clues, trust no one, we’re detectives, amusement arcade, lost and found, blue book that Soren took, Quennel and Demetrius, Demetrius Fennel, everyone seems suspicious when they’re being questioned.  Keep an eye, take plenty of photos.

We’ll retrace her steps and look for clues

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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The mystery of the missing book

Sherman and Geynes #3 starts today

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Find out what happens next tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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But first, chocolate macaroons

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Want to read more Sherman and Geynes stories?  Go to the Sherman and Geynes page!

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Are they railway bandits?

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Wild speculation

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Story continues on Monday 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Let’s look around and ask a few questions

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Cunning criminal masterminds

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Mountains and Christmas and toy cars with doors that open

For the story so far click here 🙂

Wednesday 18 December

Jude has started drawing a cartoon strip.  It’s really good, she’s great at cartoons.  I really like the way she does people’s fingers and curly hair.  So far she’s drawn seven pictures.  I wonder what she’ll name her characters.  Naming characters is one of my favourite parts of writing stories.  I like to have a lot of characters when I write a story, just so I can name them all.

I sewed buttons onto my dress today.  It buttons down the back, and I sewed press studs to button it up, and blue buttons to decorate it.  And now my dress is finished!  I tried it on and it fits perfectly.  I love it!  And it’s ready in time for me to wear it for Christmas.

I also made some mermaids to live on the rocks next to my lighthouse.  I’m really pleased with them.  I made them out of some slinky shiny fabric I had in my sewing box.  I drew faces on them in felt tip and sewed long pink hair onto their heads. They look beautiful and they love playing in the water next to the lighthouse.

Thursday 19 December

Jude found the lip balm this morning and she’s really cross about it.  She won’t stop going on about it, as if I did it on purpose, which I didn’t!  I just wanted to see how far it would unwind to.  How could I have known that once it had unwound it wouldn’t wind back in? And I didn’t mean for it to break off either.  It was an accident.  She’s very angry.  She says I shouldn’t touch her stuff.

We have been making Christmas decorations out of paper and cardboard tubes and beads and glitter!  I also knitted a lot of my pig, but he’s still not finished.  He may have to be a belated Christmas present.

We read some more of These Happy Golden Years which is perfect to read in December because it is winter in the story.Tomorrow is the Christmas holidays!!!

Sunday 22 December

We are on holiday in Wales!  It’s brilliant here.  We came on the train and then we caught a bus which drove us through these winding roads over huge hills and valleys to this town and then we had to find the key to the cottage!  I really expected the bus to fall off the winding roads and slide down the side of the hills, but it didn’t.

It’s great here.  Jude and me have a room and Mum and Dad have a room, and downstairs there is an electric fire and a kitchen and a sofa.

We brought our stockings with us.  I’m a bit worried that Father Christmas won’t be able to find us because we’re in the wrong house, but Mum says he knows where we are.

Monday 23 December

There are some lovely shops in town, Mum has bought some books for us to learn Welsh when we get home.  There’s a Welsh-English dictionary, a book of phrases and a book of Welsh fairy tales.  We also went in the second hand shops and the junk shops, and I have started a collection of toy cars.  I have bought fourteen little cars, my favourite one is a little red Mini with doors that open and close.Tuesday 24 December

It’s Christmas Eve!  I’m so excited!  Today we went for a walk up the mountain, it was raining a bit so we wore our raincoats.  It was a long way up, so we didn’t go all the way. I think we got to the bottom of the mountain and then it was time to go home.  But the views were magical and we even saw a natural spring!

Tomorrow is Christmas!  We have never been away from home on Christmas before, it’s really fun!  We’ve left mince pies out for Father Christmas and carrots for his reindeer, because they will all be hungry.

Thursday 26 December

Yesterday was brilliant!  Father Christmas did find us, and he brought us lots of lovely presents! He brought me a T shirt with a green motorbike on it, and some veggie bears which are fruity sweet jellies!  He ate one of the mince pies we left out for him, and took the carrots we left out for all the reindeer.

