Saturday, September 16, 2017

50 Books This Year.

I've read my 50 books for the year and if I keep going at the same pace, I may be able to do 70 by the end of the year.  It's been a good year of reading.  I've re-read a lot of my old favorites and some new ones too.  It started out when my 2 youngest kids challenged themselves to read 26 books this year, one every 2 weeks.  They've pretty much finished by now too, at least I know my son has.  It's probably good that he got done before starting college because he certainly doesn't have as much time as he used to.  He does read very fast though.  He's at 30 and he's read bigger books and more difficult books than I have.  I like to stick to kind of light fiction and the occasional non-fiction self help kind of book or biography.  The complete list of what I have read is in the sidebar of this blog, on the right.  I recommend all of them except the one by Graeme Simsion The Best of Adam Sharp, because it's awful.  The rest are good.  I've started taking pictures of some of my favorite quotes instead of trying to keep track of them in any other way.  Here are some of my favorites, both fiction and nonfiction.  
 The first few are from a book on fighting autoimmune disease with diet, which I , sadly, can't remember the name of and it's not on my list because I didn't finish reading it.  I skipped the recipe section at the end.
"In the last fifty years there has been a 400% increase in the incidence of celiac disease."
"If you can do only one thing to improve your health, removing gluten is far and away the best thing you can do."

Now, onto fiction.   The next 2 are from Frederick Backman's Britt-Marie was Here.  

"At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks himself are about one thing; how should you live your life?"
"It was very brave of you, putting that tie on.  Because it looks absolutely preposterous." 

 From Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  The part that leaped out at me was "I reckon that's the risk you run, letting sombody else raise you chilluns."  I was thinking about kids spending so many hours at school and it resonated with me.


 The brilliant Cecelia Ahern on grief, from the book One Hundred Names.


 Frederick Backman again.  This is from Beartown.

 "It doesn't take a lot to be able to let go of your child.  It takes everything." 

 The extremely brilliant J.K. Rowling.  "Lord -- Thingy."  Oh, I love her writing so much! 








Friday, September 15, 2017

Going to College with a Learning Disability.

Youngest son is doing well.  His professors understand that he needs to take his tests in the accessibility center where he gets more time to work on them and that he uses a scribe (me or his sister) to complete worksheets at home.   Yesterday a girl asked him why he wasn't filling out his worksheet in class and he explained that he has a disability and showed her how one arm is shorter than the other, etc.  (The doctor when he was 4 years old and broke that arm said it was not in the growth plate!).  He is enjoying chorus the most of all his classes.  He's also taking Freshman Experience, World History, Algebra and Writing 101.  He will have to make some kind of decision at the end of this semester to figure out what kind of classes he's going to take ongoing because if he's going into a construction field, this is his last semester of general ed.  He seems to be getting Bs so far and that's his goal.  He's mostly keeping up with his homework with only a few reminders.  He wrote a self-assessment paper last night it only took an hour, which is huge progress!  A week or so ago he had a history test and was not able to get to all of it, despite having extended time.  The one question that he was not able to finish was worth 26 points.  I was worried about it because I hated the fact that he was going to get a C or D in his favorite subject despite knowing enough about history to write a thesis on it (with a scribe.)   The professor refused to give him the test verbally but gave him 15 points for the 3 or 4 sentences he wrote.  It was supposed to be 2/3 of a page, so we were both happy with that.  He ended up getting an 81 on the test and there was an extra credit assignment so that he can bring that up to 86 if he does it.  I think the college is doing a great job with the accommodations, but he does need to keep in touch with the accessibility manager and make sure he knows when there are tests and when he needs help.  So far, he's doing really well with that.  His accessibility manager even (already) has recommended our son for an internship in Washington DC but I don't think he wants to go.  Still, it's fun to get the recommendation.  :-)  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Feels like fall.

It's cool and rainy and feels like fall.  This is one of the times I am glad to live so far inland.  When it is a time that I want to go to the beach, I feel terrible about the 9+ hours we have to drive to get there, but when the hurricane season hits like this, I am thankful.  We have a light rain from the leftovers of Hurricane Irma.  We had heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey, but nothing serious.  This time we thought we were also going to get wind and as this big storm keeps going through, we might.  Still.  It's been beautiful here and I am thankful.  It's also been busy.  It seems like I am always going someplace and doing something, despite currently being a homemaker.  The kids are all getting busier and busier and I help support their activities and occasionally take someone to one of their activities so that I can have a car.  There's nothing exciting going on, just a little bit more settling into our new routines.  It's a good thing.

