Doing a little today ...
Homeschooling: It's only Natural!

Our Martinmas Day

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And what a wonderful day this was, my friends! A "finally" Friday, a national holiday, as well as a special day on the Catholic calendar ... and the weather was absolutely glorious! Bright sunlight slipped in and out between billowing gray clouds ... the sky was vivid blue ...  and the air was nippy and brisk. A perfect day to enjoy the late autumn landscape, as well as the comforts of home. :)

And speaking of home ... I was all the more glad I had taken those little "do-ahead" steps yesterday - because bright and early Bill started tearing up the dining room floor! 

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My goodness, the house was chaos for most of the day! So needless to say we went even further off-track today ... but did I still get those cookies baked? Check. And did we still get that little lantern in our window (and for a time, in our tree?)? Double check!

So first let me tell you about our little lantern, because it was so last-minute, and so super-easy, and lanterns are fun for all kinds of special days through the year!

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(Archie, always eager to help ...)

Now, originally I planned to make watercolor paintings this week with Earlybird and those paintings were going to be the base for not only our Martinmas lanterns but for some Thanksgiving post cards as well. Alas, illness hit the household and original plans went awry.

So here's what I came up with instead:

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I was poking around downstairs and found an old jam jar that already had colorful star stickers all over it (I think this was from Epiphany last year).

We wrapped it with a bit of tissue paper ...

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... taped it securely at the seam and on the bottom ...

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... and then tied some twine around the top to serve as a handle.

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And we were done!

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While Bill kept working, we whipped up some Martinmas "horseshoe" cookies in the kitchen. (Remember I had all the fixings set out on the counter?) Here's my Crackerjack rolling out the dough (with a rolling pin that obviously had not been floured, lol). Bookworm is in the background reading his latest English assignment.

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The cookies went into the oven ...

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... and while they baked, I took a little stroll around the yard with my camera. Things are fading fast, but there is still much autumn "punch" in the garden ...

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And 20 minutes later the cookies were done!

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These are very simple cookies - a buttery, oat shortbread that tastes wonderful with a cup of tea or a tall glass of milk. And the horseshoe shape is a symbol St. Martin. As the legend is told, one night Martin, riding upon his white horse, came across a beggar on the side of the road. A young man of the military, he used his sword to split his warm cloak in two and gave half to the beggar ... later that night he dreamed of Jesus, and he was wearing that very same mantle. 

A lovely tale of generosity and kindness ... perfect for this time of year. :)

Now, nothing aids cookie digestion better than a dose of fresh air! So the boys and I headed outside. Earlybird carried the lantern out with us, intent on hanging it in a tree.

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Then the boys all took their swords to recently felled branches.

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I don't know what the premise of this was - perhaps there was no premise, lol. Just boys being boys!

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So while they did their boy stuff, I went over to the feeders and was met with a pleasant surprise:

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The little red squirrel, munching away in the tray feeder. :)

(Back inside, the cats were taking violent offense to the squirrels.)

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Speaking of the cats (and random wild animals), they had to get their rabies shots this afternoon. They were both very well behaved, I'm happy to report. But between all the noisy floor work and the trip to the vets, they're a little jumpy this evening!

But it's such a beautiful evening ...

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And our humble little lantern sure looks pretty shining beside the dark window!

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"There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle." ~ Robert Alden

Well, my friends, I am now going to wrap up, since I've kept you so long and I'm sure you all have things to do. ;) I hope you all had a nice day, and I wish you all a happy and safe weekend ...

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ I'll see you all again very soon!

:)

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