Karate, curry, and hunting for Neptune (maybe)

We are finally back into our “normal” routine. For most of the time we’ve lived in Florida, Elise has done two extracurricular activities: hunter-jumper horseback riding (with endless riding camps) and piano. About a month ago, she asked us if she could quit piano (or at least put it on hold) to take up karate.

In the past, we have not been too worried when she quit activities. However, analytical as she is, she is good at playing the piano and picking up music theory. It seemed like a shame to let her drop piano. It was not difficult to sympathize with her reasons for quitting though… She wanted an activity that involved being around other children. Playing piano was a lonely activity. So we let her pick up karate. Behold the cuteness.

Now that she’s doing it, I am so glad that she convinced us to study karate. Florida being Florida, we are surrounded by folks from all over the world, particularly the Caribbean, South America, Italy, and Portugal. It is such a cool experience for a young child to meet people from so many different backgrounds. Her karate sensei moved here several years ago from Peru. Never in a million years would I have thought someone from Peru would be teaching our child Japanese terms. But here we are. There are a ton of other homeschoolers in her class too, which is fantastic.

Per Elise’s request, we’ve spent most of this week working on history and Latin. We’ve been reading about the Crusades, Genghis Khan (who horrified Elise), and the Jewish diaspora. I’m honestly a little shocked by how much Latin vocabulary and Latin derivatives she’s picked up from Classical Academic Press and Royal Fireworks Press materials. And she’s naturally working Latin words and phrases into ordinary conversation.

We took an hour to get out to one of the zillion playgrounds in our town. This is my favorite, where the playground was built under a canopy of live oaks filled with tons of spooky Spanish moss. The whole playground is in the shade, which is a gift in the land of eternal summer. I’ve been working my way through George Will’s excellent new book (500 pages of political philosophy and history, yay). Under the trees, with a breeze, watching the neighborhood children play… heavenly.

How many kids can you fit onto one swing? The answer, according to Elise and her friends, is four. Eventually, I got up to push them because they were getting a little kamikaze about someone getting the group moving and then jumping on.

Tonight’s project involves breaking apart our beast of a telescope and cleaning the mirrors and other optical components. I’ve been lazy and it has been sitting the garage without its shroud, which is not good for keeping dust away.

Tonight will be a good night for stargazing, if we can pull it off. Hurricane Dorian pulled all the clouds and moisture out of the region, so we’ve had days of clear night skies during a season when no such thing usually happens. (Usually, I save the telescope for “winter,” when the skies are clear and astronomical darkness occurs a bit earlier.) And Neptune is in opposition, which means we can get the best possible view if we can stay up past midnight.

That’s another bonus to homeschooling. If you want to stay up past midnight looking at distant planets on a school night, you can. It’s no one’s business if your kid sleeps in.

Being back by the ocean means being back by our favorite Thai restaurant (Thai by Thai) and towers of tuna and salmon that tastes like a pat of butter melting in your mouth.

And eel, Elise’s favorite. (Fun story: One time, Rodney and I tried ordering eel from our local fishmonger because we loved it so much. We did not understand how much we were ordering, and ended up with a freezer full of boxes and boxes and boxes of eel. We ate eel for so long. I am glad that Elise loves eel so much, but I think we have had enough for a lifetime.)

And a beautiful lamb curry with fresh scallops thrown in, because why not.

Rodney also spent yesterday slow-cooking pork for some Carolina barbecue. We’ve been eating seriously well lately. Have I mentioned today how much I love living in the South?

4 thoughts on “Karate, curry, and hunting for Neptune (maybe)

  1. I’m disappointed that Elise quit piano. Music is so good for developing the mind, not that I disapprove of karate. She’s so bright, maybe you can squeeze in some music into her schedule. I have a suggestion. Play duets with her, or arrange for her to play with a student violinist or cellist, ideally a classmate, then on to youth orchestra. On another subject, I’d like your OK to post your “rant” , actually perfectly rational, on the wealth tax on my Fasciztbook page. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I know. I had a hard time with it. I think I might try to persuade her to return to music down the line. We went through two piano teachers in the past year, and the last one was not great. I’m treating it more like a break from weekly piano lessons than a permanent shift.

      You can post anything I write on FB. I only left social media for my peace of mind. (What’s left of it, anyway.)


      1. Thanks for the permission. Enjoying reading the vignettes of life in Florida. San Diego is also warm, but drier.
        The ocean is cooler, creates a different climate.

        Liked by 1 person

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