We had roast potatoes and carrots and beans and sosmix toad-in-the-hole.  For a long time I thought toad-in-the-hole had something to do with Toad of Toad Hall from The Wind In The Willows, but it doesn’t.  I don’t know why they call it toad in the hole though.

We had crackers and party hats and mince pies too.  I had apple pie because I don’t like mince pie.  I try to like it every year, because it’s so Christmassy, but I never do.  I won a little rubber dinosaur in my cracker!

We had a great day playing games and watching Snow White which was on television. We also went for a walk on the mountain, which was beautiful.  When we got back we had missed the beginning of The Great Escape, but we watched the rest of it, it’s such an exciting film.

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And that brings us to the end of December and therefore the end of Chapter 3  but don’t go far, Jude and the other one will be back soon to start a happy new home-schooling year in Chapter 4: January 😀

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The biggest jar I have ever seen

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 13 December

Today we did more digging in the garden, which is a lot of hard work, but it is fun to be outside for science.

For lunch we had peanut butter and yeast extract on toast.  We’d got a giant jar of yeast extract from Daily Bread which is the biggest jar I have ever seen.

We watched the antiques programme where they have to look around a market and buy things and then hope they are worth a lot of money to win.  I don’t like it as much as the one where they look inside your house and sell your old things, but it is still very interesting.

After lunch we worked on our projects.  I finished a piece of my pig, which is one side, from the nose to the bottom, with two legs on it.There was something odd about it, and so I showed it to Mum and we worked out that I had accidentally knitted one of the legs on the wrong side of the knitting, so that one leg is in the right place, and the other leg is sticking out of his back. So I will have to start again from the beginning. But at least now I understand what it is meant to look like.

Monday 16 December

We had a needlework day today, because this is our last week before Christmas so we are going to spend the week doing arts and crafts.  I have been knitting my pig because I’d like to give him to Nan for Christmas.  I would have possibly finished him by now if only I hadn’t gotten mixed up with the pattern and knitted one of the legs on the wrong side.

Jude was sewing a cross-stitch for Grandad which has a Christmas tree with yellow baubles and red tinsel, and it will be in a frame.

For dinner we made home-made oven chips with beans, and Linda McCartney sausages!  I cleaned the muddy potatoes, Jude sliced them and cut off the bruises, and Mum showed us how to drizzle a tiny bit of oil all over the chips in the mixing bowl and turn them over to make them evenly covered, and then we put them in the oven.  We cooked the sausages under the grill with some sliced in half tomatoes.

Jude hasn’t found the lip balm, so that’s lucky.

Tuesday 17 December

We made rocky islands out of paper and card!  It’s brilliant!  We took a piece of cardboard, and then we made rocks out of screwed up pieces of newspaper, and a lighthouse out of a cardboard kitchen roll tube!  Once it was all glued down we painted blue and white waves around the rocks and painted the rocks grey.  The lighthouses we painted red and white striped.  I would love to live in a lighthouse.

In the afternoon I sewed my dress and Jude made scones.  Mum says my dress is nearly finished.  All we have to do next is put the buttons on and then it’s done.  I can’t believe it.  I can’t wait to wear it!

We finished reading Wuthering Heights! It’s one of the best books I ever read.  It’s so tragic dramatic, all the characters are interesting and I care about them all, even the ones I don’t like.

We have to write essays about the book and hand them in after Christmas.  My essay is about comparing the different houses in the story, and who lives in them, and what they are like.  Jude is writing an essay about how much the characters hate each other, and why.

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Chapter 3 continues next Monday!  Have a good week 😀

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Fruitcake, flapjacks and papier-mâché dinosaurs

Click here for the story so far 🙂

Thursday 5 December

Jude made a fruitcake and flapjacks! I don’t know which I like best, because fruitcake is so sweet and juicy but flapjacks are golden and crunchy.

