Archive for the ‘phone book & operator’ Category

Who’d’ve thought…  little boys’ dreams do come true.  A wood crawling with raccoon, a trap, and a .22 rifle now mean more than defending our chickens—now it means extra pocket money to our little guys.  We met a fur trader this week who bought Josiah’s raccoon from him.  He told us that whereas 90% of fur sales used to be to the United States and Canada, that the booming economies of China and Russia now take 80% of the fur market. The raccoon pelts are prepared and sold, most of them becoming the warm interior lining of heavy winter coats.  Though it depends on the quality and size of the animal fur, our little trappers can get $2.00-$5.00 per unskinned raccoon (merely bagged and frozen) and over twice that for those properly skinned and tanned. Raccoon can be trapped and killed all year long, but only from mid-November through the end of February can they be sold to fur traders.  Besides that, during the summer the raccoon furs tend to be shaggier and less desirable, particularly those of the reproducing females.

While I am entirely meeting the stereotypes of a Tennessean,  I may as well mention the following: those interested in free venison can request that Parks and Services put them on a contact list to be notified when deer are run over.  Yes.  Laugh.  It’s the outworking of our infamous Road Kill Law that now makes it legal to eat road kill. It’s not as completely archaic as it sounds.  Previously, if you ran into a deer and you wanted the venison, it was tough luck for both you and the deer.  Now, you can fill your freezer with venison, a consolation prize for a dented vehicle.  The unclaimed kills are distributed to those on the road kill contact list via Parks and Services (not in meat packaging, mind you, so be prepared).   While we have eaten venison before (and it was delicious), we haven’t tried road kill yet.  But how nice, though, that if we wanted to, we could.


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We haven’t been to an amusement park with the boys yet.  But, I think that’s about to change (:.  A friend sent me this information and link the other day and some of you guys may want to check this out.  Students (and teachers) can earn free admission to Six Flags by reading if you’re within a 250 mi radius of a Six Flags Theme Park as we are in Knoxville.  Home schoolers are welcomed as well.  I believe the registration ends in March.  Registration and details through this link:


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A   S I D E   N O T E   (S P I E L)   O N   S I G N   L A N G U A G E

We’ve combined sign language with many other memorization activities around here and have found that it makes a lot of memory work fun and easier.  Sign language has all sorts of complexities, theories, approaches, dialects, and styles, and I  haven’t fussed to delve into these myself since I’m not making a career of it.  Most of the words that we use are obtained from my book, Sign Language Made Simple, which as a matter of nostalgia, was the first book I ever purchased full price from a book store. (Thanks for the birthday ’89 money, grandma.) When this book didn’t have a sign I needed, we went to a second book, The Joy of Signing or this really helpful link that will take you to a digital ASL dictionary that might be everything you need if you want to add sign language to some scripture, song, or poem of your own:




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Regarding a question about the source for handbells:

We asked for those bells for a Christmas present in years past.    My mom ordered them from Rainbow Resource Online.  The brand looks to be “Rhythm Band Instruments” but it also says “Kid’s Play” .  Because the range would be too limited otherwise, we bought three sets:  The  8 Note Handbell Set, The Chromatic Add-On (5 bells more), The Extended Range (7 more bells).   With all three sets we have twenty bells, and our range begins at the A below “Middle C” and includes all sharps and flats.  I was impressed with the tone quality, considering it’s a mere child’s instrument.  I did not research other handbell sets, so I’m not sure how they compare in quality and durability, but our Low A# has been dropped (and not terribly roughly) recently and the fall fractured the plastic where the handle attaches to the bell.  It looks like it can be fixed with an epoxy, but I was a little bummed at that.  The clapper (the thing hanging in the bell that rings against the side) is attached by a spring coil inside the bell and it looks so enticingly springy and therefore vulnerable to being pulled out of shape by small children.


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