I'm still advising on the homeschooling board on Facebook and I'd like to address one of the things that everyone asks on there every day.  The state says this many hours and this many days, so you need to keep attendance records but this can be as simple as a check mark in your calendar and the hours can be however you want to assign the hours.  In Kentucky the law says 1062 hours, 170 days and  that you have to cover reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics and civics and keep scholarship records.   But if you want, you can only cover civics once a week or once a month, do math on every day or every Thursday, do all of these subjects in 1 1/2 hours in the morning and then do an hour lunch and a 2 hour recess, followed by reading all together, art and block time.  Especially when they are little, do not make them be in a chair doing seat work all day long!  Childhood is not supposed to be like that and since the one-on-one time that they get in a homeschool setting is so incredibly efficient, they don't need it!  They will thrive with this kind of a schedule, lots of physical movement is completely necessary for a child's brain development.  You've pulled them out of a system that is not working, do not recreate it in your home!  

Okay, off my soapbox now.   Temporarily.  

:-)  

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

It's September!

And as of today, we're back to our new normal. I guess.  The first part of September I was on that diet and that was all I was doing, all I was thinking about.  I couldn't focus on anything else.  It didn't seem like I could do anything else.  I lost 15 pounds in 11 days and got really weak and shaky and felt like I was going to faint when I stood up.  So I stopped the diet and went back to my normal eating pattern.  I feel so much better.  I'm still going to get my food sensitivities tested and see a nutritionist and see if it is possible to reverse my autoimmune disease with diet, but I don't want to ever do one as strict as that one.  It just did not work for me.   Other things that have been going on here, my husband has been sick for 3 weeks, first with shingles then with a cold, but hopefully he's better now, although my daughter is now sick, having brought home her second cold of the year from the preschool where she works..  Fingers crossed that no one else gets it.  My oldest son and his wife had a guest this weekend but since they live in a tiny camper, their guest actually spent the nights here, so we kind of had a house guest, at least in the late evenings and early mornings.  :-)   She is going to apply for a job here this morning and possibly move to Kentucky.   I had a job interview on Friday that lasted about 4 minutes, so that is probably not a good sign.   Then we had the holiday weekend, with everyone home yesterday.   So as of today, our houseguest has gone, the holiday is over, youngest is back to college, girl is back to work (if she feels well enough), husband is back to work and I am here, puppysitting and thinking about making a plan for what to get done this fall and job hunting.  Back to normal, I guess.  Speaking of me getting a job, I'd rather make a living from home with my Amazon Merch store, so in case you need to shop for a T shirt for a grandparent or a dog grandparent, here's my store and here is my Cafepress store.  
  



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday, August 29.

I seriously can't believe it's almost September.  This summer seems to have gone quickly, but when I think back to my son's graduation in May, that kind of seems like a long time ago.  Its funny how we perceive the passage of time.  We're settling into the fall routine, I guess.  My son and his wife are settling into their jobs, my daughter is back to work at her job and taking a few more hours and doing fine with it and youngest son is settling into college a bit.  The 2 recent college graduates are able to give him good advice on homework and note-taking, so that's great.  They've been sharing apps that will help him and giving good advice that my husband and I, having been out of school for a long time, can't really know.

Yesterday, I rode to school with my youngest, then caught a ride with a friend, went to the salvage grocery store and then out to lunch at Olive Garden with some homeschooling friends.  Only one of us is still homeschooling, so mostly we talked about our kids weddings and college experiences.  It was a good time. ( Unfortunately, while there I got a text saying that my aunt is having an awful time at the nursing home, so please pray for her.  The whole family is upset and we don't know what to do about it, so please pray for us as well. I don't think it's bad care at the NH, but I am not sure.  :-/ )

What does this have to do with homeschooling?  I met some of the best friends of my life while homeschooling.  If you do homeschool, don't do it alone, join a couple of support groups.  Here is a way to do that.  HSLDA Local group listing

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Diet.