While Jude was baking I worked on my dress. Mum helped me to sew on the sewing machine and press the seams with an iron. We have a really old sewing machine which used to belong to our great aunt who was a seamstress.

I think being a seamstress would be a great job because I like sewing, and it would mean you could make all your own clothes! People used to make all their own clothes, that’s what they do in Little House on the Prairie.

Friday 6 December

In the morning we went to the shops, we got the food shopping for the week, and visited Button Boutique to look at needlework supplies. I bought some buttons for my collection: I got a pink one shaped like a flower and a green one with a sheep painted on it. They are fun things to get with your pocket money because they are only a few pence each. We also got chips from the chip shop afterwards!

We made papier mâché dinosaurs this afternoon! They are tyranosaurus rexes and they are brilliant. We have to wait for them to dry before we can paint them, so they are in the porch right now.

Vegan book for children making papier mache dinosaurs in home school

Tuesday 10 December

We had a history test today. All morning we did revision by reading over our history exercise books, and then in the afternoon we had a test.

Mum made the test. She wrote three pages of questions about the things we studied so far this year in history, and we had to answer them. It was quite fun because I like quizzes, but I couldn’t remember some things.

I got sixty percent of my questions right, which Mum said is a B- grade! Jude got seventy four percent of hers right, so she got a B+.

Vegan book for children

Also we finished Little Town on the Prairie today. Our new morning reading book will be These Happy Golden Years (which is the next book in the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder).

I painted my papier mâché dinosaur browny-purple with greeny-grey stripes. Jude’s is dark green and yellow, and Mum’s is yellowy-green with red eyes and blue spots all over his back. We should make other kinds of dinosaurs, stegosaurus and diplodocus and tricerotops.

I think my favourite type of dinosaur is the diplodocus, but I also like the other kinds too. I really like The Land Before Time films, my favourite character in that is Spike, But I don’t know what sort of dinosaur he is.

While I was playing after dinner I found Jude’s lip balm, which is strawberry flavoured. If you twist the bottom the lip balm comes out, like a glue stick. So I was just twisting it to see how far it would come out, and it must have come to the end because it got stuck. So I started twisting it in the other direction, but it wouldn’t go back in. And then it broke off, so I hid it under her chest of drawers.

Wednesday 11 December

It was really sunny but also chilly riding our bikes to the swimming pool, we wore gloves and hats and scarves. My bike is metallic purple, so is Jude’s, and Mum’s is golden.

In the afternoon I did decimals and fractions and adding and subtracting in maths. Jude did mental arithmetic.

We did quiet reading after maths. I’m reading a book called Refugee by Benjamin Zephaniah, Mum says she wants to read it after me, and Jude is still reading Emma.

For cookery we made nut-stuffed mushrooms! They were delicious and quite fancy. They would be great for a tea party. Mushrooms are not like other vegetables, they are special, because they are fungus.

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Chapter 3 continues next Monday 🙂

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Getting ready for the Christmas Bazaar

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 29 November

In history we studied more about Boudicca and her battles with the Romans.  She sounds brilliant.  I like that she had long red hair.

This afternoon we made treats for the Christmas bazaar! I made chocolate hazelnuts and fudge, while Jude made chocolate oaty treats and peppermint fondants.  Fondant is great because you can do anything with it.  You can dip it in chocolate or stick leaves to it, or make it shaped like mice, or turn it pink with beetroot juice.  The fudge was so nice I wanted to eat it all.

I am really looking forward to the bazaar because it’s so much fun. There is always a raffle and a bric-a-brac stall and a stall where you can buy knitted tree decorations and a games stall and a lucky dip where you close your eyes and pick a prize.

