Unlikely

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Upon visiting Chateau de Dampierre-sur-Boutonne just north of Saintes, France the curator told us he had just set up a Cocotte show on the third floor.  Not what I was expecting to hear!

This replaces the Indiana Jones scene with the golden head and sandbag for me.

Or see but I was super excited!  Just look at these beauties!

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The curator happened to have a friend with the largest collection of cocottes in I’m not sure what demographic, but it was quite sizable.

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Being a chef and lover of evenly heating cookware I figured it was a sign.

Later in the week I welcomed our hosts back to their home with a nice batch of short ribs procured from a local butcher that had worked in that had worked/owned that butcher shop with the picture on the wall from 1974.

right out of the vac seal.  No moisture loss at all.  Wow.

I tourned carrots, potatoes and zucchini to go alone with them but then plated and served hot (as it the priority) so no photographic evidence of the final plates.

Thanks for the prompt Michelle Weber!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge-Unlikely

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World Wide Learning

Best reason given for being a bit late to class:

“I had to poop sideways.” Oakley tells us.

“What?” I say.

“The cat was laying down in front of the toilet.” he says.

Merlot, the cat, was not to be moved causing my son to sit sideways on the toilet for a poo.  Hence, pooping sideways.

Danish school day at the farm.

In our travels we are continually asked, mostly by Europeans, “How can you have the kids out of school for a year?”.  We have heard in other countries you would be fined or it would just not be allowed.

Let me point out that our boys attended Montessori school through third and first year.  They will go back into the same school without dropping a grade.  Montessori is a great system of learning that matches the boys really well.  They will be returning for year five and three.  My wife mentions more about this here.

I want to share my view of what school looks like with my boys using a few lists and photos.

 

Cambodia.

Campus Locations (thus far):

  • Hawaii
  • Australia
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam 

    Ho Chi Minh City

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Netherlands

Vietnam

 

My earlier cursive on this outline.

Learning Objectives:

  • Reading
  • Writing (including penmanship and cursive)
  • Math

The three Learning Objectives were recommended by their teachers before we left but more drop into our lap with ease due to what we are doing.  Geography, Languages, History, and Science are staring us in the face.  This is truly a magical learning experience for all.

Local currency is often used in math lessons.

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I chose to join in and relearn Cursive in order to teach it to the boys.  When the teacher joins with the class to show he or she is motivated to learn it’s like you’re on the same team.  Struggling along with the students really creates a learning bond through empathy.

This Belgium cafe classroom had many benefits.

Tools: 

  • Coffee. For me and the safety of others.
  • Patience (lots).  Nobody learns in anger.
  • Journal (2).  There is a lot going on, write it down.
  • Common Place Book (2). Used for research, drafts, notes, art, ect..
  • Workbooks for math and we were given a few for english and comprehension in Australia because the woman we housesitted for was a teacher.  (Thanks Deb!)
  • Writing utensils.  Push pencils and a sweet sharpener like the one in this photo.  Pens are messy.
  • Blackboards (3).  These are great.  They’re wet-erase and no bigger than a magazine.  I found them in Vietnam at a Costco like store by happenstance.  Using them really improved the focusing ability.
  • Computer with internet access.  Both teacher and students need to be able to research and do presentations.
  • Kindle (2).  Small and pretty tough,  these are beauti.  The boys’ reading ability has skyrocketed.  My wife mentions them here.
  • Recess.  Don’t forget this.  Attention spans are short and you can reach a fill to here point quickly when everything is constantly changing.  Kids (adults too) lose focus and need a break to wiggle, snack, run or wrestle.  Keep an eye out for information overload.

 

So far my experience worldschooling the boys has been very positive.  I have been able to use teaching techniques used for culinary students with the boys.  I’ve learned how each learns and how to bend a lesson and allow flexibility to get each to grasp the lesson.

Not your usual 2nd and 4th grade class photo.

I don’t think we want to be their teachers into highschool but I’m certainly glad to have had the privilege of being one of their teachers this year.  Just can’t beat this 1:1 student-teacher ratio.

Prolific

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Lorikeets are always looking for love and taking care of each other.

