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?


Thursday, August 24, 2017

College Week Two.

We had a horrible cold pass through the house this past week.  I assume my daughter brought it home from work, as she works with young children.  She had it first.  Then my son and daughter-in-law got it.  None of them had a horrible time with it, but then youngest son got it and he had a high fever and felt awful.  The fever broke on Tuesday when he was in class, doing a scavenger hunt all over the campus, out in the hot sun.  Despite this, he's had a pretty good second week, I think.  He's been keeping up with his homework.  He has to ask my daughter and me to act as scribes for some of the work.  He has explained to at least one of his professors that he can't write and has a disability and will need to use a scribe.  Another concern that he has, regarding his disabilities (ADHD, dysgraphia) is that he has a hard time showing his work in math.  He does the algebra equations in his head and gets the right answer, but sometimes is not sure how to show it.  I think he should talk to the accessibility director about this but he thinks he wants to try harder to show the math.  He will have extra time on exams and this is what he wants to use it work.  I disagree, but I will leave it up to him.
He's not going to do work study right now as he's really trying hard to keep his head above water with all the homework, trying to learn to manage his time.  I think that's probably the best decision.  He plans to start working in January if possible.

I also talked to him about his major and he's changed his mind again about that, I think.  He thinks that he'll be bored with a construction major and may go into business or real estate.  His eventual goal is to own and manage rental properties and have passive income so that he can pursue his interests, so either one of those would help him in that goal.  We'll see what he does.  Next semester is when he needs to decide something because for some of the options, he'll be done with general ed after this one semester.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Crazy week.

It's already been a crazy week around here and what is it, Tuesday?  Yesterday was the eclipse of course and my son and his wife had their puppy scheduled for his neutering surgery and had planned to have a nice day, getting groceries, doing a bit of shopping and eclipse viewing, then picking up their puppy and going home to cocoon for a few days while he recuperated before they have to go back to work.  This did not go as planned though, to say the least.  Their car broke down and they had to call us to come get them and roadside assistance to come and get their car and take it to a repair place.  My husband went and got them and took them home.  They picked up their truck and headed out again, only to call us again, saying that this time their truck had broken down.  I went to get them and got there just about the time that the eclipse reached its peak.  They called the insurance company for roadside assistance yet again.  To make a long story short, we were back and forth to the vet, to another vet to get a different cone because the first one wouldn't fit, to the car dealer, to meet one wrecker, then the other and soon the whole day was gone.

 During the middle of the eclipse, when the light was all weird, I went to explain to some of the people on the street we were on what we were doing there, tripped over a piece of loose asphalt and fell and wow am I feeling it today.  I'm very sore.  Then today, when my youngest son was going to go to school, the car was out of gas and so he came back home.  He doesn't have a means to pay for gas right now.  He's waiting for his debit card to arrive from his new bank account.  So, he had to miss his first class due to "car trouble" because his sister didn't notify anyone nor get gas yesterday when she used the car.  Fortunately, it was the aforementioned algebra in which he already knows all of the material being covered.   Today we have board games and have to pick up one of the kids in the group and also have to go get my son and his wife and take them to the car dealership again.

Whew.



None of my eclipse pictures were anything but blurs of light.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

One week down.

Youngest son has one week of college under his belt.  His impression after one week is that it is hard, but he likes it.  He likes being out and about in the world.  He says that he feels like adulthood kind of hit him all at once this week.  He started college, he got a phone and opened a bank account.  In the next few weeks, he'll possibly be getting a car.  We've got a lot of car trouble going on around here and 2 of our cars are down, which leaves us with 3 cars and 4 drivers.  Since I am unemployed, most of the time this is not a problem.  I have a generous offer of the use of my oldest son's truck if I need a vehicle during the time of day that I don't have one, which is just the middle of the afternoon.   Anyway, he likes college. He finds the math class boring because he already knows what they are covering now and he pretends to take notes.  He doesn't actually take notes for 3 reasons, one is that he still doesn't write well, two is that he doesn't need to take notes to remember things and three is that he has already covered this material in his homeschool work.  I have a little worry that when he is going to take the test he will do things like write the numbers backwards but he says that since he is considered disabled because of his dysgraphia, he will have double the time of everyone else to get his test done and he says that in that time, he can check to make sure they are not backwards.  I just kind of think that if he knew reliably he wouldn't write them backwards in the first place?  He says he will be fine and hopefully if he's not he will ask for help.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Another day.

