Monday, December 30, 2013

The Saga of the Doritos and a couple of other things.

Four years ago I went gluten free and at that time, Nacho Cheese Doritos were one of the many foods I gave up.  I liked them, but really didn't eat them all that often anyway.  So for 4 years, I have considered all Doritos products to be off limits.  When my son drove home from Mississippi last week, the only food he ate on the whole trip was a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.  I thought he had eaten gluten and he disagreed, saying that he had read the label and they seemed to be gluten free.  I read the label and then Googled it and found out that they changed the formula a couple of years ago to eliminate wheat.  Oh Joy.  We got a bag the next day and ate Doritos.  Then later that day my stomach hurt, but I discounted it because I had taken an ibuprofen and sometimes that makes my stomach hurt.  Then we got some more Doritos because we were in the midst of our glorious reunion with them.  Then another stomach ache.  Hmmm.  This time I had not taken  any ibuprofen.  Of course being a homeschool mom I felt it was my responsibility to try the experiment one more time.  More stomach pain.  So my glorius reunion with Doritos is over now.  It was fun while it lasted.  :-P

Speaking of gluten, my oldest son got glutened yesterday at one of the family parties by, of all things, scalloped potatoes.  Normally, he would stay away from them because of the cheese, but he's been tolerating dairy products pretty well lately so he tried them, only to find out that they contained gluten.  He went home from the party and got a Gluten Digest pill, but it didn't work and he was in a fog all evening.   He's like me in that his gluten symptoms do not include any abdominal pain, but a headache, body aches and brain fog.

Speaking of parties, I got through them and had a good time as I always do.  After we went to church, then to a party, then to another party and got home at around 7:00 pm, my oldest son mentioned that he is bored at home and would like to "do something" because he is used to "doing stuff" all the time at school.  We've been to 5 parties this week, but apparently that is not enough.  I'm going to contact the homeschool group and see if they want to get together for New Years.   :-P

Sunday, December 29, 2013

party, party.

We have 2 overlapping family parties today.  One with my extended family and one with my husband's extended family.  I, of course, am not looking forward to either for many reasons, the main one being that I am an introvert by nature (although I can fake being an extrovert quite well) and that being around that many people exhausts me.  Also, I'm in the middle of a personal pity party really and I'll have to answer the question "How are you?" many times today.  Should I say I'm "fine" or "okay" when really I don't feel all that fine or okay?  Wish me luck as I fake enthusiasm today and maybe I will fake it until I make it and have a happy day. 

Oh, I hope so.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Okay, now, I guess.

I need to get back to my normal life?  I really don't want to.  I'd like an excuse to keep on putting off all the things I don't want to do.  :-P    Here they are, in no particular order.

I need to go see about my arm, since I can't straighten it out.  ( I have an appointment today.)

I need to find Mom's VA application papers and take them to the assisted living facility person in charge of procuring VA benefits.  I'm really not sure where this might be????

My brother and I need to decide if Mom is staying where she is or moving to a different location.

I need to declutter my house. 

I need to get a new job.

I need to get an eye examination and new contacts.  Maybe some type of bifocal system.  :-(

I need to talk to my daughter and maybe enroll her in dual credit classes.  That has been the plan but as this is her last year of high school, she has things she wants to accomplish and really would it hurt to start college next fall?

I also need to take my daughter to get her driver's permit.

I need to try and lose the bazillion pounds I gained this year from stress eating, being sick and having all my joints hurt all the time.   (Most of my joints seem to be doing better thankfully, with the exception of my left elbow.)

I hope I can get at least some of these all checked off pretty quickly while still enjoying my son being home. :-)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We managed to have a good time.

Despite my concern over the changes in all of the plans, we had a good time anyway.  One of the highlights of the Christmas of 2013 was Christmas Eve when the 2 younger kids decided to watch Veggie Tales and then entertain us by singing every single word very quickly to all the songs, especially the Larry the Cucumber's song called "I love my lips" which was completely hilarious.
Another highlight was singing at church on Christmas Eve with my daughter singing with me and my son playing the guitar.  I'm tired now and glad it's all mostly over, but it was nice.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Getting there.

We managed to have a nice Christmas Eve yesterday, despite our change of plans.  We went out to Mom's assisted living apartment and hung some pictures up for her and sung her a song or two (She's our biggest fan) and then we went to church last night.  Then we slept for a short time and got up and gave gifts to the kids.  I'm kind of mad at myself for ordering the wrong size shirt for my oldest son.  His school bookstore was having a sale about a month ago and I had bought him a t shirt from there that was a medium, and this time I ordered a hoody.  I should have thought to get a hoody a size bigger because you wear it over other shirts, but I didn't.  I bought the medium.  Other than that, everything was a hit.  My husband did a good job with the shopping. 

Now we are off to have breakfast with my husband's family then come back home to have dinner with my family. 

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

" What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Different Christmas

Adjusting, adjusting, adjusting.  Everything about this year and this holiday season has been adjusting.   I would have liked for some things to stay the same.  The old routines are apparently comforting to me and so I have felt upset about all the changes this year.  I would like to be able to hold onto the usual Christmas stuff at least until my kids are grown, but it is not to be.  Our Christmases always involved going to Grandma and Granddaddy's house on Christmas eve, then to church, then coming home and staying awake half the night, then getting up early, getting presents from each other and Santa and then going to Mamaw's house for Christmas breakfast.  It's always been fun and exhausting and wonderful (and yes, I did whine about the lack of sleep!).  My youngest son especially has wanted to hang onto these traditions.  A few years ago when Mamaw's bathroom was being remodeled and was out of service on Christmas day and we went to my brother-in-law's house for breakfast, he was pretty upset about it.  Over the past 4 years, we have adjusted from it being Grandma and Granddaddy's house to just Grandmas. :-(

We knew this year was going to be different with Mom in assisted living.   Her house is in limbo, sitting there empty until we decide what to do with it so there is going to be no Christmas eve at Grandma's this year.  We had decided to host here on Christmas eve, same people, different house, but it is not to be.  My brother has made alternate plans and so we now have no plans tonight at all.   I probably will go spend some time with Mom but I am not sure.  We may move our opening presents from each other to tonight.  Again, not sure.  I feel really strange, not having a plan for tonight. 

So then tomorrow, my mother in law doesn't feel like hosting so we are going to my brother-in-law's again.  Sigh.  I guess I better just get over it.   A little warning on either of the disrupted plans would have helped me deal with it maybe a little better.   As it is, I am having a very emotional Christmas to end a very emotional year.    I am going to try and put a smile on my face, and make some new traditions.   One thought I had was trying to do some random acts of kindness tonight and we may do that. 

Oh well, I guess I'd better get to work.  

I hope that everyone has a nice Christmas this year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Christmas Eve, Eve.

