Search & Win


When I think of recycling, I think of not letting anything go to waste.  When I was trying to replicate a public school experience at home, there wasn't time to take advantage of the teachable moments that just come about through the course of the day.

But now that we are vacation schooling, there is time for reflection and learning to happen from life.  This has been a particularly productive week in that respect - recycling life's ups and downs into learning moments.

Something was trying to dig into our movable chicken coop.  Each morning there were little holes around the fence (thank God for really rocky soil!) and I was wanting to ensure that we didn't lose all our chickens to some predator.  So we bought a catch and release trap.  There was much discussion in our house about the type of predator each thought most likely the culprit.  Jor Man thought it was a Fisher, a weasel-type animal common to our area.  Campster thought it was the neighbors' Jack Russell Terrier again.  Sher Bear suggested a bear.  Big Dad thought a weasel made sense.  He'd seen something slink away one night.  I kinda thought it might be either a racoon or an opossum.  But I wouldn't have been surprised to find it was the neighbors' dog, either.  That's why we got a catch and release trap.

Jor Man suggested that we wet the ground around the chicken coop and try to get some prints in order to identify the predator.  It was a good idea, but I wanted to catch it.

Well, Saturday morning we woke up to find we had caught - a skunk.  Or, as Sher Bear says it "a Kunk!!" She drops her "S" sounds in blends.  "Don't let the Kunk pray you!" She would say.

We never even considered that it might be a skunk.  What to do?  Jor Man wanted us to call Animal Adventures, where they have their animal classes.  But I explained that I doubted they would come 3 hours one way to rescue a skunk.  (I was right.)  In the end, I found a wildlife expert and we paid him to remove it.  Without it spraying.  Hurray!!  I have a new hero.  :)

I couldn't believe how much dirt the skunk dug up from under the trap.  The bottom of it is cage just like the sides.  Still he was able to dig up dirt to fill half the trap!

Also this week, we discovered that our washing machine was not quite as house broken as we thought.  It had, apparently, been wetting the floor for some time.  Thankfully we are friends with a man who owns a mold remediation company.  He offered to come by and check the floor for us.  He had an amazing gizmo that could tell that the subflooring was wet under the vinyl floor under the refrigerator, the washer and the dryer.  So, Big Dad moved them all out, and ripped out the vinyl under them.  Then we put every fan and hair dryer we own on the job of drying out the subfloor.

Discussions about mold, subflooring, and the repair of major appliances ensued.  It also gave us a chance to model how we respond when things don't go as planned.  We had a fun time comparison shopping for washers that afternoon at Sears.  Price, energy use, and capacity were all weighed in the decision making process.  My new washer should arrive on May 10th  - Yeah!

Wish you were here!

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