Saturday, November 11, 2017

Settling in.

I've almost been at my new job a month.  I'm still learning and I will be learning for a while, not the transcription part, but the administration/data entry part.  There may also be a bit of phone answering (gasp!) and filing.  I'm sure I'll figure it out but right now, they are using me as their PRN worker because another transcriptionist is out for the week, so they are using me to type and I am getting it done.  It feels good.  Yesterday, there was a big pile of dictations in the afternoon and my boss said that there was no way I'd get them all done by 4 o'clock but just do the best I could and go home at 4:00.  She doesn't know me very well.  I was completely done by 3:15.  :-)  It's nice going in already having some skills for the job and feeling like I am contributing to the team already.  I still don't love the walk, but I'm getting used to it.  Some days I can catch the shuttle and get a ride, it depends on what my hours are.  Overall, it's okay.  It's something I feel like I can do and I don't feel panicked like I did when I had that job at Head Start.  That wasn't for me, but this nice quiet office?  Much better.

Youngest son is still doing well in school.  He got a 93 on the most recent history test, has been helping some other kids with algebra and is feeling very confident and self-assured.  I don't think every kid should go to college, but I really think it's the best path for him.  He's really enjoying it.

Silly Cosmo in one of his funny sleeping positions.  
Everyone else is just doing about the same.  It's been very cold, so the 2 young adults living in a camper have been very cold as well.  They are going to get to do some house-sitting for the winter and they are looking forward to a heater that stays on for 3 minutes, a full size water heater and other comforts of a house.

Speaking of comforts of a house, walking in downtown the other day I saw homeless people sleeping in the street for the first time in my life.  I've been sheltered here in my small town and though working at the food stamp office, I met plenty of homeless people, I'd never seen anyone actually sleeping on the street.  It's sobering.   I've only seen them once, so hopefully they are in a shelter during this pretty extreme cold snap.  :-/

Can you all believe how close it is getting to Thanksgiving?  Some people are already putting their Christmas trees up!!!  Too soon!  Too soon!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

My Old Job.

I used to work for this transcription company at home and when they let me go, I went on Glassdoor and did a review of them.  ( I was looking for something else before then, but hadn't found anything.) It's been a year and a half and every month or so, Glassdoor emails me with the new reviews that have been posted.  Here are today's examples.  There is nothing, nothing, nothing good about working for them and now from my perspective of working for a wonderful not-for-profit hospital and getting paid by the hour, reading these gives me even more pleasure. 

Sunday, November 05, 2017

November is already marching right on.

Before long, Thanksgiving and soon after, Christmas will be here.  I can't believe it.  Time just marches on so quickly.  I've already done 3 whole weeks at my new job.  I don't have a lot of interesting news or anything, just getting used to the new normal, etc.  Above are 2 paintings that my daughter has done lately, one is Lucy, our dog that passed away last summer.  The other is Freckles with the Christmas tree lights reflected in her eyes.  The picture below is a shot of the pretty foliage on my drive home, which never turns out to be as pretty in the pictures as it is in real life. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Normal Report.

It seems a little hectic some days, but I think the new normal is okay.  Over the years, we have had so many changes and so many new normals and a lot of them have not been the best, but me going to work has been okay.  I'm only working about 12 hours a week right now and that helps.  It's helping me ease into going outside the home to work, which I haven't done for many years.  I'm getting to know the people and so far, everyone seems really nice.  I got a welcome email and phone call from one of the other transcriptionists who is in my department but in another building.  I thought that was very nice.  Today was Halloween, of course, and a lot of people in the hospital dressed up and the hospital gave us a free lunch and some small free gifts which was fun.  I actually had a pretty good time at work today, though I'm still learning the job and that's a little hard.  It's good.  I think it's going to be a good fit for me.  I hope.

I got my rheumatologist to write me a note to try and help me get a better parking space a little closer to the building, but I am not sure, now, if I want to.  The walking will be good for most of me, only bad for my knees ... so I'm torn whether to turn it in or not, or just keep walking.

Other things that have changed in our world this year are that my husband's brother and my brother both got engaged and his brother is married and mine will be soon.  Kind of exciting~!   We love both of the new family members, so that's good!