Our family has a lot of traditions, things we do every year.  The Christmas countdown calendar, hiding candy in the tree, going to the Christmas play at church, going to my parent's house at Christmas Eve and going to my in-law's house on Christmas day.  For me, it usually really seems like Christmas at the Christmas play at church which was last night.  Old friends attend and the church is packed, the play is always entertaining and funny and I see people I only get to see once a year and now, lately, their new grandchildren -- not that I am old or anything!   I also usually enjoy the Christmas Eve service at church because that is a time when anyone can share a song, a poem, a reading or a personal story.  It's very beautiful and special. 

This year's Christmas is a bittersweet because of my mom's condition.  She is so anxious and worried and the doctor will not give her an anti-anxiety pill of any kind.  Last night, I went and picked her up and my family met me at the church.  Because of our conversations on the 20 minute ride to church, I sat there and cried through half the service, finally, got myself under control during the middle and then took mom home and cried all the way back.  Then when I got home, I sat down with all 3 of my kids and watched Friends.  That is not a Christmas tradition, but it is what came from Netflix on Saturday, so its what we watched.  This disc had the hilarious song from Phoebe "I'm in the shower and I'm writing this song, stop me if you've heard it.  My body is soapy and my hair is wet and Tegrin spelled backwards is Nirget ... lather, rinse, repeat and lather, rinse, repeat ... as needed".  So we had some good laughs together. 

I think this Christmas is going to be a roller coaster of emotions for me.   I had better buckle up.  :-(

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's really getting close now!

Christmas time is here.  My oldest son is supposed to be on his way home today.  I haven't heard from him yet, but our phone is messing up.  It's doing this weird thing where it rings quite often, but the rings don't stop and then if you pick it up, there is a lot of static.  Then when you put it back down, the ring continues for a couple of minutes.  One long ring.  Every now and then, for kicks, it will do several shorter rings, but there is never anyone we can hear on it.  :-(  We've been yelling "Call us on our cell phones!" into the phone for days.  It did this this morning at 5:30 and at 7:00.  Loads of fun. 

We still have presents to wrap, things to bake, a house to clean (though it is mostly fine), cooking to do, and a Christmas spirit to get in.  We've also got an anniversary party, a Christmas concert and a Christmas play to attend this weekend.  :-P. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Taking it a little easier today.

I was supposed to volunteer this evening, but I got up feeling very sore and stiff and sometime in the middle of the day, made the decision not to go tonight.  I really hate to miss it, but I had some things I needed to pick up and my daughter and I wanted to get our hair cut.  I got an inch off and she got 10+ inches off and donated to Locks of Love and then we did some shopping.  It was nice.  Afterwards, instead of rushing off to volunteer, I took a nap.  I do miss the babies but this is probably the calm before the storm.  We've got something going on every day for a while after this and so I think we needed this break.  We are going to spend the rest of the evening watching The Santa Clause 2, I think and maybe drinking some hot chocolate. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Again. I spoke too soon.

Monday's visit with mom left me feeling reassured that she was doing better and then she called me yesterday to beg me to let her come home.  It's sad.  We have a couple of other assisted living facilities that might have more activities and we may be moving her.  We am not sure what to do, so please pray we will make the right decision.  I will go up and visit her tonight.  :-(

We are finishing up school and getting ready for the holidays.  My oldest son gets out of school on Friday and will be driving up, I suppose, on Saturday.  He's bogged down with studying right now (as he should be) and hasn't been in touch much.  The younger 2 have suddenly, last minute, gotten involved in a Christmas play.  The girl is doing the lights and the youngest son is playing 2 parts, one with 1 spoken line and 1 without.  They both seem to be enjoying it.  The boy, especially, is enjoying participating in this.   :-)

So on my blog today, one sad paragraph, one happy paragraph.  Middle age is so much fun.  I am counting my blessings.  I do know that my kid's paragraph could also be sad, and I am very thankful that it is not.

As to Christmas, all of the presents have arrived but one and it's a biggie, so we are hoping that will come soon.  My in-laws are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend as well and I have ordered them a gift that is guaranteed before Christmas, but I really hope comes before Saturday.  I got in on the last hour that they guaranteed delivery by Christmas.  That was a close one.

Have a good day today and take some time, even if it is just a minute, to savor something about this season.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trying to Savor the Season. A little bit.

I enjoyed seeing my friends yesterday and my mom's nurse practitioner gave me some good suggestions for changing mom's medications without adding any, but just changing when they are given, that might help.  Also, when I picked mom up, she was sitting in the cafeteria happily chatting with some other ladies and when I left she was chatting them again in the hall, and she did not seem anxious.  That helped me a ton.

Amidst all the things we need to get done this season, I am trying to savor the season whenever I get a minute.  I got some peppermint bark and gingerbread creamers for my coffee.  We've been watching Christmas movies whenever we can, Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, While You Were Sleeping, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon version) and the Charlie Brown Christmas.  We've been spending time with others, including the nice little break in the day yesterday with our precious wonderful homeschool group.  We're trying to be somewhat mindful of the season, playing a lot of Christmas music and making sure to turn the tree on, hiding candy on the tree and moving it around for others to find, changing the Advent calendar every day to count down the days until Christmas.   My youngest son also made me a Christmas music playlist for my computer and I have found that if I turn the volume way down on the music, I can hear my transcription and also hear the music in the background, which I enjoy. 

I guess I'd better get back to work.

Have a great day everyone.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday a.m.

I am up early because I have a ton of stuff to do today.  I have to work and in the middle of my workday, I have to take the kids to their Christmas lunch, then go get Mom and take her to the doctor, with 2 teens in tow.  Oh, the fun of the sandwich generation.  Ironically I am taking someone else to the doctor when I myself can barely walk, cannot straighten out my arm, my eye is twitching continually.  It's fun.  Also, I need to finish up maybe some odds and ends of the Christmas shopping.  I'm waiting for my husband to message me back on Facebook and I'll know whether one more thing needs to be ordered.  Maybe 2.   I've already typed 2 priority/stat reports this morning and now I am going to go load the dishwasher, give Max the Dog his insulin injection, feed the outside pets (which I call the herd because there are 4 of them.), type some more, take a shower and go.  I've also been looking into alternative lunches because we've scheduled the lunch at Pizza Hut back when my girl was not gluten free, but now she is and she doesn't like salad, so she won't be able to eat there ... sigh.  

But the good news is that in the middle of this busy day, I get to see my friends from the homeschool group (some of them ~ I will miss the others terribly!) and maybe play a relaxing game or two.  

I just need to relax.  This can be done.  Just keep plugging away.

I'm off to feed the herd now. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas-y Celebrations.

I got up feeling pretty lousy and pretty sorry for myself this morning.  I admit it.  There would have been whining if there had been anyone to whine to.  I felt physically awful and just didn't know how I was going to put on a happy face and go to the 3 extra-work-ular events I had today, but I got ready and went to the first one.  My Sunday school class had our annual lunch at Cracker Barrel.  It was nice.  I got to talk to some really sweet people and have a nice lunch and I feel better.  Now I am back and working and this evening I will take the kids to a birthday party and then head out for dinner again, this time with some old friends, which is always nice, so hopefully I will be able to relax and enjoy myself this Christmas season and not be thinking about the bazillion things I need to do and decisions to make and how different this Christmas is than how I would want it to be and just enjoy it for what it is.

