Monthly Archives: April 2006

Poor Mr. Wilson


Well turkey season is about to wind down here, just one week left now I think.  Joe still hasn't gotten a turkey, but if nothing else we've gotten a great story out of the season.


Around here people enter hunting contests each season to see who can bag the biggest critter.  After they kill said critter, they promptly get someone to take a picture, weigh it and all that jazz and then run to go show it off in the local contests.  And once you get there to the wall of fame, men of all ages and sizes wearing camoflauge will admire your hunting skill and luck. Sometimes there's some money to win, sometimes you can win a free taxidermy mount, but mostly it's just bragging rights.  And that means a lot, apparently too much to some.


The other day my gang went to ooh and aah over the bulletin board to see what size gobblers people were bagging.  They were all pretty much in the 18 – 22 lb range, but then there was this one kid showing off this massive 30 pounder!!  My gang was commenting on how it didn't even look like the other turkeys so it was obviously domestic – meaning someone was raising it for themself. 


Well they got to looking even closer and sure enough, it was shot just down the road.  I got to thinking about it and remembered that one of our neighbors did have a big ol' Tom Turkey that grazed in her yard.  But we thought, surely not.


Well we thought wrong!  The next week my fellas were chatting with the gang at our local gun club and the subject turned of course to – turkeys.  Our son asked if they had all heard about that big 30 lb. gobbler the boy had gotten down the road and oh boy had they.  In fact, that gobbler had a name, Mr. Wilson. 


I wish you could hear my neighbor telling it with her deep country twang.  Her 2 1/2 year old Tom Turkey, Mr. Wilson was just like a big ol' dog.  He slept on her porch every night and grazed in the yards and in a nearby field with the chickens.  On that fateful day though, a local hunter apparently found Mr. Wilson to be more than he could resist when he spotted him in the empty cornfield next to her house.  They might not have known what happened except that another neighbor just happened to be sitting on her front porch enjoying a cup of coffee that morning. 


Seems as though, he saw that turkey, hopped out of his truck, shot him, and headed down the road with it.  All that was left behind of Mr. Wilson was a tuft of feathers.  Our neighbor just kept saying, “Poor Mr. Wilson.” The men were just incredulous that this hunter wouldn't have a) recognized Mr. Wilson since he'd been around for over 2 years now and b) hunted from the road (very illegal).  At first they thought that maybe the man had been hunting in the field and had called Mr. Wilson in like a wild turkey.  “Nah,” she said.  “All he'd have had to done, was acted like he had a piece of bread and said, 'Here chick, chick' and Mr. Wilson would have come runnin.” “Poor Mr. Wilson…”


Now I'm not Paul Harvey and I don't know the rest of the story, but I'm thinking that ol' boy is probably one pretty embarassed hunter these days.  Stories like Poor Mr. Wilson go on and on for years.  I bet he'll think a little more clearly next time and not let the turkey fever go to his head!


Maggie, Maggie, Here and There!

She's everywhere, she's everywhere!!


Maggie Hogan is so kind.  She shares her tips for Geography Activities on the Front Porch every Friday, so you can read her tip there today.  But she also gave PRMama her story of how Bright Ideas Press got started today and even shared some marketing tips too!


You'll want to check out her entries today.  She actually started writing because of how people kept calling to ask for her advice since she was a support group leader.  She got tired of having so many phone calls so she decided to answer people's questions and make a book.


I'm thinking THAT is a great idea.  We've got all of this information gathered to put in folders anyway.  Why not just have it made into a little book and make a little money too?


You just never know what kind of great ideas you'll get here on HSB!


Have a wonderful weekend,



Dealing with Spelling/Writing Frustrations

Someone commented on my Relaxed Homeschooling post with a question about dealing with spelling/writing frustrations. While I don't pretend to be an expert, I have learned from dealing with my boys and also from other moms who have walked down this road. 


So here goes:


 It sounds like you are working really hard to find what works for your daughter.  Spelling is a tough thing.  Some people just aren't good spellers and it might make your daughter not want to write because she is embarassed (and I have a hard time spelling that word) of her spelling. I had a friend growing up who always struggled with spelling. Her mother was a teacher.  She was an honor roll, honor graduate, but she always did lousy on spelling tests no matter how much they studied, reviewed and worked on it.  We actually went to college together and I always laugh when I look back at my high school yearbook and see where she wrote that she was ecxited that we would be going to colledge together.  You know what though, she is an optometrist and a mom.  Spelling just isn't her thing.


That said, I would really work on getting your daughter to have a better attitude as she deals with the writing/spelling issue.  (Prefaced with – I don't have a daughter so I may not understand their emotional differences.) Are you grading things?  If you can stop that for her spelling/writing, I would for awhile.  In fact, you might stop spelling for awhile and just work on either doing a 10 minute journal writing a day or dictation.  If getting the pencil to paper is just too much, you might even let her dictate it to you.  You write it and then she copies it.  (That way she's copying your correct spelling.) One of my friends with a son who REALLY, REALLY struggles with spelling/writing found that to really help them.  You could even let her type it on the computer if that would help. 


But I would put the focus on doing it with a good attitude.  You might just do a chart or marble jar and each day that she completes that with a good attitude, she's working towards a reward.  If you are only asking of her what is developmentally appropriate and you're trying your best to make it fun, she should be able to tough it out with a good attitude for 15 minutes. 


I really didn't do much formal spelling with my oldest until 4th grade when I tried Switched on Schoolhouse. Before that, I would just help him spell things as we went along and pointed out the patterns.  He actually thought that the Spelling on Switched-on was fun and did very well with it.  After that, I pretty much went with a notebooking approach and journaling.  Again just helping him spell things as he went along.  You could toss in some games like Scrabble Jr. or Boggle during family game nights.  Easy crosswords, or word searches might be fun too.  My son that 2 years ago would tear up when I asked him to write something, is now writing easily.  It's definitely not perfect and each of us can always improve our writing, but at least he doesn't panic at the idea of the task.  In fact, now he plays Scrabble on our computer for fun.  (Go figure?)


I just encourage you to focus on what your goals are.  Is it to pass spelling tests or is it to be able to express herself? I really think if you can just help her to get over her anxiety and develop an “I can do it” attitude about her spelling/writing, things will improve in time.  Hang in there homeschool mom.  It's going to get better. 

Drat, drat, drat….

Well things with Farm Bureau aren't going well for us since we had to file that claim after the tornado.  The agent made it sound like everything was going to be taken care of, but today we got a letter from the adjustor saying that the barn that was demolished wasn't covered.  You know, it's just the principle of the thing.


Our agent has done us a huge disservice by not educating us about what was covered and what wasn't.  Any time that I've gotten him on the phone, he just answers my questions “off the cuff” and then often contradicts himself later. 


First our barn was covered, now it isn't.  He told us that our shed wasn't covered, but failed to tell us that the contents of it are.  At one point he told us that our lawn mower & tiller had to be added as farm equipment, but now he says that was wrong. 


Please pray for us as we deal with this situation.  It is very frustrating because it feels like they can just change the rules as they go.  Right now we totally don't trust them.  There were just so many things that were misrepresented to us.


I'm just so thankful that God is always trustworthy.  That His word is the truth and that we can count on Him.  No premiums.  No deductible.  It's all been paid for and is freely given.  Lord, help me to focus on what we have, rather than what we've lost.


HSB T-shirts!

Oh wow, I just got an email from Coie with pics of the new tees.  I can't wait to get mine!


Here's the beautiful Coie modeling.  Look she's even on the HSB website.  Is that staged or what?



And of course, both she and her mom are having contests where you can win one!