They also have a mystery jars stall which has lots of glass jars wrapped in Christmas paper and you pay fifty pence to buy a jar without knowing what’s in it!  Sometimes the jar will have cotton wool in it, or sweets or toys or buttons or jam or anything.  Once I got a jar full of mint imperials, which I wasn’t too keen on at first, but after I ate some I really started to like them. They also sometimes have a game where you have to name a teddy bear, which is how Jude won those bears we drew in art.

Find out what Jude and her sister got up to in December – Chapter 3 coming soon 🙂

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Steerforth, Traddles and the Warrior Queen

For the story so far click here 🙂

In history we are studying Boudicca who was a Celtic queen.  Celtic women were equal to Celtic men, so when her husband, the Iceni King, died she became the leader of their people.

But the Romans didn’t believe women could own property, so they tried to overthrow her by attacking her, her daughters and the village they lived in.  So she got very angry and she rampaged the country collecting people to help take back the land which belonged to the Celts.  The Romans were really bad and tried to fight her army but the warrior queen was too sneaky for them.

After lessons Jude wrote in her diary. Jude has a diary with a padlock on it, which she got for Christmas.  It has stickers and stamp pens which make love hearts and exclamation marks. I have seen it and it’s really tidy, she writes in different coloured pens and her writing is much neater than mine.  And she’s really good at eking out her stickers. I can’t help sticking stickers nearly as soon as I get them.

Wednesday 27 November

After breakfast and chores we each read a chapter of Little Town on the Prairie out loud and then we had English and read chapter six of David Copperfield together.  Mum set us homework to read chapter seven and answer an essay question by next Wednesday.

We had cereal for lunch today.  Jude got the free gift from the box, which was a plastic football player. He came with stickers which you could use to make his uniform stripey and decorated.  Jude took the stickers and used them to decorate a toy car instead.  It’s very good, it looks all ready for a demolition derby.

For needlework we are making cross-stitch tapestries!  They will be beautiful when we’re finished. They’re so delicate and complicated. They take a really long time to stitch.

The salt dough ornaments we made last week are ready to paint now so we painted them red and yellow and blue and green.  I tried to write Merry Christmas on one, but it was too small, so I wrote Xmas instead.  The holes we made for the strings are a little bit small, but we can make them bigger with a needle.  When the paint is dry we can varnish them with pva glue.

Thursday 28 November

I have read Chapter Seven now, it’s all about David being at boarding school and the friends he makes. He has two friends, Steerforth and Traddles, which is lucky because the teachers are horrible to him.  At the end of the chapter Mr Peggotty and Ham come to visit David, and they meet Steerforth.

I don’t think I have ever written an essay before, and I thought it was spelled S.A.. Mum said that lots of people think it’s spelled S.A. when they first hear the word, and that a school friend of her’s wrote “S.A.s” in big letters on the front of her exercise book in the first year of secondary school.

Mum says an essay has to have an introduction, a middle and a conclusion.  The beginning is where you say what it is that you are planning to prove in the essay, the middle is where you explain why your point is true, and use quotes to prove it.  The conclusion is where you explain that you have now proven your point.

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The end of November concludes Chapter Two tomorrow 🙂

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Find the White Horse and other stories

For the story so far click here 🙂

For cookery we made party food! We made a big bakewell tart and twelve miniature ones, sosmix rolls and a big sponge cake.  Mum helped us make pastry for the bakewell tarts and for the sosmix rolls, and I put the jam in the bottom of the bakewell tarts, Jude made the cake mixture and poured it into the tins.

We put it all in the oven to bake and while it was cooking we cleaned up the kitchen and washed up the bowls and spoons and things.

We went to bed early so we could read our books. I have already read thirty-seven pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but there are still hundreds of pages left, so I know I won’t finish it before it has to go back to the library.  It’s a great story! Hermione likes knitting just like me.  Except she does magic knitting.  She has a magic cat with one red eye and one green eye, who is really grumpy.  I would like it if the story was all just happy, but sadly there are some scary characters too.

