Thursday, October 20, 2016

A slow Internet funny.

Those of us who have to put up with slow Internet occasionally get some laughs out of it.  For some reason facebook , when it can't load a photo,  will put in a placeholder, a description of what is on the picture.   It amuses me.   Here are a couple of examples,  one is a  prom picture and one is of a friend's son sitting with some other kids waiting for sports practice to start.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Weird times.

I've been blogging for 11 years and in that time, we've had plenty of new normals to get used to. Right now, with no job, but looking for a job, I feel like I'm kind of in limbo.  I like being at home, but I don't like to think about getting a job and establishing a new routine, again.  Sigh.  As bad as the job I had was, it was the devil I knew, if you know what I mean.  I had a routine.  I got up, worked my 4 hours, took a shower and either did something with the kids, cleaned the house or went to see mom.  Now I've got those 'blank days' that I've always looked forward to and then freaked out about because I couldn't handle a blank day.   I'm doing okay with it, getting ready for our visiting family in November, doing some major house rearranging and reorganizing because it just needs to be done and I can do it now, trying to lose weight, trying to get some art done because it's selling pretty well right now and keeping much busier than I would have thought I'd be.  Right now I'm baking a quiche, sewing up my son's pants and blogging.  I've got a job interview on Thursday.  Sigh.  I'm tired of the whole applying and interviewing process.  It's hard putting yourself out there.  The last interview had a lot of very difficult questions about what I want to do with my life and where I see myself in 5 years.  Old.  That's where I see myself.  :-P   Now that I'm finished with homeschooling, I need something else to do that brings meaning to my life.  A few years ago we did personality types and I found out I am an INFJ which means that the search for meaning is particularly important to me.  This is a good article from Penelope Trunk about meaningfulness. 

And here is a kind of explanation of what it's like to be an INFJ to be friendly and personable and yet introverted, it's a paradox.

Anyway, that's my "life after homeschooling" post (there have been many and there will be many more) but what are my homeschooled kids doing?  My oldest is getting ready to graduate from college with a degree in religion, my girl is working at a Montessori school and working on her novel and my youngest is working on getting his driver's license so he can get a job and save up and go to college next year.  He's also planning to retake the ACT this Saturday to try and improve his score and his scholarship opportunities because as we all know, working and saving for even a year won't pay for college these days. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Back to Square One.

I hate square one and here I am again.    I have had a couple of job interviews and basically was offered one job, but it was driving elderly clients to the doctor's office and my husband didn't want me using my personal vehicle for that, due to insurance costs and wear and tear on the vehicle.  The other job, they decided not to offer it to me, but asked if they could keep my resume on file in case they had another opening in the future.  So here I am, at home.  For the most part, I  like being at home.  I'm enjoying spending this time with my kids who will be leaving the nest soon enough.  Youngest is planning to be at college next year.  I just would like to have some income.  :-(


Maybe I'll find something soon.


Monday, October 03, 2016

Still defending homeschooling.

At church yesterday I was talking about the little store where we sell our art.  Someone asked if we were going to keep doing it.  It has been a little bit profitable this year, mostly for the girl.  I don't know if I want to keep doing it but she does.  The main reason I decided to go there and sell things was that they required us to volunteer in the store and I wanted my daughter to be able to do it and get work experience.  She did learn to use the computer and the cash register and greet customers, bag their items, run their credit cards, etc., but now she has another job and is thriving in it.  So, I'd be okay with letting this one go.  We were discussing that my daughter is/has been shy and is getting out of it somewhat and one of the ladies there said "Well, did you homeschool her the whole time? That's probably why she is shy."  Now if homeschooling caused shyness, I'd have 3 shy kids instead of only 2.  My kids are introverts and the youngest is a bit shy, the girl is more shy and the oldest is fearless when it comes to meeting new people and doing new things, not shy at all.  I tried to explain it, but I don't think I got anywhere.

Oh well.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Keeping Surprisingly Busy.

Even though I am not currently employed and not currently homeschooling, I still feel like I have a lot to do.  This past week has involved taking my son driving, supervising a board game meetup, taking the kittens to be spayed and neutered (and picking them back up again), lunch with a friend who was on vacation, a job interview, getting together with homeschooling friends, working at the store we sell our art at, taking my daughter to biofeedback lessons (for her migraines, over an hour from home, so a 3 hour time investment), car shopping, going to church, grocery shopping and seemingly endlessly working on getting the house in better shape.  Today I don't have a lot planned so I am going to try and catch up on some things.  I may start painting the baseboards.  Sigh.  I seriously hate to paint but our house, after 19 years of living here, is needing some attention.

The kittens were so funny after their surgeries.  They are back to normal now, thank goodness, but the first couple of days, their eyes were dilated and they were not too steady on their feet, but happy and I told the kids we should rename them from Duncan and Squinch (youngest son's idea for a name) to Happy and Loopy.  Squinch just rolled around on the deck for a couple of days and I swear she was smiling.  :-P

I really enjoyed getting to meet up with my friends and the kid's friends this week.  Usually we don't do it that often, but the kids have been lamenting not seeing their friends much and they still depend on me to make social arrangements for them so I set some things up.  I'm trying to get them to contact their own friends and take initiative but this is one thing they are really bad at.  I am not sure whether to blame homeschooling, their shy natures or a combination of both, but for now, I do it.  I'm kind of hoping that at some point, both of these two at home will find at least slightly more extroverted partners who will arrange social meetups for them or that eventually they'll take responsibility themselves.

