Monday, May 31, 2010

So, what are we doing this week?

We've got about 7 educational DVDs that we are going to watch and then we'll probably just do the basics each day to go with them. Then Friday, we will end our school year with the big homeschool book sale and homeschool fair.  I got a book about ACT math skills and I want my husband and my oldest son to go through that each day between now and June 12 when oldest takes the ACT.   He doesn't know what he wants to do for a living, whether he wants to go to a college or a technical school, so I figured getting him to take the ACT wouldn't hurt.  It's not diffcult to register as a homeschooler for this test, I just searched for ACT test and found out how to do it on my own.  The weird thing is the questions that they ask when you register.  The registration process has a lot of 'interest inventory' questions, which included, (I'm not kidding) whether or not my son likes to put things in boxes.  (?)   Anyway, we got him registered.   After this last week, we'll start our summer adventures list. 

That's over.

The service for Dad last night was every bit as bad as I expected. I'm sure to those who knew him only casually, it was a beautiful, funny memorial for a nice man, but to the family, who buried him 17 weeks ago, it was very difficult.  I cried and cried, great big hiccuping sobs .  It was a little odd because they had invited a singing group/quartet to come and sing after the dedication ceremony for the clock, so when these guys get up there to sing, they look over at the family and we're all still crying ... I know it had to feel weird to them but they did their mini concert very well (Dad would have really loved to hear them.) and I was able to calm down a little bit while they sang.  I am really glad that's over.   

Now, onto our last week of homeschooling this year!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Today's the day I've been dreading.

The second memorial service for my Dad.  Our church is going to dedicate a new sanctuary clock in his memory/honor with a plaque.  It is quite an honor but it is going to be hard for all of us to sit through another service.  I personally am also going to have to do it with PMS, which will not help.  Please pray or think warm thoughts for my family tonight between 7 and 8. 

I took an internet quiz on stressful events a few weeks ago and it said if you scored more than 3 you were having a very stressful time indeed.

I scored 7.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today's pain in the rear.

I guess technically, it's yesterday's pain, but my van quit working on the way to physical therapy yesterday and we had to get Mom to come and get us and just leave it there.   So today, instead of doing the things he had planned to do today, my husband has to deal with that.   Joy.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday, the younger 2 kids and I sat down to play a few games of Racko.  My daughter was holding Freckles so she said she had a lucky charm.  She kept losing though.  Each game takes around 10 minutes and she lost 3 times.  We said maybe she was not lucky after all.  Then we decided that anytime a person is sitting in their own home, well fed, clothed and playing a board game with their family, they're lucky and blessed.   We need to make more time for enjoying each other.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's funny.

How I just get up in the morning and have no idea what I'm going to do that day.  I'm random.  It is based on how I feel and my mood.  I've been struggling with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue for years and that has influenced a lot of my planning.  I have always had to plan time for a nap in my day.  Lately, I've been doing the gluten free thing and it has helped, at least decrease the pain and fatigue.  I often take a short 1/2 hour nap, but nothing like the 2 hour marathon ones I used to have to take.  This year, also, with the loss of my Dad, a lot has depended on my mood.  For a long time after the funeral, I just could not bring myself to get up and clean.  Now I am doing better.   I didn't get anything done on the kitchen island today, but I did get quite a bit of cleaning done.  We did end up getting my Mom that dog, a chihuahua.   It's on a trial basis, for this weekend.  If Mom decides she doesn't want the dog, the lady will take her back.  We'll see how it goes.  I don't think it's going to work out, but then I didn't think Freckles would work out.  I guess I've gotten kind of pessimistic in my old age? 

Not sure.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do today.  It is my day off, but I'm not as over-the-top optimistic about what I'm going to get done as I was last week.  Today, I got up feeling achy all over and that makes me feel like I won't accomplish much today.  I took some Tylenol, but we'll see.  Ideally, I'd like to get my kitchen island done, do some cleaning and also do something fun today but it is hard to do a lot when you hurt all over.  I feel like my pre-gluten-free days, but I am pretty sure I haven't taken in any gluten.  As far as I know I haven't even had anything questionable, so maybe it's unrelated. 

Thankfully, the kids did get finished with school yesterday and so did not have to ground themselves last night.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ordinary Days.

We've been having some kind of ordinary, nothing to write home about kind of days.  It's been nice.  Since I am working at Mom's house where there is not only cable internet but cable TV, I've been recording some Mythbusters for our family to watch.  We've enjoyed those.  We also have been looking for a dog for Mom, to keep her company.  We've got a chihuahua that is going to come on a trial basis.  The owner wants her back if it doesn't work out  Mom's never really had a dog before, so I'm not sure how tolerant she'll be of it, or if she'll enjoy it or not.  It's an experiment.  If it works out, the dog will have a home and Mom will have company.