Yesterday, my son had day two of college and then we had board game night last night.  Apparently the second day went pretty well.  When we talked to him about it last night, he said that the one class he was worried about, college algebra, turned out not to be as difficult as he was expecting and that he was actually bored because the material that they covered in the first class, he has known since he was 9 years old.  He did say that according to the syllabus, by the end of the semester, they will be covering stuff that he knows, but could use a refresher on.  It crossed my mind that he should take a CLEP test for college algebra and take something else in place of it while drop/add is still open, but I don't think he's going to.  We didn't know if he'd talk in his classes.  He talks a lot at home, but has usually been pretty reserved out in public.  This has changed though and he's feeling confident and has spoken out and answered questions in all of his classes.  :-)  It makes me happy and I feel that he's really going to represent homeschooling well.

Board game meetup in our new venue didn't go as well.  It's loud and distracting and I think my son, who is kind of the board game leader, was a bit too distracted by his other friends who hang out there and so some of the kids didn't have as much fun.  I asked the venue and they are going to give us our own room from now on so we can concentrate on what we're doing and also so we can make a lot of noise when we want to, so the other group can concentrate on what they're doing.  :-)


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First day down.

Youngest son came home happy and excited about school.  He had a good day even though he had a lot of tasks to do, drop and add a class, meet with the accessibility coordinator and get his photo ID made.  He remembered to do all of it and was quite pleased with himself for getting it all done.  (I was too!)   He really enjoyed his history class and the writing class wasn't too bad, at least so far.  The professors seemed to be engaging and entertaining to him.  He tried to introduce himself to all of the people in the drop/add line, to get a conversation going so that the line didn't seem so long, but he wasn't really successful; only one person said "hi" back and then the conversation pretty much ended.  Oh well, maybe next time.  The reason he was in the drop add line was so that he could move some classes around so that he could get into choir, which meets as a class on Thursdays.  He had another class at that time, but was able to switch that one and get choir.  He loves to sing and has a very nice bass voice, so he will enjoy that, I think.  

So that's the school report.  Good first day for our second homeschooler to enter college.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

He's on his way!

Youngest son started college today.  I'll let you know how it goes later.  He's taking Algebra 1, World History, The Freshman Experience and Writing 1.   It should be a relatively easy course load for him, but of course, I worry that his learning disabilities will cause him difficulty.  I do think he will ask for help though.  The learning disabilities/accessibility coordinator there at the college is very nice.  We've spoken with him several times and he says that if my son has any problem doing something he is asked to do in class, to come to him and he will help him find a way to meet the requirements of the class.  It was fun taking him to get his hair cut and buy him new clothes and a backpack.  He hasn't had a backpack since he left school in first grade.   He's going to a community college that is about 20 miles from our house and my biggest, biggest worry is his driving.  He's refused to drive much with me in the passenger seat because I am annoying ( I own that!) and therefore he has not had enough driving practice to feel really confident, so therefore I am not really confident.  Nevertheless, I let him go.  I'm still waiting, right now, on the text to let me know he's arrived.  He's not the only one being brave today!


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Ch-ch-changes.

It seems to me like it's been a busy week, but really, for me, it's just in reaction to everyone else's changes.  My son and his wife started their jobs and I started dog-sitting their puppy.  My daughter is back to work.  My youngest son starts college NEXT week!   As the unemployed support person for everyone (read, mom and housewife. puppy-sitter, chief cook and bottle washer), I am cooking meals, cleaning up, buying supplies, keeping the car gassed up and various other tasks that make what they are doing go smoother for them.  It's been kind of exhausting, really, because I am not the best of housewives and not the best of cooks, but I've been doing the best that I can.  These are all good changes and I'm happy about it all, it's just, you know, change.

Have a great week!
My granddogs, Cosmo and Remus. 

Some of my art. 

Remus. 

My daughter made cinnamon rolls the other night. 



Cosmo sitting on Freckles.  

I love taking pics of the sky while I'm driving, or in this case, sitting at a redlight.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lots of things.

