Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
March 31st, 2008
Snap Crackle Pop

Gmail is funny because along the top and side bar of the program it gives a constant stream of links, which pop up with personalized ads tailored especially for me.  I don’t know how they do it, exactly, but somehow they scan the content of my emails and then pull up correlating ads that should be of great interest.  This morning I was presented with an ad for spam breakfast burritos.  If it wasn’t so funny I might have been insulted.  What sort of content did they find in my emails to match me up with spam breakfast products?  Good heavens. 

So anyways, I had a very excellent weekend.  It started on Tuesday or Wednesday when I got an email from a lady who said, “Hey, I read your  blog and I’m coming thru east TN and I’ll meet you at your most excellent church”    And, sure enough, they were there on Sunday — and this lady is *funny*; she made me literally laugh my head off.  I was bummed that I did not have the foresight to invite her and her family to sleep over on Sat night.  But she’s coming back in July so I am going to absolutely force her to spend at least one entire day with me.  I love meeting fellow bloggers, and I’ve made a lot of neato friends who have emailed out of the blue when they’ve been traveling thru my neck of the woods.  I *love* that!  

In other news, look at what the cat dragged out of the pond.  Two mammoth snapping turtles.  Aren’t they ENORMOUS? 

 They are boy and girl turtles, and we know this because when Emmiko caught them they were, um, well, I guess they were waltzing.  Anyhow, we’re pretty sure they’ve been eating our ducks. Perhaps we’ll wrap them up nice and cozy and bring them to the Knoxville Zoo, because, as you know, there is certainly nobody in my family who would consider killing any critter that may or may not be on the overwhelmingly long list of federally protected nuisances that wreak havoc on a small farm.  And if chicken hawks and snapping turtles want to eat our poultry, by all means, who are we to stand in their way?  So, yeah, don’t even consider the idea that Emmiko de-shelled them and cut out the meat to make turtle soup.  Nope, not us, no-way, sister.  We’re all about peace, man.  Turtles have rights, too, you know.

March 31st, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

March 28th, 2008
A Dippy Post

My son, Dip, asked his dad (right as he was leaving for work) if he could have the rest of the coffee in the pot, and, being the nicest dad in the world, Geoff told him, “why, sure!” I, clueless, came in minutes later and ended up making some modifications.   I said, “Boy… what in the WORLD are you doing with that coffee pot” and he says, “Dad said I could have the rest of it!” grin grin google eyes.  So, being the clever diabolical mother that I am, I told him, “Well, naturally if dad said you can have it, then you can…  BUT you can only have it without sugar or creamer.  You’ll have to drink it black, son, like a man”  My seven year old was undaunted and poured himself a hot piping cup… and then drank the entire thing.  About twenty minutes later he completed his 47th lap around the living room.  I should have packed him up and sent him to work with Geoff.  That boy is already too hyper as it is.

And still speaking of Dip… you just gotta love this kid.  He was so proud of himself because he wrote a letter to his Grandpa in AK.  He wrote the first part all by himself, then he had Ryann write out a sentence for him, and then he flipped the bible open and randomly copied a verse.  The boy can’t read yet, so he had no idea what the bible verse was.  Here is the entirety of his letter word for word: 

Dear Grand, I love you our goats are pregnant Willow had two goats which both belong to Emmiko Says the Lord God of hosts.  Love Dip 

Me and Coie have now begun randomly ending sentences with that.  “My library books are overdue Says the Lord God of hosts”   

Lastly, we got our Rosetta Stone Homeschool Convention schedule.  BUMMER that we don’t get to go to CA, and bummer that we don’t get to go to CHAP or the convention in CO (we really wanted to go to CO).  But, we really cannot complain because we landed some pretty awesome shows.  Here is our schedule… and if it one of *yours* you MUST come and visit us and hang out with us after the show. 

Duluth MN MACHE  4/1819

Worcester MA MASSHope 4/25-26

Orlando FL FPEA 5/22-24  (WHHOOOOO HOOOOO! I *love* this convention and the bloggers who show up here!!)

Naperville IL ICHE 6/5-7

Columbus OH CHEO 6/26-28

We are SUPER excited!

