Tag Archives: reviews

Pompeii

 pompeii
The 2014 movie Pompeii is great historical fiction. I have found movies to be a great tool to use in the homeschool. Especially historical fiction.

Pompeii got the boy and me (and his older brother!) discussing the AD79 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. We talked about how volcanoes work. We discussed other events of the era. The persecution of the early Christians. The historian Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the event from his Uncle Pliny the Elder’s villa across the Bay of Naples.

The boys, of course, were fascinated by the whole gladiator thing. I love to scrutinize the costumes and settings. And so many ways to die as a volcano erupts. Even though we knew the real ending, we couldn’t help but hope for survivors.

Despite the goofs in period accuracy and geography, we enjoyed Pompeii. It made for good discussion and fun escape.

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Jackson Stables Trail Ride, Estes, CO

trail ride

Trail rides are a great way to enjoy horseback riding. Especially if you don’t have time, money or facilities to own your own horse. Well kept grounds and large paddocks characterize Jackson Stables. Uniquely located in the YMCA camp complex in Estes Park, CO and right outside Rocky Mountain National Park, it is an ideal spot to begin a trail ride. Confident, well-trained guides pair visitors with well groomed, stout and healthy looking horses. Each with a unique personality and good temperament.

Our guide, Liz, was a friend of my daughter from college, who was working at the stables for the summer. Guests can ride, rain or shine. As a matter of fact, guides are trained to deal with the frequent summer storms. Additionally, horses carry rain slickers for guests. Moreover, several areas are earmarked for waiting out inclement weather. Apparently, the horses are used to such situations. Liz told us that they rarely have a problem during the storms.

My daughter’s ride was Otis, a stunning black and white paint, for the more experienced rider. Not only do horses pick up on nervousness and inexperience but some will also see how much they can get away with. Of course, Otis picked up on her confidence and performed flawlessly.

Likewise, Yak drew Dallas, a slow, deliberate buckskin. His only mischief was grabbing mouthfuls of the tall grass growing alongside the trail.

In contrast, my mount was John. John was in much more of a hurry than anyone else. Apparently, our trail ride interrupted his break. While the first half of the trail was fine, John seemed to sense when I got tired. As a result, he decided to have a little fun with me. Almost before my legs got tired of holding on, seems like his trot became more like a bouncy room. With no padding. After a few trots, John and I came to a compromise and I was able to survive the rest of the ride. I definitely need to ride more often.

For the most part we enjoyed  partial cloud cover and temps in the mid-seventies. The trail through Rocky Mountain National Park winds through pine and aspen groves, past streams and waterfalls and along some spectacular view points.

Although Jackson Stables is located in the YMCA camp, YMCA membership is not necessary to use the facilities. The 2-hour ride is $55 per person. They accept credit cards. Tip the guide with cash.

Jackson Stables, Inc.
YMCA of the Rockies Livery
Allen and Julie Jackson, Owners
PO Box 20549
Estes Park, CO 80511

SUMMER PHONE:
(970) 586-3341,
ext. 1140/1149

WINTER PHONE:
(970) 586-6748
(Nov.1 – March 3)

FAX:
(970) 577-1401

EMAIL:
info@JacksonStables.com

 

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Wild Fermentation

cover_wildfermentation

Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz

I love to preserve my homegrown bounty and I have also wondered how it was done before the advent of water bath and pressure canning in the 1800’s. Certainly people preserved foods long before rubber canning seals were invented. Sandor Katz digs deep into ancient preservation methods – primarily fermenting, and provides answers and most importantly, methods for this nutritious way of preserving.

From sauerkraut to sourdough, beer to yogurt, the history, culture that invented it and method of each type of ferment is explored. Katz supplies many anecdotes, both from his own family history and from the groups he studied to illustrate the fermenting process and even the enjoyment of the finished product. Some methods are complicated at best, but most ferments are surprisingly simple and Katz shares many recipes for fermenting and enjoying veggies, dairy, grains, and of course, beer and wine.

Health benefits of fermented foods are also explained and given new value. Dozens of recipes include: basic brining, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, farmer’s cheese and sourdough starter. Anyone looking for new/old ways to preserve food, while retaining as much of the nutrients as possible and making it more easily digestible, will find this book most informative and entertaining.

published in 2003 by Chelsea Green Publishing
90 recipes
208 pages
$20 www.wildfermentation.com

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Cure Tooth Decay

Product Details

Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel

Dentist Weston A. Price did extensive research on nutritional factors of tooth decay in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Based on his findings, Ramiel Nagel set about healing his 3 year old daughter’s extensive tooth decay and met with great success. In Cure Tooth Decay, Nagel draws upon his family’s experience with the effects of improved nutrition upon their own dental (and physical) health as well as the research of other experts and the experiences of other families.

I have read Dr. Price’s work and appreciate the time and effort that the author has put into interpreting the dietary guidelines for tooth remineralization and stopping decay. I don’t agree with all his conclusions or suggestions, but his findings are interesting. This book helped make it easier for me to incorporate Dr. Price’s diet into my own lifestyle and also gave me new ideas for nutritional healing and reminders – like returning to using the water pik – for dental health.

I highly recommend Cure Tooth Decay to anyone looking for more information on proper nutrition and healthy dietary guidelines. I bought the Kindle version from Amazon.

Published by Create Space for http://www.amazon.com

252 pages

Recipe section

Kindle version $9.97     Paperback $26.97

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Money Secrets of the Amish

money secrets of the amish

Money Secrets of the Amish, by Lorilee Craker is jam-packed with practical, down-to-earth wisdom from the Plain People. Probably most of us want to stop being slaves to money and start living the good life. The Amish have a reputation for living well on less, consequently, it might help to find out how they do it.

A “worldly” woman with a Mennonite background, Lorilee Craker is in a unique position to connect with the Amish. She introduces us to Amish farmers, housewives and church leaders, coaxing their secrets from them while sharing homemade artisan cheese and fresh garden veggies. As a result, she is able to provide insight for us into how this group of people thrives without credit cards, enormous mortgages, or six-figure incomes.

With amusing anecdotes and real-life stories, the author and her friends go from over-extended to simple and satisfied, all while making it look like common sense.

My grandma and mom endured the Great Depression, so my childhood abounded in these tried and true methods of acheiving abundance with very little. These suggestions have also helped me get back on track when I have foolishly overextended myself.

Chapters include:

  • delayed gratification

  • recycling

  • de-spoiling the kids

  • how the best things in life really are free

  • Amish style gift giving

  • what to and not to buy in bulk

  • the next best thing to growing your own food

  • how to barter

Lorilee ends each chapter with her own Amish Money Makeover tips, especially relevant for practical application in a non-Amish life. Money Secrets of the Amish is a great resource, first for rebooting your attitude and outlook on money and possessions. In addition, it provides simple, sensible instructions for putting that reboot into practice. A useful reference for every home library, with links to helpful websites, also.

I bought the Kindle version from Amazon. No compensation was received for this review.

Money Secrets of the Amish, by Lorilee Craker

(c) 2011

Published by Thomas Nelson

242 pages

Available on Amazon $11.34 paperback, $7.99 Kindle

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