My oldest son and his wife have moved to our area and are living about 2 miles away.  We've got to see them already twice this week.  It's wonderful!  My youngest son got his driver's license on the first try!  Very exciting things going on!    My son and his wife published a book and it's for sale on Amazon!   Gizmo.   I got accepted into Amazon Merch and my shirts are available on Amazon!  I'm excited about all of these things.  The young adults will all be busy this fall, working and going to school.  If I don't find a job, I'll be here trying to support everyone else in theirs, trying to keep the house and make everything easier for everyone else as I can.  It's a role I enjoy, really, but I would like to have a part time job for spending money.   No luck on that front so far, thought I have applied for some jobs today (as every day).  We'll see, I guess.  It's hard to change careers midlife.  I may have to get some more training.

Also, last week, I impulsively adopted a puppy who has been taking up a lot of our time since he's not housetrained yet and he chews on everything.  Then, just as impulsively, pretty much, I offered to let my son and daughter-in-law adopt him and they are going to. We've gotten to love him because he's the cutest thing in the world so we've demanded generous visitation with him.  They have to bring him every time they come to our house.

So that's the news from here.   I've kept very busy this summer.  Maybe I will get some of my projects done this fall?  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's going on?

Lots of things, it turns out.  For someone who is not employed, I feel like I keep awfully busy.  I do more housework than I used to.  I think that's what takes up the slack.  Also, I exercise more and I am available to help with things for my aunt, so I do that pretty often.   I'm still doing the board game group and that amounts to 3 hours a week, not including the drive to and from.   I've been busy the last few days with something I'm very excited about, designing shirts for Amazon Merch.  I've had to learn a new program, called Inkscape and watched videos about how to promote my items and how design my items so that they will upload and display properly.  I've got 7 shirts uploaded but only 1 is actually for sale yet.  Just like it takes a while to get accepted into the Merch team, it takes a little while to get new designs approved.  They don't just let you put anything up there, which I think is a good thing.

 I've also been spending some time volunteering as a moderator for a Kentucky homeschooling board on Facebook, which keeps me active in the community.  I like that.  I'm at the age where I can mentor the younger moms and I guess that's a good thing.  I hate being old, but it's nice to be able to help others with my considerable wisdom.  :-)  

I'm looking for work and filling out job applications, even online, takes a while.  I'm taking a free course through Alison to help me reenter the workplace but right now I have no work leads.  I had a few interviews a month or so ago, but nothing.  It's very discouraging.

We've also got VBS this week.  My daughter and I are doing the crafts.  It's weird this year as they are doing an evening session, which they don't usually do and we are helping in the evenings instead of the mornings.  Since the evening session is different, very few people know about it, so we've had only a few children.  We've probably had more volunteer adult helpers than kids this week.  It's nice though.  It gives me a chance to talk and visit with people that I don't usually get a chance to talk to.  I love talking to people.  I wish I could get a job doing that.  :-P

In young adult news, youngest is trying for his driver's license on Monday (better clean the car out!) and oldest is moving back to Kentucky that same day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer?!

Summer seems like it has barely begun and now there are signs that it will be ending soon!  My daughter starts back to work in 3 weeks and my youngest son will be starting college soon after that.  My oldest son and his wife will be here in a couple of weeks to start their new jobs and new lives here in Kentucky.  Lots of good changes and I'm sure we will settle into a rhythm, but we are just going to get crazy busy, I'm afraid.  Actually, I kind of hate it when I'm not busy so to be clear, I'm not whining, I'm just processing.  My husband will be working M-F ALL DAY as usual and my daughter will be working half days M-F and my son will be going to college M-T part of the day and I'm not sure what kind of work schedule my oldest son and his wife will be doing, but we hope to see a lot of them.  I'm not sure if I will get any job offers -- I keep applying--- but I'm also not sure how to fit it in, especially my need for a car, with all of this other stuff going on.  We have 5 cars but 2 of them are not running at the current time.  This seems like a first world problem for sure now that I'm typing it, but it's true.  If one car is with my husband at work, one is at work with my daughter and one is at college with youngest son, I will be home out of necessity.  I sure wish I could find a work at home job again.

I was able, this morning, to have a problem solved with the board game group.  We had been meeting on Monday afternoons in the library, but with work and school schedules we needed to move it to Tuesday nights. We were not able to do Tuesday nights at the library because they have their own programming in their rooms on those nights.  However, I was able to move the games to a local game based business which is owned by one of the families in our new homeschool group (which is, thankfully, letting us stay in even though my kids have graduated!)  So I had a success this mroning.

Now, onto working on my son's financial aid ....  bleh.
One tiny purple coneflower amongst all the weeds.  I love these flowers but I have a hard time getting them to grow!


Friday, July 07, 2017

Socialization Good News.