Last night's rush was not as bad but as my son says "Even though I am doing better this week, that's not the same as saying I'm doing good." and he didn't do as well as I would hope, so this week I am going to demand better.  We'll see.  If not, there will be grounding.  At Christmas time.  I'm mean and unrepentant.  :-P  Santa doesn't visit me anyway.  :-)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday the 13th of December.

I think with the new rules in place, there shouldn't be a terrible Friday night rush this evening.  I want the kids to go with me to see mom, so hopefully, they have gotten their school work under control and no one will have to ground themselves here less than 2 weeks before Christmas.  My oldest son has 1 more full week of school before Christmas, so they do too. 

I'm hanging in here, I guess.  As one would expect, I am struggling with some feelings of depression a little bit and some feelings of being overwhelmed with all we need to do for mom, whether to keep her where she is or to move her and the paperwork involved in trying to get VA benefits for her.  I'm still struggling with arthritis pain issues and can't straighten out my left arm and sometime I might need to go to the doctor for that. I don't know if it is from falling down the stairs 3 weeks ago or from 20 years of typing, but I suspect the latter and I really don't have time to rest, ice and elevate my arm right now.  It made it kind of painful holding the babies in the NICU last night where I volunteer but I persevered and went to hold them anyway and as usual, it made me feel better.  I'm not like some of the volunteers, checking my phone every few minutes while holding little ones.  I don't take it.  I simply go and fully participate in what I am doing.  Last night for a while I was sitting and holding a little guy while next to another one's isolette.  The baby in my arms was comforted by just being held and I found that I could also comfort the other one by just talking to him.  It was very cute how he would stop fussing and listen.  I don't know if he could see me or not but volunteering is the best, I know that.

Anyway, I'm trying to keep my chin up and hang in there.  I'm old enough to know that this kind of season eventually passes.  I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I am happy about the presents we get to bestow on our kids and others and happy about time we get to spend together as a family this holiday season.  I'm looking forward to playing the new board games, going to Christmas Eve service at church and seeing family members I don't get to see very often.  My son is coming home and that's always good. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Christmas Miracle and Other Things.

My husband did all of the Christmas shopping yesterday, in one day.  One fell swoop.  It took all day but he got it done.  We do our shopping on line for the most part.  At some point this holiday season, I will get some candy and stuff for the stockings, but it's done.  Woo hoo!  I'm kind of in shock, but very pleased.  I don't quite know how to act.  :-) 

Last night we sat down together and watched Home Alone.  It's still funny after all these years. 

While he was doing that, I worked and went over and cleaned half of mom's fridge.  The heat is off in her house and I was freezing and afraid of getting frostbite so I only did half.  Today I'll go try and finish and then we'll go up to the assisted living facility and hang up some more pictures and stuff.  My brother and I are thinking of moving her to a different faclity because they really don't have enough activities there for her.  She spends a lot of time alone in her room and that is so not what we wanted.  :-(.  Sigh.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spoke too soon.

I spoke too soon about Mom doing better at the assisted living facility.  She has a lot of anxiety and apparently has been calling everyone but me.  Last night, we were going to play UpWords but she was too anxious really to play.   I'm going to call her doctor this morning and see if we can get her an anti-anxiety medication, at least for a while.  Meanwhile, lots of prayers and warm thoughts would be appreciated.

In homeschooling news, I've decided that if they are not finished with school by 10:00 p.m. on Friday, which is EXTREMELY generous, they are grounded for the whole weekend and also I am requiring a certain number of subjects every day to hopefully cut down on this procrastination which I realize has gotten ridiculous.  I've been distracted and they have been taking advantage. 

There's a part of me that so wishes that I had been homeschooled as they are so I could have had the time to read as many books as they get to, because that's pretty much what they do when they are procrastinating.  :-) 

In other news, it's snowing today, which is exciting after all the ice!  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Monday, week 3 of the new normal.

We moved Mom into the assisted living facility 3 weeks ago today.  I think it is getting easier.   The kids and I had a good visit on Saturday between the 2 ice storms (which were thankfully pretty minor here).  The only thing is, they only had a studio apartment open and so there's not a lot of room.  We have 1 upholstered chair in there, a single bed, a table and chairs and that's pretty much it.  There's a kitchenette, but the whole apartment is maybe dorm room sized.  The kids went down to one of the little sitting areas to watch Disney and work on their book and accidentally knocked over a lamp, getting the attention of one of the workers there .  In their defense, it was pretty precariously placed on a table, but then they came back to the room to sit on the bed and watch Disney.  It's not as comfortable there as it was in mom's house with a living room and a den, but I guess we have to adjust.  I'm not getting a million calls a day about the situation right now, which helps me feel more peaceful about it.  During yesterday's nap, I only had 2 calls. 

The current crisis involves her TV which is a new one we bought because her old one was really big and heavy.  She couldn't figure out the remote so we got another remote, but she couldn't cope with that one either and was unplugging the cable.  I put a sign on the wall for her not to unplug the cable, so Saturday when she was there, she had gotten behind the dresser it is on and unplugged the electricity.  (I had previously put a sign on the TV itself that said that the button for on/off was on the back of the TV and showed her where to look for it, but that didn't work either.  Also, why can't the TV buttons be more obvious and maybe on the front? )  I may have to ask one of the workers to come in each night and turn it off and come in each morning and turn it on.  Who would have thought that a TV could be a stressor?  My mom cannot remember anything about the TV, but can always remember how to use the phone and she uses it constantly to call her sister to ask her sister how to do everything and then her sister calls me. It's just frustrating for everyone involved, including my poor mom.  I mean can you imagine not being able to remember anything? 

Anyway, that's it.  The new normal.  Thankfully, my children have been raised well and they homeschool themselves and even ground themselves if they mess up.  My son was talking about not being able to sleep the other night because he had to ground himself from audio books due to not getting his school work done in time on Friday night.  :-P

Sunday, December 08, 2013


We are in the midst of an ice storm, hopefully a not very memorable one.  :-)  I am actually kind of glad that the ice storm is making me stay home.  I hope that the electricity does not go off, but since it hasn't yet, I have been enjoying myself this morning, watching How I met Your Mother, baking, running the dryer and browsing Facebook.  I've also been kind of looking for a couple of Christmas presents on line.  I really need to buckle down and get on that but I really, really don't want to.  If the electricity does go off (which it usually does during ice storms), I have 2 library books checked out and 2 kids to play board games with.  :-P

A break might be just what I needed most.

