Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Middle age marches on.

So, the other night, my daughter said one of those snarky, hilarious things that she says and I told her that I was going to blog it, but I forgot and then the next day when I asked her, she had forgotten as well, so that's one little bit of snark that doesn't get recorded.  Oh well.  The kids got their work done last week by the deadline (a miracle) and no one is grounded this week so my daughter has been knitting up a storm and my son has been listening to a lot of audio books.  We also went to the library this weekend, so I have reading material.  I've read The Rosie Project and am most of the way through Divergent.  My reading time has been greatly improved by feeling bad and lying around, doing the minimal work and basically no housework, also spending 2 hours in the doctor's office yesterday.  (Don't ask.)

This week's latest Mom crisis --- it's a BIG one.  The lady at the assisted living family care home has had enough and she wants mom to move out by the end of May.  Pray for us as we scramble to try and find a place for mom.  :-(

Sunday, April 27, 2014

You can tallk about that all you want.

I don't feel good so I made the kids go with me to the grocery store.  I don't know if you all know, but my daughter is also gluten free.  She found that going gluten free made her abdominal pain go away.  It's a family thing.  Anyway, we are walking through the store and my son sees cream cheese toaster strudel and comments about it.  My daughter, since she LOVES these and can no longer have them, told him to shut up.  He said "but you don't like cream cheese".  She said "Yes I do!" and he said "Oh yeah, that's cottage cheese you don't like."  She said, "If they make a cottage cheese toaster strudel, you can talk about that thing all you want."  It was funny.

Then we got into the homeschool discussion with the checker and the bagger at the checkout.  They were both about high school age and one asked my daughter if she went to one of the local high schools, which got us into a discussion of homeschool and what my daughter was going to do when she graduates, etc.  We told them she's going to be a Jedi since she was wearing a shirt that said "I never got my Hogwarts letter so I'm leaving The Shire and becoming a Jedi." 

Stupid epiphany.

This page:e·piph·a·ny  (ĭ-pĭf′ə-nē)n. pl. e·piph·a·nies
1. Epiphany
a. A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
b. January 6, on which this feast is traditionally observed.
2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being.
a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: 

I had an epiphany in the shower this morning.  A stupid epiphany.  In my case, in means the sudden intuitive realization that I am stupid.

Also hypocritical.

It's about my gluten sensitivity.  A few years ago, I read an article that said that going gluten free might help my fibromyalgia and my chronic fatigue syndrome.  After a few failed attempts (due to forgetting and habit) I went gluten free and within about 4 days I was like Lazarus walking out of the grave.  The change was absolutely remarkable.  Now I have been gluten free for 4 1/2 years and I do generally feel better.  Now, when I get glutened my legs ache and my head hurts and I need to lie in bed for a couple of days.

Now to the stupid part.  A couple of years ago, arthritis began slowly taking over my whole life.  One of the people whose blog I was following at the time said that going gluten free, dairy free and nightshade (certain vegetables are in this family including tomatoes, potatoes and peppers) free had pretty much cured her arthritis.  I think this morning, it finally hit me that I am critical of people who won't even try the gluten free diet and here I am, someone who hasn't given this suggestion a good trial.  I've tried it for a couple of days, here and there and then gave up because it wasn't easy.  At this point, though, I am in so much pain, that I am about willing to try anything.  :-(

So then what's the hypocritical part?  I get annoyed when I tell people to go gluten free and they agree that they should, but they don't, which I am totally guilty of, now with this new diet change.  Blah

So here goes, I guess.

Stupid epiphany.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Up, down, all around.

That's just one day in the middle aged life.  Yesterday, let's see ... I worked, which was fine.  I have gotten through the awkward - feeling like an idiot- period that always accompanies a new job and I don't feel so completely stupid now.  I'm out of the quality assurance phase where every single one of my reports has to go to a QA reviewer for criticism review.  It feels good.  After work, I talked to my brother.  He and I feel very worn down over mom's situation.  Mom, if you remember, wasn't happy at home, wasn't happy at the previous placement and is not happy here.  We are not sure what to do.  Moving her again will be difficult but we are considering it.  I spent a long period of time yesterday on the phone with family care providers and if you've been reading for a while, you know how much I liked that.  I do not like making phone calls, but for mom, I'll do it.

Then after that, I cooked dinner and the kids and I settled in to watch Boy Meets World that we had gotten from Netflix.  I had planned to go see mom and take the dress to be cleaned, but I decided to just take it easy.  I did some art journaling and some dishes and watched the shows.  The kids are working on getting themselves ungrounded because of course, they had to ground each other on Friday for not getting their work done.  The only cure is finishing last week's school work and then as they start getting this week's school work done, they gradually earn back their privileges.  It's very complicated, but they understand it and it works for them and hey, whatever works.  It's going to be so strange having my daughter graduate this year.  I wish I could keep them how they are now, but they have to grow up, I suppose.