The kids are doing school on their own.  I see them doing it.  I know they're not skipping it.  Last night, 2 of them didn't get done in time and grounded themselves.  I didn't know anything about it at all until a couple hours later when my daughter commented about hating being grounded.  It was so funny, such a weird feeling.  They didn't ask for extra time, whine or bed, they just grounded themselves.  I really have them well trained at this point.

Monday, May 24, 2010

10 More Days of School.

It wouldn't really bother me if we went year round the way things have been going. The kids are doing their schoolwork pretty much on their own.  I think they're ready to have a break though.   I'm pretty sure that the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty easy.  I know that the public schools have a pretty easy time of it the last couple of weeks.  We have some Biology DVDs that we've borrowed and need to return so we'll watch those and whatever educational things come from Netflix.  I've recently found out that I could set up profiles in Netflix and had the idea of setting up an account for the parents, the kids and the school and that way it would be more balanced, when we'd get things, but I haven't really set that up yet.  Our internet at home is so slow and when I'm at Mom's I'm usually working then rushing home to do something else.  For example, today, oldest son has physical therapy this afternoon.   That is winding down though and soon will be a memory.

So the way I visualize the summer is me working in the mornings, then doing at least of one of the spring cleaning chores (No they didn't get done this spring!  Have you met me? Okay, well some of you haven't, but you should know by now that I procrastinate about cleaning, plus, I have had a very busy, kind of crappy in many ways, spring.)  and then working on our carpentry projects, getting in our pool, going to the city pool or going on some of the adventures from our mini-adventure list.  I should probably make the kids do at least one math problem a day, but I probably won't.  I do remember the pure, wonderful joy of getting up in the morning and having nothing you have to do.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Trying to work on an attitude of gratitude.

This weekend my husband took off work to get some things done, but nothing, absolutely nothing went right for the things he wanted to do and he didn't get them done.  Meanwhile, the sink sprayer and the air conditioning in the house stopped working and his desk chair broke.  So even though he's had time off work this weekend, he still needs to fix the air conditioning in the van and the brakes on his truck because he spent the whole time working on things that weren't broken when he scheduled the time off.  It seems like we just can't win lately. 

I decided today to start trying to cultivate an attitude of gratitude be thankful for what we do have.

1.  We have a new sink sprayer.
2.  We have an air conditioned house.
3.  We have furniture.
4.  We have a van and a truck and also a station wagon (and they do run ... although one of them won't stop. ;-P).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today's Lesson: Plumbing 101.

We're really getting the electives in this week it seems.  The sprayer on our sink broke off and had to be replaced so that's what went on here this morning, while I was at Mom's.   It is always something, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One of these littlest pet shop pets

is not the same as the rest of them.  Can you guess which pet is different and what that difference might be?

While you are thinking about that, I'll blog about other things. Working at my Mom's house is going well, even though when I get up in the morning, I do not want to go over there and get started, I'm thrilled when I'm done and get to come home and have the rest of the day free. 

The kids are doing really well right now with getting their school work done on their own.  We even added in a little extra woodworking today because they helped me work on the kitchen island. Apparently, every person in the house is better than me when it comes to carpentry skills.  Oh well.  I've got one more board to saw and screw on and my island will be enclosed.  Then I'll paint it.  (I'm skilled enough for that part as long as I take it outside to minimize the mess!).  I'm still looking for a top for it.  Ikea has a reasonably priced one but it won't be reasonably priced if I have to drive to Cincinnati to pick it up and they won't ship it, so that's probably out.

Okay, did you guess about the pet?    This is the different one. 

My daughter designed it and hand sewed it without a pattern.  Pretty cool, huh? 

So, woodworking.   Check.
Home economics.  Check.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A visit to the ankle specialist and other things.

The day finally arrived to go check up with the ankle specialist who did my son's surgery.  He said that he can start putting weight on it, but just a little at a time, so this week, he can rest his foot on the floor while he is sitting and next week, he can touch it to the floor a little bit when walking with the crutches (physical therapy will help with this).  It's going to take about 3-4 weeks before he can walk.  On the positive side though, he's getting really good on crutches. 

I got my stitches out today from my little accident 10 days ago.  The nurse who took them out asked if I wanted to KEEP them.  Now why would I want to keep them?  She said some people do.  This mystifies me.  I still haven't figured out what to do with the 8 x 10 glossy photos of the inside of my son's ankle joint, but at least those aren't gross, having been in my foot for 10 days.  Yuck.  My foot feels better with the stiches out.  They caught on things and hurt. 