On Wednesday I went on the autoimmune paleo protocol diet.  It's been rough.  I've been detoxing from sugar, cheese and mashed potatoes.  This diet is to help heal autoimmune disease and I've been diagnosed this year with Sjogren's syndrome.  What this translates to is I don't eat dairy, grains, soy, nightshade vegetables (potatoes! Tomatoes!  Peppers!!!)  nuts, seeds, eggs or legumes.  What I can eat is meat, vegetables, fruit and a few other things.  I can eat coconut products like coconut sugar, coconut flour and milk and cassava flour (made from yucca).  So, I've been doing a lot of cooking and a lot of griping and whining.  Last night I found a nutritionist online who does a different type of approach with food sensitivity testing and a rotation diet, so I am hoping that she will be able to help me in a less drastic way.  For now, though, I'm sticking with it, trying not to whine too much and trying not to lose my will to live.  Yes, I'm a drama queen, but sometimes it does feel that bad.  Still, I have made it 3 days!

So, can I eat this?

or this?

or this?


Thursday, August 24, 2017

College Week Two.

We had a horrible cold pass through the house this past week.  I assume my daughter brought it home from work, as she works with young children.  She had it first.  Then my son and daughter-in-law got it.  None of them had a horrible time with it, but then youngest son got it and he had a high fever and felt awful.  The fever broke on Tuesday when he was in class, doing a scavenger hunt all over the campus, out in the hot sun.  Despite this, he's had a pretty good second week, I think.  He's been keeping up with his homework.  He has to ask my daughter and me to act as scribes for some of the work.  He has explained to at least one of his professors that he can't write and has a disability and will need to use a scribe.  Another concern that he has, regarding his disabilities (ADHD, dysgraphia) is that he has a hard time showing his work in math.  He does the algebra equations in his head and gets the right answer, but sometimes is not sure how to show it.  I think he should talk to the accessibility director about this but he thinks he wants to try harder to show the math.  He will have extra time on exams and this is what he wants to use it work.  I disagree, but I will leave it up to him.
He's not going to do work study right now as he's really trying hard to keep his head above water with all the homework, trying to learn to manage his time.  I think that's probably the best decision.  He plans to start working in January if possible.

I also talked to him about his major and he's changed his mind again about that, I think.  He thinks that he'll be bored with a construction major and may go into business or real estate.  His eventual goal is to own and manage rental properties and have passive income so that he can pursue his interests, so either one of those would help him in that goal.  We'll see what he does.  Next semester is when he needs to decide something because for some of the options, he'll be done with general ed after this one semester.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Crazy week.

It's already been a crazy week around here and what is it, Tuesday?  Yesterday was the eclipse of course and my son and his wife had their puppy scheduled for his neutering surgery and had planned to have a nice day, getting groceries, doing a bit of shopping and eclipse viewing, then picking up their puppy and going home to cocoon for a few days while he recuperated before they have to go back to work.  This did not go as planned though, to say the least.  Their car broke down and they had to call us to come get them and roadside assistance to come and get their car and take it to a repair place.  My husband went and got them and took them home.  They picked up their truck and headed out again, only to call us again, saying that this time their truck had broken down.  I went to get them and got there just about the time that the eclipse reached its peak.  They called the insurance company for roadside assistance yet again.  To make a long story short, we were back and forth to the vet, to another vet to get a different cone because the first one wouldn't fit, to the car dealer, to meet one wrecker, then the other and soon the whole day was gone.

 During the middle of the eclipse, when the light was all weird, I went to explain to some of the people on the street we were on what we were doing there, tripped over a piece of loose asphalt and fell and wow am I feeling it today.  I'm very sore.  Then today, when my youngest son was going to go to school, the car was out of gas and so he came back home.  He doesn't have a means to pay for gas right now.  He's waiting for his debit card to arrive from his new bank account.  So, he had to miss his first class due to "car trouble" because his sister didn't notify anyone nor get gas yesterday when she used the car.  Fortunately, it was the aforementioned algebra in which he already knows all of the material being covered.   Today we have board games and have to pick up one of the kids in the group and also have to go get my son and his wife and take them to the car dealership again.

Whew.



None of my eclipse pictures were anything but blurs of light.

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