Lastly x’s 2, my odd son had his odd friend spend the night last night.  I like this kid a ton – I have never met a 12 year old quite like him.  Last night they slept in the tent, caught fish from the pond and cooked it over an Indian fire that they built, and then they caught a frog to roast and eat (UGHH!) and this morning I’ve been informed they’re preparing frozen chicken to roast over the fire for their breakfast.  I just don’t think that’s very normal, but I guess I’m ok with it.  Those sorts of survival skills may be handy some day. But I will most certainly put my foot down if I see them securing James to a rotisserie.

March 28th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments


Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Rosetta Stone contest.  You guys are swell;  that was great fun.  I copied and pasted all the links into a spreadsheet and then numbered them, and then filled in a graph paper with all the numbers and then cut those little squares up individually and dropped them into a hat – well, actually it was one of my plastic kitchen bowls, but a big black top hat is a delightfully superior visual.  So anyways, I dropped all of those numbers into the hat and Coie closed her eyes and swished them around and pulled out number 174… which happens to be Gabalot’s blog.  Hip Hip Hooray for Gabalot!  You are one lucky duck.  And I’m one lucky duck, too.  I really enjoyed going thru all of those links —  I found some *really* neat-o new blogs that I plan to visit again.  

So it’s been a while since I posted, and boy oh boy did lots of stuff happen over this last week.  First and most importantly, me and ryann single handedly painted our nasty, gummed up, murky living room walls.  It looks marvelously magnificent.  Very bright and shiny.

But the super *fun* news is that on Friday I went out to check on the poor uber-pregnant goats and I found two little babies wobbling around in the hay.  Actually, one of them wasn’t wobbling.  It was just laying there looking half dead.  Those little fellas had *just* popped out.  So I went bellowing, kicking, tripping, and flailing back to the house (picture Jerry Lewis running in a skirt) and summoned Geoff the Great — who was in his car about to pull out of the driveway – who came running back with me.  Within minutes, both little babies were bumbling about there mother happy and healthy as could be.

Meet Birthday.  Isn’t she pretty?  I named her Birthday on Friday, but by last night I was outnumbered and everyone voted to change her name to Kimono.  She really is a pretty goat.  All black, very asian looking (can goats look Asian?), and with one stark white boot on her front leg that goes up to her knee.  Here she is with Dippy.

And this is her brother, Good Friday.  I thought he was a girl for about four hours, but then Coie came home from work and straightened me out.  I don’t know how she figured it out, and frankly, I don’t want to.  I think this goat is ugly and I won’t mind if we end up eating it.  Although I do have to admit, I think it’s less ugly now that I know he’s a boy.

And then yesterday, Coie’s one year old doe, Gee, went into labor.  Bobo saw her and came shrieking into the house, so me, Emmiko and Dippy went chasing after him (Coie was at Home Depot at the time).  And it was *scary*.  Gee is a little dwarf goat and her baby was full size.  It would NOT come out – it was fully stuck and poor Gee was thrashing her head all about and having a total cow… or something to that effect.  So my 11 year old son, Bo, grabbed hold of the baby’s feet and yanked that puppy right out.  It was HUGE.  I think he very well may have saved both goats’ lives.  He’s a doctor in the making.  I was intensely proud.  But jiminy crickets, that poor little Gee!  Her kid came out and was nearly as big as she is.  I bet that was far more information than you wanted or needed.  Coie named it Jovial.  Its father is 3/4th skunk.

Lastly, and this is skipping backwards to Sunday, Bobo had a brilliant birthday on Easter.  Some of you might remember that about three months ago I got him the full set of his favorite books, The Kingdom Series (it’s that graphic right there to the left in my side bar).  And, also, the author, Chuck Black, sent the books personally AND signed each and every one of the six books with a special birthday message.  Is that not the coolest thing ever???  My son nearly went into a coma.  We also got the soundtrack that accompanies the books.  I am not exaggerating when I say we’ve been playing that cd non-stop.  It is sort of a mix between the music from Emma, Lord of the Rings, and … and I don’t know what else.  If you’ve ever seen the Truman Show, it has elements that also remind me of that.  It’s completely original, entirely enchanting and altogether addicting.  It makes me want to skip around in a meadow outside of a shire filled with thatched roof houses in 1500’s England.  It really is lovely.

Anyways, I told you it was an eventful week!

Love Jen 

PS Thanks SO MUCH to Rosetta Stone for letting me host such a superbly fine contest.  Also, when you decide to purchase Rosetta Stone for your language course, please come here and buy it thru me!  I should have an affiliate link up soon.