Friday, December 06, 2013


I thought I might share what it is like to volunteer at the children's hospital where I go.  When I first signed up, it was much like applying for a job.  I had to fill out an application.  I had to have a criminal background check.  I didn't have to have a physical, but I did have to get some shots, a flu shot, a TB test and a whooping cough shot (which I think was optional, but the hospital paid for it and I apparently needed it, so I got it.).   Then I had to attend a general training/orientation session and list areas in the hospital where I might want to work and given a smock and ID.   I was assigned to the NICU which was my first choice and then I had to attend a NICU training session, which lasted maybe an hour, with a few discussions of what to do and a tour.  Next was my first day volunteering.  I felt a bit lost, but there was another volunteer who showed me a few things, where the linens and supplies are kept in case I would be fetching them and things like that.  The nurses have shown me a few things along the way like how to swaddle a baby, which is a trick I wish I had known 21 years ago (feeling old!), but my first baby was colicky and this might have helped. 

So now when I go, I know where things are and I really enjoy being helpful.  I'm getting to know the nurses.  I go in and wash and hand-sanitize, walk into the ward itself and listen for crying.  If a baby is crying that's where I go.  Sometimes their parents have them and sometimes they are crying because they are being disturbed by having their medicine or a diaper change, etc., but if not, I put on a gown and hand-sanitize again and sometimes then put on gloves.  There are rules about glove use which change depending on how many infants are in that particular ward, so I have to find out what the current rule is when I get there.  Then my first thing I do is start talking to the baby.  Some of them will stop crying and listen while I'm getting on my gown and sanitizing my hands.  Secondly, I find the pacifier and insert it and begin to adjust the swaddle situation.  Sometimes being talked to, re-pacified and re-swaddled is all it takes and the little one drifts back to sleep.  With others though, I do pick them up and sit with them in a rocking chair.  Some of the babies in our unit have health issues, most are simply a little premature and trying to grow and gain so they can go home, a few are born drug-addicted, (Those are the ones who need the volunteers the most.  They are so needy of someone to hold them, to help them stay calm) and some are just ready for their next bottle and don't want to wait.

After 4 hours of fetching supplies and giving out cuddles to tiny, tiny people, I come home each week worn out, but it is so worth it.  

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I really

would like to get my Christmas shopping done today but that's not likely to happen since 2 of my kids haven't given me a list.  I am definitely not setting foot in a brick and mortar store if I don't have to.  :-P.  I want to just get it done and quickly.   My husband has offered to do it and I probably will let him.  Although I have a hard time letting other people do things.  I think a season of not obsessing over gifts for once would be kind of nice. 

Today is my day off work, but my daughter is babysitting and last time I checked, the baby was asleep (and my daughter was doing geometry proofs), so I am making myself scarce and not cleaning as I usually would on a Thursday morning.  The house is still pretty clean from Thanksgiving, but if I want to keep it that way, I'd better get busy this morning at some point.

I went to see mom last night and she seemed pretty content, though it may have been that my daughter and my brother were there - why she didn't ask to go home.  I hope she's settling in.  From all reports, Tinker (my mom's dog) is doing well with my cousin and he is enjoying her company.  That's a great relief.  I worried about the dog, knowing bringing a 5th dog into my household would not be fun!. 

Anyway, I'd better get going ... have a good day everyone.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


After my little escape yesterday, I was back today, working, cooking and going to see mom.  My new normal, I guess.  I'm not thrilled with it.  Mom asked me about 10 times if she could go home now.  It's heartbreaking.  My brother and I keep saying that we are going to see how the winter goes.  Her home is rural and it is hard to get to in the snow, so she was always afraid of being stuck there.  She'll agree with that and then a few minutes later, ask if I didn't think she could go home now.  I pray that by spring she will be settled in and perhaps even enjoying where she is.  Miracles can happen, right?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Good day, nice change.

Today was our annual homeschool mom's shopping day.  We use part of the funds in our group to take ourselves out for lunch and shopping.  It was nice.  Those times with friends really help when other things in your life are stressful.  I talked to my brother during the day and he said that mom was doing pretty well today and was in good spirits, so that helped me enjoy the day more.  We went to Hobby Lobby and a bookstore and then went to O'Charley's and who did I run into, but my husband who was being taken out to lunch by his boss.  That was kind of funny.  :-P    While we were both out, the kids were homeschooling themselves and now that we're home, they are putting up the Christmas Tree.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Just one day at a time.

I am trying to get through this busy and stressful time one day at a time.  My mom is more forgetful at the assisted living facility and she wants to come home.  She kept asking me about it last night and I kept saying we'd try it for the winter.  I had to go by her house last night and get a bunch of things.  It's not fun.  I find that at her house I miss mom and also I miss Tinker, her dog, who is now living with my cousin.  If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago if I had any particular attachment to Tinker, I would have said no, but as it turns out, I miss her. 

So anyway, today we have a baby shower that I am helping with and church.  I will go get mom for church and ask for someone else to take her home.  Her brother has offered to help out so if he is there today, I'll ask him.  Last night I went to Walmart for the cupcakes and punch ingredients and came home feeling awful, all my joints hurting, so we'll see how I feel later.  Probably not good.  :-(   And tomorrow is supposed to be the homeschool mom shopping day.  We'll see. 

Today my son goes back to college for 3 more weeks and then comes back home for Christmas break.  Doesn't Christmas seem like it is barreling down on us now?  25 days if you count today and Christmas.  Eeek.  Of course I haven't started my shopping, my mother-in-law's shopping or my mom's shopping, which I will add onto my workload, on top of the housework, cooking, medical transcription and editing and taking care of mom. 

I feel a little grinchiness coming on. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Again.

One of the sesame street movies, I think it is Elmo Saves Christmas, they go around singing a song called "It's Christmas Again!" and that is what is on my mind today as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with my immediate family, having celebrated with my husband's family yesterday.   There will be a lot fewer people at mine and my kids are the only kids, but we will have a good time anyway.  I see Rock Band and board games in this afternoon's future.  :-P  Yesterday, we played Taboo and Catch Phrase. Have a great black Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am up early because I just woke up but I realized right after I woke up that the sweet potato pie really needs to be in the oven by 9:00 a.m., so it's a good thing I am up.  Since 3 of us are gluten free now, we need to bring our own dressing, our own turkey/chicken (due to the cooking method of throwing wheat flour into the baking bag), our own gravy and our own desserts.  Luckily, I have taught my husband to make gravy and now he makes it better than I do, so he did that and baked the cornbread, which I made into stuffing, my daughter made a cheesecake with a gluten free graham cracker crust, so I only have a few things to do this morning, do the sweet potato pie, the rolls and bake the stuffing which is already assembled.   I made a list last night because lists help me.  I love a good list.  :-) 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gluten Free?

If you are here looking for gluten free Thanksgiving recipes, take a look here at my other blog, here at Gluten Free on a Shoestring and here at Gluten Free Easily.  It's not that difficult to make a wonderful meal that is gluten free. 

I am going to be cooking a chicken, sage and onion cornbread stuffing, crustless sweet potato and pecan pies, and gravy and my brother and his girlfriend will be making the vegetable side dishes.  My daughter may also make a cheesecake.  I use the Pamela's baking mix and just substitute it cup for cup into my recipes for most things. 

