Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kind of a tiring day.

I had to get up early (for me) and work 2 hours, then take my mom to the pain clinic and wait there with her for 3 hours and then come home and work 2 more hours.  The pain clinic has been good for my mom's back but I so, so hate going in there.  The waiting is just mentally exhausting for some reason.  Knowing that we will be there several hours for a 2 minute talk with a doctor and a 2 minute procedure, just makes me mad.  If I could just let go of my annoyed-ness and calmly wait, it would be better.  Fortunately, I was reading a book and had another one ready for when I finished the first one, so I had something to do.  I was really tired and cranky when I got home though.  I took a nap and now I feel better. 

The kids were pretty much done with all their schoolwork when I got home, even the youngest, which was a nice surprise. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I've been marking the school days down in my calendar, but when strep, the flu, the other virus and the colds hit, I would just make a note of who was doing school and who wasn't due to illness and I didn't count/total up the days until yesterday.  I went through and counted up how many days each kid had off and then the one spring break day and figured out that we are actually doing quite well.  If we don't take a longer spring break, we'll be done before the end of May.  Cool. 

Now we need to decide whether to have a graduation party for the oldest.  It is traditional in our extended family to have a big party but he's not sure he wants all that attention.  He has already said that he does not want a graduation ceremony.  I know for sure that my daughter is way too shy for a big party and she's a freshman right now, so her graduation will be here before we know it!  I'd like to do the same thing for all of them, but I don't know what to do.  I really need to decide soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My work.

The patient presents with range of motion as follows.  For active range of motion right, shoulder flexion 65 degrees versus left of 120 degrees.  Shoulder abduction right of 59 degrees versus left of 81 degrees.  The patient also presents with wrist flexion right of 55 degrees and wrist extension right of 35 degrees.  The patient presents with wrist flexion left 55 degrees and extension 55 degrees left.  The patient presents with finger active range of motion as follows for right index finger MCP 68 degrees, PIP 94 degrees, DIP 64 degrees.  Middle finger MCP 70 degrees, PIP 85 degrees, DIP 62 degrees.  Ring finger MCP 61 degrees, PIP joint 86 degrees, DIP 62 degrees.  Small finger MCP 76 degrees, PIP 68 degrees, DIP 70 degrees.  Left index finger MCP 80 degrees, PIP 84 degrees, DIP 54 degrees.  Middle finger MCP 81 degrees, PIP 95 degrees, DIP 75 degrees.  Ring finger MCP 82 degrees, PIP 90 degrees, DIP 70 degrees.  Small finger MCP 95 degrees, PIP 85 degrees, DIP 75 degrees.  

 My work is so boring today as to be coma-inducing.  I miss when I could type ER reports. Apparently, I passed that skill level some time back and now they won't let me do them anymore so I've been promoted to this kind of work.  This is an excerpt from an occupational therapy note that went on like this for 14 minutes.

I got up this morning

in a good mood, but as I've been sitting here drinking my coffee, I've started to get a little bit overwhelmed with the things I need to get done this week.  I shouldn't.  Really it's not that bad.  I guess I just need to make a list and start crossing things off.  It's really just a bunch of little things that won't take long.  It's just really a lot of  them. Maybe if I had another cup of coffee I'd feel more like tackling them?   

Anyway,  this weekend the kids and I got a project done I've been wanting to do for a long time.  We put up the faux board and batten treatment in the dining room. It needs 1 more coat of paint, but otherwise it is done and it looks really good.  I'll share a picture ... you know, if I ever find my camera cord.  :-)

My youngest son told me to wake him up with Veggie Tales this morning and I put in the DVD and heard one of my favorite Veggie Tales quotes.

"I don't think that's possible and this is coming from a guy who just swam 92 miles without arms or legs!"  Pa Grape

The local kids are on spring break this week but we're not. School is going really well right now and I do not want to break the momentum with a week off.  The kids can just deal with it.  They'll be happy when they get out earlier than the PS kids.  It's so weird to think about my oldest graduating this year.  I can't wrap my mind around it!  I guess I should just stop trying and do the next thing on my list.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Much better.

