Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Back to School Time

cattle barn, Indiana State Fair, newspaper writing, summer fun

As the world around us settles in for Back-to-School time, Arlene and I are still squeezing in as many summers as possible. She starts college next week, so we've got a few days left and we are filling them all with fun, sunshine, and friends.

You might be thinking, where have they been?

I warned you it was going to be a crazy month. I hope you've been following along on Instagram.

We spent a lot of time at a the Indiana State Fair. We've also been working (at Conner Prairie.) Arlene bought a car to drive back and forth for her college classes. Last week we spent time at Lake Michigan, climbing the sand dunes, watching butterflies, and enjoying the beach.

In case you're wondering what I write when I'm not here...
I'll include links to some of my newspaper feature articles from the state fair below.

Soon, very soon I'll get back in the writing for the blog groove.

Until then, enjoy these last few precious days of summer!

Carol :)

Anderson native plays key role at state fair

Family theme resonates for local participants in state fair beef show

Smith Family Farms gets state fair recognition

Thursday, August 1, 2019 Back-to-homeschool sale

*affiliate links are used in this post*

Do your children like sharks? Mine do. They also like goldfish, arapaima, and manta rays. Fish, seahorses, jelly fish and other sea creatures also fill their list whenever we visit an aquarium. It is a u-pick of favorite sea-worthy and river-dwelling animals. is a U-pick of favorites too. With one annual price covering the entire family, and over 400 courses to choose from, it can be a homeschooling family's best friend.

If one child wants to study knights and castles while the other one wants to learn about Ancient Egypt for history, SchoolhouseTeachers has you covered.

Does your daughter want to get right into creating art with lessons from Art Achieve, but your son wants to learn more of the history of art and study the Italian Renaissance? Both of those options can be found on SchoolhouseTeachers!

As the mom and dad are you looking for some encouragement or help with record keeping? Then check out the Just for Parents section. You can find Bible studies for parents, schedule building help, record keeping forms, encouragement and help for planning dinners, cleaning your home, or organizing your small farm. There is also a private members-only forum where parents can chat, ask questions, ask for help, and be reminded that they are not alone in their home education journey.

We used SchoolhouseTeachers for a lot of electives when our girls were homeschooling high school. We also used it for a few core classes. During the month of August, you can pay for one year and get the second year free. That's $169 for two years of fantastic resources for your family. Use the code SHARK when you visit and save!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Indiana State Fair begins Friday!

In just two more days, Governor Eric Holcomb will kick off the 2019 Indiana State Fair. It will be 17 days of the best of the best of the state, with animals, plants, midway rides, fair food, tractor contests, bands, a daily parade and more adventures and exhibits than you can shake a stick at! LOL!

Once again I'll be spending extra time at the fair covering stories about local 4-H members and their families at the fair.  I've enjoyed going to the fair each and every year, but this chance to see the fair from a new perspective of two has given me a better appreciation for the vast diversity of adventures waiting to happen.

I'll be real honest here, you probably won't find much here on the blog during the next two or three weeks, but you can see some of the sights of The Great Indiana State Fair by following along on Instagram. Check out the state fair's webpage for details about discount days and the schedule of events. I hope to see many of you at the fair.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

On Nature - also known as: What I do in my free time

You know that sometimes awkward minute when someone new is introduced to you and they ask you what you do? How do you respond? Do you tell them about your job, or your hobbies? Do you keep it brief, or are you one of those people who kind of wander around until you get to the point?

For me, it has been a challenge sometimes to know how to answer.

I'm a writer.

But I'm also a mom, a wife, and I work at Conner Prairie.

So my answer often depends on who is introducing me to them. If we are in a casual group, I usually say that I work at Conner Prairie. Then, if they live in the state, they probably have a memory of the last time they visited, or they ask me more about it because they've been thinking about visiting.

When I'm introduced in a business setting, I often respond that I am a writer. If they ask what I write, which people frequently do, I tell them the I am a monthly columnist for our local newspaper. If I am out of state I usually respond that I am a travel writer. I tend to keep it short, and then inquire about what they enjoy doing.

Even if no one read it, I would keep on writing. It has become a core part of who I am, this process of putting words and thoughts down on paper. Even if you don't see much going on here on the blog, know that I am still writing something, somewhere, for someone to read.

Do I have free time? Yes, and no. There is rarely a time when I am not thinking about what I might or will write next. When I take a walk through nature, either in the forest or during my lunch break at Conner Prairie, I am often ruminating on ideas for new writing pieces.

I prefer pen and paper when I write, much prefer it to typing my first draft. It feeds the creative bent inside of me to see words flow across a clean piece of paper.

So in my free time, such as it is, I write. Today I typed my next newspaper column right after lunch and submitted it just before I began a phone interview for another article I am working on. A day off from my job at Conner Prairie is often spent working on my own writing. This time by myself fuels my passion for words.

I realized that many of you are not local and might never have read one of my newspaper columns, so I am including links below to the most recent two so you can see how I spend part of my writing time. 

Please leave a comment and tell me how you spend your free time. 

It's good to have hobbies, sometimes they become passions, and then you pick up a new drop spindling. :)