Thursday 21 November

This morning we read some more David Copperfield, it is such a good story we just wanted to keep going.  We took it in turns to read it out loud.  Poor David keeps getting in trouble with Mr Murdstone and his horrible sister who has taken over the house.  At the end of the chapter we read today, chapter four, Peggotty is whispering to him through the keyhole of his bedroom door, where he has been locked, and she tells him he is going to be sent away the next day to school.  It’s so sad because the three of them were so happy before Mr and Miss Murdstone arrived.

This afternoon we made salt dough Christmas tree decorations!  Salt dough is excellent. We made round ball ornaments and rolled the dough out and cut shapes like bells and circles and little people.  Then we made holes in them so that once they are baked we can thread strings through and hang them on the tree.

Then Jude worked with Mum going through her mental arithmetic test, and I did a beat the clock maths test in my room at my desk.  I had to clear my clothes off my chair first because I keep forgetting to put them away – I always think I’ll wear them again tomorrow so hanging them seems a waste of time but the next day I choose something different and eventually I’ve got nowhere to sit.

I finished reading my book I Want Doesn’t Get!

I really enjoyed it, it’s different to other books I’ve read. It’s all about this boy called Julian, who lives with his sisters, and doesn’t know where his mum has gone. I liked it because it had lots of little details about what Julian thinks about what’s happening, a lot of the pages had little notations at the bottom of each page, explaining words and phrases.

Tuesday 26 November

This morning we went swimming and I swam a whole width without touching the floor! Jude swam a whole length without stopping!

We went to the library and I chose some books to read since I finished I Want Doesn’t Get on Thursday, and I had to return the Harry Potter book because it was due back at the library. I don’t mind taking a break from it, it’s really long.

I borrowed a book called Find The White Horse by Dick King Smith which is about two dogs and a cat and a pigeon who get lost from their homes and have to try to find their way back.  It’s called Find The White Horse because one of the dogs lived in a house on a hill with a chalk horse carved into it, so he knows where he’s heading, and the other animals just want to come too.

I also got a book about toads and a book about witches. Jude got some more fox books and Mum got some history books.

continues tomorrow 🙂

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Portraits and Gingerbread

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 15 November

I am making a dress!  I’ve got a whole lot of blue fabric and a pattern to follow.  The first thing you have to do is cut out all the pieces of paper, pin them onto your fabric and cut around them.  That’s what I did today. Next time I will sew the seams with the sewing machine.

While I was doing that, Jude made an apple crumble. I love apple crumble, I love the crunchy top and the soft fruit.  We had it after dinner with custard which Mum made.

I also had a times tables test today, and I scored nine out of twelve!  Then we made drawings of Dmitri, which was wonderful because he’s so handsome.  He’s black and white mostly, but I coloured in his brown eyes, his blue collar and his pink tongue.

In the evening we got dressed up and sat on the settee in a pose for Mum to paint us. I love being painted, I wore a scarf and a purple dress, and Jude wore her stripey top and Mum’s beautiful orange dress. It’s like being in the time of Robin Hood when they had to paint pictures of each other because they hadn’t invented the camera yet.

It’s not finished yet, Mum says it will take several sittings for her to do the whole painting. So far she has painted us all in lines, and started to colour us in, but there aren’t any details yet.

Monday 18 November

This morning for English I wrote a letter in formal language, and Jude wrote poetry. I like writing letters, it makes me feel like I’m in a story, because I imagine all kinds of mystery and adventure could be started by a letter. Jude has a book which is entirely written in letters, it’s called P.S. Longer Letter Later. That’s a great title because all the words begin with L, which is alliteration.

After lunch Mum and I worked on sewing the bodice of my dress, which was really complicated! I’m so afraid I’ll sew it wrong, there’s lots of pieces to sew together and none of them look like pieces of a dress.

While I was sewing Jude made two gingerbread cakes!  We had some after dinner and it is delicious!  I love gingerbread cake, it’s so sticky! I like that it’s soft inside and crispy like toffee on the outside.