I took the boy driving again yesterday and he did much better.  I think he's doing good and I think I am too.  I haven't yelled other than that one tiny scream.  :-)  I just keep saying things calmly like "get in your lane" and "put on the brake", "signal" etc.  and there was no hysterical giggling this time either.  We took the car to the edge of town, drove down some residential streets and then washed and vacuumed the car.  I find it interesting that the boy who pretty much listens to music all the time while doing everything, can't listen to it when he's concentrating on driving. 

We came home and watched "America, The Story of Us", which is pretty interesting, although the civil war amputation stories were kind of too graphic for some of us.   We are all enjoying that part of our history education.  We're still listening to "A Wind in the Door" by Madeline L'Engle at night.  This is a very interesting book and a little difficult to wrap one's head around.  I need to go and look up some of the vocabulary.  I'm trying to figure out what's real and what's not in the story of traveling inside Meg's little brother's mitochondria, inside one of his cells.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yesterday turned out fine.

I ended up getting quite a bit of stuff done.  I took Max to the vet and got him some medications for his kennel cough.  I took the garbage out and cleaned the bathrooms and the kids and I worked on the faux board and batten wall treatment we're doing in the dining room.  That was woodworking class because no one wanted to go outside, it was too cold! It went from the 80s to the 40s in one day here in Kentucky.  Later on in the afternoon, I took my oldest son driving.  He's 18 and hasn't got his license yet because of the whole broken right ankle that went on forever and then if he'd gotten his permit when he was 17, he'd have had to wait a year to get his driver's license and if he waited until after his 18th birthday, he'd only have to wait 6 months.  It is quicker doing it this way, even though it seems long and he can go for his license next month.  So I took him driving.  He has not been wanting to go but finally agreed.  Oh.  My.  Goodness. It was interesting.  Kind of scary.  I'm proud to say that I only screamed once.  I did giggle kind of hysterically for a little bit, but anyway, we got through it and after the first 15 minutes, it wasn't quite as terrifying ... :-)    Whew.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So far, this Thursday,

is not going all that well.  I guess we'll see how it turns out.  We were later than usual going to bed and then I couldn't go to sleep and I think I finally drifted off around 1:00 only to be wakened by a child who had heard a noise and wanted to sleep in my room but apparently only after I was completely awake and she had discussed it with me thoroughly.  Finally, I went back to sleep only to be awakened again at 6:00 by Max, the dog, coughing.  He has a terrible cough and probably will have to go to the vet today.  As soon as they open, I'll call.   So now I'm up and trying to decide whether to go back to sleep or just make some coffee and stay up.  I'm kind of leaning towards going back to bed. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Feels like spring.

The daffodils and peach trees are blooming, the weather is warm and sunny and, unfortunately, the mosquitoes are out and biting.  I took the younger kids down to the creek yesterday and they saw tadpoles and got all wet and while they were exploring, the mosquitoes were making a feast of my ankles.   So I'm itchy today.  Still, I enjoy these kind of outings and the promise of getting to go to the creek was enough to get my youngest in gear on his schoolwork so that he wasn't trying to finish it up before bed last night.

I tried another easy stew/soup for the crockpot yesterday. It's an enchilada chili.  My oldest son said he likes it even better than regular chili, but I just thought it was okay.  You put in  2 cans of beans, 2 cans of  tomatoes, a teaspoon of dried onion, a chopped up stalk of celery, a can of red enchilada sauce and some meat.  It's supposed to be chicken, but I put in some hamburger meat that I had previously cooked, drained and frozen.

I haven't done any more work on my book or on the house.  I've re-discovered my love of reading and I have been reading a ton of stuff.  Right now I'm reading Bidding for Love by Katie Fforde which is a fun book, although I definitely feel that I need a British English to American English translator sometimes. 

