On rationing… plus a STEM project

Today’s Weather:  High of 53.  Low of 22.  As far as our kids were concerned, this afternoon was sunny barefoot weather.


Today On The Ranch:  Beau headed to Horse Camp first thing and helped Brian to vaccinate his horses.  Beau then filled his cake feeder with cake out of Brian’s cake tower.  We’re getting toward the end of feeding season here on the PV and it’s important to make sure all the stashes of cake scattered around the ranch get used up; usually if cake is left in a cake tower like this one…


… for several months, like over the summer, it ends up getting wet and moldy and it can be hard to get it out of there come next feeding season.

After filling with cake at Horse Camp, Beau tried to cut across country to feed cows at The Creek Place, but the roads were so muddy (from snow melt and the escaping frost) that he had to turn back.



What’s Inspiring Me Today:  In light of the Coronavirus situation, I’m feeling inspired to ration.  We come from a land of plenty here, and we’ve taken that for granted for so long that we and our kids now know nothing different than being full as ticks.  So I wonder…

Even if nothing about our American lifestyle has to change in the long run, I see this health scare as an opportunity to practice some common-sense rationing in our home.  Under recommendation from the government we’re all already abstaining from most social interaction.  Why not take the abstention a step (or four) further?

1.Our job is not threatened by this pandemic like other jobs are, so this seems like a great time for us to hunker down and get serious about saving.

2.And what about making more consistent efforts to educate the kids about laundry?  (Unchecked, the girls throw about four outfits a piece in the laundry pile each day.  I think it’s time to start wearing it again tomorrow if it’s not smelly or visibly dirty tonight.)

3.And what about toilet paper?  Our friend Mel, who is near 80, remembers that as a boy he was limited to one square per outhouse visit.  Our kids, on the other hand, are wont to plug the toilet with their excess paper usage.

4.And food, too.  I’ve never been good at limiting myself on food, and I’ve not done well teaching our kids to limit.  We’re all pretty used to eating as much as we want whenever we want, and I know that’s not the best approach.  I want our kids to enjoy food, you bet, but also to understand that food is fuel and treats are treats and enough is enough.  Our family’s goal is to make it several weeks on the groceries we have on hand, in an effort to limit our social interaction, and so what better time to start saying, “Nope, two cookies is enough for today”?



Today’s Best Picture:  In educational talk these days, STEM is the trend.  (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math.)  Toys and curriculums and programs abound which promote STEM learning.  But here’s what STEM looks like at the PV:  our kids + the neighbor kids + a pile of odd pieces of board + a shovel = cheap, engaging for hours, and self-taught.


© Tami Blake

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