After I got out of the doctor's office, I realized that I had left the car lights on and it was dead and wouldn't start.  I got out and headed back into the doctor's office to ask if someone would give me a jump but before I got far, a woman called out that she would help me and came over and jumped the car.  I was so grateful.  I'll have to remember to pay that forward.  What a relief not to have to ask and not to have to call anyone. 

Speakng of getting in touch with people ... if you are one of the people I regularly e-mail with, please be advised that my email is all kooky right now.  I'm switching computers and my laptop with all my stored addresses is at my mom's, I'm also switching internet providers so I will no longer be able to use my address.  I got G-mail but I don't really like it so far and may have to change that too.  Hey, change is supposed to be good, right.  (I still hate it.)

In other news, I finally got to watch the movie "The Blind Side".  It's very good.  I laughed and cried - a sure sign of a good one. 


Two things.

Today is the day that we go back to the ankle surgeon.  We've been telling everyone for weeks that we won't know anything until the 17th and now it's here.  I am hoping that the doctor lets him walk today but I kind of doubt it.  The physical therapist thinks he'll have to go to partial weight bearing.  I have no idea how that will work.  It sounds weird. 

Anyway, I've also got to go to Mom's and work today.  Yesterday it went really well, again and I got my work done really quickly.  I hope that is the new norm.  I've had such a hard time with my job lately so this is a very nice change. 

With the changes in my schedule,  we're not sure what to do about the kid's routines.  Youngest seems to think that if I'm gone from the house, he gets screen time.  We're trying to squelch that idea and tryng to set up new screen time rules and new Mom's routine rules, because normally I have to do my list before they do school and with me working in the mornings, I've not been getting that done.  Usually, on these issues though, if I wait a few days, the kids will come up with a workable solution, so I'll give them some time and we'll see.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It's weird not working at home.  I think, in the long run, it will probably be better, but I'm not fond of change in the short term.  Today I went over there and there wasn't enough work to keep me occupied for a full shift, so I left and went to the library where I had a book on hold and came home for a while, but then I'll need to go back and get the rest of it done.  That's going to annoy me every time it happens, I can see that right now, but that's life.  I've had to change my work hours, my  habits, my email etc.  I've realized that I can't work on some things I was going to work on this afternoon because the files are stored on my laptop, which is at Mom's.  I'm going to try next week to get an appointment to put this computer on my work system and bring my laptop home.  That will help quite a bit.  So anyway, I couldn't work on those files this afternoon so I worked on the house a little bit.  That's what I should have been doing anyway so that worked out.   

A funny story about the hold at the library, there was a note on my library computer file that said "Ask her if she's read Katie Fforde's latest book, The Wedding Season and if not, tell her that we have it now."  I thought that was fun, a personal book recommendation from someone who obviously knows what I like to read, on my library card file.  I don't know which librarian put the note on there, but I'd like to ask them if there are any other books they recommend.  :-)  I haven't read it yet and it might not be any good, so don't take this as a recommendation of the book.

Another library story happened today.  I saw The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy on the card catalog, but couldn't find it and asked the librarian about it.  Turns out they used to have it but sold it this week in the book sale.  Blah.  I wanted to look at it and see if it would be a good reference to buy and keep, but I don't want to buy it sight unseen.  Anyone know anything about this book?  It's by the same writer who wrote all the What Your _ Grader Needs To Know books.  Maybe I'll see one at the book sale in June.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A better day.

I've had a better day today.  I went to Mom's this morning a little before 9 and was home by 12:30  with my work done.  Much better than at home with our slow internet.  So then I took my oldest to physical therapy, went to the library and Lowes and back home.  The kids all got their school work done without complaint.  It's funny that they are getting so good at the routine now that school is almost out for the summer.  I hate to quit, then we'll spend so much time in the fall trying to get back into a routine but oh well, that's life I guess. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whiny Thursday.

