2012 Finale

Over New Year’s, Matthew Perdie, the Abbotts, Rachel’s boyfriend Adamson Easterly, and David Abbott‘s girlfriend Jessica Urffer visited Fair Hills Farm. The visit was a rousing success, complete with movies, fireworks, s’mores, a game of Catch Phrase, and Matthew’s film classes (a fascinating scene-by-scene analysis of National Treasure in the school room). It’s so fitting that the Abbotts were here, considering our creative tradition.

Here’s a glimpse of the festivities (I’ll add more photos and maybe some videos as they come about):

Rachel snapped this photo of Matthew, Ms. Lindy, and me hanging out in the schoolroom.

Playing "Catch Phrase" in the sunroom.

The menfolk setting up the bonfire.

Little David fires the Roman Candle while Adam and Andrew prepare fireworks and Matthew films (see camera lens on the right edge of the photo. I held the film light to illuminate these shots).

Andrew sets up a firework while Rex prepares to attack it (he loved snarling at those things!).

What a beauty!

Adamson and David play chess on the chessboard Rachel gave Adamson for Christmas, while Andrew plays "Risk" on his mother's pink iPad.

Abigail experimented with one of Matthew's camera lenses for this shot of Joseph and me.

Matthew held his film light while Adam and David reenacted some shadowy creepers that Rachel and Jessica thought they saw on the trail.

These lovely ladies (mothers, Mrs. Lindy Abbott and Mrs. Chris Read) are working on publishing a magazine with me. To give you a hint . . . it's a magazine for thinking women!

I’ve Got…Well…Too Much to Say

Amanda, actress in her younger siblings' film production Things are very suspicious over here, I know.  I’ve had over a month long sabbatical from blogging.  That’s not how I intended it to be.  But blogging slipped my mind as of late since I’ve been…

– Getting ready for Summer classes (and now taking them).

– Visiting with our friends, the Abbotts, who were stranded here due to the flooding in Nashville, Tennessee (which is near where they live).

– Campaigning for Tim James to be Alabama’s next Governor.

– Contributing an article to an e-book, and working on at least three more articles for another e-book.

– Working on a book of my own (announced in my ad in Amy Puetz‘s e-book).

- Acting in some of my little sisters’ movies.

- Helping take care of my beautiful baby sister, Rebecca!

Amanda & Rebecca

Beautiful Becca Baby

Angela Abbott & Abigail ReadMy friend Angela Abbott from TN, and my sister Abigail by our pond


Sisters Abigail and Mary, and friend Angela

Part of why I’ve been hesitant to blog is because there are other subjects I’ve wanted to write about that have nothing to do with the recent discussions (perhaps some political things, for instance).  Even though this is my blog and I’m entitled to write whatever I want, I was worried that if I posted an argument off topic it would look like I’m trying to avoid the previous arguments.  That’s not the case – it’s just that I couldn’t decide exactly what to write next.  It’s not that I can’t think of anything to say – it’s that I’ve thought of too much to say, and I like to have my arguments posted on my blog in orderly succession.  I guess I should give up on that and just write whenever I think of something.  If you survey the history of my blog, you will notice that I am not actually a voracious blogger, and I’m a particularly bad commenter.  I’m too slow.  I like to research and then write several drafts before I publish something.  I want perfection.  I have 29 drafts on this blog about every crazy subject that’s ever interested me.

I’ve got to go do some fieldwork for my Geography class right now.  But trust me, I’ll be back.  Don’t be afraid of criticizing.  Nobody can criticize me as badly as myself.


Homestead Style Suspense



The Abbotts came in town Wednesday afternoon, right after Mom and I spoke at the Mother Daughter Cherished Lessons Webinar (which went very well, by the way).  It was an anticipated visit that was certain to advance our mediocre yet thoroughly entertaining film project, along with usual fun and fellowship.