PPS Not one of our 40 little chicks hatched out of their eggs.  They all died.  We haven’t figured it out yet.  Maybe embryonic bird flu? 

PPPS Do you like the new look of my blog?  Coie made it for me.  And see that picture up at the top?  Guess what that Japanese writing says?  It says Igarashi.  Pretty cool, eh?  I love it

March 26th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 25 Comments

The winner for this contest has been chosen.  Thanks for participating!

Coie and I are going to rep for Rosetta Stone at homeschool conventions this season, right? AND lucky for us, we are also getting a language program (Spanish) for our whole family to go thru.  They are launching an *all new* program on March 24 and hooooooo boy is it ever a humdinger! The new curriculum will be available in three levels for each of the 14 languages released.  This is not just the same Rosetta Stone program redone, it’s an all new curriculum.  And hip hip hooray, Ryann is now covered for her High School foreign language requirement! yippppeeee!

Ok… but here is the cool part. Being naturally prone to ask for free stuff, I said, “Um… hey, how about you guys let one of my fellow bloggers win something… ?”  So without batting an eyelash they said, “Sure, we’ll give the winner the ALL NEW Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, FREE”  I’m telling you,  I *love* those guys!  So, without further ado, here’s the contest:

Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE! 

This is a $219 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.

This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program.  Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking.  Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they’re included!  For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports. 


To win this most excellent program — in the language of your choice — copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post — then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE:  and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it.  And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it.  And good luck!  The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg.   And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win.   Yay for free stuff!

March 19th, 2008 - Posted in conventions | | 367 Comments


Every time the weather changes, without fail, I come down with something.  And I don’t know what I got this time, but I literally slept *all* weekend.  From Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon – and then Sunday evening I went back to bed and still slept pretty hard.  I feel pretty normal now, but wow was that ever weird.  I didn’t mind it, much, because I love to sleep.  And I had some of the *weirdest* dreams ever.  Don’t worry, I shall spare you.

In other news, last Thursday I attempted corn beef and cabbage, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, by the way.  I don’t know what I did wrong, but YUCK.  Last year we went to our friend’s house and they served it, and I loved it — it was the first time I’d ever had it. And then all year long I couldn’t wait for March to roll around so I could have it again… but nope, I did something *way* wrong.  I guess I’ll just stick with cabbage and spicy polish sausage.  Either that, or I’ll make sure to get another invite from friends who know what they’re doing.

And in otherly news… well, actually, I don’t suppose I have much other news.  I’ve been sleeping for the last 86 hours.  But I am glad to say that some of my seedlings are coming up in the little Dixie cups I planted them in, but sadly I don’t know what they are anymore because all the ink washed off the cups after I watered them, thus rendering them label-less. I guess we’ll figure it out when/if vegetables ever show up. 

Goat Update: no new babies

Chicken update: 40 (or so) new baby chickapeepers due this Sunday – which, incidentally is Bo’s 11th birthday.


March 17th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

March 11th, 2008
Your Title Here

Yesterday I was minding my own business and all of a sudden, Coie presented me with this beautiful library book bag:


That girl is a fast seamstress. She zipped it all together within an hour or two. Isn’t it beautiful?  I just love it.  It is always hard for me to get my mountain of books home on library day, and so she thunk that bag up for me.

Speaking of the library, the last time I was there I found a book by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  How’s that for name?  I had read his book, Crime and Punishment, about five years ago.  I can’t remember what it was about but I know I found it fascinating and I did not want Coie to read it (at the time, she was 14 or so) because it was sort of dark and relatively morbid.  Anyhow, this new book I picked up is called, The Idiot.  I couldn’t pass that one up.  It was written in 1850 somethin’.  I haven’t gotten far, but I like already.  You have to admit, that’s about the greatest title ever for a book.

In other news… no baby goats yet, but they have to be here soon.  It is funny watching those poor mamas lug their huge bellies around the barn.  I can’t wait to get milk again.  Happy Sigh.  I love it out here.  Ok, I gotta go clean my house before Kris gets here. 

Oh yeah, before I go… does anybody know of an accredited online college that specializes in Natural Medicine / Alternative Health stuff?  Coie is determined to get a Bachelors degree since homeschooling may become more challenging in the future.  Having a college degree could come in quite handy.  She wants to get a degree in natural medicine, but there is some pretty funky stuff out there in that particular field.  Any ideas? 