I know that sounds weird, but we've had some good things happen lately on the socialization front and I want to share.  First, some background.  Two of my 3 homeschooled kids are shy and they all 3 are introverts. (We sent our oldest introverted but not shy one to college 5 years ago in another state and now he is coming back here and is married).   We have joked about the homeschool socialization cliche through the years, but it HAS kind of been an issue that I have had to work at.  We live in a very isolated area with no close neighbors and our church is very small.  We have joined various (3!) homeschool groups, put together a prom for our kids and I have put together this board game group especially to help my (now) young adults meet other people their age.  It has been an effort and thankfully, we've finally got some regulars who are coming and spending time and some friendships are forming.  With introverts, making friends is a slow process and it takes a lot of time.  This week I was talking to 2 of the moms in this group and found out that their sons are going to be going to the same community college as my son!  I'm very happy and excited about this and I'm glad we didn't decide to send him to the other community college in another town, at least for now.  So anyway, my youngest son will be going to college with a couple of people he knows.

Also, I am thinking that having my oldest son and his wife coming here to live will be good for socialization because I think they will join a church and start networking and forming friendships here and then they will invite my 2 younger, shyer ones to join them.  That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

A third bit of good socialization news is that the youngest two kids have joined a D&D group and are really enjoying that.  It might turn out to be a good way for my daughter to meet young men as she is the only girl in the group, playing right into the Dungeons and Dragons stereotypes.  She, being an artist, drew a picture of each persons character and gave it to them.  I picture them going home and mentioning that a girl in their D&D group gave it to them and having their parents say not "Great art" or anything like that, but "There's a girl in your D&D group???"  LoL.

If you're going to homeschool, remember to join some groups, go to 4H and reach out to others.  If there is something that your kids are interested in, look into starting a group based around that.  Invite others to your home or arrange, as we do, to meetup at the library or restaurants.  Its good for the homeschool mom to meet and spend time with other homeschooling moms as well, so it's a win-win.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Just some funny notes.

The young adults who still live in my home are pretty hilarious sometimes.  They are always working on some project or the other.  Recently, my daughter was working on a castle floor plan that she will use in the novel that she is writing.  She was very intently working on it and had graph paper spread out on an ottoman in the living room.  Freckles, oblivious to this, jumped up on the ottoman to see if she could get her belly rubbed.  She put a claw through the paper, ruining it.   The young adults were very upset and decided to punish Freckles very severely.  What did they do?  They ate ham in front of her.  They didn't even give her a tiny bit.  They are so cruel.

Freckles
Another dog funny, also, funnily enough, involving the ottoman.  My back was hurting and I moved from the position of sitting in my chair with my feet on the ottoman, to sitting up straight on the ottoman in the hopes that it would help.  Cosmo, always interested in everyone's just-vacated seat for some reason, jumped up and sat behind me in the chair.  I said "Cosmo, while you're back there, rub my back".  I then teased my daughter, telling her that she should teach her dog how to rub my back.  She said "He's still working on "sit".  It may have been that I was so tired, why this was so funny to me.

Cosmo.
Our board game group is going strong right now, having a board game meeting or a D&D meeting every Monday this summer.  Our last meeting, this past Monday, they played several rounds of a new game we've got called Superfight.  In this game, you get a character card and a couple of attributes cards and then you challenge each other in a pretend fight and hypothesize who would win.  The other day we had Putin (with agorphobia), Canada (with the power of hypnosis) and Chuck Norris (can't remember what his special attribute was, but does he really need one?).  So to sum up, I heard my son say "Basically, we've got world war 3 and it's Russia, against Canada, against Chuck Norris."  :-)  In this scenario, they chose Canada since they felt this meant every single citizen of Canada with the power of hypnosis.  It's a fun game, especially if you like to argue, which they very much do.  :-)


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Registering for College.

We registered our oldest son for college 5 years ago and at this point, I can't remember very many of the details.  I remember my husband filled out the FAFSA and I applied for scholarships and filled out the application for the school admission.  Then we waited.  When we finally heard that he had gotten the scholarship, we only had about 5 or 6 days until he had to be there.  That was kinda crazy.  Since the college was so far away, all of my input was by phone or computer.  One of the professors walked through registration and registered my son for all of his classes.  Everyone there had to help us because we were here and not able to come down there.