Thank goodness.

For my homeschool group.  We met at Burger King yesterday, sat there and played UpWords and talked while the kids played Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples and Telestrations.  We all had a good time and I felt renewed when I left there.  I'm still carrying my burdens, but sharing with my friends has made it feel lighter.  Today, we've got baking and cleaning to do, along with a lot of other people here in the US, I'm sure, preparing for tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The struggle continues.


I'm trying to work at this tedious, awful voice recognition job that my job has turned into while dealing with multiple phone calls regarding my mom.  She's still not happy but she wasn't happy at home either.  No matter what we do, no matter how much we visit and call, she's not happy.  I don't know what to do.  When my aunt called me about it this morning, I told her that she was asking me for the impossible.  No matter how long I stay, one minute after I leave, mom will be lonely.  No matter how long I talk to her on the phone, as soon as I hang up, she will be lonely again.   I can't bring her into my loud, rowdy rambunctious home of teenagers, dogs and cats.  I can't imagine that she could stand that and I know I probably couldn't, not that we have room.  If she went to live with my brother, she would still be alone 12 hours a day and in another city so that I couldn't visit her as often.  It's just an all around lose/lose situation for everyone involved.  It's sad.  You can love a person and try to please a person, but you cannot make someone else happy.

Meanwhile, my brother and I are trying to get her mail transferred, trying to get her subscriptions moved out to where she is now, trying to manage her money, trying to winterize her house, trying to cope with it all while also dealing with a situation that has come up with mom's caregiver that I don't feel comfortable sharing here, but it is bad, trust me.

And with all of that, we are heading into the holidays when we try to have so much fun and do so much extra stuff and I personally just end up feeling more stressed, every year.


Monday, November 25, 2013

A couple of pictures.

My daughter is practicing learning to draw eyes.

Freckles begging for turkey from my oldest son.

Thanksgiving week begins!

My son came home from Mississippi yesterday.  Usually he stops a lot of times and calls me a lot of times, but yesterday I knew I was going to be at church  so I told him not to call until after church.  He called around 2:00 p.m.   The younger kids and I took grandma to church, bought lunch, took her back home and ate lunch with her, then got some things done around the house.  Later on, I thought "He should be calling again".  My daughter said "Call him." and I said "I don't like to call when I know he's driving.  It might startle him." and then about 15 minutes later he was home!   It was great.  :-)   He's getting better at the drive and he's got GPS now and a good vehicle. 

As for my mom and how's she's adjusting, well, she's a little more forgetful than usual in some ways.  She couldn't remember who had brought her to church (me) and at church she said to me "I think you probably should put me in assisted living or something." to which I replied "You are in assisted living." , but she also said a few comments like "Whose idea was it for me to come and live in this place?"  She doesn't love it, but she's warm, she's safe, she has someone to talk to in her cousin, plus she has quite a few visitors.  I was up there every day last week except Wednesday and Saturday and my brother's girlfriend was there on Wednesday and my brother was there on Saturday, also 2 of my mom's sisters visited and her brother has went up there every day, for a little while each morning.  Also, she is learning some things about her new place and remembering them reasonably well like which button on the remote is to turn the TV on and off.   It is a struggle when your short term memory is impaired and also, I'd just like to point out, not fair

We are looking forward to getting together with family and friends for Thanksgiving.  We're going to see the homeschool family on Tuesday, then on Thursday, my husband's parents and brothers and then on Friday my mom and brother and then on Friday the kids have another party with a kid from the homeschool group.  It's going to be here and gone the blink of any eye and we all know who I turn into after Thanksgiving ...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Another day.

Today my daughter had another sale.   She did pretty well.   She sold 69.00 worth of merchandise;  3  scarves and a crocheted bunny.   I dropped her off at the sale and then came back home to do some medical editing which is a lot of what my job is now.   I kinda hate it.   Imagine having to type an important document and getting a 5 year old to type it then having to correct what they have typed.   It would be easier to just type it yourself, right?  It is a giant pain in the behind.  It is extremely annoying. 

In other news,  Mom has made it through one more day in the assisted living facility.   She doesn't love it but I am still of the opinion that it is a safer place  for her to be and I am still hopeful that she will settle in.   Her cousin being 2 doors down is good and bad.   It means that she is not as lonely but it also means that we are not alone to visit with mom much.   oh well.   The most important thing is that she not be lonely so it is fine.  

I'm looking forward to thanksgiving week even though it is going to be very different this year since my mother in law is also not hosting so we won't be going to grandma's or mamaw's this year.:-(

Friday, November 22, 2013

Okay, now I sound like an idiot.

One of the workers from my mom's assisted living facility called me asking about her automatic pill dispenser. She couldn't tell if it had dispensed the pills this morning or not and because of my silly deal with the kids to pretend that Thursday was Friday, so they would get their school work done on Thursday night, I was confused when she called and thought today was Saturday.  Duh.  Anyway, even if she does think I'm an idiot, I was very nice and polite, so at least she will think that I am a nice idiot.   Since mom is in assisted living and has someone come in every morning to help her with her pills, I am going to replace the automatic, alarming pill dispenser with a plain one.  We have staff now.  It's very nice to know that she is being checked on.  She's had an exercise class, a crafts class and they have had a live musician come in and play saxaphone saxephone saxophone for them and yesterday they had a Thanksgiving dinner and my youngest son and I went, along with mom's sister.  I'm gluten free so I ate my turkey, some green beans and some sweet potatoes and passed on all the pies, but my son ate a good amount and seemed to enjoy it too.  Mom and Mom's cousin who also lives there, enjoyed watching him eat and laughed at him trying to cut his turkey and ham with a plastic fork and plastic spoon.  Then later we went and mom beat me at a game of UpWords.  I'm good at it and beating me is no easy feat. 

So anyway, as the days go by I hope she feels happier and more at home. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Well then.

Today I didn't go to the assisted living center.   My brother was going to go but he had to work over and when he found out he couldn't, he asked his wonderful girlfriend to drop by and check on mom.  Before she got there, my mom called her sister and said that she didn't like it there and she just wanted to be home and have someone stay with her around the clock.  However, that would be 4 times as expensive as living in the assisted living facility and that's not even including groceries, heat, air, water, cable and phone, all of which she had to pay for at home and all but phone is included in the cost of the facility.  We just feel like we are in a lose/lose situation and I don't know what to do other than wait it out and hope that she finds a place there, finds friends there and settles in.  It's sad.  It's difficult.

In other news, since this is a homeschooling blog, I'll talk for a minute about homeschooling.  The kids, especially the boy, have been abusing their freedom and putting as much work off until Friday as possible.  I need them to help me get this house cleaned up before Thanksgiving.  I was wishing there was an extra day in the week because our crazy busy-ness is not letting up anytime soon.  I thought of a solution at last and came into the living room and made this announcement "Tomorrow is Friday."  It won't hurt them to cram a little tomorrow and get it done so Friday, we can get our clean on.   Saturday is a craft sale and that is the start of a busy, busy, busy week. 