I did change the kid's schedules somewhat although not as much as I was going to because my daughter was sitting beside me saying "Oh no, don't change that!" every couple minutes.  I changed the chores a little to make them more specific and hopefully that will help.  The chores are always a battle.  I didn't really make any academic changes.  I'm still mulling that one over.  Let's see, is there anything I need to squeeze in before my oldest graduates in May?  That is an important question!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scheduled fun.

I recently signed up for Cozi.  It's a family calendar service.   It emails reminders to our family members of things we have scheduled.  I think I'm really going to like it.  When I was typing in all the things we had scheduled with our homeschool groups, doctor's appointments and 4H, I decided to throw in a scheduled family game day on the third Sunday of every month.  So yesterday we played games.  It was a pretty day and we might have gone outside and played games, but at least 2, maybe 3 people still have nasty coughs and snotty noses from the cold, so we stayed in and played spoons, I Doubt It, 21, War and Last Word.  We laughed a lot.  I'm glad I thought to schedule in some fun so we wouldn't do our usual Sunday "What do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?"  routine.  :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sharing someone else's blog post.

On the Learners At Home blog, there is a really great post about mini-offices which I had never heard of, but they look very cool.  Here's the link to Learners At Home .  I may print some of these out to help my youngest with his writing. 

Adventure walks.

Okay, only a little bit adventurous, but we like to call them that.  We like to occasionally, just get out of the car and walk in places we normally drive through.  Every time we go to town, we pass over a dam to a reservoir.  We have never before today gotten out and looked more closely at it.  It's cool.  It has this huge water intake thingy and an outflow thingy (aren't you all impressed with my vocabulary?) on the other side that looks like a giant water slide.  We must have driven by them thousands of times but today we stopped and took a closer look.  It was cool.  After that, we went to a big kind-of-new bridge and walked across it and looked over the other side and threw a few rocks into a creek down there.  That one was so high, it kind of made me nervous to look over the side, but the kids loved it.  One person stopped to make sure we were okay and we told her we were just goofing off.  It was fun.  I remember when I was a kid and my family traveled across the country, practically, to Arizona and back and some of the most fun times were not scheduled stops and not tourist attractions, just stopping by an interesting rock or to look more closely at a cactus or just to stretch our legs. 

After we did our walking today, we went to the library (of course) and then to the grocery store and then came home and watched A Wrinkle in Time on DVD.  We're listening to the second book in that trilogy at night now, at the kid's request. This is a good example of sneaking in some schooling because these books are FULL of science content.  The first one has a lot of physics and a lot about Einstein's theory of relativity in it and the second one has a lot of microbiology in it.  Anyway,  it was a long, good day.  All these adventures were done after work today, something I couldn't have done in the past without a nap.  A big, big, big nap.  I know I say this all the time, but it is so wonderful to be free of the chronic fatigue that I had when I ate gluten.  So go ahead and eat those biscuits and spaghetti and fresh baked bread.  I'm not jealous.  I am cured.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Better, gluten free.

I had a gluten free day today and yesterday, thank goodness, and got some things done.  I really cannot express how much I hate housework.  My mom's really good at it.  My daughter's good at it.  Then there's me.  I think these things must skip a generation.  Nonetheless, the kids and I got the cleaning we were going to do yesterday done today.  It feels nice to have it done, but I still hate cleaning.  Unfortunately, I also do not tolerate a lot of mess well, so it's not a good combination to have in 1 person.  Ideally, I should either tolerate messes well and not care or I should, if not like, at least not mind cleaning. 