Fast forward 5 years to registering our youngest son for college (our daughter does not want to go, we have been trying to talk her into it!) and it's different.  He is planning to go to the local community college which is about 20-25 miles away and we've been over there 3 or 4 times.  We've had some issues with financial aid and we didn't want to register him until those were resolved.  He was in their system, but he hadn't registered for any classes.  Finally, they called and said that they were having an easy registration event last week, while we would be in the midst of wedding planning.  So we went over there and registered him. We spent about half an hour talking to the financial aid office and we think that he has a decent financial aid package.  I'm really not sure at this point.  He will get 434 dollars in some kind of aid based on his ACT score but otherwise he's not eligible for the KEES money (which is something the state of Kentucky gives out) because he is a homeschooler.

We've also spent some time talking to the learning disabilities coordinator there on the campus and he seems very helpful.  I think he will be a great resource for youngest son.  While we were there on easy registration day, we spoke to a professor about what our son wants to major in and he chose a major - construction technology - only to find that they are not going to offer it any more.  :-(  So we registered him for classes that would work for any major - English, history, digital literacy and math and left it at that for that day.  This week, I contacted another community college which is about 35 miles away and asked them if they still offer construction technology - and they do, so we thought briefly about transferring everything there this summer, but decided that we will let him start where he is with the LD support and all the paperwork done (hopefully) and possibly transfer him in January or even next August to finish up the 2 year degree in construction technology.

Notes for homeschoolers who are registering for college - we didn't have any trouble with his transcript, it was easily accepted and the professor who registered him was thrilled with his math scores.  He said that if there is anywhere that homeschoolers drop the ball, it is usually math.   He kept looking at the scores and saying "this is great!"  and "you are ready".  He said that most of the kids who come to their college from the public schools need remedial classes before they are ready to start college and that homeschoolers generally only need remedial math but that our son was ready to go in all subjects, which made me and his dad feel good.   Now we've got some things to work on before he's ready to go, namely, he has to get his driver's license now - no more procrastinating about that!!!!  He hates to drive and I hate teaching him to drive because it's terrifying, so we are in for a fun July!  Wish us luck!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hitched, but not without a hitch.

I looked up the origin of the phrase "without a hitch" and I couldn't find it.  I'm not really sure what a hitch is, but I know that we had a few.  The main "hitch" that we had the entire weekend was that nobody's cell phones would work and the cabins we were staying in had no landlines and were pretty far apart from each other, so we couldn't communicate but we also had a few more.

We could see the groomsmen's cabin from our cabin but not any of the rest of them.
First, the bride and groom had a blowout on the way to the park on Friday and spent 2 hours by the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance.  We did have phone service at that time and I was in contact with them and we were getting ready to head that way. (We were coming towards the park from the north and they were coming from the south).  Roadside assistance never did come but some of the relatives that were on that same road stopped and helped them. With 2 jacks they were able to lift the trailer and change the tire.





The cabins were pretty nice.  
Then on Saturday morning when we woke up, we had no electricity in the cabin.  Keep in mind that Saturday evening, I had to serve a meal to 60 people, most of which was in our refrigerator there at the cabin and I was planning to cook it all in electric crock pots.  I had a small panic attack and then got in our Suburban to drive up to the pavilion to see if there was electricity there, so that I could go ahead and put everything in the crock pots there to keep it from spoiling.  There was no electricity at the pavilion, so I walked back out and got into the car.  Then the car wouldn't start.   I tried to call my son at the campground so that he could come and get me. The call went through, but not until an hour later.  So, after a few minutes of sitting there in the car, I got out and walked to the country store of the park.  It was closed but there were 2 park rangers there, getting ready to leave.  I flagged one of them down and got him to give me a ride back to the cabin.  Then I sat down and cried for a little while.  Eventually, our son got the message and came to check on me and my husband was able to get a ride to our car and fortunately, he was able to fix it.  And then, thank God, the electricity came back on.  On Saturday evening, the rehearsal dinner mostly went as planned, but, as I mentioned in my last post, some of my relatives were texting me for directions and, of course, with no phone service, I couldn't reply, so they missed the party.  This made me very sad.