Last night my oldest son posted a video of his band, which is him and 1 other guy, performing a song and my son was singing the lead.  It was awesome and makes this Mom proud.  I really wish the school they go to was closer but if I've learned anything in my life, it's that you can't always get what you want.  Now I have got to figure out how to play it for grandma when I go out there today.  
Always good advice for me ... from me.
I had 2 little middle aged meltdowns yesterday, one involved a big spider in the kitchen (that should be self explanatory) and then, just before I went to bed, I got hit by an overwhelming flood of grief for what this year has brought and what I have lost and started crying.  I stayed up an extra 45 minutes and watched an episode of Medium on my computer and calmed down and then went to bed.  I woke up in a good mood because most of the time, I do wake up in a good mood, thank goodness.   Now for today's portion of the roller coaster ride that is middle age. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prom dress.

Yesterday, we found and brought home a prom dress.  It is cream.  It has seven different layers of skirts and is very poufy and princess-y.  When we were looking at it, I had the idea to add a blue layer.  Here it is with the blue fabric just draped on it as layer 2.  What do you think?

 We have a good seamstress at the ready.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Math stuff

My daughter is trying to get done with school sooner so she can go ahead and graduate, so she's doing school on the weekends.  Last night she left her math materials laid out so neatly, I was inspired to take a picture of it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Some better days.

I'm not entirely sure why but I have been less tearful lately.  If I really think about it though, I guess I can figure it out.  I'm getting used to the job and not as stressed about that, the last 2 visits with mom have been pretty good, it's spring and I am feeling somewhat better physically (not great, but better), I got to spend some quality time with my friends this week, so all of that helps.  Oh how it helps.   Friday schooling is progressing at its usual pace, with the boy having procrastinated all week as usual and the girl who did procrastinate somewhat but is at a friend's birthday party tonight so she may end up not getting it done.  We'll see I guess.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This, that and the other things. Random thoughts.

We're in the Carnival of Homeschooling this week!

I forgot to sign out on the new timeclock system from work yesterday and it logged that I had been working all night.  Fun times.

Also, speaking of work, I had all kinds of computer issues yesterday and had to call the help desk because everything was highlighted in blue, everything, and I could not navigate through the document or type anything.  The help desk guy said he'd never seen anything like it.  I like to be different.

I went to see mom last night and we had a good visit.  One of the residents there, who has been there since the last of January, was only supposed to live a week when she came in, but now 3 months later, she is thriving and she is so funny and sassy.  She thinks my brother is so handsome and she flirts with him when he is there.  Also, when she wants more coffee, she starts trying to flatter their caregiver and it is so funny, the things she says.  She keeps us entertained.  As always, there is a lot more going on than I blog about and a lot of things about this journey through alzheimer's have been heartbreaking, but I try to hold onto the good moments.  I  joined an Alzheimer's caregivers support forum on line and it has been helpful to me, just feeling that my brother and I aren't alone in our boat that is steaming straight ahead to a destination we don't want to visit.  :-/

The kids and I watched Boy Meets World season 5 ending last night, when Topanga proposes to Cory at their high school graduation.  I have not idea how this plays out, so don't tell me!  They were the class of 1998 and my youngest son was born in 1998, so it's interesting.  My kids identify with a lot of what the Boy Meets World kids encounter, so it is good that we can watch it and discuss it.  Last night, there was a scene in an art gallery and my son made the comment that he would be afraid to sit down on any benches there in case they were modern art installations, LoL.

Then, somehow, we got in a discussion about homeschooling and how glad we all are that we took this path.  I hate to think what labels my youngest child would have been given.  He went to school for his kindergarten year and about 6 weeks into first grade and had already been given a dyslexia label.  I'm sure that ADHD would have followed and possibly oppositional defiant disorder, after he got angry about being a square peg being pounded into a round hole and it would have been suggested that he be medicated.  At home, we were able to just wait for his reading, writing and character to develop and he has made us proud.   He started reading at 10 and his writing became mostly legible at 15.  He's a great reader; he's writing a novel and he is a gentleman.

Everything's getting green, but it's cold!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Creativity this week.

The bunny that my daughter made for the lady at 4H turned out cute.

I'm playing around with drawing with markers and then running a wet paintbrush over it.  This does not look as good in the photo as it does in real life.  It will be a background for something else.

Yes, I'm sick again.  It never ends.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Homeschool Friday Nights.

