The Commercial Building

Another one of my favorite buildings on Belleville’s Main Street is the former Commercial Building, which was built in 1910 by architects Frank Riester and Otto Rubach. It looks like the baby sibling of a big city downtown building, doesn’t it?


It also has some beautiful details. I was caught by one of the downtown merchants just starting up at it, and when I explained that I was admiring it, he told me that his father told him that people should look and notice details more often…sound advice!

Today this building is known as the Market Square Building and is still an important part of the downtown Belleville streetscape.

Burns Night Supper 2015

Last night, we had our second annual family Burns Night Supper. This year, instead of just making a special main course (cock-a-leekie pie again), I also made sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and served two Scottish ales for the adults in the house:


I’ve really come to look forward to this holiday…it’s nice to have a celebration to anticipate after Christmas is over!


Quote of the Day–Burns Night

Address to a Haggis–Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm :
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin’, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!

2014-15 School Year–Week Seventeen

This was another busy week of school! We did all of our regular work, but the children were determined to finish it in just four days so they could spend Moose’s Friday day off with him, and when they’re determined, they get it done!

Turkey and Bunny continued to focus on decimals in math (particularly multiplying and dividing), and Ladybug continued to work on multiplication, as well as reviewing money. Even though they’ve all been working on some new tasks, it’s all been mostly easy for them, which is nice.

In writing, Turkey and Bunny continued to work on scientific descriptions, adding to the work they did last week on volcanoes. Ladybug is now working on not only finding words to describe what she remembers from a selected reading, but answering a specific question about it, and writing it down. Her spelling has really improved, which helps this process greatly!

Our history studies this week focused on two very different things. We spent Monday and Tuesday learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. This was kind of a preview for the Black History Month studies we’ll be starting in another week or so. Our ancient history studies, on the other hand, had us learning about the Ottoman Empire and the fall of Constantinople.

We finished learning about trees in science. On Friday, Moose got to go to a local park with us and take a (short) nature walk. We located different kinds of trees, and did some bark rubbings to compare them. We were also able to add a rubbing of a fake playground tree, and compare it to the actual trees, which was kind of weird and fun!

Nothing particularly exciting on the schedule for next week…some weeks just have to be normal!

National Pie Day 2015

Last year, I heard about “National Pie Day” at the last moment, so I just made a quick fruit pie for dessert. I thought I’d have a little more fun with it this year…in addition to a French Silk pie for dessert, we had a Chicago-style pizza (pie) for dinner. It’s always fun to have a themed meal!

Next up is Burns Night on Sunday…I really love any reason to celebrate!