Mom not being happy makes me not look forward to the holidays now.  Of course I'm always kind of grinchy this time of year, so really I should be surprised. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


We got mom moved yesterday.   It was kind of stressful and difficult but we got through it.   Mom's cousin is in the same assisted living facility that mom is in and she is about the same as far as her Alzheimer's goes, so they remember each other but they don't remember where each other's rooms are; but they were happily walking up and down the hall last night part of the time, so I really think that her cousin being there is going to be a blessing.  Mom was worried when she went to sleep last night about what would happen in the morning and if she would sleep through breakfast, but AT&T did a great job of getting her phone switched over to her new apartment in a timely manner, so I was actually able to call mom this morning and talk to her.  Her cousin was in the room and her brother had stopped by for a visit, so she was having a great time and she said that she slept well.  I feel so much better now.  This morning was what I was worrying about too.   I'm going to go see her this afternoon and take her some things we forgot yesterday. 

Thanks for prayers and warm thoughts over the last couple of weeks.  :-)

Monday, November 18, 2013

So much.

Just yesterday I was posting about the job of human being sometimes getting just too big to handle.  Today is a perfect example.  I had to go over and feed my mom's dog and let her out.  Then I've got to work today.  Then back to let the dog out. At 3, we have 4H which I am kind of in charge of and we are moving might be moving mom into the assisted living facility this evening.  Right now she's with her sister.  This week in retrospective has just been a joy (sarcasm).  I've had to deal with the emotional and physical toll of  mom moving,  issues with her caregiver, contacting our attorney, trying to get all the paperwork done, falling down the stairs and still not being able to turn my head to the left without pain,  I dropped all my credit cards, insurance cards and driver's license last Monday night (found all of them but 2, thanks to a concerned citizen at Kmart) when I went shopping and here we are going into the holidays.
I was going to add that if you came to this blog looking for a post on homeschooling, I'm sorry, but you know what?  This week would have been so much more difficult if we were having to deal with the schools, getting up early, the kids coming home tired and cranky, hours of homework ...  I've been there.  I remember it.  I'm glad we're homeschooling now.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Too Big?

When I worked at a hospital several years ago as a medical transcriptionist, there were 11 day shift transcriptionists and we typed the day away.  I was doing emergency department reports all the time and would probably do 10-12 an hour at least.   Everyone else was typing History and Physical reports, operative notes, progress notes, radiology reports, etc.  We were very productive.  On some of the reports, we were requested to send carbon copies to the patient's primary care physician, referring physician and all of the other consultants.  As a result, those printers never stopped.  There were 4 of them and they were spitting out piles of paper all day long.  There was 1 clerk whose job it was to take all the papers off all the printers, sort them, put some of them in physician's boxes that were right there in the department, fax some to doctor's offices, take some of them to the emergency department and radiology and surgery and to the catherization lab and file some of them.  She also had to keep the printers filled with paper and working.  I worked there for about 4 years and we had 3 clerks during that time.  The person who was the clerk never got to sit down, rarely got to go to the bathroom, almost always worked through her lunch and kept moving the whole time.  None of them could convince the supervisor and the other powers that be, that she needed an assistant, a helper of some kind, a co-clerk, basically just some HELP.  As a result, all of the clerks would keep doing it as best they could while frantically applying for different jobs and none of them lasted very long.  The job had just grown too big.

I think some of us are in that very same place as moms, daughters, wives, employees - sometimes it seems like this job is just too big and no one should be expected to do it all.  We need assistants or at least assistance.  We need to figure out which things we need to say no to and figure out how to do that without feeling guilty and ask for help when it is appropriate and we need to be able to concentrate on what we are doing without worrying about the next thing and take time to enjoy life a little bit.   I think this is especially hard during certain seasons of life, when your kids are all little and when your kids are all launching and your parents are aging.   There have been a couple of good articles about being present in your life that apply to us all, I think.  Here's one.  Here is another one. I am not perfect in this by any stretch of the imagination and when things get really bad for me, I tend to use technology as a way to escape.  For example after my Dad passed away I spent a lot of time Netflixing  TV shows like NCIS and CSI while simultaneously playing the The Sims 2.  Whatever works, I guess.  I'm also very blessed to have family members who will take up some slack for me whenever I am especially stressed, like my husband going to the grocery for me and the kids cooking and baking during my recent illness.

This picture is from last November, but that's pretty much what it looks like today too.  Wet. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


 Some crafts from our house,  a scarf my youngest son crocheted, the beginning of a circular afghan my daughter is making for him and a quilted bag my daughter made.  They are not good photos.   The blanket and the scarf are both a lot prettier than they look here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I've had a post turning around in my head for a few days.

Lets see if I can make it coherent.  I've been thinking about launching our kids out in the grown-up world.  We've got one in college, one who graduates high school this year and then one who will graduate after 2 more years.  My oldest son graduated from home school and didn't go to college right away.  He took a year and tried to find a job.  He finally was able to get one (through some family connections) and worked at it for a few days, came home and said that he would like to go to college after all. (He did continue to work there the rest of the summer and saved most of the money he made, which helped a lot.)  I started looking at  for scholarships based on his interests, music, art and religion.  I found a bunch of scholarships to this college in Mississippi that I'd never heard of, applied for them and he got one, a nice big one.  It's a private school and his scholarship is not a full ride, so there are expenses.  We had to fill out a FAFSA and he's had to use a Pell Grant and some loans.  He will have some debt after school, but hopefully not an insurmountable amount.  He is planning on working next summer if he can get his old job back temporarily.  I kind of discouraged him from working last summer because we hadn't seen him in 5 months and I knew if he was back to working third shift, we wouldn't see him then, either.   I typed up his transcript and had it notarized.  He had already taken the ACT the year before, so we had his scores sent there.  It's very easy to get the testing done.  You just sign up at the website, pay and the student has to go to a local high school to take the test.  

With our daughter, though she would like to go to the school he's going to, doesn't not particularly want to move to Mississippi, 9 hours away from her parents.  She wants to take a course or two this year (we'd better get her started) through either StraighterLine or a local college that offers dual credit for high schoolers.  She will probably major in art.  She is very artsy.  She wants to start college in this gradual manner because she does not want to take the ACT or SAT.  Just the thought of testing makes her nervous.

For the youngest, he is not sure what he wants to do.  He is hard at work collaborating with his sister on a novel and he kind of would like to make millions from that and then be an entrepreneur, but we'll see I guess.  He is somewhat dysgraphic/dyslexic so he may need some help getting through school although he is plenty smart.   He may also go to college for engineering because 5 semesters of calculus doesn't scare him.   He is really good at math.  One of my husband's brothers majored in math and physics and the other is an accountant, so I guess it's not surprising.   My daughter is also pretty good at math but my oldest, sadly, is not.   I think he's done with math in college though, so that's good.