It's 9:44 p.m. and my daughter just got done with her geometry lessons and is now done with school work for the week.  My son, surprisingly, got his school work done YESTERDAY.  Can anyone believe it?  I almost can't but I know it's true.  They keep track of their schoolwork publicly with their schedules hanging on the living room wall and he does his work sitting in the living room at the computer so I've seen him doing it.  Over the years, we have had a few instances of kids claiming they have done their work and not having done it, but now they are very responsible and accountable, even going to the point of grounding each other when they don't get done., which makes homeschooling so much easier.  :-) 

I am doing better today emotionally.  The biggest drama today was that this lady who had seen my daughter at 4H the other day, called early this morning (before homeschool kids get up) and wanted a custom crochet item made.  My daughter had to wrestle her phone-calling-phobia (no idea how she got that!) and call the lady back.  She really, really didn't want to (as she said, "with a lot more reallys") but she managed to get it done.  We are very proud.

The lady wanted one of these little bunnies, but in a different color, for her daughter.  So guess what my daughter is making right now?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The good and bad.

I had this drawing/painting of mine framed for mom and hung it in her room. 
I had a good first part of the day, getting my work done and getting my oldest son's Easter package mailed and taking care of a few things that needed taking care of and then we had gym day and I got to see my favorite peoples, and then I went to see mom and now I feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails.  She's not coping well with being where she is, but she wasn't coping well with being home alone before and she didn't cope well with the other assisted living place that we had her in.  I kind of have the feeling that no matter what we do, it's never going to get better.  :-(  It's sad.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Random pictures.

Half blue skies, half storm clouds yesterday afternoon.

Stormy weather.

Zentangling experiment.

Max's funny looking tail.  As he has gotten elderly, he has developed what we like to call "tail pattern baldness" and the top of his tail is bald. 

This is Max from the front, and Freckles, waiting to see if I will drop any of my hamburger.  My toe is in the lower right corner, because other people get their pictures in photos accidentally, but with me, it's toes.  :-P 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Playing around with zentangling.

I think art journaling may have saved my life this winter.  It's been really stressful putting my mom into care and not having her adapt all that well to it and all the worrying and stressing.  My heart seems to be doing permanent palpitations and my right eye twitches all the time and I've gained a bunch of weight, but I'm surviving and one reason I am is because I am pouring my pain into this art and it makes me happy when I look at it.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with it all, but for now, I am really enjoying it.

On the homeschool front, the boy got grounded and the girl did not.  Having gone through this before with my oldest and having him doing well in his second year of college, helps me realize these 2 will probably be fine too, so I am not too worried about it.

This takes a long time, but the effect is kind of neat.

I've tried Zentangling before but this tree trunk was the first one I liked. 
This one is in my comfort zone, just ordinary for me, but I do enjoy doing these.
I was experimenting with drawing poppies from different angles and I really didn't like the way that this turned out, but it's okay I guess.         

Friday, April 04, 2014

Third week in a row. Uh oh.

This is the third week in a row that my son has not got his work done by the Friday deadline.  Since he hasn't gotten on the straight and narrow, his sister is going to throw the book at him.  So here's the grounding list.

No books.
No music.
No audio books.
No video games.
No screens of any kind.
and the worst of all ...
No digging hobbit holes.

She is trying desparately to get hers done as well.  Come Monday, will they remember this and act accordingly, getting their work done on time?

I doubt it.

They are incorrigible.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

A little late, but ...

my one April fool's joke really didn't happen until last night.  Usually, I am all excited about April fools day for some silly reason and get up and do a bunch of harmless pranks on my kids before they get up, but this year, I was preoccupied with my job and other issues, so I didn't do very much.  On the evening of April 1st, after work while I was making dinner, I made some jello and poured it in the Kool-aid pitcher instead of Kool-aid.  A few minutes later, my youngest son came in the house, poured himself a glass of jello and drank it without noticing, thinking it was cherry Kool-Aid.  I saw him do it, but I didn't say a word.  Twenty four hours passed without incident.  He has a big Gatorade container that he was drinking out of instead of the Kool-Aid.  Then later last night, he got a glass and the pitcher of Jello and tried to pour himself a cup.  It wouldn't come out .  I was watching him and his face was hilarious.  Finally he saw me laughing and figured it out, then got a bowl and a spoon and ate the Jello.  Fun times.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


The kids were talking last night about how they like the way we homeschool. They'd rather not have to do anything at all, but since they do have to do school, they like the way we do it.  Our method has evolved over the years from unit studies and individual work on basics to requiring the basics and then unschooling almost everything else.   They will have plenty of stuff on their high school transcripts, don't worry.  Sometimes I've gotten a little over-exuberant in scheduling things to learn about and they have a pretty good base of knowledge in my opinion.  This year we are doing world history again because it has been a while.  I have a timeline of world history and they are reading it and notebooking it.  One day when they were reading, there was a notation that Clovis, the ruler of Gaul, had died, leaving his kingdom to all 4 of his sons.  There had been no previous notation about anything about Clovis, so when told that he died, the kids hadn't known previously that he had existed.  This led to a lot of hilarity with them looking at each other occasionally and saying "Hey, did you know Clovis died?" 


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