Not too much going on today.  I got the computer moved over to my Mom's but I don't have to work today so I haven't tested it out to make sure it all works.  I may go back over there in a bit and make sure I can transmit, etc. but I don't want to.  I have felt like a big old whiny baby all day.   I just don't want to do anything. I've been feeling sorry for myself.  It's not pretty but there it is.  One reason is that the only place the cable guy could hook up the cable at my Mom's house was in my Dad's den, so that's where I'll be spending 4 hours a day, sitting there looking at his stuff, his glasses, his pens, his books and videos, the calendar that is perpetually stuck on January 2010.  I've needed a lot of down time today. This has been characteristic of this whole stressful year for me.  When I have to get up and do something, sit with someone in the ICU or the surgical waiting room, stay all night in the ER, attend a funeral, call 911, go to physical therapy (3 times a week) or to the neurologist, the spine specialist, the ankle specialist or the pain management clinic, I do it, but when I don't have anythng scheduled,  I just stop.  I've done a lot more stressful stuff this year and that seems to need to be balanced out with a lot more down time.  More TV than usual.  More computer time than usual.  Less housework than usual (my family's been picking up some of that slack, thank goodness). I would love to get back to more of an even keel and I sincerely hope that with my son's therapy now going to 2 days a week, my mom only having 2 more pain management treatments, the second memorial service getting done and overwith, that sometime in June, I will be able to.  Fortunately for us all, the kids are very, very good at doing their own schoolwork now, even Mr. 11-year-old has been seen to be planning and executing his own work schedule, which is a miracle I thought I'd never see.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Changing things around.

I don't want to, but because our internet from AT&T is so incredibly S-L-O-W and they don't offer high speed on our street,  I have arranged for my mom to have high speed internet at her house and I will be going over there to work every day.  I hope it goes well.  It kind of ruins the whole 'work at home' thing because I won't be able to throw in a load of laundry or whatever, but I still won't have to dress up or travel very far.  Hopefully it will go very well and I'll get a lot of work done. 

So we've got school, physical therapy, a bit of moving (my chair, laptop and desk) and work today.  I guess I'd better get on it. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

So full of ...

optimism this morning, wasn't I?  I was sure I'd get a lot of things done, but I didn't.  I planned 4H for this month mostly, we did school, I did get over to my mom's house to see her and that's pretty much it.  While looking for 4H stuff and looking for recipes for mom, I happened across 2 really good web sites, one for art and one for gluten free cooking.

Deep Space Sparkle -  Art for kids.

A Year of Slow Cooking.  These recipes are gluten free but don't have weird ingredients, so they'll be good for everyone. 

I've added these to my blog list in the right column. 

A blank day!

I have nothing on my calendar today.  Not one doctor's appointment.  Not one physical therapy appointment because that's been changed to only twice a week.   I'm so happy to have a day on the calendar I can plan.  I am probably going to clean the house and go see my mom but that's not the point.  The point is, I get to choose!  If I want to get absolutely crazy and go see a movie or go shopping this afternoon, I can, as long as I'm home in time for work tonight, of course.  I can't get too wild.  :-)  Still.  What a feeling.   First I'm going to linger over my coffee for a while and read my book.  (I've already been lingering over it for an hour and it's getting cold so I may have to warm it up before I linger over it a while longer.)  Then I'll get up, do my exercises, clean the house (the basics) and then decide whether I'm going to do some deep cleaning, work on an inside project or work outside.  Sometimes, I spend too much time trying to decide what to do when I'm faced with a blank day that I defeat the whole purpose, so I'd better watch out for that!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A very good mother's day present.

Last night, my daughter snuck (sneaked?) out of bed and cleaned up the living room, picking up all of her younger brother's bionicles and stuff and made me a mother's day card, so I got a very nice surprise when I got up this morning.

Happy Mother's Day!

We celebrated with my mom last night because both my brother and I have to work today, him during the day and me this evening.  So we went to mom's last night and cooked together, bacon, eggs, gluten free and regular biscuits, gravy, apple butter, jelly, juice and grits.  It was yum.  I'm feeling a bit under the weather.  The cold syndrome that I've had since last Sunday, the one where I only had a fever and lightheadedness, has progressed into a cough and feeling generally icky.  My foot doesn't hurt unless it gets touched, but my arm, where I had to get the tetanus shot is very, very, very sore.  Still, I hope to have a good day.  We'll see.  I haven't had my coffee yet and that affects my outlook greatly. 

Friday, May 07, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to physical therapy.

Okay, I dare you to guess what I did while my son was at therapy today.   No idea?  Well, I'll tell you.  My daughter and I were going to go to the library so she could get on a computer, but we had to go have surgery instead.  Well, I had to have surgery.  My daughter stood in the hall and waited because she did not want to watch.  So here's how it happened.  

I was basically supervising my son coming down the back stairs out of the house on his crutches.  There's no railing and the first couple of times he attempted these stairs, he kind of went sideways, and once he fell.  So, I stand in front of him, holding out my arms in case he needs to lean on me a little bit.  Today, he came down without incident, but when I stepped backwards, I stepped on a stick with my right foot, which raised it up so that I hit it with my left foot, imbedding it in my foot.  I took the boy to therapy and went to my doctor's office.  It took 45 minutes for my doctor to get the 1/2 inch of wood out of my foot and involved a scalpel and stitches.  It feels fine now.  I don't know if the novocaine hasn't worn off yet, or if it's just not gonna hurt.  The doctor and the nurse said that I made their otherwise boring Friday much more interesting.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Are we done yet?