In Australia we saw a few here and there.  Maybe three or four in a tree.  They seem to always be paired up.

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Then we hit the motherload at a campground in Queensland.  They had a feeding station and it was total mayhem!

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What was a few in the trees chatting to one another turned into at least 30 in an instant.  They came from thick bush and tall eucalyptus trees.  Zipping by our heads to get their beaks on a bit of soaked bread.

Later that week, in another town, we heard the same commotion as we exited a grocery store at dusk.  In the trees around the parking lot there were around a hundred lorikeets.

These fellas really are prolific.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Prolific

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Awakening

If it’s not the cocks then it’s the cats.

 

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Hero,  waiting for the Let-er-iner

When I think of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo ChallengeAwakening, I hear the roosters.

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Traveling the world housesitting along with petsitting has involved dogs, cats and chickens.   But sometimes it’s not even the ones we’re watching announcing that morning has arrived or rather, about to arrive.  Those chooks could use a new watch.  At 3am the sun is NOT about to come up.

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As for the cats.  I’ve always attracted cats.  We have one and I am the feeder, the let-er-outer and the..well just repeat those titles as many times in the day as you can.

In Australia we met a cat I mentioned him in another post titled Happenstance.   His name is Patrick, he was an old male that had the power to startle a middle-aged heavily snoring male straight out of bed wondering and saying “what the hell was that?”.   He has since passed on but I won’t soon forget his roar.

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I’ve been using these weekly challenges to push me to write.  Thanks again,

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge .

Waypoints

Rusty, a 3-year-old male Irish Terrier marking his Denmark territory.  Waypoints on our walking routes, it you will.  I keep telling him he’s been there and that it’s his pee but he has so much energy he doesn’t mind being thorough.

Yup, I took a picture of his ‘waypoint’.

I can’t blame him though, I like going back to a favorite spot too.  I only ran him out of pee once.  He has what seems to be a 5 gallon tank.  He will mark 75 waypoints on a 30 minute walk.

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Now I haven’t been marking territory quite like Rusty but I have placed a few waypoints of my own.  Mostly because I don’t have the memory I used to.  In fact, I can’t remember ever having a good memory.  My wife, as some of you know, can remember what the weather was like on a certain day 17 years ago.

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Denmark was a black and white landscape that occasionally showed purple and violet.  I am grateful for the hospitality of the new friends we met there.  (Thanks Ib, Anne, and all the Denmark family)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh crap… Yes, I’ve marked major waypoints on this map link Gurr World Map Waypoints showing where we have been.  More stops to come!  The map is interactive so you can zoom in and around.  We started our trip going west from Portland.

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I’ll keep blogging.   Be sure to follow along.

For One

In my family we believe my wife’s mother is checking in on us when a beautiful sunset presents itself.   My wife will say in the softest voice,  “Grandma Nancy is checking in.  Take a look boys.“.

Nancy battled pancreatic cancer.  She passed in 2001 and has checked in with spectacular beauty as we travel the world.

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I think we can extend the ‘sunset’ time frame to include an extremely early sunrise.

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Tomorrow, April 1st, is her birthday and along with Easter and April Fools Day (Not to mention Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit) there is a lot going on.  4.1

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I told my wife years ago that we should celebrate each year and call it “For One”.  We will celebrate For One in the French country side this year by remembering her and telling/listening to stories.

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I want people who knew her to chime in with ideas of what Nancy would like her day to look like, sound like, and taste like.  What did she enjoy?  What would your ‘For One’ look like?

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Rise/Set

As a Chef Instructor and a turkey hunter I am very used to the early rise.  In last week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge/ Favorite Place I posted a number of good rises taken from one location.  I’ll still post a few rises for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Rise/set but I’ll try to focus on the sets.

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Ok, one more…

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Through the palms

And this…

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I do love chasing daylight and I’ll pull the boys out of bed at stupid early O’clock and look that rath right in the face to catch a good rise.

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It never occurred to me that I would take a photo of the solar eclipse projected on the shadow of my brimmed hat.  The midday sunset blew my mind.

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