Wednesday 20 November

Today in science we tested our rainwater for pollution and acid rain.  We had these special pieces of paper, called “Universal indicator paper” which you dip in the water and then it changes colour depending on the pH levels.  This is all to do with Hydrogen ions, and how many there are in the water.  Too many mean it is acidic and too few make it basic. Ordinary water should be somewhere in the middle, which is called neutral.So, if the rain water was basic, the test papers would turn blue or purple, and if the rain water was acid the papers would turn red or pink or orange.  If water is neutral, the papers turn green!  And that’s what happened.  We did the test several times because it’s fun.

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continues tomorrow 🙂

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Not Too Spicy For Dad

For the story so far click here 🙂

Tuesday 12 November

We read to the end of chapter six of Wuthering Heights.  It’s a great story, everyone is very mysterious and dramatic.  I think Heathcliff is a bit scary, although you can’t blame him for getting cross with Mr Lockwood, he’s a very annoying character, I would get cross with him if I was Heathcliff.  Nelly is my favourite character so far.

We have been writing out our reports for Operation Independence in our best handwriting.  A whole week of shopping and planning and cooking takes a long time to write out neatly.

In the afternoon we made salt dough plaques to hang on our bedroom doors. Salt dough is a bit like clay, so I pretended I was a sculptor. We made our names and decorated the edges with forks.

Wednesday 13 November

We did Batik today!  We made our own dye by picking mint leaves from the garden and boiling them in water.  Then we melted red and yellow wax crayons in a pot over some hot water, the same way you melt chocolate.  We painted leaves onto a tea towel with wax, and then we let that go cold and used our mint dye to dye the tea towel green! Once that is dry you are supposed to remove the wax with an iron, but we haven’t done that yet.

In the afternoon we went to Nanny’s house and did cookery!  Jude made samosas and I made spicy garlic mushrooms fried in batter.  Sadly I don’t like them, they taste too spicy. I will feed them to Dad, because he likes things like that.

Thursday 14 November

Jude wrote a newspaper report for English today, which is one of her favourite things to do because one day she wants to be a reporter, like Lois Lane.

Mum said I should write an essay describing what happened on our trip to the Robin Hood Pageant.  I used a lot of adjectives.  Luckily I had written about it in my diary, which helped me remember the details.

Later on Mum made a still life for us to draw using a fruit bowl and things.  She showed us how to hold a pencil differently to the way you do when you are writing words and numbers.  You hold it gently so that you don’t press hard.

We read some more Wuthering Heights today, I feel sorry for Heathcliff, he is so lovely when he is little. Nelly is still one of my favourite characters, I don’t like the Lintons at all.continues tomorrow 🙂

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Running out of pink yarn

For the first chapter of What Me And Jude Did While Everyone Else Was At School click here

Chapter Two continues …🙂

I’ve started reading my Harry Potter book, it’s good so far, it’s funny and exciting.  I read some of it out to Mum and Dad, and they like it too.  Jude is reading Emma by Jane Austen.

Jude told me that in her library book there are lots of different kinds of foxes, some with big ears, some which are white or orange, tiny little ones and great big ones.Thursday 7 November

For my dinner today I made pasta and pasta sauce and lettuce and tomatoes and cucumber! This project is so much fun!  It’s great, I am pretending I’m a witch who lives in a big house full of witches, and it’s my job to follow the budget and feed us all.  Jude made pasta and vegetable hotpot.  It was really sunny today.

In the morning I did knitting.  I’m running out of pink yarn for my pig, but Mum says that’s okay, because I can use brown because some pigs are pink and brown!

In the afternoon I read some more Harry Potter.  I really like all the descriptions of the different characters, Ron is very funny and Hermione is so caring.  They all live in a haunted castle together.

Friday 8 November

We are studying the Celtic people in history.  They were artists who made beautiful carvings of intricate knots and things.  Mum read from the book to us and then we answered questions and made drawings from photos in the book.

