Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The fourth scrap-ghan is done.

This is technically the fourth one being done in our house since we learned of the scrap-ghan concept from my friend Amy.  :-)  This is the one my daughter did.  She is much better at crocheting and counting stitches and all of that and so she added in some ripples, which is cool.  Also, she added in a row of white or very light yellow quite often, which kind of changes the whole vibe from the more intensely colored scrap-ghans that I have been doing.  It's beautiful.  She also did a squiggly blue/green row on my scrap-ghan that I am working on with mom.   

So, what are we going to do with all of these afghans?  A lady at mom's assisted living asks me that every time she sees us working on it.  We already have a bunch of afghans around the house from when mom and my mother-in-law were in their afghan making phases.  What are we going to do with 4 more?  The first one, which is kind of ugly and beautiful at the same time and very shabby chic since I kept changing yarns mid-row and wove the ends in, but they all came back out ... it's on my bed.   It makes me happy when I look at it.  The second one which is much prettier, since we did complete rows and made a fringe on the sides, is on mom's bed at the assisted living facility.  She helped a lot in making that one and she's very proud of it.  The third one, pictured here, which is in progress right now, I am not sure what we are going to do with.  Mom's participation has been less on this one since she's not been feeling good lately and I have been crocheting like a crazy woman on it.  It may be the last one mom is able to work on at all and therefore, I am treasuring her contributions to it, never pulling out her stitches even if they are doubled or crooked.  :-(  It is a beautiful thing and people have seen it sticking out of my bag when I am carrying it with me and asked how much I will sell it for.  I am not sure, in the future, if I make one all on my own I may sell it, but not this one.  :-)  

There is some value in making them, even if we never do anything with them, because needlework has mental health benefits.  

To tie this to homeschooling, since this is a homeschooling blog, here is an interesting study on how knitting can help kids do better in school.    Maybe I need to learn to knit soon.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Catching up.

I have gotten behind this week, it seems in everything.  I've been expending a great deal of emotional energy on something and when I do that, it seems to sap my physical reserves as well.  This has led to a lot of crocheting and art journaling getting done this week and not a lot of anything else.  So on Friday, for example, I got up and did my 4 hours of annoying medical transcription work, then did some things around the house, went to pick up my mom's glasses and then my mom's sister, drove the hour to my mom's, visited for 2 hours, then drove my mom's sister back home then came home myself.  I had not one minute to myself and came home about 6:30 which wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't emotionally drain me to visit my mom.  It's rough and it takes a lot out of me.  This book explains this phenomenon.  I didn't do the dishes.  So Saturday, there is a huge, ginormous pile of dishes (our dishwasher has been out of service for like a year) and I came home to find that someone had stacked them neatly for me.  This person did not wash any of the dishes, but the stack of dirty dishes by the sink had been moved to the island and ,well, rearranged.  This won't help me get them done any quicker and actually does not help me at all, but for some reason, it did amuse me.  I took a picture of it.

Yesterday, I had yarn shopping to do with my daughter (priorities!!!), so today, I'm trying to conquer Mt. Dishmore.  :-P

Friday, March 27, 2015

School and letting go.

Youngest son and I were talking about school yesterday.  He says that he thinks Wednesday is his best day of school because on Monday and Tuesday he's resenting that he's back in school for the week, kind of and then Wednesday he's into it and then Thursday comes and he starts thinking about the coming weekend ....  It's funny because to me, what he does on the weekend and what he does during the week look a lot the same.  He spends a lot of time sitting in front of his computer with frequent breaks to go outside and walk in the woods, but what he has in front of him on the computer makes all the difference I guess and on the weekends, it's not geometry.  :-)

I understand because as someone who works at home, what I do on my weekend (which is actually Sunday and Monday) doesn't look that different, I'm sure to the other days.  I spend quite a bit of time at my computer with breaks getting up to cook and clean and do all of the homemaker tasks I do but on Sunday and Monday, it feels WONDERFUL not to have to medical transcription.  When I sign out Saturday at noon and have 2 whole days before I have to sign back in, it's a glorious feeling.  

With the girl who has graduated and is 18, I am trying to figure out how our new relationship should go.  I guess maybe our family of late bloomers needs a little time after school to prepare to launch and I guess I am okay with it.  When my oldest was in this phase, after high school graduation, he took a year before starting college because he was not sure if he wanted to go to college.  he was looking for a job during that time and finally found one in April of that year and then went off to college the following August. He was 19 when we dropped him off at school, but he turned 20 soon after.  He'll be 23 when he graduates.  I don't remember requiring any specific chores out of him that year.  I did keep checking back with him on how the job search was going.  So I am trying to remember that and give her some space.  She is in her room a lot working hard on her book.  When it gets published I want to go on her world-wide publicity tour with her.  It sure is something trying to be a parent to adults.  New territory.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I was asked to review this book for Family Christian stores and it surprised me how good it was. Here's the review I wrote.

