Thursday, May 21, 2015

that homeschool mom feeling

I took my youngest son to 2 4H meetings today, one was a trip to an airport and the other was the Conservation/Foresty club that meets at the local library.  While he was in the meeting, I saw out in the main library, which is different as a homeschool mom, because most homeschool groups require that one of the parents actually be there, but still, I spent the day feeling like and being a homeschool mom, which is, among the many roles I play in this life, wife, daughter, caregiver, employee, etc., one of my favorites.  :-)  



My daughter personalized a mug for me for Mother's Day and she tried to copy my art style.  It's pretty isn't it?  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Still around.

I'm still around, though I haven't blogged much lately.  Sorry about that.  :-)   Not much to read here although we've had a lot going on.  We've been dealing with my mother-in-law's health issues.  She's been in the hospital since Thursday and we've been there a lot.  Also, today a friend is in the hospital and I went to see her.  Our son came home yesterday from college and had a kind of a rough time getting home, the usual 9 hour drive taking 14 HOURS because he had a flat, then had a flat spare and then got behind a car accident and had to get off of the interstate and take the back roads.  This is on top of our usual working, homeschooling and taking care of mom stuff that we do, so we've been busy.  We've managed to hang in there and cope but it's left a lot less time for hobbies and for blogging.

That's how it goes sometimes.



I did get some time to spray some art with a fixative on Wednesday.
We have been in the car quite a bit.
We've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms.
But hey, we're still here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Off the topic of homeschooling and onto my job ...


An example of why I despise my job so, so much.I am taking my own time, without pay this morning, to look at my QA reviews and read my emails from my supervisor.  Later today, I will have to take unpaid time and call her for an umpleasant discussion about how, although my accuracy rate remains at 100%, my speed is just not quite fast enough for them.  For this account, there are 27 pages (not exaggerating one bit) of nit-picky notes.  Here's an excerpt.  Can you imagine getting 100% accuracy on this?

o        When she dictates (usually after MEDICATIONS) “all the normal stuff,” you do not need to note this on her files or Mark for Review or QA.  Just be sure any headings dictated are filled in as dictated and any headings not dictated are deleted.
o        Admitting Diagnoses:  If she additionally says “as stated by the admitting physician,” make sure that is transcribed. 
o        She prefers we type q. h.s. instead of “nightly” even though it’s on the Dangerous Abbreviation list. 
o        Course And Treatment heading:  Make sure all verb tenses in this paragraph are past tense
o        Diagnoses/AXIS tables:  She wants AXIS always in all caps, not Axis.  If dictates multiple diagnoses for any AXIS number, make sure EACH diagnosis is on a separate line (do not just separate with commas or semicolons/type on separate lines for each diagnosis). This is the same for EVERY dictator not just her.
o        AXIS V:  Make sure when she dictates numbers type the punctuation exactly as she dictates it….i.e…25/45/60-65 (there is a reason she will say slash/dash etc.) 
o        Prognosis heading:  Do not separate this into two headings/statements etc.  For some physicians, she will just say “Fair or Guarded.”  For some she will say “Fair.  Thought to be dependent upon the patient remaining compliant with medications and treatment recommendations, as they develop” or something similar to this.  Make sure this is all part of the prognosis heading.


27 PAGES OF THIS ON AND ON AND ON AND ON.

But here's the kicker.. 

They give me a template that has the heading:

COURSE IN THE HOSPITAL:  All capped, and bolded and forbid me to change the headings, then send me a note this morning from quality assurance letting me know that they have went through all of the reports I sent in Saturday and changed the case on all of these and have counted it as my error. 
COURSECourse INin THEthe HOSPITALHospital:   

So no 100% on the next paycheck and also, they have lowered my pay rate for this because my accuracy has gone down.  

Of course.

The only things this job has going for it are that it is part time (and for a caregiver, that's important) and that it is at home but I have to, have to, have to find something else or I am going to go crazy.  


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a bittersweet holiday for the past few years since my mom has Alzheimer's disease and now, my mother in law is facing some health issues that are going to make today maybe a bit subdued.  There will be kids and toddlers and babies around, so hopefully they will help keep us all more cheerful.

Happy Mother's Day to you all.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

I finally decided on my birthday present.

I ordered it from Walmart and my family put it together for me last  night.   In this photo we are  also featuring my thumb ( bottom left ) and the porch junk that needs to be cleaned up.   It's going to be nice to have my coffee here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Working and Homeschooling.

Homeschooling Works
Free Range Learning
Simple Homeschool Schedule for Work at Home Moms.
Scheduling Tips
Homeschooling When Both Parents Work  (If you don't read anything else about this post, go and read the comments here, in which many parents tell how they make it work.)
Over the 11 years that we have been homeschooling, I have become more and more convinced that it is the best way to go, if you can possibly manage it.  But how, that is the question?  I've always had to work at least part time which has led to some difficulties managing field trips and things with our homeschool group.  Some things we have just had to pass on and sometimes I have taken time off.