Friday, October 27, 2017


My daughter finished knitting her sweater this week. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

History Test!!!

This is a victory for a student with a really good knowledge of history, but a difficulty with expressive written language.  It says "Great results on the objective questions - Well expressed, solid essays." 

Note that one of the people he was asked to write about was Clovis, ruler of Gaul and go back for a blast from the past and read this blog post.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Trying to settle in.

I'm trying to settle into my new normal as a working outside the home person and not only outside the home, but a 45-minute drive and, it turns out, then a 15-20 minute walk from home.  As you may remember, a year or so ago, I turned down a job stocking the bread at walmart because I couldn't do all the walking and standing, and looked instead for a sedentary job.  I found one, but the parking garage is 3 1/2 blocks away.  To some people, I know that seems like nothing, but to me with my osteoarthritis, it seems like a long way.  I can do it.  I did it yesterday and yes, it hurt my knees, but then the rest of the day I'm sitting, so I don't know ... it might be a good thing.  If I decide it is too much or if I just want to save that time everyday, I can probably get a note from my rheumatologist that would allow me to park in one of the closer parking garages.  I've been doing orientation and going through computer training modules, getting a tour, meeting everyone, looking over the types of reports I will be doing and studying computer manuals (a little) but I don't have a log-in ID yet so I can't log in and start actually doing the work.  I was supposed to get to log in yesterday and start, but the ID didn't come through so I got today off.   Today I'll find out my schedule for next week.  I did learn yesterday that this department of the hospital is closed on holidays, so bonus!   I think I'm going to mostly like the job.  There are going to be difficult things to type like autopsies but I have done those before, so I guess I'll be able to do it.  We haven't eaten quite as well this week or had as clean of a house as usual, but it's fine.

Youngest son is continuing to do well in school.  He had a history test this week and knew it would take a long time, so he went to his writing professor and told him that he would be late for writing class due to his ADA accomodations and the other class going over, so he wouldn't be counted as tardy.  It's manageable with the accomodations but he does have to let the professors know about things like this.  He's doing what he needs to do and it's great.

Daughter is still working at the preschool and doing well with it.  She has more hours than last year, but seems to be managing it fine.  The other day she and the children walked into their other building and there was a snake under the art table.  She handled it well, getting all the kids back outside and calling building maintenance.   Adulthood!  She's working on her stern voices that she needs to use sometimes and is doing well with that.  She still works on writing her book, crocheting and knitting and doing art in her spare time that's not taken up with work and playing Dungeons and Dragons which she and her younger brother do a couple of times a week.

Oldest son and his wife are still working at Amazon.  The mostly like it.  Daughter-in-law has been having some trouble with her shoulder and may have to change to a different job.  They are tougher than me, for sure, standing on their feet for 10 hours at a time.

My husband still works with software at the same place he's been for a while.  I think he's relatively happy there.  We've finally got enough vehicles going all at once so that everyone can get to where they need to be each day, but I'm not happy, getting stuck with the one that no one else wants to drive and seriously regretting that I ever learned to drive a stick shift.  :-P

Anyway, that's what's going on with us now.  I'll look on my phone and see if I have any good pictures to share for this week.   Now that we're not homeschooling, this blog is about our lives with a little bit of post-homeschooling/disablity/college stuff thrown in.  I appreciate that some of you are still reading.  Over the years, I have enjoyed going back and looking at the blog to see when our family did what and enjoying the memories, so even if no one reads, I'll probably still blog for us.

Have a great day everyone!
Remus got a haircut this week and looks like a different dog.  He's learning to deal with the paparazzi here at our house, taking pictures of him every day.  :-) 

Cosmo is used to the paparazzi at this point and bored with it.  Hey, trying to take a nap here.  

Freckles sometimes adopts dramatic poses in the hopes that someone will take her picture.  We always fall for it.
I took this sunset shot through the window of the place the kids were playing Dungeons and Dragons the other night.  I had forgotten my book and was bored, but isn't it pretty?  

I won some gaming dice in a contest on Facebook.  Aren't they pretty?  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Keeping busy and another new normal.