This weekend, I hope that my husband and his crew (funnily enough, the same 3 kids who are on the housecleaning crew) will get some work done on the laundry room renovation that we are in the middle of, but at least 2 of them, husband and youngest son, are still very snotty from the cold that has ripped through this household this week, so I kind of doubt it.  :-( 

I tried a recipe for my book today, it's a 5 can tortilla soup and it's pretty good.  You combine 1 can of chicken breast, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilis, 1 can of Ranch Style Beans and 1 can of hominy and just warm it up.  Of course, I never do anything exactly the way it's written and I didn't have a can of chicken, so I used chicken tenders from the freezer and threw it all in the crock pot.  It's not our favorite crock pot soup, but it is pretty good and it is so easy, it deserves mention. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I think I accidentally ingested some gluten yesterday and so instead of doing all the many, many things I was going to do this afternoon, all I got done was a nap.  :-(  Oh well.  Some days are just like that.  After I had eaten one of the candy bars we are selling for 4H, I noted that they said that the 'crispy rice' ones contained wheat.  I wasn't eating a 'crispy rice' one,  but all the labels are the same so I must assume they are manufactured on the same line ... I've eaten several this month but this is the first time it's affected me but I won't make that mistake again.  I'll have to find another chocolate source for the next time the need arises. 

Before and after my nap, I've been giving some thought to changing our school schedules a little and I think I will.  I think we'll be wrapping up woodworking and I think I'll take a few things like guitar practice off of their lists for a while and add in some more academic things.   May is coming very soon and I've got some things I want to cover.  More on that later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not the expected day, but ...

it was pretty nice.  We were supposed to go on a field trip today but since it was raining so much yesterday, we postponed it, all the way to May.  Anyway, today was a beautiful day and would have been great for the trip but since we didn't go, we enjoyed the outdoors at home.  I gave into much begging and logical reasoning and let the kids have today as one of their spring break days after I heard "But you said last week that we couldn't have a spring break day because it was raining and today it's beautiful and you said we'd wait for a pretty day and take that day off ... "  so we took a day off, took a walk, visited the creek and looked for wildflowers.  We took Freckles with us because I picked her up yesterday and realized that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  We are going to try and take her for a walk every day and I bought some weight reduction dog food.  She likes it, but she might be a bit upset when she realizes its going to be given out in very strict portions, according to what the dog food bag chart advises for weight reduction.  Tomorrow the kids may be upset about insisting on a spring break, because you know what goes with spring break?  Spring cleaning!  Or, I could just be cruel and make them do school.  :-P

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So far, so good.

This has been a good day so far.  I have reached an important weight loss goal  (woohoo!) and my work is going exceedingly well today.  I've only been here an hour and a half and I'm pretty much done.  1 more report and I'll get to go home!  I have not been typing fast either ... I had 5 reports from a doctor who uses ready made templates and all I have to fill in is a few things like left or right and a couple of numbers on each one.  It's great. Some of the templates (done by someone else) are a bit sloppy and so I go around correcting some things and then I'm done.  The perfectionist in me, just won't let the bad grammar go.  Anyway, it's a good day for this to happen because we've got 4H today and a meeting with the homeschool group and will be out and about most of the afternoon.  I have several little details that  I need to take care of for the meeting and I have to get permission slips signed for a field trip tomorrow.  After 4H we're going out to eat with the homeschool group which is always fun even though I can't really eat anything where we go, which is Fazoli's, because kids eat for a dollar on Tuesdays, even, apparently, really big kids.  :-)  

Sunday, March 13, 2011


S - Sunday School
U- Unbelievably beautiful weather.
N- No-one had to work and no school.
D- Dogs ate my french fries when I was outside looking in my husband's car for ketchup.
A- A little bit of housework and then visitors. 
Y- Youth group.