I did participate on the #describeyourselfin3fictionalcharacters thing on Facebook this week.  Here's my group.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reading this morning.

Penelope Trunk - Education  Penelope Trunk has an excellent article on her blog this morning about how kids learn.  The links are fabulous.  I've been reading for a long time.  Click on the link that says "kids learn best when they are ready to learn."  I'd link the article directly here but I don't want to take away from the fact that another blogger found the link in the first place.  :-) It's a fantastic article and I wish I could make everyone read and understand it, especially people employed at the Department of Education.

Friday, September 16, 2016

College Fair.

We went to a college fair last night.  After my son took the PSAT a couple of years ago, he started being courted by some very expensive, far away colleges and to be honest, I really wanted him to go to this so he would start thinking about colleges that are not so expensive and not so far away.   It worked.  He's now interested in some that are closer and more in-line with the kind of schools I want him to go to, so I guess it was a win.  I am not looking forward to my youngest moving out next year, not at all.  I am not sure how I am going to deal with it.   Anyway, the colleges were flattering to him and all tried to convince him how great their school was, along with giving generally good advice about financial aid and scholarships.  The most important bit of information that they gave us was to file our FAFSA on October 1 because they've changed the date this year.  Now we will start applying for scholarships and I am pretty sure he's going to get some.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I really want him to live at home and go to community college.  It's not my choice though.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Post Homeschooling Settling In.

I still don't know what I am going to do next.  I have been looking for work, but it's slow going.   Meanwhile, I've been working on the house.  I got a bunch of Mom's clothes boxed up and taken to consignment this week.  It was kind of sad, the things I took last month,  the consignment store ended up donating 90% of it and only selling a couple of things and they are going to do the same this month.  It's depressing, but what can I do?  If I didn't live in the jungle, I'd have a yard sale, but here I am.  Still, those things are out of my house and they weren't doing us any good.  None of us could wear them and if we could, we'd just generate emotional responses from people who knew mom, so I have a few more square feet in my bedroom now and someone in a homeless shelter will be able to dress pretty.

Today, I'm going to work on cleaning out the linen closet.  When we first moved in this house, I was pregnant with youngest son, oldest was 5 and the girl was 15 months old.  I just shoved some things in the linen closet and never used it for linens.  They've been stored in the laundry room shelving unit.  So now, I'm going to put the linens where they go, only 19 years later ....  I had an excuse for not doing it then, but I'm not sure what excuse I can stretch for 19 years, but anyway, I'm going to do it today.  It will probably take a couple of hours and getting all of that out of the laundry room will help with its eventual cleaning (which I dread!)

I'm also going to set up some board game days for the boy and take him driving today, if it doesn't rain.  The two of us will also be going to a college fair on Thursday.  He's still going back and forth with what he wants to do, trade school, work or college.  He's working on several creative ideas and I have challenged him to get one of his board games published on Game Crafter by the end of this year.  He tends to be like me a little bit --- all dreaming and seldom doing, so I am hoping to get him in gear to get something published.

The girl has settled into her job now and she likes it, which is a relief.  We are still working at the little craft store and it's been more difficult to fit that in with her job.  We didn't do it last month and commissions were taken out and it was very, very painful,  so this month, we are working!  Here's what our table looks like currently.  It's cute.  The girl worked on it most of the day Sunday, trying to get some height, so everything wouldn't be flat on the table and trying to change it up a little.  These pictures are at various times of the day.  I don't think I got the final one, but I think it looks good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Just Because.

I've always had a policy of not sharing pictures of my kids online  (now that they are all grown up, I might start) but meanwhile here are the pets, Zoey,  Zelda,  Duncan and Squinch, the cats , and Freckles and Cosmo,  the dogs.  

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Driving again.

This morning, while driving, we saw a little flock of wild turkeys.
I took the boy driving again today.  His sleep schedule has been crazy lately.  He was doing some experiments to see how different types of sleep schedules affect him or something.  I don't know, but the result is that he's been sleeping at odd times and up at odd times and it was hard to schedule driving with him when he was awake and when my car was home, but we managed it today.   I let him drive for about an hour in this little subdivision close to where we live  (not our road, it's a killer) and then I let him drive on the main road to come home.  He did okay but for one incident.  I was trying to explain to him that he should stay in his lane when he turns left and aim for the lane that he will be driving in after he turns instead of cutting the corners and he got annoyed with me and took a curve too fast, inducing fear in me and making me have to use my inhaler.  It seems it's my fault for explaining what the policeman will be looking for when he gives the driver's test?  All 3 of my kids have gotten upset with me for taking a quick indrawn breath when they go too fast.  Well, sorry.  They don't have any idea how terrifying it is to teach a kid to drive and how much I don't want to do it, but I do it anyway and when I'm scared, I can't help it if I breathe in a gasp sometimes.  Hey, it happens. This is some scary stuff.  Also, they have to deal with it, because there are no other adults in their lives volunteering to do this.  They are stuck with me.  I comfort myself that I have survived the older 2 learning to drive and they drive well now.  