I start my new job this week, working 4 days.   I'll have orientation and then 3 days of working.  I'm a little bit terrified.  It's been a while since I have worked outside the home, 9 years ago when I started working at the local hospital and had such problems with the chair and the computer program that they had.  I'm coming off of a year and a half of unemployment, a couple of failed new job attempts and I'm more humble and prepared to like it no matter what because I don't want to have to job hunt again.  Ever.  It kind of reminds me of the Winnie-The-Pooh story about how they are going to take Tigger into the woods and bring him back as a humble Tigger, a sorry Tigger and hopefully a less bouncy Tigger.  It didn't work on Tigger, but it worked on me.  I am prepared to like this job and do it no matter what. 

So anyway, we're moving into a new normal with me working.  I won't be home to wake up my college-aged son and though he sets alarms, he still needs someone to nudge him in the morning.  I guess his sister will have to pick up her old role of little mama and do it, at least this week.  I think once I get going in this job I will be working later in the afternoon, so it possibly won't be an issue after this week. 

Another part of the new normal, which is a good thing, really is that the younger kids social lives are expanding.  They are playing games and Dungeons and Dragons 2 nights a week and going to art classes another night of the week and often going back to the game store for pickup games or just to socialize at other times.  It's good for them.  It's a little hard for the 2 helicopter parents (who are trying hard not to hover) but we're doing okay.  :-P 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Doing better.

Youngest son is doing better and better in school.  He's taking less time to write things and writing well when he does write.  His history quizzes, which are essays, have needed less and less editing from me, just 2 commas and a semicolon on the last one and he's getting 19 and 20 out of 20 on a regular basis now.  He's got about half of his first paper written for writing 101 and it didn't take him but a couple of hours, whereas the first things he wrote took many, many hours and needed a ton of editing from me and his sister.  I'm thrilled by his progress.  He shows me a lot of his writing when he gets it back with the grades because he knows how happy it makes me.  The most recent history quiz/essay was 20 out of 20 and said "Good job!" on it.  You all know how much I worried when he was little and wouldn't even draw and hated coloring and then didn't learn to read until he was 10 and always, always hated writing, but maturity is working for him.  I'm glad we didn't sacrifice our relationship to trying to have him conform to others expectations of when he should do things.  He did it in his own good time.

If you have a little one who is struggling with any skill. lagging behind his peers, tell him or her about my son and read him or her this book.  Leo the Late Bloomer

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A concert!

We went to a concert and variety show for youngest son's college last night.  It was very good. There's a lot of talent in the group.  I especially enjoyed the choir parts when my son was singing, but I enjoyed the other parts too, mostly.  There was at least one singer that I just sat and hoped would be finished soon.  That's how it is, though, isn't it?  During the in-between times, when no one was singing, they gave away door prizes.  Most of them were things like candles or T shirts, but my daughter-in-law won some Disney Princess stickers and my husband hit the jackpot with a bookstore gift card and some Godiva chocolates.  :-)  Anyway, it was a fun, family time.  It's interesting for us, having been homeschoolers, to start participating in these kind of school/family events that we've been out of for so, so long. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

History Test #2.

This is for youngest son (who was 6 years old when I started this blog and is now in college!).  He has dyslexia/dysgraphia and got a 92 with "solid essays" on his history test!  He has a chance to do a 6 point extra credit and he's going to do that too, to bring his average up a little bit. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Job craziness and other updates.