I love to read but I am very picky about my fiction. Oftentimes I come home from the library with a stack of nonfiction books because I just couldn't find any good fiction. I kind of surprised myself by getting interested in the description of this book and then when I got a chance to read it my thoughts were honestly, that I did not expect it to be very good. I prepared myself for the disappointment of at worst terrible and at best mediocre writing, but I got caught up in this story, these characters, these people's lives!! That is what matters in good fiction, getting involved with the characters and caring about them. After a couple of chapters, I was involved! I wanted these kids to make it. Right now, as I sit here typing this review, I am in that post-book phase, where you look up and realize that everyone else around you is just calmly going on about their lives while you've been on an adventure! To sum up, it's a great book and I really enjoyed it! In addition, I love that at the end there is an explanation of the historical details.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Remember The Waiting Place?

It's in the Dr. Seuss book "Oh The Places You'll Go".  I'm in it right now.  It's not my favorite.  :-(

I am extremely frustrated with my job right now as it is annoying and depressing (think about typing psychiatric admission notes for children as young as 4!!!) and it seems to pay less every week.   Right now, in my job, I'm waiting for work to come in.  It's so frustrating and I think that my time would be better spent working on cleaning my house and my mom's house.  I have mind boggling amounts of work to do at both places.  Every day I think about quitting or applying for a job elsewhere, but, if I apply for a job someplace else, I'd have to tell them that I will be having surgery on an unknown date in April, so then I'll need 6-8 weeks off ... I don't think that would go well.  So I'm waiting, waiting, waiting.

I'm also waiting for mom's house to sell.  It's been almost 6 months since we reluctantly listed it and it's still there.  :-(

So that's me.  In the waiting place.  Again.

“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”

Maybe if I do get a "wig with curls" that would liven things up.  Good old Dr. Seuss.  Thanks for the smile.  :-) 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"I see yarn!"

I have been planning Easter presents this week.  Since we had kids, I've always gotten them an Easter basket with some candy and one non-candy gift.  So this year, I ordered gifts for the boys from Amazon and I went to Hobby Lobby last night to get the gift for the girl.  She's gotten into the scrap-ghan craze and is doing her own version of a scrap-ghan and a couple of days ago she commented that we should go to Hobby Lobby and get a whole bunch of the "I love this Yarn" (which she didn't expect to love and totally does) in all kinds of different colors that we don't have to make the scrap-ghans more interesting.  It kind of gets away from the scrap-ghan concept, but when you are working on the fourth one, your scrap pile tends to get a bit limited in color choices.  So anyway, after visiting mom, I went to Hobby Lobby and got 7 skeins of different colors like mango and buttercup and some purples and blues.  I put them in the back seat of the car, thinking that when I got home, I'd have to ascertain her position in the house and then sneak them in, so I come up the driveway and guess where she is?  Standing on the retaining wall that borders my parking space!  As soon as I opened the door of the car, she said "I see yarn"!  So no Easter surprise ... just a really good Saturday for the scrap-ghan crafters.   She did at least 12 rows on hers last night!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Getting things done.

I've got several things to do this week.  The most important one was that mom had to go to the pain clinic yesterday,   Taking her there is grueling for several reasons.  First of all, she lives north of the clinic and I live south of it, so I have to drive an hour to go get her, 45 minutes back to the clinic, then wait in there for 2 or 3 hours, then back to the assisted living facility and then back home.  It takes a while.  The bad part is that there is not a whole lot that can be done for her back and the doctor didn't do anything yesterday, we just talked.  She has some slipped disks and other issues that can't be repaired surgically because there are just so many of them and so she's just going to have to suffer.  It's very hard watching someone be in pain and not being able to do anything about it.   I did talk to the nurse at her assisted living facility yesterday and that day, she had been given her scheduled pain meds, but had also had Aspercream rubbed on her back and a massage, so they are really doing a good job with it.  That made me feel better.  Still, it's difficult.  I don't really think that the pain clinic deals with a lot of dementia patients either, because they just keep asking her questions over and over and she has no idea.  It's frustrating.

While there at the clinic, I did some drawing and some reading and some crocheting done.  All of that helps the time pass more quickly.  And there's the radio for the road time, thank goodness.  Gotta have my tunes.  :-P

 So 2 1/2 to 3 hours of this ...
and 4 hours of this.

Fun, fun times.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting back to normalish.

Oldest son has gone back to college and youngest son is doing school today, so I guess we're back to this year's normal.  Oldest son is a junior in college.  Youngest son is a junior in home school high school.  Daughter has graduated and is working on a novel.  I am still a medical transcriptionist (at the moment) but looking hard for another way to make a living.  I may have to have surgery again next week so this may not be the best time to look for another job but I am anyway.   Husband still, thankfully, has a good job.