In our homeschool group, the moms sit and talk about what their kids are going to do and how we can help them accomplish it.  One of the homeschool group kids graduated school at 16, started college and now at 19 has an associate degree at a community college and is working on her bachelors, also commuting to a community college and working at night at UPS so that UPS pays part of her tuition..  One of the girls in our group is going to go to a local university and live in the dorms, majoring in special education.  One of the boys in our group has talked about joining the air force.  A girl from our church has joined the National Guard and now they are paying her college tuition.  There are just so many paths to take.  I personally got a bachelor's degree in Child Development, then floundered around trying to actually make money in that field, took a correspondence class in medical transcription and have been doing that for 20 years.  I may have to reinvent myself, get some more education and try to do something else since being an MT is not paying as well as it used to.  Sigh.

My point is, there are a lot of different ways to go about launching into adulthood and self-suffiency.
The article that got me thinking about this is here. parents.  I don't think I am a snowplow parent although I did call my son's school a couple of times regarding his gluten free diet.  Once to see if they could accommodate it and once to report that he was getting sick and could they take a look at their cross-contamination issues.  That's it, I promise.  :-P

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A couple of funnies.

Yesterday, when the teens were playing with the baby we babysit, they put a blanket over this little box and made it like a little car and moved it around the room.  After a while, my daughter thought the baby might be sleepy, so she got her to lie down in the box.  The baby said something that sounded like "gluk guh" and sat back up.   My daughter said "'gluk guh' what does that mean?"  and my son said "It means 'I've got a cardboard box poking me in the side".  Then they went back to pulling the box around the room and making car noises and at one point the box hit my son in the side, so he said "gluk guh!"   It was cute.

Later on, the same son and my daughter were sitting on my bed talking to me while I was looking up patterns for something I want to sew.   I printed one out and asked my son to go get it.  He got up off the bed, walked into the other room and didn't come back.  My daughter and I sat there for a while waiting for him, but he was off doing something else.  My daughter said that sometimes when she asks him to do something, he goes and does something else.  Her theory is that he hears the asking/ commanding tone of voice, but is not really listening to what she says.  She says that often she asks him to hand her something and he gets up and puts the dogs out.  LoL.

Easy Peasy.

I just heard about something today called Easy Peasy all in one Homeschool.  It's free!  Check it out.
Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool.

How cool is that?  I took a little break today to go out and see my peeps.  One of my favorite homeschool families has recently moved to another state so when they visit, we all drop what we are doing and go visit with them.  There were 4 of us homeschooling mamas there and one of them mentioned the website above. 

As always, we had a lot to talk about.  They are better than any therapists. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Home Economics Class is in Session.

There is babysitting going on and even though my daughter is the one babysitting, both kids are having fun with it.  I should say all three kids are having fun with it, because the point of all they are doing is to make the baby happy, so she's having a good time too.  They've showed her the dogs and cats, played rolling a ball back and forth, put the baby in a box and scooted her throughout the house, danced, played drums and all kinds of other things.  I have mostly been diligently working but I did take a few short breaks to do some cooking and cleaning up the kitchen a little bit and getting occasional peeks into the fun that they are having.  Right now, I hear dancing sounds and the song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun.".  They are playing all the music from the prom.  We were lucky enough to get some of the CDs and they make a good babysitting sound track.  :-) 

As the months go on, my daughter is learning to cope with things by herself.  The first week, I helped with feeding and diapering, but as time has went on, I'm not needed to help.  I really shouldn't be surprised as one of my grandmothers was a mom at 17 and also raising 5 of her siblings. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Doing better so far?

Okay, I gotta admit, the kids did a pretty bad job last week, procrastinating their school work until Friday night and a natural consequence of that was that we didn't get to listen to our audio book because they were still working on school until almost midnight.  Yes.  It is bad.  They know it.  I know it.  For the moment though, I'm not working on any strategies to help them do better.  For one thing, I have a lot going on and a lot on my mind too, with my job going to the dogs so to speak with this new voice recognition editing that I have to do and get paid almost nothing for doing and still feeling kind of bad, so I don't really have time, energy or patience for being right on top of them all the time.  It might be a good thing though.  They are both up and at it today and some stuff is getting done.  They just might learn to pace themselves throughout the week and get things done on their own,which will be a useful skill throughout life. 

Speaking of pacing oneself, I'd better get to work while I have work.  I have a date today with a dear friend to go salvage and thrift shopping and I want to get done a little early!

Photo unrelated to content of blog, I just thought it was pretty.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Speech Recognition.

According to the speech recognition program I now edit for, these are some of the doctors at our hospital.

Dr. Continuous.
Dr. In Deep and Rectal  (He's a cardiologist).
Dr. While.
Dr. Ipatchi C. Fair Child.
Dr. Ipatchi For Charles.  (He's the same one as the line above.  His first name is NOT Ipatchi.)
Dr. Emergent. 
Dr. Breathing.
Dr. Internist.
Dr. Notes Pain to History.
Dr. Farmer Grading.
Dr. Are Returning.
Dr. Coli.
Dr. Blurry Eyed.

Friday, November 08, 2013

What to blog about?

I'd like to have some inspiration and have Great Things to blog about, but I am not thinking great and inspired thoughts this week.  Things I am thinking about in no particular order are these.

I need to remember to take my daughter to take her driver's permit test next Monday.  I keep forgetting.

I wish my job hadn't changed to voice recognition because now I am thinking that I will have to reinvent myself and come up with another career and I really don't want to.

I need to stop by the library and pick up a book they are holding for me. .

I need to stop by the post office and get my friend's mail and then probably mail it to her, since I don't know when I will get to see her again.

I feel like I could really, really, really use a nap.

I just did a google search for workflow instead of sending an email to workflow to let them know I am ending my shift - at least for now.

I wish I could go back and hold the babies tonight like I did last night.  I love doing that.

I hope the kids don't have too much of a Friday night rush this week.  I keep hoping they will learn their lesson and stop procrastinating.

There are about a million other I shoulds, I feels, I needs and I wishes in there, but I don't have time to express them all.

Have a good day everyone. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I'm not sure yet, but I think going dairy free has helped my joint pains.  I am feeling a lot better in that regard.  I'm glad I didn't decide after 1 week to go back on dairy, since it seems to have taken a week and 2 days to see improvement.  I am hoping this improvement is not just a fluke and is actually due to the dairy because as much as I love cheese, I really really really love being able to walk without excruciating pain.  I'm funny that way. 

School and babysitting and work are marching on.  We just keep going around here.  My oldest son has finished his trimester finals and has a week break, but he's going to stay in the dorm and wait until classes start again, then go back to class for a couple of weeks, then home for thanksgiving.  I really wish they could consolidate those breaks somehow. 

