Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lifestyle of learning 2015 Edition: Volume Twenty-Two

August 30-September 19

Whew!  What a crazy, fun, full three weeks it has been!

Our community theatre hosted a fundraiser for an Alzheimers foundation.  Maceo performed in the show with his youth performance troupe and...

...with the cast of Shrek (plus some other characters) and...

...with the cast of Grease!

I got to hear him perform the Hand Jive.
It was really fantastic and fun!

The show ended with all performers singing "Seasons of Love"

Some of the cast of Grease filmed a promotional video at an automotive shop.  Maceo was part of this endeavor.  It was a cool experience as filming is a bit different then performing live.  Performing and filming "Greased Lightening" attracted a lot of attention from passersby.  More fun!

Bishop continued with his pottery lessons.  He had the opportunity to work with another potter for one of his lessons and he is beginning to work on different shapes.

Bishop and I attended a 2 1/2 hour presentation on fungus.  We are armed with a significant amount of new information to utilize on any upcoming fall fungus forays.

Bishop and I returned to our volunteer work at the food pantry.

And we returned to history group.  We are using The Story of the World Volume 3 as the spine of our studies.  We covered the first two chapters of the book for our first meeting together.  We attempted to emulate the dikes of Leiden and how the destroying of the dikes helped them defend their country.

The production of Grease that Maceo has been rehearsing for has finally opened.  They have had eight nearly sold out shows over the last two weeks.  It is a dynamic show.  I have loved watching it and am blown away by Maceo's vocals which are very different in this production then in any other that he has done.

Maceo has continued his vocal lessons and has begun taking acting lessons and an improv class.  He has also continued with troupe.  The various youth performance troupes performed for the theatre's guild as a way to express their gratitude for all that the guild does.

One evening while Maceo was performing Bishop and I went to a special birding event.  We joined the Audubon Society on their annual "Swifts and Sundaes" event.
We joined them in counting how many chimney swifts flew into these columns to roost.
We counted about 500 swifts down from about 1800 in 2011 in this location.
Those little blurs in the sky are swifts.  They are crazy little things to observe - flying erratically then just dropping into these columns.
Then we joined them for some frozen custard.

We had a blast and decided to join them the following morning on a birding hike.  We went to the watershed area looking for fall migrating warblers.  Although the others did see warblers, I must confess that I did not.  But it was a beautiful day, a beautiful hike and both Bishop and I did see some really cool stuff.
We saw a green heron, a great crested flycatcher,

a flock of cedar waxwings,

a belted kingfisher,
some yellow billed cuckoos,

a muskrat,
a hairy woodpecker,

and a pair of night herons.
It was a remarkable experience.
As was the master class with Dave Clemmons that Maceo attended.  Maceo sang "Lonely Room" from Oklahoma.  Mr. Clemmons was really enthusiastic about Maceo's vocal abilities and then helped him express a greater range of emotions while performing the song.  I have video which I will try to upload at some point.  It was amazing!

Bishop and I attended a lecture on minerals at the Missouri Institute of Natural Science.  This lecture helps lay the foundation in our studies on geology that we will pursue this year.

Because I have failed to get the kitchen (and my life) in order Bishop has not made progress toward completing his culinary goals for September; however, we still managed a mini culinary adventure.  I ordered him a subscription to Try the World and his first box came in.
The foods within were from Paris and included tea, fig jam and cookies, sauces and a dijon style mustard, the best caramels I have ever eaten (other than Granny's homemade caramels) among other items.

This is going to be fun!

Bishop and I also began a science group in which we will be doing anatomy and physiology.  We had our first meeting.  We began with a body trivia game.  It was great fun and there were so many facts that I was unaware of.

The boys reviewed the anatomy of a cell and the role of each organelle.
They made a model of a cell.  The cell was a sugar cookie and each of the kids selected candies to represent each of the organelles.

After they constructed their cell they had to explain which candies represented which organelles.
It was yummy fun!
We took a lunch break then returned for history group.  Today we covered King James I, the Gunpowder Plot and Jamestown.  We discussed Guy Fawkes, V for Vendetta and anonymous.  We discussed Guy Fawkes as a traitor and/or terrorist and/or fighter against tyranny.  We also discussed how it is celebrated in the UK and enjoyed a traditional spice cake.

Bishop and I enjoyed a field trip to Fantastic Caverns with our nature study group.  This was a bit of a history lesson as well as science.  This cave was discovered by the landowner during the Civil War.  He did not explore it nor did he tell anyone about it for fear that it would be seized by Yankees or Confederates who needed bat guano to make the saltpeter needed for firing their guns.  After the Civil War the owner put an ad in the paper asking if anyone wanted to explore a recently discovered cave.  A group of young women from an athletic club responded and were the first to explore the depths of this cave.  Their names are inscribed on the cavern walls.  Our nature study group hopes to visit caves routinely throughout the year.

Maceo has been engrossed in the reading of Annie Baker's plays and had yet another troupe performance.  His youth performance troupe made their annual showing at Cider Days.  Always a good time!

And finally, while Maceo was performing at the theatre, Bishop and I went to the food truck festival.  We had a good time and enjoyed some really good fried okra and catfish (Well, Bishop had the catfish as I am really quite allergic to it.  Shucks!)

We have been mulling around the idea of a food truck as an entry point into the restaurant business so it was fun to see what was being offered.
Just for fun - this big lot was full of motorized food trucks despite the signage saying no motorized vehicles allowed.

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