I've been job hunting for a year and a half and it's been kind of a pain.  I wanted to say tough, but it hasn't been really tough.  I'm not the major wage earner in our household so the pressure is not as great as it would be if my husband didn't have a good job.  Still, it's been a little hard on my ego and I've wanted to quit several times.  Last Thursday, I got offered a job.  It was at a nursing home, working as a receptionist.  I was very excited about it and my daughter and I did a happy, happy dance.  Then, 5 minutes later (what are the odds?), I got a notice that another company wanted to interview me, for work as a transcriptionist, paying a lot more, with no weekend hours and no early morning hours.  I had to do the interview.  It went well and I was offered that job on Wednesday of this week.  I immediately started trying to contact the person I had interviewed with for the first job to let her know but I could not reach her by phone. I called 7 times over 3 days.  (I don't enjoy making phone calls, but much less to give disappointing news.  They were excited to have finally found someone to work that position).  Finally, today in desperation, not wanting to go through the weekend with the prospect of having to make that uncomfortable phone call on Monday, I emailed her and she got right back to me, wishing me well in the new job.  I hate that it worked out that way, that I had to go through with all the onboarding tasks for the one company while secretly hoping the other company would call.  I don't know why I can't simply get a job with no drama!  But, anyway, I have been offered a job.  Assuming my drug screen and my crime check go through, I will start on the 16th of October.  It's good timing for that because my daughter is on fall break the next two weeks and maybe we can get some things done to the house and maybe we can go and do some fun things.  I wish everyone in our family got fall break.  :-)

College is still going well for our current student.  He had another history test this week and thinks that it went well.  He emailed his answers to himself so I was able to read them and I think he did well too, except for some grammar and punctuation issues.  We'll see pretty soon, I guess.  He also talked with his math teacher a bit, to show her that he had the answer but had some trouble with the steps to get to it, but he did not, as far as I can tell, explain his disability to her.  It's progress I guess?  The rest of the updates for this past couple of weeks will be in pictures.

Cosmo, Remus and Freckles.  I've been doggy-sitting Remus while my son and his wife are at work.  

Cosmo getting between my daughter and her book.  

My brother-in-law got married and we got to go and then went to a nice restaurant that believes that this is a serving of ice cream cake for ONE PERSON! 

Duncan and Squinch.  I just love taking pictures of them because they are cute.

Oldest son turned 25 this week and his lovely wife cooked him, and us, this lovely dinner.  Burgers with pepper jack, barbecue sauce, fried onions and mushrooms with loaded mashed potatoes.  Yummy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More college notes.

My son scored an 81 on his algebra test because he has a hard time showing his work.  I've told him that he needs to speak to the professor about this, that the reasons she wants the work shown is to show that he understands the concepts and that he is not cheating and he can prove that to her in one conversation.  He definitely understands the concepts.  He's figured out that there are something like 49 operations in math and has figured out how to do them in his head and he does them now very quickly, so it's very laborious and counterintuitive for him to go back and try to show how he did it. He doesn't want to have this conversation with his professor so I told him to just start yelling out the answers in class when he knows them and to quit pretending to take notes; just sit there with his hands plainly in view on his desk (so she knows he's not using a phone) and answer the equations she writes on the board.  He says that he can do this, so he needs to show the professor that he can do this.

Whew.  It's hard to be the mama of a twice-exceptional young man and also be hands-off and let him do his own thing.  He's 19.  He doesn't need his mama going over there and talking to anyone about it.  He needs to handle it on his own.

As long as he passes the class, right?  And 81 is a pass.  There's just a part of me that says it is a shame for someone that good at math to get an 81.  :-(

Saturday, September 16, 2017

50 Books This Year.

I've read my 50 books for the year and if I keep going at the same pace, I may be able to do 70 by the end of the year.  It's been a good year of reading.  I've re-read a lot of my old favorites and some new ones too.  It started out when my 2 youngest kids challenged themselves to read 26 books this year, one every 2 weeks.  They've pretty much finished by now too, at least I know my son has.  It's probably good that he got done before starting college because he certainly doesn't have as much time as he used to.  He does read very fast though.  He's at 30 and he's read bigger books and more difficult books than I have.  I like to stick to kind of light fiction and the occasional non-fiction self help kind of book or biography.  The complete list of what I have read is in the sidebar of this blog, on the right.  I recommend all of them except the one by Graeme Simsion The Best of Adam Sharp, because it's awful.  The rest are good.  I've started taking pictures of some of my favorite quotes instead of trying to keep track of them in any other way.  Here are some of my favorites, both fiction and nonfiction.  
 The first few are from a book on fighting autoimmune disease with diet, which I , sadly, can't remember the name of and it's not on my list because I didn't finish reading it.  I skipped the recipe section at the end.
"In the last fifty years there has been a 400% increase in the incidence of celiac disease."
"If you can do only one thing to improve your health, removing gluten is far and away the best thing you can do."