It was a pretty nice day. :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

First of all,

I cannot believe that is is already March 11.  March is almost half over! How did this happen?  The refinance thing we were going to do is not done.   I'm working on being busy, without actually accomplishing anything much, it seems.  This little gluten free book that I was going to knock out in a couple of weeks in November is still with me.  Right now I'm trying out all the recipes.  I've got one in my crock pot right now, meatloaf.  I made meatloaf yesterday and the kids said it needed more ketchup and less onions and then proceeded to eat the entire thing.  I don't have a meatloaf recipe, really.  After I got married, I called my mom to ask her for recipes and all of hers were "a little of this and a little of that" kind of recipes with no specific amounts on anything.  That is the way I cook most of the time, unfortunately, so if someone really likes something I've made, I have to say, "Enjoy it because there's no way I can ever repeat it!"   Since I have went gluten free, I have made more of an effort to cook with recipes, because without gluten, recipes are just different.  You need things like xanthan gum and rice flour, things most cooks have never heard of, much less used so much they are comfortable with just throwing some in, plus they are so expensive, you don't want to waste any!  Right now, with trying to put some of my standard recipes in the book, I find that I have to cook them and folow the recipe exactly to see how they turn out.  I've got to do my chicken rice soup, my vegetable soup and a couple of others soon, to see how they turn out after I've done my best to write them down in some kind of readable fashion.

So anyway, with all the sickness, the 4 4H meetings this week to work on a special project (for the girl's needleworking class), the schooling, the work, the cleaning and discovering my joy in reading again, that's what I'm working on this week.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Now, today.

Now the girl's got the cold, the youngest is worse and the oldest has his wisdom teeth incisions hurting him a lot and is out of pain meds, except for regular Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  It's just fun around here.  Anyone want to come over for a visit?  Two of the kids did school today, the 2 oldest.  It's getting kind of complicated to keep up with who is doing school each day, but I'm writing it all down in my calendar.  I got quite a bit of my stuff done today, housework, laundry, garbage - you know all the fun stuff.  On my breaks, I've been reading The Hunger Games which we were finally able to get from the library.  I'm reserving judgment until I see how it turns out.  I've picked up on my reading again, which I am thankful for, since I've always enjoyed reading and haven't been able to do much of it, for some reason, since my Dad passed away last year.  I'm on my third book this week!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The good, the bad and the messy.

I finally figured out what the problem was with work and it was due to me not following instructions, so I gave myself a terrible day Monday by simply thinking that I already knew how to change the thing that needed to be changed on the computer, doing it my way and not reading all of the email that explained that I needed to do something else as well.  I'm sure that's clear as mud, but the point is, it was my fault.  I went back and read all the emails and figured it out.

Hopefully now work can go back to its normal boring-ness so that I can get it done and get back home and we can get school going better again.  We've been so hit and miss with school lately with everyone being sick and the youngest is actually sick again, having picked up a cold, probably at the pediatrician's office when he had his well child check.  (The irony!)  Luckily, at this point, he's ahead of the other 2 on school days, since his prior illness (strep) was curable with an antibiotic and he got over it more quickly than they did.  

I really need to pull myself together and get the house straightened up and decluttered.  It's frustrating though with the house all still torn apart from the remodeling project that has gone off track and had us with our laundry room contents in the living room for a month.  I've lost my camera cord again and now I've lost my flash drive, both of which are absolutely necessary to getting my gluten-free book finished.   I think I may have to offer a monetary reward to the kids finding my cord and drive.  It's so difficult trying to work on a project like that on 2 different computers, with the really slow internet at home, and the printer at home, but the fast-enough-to-do-anything internet at my mom's house.  It's very frustrating, but I persevere.   I have a lady at church who wants to buy the first copy of the book so she can put her daughter on a gluten free diet, so I'm trying to hurry.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I hope ...

today at work is better than yesterday. I'm getting ready to go over there.  Listen in a little while and see if you hear frustrated screaming ... it might be me. 

My day didn't start out so well.

They were having computer problems at my work, due to moving the office and it was affecting everyone.  I was not able to access the patient census or the doctor's list and it was very frustrating.  I worked an extra hour and still did not make my line count today.  Anyway, those problems should be resolved soon, it was just one of those things.   After work, I came back home, picked up my daughter and took her to 4H.  We had the meeting in this humongous old house with 12 (at least) feet tall ceilings and an antique spiral staircase, which we got to explore a bit which was very fun.  The kids were painting a barn quilt for a family in the county, which was an interesting 4H project, so my day and my mood got somewhat better.  Now, we have just finished having dinner and we are going to sit down together (the kids and I) and watch a little bit of Monk.  We love that show and we're getting all the seasons on Netflix right now.