In the afternoon we worked on our own projects.  I am still making my knitted pig which I found very challenging today because I had to increase and decrease stitches to make a leg for him.

Jude was sewing beads onto her caterpillar, which is getting very pretty!  I asked her if she thought she would put wings on the caterpillar so that sometimes he could turn into a butterfly, but she said that would be impossible.

We had our geography test, we had to label each country on a blank map of Europe.  I got twenty-six right!  That’s more than half, because there are forty four countries in Europe.  Next we are going to learn all the counties in the UK!

We also gave Dmitri a bath with mint and tea tree shampoo which keeps fleas away. Dmitri looks so sweet and little when he’s wet.  It takes all three of us to give him a bath because he tries to climb out the whole time.

Monday 11 November

We visited The City Museum and Art Gallery and saw paintings and sculptures by an artist called Richard Barnard.  I really like pottery sculptures, I bet it would be fun to make them.  My favourite was a lovely sculpture of a sitting woman.  I think it would be nice if sculptures were painted, because most of the time they are grey or brown, because that’s what colour the clay is.

We got some books from the library about Batik and Shakespeare and a book called Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontё.

When we got home we read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is about a naughty fairy who casts a spell on the fairy queen because he loves her, but all kinds of things go wrong, and everybody falls in love with the wrong person.

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continues Monday.  Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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November began like so

For the first chapter of What Me And Jude Did While Everyone Else Was At School click here 🙂

Chapter Two:

Monday 4 November

We are doing a project called Operation Independence!  We have to plan and cook our own meals all week!  This morning Mum gave us each £20 and we went to the supermarket and bought all the food we think we’ll need!  We each had our own trolleys, and had to check the prices of different foods to make sure we had enough money.

At dinner time we each made our own dinners!  I made Sosmix, steamed potatoes, broccoli, carrots and gravy, and Jude made tomato soup, muffins and salad.

We have to keep a record of everything we do so that we can write a report at the end of the week!

Tuesday 5 November

In geography today we have been memorising all the countries in Europe and making a map with them all on.  It’s not easy to remember what all the countries are, there are so many!  There’s a tiny little one which I keep forgetting the name of.

Later I baked a chocolate cake which is one of my favourite recipes, the edges are wonderfully crispy and the icing is really thick, it’s called chocolate fudge icing. I really like spreading it out over the top of the cake.

Jude made Hungarian potatoes for her dinner, with broccoli, and I made Sosmix, new potatoes and baked beans. I love baked beans, they are my favourite food. And Sosmix is delicious.  All you have to do is add water to the powder in the box, and make your sausages out of the mixture! Then you can cook them on the grill or in the oven or you can fry them.  I made mine on the grill because Jude was using the frying pan to fry her onions and tomatoes, and the oven to bake her Hungarian potatoes.  Hungary is one of the countries we need to remember for geography!

Wednesday 6 November

After swimming today we cycled through the park to the library. We don’t usually go that way, I have never been through that park before. It had a stream running through it which had some shopping trolleys in it, which is so sad for the birds and fishes, if there are any. I wonder why anyone would put them there? We rode our bikes over a bridge across the stream, and then took a short cut through the supermarket car park.

At the library we chose some books from the non-fiction section about animals because we are starting our own projects. I borrowed books about apes, and Jude borrowed books about foxes.  I also got Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix !  It is the longest book I’ve ever seen! I haven’t read any of the other Harry Potter books, but this one looks really interesting. It’s got a red and yellow phoenix on the front.

When we got home we had lunch and then we read David Copperfield.  Sadly David has come home from his holiday with Peggotty to find that nothing in his house is the way he remembers it, and his mum is all stressed and uncomfortable.

