Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Emerald Isle

I've just been to my dashboard and found some unmoderated comments. I've no idea why some come through to my inbox, albeit as spam, and others don't come into my gmail at all. Computers!

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting information about our 'adopted' homeland and photographs of places we visit with our new flat visitors that are expected any day now.

We live in the North (dark green) in rural Armagh, surrounded by farmland, some forest parks and peatlands. We love walking in the nature reserve close to our home, which is one big bog. I recently wrote about our latest visit on my Nature blog.

If anyone has any questions, please shoot and I will try to answer them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ireland S&T

I'm not having much joy with things at the minute. The scanner isn't working, the sewing machine has decided to eat fabric and the pc has expired taking with it my new son's baby pictures (and all the photo archives dating back four years.) I would be distraught, but I'm trying to maintain perspective. :)

Once the scanner was pronounced dead thus prohibiting me from blogging about earlier travel exploits, I decided to do write posts on Ireland but now with the pc gone, so are my photographs. I did find a few on flickr that I happened to upload last year.

These snapshots were taken at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra. This is my dd with a flat traveller that she was showing around from Mississippi.

The open air museum is set over 170 acres and the buildings there have been brought here from all over the province and sympathetically rebuilt/restored.

This street is typical of old Belfast.

An Irish cottage was small and consisted of an open room which was both kitchen and living room with a hearth where all the cooking was done. There would have been one bedroom to the side and a loft for the children. In some peasant cottages, the family would all have slept in the open living space. The photo below was taken in the rectory (below it) where soda farls were being cooked on a griddle over the fire. There are flag stones on the floor - this would have been a very grand house.

We also enjoyed browsing the old fashioned sweet shop and watching a weaving demonstration.

Great link:

Today I found J's new travel blog which is titled Cottage on Wheels. As the wind and rain were beating down on the window I was transported many miles away! Great antidote to grey skies and cold temperatures. So nice to grab a cuppa - lemsip in my case for a stinking head cold, and enjoy the read and relaxing sounds as you follow this family on their 2 year adventure in an RV.

I will post some more links on my side bar of some other neat homeschool blogs that I have to finish up for now. Kids are all sick. To view other Show & Tells, visit Mary in Canada.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sing geography!

Today my friend Jane and the kids came over and I borrowed this CD from her. It sounds like a fun way to learn your countries and I will be placing an order. Do visit the website and have a listen.

I think it's time for another travel tale. Tomorrow if I've time, I'll scan in some photos of our long drive south in 2003 and post links of a couple of friend's blogs who have recently been sharing their travel stories.

Meanwhile I'd best hit the hay as it's now 01:35. Where does time go?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank you

Thank you Kim for the new award. I'm honoured to receive it :)

While I don't get to visit my friend's blogs every day, I love grabbing a cuppa, sticking the feet up and catching up. I'm having problems accessing hsb at the moment - will try and check in later to say a proper thank you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Flat Travelling

I thought this would be of interest to other Mum's wanting a creative and fun way to teach geography. I've posted details here on my home school blog
*please email me for link which I've removed from here*
We have taken a bit of a break but are setting up new exchanges and will post details of our intrepid voyagers here. If you would like more details of groups, please get in touch.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Geography resources

If you enjoyed taking the European quizzes, pop over to Pam's place for a really neat World quiz. It's highly addictive! You will also find a link list of great sites to learn about our beautiful world.

Monday, February 04, 2008

New Adventure

Last month we arranged a home exchange with a family in Ohio. It all started off with a proposed visit to the Creation Science Museum in Kentucky. Now I'm in the planning stage. Fun, fun, fun! We hope to fly into Washington D.C. and stop en route in Virginia. At present we're not sure exactly how long to make the trip as we have something else planned for the end of the year which will make it our last trip in a while. (Will share at a later date.)

I will post ideas here and welcome any tips from my readers stateside.

Geography Quiz

Take the European geography quiz. It's great fun! You may want to double click on the map below to do some revision first. I came unstuck (badly) with some of the new countries which replaced the former Yugoslavia and USSR*. Be sure and leave a comment with your score!

Found another fun quiz here

Once you have mastered the countries, test your knowledge of the capital cities.

*Fifteen new countries became independent with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Most of these countries declared independence a few months preceding the fall of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Belarus
  3. Estonia
  4. Georgia
  5. Kazakhstan
  6. Kyrgyzstan
  7. Latvia
  8. Lithuania
  9. Moldova
  10. Russia
  11. Tajikistan
  12. Turkmenistan

Yugoslavia dissolved in the early 1990s into five independent countries.

  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 29, 1992
  2. Croatia, June 25, 1991
  3. Macedonia (officially The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) declared independence on September 8, 1991 but wasn't recognized by the United Nations until 1993 and the United States and Russia in February of 1994
  4. Serbia and Montenegro, (also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), April 17, 1992 (see below for separate Serbia and Montenegro entries)
  5. Slovenia, June 25, 1991

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life is tough as a kid!


One of the highlights for our kids when on the road is discovering the local wildlife. I was out with friends in a park last year and one mother was tortured by her kids who announced every few minutes that they were bored! Not ours ... whether it's making things out of twigs or stones or trying to catch a lizard in a net, they are happiest outdoors.

CJ is passionate about animals and bought a net, determined to catch one of these little guys which were all over the campsite. He managed to get this one, probably because it was deformed on one side, only having stumps for legs. They were very fast otherwise. I think he'd have like it for a pet.

Initially I'd planned to do Verona and Venice but the drive took a lot longer and was more costly than anticipated due to the performance of the car. The kids were happiest running around the camping ground and splashing in the pool and TG loves water. I'd definitely recommend Lake Garda as a family destination.

Italy cont ... around the lake

Lake Garda is very pretty and deceptively big. It took us several hours to drive around it but was worth it for the lovely scenery.

Here we stopped in a little town called Bardolino and visited this museum. Good point - it was free - bad, it had no disabled access. Hubby had to take TG back to the car and wait for us to do the tour. The film was informative and told of the history of olive cultivation which I found interesting from a Biblical perspective. This is the most northern point that olives are grown in Europe as the region has a Mediterranean climate and boast flora that is usually found in southern Europe. The exhibits showed presses from different ages and we tasted some yummy freebies in the shop before parting with some euros.

Just north of Bardolino are the Dolomites of Lake Garda - a stunning, rugged mountain range as see here from the road around the lake.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An Award!

Thank you to Pam at Mom' s Mutterings and Kim at Naturalpaths for the super blog award. I'm touched and feel that my little blog pales into insignificance when compared to yours!

I highly recommend a visit to both blogs. The information and pictures are inspiring. Pam has been writing recently about
Chichen Itza and the Mayan culture. We've really enjoyed the read. I also look forward to more 'Quotes and photos from my world' from Kim.

I would like to pass this award on to:

Melissa in Alaska. We've just discovered her new Nature blog. Have enjoyed reading about her country in her homeschool blog too.

Lilywhite's My Father's World. Fantastic photographs and a wealth of information.

Nature Mama's Nature Notes From Above - another beautiful and inspiring blog.

Keri at SunnyNature. I love reading about their discoveries at her beach in Florida.

AJ, CJ and Beanie - my three kids. You guys are great and probably the reason my home schooling, homesteading and nature blogs are so neglected! Must look out for a second computer!
(More to follow)

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to at least 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…