The law here in Kentucky says that you need to do 175, 6 hour days or 1050 hours and I think most states are pretty similar.  So if you school year round, that's about 20 hours a week.  Don't forget that reading together, doing art and playing outside count as some of this as well as things like music lessons and some of these can be done at the babysitters.  Also, the parenting team can divide it and each do 10 hours a week or you can add in your babysitter.

So, Mom could get up early and go to work.  Then, Dad could get the kids up and do an hour and a half of something (math and science!)  with them for a while before he gets them ready and takes them to the sitter.  The sitter could do some school related reading with them and some art or worksheets, let them play outside, take them to music lessons and get another hour and a half in, then when mom comes home from work, she can spend an hour and a half with the kids on school (which, in my experience is not that different from school-related homework time).  Another idea is do big chunks of learning on the weekends.  Don't forget to add in home economics (cooking and cleaning the house together.)  :-)

Over the years I have known several working/homeschooling moms and they are making it work.  I personally found it easier than jumping through the hoops the school made us jump through.  You may not, but it might be worth a try.  Our kids were so much happier and easy to get along with once we started homeschooling, that we never wanted to go back.

"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience."                                                                                                                                                       —Anne Sullivan

Saturday, May 02, 2015

End of the week, end of the month.

It's been a week.  I can't think of an adjective of it.  Work got done.  Homeschool got done.  Apologies were accepted.  The new dog is settling in.  He hasn't come up with a favorite sleeping spot yet and here he is sleeping by the window.  which my daughter thought was cute, so she took the picture.  He also had to go to the vet this week due to an ear infection, but hopefully he's okay now.

Most of the week the weather has looked like this.  We live in a beautiful place and these pictures were taken from the front porch.  I do not spend enough time outside!

Wow, right?  
On Thursday, I went to see Mom and on the way home, it stormed producing this glorious double rainbow.  In typical homeschooler (or maybe just mom) fashion, I came home, realized that we couldn't see the rainbow from our yard, so I got the kids to jump in the car with me and we drove 1/2 a mile down the road where the view of it looked like this.  


Our mailbox is in this picture.  :-)

Last night, since I didn't do any real menu planning at the grocery last week, I had to be creative and I did good for once, making gluten free steak enchiladas that tasted like something you'd get in a restaurant.  (I'm going to share the "recipe" on my gluten free blog, http://www.glutenfree-whatcanieat.blogspot.com) later today.  

I have been in contact with my boss this week, trying to make things go a little better at my job (because it's pretty awful) and we changed the order of my work pool and changed up my schedule a little bit, so I work a little earlier in the morning most days, but on Saturday, I am going to work in the evening.  Today's the first day of that and I am not sure how I am going to like it.  So far, it feels very weird.  I did it for a while a few years back so that I could homeschool in the morning and it was fine.  We'll see, I guess.  

My youngest son, my only current homeschooler, had writing to do yesterday and he has trouble with it, so he struggled until late in the evening with it, the Friday night rush that he does sometimes but had been doing a lot better with lately ... oh well.  He's been an exemplary young man lately, helping me with some of the household chores and taking care of the pets that I won't complain about this one little slip.   I procrastinated with my medical transcription work for a long time, so I know what it is like.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Art!

When I am stressed, nothing helps me cope as much as my art journaling does so when I am extremely stressed as I have been this week, with the disagreements among the members of my beloved homeschool group, I art journal like crazy.  Crocheting is a nice hobby and it is somewhat relaxing, but it is nothing like art for helping with my stress.   My family is so glad that I didn't obsessively take up a more annoying hobby, like playing the bagpipe, that they just deal with my art obsession and the mess it brings.  Here are some things I've been working on this week.  I have also been working, going to see mom, minimally keeping our house going and cooking so it's not totally a case of "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."  I'm not totally abandoning my responsibilities to art journal.







I would like to see the results of art on a functional MRI to see what effect it has on the brain.  Some of it is good, some of it is not, but as long as I get engrossed in what I am doing and feel less stressful, it's worth it to me to keep doing it.  

As to what happened with my homeschool group?  Two mama bears, defending their cubs and the subsequent emotional fallout.  :-(    

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Decisions.

Lots of stuff going on, lots of decisions being made, not really by me because I don't know what to do, but around me and involving me.  It's weird, but it's life.  I'm hanging in here.  I took a mental health day yesterday and did a lot of art journaling and processing and thinking and today I am somewhat better.  Sometime in the day yesterday I decided to just let the youngest son's violin lessons wait until the fall.  It's not a big thing, but it makes me feel a little more relaxed.  I will ask him later if he's okay with it.  There are just a few more weeks of school this year anyway so I don't think that he will mind.