Mom is still not moved.  My brother is back at work.  I am working.   The next step is the paperwork being turned in and my brother has it, so until he brings it to me or takes it to the assisted living facility, we can't do anything.   So, waiting.  My favorite thing.  :-P

Sunday, November 03, 2013


Still hanging in here, I guess.  We thought we were going to get Mom moved this week, but everything happens when you make plans like that and so maybe now we are looking at next weekend.  It's hard on me and the kids because every time we go over there, there's this feeling that this may be the last time we visit grandma at her house.  Then we have to go through it again and again and again.  I really want to just get it done.  I am a pull-the-bandaid-off-quickly kind of person so it's been a difficult week. 

But, as it always does, life has a way of just going on.  I'm still working and still trying to find my way with the voice recognition software.  One of the things I do to keep my sanity is to laugh at the funny things it types.   There is one doctor there whose last name is really unusual and sounds kind of like Fargotrading.  (*that's not exactly it because I don't know how far the weird confidentiality stuff goes and I don't want to get in trouble.)  So anyway, every time someone says his name as the referring physician or something, it types something different.  Two from yesterday are Dr. Farmer Grading and Dr. Are Returning.  I plan to keep a list, just for kicks of all the funny names it calls him. 

Also, sometimes the doctors themselves say something funny.  Yesterday on the physical examination, a doctor dictated the following.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Reveals a well developed well nourished male who is in no acute distress.
HEAD: Normocephalic.
NECK:  Examination of the neck results in a threat of bodily harm to the physician.
CHEST: Clear.

The kids are doing school as usual and did quite a bit better with the Friday night rush this week than they usually do, so that's progress.  I am going to add a couple of things to their lists that I forgot in August, one is exercise and the other is a 'put one thing in the goodwill box" sort of decluttering system that we've done before with school because we really need to get this house declutterified.  (Yes, I know that's not a word.)

Anyway, pray for us as we again try to homeschool and work through a stressful time.  

Friday, November 01, 2013

I feel like

I should say Happy Halloween again because today was when the trick-or-treating was in our town.  They cancelled it last night because of a storm.  I ignore the predicted weather and just do whatever I was planning to do for the most part, so I went and volunteered at the children's hospital last night holding the babies in the NICU and then had to drive home with high winds, rain and low visibility, but at least I got to see the little ones.  They were all dressed up in costume last night so they were particularly cute.  Then today I worked and was pleasantly surprised to find work available to do, made some stew in the crockpot, took the girl to piano and then we went to craft night.  We did not have a good turnout at craft night so we finished with that quickly and came back early.  Now with all the work I'm going to do today done, I am going to watch the mentalist.

My brother is handling my mom's situation and I am thankful for that.  I feel a little fragile about it all, so I'm keeping busy and he's doing that and then, maybe next week, we'll try and settle into our new normal.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

For the first time in 21 years, I'm not going Trick or Treating this year.  I took the youngest last year, but this year, he's shot up about 6 inches and grown a tiny mustache, so I don't think he can pull off looking 12.   I would like to think of something fun we can do to celebrate, but I haven't come up with anything yet.  Our homeschool group isn't having a Halloween party this year and the church's celebration was a couple of weeks ago so I guess we will just have a normal Thursday, unless I think of something.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We are still here.

I'm doing okay.  My brother is on vacation this week and is going to handle all the details regarding mom's move.  I am working since I never get paid time off.  Yesterday, I got done with work, hurried to the library to get a couple of book holds while they were still open, went to Gamestop and exchanged a used Nintendo DS with my son and then came home to enjoy my book.  Creative Doodling and Beyond.  Today, we've got a 4H meeting and my oldest is supposed to call from Mississippi and I will have to go to the lab to give a urine sample.  Again.  I am still feverish, which I have been, with only a couple of days break, since at least August the 8th.  I'm going on 3 months.  However, in my quest to figure out why I was having all over joint paint despite being gluten free, I tried something else, which seems to be working.  If you recall, back in July, I tried going without nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes and peppers) but that didn't seem to make a significant difference.  Maybe it made me less stiff but I am not sure.  So Sunday, in desperation, I went off of  dairy, just to see if it helps and so far, so good.  I kind of hate that it is dairy, because I love to put cheese on everything and in everything, but I want an answer and I want to be able to walk around at things like the state fair, without suffering, so I guess I will cope with it.  It's fun finding out new things like this.  Really.  So much fun coping with moving my mom, the holidays coming up, cold weather, being sick and feverish for 3 months, undergoing training at work on a new system and having my pay cut to 1/4 of what it has been. 

Sorry.  I descended into a little self pity.  Really, I'm okay but I will be glad to see 2013 ending. ( Hey, 2013, don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out! )  The good news is my son is coming home for Thanksgiving, the kids are fine.  School is going well.  It's fall and the fall colors are finally here.  I enjoy the weather this time of year.  (Thinking positive there, did you see that?)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dealing with changes.

One of my methods of dealing with change is trying not to think about it very much.  I'm just doing the next thing and the next.  I feel like, once mom is settled in at her new place, I will feel better, but right now, facing the last week of her living in the home I grew up in is hard.  Very hard.  I kind of agree with Sheldon on this one.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Now I know what true power feels like.

Just kidding.  That's a phrase my daughter used yesterday when I showed the baby how to flip the light switch because of the expression on the baby's face.  It was so cute.  Today, was kind of exhausting emotionally because I went and signed my mom up for the assisted living facility.  I didn't want to, but I do think it is the best thing.  Nobody feels comfortable with mom staying alone at night and nobody can really stay there either, occasionally yes, but not all the time indefinitely and we've gradually increased the hours of the girl who has been staying with her during the day, until it's just not feasible to keep paying that much all the time.  It's very sad.  I have been crying off and on all day long (while also working).  The kids were doing school when I got back and I felt like bargaining, so I made a deal with them for them to cook dinner instead of their cleaning chores today.   That was a great deal.  We had hamburgers and french fries. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Art journal pages.

I could rotate these but I am too lazy.


I forgot to heed this note to self last month.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not as much.

I am not getting better as quickly as I would have hoped.  A couple of weeks ago, I was on an antibiotic that was actually working, but then I took the 10th day of it and the symptoms came back.  So now I am on the fifth day of a different antibiotic that does not seem to be working.  Bleh.  I am very weak and just want to sleep all the time.  Meanwhile, life just goes on.  Yesterday we had 4H and went out to dinner with the homeschool group which was great, as usual.  The kids are learning ASL and drawing from 2 really talented moms in our group.  

Today, I had to go to a different doctor for a different issue that is ongoing and I've put that off 3 or 4 times already, so I thought I'd better just go ahead and go.  At least that's over with now.   We are planning a baby shower for my nephew and his girlfriend and we are looking at the Sunday after Thanksgiving and that is December 1!.  Christmas is going to come so quickly after Thanksgiving this year.  We'd better get ready, it's coming.

Monday, October 21, 2013

weekend stuff.

A tote my daughter make to carry her sketch book.

A really pretty dogwood tree in my mom's yard.

A scene from the concert we went to last night  Jason Castro,  Sidewalk Prophet s and Matthew West. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The math notes.

Sometimes they are quite creative.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tablet Cover

My daughter made this cover for my tablet today too.   She's had a very creative day.


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