Spring seems like it might come soon, it's been warm and rainy and occasionally a little bit sunny this week and my thoughts are starting to turn to gardening a little bit.  I want to go to my mom's old house before it sells and dig up some of her flowerbeds.  She has such a green thumb that I am hoping that some of them will still have her leftover magic on them and grow for me, though my thumb is brown, apparently.  :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring Break!

We're having spring break this week.  Our son made it home from Mississippi and our other son is taking the week off school.   We got together with the homeschool group last night and we will be getting together with grandparents and others throughout the week.  It's more low key than last year when he brought 2 friends home with him, but still nice.

I'm starting to feel hopeful that spring will indeed come.  :-)

Monday, March 09, 2015

Monday blahs.

It's a Monday and my day off work.  I have a lot to do; cooking,
cleaning, dishes, fun things like that.  I also have to call and try to get mom's glasses replaced and change a doctor's appointment for me since I have 2 on the same day in different towns.

My oldest son was supposed to come home this week for spring break but he got up not feeling well on the day he was supposed to drive 9 hours home, and didn't feel like coming.  So right now we are in the waiting phase to see if he feels better by tomorrow and feels like making the drive.  If not, we'll see him sometime this summer.  He has secured a job there for the summer so he won't be home the whole summer like he was last year.  It's hard on mamas when their kids just grow up like that.  (Dad and siblings too.)

I'm trying to hang in here.

Youngest son is still getting up early and being an exemplary homeschooler, getting all of his school work done early in the day instead of procrastinating about it until midnight on Friday, committing himself to the Early to bed, early to rise paradigm.

The girl is working very hard on her book.  The only trouble with that, is that the only time her creative juices get flowing is about 4:00 a.m. so the rest of us don't see much of her.  We don't like this because we like her and want to spend time with her, but she's very, very prickly about it so for now, at least I am going to hands-off-parenting-adult-children mode.

I went to see my mom yesterday.  She's doing okay and has friends in this new place, but even thought it's been 9 months that she's been there, every time I go see her, she thinks that she just got there today and doesn't realize that she's going to be staying there overnight.  Then, when she inevitably asks if I will be taking her home and I say no, this is her assisted living, then we have to go through the painful 'why can't I go home?" questions and the "how will I get my clothes" and "who's living in my house? questions and it leaves me emotionally and physically exhausted.

So, needless to say, I have been doing a lot of art journaling.  My therapy.  Thank goodness I have found something that helps me deal with being in the sandwich generation.

Also, Words with Friends helps.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Reading, Reading, Reading.

Well it wasn't exactly intentional, but we did celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday in a way I think he would approve of; we spent pretty much the entire evening reading.  I try to finish what I am doing in the daytime and spend the evening with the kids as much as possible.  Oftentimes we are just watching TV while pursuing our various hobbies, but we have gotten really caught up in this book we are reading.  I was feeling very tired last night so I recommended that we start early again (my daughter is actually doing the reading, I started and she took over, as she tends to do).  Anyway, we started around 8 I think and read for at least 2 hours.  Before reading the John Flanagan book, Slaves of Socorro, we took a moment and I read our favorite Dr. Suess book, Yertle the Turtle and tonight though it is not Dr. Seuss's birthday today, I think we might read Gertrude McFuzz.  :-)  More awesomeness.  I am so glad that my kids will participate in this reading with me because I don't know if I would sit down and read these books on my own and I enjoy them so much.   More than anything, though, I enjoy spending this time with my kids.  :-)

Monday, March 02, 2015

An unusual direction.

Today's unschooling topic for my son (which of course he has chosen for himself) is how to be a sharp dressed man.  He's researching on a website called The Art of Manliness.   Suit jackets, blazers and sport coats are all different.  This is something he has learned today and what the purpose of each originally was.  Suits were for business (etc), blazers were for sailing and sport coats were for hunting and tuxedos are for "ultimate fancy".  :-)  I never know where his unschooling is going to take him.  Also today, he got up early and discovered that his math brain (which is better than many all of the time) is especially perky in the mornings after a really good night's sleep.  He did his geometry in record time this morning and said that he could really visualize the geometry this morning, better than he can when he does it in the afternoon or as he usually does, around midnight.     

He has been working on his sleep schedule, trying to get up earlier in the day and yesterday, he had to fight to stay awake even until 8:00 pm because he's had such a radical change in his schedule and needed to do some catchup.  We are really, really enjoying the next-to-latest installment of The Brotherband Chronicles which we are reading in the evenings, usually starting about 10:30 or 11:00 and we knew he was going to bed early last night, so we read at 7:30.  It's really a good book and I don't know about the kids, but I am learning a lot of sailing terms.  I had no idea how many of our words came from sailing, such as leeway and tell-tale.  It's pretty fascinating, plus the book so far, is just really entertaining with the perfect combination of adventure and hilarity.

I'm trying to get a lot of things done so I'd better get to it.  Have a great day!


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