I saw this cute quote on pinterest.  It's actually very wise.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Stress, stress, stress.

It just keeps on coming, folks.  I feel like typing, I need a break, I need a break, I need a break, I need a break.

I was supposed to have a break yesterday and it started out nice.  I took the day off work.  The kids and I and some other people from the homeschool group went to see a production of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers.  It was cute and fun but my day ended up with more stress and I feel that I may need to take a break from all social media, all social appointments, my boss, my job, all people of any kind except the people who live in my house and my mom and brother and I may have to narrow it even further.


  



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Birthday.

This is me a few weeks ago on Mom's birthday.  
Today's my birthday.  I've been thinking about what I want.  It's been a rough year and I feel like that song they play on Christian radio "I'm alive, even though a part of me has died."  Some birthdays you can only celebrate just making it and being alive.

That's said, I'm putting my want list here on my blog because my husband reads my blog and he's really the only one who has any chance of getting me any of the things I want, because the kids don't have money.  :-P


  1. That thing I mention every day that I want.  You know what it is.  
  2. The pool up and going.
    Doesn't it look wonderful?
  3. A break from medical transcription.  A good, long one.
  4. The outside of the house, especially the porch made over, with pictures, so I can put it on my blog.  :-P 
    Front Porch.
  5. A rocking chair or one of these porch swings.    
6.  Raspberry plants.  

7.  A vacation.  
8.  Cake.
9.  Art canvases.
10. Picture frames.  

My wants are simple and expensive.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Family Trees.

My youngest son and I were talking yesterday after church.  We've been going to the same church for both of our whole lives.  His ancestors on both sides were among the founders of the church.   As we were leaving, he said that he wondered how many of the church members he was related to.  Of the ones that were there yesterday, I could only think of maybe 5 people?  He said that he doesn't know everyone when we go to family parties, so I am going to try and remedy that with a family tree exercise and maybe looking at a bunch of different pictures on Facebook, to help connect him to his roots a little bit.  While looking for a family tree printable I found this one that looks like a house and is suitable for coloring, though it looks nothing like a tree.  It's cute as can be.

This is a homeschool method that works out well for us, just we as a family, following up on his curiosity.  I could let it go and forget about it and unless he brings it up again, he'll never know who his great grandparents are, but he mentioned it and I'm going to follow up on it.  So for this, we'll be doing some collaborative schooling. :-)



Saturday, April 18, 2015

One thing that isn't working.

Okay, we're going to have to re-think the violin lessons via Youtube and actually get him some lessons to get him started.  The violin seems to be a bit more difficult than the guitar.  My oldest son, a few years ago, taught himself to play the guitar with a DVD and then we paid for some lessons for my daughter in guitar and then piano, but those were only 5 dollars per half hour.  That lady doesn't play the violin, unfortunately, so we're probably going to have to pay quite a bit more for these.  :-(  Really, we homeschool for cheap so we shouldn't complain.  The only thing we've paid for the last couple of years are a few field trips and the math curriculum and, of course, the violin.

Another thing I have done to get some music instruction for my daughter, is have her join our church choir.  She did it for about a year and learned a lot about music during that time.  There are also community choirs, community theaters and all kinds of resources out there.  Our library does knitting classes, craft classes, exercise classes and write your lifestory classes.  Homeschooling opens your family up to the world.  :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Better Now.

My connectivity issues cost me an extra hour of work and a lot of annoyance but I got through it.   Now I am preparing to teach a 4H class on crocheting, which will be the first time that I ever teach it myself.  I'm a little bit nervous, but I'll be okay, I guess.  My daughter usually teaches it, but she's going through a mildly rebellious phase and doesn't want to.   It's always been outside of her comfort zone to teach a class but she's doing it without complaining for several years.  Teaching is okay with me, but I am not all that good at crocheting.  We'll see how it goes, I guess.  The regular needleworking teacher can crochet a little bit too, so maybe between us, we can do it.

This is an interesting article about the mental benefits of needleworking.  You should check it out.  :-)  https://www.yahoo.com/makers/happiness-is-a-needle-and-thread-away-the-mental-113527012940.html

And if you haven't checked out your local 4H groups, you should definitely do that.  It is a wonderful resource for homeschoolers.

Here are some 4H pictures from the past few years.




It's not even 8:30 and I'm ready to give up.




I think the T rex illustration is my favorite of the ones I see every day.
Trying to work from home when you don't have adequate internet access is very, very, very frustrating.  I haven't even started work yet and I'm in a bad mood.  After 4 hours of this plus difficult dictators and 27 pages of nit-picky account requirements, I'll be ready to explode.  :-(

Also, dear advertisers, this is often what ads look like to those of us in rural areas.


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