Now, onto fiction.   The next 2 are from Frederick Backman's Britt-Marie was Here.  

"At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks himself are about one thing; how should you live your life?"
"It was very brave of you, putting that tie on.  Because it looks absolutely preposterous." 

 From Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  The part that leaped out at me was "I reckon that's the risk you run, letting sombody else raise you chilluns."  I was thinking about kids spending so many hours at school and it resonated with me.

 The brilliant Cecelia Ahern on grief, from the book One Hundred Names.

 Frederick Backman again.  This is from Beartown.

 "It doesn't take a lot to be able to let go of your child.  It takes everything." 

 The extremely brilliant J.K. Rowling.  "Lord -- Thingy."  Oh, I love her writing so much! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Going to College with a Learning Disability.

Youngest son is doing well.  His professors understand that he needs to take his tests in the accessibility center where he gets more time to work on them and that he uses a scribe (me or his sister) to complete worksheets at home.   Yesterday a girl asked him why he wasn't filling out his worksheet in class and he explained that he has a disability and showed her how one arm is shorter than the other, etc.  (The doctor when he was 4 years old and broke that arm said it was not in the growth plate!).  He is enjoying chorus the most of all his classes.  He's also taking Freshman Experience, World History, Algebra and Writing 101.  He will have to make some kind of decision at the end of this semester to figure out what kind of classes he's going to take ongoing because if he's going into a construction field, this is his last semester of general ed.  He seems to be getting Bs so far and that's his goal.  He's mostly keeping up with his homework with only a few reminders.  He wrote a self-assessment paper last night it only took an hour, which is huge progress!  A week or so ago he had a history test and was not able to get to all of it, despite having extended time.  The one question that he was not able to finish was worth 26 points.  I was worried about it because I hated the fact that he was going to get a C or D in his favorite subject despite knowing enough about history to write a thesis on it (with a scribe.)   The professor refused to give him the test verbally but gave him 15 points for the 3 or 4 sentences he wrote.  It was supposed to be 2/3 of a page, so we were both happy with that.  He ended up getting an 81 on the test and there was an extra credit assignment so that he can bring that up to 86 if he does it.  I think the college is doing a great job with the accommodations, but he does need to keep in touch with the accessibility manager and make sure he knows when there are tests and when he needs help.  So far, he's doing really well with that.  His accessibility manager even (already) has recommended our son for an internship in Washington DC but I don't think he wants to go.  Still, it's fun to get the recommendation.  :-)  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Feels like fall.

It's cool and rainy and feels like fall.  This is one of the times I am glad to live so far inland.  When it is a time that I want to go to the beach, I feel terrible about the 9+ hours we have to drive to get there, but when the hurricane season hits like this, I am thankful.  We have a light rain from the leftovers of Hurricane Irma.  We had heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey, but nothing serious.  This time we thought we were also going to get wind and as this big storm keeps going through, we might.  Still.  It's been beautiful here and I am thankful.  It's also been busy.  It seems like I am always going someplace and doing something, despite currently being a homemaker.  The kids are all getting busier and busier and I help support their activities and occasionally take someone to one of their activities so that I can have a car.  There's nothing exciting going on, just a little bit more settling into our new routines.  It's a good thing.

I'm still advising on the homeschooling board on Facebook and I'd like to address one of the things that everyone asks on there every day.  The state says this many hours and this many days, so you need to keep attendance records but this can be as simple as a check mark in your calendar and the hours can be however you want to assign the hours.  In Kentucky the law says 1062 hours, 170 days and  that you have to cover reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics and civics and keep scholarship records.   But if you want, you can only cover civics once a week or once a month, do math on every day or every Thursday, do all of these subjects in 1 1/2 hours in the morning and then do an hour lunch and a 2 hour recess, followed by reading all together, art and block time.  Especially when they are little, do not make them be in a chair doing seat work all day long!  Childhood is not supposed to be like that and since the one-on-one time that they get in a homeschool setting is so incredibly efficient, they don't need it!  They will thrive with this kind of a schedule, lots of physical movement is completely necessary for a child's brain development.  You've pulled them out of a system that is not working, do not recreate it in your home!  