This time of year whenever homeschool moms and kids get together, you always hear the question "How many days do you have left?" That seems to be what's on everyone's mind at this time. Personally, we're aiming for June 4. However, we won't completely stop educational activities in the summer, just the booky ones. We've got some field trip type things to do this summer with our homeschool groups. We'll spend a couple of days at the state fair. But for the ordinary summer weeks, we are going to do an small adventure list. I was inspired by my own list on my blog a few weeks back, about what I wish we did more of, when I created this list. I sincerely hope that my oldest son regains the use of his ankle pretty quickly so he can join us on these. He goes back to see the doctor on the 17th of this month. After that, I hope my doctor visit schedule eases up some.

So, here's our summer adventure list thus far. We are going to put things in a jar, and pull one out at least a couple of days a week. We may have to sort them by length of time required, depending on my schedule. Some of these are going to require some planning, like fishing, because we don't own fishing poles ... and if we can't borrow them, we'll have to scrap it. Dad will also have to participate in that one. (Mom's squeamish!)

Camp somewhere. (This could include the living room.)
Go feed fish (at large local pond).
Go feed ducks at the lake.
Go for a walk someplace we've never walked.
Rent a movie from Redbox.
Get a pizza. (This may not seem special to anyone else, but we almost never do it. Of course mom won't be able to partake, but that's okay!)
Play a board game (or 4)
Go wade in the creek.
Do a science experiment from one of our books that looks fun.
Make s'mores.
Go to a park.
Go to a movie.
Make alka seltzer rockets.
Water balloons.
Visit local museum or landmark.
Visit local state park.
Look through the telescope.
Go fishing.
Make giant bubbles.
Sidewalk chalk art.
Eat dinner outside on the deck.

Addendum: I realized on my way over to Mom's house, that I had forgotten to put any community service things on the list and then I came home and had a request in my email box for children's books to be donated to the health department so we will add that and some other community service projects to our list.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I found this book on my last visit to the library.

So far, I love it. I went to Amazon and bought a copy within hours of checking this one out of the library. It has almost 1000 books listed with reviews and recommendations including several of my all-time favorites. I figure if they already have that many of my favorites, I'll probably like a lot of the other ones listed. I've already read the first one they recommended and it was good, so I'm excited to have a new source of reading recommendations. I'm just now getting to where I can read again since my Dad passed away. There for a while, all I could seem to do was watch TV and now I'm able to read again, so that's good. I missed reading. I wonder if there is a similar one for children's or young adult books ...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Uneventful days.

Thank goodness.  My fever did not go into a real flu episode, I have just felt kind of lightheaded and out of it for a couple of days.  I wonder if this could be what happened to my son last week?   He had a fever at the hospital of 100.8 or 100.9 which is too low to be counted officially as a fever, but high for him.  I wonder if this whole weird syndrome is what made him pass out?  I guess we'll never know. 

We're doing school and not too much else today.  We're going out to dinner with our small homeschool group and since I can't eat anything at Fazoli's because of gluten, I'm making myself some mexican style bean soup to take with me.  Sometimes I go and buy myself some soup at Chili's which is very gluten-free friendly, but tonight I thought I'd try making something. 

I also tried to work on my kitchen island re-do but it looks like I'm going to ask my husband for help on the sawing (as if he didn't have enough to do).  They wouldn't saw it at Lowes for me because of some health and safety regulation, something about particles in peoples eyes, so anyway, that project has to be tabled for today.  I still feel kind of weak or something, so maybe that's a good thing?

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Now I think I have the flu!  I have a fever of 102.  Where could I have picked something like that up?  Maybe ER #1 or was it ER #2?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wow and an update.

I'm at the library posting this and I cannot believe the internet speed.  It's probably 1000 times faster, at least, than what we have at home.  Wow.  I could so get used to this.

Oldest son is doing okay.  He is still a little sore, but is in good spirits.  We really don't want to leave him at home alone though, so right now youngest son is staying with him (along with Dad who is asleep and could be awakened if necessary.)   Life goes on, thankfully, despite the crazy stressors we've had this year so far, we are surviving.   I'm going to get some things done here and then go to my mom's to cook her a gluten free pot of soup she can eat for a few days.  I'm trying to introduce her to the gluten free lifestyle in the hope that it will help her fibromyalgia as it has helped mine.  It's a good thing not to hurt all over all of the time.

Anyway, it's an uneventful day and I prefer it that way.


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