Today he drove for the first time on the main road. 

Thursday, September 01, 2016


I have been teaching youngest son to drive, which so far has been a little nerve-wracking, but we had a good session today.  For the first few sessions, I just took him out to our church parking lot and we drove in circles for a bit, while he was learning to stop, go and turn smoothly.  It took a while.  He hates that he can't use his left foot to drive and he wants to go faster than I will let him, but the parking lot is small and we don't need to get up any speed.  Today, I took him to a nearby subdivision with little traffic and nice wide streets and it went well.  He is getting better with the starting and stopping more smoothly, turning curves while staying on his side of the road and not hitting the mailboxes.  It's progress.  He's lucky that he doesn't have to learn to drive in the Suburban like his brother did.  :-)

The one on the left is the one we were driving today, the one on the right is the suburban.  There is somewhat of a size difference.  :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Real List.

I said yesterday that my list was to get up and cope and that is what I have been doing.  I've also added a list of 17 real tangible things I can do to help prepare myself for the future.  Each day I'm trying to do these.   I feel kind of embarrassed to share the whole list because it has things like shower/get dressed.  One of the things I learned from my years of homeschooling is that it is nice to have something on the list that you would do anyway, so you can get something marked off and feel good about yourself.  I'm feeling pretty bad about myself this week, so I need that.  

1.  Apply for jobs.
2.  Clean.
3.  Cook.
4.  blog post 1.
5.  blog post 2.  (I have another blog.  :-)
6.  cafepress.  (My store
7.  exercise.
8.  declutter/repair/paint (This refers to house repairs we need to get done.)
9.  pray/journal.
10.Spray with fixative art that is for sale.  I have limited space to do this in, so it needs a little each day, plus we have a lot of wind and storms and I can't spray anything on those days. 
11. Work on career book.  This book is supposed to help me narrow down what I want to do.
12. Work on writing another cookbook for Amazon sales.
13. laundry.
14. shower/get dressed.
15. good deed.
16. outside/get vitamin D.
17. Microsoft free online job training, in case I get an office job.  

I still haven't found a job to apply to today, so I need to get on that. 


Monday, August 29, 2016

Working on things at home.

For lack of a better plan, I'm working on things at home.    We have some things we need to do to make our house look better because we are having visitors for Thanksgiving this year, but actually, I haven't worked on any of that yet.  I've made lists, of course, I've worked on the dishes, the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and a few other things.  I've looked at and applied for 2 jobs this morning.  I'm working through a book called Pathfinder to help me find a job that suits me better so that I won't make the same mistake I made last week.   I've done bible study and prayer time.  I'm trying to keep busy every minute and get as much stuff done as I can while I am here at home, so when I do start a job, things will go smoothly.  That's the plan, anyway.  Really I don't have a plan, I'm just floundering, grieving and trying to find my way again and meanwhile, trying to think of everything I could check off my giant to-do list.  It's a way to cope .... make a list and do the next thing.  

I wish this was my list.  My list is more like.

1.  Wake Up.

2.  Cope.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

What now?

Honestly, I have no idea.  A year ago, I was a homeschooling mom, a medical transcriptionist and a caregiver for my mom.  Now I am none of those things.  There are things I want to do but I can't do them if I'm not working; travel, redo the house ... etc., so I need to get a job.  I don't know what career path to take.  I have training in 2 fields, medical transcription and child and family studies.  Transcription is a dying industry, having been taken over by voice recognition and child and family studies means working with preschoolers, which I have found this week, is hard on me, now that I am in my 50s and set in my ways.  After the week that I have had, I'm thinking about an office job.  I love to put things in order and I like quiet, so a quiet office job ... I really don't know what direction I should go in.  I may have to go online and see if there are any career/personality assessments to tell me what job I would like.  Meanwhile, I've applied for a few jobs I think might be a good fit.  It's so hard to tell.  The most important things to me are home and family so I need something that lets me be home at least part of the time to take care of the things I need to do around here.  In our society, it's hard to feel that taking care of a house is important, but it is.  For a better quality of life, somebody needs to have a day here and there to get some things done around the house.

What to do, what to do ...


Friday, August 26, 2016

Okay, that didn't last long.

I tried teaching Head Start for 4 days.  I was to sign a contract today to work for them for a year, but I didn't feel like I could hang in there for a year and they didn't want me to try if I couldn't commit,only to leave mid-year and hurt the kids (because they get attached to their teachers).  It was very hard.  The kids were adorable and I enjoyed them  but Head Start in our state is overseen by several different agencies and the amount of paperwork and regulations and guidelines that they have to follow is mind-boggling.  I had a lot of pain from my arthritis and the noise in the classroom was overwhelmingly loud most of the time due to a loud A/C unit and of course the kids.  After a couple of hours, my whole body would feel like it was pulsating from stress.  I just felt that it was not for me.

So, I'm home again, looking for something to do again.



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