*I tried to post this on Monday evening, but it didn't post so here it is on Tuesday morning.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Grocery day, work day, catch up on a bunch of things I needed to do day - that's what today was.  This evening, I've made a blackberry-raspberry gluten free cobbler and I'm re-reading a good book that is like an old friend.  It's nice.  We did have a little school work going on around here today because the youngest (who else?) didn't do all of his schoolwork and was planning to do his math on Friday, but then we canceled school on Friday ... Anyway, it was due on Wednesday so I told him last night that he needed to have a little talk with his math teacher, Dad.  He and Dad worked out a deal so that if he got his math done by 5:00 pm today, he could have screen time.  So there was math going on here this afternoon.  Meanwhile, my daughter and I went to Walmart, the grocery, Goodwill, the post office and to get gas.  We looked at Walmart for embroidery thread, which is my daughter's latest interest and they didn't have any.  The cashier said that they are scaling back their craft department.  :-(   So now, we'll have to find a place to buy it.  It's funny because we were looking to buy thread for a 4H project and the lady who checked us out at Walmart said we should look into joining 4H ... just one of those funny coincidences.

Friday, March 04, 2011

A day with no school.

We didn't even try to do any school today.  The girl does feel somewhat better and the oldest son seems okay, although he is, of course, having some jaw pain.  They probably could have done school, but I didn't force the issue.  I always have to work when I'm sick and go right back to work a couple of days after surgery, so I am sympathetic to them wanting time off to recuperate.  We'll get our days in, I'm not worried about that.  I am glad we got ahead around Christmas so now missing these days isn't hurting us too badly.  We do like summers off, most of us, although I think my youngest would rather do school in the summer because he doesn't like to go outside as much when it's really hot.  This is his favorite time of the year to go outside. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Another virus.

My daughter does not have the flu and she doesn't have strep.  She got to experience both swabs.  She has another virus entirely.   Her fever was 101 when we got to the doctor for her "well child check". They did the well child check anyway as well as a sick visit.  I have completely surrendered as far as school goes for today and tomorrow.  I hope they enjoy this 'spring break'.  I know the youngest will.  He's not sick at the current time.  :-)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Better day.

The boy feels better today.  He's been playing guitar hero and eating mashed potatoes and cream of broccoli soup and apple sauce.  He's felt good enough to get on Facebook and go to youth group and see his friends who were all very surprised to see him.  He doesn't feel great of course, but better. At least with this surgery, he can still walk.  I told him to make this his last surgery for a while, at least.  You know some people live their whole lives without going under the knife.   One good thing about all this is that he is getting over his needle phobia somewhat.  He took his IV like a man yesterday, or so I hear, since I got to stay in the waiting room this time.  :-)

Tomorrow, the 2 younger kids have their well-child-checks but at least one of them is not all that well.  The girl has a sore throat and a headache, so the girl will be getting the swabs tomorrow, strep and flu, throat and nose.  Fun, fun, fun.  

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Yucky Day.

My oldest son got his wisdom teeth out today.  He says that this is way worse than when  he had his tonsils out and way, way worse than his ankle surgery.  He's completely miserable, still bleeding, can't stand to open his mouth, etc.  I assume, though, that the recovery will go faster than his ankle surgery last year, I mean, nothing has ever went slower than that.  The rest of us are okay.  I took off work today because of the surgery, but the younger kids are still doing school.  They're going to be way ahead of him days-wise, but it can't be helped.  We almost had a wreck on the way home when someone backed out in front of us, but we didn't thanks to my quick use of the horn to get them to look up and stop and the brake and a quick swerve.  I'm glad my reflexes were working well, because I was tired.  I managed to go to Kroger 3 times today (before surgery to get mushy foods, then after surgery to drop off the prescription and then later to pick it up) and forgot, all three times to get one item I needed from there.   Blah.


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