Thursday morning was spent filming.  Thursday afternoon was spent knitting and taking a tour of weaving, etc. at Mrs. Nancy Lee’s home down the street.  Thursday evening was spent with the guys at the SCV meeting with a 19th century weapons display, while the girls where at home chatting.  A cookout at home soon followed (Dad’s cousin Nathan came over for that too).

Friday morning, Dad came inside and said that Rex looked sick.  I stepped outside to see our dog looking perfectly happy and normal, but then have a strange coughing/wheezing/gagging fit that lasted a few seconds and then disappeared.  This showed up roughly every 10, 15 minutes or so.  He didn’t seem terribly ill, but just had a horrible asthmatic sort of respiratory attack routinely.

At first I worried about the worst possible scenario: heartworms, which has coughing as a symptom.  But Rex, three years old, had never been sick in his life and was rarely in the company of other dogs which might have their disease spread by mosquito bites.  His collar wasn’t too tight, so that wasn’t the problem.  I wondered if perhaps he had swallowed a toad, since he often taunts toads for sport, only to gag himself on their toxic excretions.  I then wondered if perhaps someone had sprayed him with pepper spray.  He did have a lot of grease on his head, but we assumed that he got that from sticking his head under the grill while the hamburgers were cooking so he could lap up dripping grease.

I knew that one of the ladies who routinely stop by to check the meter is deathly afraid of dogs, and even though Rex is the most obnoxiously sweet and gentle dog anyone could ever know, his well-rehearsed “Who goes there?” salute would throw the woman into a frenzy.  But we didn’t even know if she came by that morning, so he could have come in contact with dangerous chemicals in some other odd way, such as crossing someone’s property.

I got out Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s book on natural dog and cat care to find respiratory remedies.  Mom, Ms. Lindy and I tried giving him various remedies – everything from our horseradish/ginger/garlic/apple cider vinegar, etc. super tonic to eucalyptus to honey/minced garlic/apple cider vinegar on bread.  I started asking questions on the internet regarding Rex’s symptoms.  When I asked on Yahoo! Answers I got quick responses telling me, “We can’t diagnose your dog online. You need to take your dog to the vet.  Get off your computer.”  That wasn’t particularly helpful.

The Abbotts were scheduled to leave early that afternoon.  Angela (age 10) asked and prayed to stay longer, but the schedule seemed pretty much set.  We all said our goodbyes, and the Abbotts drove off, leaving us Reads with our poor dog’s condition still unresolved.

Awhile later Mom got a phone call from Ms. Lindy.  Ms. Lindy said that while they were on the road she happened to touch her finger to her left eye and it began to burn.  The allergic reaction spread over her whole face and respiratory system, so much so that she didn’t think should could make the drive back to Tennessee (Mr. Abbott didn’t come for this visit).  She traced the cause of the reaction back to when she pet Rex before getting in the car…meaning that the pepper spray theory was very likely after all.

I stroked Rex’s fur again and upon closer examination noticed that the greasiness left a red oil on my fingers.  Abigail, Mary and I decided to go ahead and bathe Rex.  Mom wiped him of with a white towel, and the process left pink and red stains on it.  He apparently had an intense pepper spray dumped on his head and kept reinhaling it whenever he licked his fur.

The Abbotts returned and we had a nice extra evening eating a delicious dinner and munching on cookies.  It was a happy ending to a mysterious homestead style suspense.


A New Month Already?

Spring is probably the busiest time of year for us.  There is always so much outside work to do.  It’s already been nearly three years since we moved here and thus there is all the more going on.

Dad, Rachel and I went to a homeschooled friend’s graduating class dinner on Wednesday.  Andrew has been in town so he spent one night with us (the rest of his family is visiting tomorrow morning).  He did lots of fun film projects with Joseph (Abigail did the actual filming).  I remember doing recording projects with my siblings and Andrew, David and Angela about 8 years ago!  Brings back memories…

We enjoyed the Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2008!  The online conference is such a great idea.