Okay, off my soapbox now.   Temporarily.  


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

It's September!

And as of today, we're back to our new normal. I guess.  The first part of September I was on that diet and that was all I was doing, all I was thinking about.  I couldn't focus on anything else.  It didn't seem like I could do anything else.  I lost 15 pounds in 11 days and got really weak and shaky and felt like I was going to faint when I stood up.  So I stopped the diet and went back to my normal eating pattern.  I feel so much better.  I'm still going to get my food sensitivities tested and see a nutritionist and see if it is possible to reverse my autoimmune disease with diet, but I don't want to ever do one as strict as that one.  It just did not work for me.   Other things that have been going on here, my husband has been sick for 3 weeks, first with shingles then with a cold, but hopefully he's better now, although my daughter is now sick, having brought home her second cold of the year from the preschool where she works..  Fingers crossed that no one else gets it.  My oldest son and his wife had a guest this weekend but since they live in a tiny camper, their guest actually spent the nights here, so we kind of had a house guest, at least in the late evenings and early mornings.  :-)   She is going to apply for a job here this morning and possibly move to Kentucky.   I had a job interview on Friday that lasted about 4 minutes, so that is probably not a good sign.   Then we had the holiday weekend, with everyone home yesterday.   So as of today, our houseguest has gone, the holiday is over, youngest is back to college, girl is back to work (if she feels well enough), husband is back to work and I am here, puppysitting and thinking about making a plan for what to get done this fall and job hunting.  Back to normal, I guess.  Speaking of me getting a job, I'd rather make a living from home with my Amazon Merch store, so in case you need to shop for a T shirt for a grandparent or a dog grandparent, here's my store and here is my Cafepress store.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday, August 29.

I seriously can't believe it's almost September.  This summer seems to have gone quickly, but when I think back to my son's graduation in May, that kind of seems like a long time ago.  Its funny how we perceive the passage of time.  We're settling into the fall routine, I guess.  My son and his wife are settling into their jobs, my daughter is back to work at her job and taking a few more hours and doing fine with it and youngest son is settling into college a bit.  The 2 recent college graduates are able to give him good advice on homework and note-taking, so that's great.  They've been sharing apps that will help him and giving good advice that my husband and I, having been out of school for a long time, can't really know.

Yesterday, I rode to school with my youngest, then caught a ride with a friend, went to the salvage grocery store and then out to lunch at Olive Garden with some homeschooling friends.  Only one of us is still homeschooling, so mostly we talked about our kids weddings and college experiences.  It was a good time. ( Unfortunately, while there I got a text saying that my aunt is having an awful time at the nursing home, so please pray for her.  The whole family is upset and we don't know what to do about it, so please pray for us as well. I don't think it's bad care at the NH, but I am not sure.  :-/ )

What does this have to do with homeschooling?  I met some of the best friends of my life while homeschooling.  If you do homeschool, don't do it alone, join a couple of support groups.  Here is a way to do that.  HSLDA Local group listing

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Diet.

On Wednesday I went on the autoimmune paleo protocol diet.  It's been rough.  I've been detoxing from sugar, cheese and mashed potatoes.  This diet is to help heal autoimmune disease and I've been diagnosed this year with Sjogren's syndrome.  What this translates to is I don't eat dairy, grains, soy, nightshade vegetables (potatoes! Tomatoes!  Peppers!!!)  nuts, seeds, eggs or legumes.  What I can eat is meat, vegetables, fruit and a few other things.  I can eat coconut products like coconut sugar, coconut flour and milk and cassava flour (made from yucca).  So, I've been doing a lot of cooking and a lot of griping and whining.  Last night I found a nutritionist online who does a different type of approach with food sensitivity testing and a rotation diet, so I am hoping that she will be able to help me in a less drastic way.  For now, though, I'm sticking with it, trying not to whine too much and trying not to lose my will to live.  Yes, I'm a drama queen, but sometimes it does feel that bad.  Still, I have made it 3 days!

So, can I eat this?

or this?

or this?


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