Tuesday, April 28, 2015


When I am stressed, nothing helps me cope as much as my art journaling does so when I am extremely stressed as I have been this week, with the disagreements among the members of my beloved homeschool group, I art journal like crazy.  Crocheting is a nice hobby and it is somewhat relaxing, but it is nothing like art for helping with my stress.   My family is so glad that I didn't obsessively take up a more annoying hobby, like playing the bagpipe, that they just deal with my art obsession and the mess it brings.  Here are some things I've been working on this week.  I have also been working, going to see mom, minimally keeping our house going and cooking so it's not totally a case of "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."  I'm not totally abandoning my responsibilities to art journal.

I would like to see the results of art on a functional MRI to see what effect it has on the brain.  Some of it is good, some of it is not, but as long as I get engrossed in what I am doing and feel less stressful, it's worth it to me to keep doing it.  

As to what happened with my homeschool group?  Two mama bears, defending their cubs and the subsequent emotional fallout.  :-(    

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Lots of stuff going on, lots of decisions being made, not really by me because I don't know what to do, but around me and involving me.  It's weird, but it's life.  I'm hanging in here.  I took a mental health day yesterday and did a lot of art journaling and processing and thinking and today I am somewhat better.  Sometime in the day yesterday I decided to just let the youngest son's violin lessons wait until the fall.  It's not a big thing, but it makes me feel a little more relaxed.  I will ask him later if he's okay with it.  There are just a few more weeks of school this year anyway so I don't think that he will mind.

I saw this cute quote on pinterest.  It's actually very wise.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Stress, stress, stress.

It just keeps on coming, folks.  I feel like typing, I need a break, I need a break, I need a break, I need a break.

I was supposed to have a break yesterday and it started out nice.  I took the day off work.  The kids and I and some other people from the homeschool group went to see a production of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers.  It was cute and fun but my day ended up with more stress and I feel that I may need to take a break from all social media, all social appointments, my boss, my job, all people of any kind except the people who live in my house and my mom and brother and I may have to narrow it even further.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Birthday.

This is me a few weeks ago on Mom's birthday.  
Today's my birthday.  I've been thinking about what I want.  It's been a rough year and I feel like that song they play on Christian radio "I'm alive, even though a part of me has died."  Some birthdays you can only celebrate just making it and being alive.

That's said, I'm putting my want list here on my blog because my husband reads my blog and he's really the only one who has any chance of getting me any of the things I want, because the kids don't have money.  :-P

  1. That thing I mention every day that I want.  You know what it is.  
  2. The pool up and going.
    Doesn't it look wonderful?
  3. A break from medical transcription.  A good, long one.
  4. The outside of the house, especially the porch made over, with pictures, so I can put it on my blog.  :-P 
    Front Porch.
  5. A rocking chair or one of these porch swings.    
6.  Raspberry plants.  

7.  A vacation.  
8.  Cake.
9.  Art canvases.
10. Picture frames.  

My wants are simple and expensive.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Family Trees.

My youngest son and I were talking yesterday after church.  We've been going to the same church for both of our whole lives.  His ancestors on both sides were among the founders of the church.   As we were leaving, he said that he wondered how many of the church members he was related to.  Of the ones that were there yesterday, I could only think of maybe 5 people?  He said that he doesn't know everyone when we go to family parties, so I am going to try and remedy that with a family tree exercise and maybe looking at a bunch of different pictures on Facebook, to help connect him to his roots a little bit.  While looking for a family tree printable I found this one that looks like a house and is suitable for coloring, though it looks nothing like a tree.  It's cute as can be.

This is a homeschool method that works out well for us, just we as a family, following up on his curiosity.  I could let it go and forget about it and unless he brings it up again, he'll never know who his great grandparents are, but he mentioned it and I'm going to follow up on it.  So for this, we'll be doing some collaborative schooling. :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

One thing that isn't working.

Okay, we're going to have to re-think the violin lessons via Youtube and actually get him some lessons to get him started.  The violin seems to be a bit more difficult than the guitar.  My oldest son, a few years ago, taught himself to play the guitar with a DVD and then we paid for some lessons for my daughter in guitar and then piano, but those were only 5 dollars per half hour.  That lady doesn't play the violin, unfortunately, so we're probably going to have to pay quite a bit more for these.  :-(  Really, we homeschool for cheap so we shouldn't complain.  The only thing we've paid for the last couple of years are a few field trips and the math curriculum and, of course, the violin.

Another thing I have done to get some music instruction for my daughter, is have her join our church choir.  She did it for about a year and learned a lot about music during that time.  There are also community choirs, community theaters and all kinds of resources out there.  Our library does knitting classes, craft classes, exercise classes and write your lifestory classes.  Homeschooling opens your family up to the world.  :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Better Now.

My connectivity issues cost me an extra hour of work and a lot of annoyance but I got through it.   Now I am preparing to teach a 4H class on crocheting, which will be the first time that I ever teach it myself.  I'm a little bit nervous, but I'll be okay, I guess.  My daughter usually teaches it, but she's going through a mildly rebellious phase and doesn't want to.   It's always been outside of her comfort zone to teach a class but she's doing it without complaining for several years.  Teaching is okay with me, but I am not all that good at crocheting.  We'll see how it goes, I guess.  The regular needleworking teacher can crochet a little bit too, so maybe between us, we can do it.

This is an interesting article about the mental benefits of needleworking.  You should check it out.  :-)  https://www.yahoo.com/makers/happiness-is-a-needle-and-thread-away-the-mental-113527012940.html

And if you haven't checked out your local 4H groups, you should definitely do that.  It is a wonderful resource for homeschoolers.

Here are some 4H pictures from the past few years.

It's not even 8:30 and I'm ready to give up.

I think the T rex illustration is my favorite of the ones I see every day.
Trying to work from home when you don't have adequate internet access is very, very, very frustrating.  I haven't even started work yet and I'm in a bad mood.  After 4 hours of this plus difficult dictators and 27 pages of nit-picky account requirements, I'll be ready to explode.  :-(

Also, dear advertisers, this is often what ads look like to those of us in rural areas.

Monday, April 13, 2015


My daughter asked for and got calligraphy ink for Easter, after the yarn incident.  :-)  She's been printing calligraphy fonts from Pinterest and doing a lot of writing.  Yesterday, she had the idea to do some writing and then have me draw around it, so we did.  First, I painted the background, then when it was dry, she did the lettering and then when that was dry, I did drawings around it.  So far, we've done 2 of them.  Here they are.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Adjusting the Plans.

That's probably what I should have named this blog, "adjusting" or "new normal" because that kind of thing never goes away, we are always adjusting to a new normal in this life, but we're almost done with homeschooling.  I've kind of moved into a mentoring position with that, I guess.  Younger moms frequently ask my opinion these days.  If I had my way, we'd adopt the world and homeschool them all, but that seems unlikely.  So we continue homeschooling our last one which for us, over the last 11 years has come to mean making him do math and writing and letting him decide on the rest.  What kind of advice have I found myself giving lately?  Here are a couple of excerpts.

"No means no, don't be afraid to be the mom."

"Don't forget to have fun with it."  (homeschooling.)

I know some unschooling advocates let kids pick whatever they want to do, do it whenever they want and have unlimited screen time, but I am just not comfortable with that for my family so I advocate hitting the basics and letting the rest be child directed and fun, but keeping the screens off until a predetermined time in the evening.  One way that I have kind of directed the child directed part over the years is to go to the children's nonfiction section of the library and bring home a bunch of books on various subjects, but do not force the kids to read them, just put them on the table and if they want to look at them, they will.  They ALWAYS look at them, even now.  :-)  I call this practice strewing and it works wonderfully well.  After a couple of hours, or sometimes a couple of days, if they are busy, the kids come to show me things that they have read in these wonderful books, "Hey mom, look at this."  one of the best parts about homeschooling.  :-)

Anyway, more about the adjusting ... it looks like I may not have surgery after all and I need to adjust to spring cleaning, yard sales and getting started on gardening.  It's not too bad, really.  :-)

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Salad Adventures.

I've been reading and trying to do everything I can to prevent Alzheimer's disease in myself.  I printed out a copy of the instructions for the MIND diet which is supposed to help.   I also suspect that gluten is a factor (Gluten and Dementia.)  I've been gluten free for 5 1/2 years now and getting off of it certainly helped my brain fog/brain function.  The MIND diet suggests several servings a day of whole grains and no real butter, so I am not following it exactly.  I am trying to add leafy greens, berries, nuts, fish and wine to my regimen right now and plan to start cooking more with olive oil.  One of the first things I have done is to make these little salads in a jar and put them in the fridge.  These have proven to be very popular with the teenagers in this house, which surprised me.  I knew the boy liked salads and would help me eat them, but the girl has always claimed not to like salads.  She's gone salad crazy.  We went to town, special trip, last night to get some more ranch dressing, which is unusual, but I knew I'd be tied up all day today with stuff and I thought it would be good practice for her to drive at night.  It turns out she needed the practice and needed help with the headlights, the mirror and the windshield wipers, so it was a good thing.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The new guy.

The new dog from the shelter that we got on Saturday is doing pretty well.  He had accidents in the house the first day but not since.  He goes into his crate at night and sleeps in it without complaint. He seems to like everyone although I am not sure about the cats.  He goes out on the dog run and they likely stay away from that area.  He barks at them a bit through the window.  The first day, he just ran around, smelling of everything and going to the back door to look at Piper (he loves her) and then back to smell of everything again, frequently falling down when he'd change floor surfaces. He'd also go up to Freckles (the other house dog) and then she'd growl and he'd run into the kitchen and fall down.  Hence, his shelter name of Falgor has been changed to the easier to say Cosmo, kind of after Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld who also falls down a lot, but also, I think just because we like the say it sounds.  My daughter picked it out and we all just go along with her because she's the picky one.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

This is IT!

Here's the "why"of homeschooling, right here in this article!  Laura Grace Weldon is a such a good writer!  Go read it right now!  Learning: It's not about education.

Here's a small excerpt:  "When young people are insufficiently challenged or pushed too hard, they do learn but not necessarily what they’re being taught. What they learn is that the educational process is boring or makes them feel bad about themselves or doesn’t acknowledge their deeper gifts. They see that what they achieve is relentlessly judged. They learn to quell enthusiasm and suppress the value-laden questions that normally bubble up as they seek to grow more wholly into themselves. Gradually, their natural moment-to-moment curiosity is distorted until they resist learning anything but what they have to learn. This is how the life force is drained from education."

Monday, April 06, 2015

Fun times.

I'm not being sarcastic with that phrase like I sometimes am.  We had a really good time at my husband's parents house for Easter this year.  We had a wonderful meal and a good time visiting with each other and then also, we had some hilarious moments.   I'll try and describe them here.   At one point, my mother in law was in the big walk-in closet when we start checking to see where the world's cutest 2 year old was, during the conversation, someone asked if she was with Mamaw and I said "No, Mamaw just came out of the closet."  which led to the first bout of laughter.

The second was when we were talking about my father-in-law having sold an old car but not being able to get the trunk open to see what was in there and just selling it as-is.  My husband said "I know what is in the trunk, that guy that Dad used to bowl with" ...(then he paused to think of the guy's name and go on with the story, but it was too late, we were all laughing.)

And last, but certainly not least, we had a guest, someone who had never met us before.  She only knew one of us really well.  She was standing waiting for the bathroom which my brother-in-law was in.  My father in law thought that perhaps she was uncomfortable with the only person she really knew down the hall in the office working on the computer for a minute so he told her, "Get a chair and take it in there and sit with him, he won't mind."  but keep in mind, she was waiting for the BATHROOM.  :-)

Also we had an Easter Egg hunt and played/watched a game of Bocci and I didn't get any pictures.  :-(

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Our Easter dessert (black forest trifle) is ready to go and in the fridge and we got a new family member this weekend, a shelter dog, whose ancestry is very much in question, but he's cute and he seems like a pretty good boy.  We'll see.  


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