I’m scheduled to take the ACT Writing Test along with the required portions of the test next month.  I need to practice planning and writing an essay within a 30 min. time limit (and in perfectly legible handwriting)!  On the Writing Test you can score from 1 (poor skill) to 6 (effective skill).  I’m going to take three practice tests this month anyway, so hopefully that will help me get prepared.

I submitted the screenplay to Abbot Management on Friday. Dad talked to a director/producer (one of the contacts his friend gave us) on the phone awhile back and mentioned The Crusading Chemist. He said he will check out the website.

I’m nearly finished with my huge landscape painting of our pond.  Next I want to try doing a painting based on a photograph of Beth and her friend Jenny.  Recently I’ve kept my easel set up out of the way in the Guest House.  I bring my World Views audios and my portable CD headset player with me each painting session to make the most of my time.

I need to go read while I have the chance – I don’t often get to read for fun during the week because I’m so busy with other things!


Post ScriptumI added photos/video of the Carcassonne game to my last post.  I meant to do that earlier, but the photos had not yet been downloaded.

2008 Thus Dawns…

What have I been doing all this time, exactly?  Experiencing our miniature festivities of the closing year and completing my debut screenplay (ha) so I can then focus on completing my course work and then write and paint ’till the end of time….or something to that effect.  Believe it or not, I think the script is more or less finished.  I have over 120 pages (the standard length for a 2 hour film) and now need to print it all out and edit, edit, edit and then perhaps never have to look at the thing again.  Well, it’s not that terrible of an experience, but spending over a year on a writing project gradually drains your creative interest for it.  However, the New York Times now has their ancient archives online now so recently I found some fascinating pieces of information to incorporate into the story.

Here is a video of our other homeschooled friends, Andrew and David, giving Joseph a lesson in sword fighting tactics which they have been learning recently.  No, that’s not me playing the Rondo Alla Turca, even though I can play that song.  I was filming!  This video is also on my YouTube account (SincerelyAmanda) if you would like to comment on it there.

The other night I redesigned Mom’s blog.  I couldn’t make a suitably sized banner for the header at the time, so I just removed the header above it.

Priceless Purity is fixing to go professional thanks to the help of Eric Novak.  I’m hoping to get my own site as well this year.  Resolutions, resolutions…

Last night we went to see the fireworks at Ft. McClellan.  They were outstanding!  Abigail filmed it with our brand new 8-mega pixel camera.  After that we met Grandmomma and Granddaddy at Roma’s and had pizza.

Well, I have to go eat New Year’s dinner.



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Tuesday, January 1, 2008 – Happy new year!!!

Posted by melarooski
Sorry I haven’t been by in a while. Hopefully that will change, eventually. ;-)

So, who was playing the piano in the sword fighting video? I play that Mozart piece as well so it was fun hearing that on there.

I’m afraid this is rather short but I must be off. Have blessed night.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by BlogBoy
RYC: I have always loved finding the parallels in Narnia, and I think that they really add to Lewis’s story. I did think it was kinda’ neat that he made his story stand on its own legs though and didn’t just use the Bible as a base.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that list, if you find it let me know. Sounds interesting.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by DancingFeet
Hey Amanda!
I’m glad you all had a good Christmas and New Years. Congratulations on being halfway finished with your script! Editing is where I always end up giving up and never finishing, unfortunately. Let me know when your script is made into a movie, I want to go see it!
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Monday, January 21, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by BlogBoy
RYC: Haha, global warming is so fake. It does seem like it is a bit cold for it anyway. :P

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 – Untitled Comment

Posted by littlebrowngirl
I like your blog alot.
Nice videos too.
Mind if i add you/you add me?
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 – Hello

Posted by nancysnook
I’d like to be the first to comment and say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You have such a nice blog and I always enjoy reading anything you publish…except you haven’t lately~ I have a very wonderful and encouraging story I’d love to share with you and your sister if she could email me (by this week’s end) and let me know if she is interested in it. nking@hughes.net

Nancy Have a blessed birth–day!!!

Edited by nancysnook on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 12:53 AM