March 11th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

March 7th, 2008
Naming Coie's Kids


Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything goes… right?  Yep, they’re rare, but this was one of them.  Or maybe it’s just something about Spring that makes the pleasant seem perfect.

First, though, check this out:


The other day my artistic daughter, Emmiko, told me that she was going outside to make a home made fishing pole.  I nodded and smiled dutifully and she pattered away. The next day, she announced that she had caught a fish with said home made fishing pole.  That kid never ceases to astound me.

Ok, now on to all of the fun news.  First of all, my dad cemented his travel plans and will be here the third week of June.  We are *so* excited.  This will be the first time he has met any of my children in person.  And they are all in an uproar.  They are practicing songs, making up skits, polishing up their gymnastic tricks, etc all with grand ideas of keeping him completely entertained for the three or four nights he’ll be staying with us.  Poor guy.  Dad, if you’re reading this… be prepared for a great lack of sleep.  Hopefully all 25+ years of that military training will kick in and sustain you through a constant stream of heavy juvenile bombardment. Heh heh.

The second fun news is that yesterday I spoke with Rosetta Stone again.  It looks like things are moving forward for me and Coie to do homeschool shows this season.  They have two teams of reps who cover the ‘main’ shows, and we’d be one of them.  I am really excited about this.  They are an excellent company and the top language company out there – so it will be fun and easy to represent them.  The first show we may do is in MN (April 18/19). Some of their other shows are in CA, TX, IN, IL, PA, FL, VA, MS – we won’t do all of them (they are split between the two teams).  I will list the ones we get set up for and you will HAVE to come and see us if we are in your area!  There is nothing funner than meeting fellow bloggers.

The third fun news is that Coie figured out that at least four of her goats will have goat babies soon (at first she thought only two were pregnant).  This morning, Coie and Ryann and I spent a large amount of time coming up with goat baby names… which, incidentally, is almost as fun as coming up with human baby names.  We figure we may have as many as 10 babies since goats are known to have twins and triplets.  Here’s what we’ve come up with so far: Disco, Jovial, Willikers, Kiwi, Periwinkle, Sundae, Cranberry and Kimono. 

Fun, no?  Unfortunately, the conversation then morphed into naming Coie’s future human children.  And that was only fun until it suddenly hit me that if she is having real children then that means she is married and not living in my house anymore.  So that lost its charm pretty quick.

Lastly, my sister got called in, and selected, to sit in on a jury.  I don’t know about you, but that actually sounds like great fun to me.  It would be neat to be a part of something so important.  She said she’s already learned a ton about the judicial system. 

March 7th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

March 3rd, 2008
My Career As a Rocker


It’s that time of year again…

Plus I’ve started getting my garden square ready.  This year I am going to put down a rock border around the outside.  This will hopefully keep down weeds, plus it will look pretty and the squash can grow on it without getting too damp (or moldy) if the weather is wet.  I got that idea from the brilliant and beautiful Julie Austin.  Smart, eh?  So anyways, to create the border, I’ve been searching and digging up rocks over our property.  There is something very calming and satisfying about digging rocks.  I wonder if potato farmers have that same sense of bliss.  And the really fun part is when you find the tip of a rock and there is no telling how big it is… so you start carving it out and it’s always a surprise.  The monster rocks are highly gratifying finds.  Dippy has been my rocker buddy.  We’ve already got two big sized piles.  I think I would have enjoyed working in a quarry like Fred and Barney used to do. 

And, our hens finally started laying again, and they have been making up for lost time.  We have a fridge full of fresh farm eggs, plus we started about forty eggs in the incubator.  They are due to hatch over Easter weekend: isn’t that fun?  I am feeling like a true homesteady farm girl again…

Lastly, can you guess what this is all about?   

The other day James snuck into the living room and tip-toed around in this get-up.  It took a little bit to figure out what he was doing.  He would reach over his shoulder, pull out a colored pencil (held in a little mason jar tucked into his shirt) and then hold up the plastic arch and then cry, “zaaaaaaahhhhhhPING!” while flinging the pencil across the room.  He eventually let us know he was an Indian and he was shooting all the bears with his bow and arrows; and I for one was mighty grateful because we’ve had an over abundance of invisible Inside Bears wreaking havoc around the house this month.

Lastly last, I like my kid. Her last post was rather inspiring.

March 3rd, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments