Saturday, May 30, 2015

My son's visit.

He was home for 2 weeks and now he's on his way back to Mississippi.  He's taking a summer class and he's got a job there, at the school and he can get extra hours in the summer.  While he was here, we enjoyed him but we mostly just hung out.  We didn't do a whole lot.  I had plans to get him to help with the cleaning out of mom's house and painting, taking him out to see my favorite aunt and doing some singing together, but we did none of these things.  The kids inevitably caught a cold and passed it around, plus my mother-in-law's surgery was the day before he got home, so we were involved in going to see her in the hospital part of the time.  Plus, I had a doctor's appointment, and a job interview and other things and life just went on, mostly as usual.  He did get to meet our new dog, Cosmo and did get to see his grandparents and went to the movies with my brother. I can't wait until he comes back in August and brings his girlfriend for a couple of weeks.  :-)  

Some of my art from this week.


A slat came out of my rocker, but it has a warranty and they are sending a new back.  I was kind of hoping for a whole new rocker, but okay.

I like to call this "Piper in the Daisies while we were waiting for the Fed Ex Man,"
Cosmo and Freckles supervising my eating of soup.

The sky and my thumb again.  

Our crazy driveway.  My Facebook friends have all been putting up pictures of trails they've been going on and we thought about posting this one saying "We went to the mailbox..."

Monday, May 25, 2015

Life with my thumb in the pictures.

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I got to spend almost the entire day with my oldest son, so it was very good.  We went to church, then to mom's assisted living facility and then to the grocery.  I didn't have to work which always makes things much better.  The garden at the assisted living is beautiful and productive, already growing lettuce and other greens and strawberries and next month, there will be blackberries and tomatoes.  They also have chickens and gather and use the eggs.  It's pretty cool.  That's my thumb in the strawberry picture.

Our own garden looks pretty wild and unruly, but then we have these guys who like to dig.

I've been playing quite a bit of Words With Friends lately and the other day I got set up on the triple score with a Z in the same position on 2 games I was playing at the same time.  On one of them, I was able to use the Z to spell ZEAL.  With the other one, I had to content myself with just blocking my opponent from using it and not getting on the triple myself.  Oh well.  :-)  

A revisit of my birthday present ---- it's been a big success.  All 3 of the kids and I have enjoyed sitting out there at one time or another.  It's a nice break in the day to go and sit for a few minutes and look at nature.  :-).  We didn't really have a good place to sit outside before.  We have a couple of plastic chairs on the deck, but they aren't particularly comfortable.  The rocker is comfortable and the porch is dry which is important on damp days like today.  Also, there's WIFI out there if the nature is not entertaining enough.  :-P   My oldest son likes to sit out there and Skype with his girlfriend who is in Greece right now.  How cool is that?  It makes us feel like even if we don't have lives, we do know someone who does so we are kind of life adjacent.  Just kidding.  

On the subject of us having a life, we have been going through a stressful period during which I think we kind of had too much life and we were just busy, busy, busy, but not with very good or fun things, but during that time, the youngest and I joined a new homeschool group and we've been having some good times with them and my daughter tried out for a part in The Sound Of Music, but then chickened out of playing Liesel.  Apparently, though, they are still working on casting because they called Saturday and asked my daughter (and me!) if we would play nuns and sing in the chorus.  Fun!  So we are getting ready to begin the rehearsal schedule which will go on once or twice a week for a couple of months.  We're very excited and it's nice to be doing something fun and adventurous, even if we can't travel right now, we are pretend traveling to Austria.  :-) 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

that homeschool mom feeling

I took my youngest son to 2 4H meetings today, one was a trip to an airport and the other was the Conservation/Foresty club that meets at the local library.  While he was in the meeting, I saw out in the main library, which is different as a homeschool mom, because most homeschool groups require that one of the parents actually be there, but still, I spent the day feeling like and being a homeschool mom, which is, among the many roles I play in this life, wife, daughter, caregiver, employee, etc., one of my favorites.  :-)  

My daughter personalized a mug for me for Mother's Day and she tried to copy my art style.  It's pretty isn't it?  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Still around.

I'm still around, though I haven't blogged much lately.  Sorry about that.  :-)   Not much to read here although we've had a lot going on.  We've been dealing with my mother-in-law's health issues.  She's been in the hospital since Thursday and we've been there a lot.  Also, today a friend is in the hospital and I went to see her.  Our son came home yesterday from college and had a kind of a rough time getting home, the usual 9 hour drive taking 14 HOURS because he had a flat, then had a flat spare and then got behind a car accident and had to get off of the interstate and take the back roads.  This is on top of our usual working, homeschooling and taking care of mom stuff that we do, so we've been busy.  We've managed to hang in there and cope but it's left a lot less time for hobbies and for blogging.

That's how it goes sometimes.

I did get some time to spray some art with a fixative on Wednesday.
We have been in the car quite a bit.
We've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms.
But hey, we're still here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Off the topic of homeschooling and onto my job ...

An example of why I despise my job so, so much.I am taking my own time, without pay this morning, to look at my QA reviews and read my emails from my supervisor.  Later today, I will have to take unpaid time and call her for an umpleasant discussion about how, although my accuracy rate remains at 100%, my speed is just not quite fast enough for them.  For this account, there are 27 pages (not exaggerating one bit) of nit-picky notes.  Here's an excerpt.  Can you imagine getting 100% accuracy on this?

o        When she dictates (usually after MEDICATIONS) “all the normal stuff,” you do not need to note this on her files or Mark for Review or QA.  Just be sure any headings dictated are filled in as dictated and any headings not dictated are deleted.
o        Admitting Diagnoses:  If she additionally says “as stated by the admitting physician,” make sure that is transcribed. 
o        She prefers we type q. h.s. instead of “nightly” even though it’s on the Dangerous Abbreviation list. 
o        Course And Treatment heading:  Make sure all verb tenses in this paragraph are past tense
o        Diagnoses/AXIS tables:  She wants AXIS always in all caps, not Axis.  If dictates multiple diagnoses for any AXIS number, make sure EACH diagnosis is on a separate line (do not just separate with commas or semicolons/type on separate lines for each diagnosis). This is the same for EVERY dictator not just her.
o        AXIS V:  Make sure when she dictates numbers type the punctuation exactly as she dictates it….i.e…25/45/60-65 (there is a reason she will say slash/dash etc.) 
o        Prognosis heading:  Do not separate this into two headings/statements etc.  For some physicians, she will just say “Fair or Guarded.”  For some she will say “Fair.  Thought to be dependent upon the patient remaining compliant with medications and treatment recommendations, as they develop” or something similar to this.  Make sure this is all part of the prognosis heading.


But here's the kicker.. 

They give me a template that has the heading:

COURSE IN THE HOSPITAL:  All capped, and bolded and forbid me to change the headings, then send me a note this morning from quality assurance letting me know that they have went through all of the reports I sent in Saturday and changed the case on all of these and have counted it as my error. 
COURSECourse INin THEthe HOSPITALHospital:   

So no 100% on the next paycheck and also, they have lowered my pay rate for this because my accuracy has gone down.  

Of course.

The only things this job has going for it are that it is part time (and for a caregiver, that's important) and that it is at home but I have to, have to, have to find something else or I am going to go crazy.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a bittersweet holiday for the past few years since my mom has Alzheimer's disease and now, my mother in law is facing some health issues that are going to make today maybe a bit subdued.  There will be kids and toddlers and babies around, so hopefully they will help keep us all more cheerful.

Happy Mother's Day to you all.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

I finally decided on my birthday present.

I ordered it from Walmart and my family put it together for me last  night.   In this photo we are  also featuring my thumb ( bottom left ) and the porch junk that needs to be cleaned up.   It's going to be nice to have my coffee here.  Double rocking chair.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Working and Homeschooling.

Homeschooling Works
Free Range Learning
Simple Homeschool Schedule for Work at Home Moms.
Scheduling Tips
Homeschooling When Both Parents Work  (If you don't read anything else about this post, go and read the comments here, in which many parents tell how they make it work.)
Over the 11 years that we have been homeschooling, I have become more and more convinced that it is the best way to go, if you can possibly manage it.  But how, that is the question?  I've always had to work at least part time which has led to some difficulties managing field trips and things with our homeschool group.  Some things we have just had to pass on and sometimes I have taken time off.

The law here in Kentucky says that you need to do 175, 6 hour days or 1050 hours and I think most states are pretty similar.  So if you school year round, that's about 20 hours a week.  Don't forget that reading together, doing art and playing outside count as some of this as well as things like music lessons and some of these can be done at the babysitters.  Also, the parenting team can divide it and each do 10 hours a week or you can add in your babysitter.

So, Mom could get up early and go to work.  Then, Dad could get the kids up and do an hour and a half of something (math and science!)  with them for a while before he gets them ready and takes them to the sitter.  The sitter could do some school related reading with them and some art or worksheets, let them play outside, take them to music lessons and get another hour and a half in, then when mom comes home from work, she can spend an hour and a half with the kids on school (which, in my experience is not that different from school-related homework time).  Another idea is do big chunks of learning on the weekends.  Don't forget to add in home economics (cooking and cleaning the house together.)  :-)

Over the years I have known several working/homeschooling moms and they are making it work.  I personally found it easier than jumping through the hoops the school made us jump through.  You may not, but it might be worth a try.  Our kids were so much happier and easy to get along with once we started homeschooling, that we never wanted to go back.

"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience."                                                                                                                                                       —Anne Sullivan

Saturday, May 02, 2015

End of the week, end of the month.

It's been a week.  I can't think of an adjective of it.  Work got done.  Homeschool got done.  Apologies were accepted.  The new dog is settling in.  He hasn't come up with a favorite sleeping spot yet and here he is sleeping by the window.  which my daughter thought was cute, so she took the picture.  He also had to go to the vet this week due to an ear infection, but hopefully he's okay now.

Most of the week the weather has looked like this.  We live in a beautiful place and these pictures were taken from the front porch.  I do not spend enough time outside!

Wow, right?  
On Thursday, I went to see Mom and on the way home, it stormed producing this glorious double rainbow.  In typical homeschooler (or maybe just mom) fashion, I came home, realized that we couldn't see the rainbow from our yard, so I got the kids to jump in the car with me and we drove 1/2 a mile down the road where the view of it looked like this.  

Our mailbox is in this picture.  :-)

Last night, since I didn't do any real menu planning at the grocery last week, I had to be creative and I did good for once, making gluten free steak enchiladas that tasted like something you'd get in a restaurant.  (I'm going to share the "recipe" on my gluten free blog, later today.  

I have been in contact with my boss this week, trying to make things go a little better at my job (because it's pretty awful) and we changed the order of my work pool and changed up my schedule a little bit, so I work a little earlier in the morning most days, but on Saturday, I am going to work in the evening.  Today's the first day of that and I am not sure how I am going to like it.  So far, it feels very weird.  I did it for a while a few years back so that I could homeschool in the morning and it was fine.  We'll see, I guess.  

My youngest son, my only current homeschooler, had writing to do yesterday and he has trouble with it, so he struggled until late in the evening with it, the Friday night rush that he does sometimes but had been doing a lot better with lately ... oh well.  He's been an exemplary young man lately, helping me with some of the household chores and taking care of the pets that I won't complain about this one little slip.   I procrastinated with my medical transcription work for a long time, so I know what it is like.  


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