Later on I made mashed potato pie with textured vegetable protein and tomatoes and onions and carrots and gravy. It’s difficult to cut onions without your eyes watering – I tried wearing sunglasses but it didn’t help. I stirred the gravy because it gets lumpy if you don’t stir it.

continues tomorrow 🙂

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Good ole Mr Peggotty

For the story so far click here 🙂

Jude has been working on her caterpillar again, while I read David Copperfield out loud to us all.  David has gone on holiday with Peggotty to Yarmouth.  They go to stay with her brother, Mr Peggotty, who lives in a boat on the beach with two children, Emily, who is around the same age as David, and Ham, who is older and Mrs Gummidge.  There is a funny conversation where David asks lots of questions.  He finds out that Ham and Emily are cousins, who were both orphaned and then adopted by Mr Peggotty.  Mrs Gummidge was married to Mr Peggotty’s business partner, but she is a widow now, and so lives with him too.  They are all funny and interesting characters, I especially like Mr Peggotty, because you can tell he likes David.After that mum helped me make a design and then I drew it onto a T shirt with fabric pastels!  My design had flowers and a dog.  I used purple and orange and blue pastels.

Thursday 31 October

Today we had the special cereal with the strawberries in it. I love that.  I am always disappointed to find there is no fruit in cereals which have fruit on the box, mum told me that is just a serving suggestion.  But today’s cereal did have fruit in it!  Jude and I always argue over who has taken too many strawberries, but I can’t help it if they happen to fall out of the box into my bowl.

In the afternoon we made pop up cards and collage cards by cutting up magazines and coloured paper.  Jude made drawings of cartoons and stuck them on paper springs, and I cut out pictures of dogs and cats and flowers from a magazine.

This was the last day of our first month of home-school.  I like it.

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Halloween pumpkins and old artefacts

For the story so far click here 🙂

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Monday 28 October

Mum said that because I haven’t been able to learn to type, I could practise my handwriting instead. I have quite good writing when I am careful, but it gets messy when I rush or get distracted.  After that I read my book.  I’m reading a book called I Want Doesn’t Get  by Rony Robinson.  It’s really good. It’s about a little boy and his two sisters.

This afternoon I had a mental arithmetic test and a times table test.  I am not very good at doing maths in my head, so after the test mum went through all the questions with me and showed me how to do the ones I had done wrong.

I don’t really remember the times tables unless I do them one at a time, in the right order. Jude wrote a story.

Tuesday 29 October

We were going to do science this morning, but we wanted to do an experiment about the greenhouse effect, mum said it wasn’t sunny enough so we can do it another day.  So we did spellings instead.  We had to write out the meanings of the words we learned, and then we did our projects.  Jude’s caterpillar is nearly finished, it looks really good.  I am still working on my pig, which is not nearly finished.

We had tomato paté and salad sandwiches for lunch, and we watched the BBC play, which was about some ladies who go to live in a caravan, which starts to roll down a hill, but then it stops.

I wrote another story for English.  The exercise was to make a plan and then make a story.  This time I wrote a story about a girl called Bernice who meets a goblin in her garden, and then she gets into an argument with him because he won’t let her put the washing out.  Eventually the goblin runs away.

Jude was also writing a story, but hers had to have propositions and complex sentences.  Jude said she was writing a really scary story with creepy monsters and vampires.  She’s really good at making up those sorts of stories.

In cookery lesson we carved Halloween pumpkins!  We scooped out the insides and then we cut out scary eyes and teeth and noses, it was brilliant.

Wednesday 30th October

After swimming we visited the museum at the Heritage Centre.  It is great in there because you can see inside a glass case pictures of what the town looked like a hundred years ago, and there are artefacts like tin pots and badges from the 1920s.  They have an old hair dresser’s chair with a big blow drier fixed to the top.  I don’t like that though because it looks like an evil villain’s brain-washing chair.

I like the little room at the back, which is decorated to look like a little kitchen, and you can look in at all the old food tins and boxes from the early 1900s, and there is an old kettle and an old iron and things.  It’s really interesting.

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continues tomorrow 🙂

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