Then, on Sunday morning (wedding day!!!)  we got a knock on our door bright and early.  It was 2 of the groomsmen.  They had all started to get dressed and realized that one of them had misunderstood the phrase "yellow shirt" to mean "a blue and green plaid shirt with a tiny yellow stripe" and so they came over to bring our youngest son a different blue shirt because he was the best man and they figured he could get away with wearing a different shirt. So the shirt we bought was worn by the other groomsman and the groom was in royal blue, the best man in light blue and the rest of the groomsmen were in yellow.   It was fine.  Fortunately, we had an easygoing bride who took these kind of things in stride.  Also on Sunday, it rained right before the wedding and we had to delay it, but only for a few minutes.  I spent a great deal of energy during the wedding praying that it would not rain, but it didn't and the wedding was beautiful and wonderful.  :-)


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Feeding 60 people.





I'm not sure how many people actually attended our rehearsal dinner.  Originally, there were supposed to be around 60 (including out of town and out of country relatives) but right before we left on the trip, as far as I knew, the number was supposed to be 54.  We did have a few extras that weren't in this number, but I think the final number was still in the 50s someplace.  I'm not sure.  I wish that someone had done a head count.

What we served was 5 pork loins, cooked, shredded and with barbecue sauce.
8 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce.
120 buns.
140 drinks.
3 jars of pickles.
4 containers of Walmart coleslaw.
3 large gallon cans of green beans.
4 large bags of potato chips.
6 cakes.  (I was expecting many people who were not in the wedding to come and have cake with us after the actual dinner.  More on this later.)

What they ate:
2/3 of the pork.
2/3 of the buns (maybe)
Approximately 120 drinks.
2 jars of pickles.
1 container of coleslaw.
1/2 of the green beans.
2 of the cakes.
part of 2 bags of chips.  2 were unopened.

So to feed 50 to 60 people, you'd need
3 1/3 pork loins
Maybe 80 buns.
5 jars barbecue sauce
2 jars of pickles
2 bags of chips
1-2 packs of coleslaw.  (get this someplace other than Walmart, it was not good.)
1 gallon can of green beans.
2 cakes.
and if it is summertime in Alabama, lots of drinks.

One reason we had so much food left over is that, I had this horrible fear that I wouldn't have enough, plus apparently everyone I asked about how much food to bring also had this fear because I bought what they advised and sometimes bought less.  Thankfully, my daughter kept encouraging me to buy less not more and she was right.  Next time I really just need to listen to her.  Another reason we had so much food left over is that no one could find the pavilion where we were.  There are no maps of the park online that anyone could find, just maps to the park and then you're on your own unless you actually find the lodge or the country store and get a map of the park.  Also, there is NO PHONE SERVICE for any carrier anywhere in this park, so we couldn't contact anyone to tell them where we were or to invite them.  It was extremely frustrating.  I hated it because I really wanted several of my family members to be there and they didn't make it.  The wedding photographer and the matron of honor had put together an awesome slide show and I hate that some of my family members missed it.  :-/    Oh well.  That's life.  More about some of our wedding challenges in my next post.  Big events like this rarely go off without a hitch and this one certainly didn't.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wedding!

Oldest son is married now!
The wedding was beautiful and fun.  The readings were beautiful, the sermon was really nice and personalized to them and then they walked out to Hooked on a Feeling -- the one that starts with oooga chocka.  It was fun and left everyone smiling.  Some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen danced out together and some didn't.  The last 2 did a cute little pantomime where he pretended to ask her and she said no.  It was adorable.  The wedding was delayed for a few minutes because of a little bit of rain, but then it stopped, we dried the chairs off and started the wedding.   It was great.  My daughter caught the bouquet and youngest son was the best man -- but he didn't find out that he was until the rehearsal!  

Speaking of the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner went well.  We had too much food.  After looking amounts up on line and making too much food for the shower, I, instead asked everyone I knew and we came up with the amounts from local, experienced cooks.  We still had too much food.  My family has been eating barbecued pork loin for 5 days.   Basically, they ate 2/3 of the food that I brought, so we must have had enough to feed 100, instead of the 60-ish people that we were trying to plan for.  I'd rather have too much than too little, but we are all really tired of barbecued pork.  

We came back to real life really quickly when we walked in the door here at home and found out that our roof leaked and our laundry room ceiling had collapsed.  I have been cleaning and doing laundry since Monday night since we use our laundry room as a family closet and all of our clothes and linens are stored in there.  

So anyway, here we are post-wedding, feeling kind of let down and kind of thinking 'what do we do now?"   Probably we need to something like declare a no spending month, clean the house thoroughly and go on a diet!  

I'll catch you all up on what else we've been up to next time I post.  Have a great day!  

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