Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's over

Anyone else relieved Halloween is over? This holiday has just been dragging itself out. It is almost as bad as Christmas in terms of lasting forever. It doesn't help that while on vacation we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party in Disney World. That was a ton of fun, so I feel like that was the real holiday and the rest of this was just extra.

We did have a milestone this year. Violet went out trick or treating with Red's family and Mr. Incredible and I both stayed home. Red's dad and older brother ended up staying out with the girls almost 2 hours! Sounds like all 4 had a great time. Violet could barely carry her bag of goodies home. Violet has been off with Red and her family a lot lately. For a while there it seemed like Red was here constantly. Must be cyclical. I'll have to remember that next time it feels like I've fed Red as many meals as Violet!

The number of trick or treaters was down again this year. I don't really know why, but we don't get nearly as many as we did just 4 or 5 years ago.

In other news. It is day two of using the new toothpaste and I really think it is working. I still have the one canker sore I got a few days before switching but it seems to be healing quickly and isn't nearly as painful as usual.

Tomorrow Violet and I have tickets for the school day performance of a Winnie the Pooh musical at a local theater. It is a live action performance by a dance company. We are really looking forward to it, even if it does mean we have to get up early tomorrow! I am a little worried though that evil mom will be there with her girls. They seat all the homeschoolers together, or at least they did last time. I hope they aren't going. I know, if they show up I'll stick a woozle on them!

Violet's nature center class for Monday, "There's Gold in Them Thar Hills," was canceled due to lack of enrollment. Bummer.

Maybe tomorrow after the theater we'll actually get some school work done. The weather was so nice early this week I couldn't bare to make Violet come in from the swingset. Then today she was busy with all things Halloween. Well, before we know it winter will be here. It will be too icky to go outside and nothing will be going on. Then we'll worry about books.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Strange grocery lists

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and checked out with only a combination like: kitty litter, toilet paper and prune juice? I always wonder if the checkers think about it. Today Violet and I went to Walgreens and all we got was a battery operated Holly Hobbie toothbrush (for when she gets her braces off next week), toothpaste for me, and tartar control cat treats.

I went looking for toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate. I have a problem with recurrent canker sores. It seems I always have one. It affects my eating, speaking, gives me headaches. So I did some research this week (as I sat at my computer feeling miserable) and found that it is suspected that sodium lauryl sulfate might contribute to them. It is a detergent found in most toothpastes. All these years I brush my teeth more and more when I get these flare ups and it could be the toothpaste itself causing it! I was looking for a natural toothpaste, but those had the chemical. But Rembrant brand doesn't have it and even says it is formulated for "mouths prone to canker sores." (Of course, I saw that after I read the ingredients. Never take the easy route, do I?)

All these years I thought they were more stress related. But recently, my stress level dropped tremendously and I'm still getting them. I became determined to find a preventative measure. I'd previously read about avoiding caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods since they irritate them. But really, I can't avoid any of those. Let's face it. I have very little life. I'm not giving up salsa, coffee, chocolate, wine or salty foods! I have my limits. And I've read about the hormonal link, but that didn't seem to play out with me either.

I was really excited to read about the possible sodium lauryl sulfate link. I really hope this does it. The toothpaste I found still has fluoride in it. I really didn't want to exchange canker sores for a mouth full of cavities. Cross your fingers for me. I hope this works!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Supposedly we only have 3 cats living in this house. I think it is more like 30. Everywhere you turn there is one. Standing where you want to step. Looking for a handout. Scratching something they shouldn't be.

But the worst is at night when Big Red decides to stand on me. He'll stand on me and stick his paw in my ear. Or his wet nose somewhere on exposed bare skin. He woke me up at least 3 times last night. No wonder I want a nap and have been so crabby. He toss him off the bed, he hops right back on. I know you are all saying, put him out of the bedroom and shut the door. When I try that he does these really loud pitiful meows so I still can't sleep.

Our cats are indoor cats. The two boys were both strays and wouldn't go outside if you shoved them through the door. They've been there, they didn't like it on the streets. The girl thinks she's big and tough and is always trying to sneak out. But she lacks survival skills. And whatever that big thing is that comes over our back fence and leaves poop behind would tear her to pieces.

The problem should go away after we've been home a few more days. I think he's still missing us from when we were gone. Meanwhile, today looks like another good day for a nap.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So much to do

Ever notice that when you go on vacation you come home to twice as much stuff to do as before? We got back Monday night and I'm still not caught up. There's still more unpacking and laundry to do. I have finally almost caught up with work. I have barely done anything for my Girl Scout volunteer positions. I finally looked at the homeschool stuff and came up with a schedule for next week.

Well, to be honest, it doesn't help that I'm moving like molasses. I'm definitely still in vacation mode, and honestly I don't want to come out of it. Things will get done when they get done. Someone doesn't like my time frame, they can do it themselves. Gee, no one has done it yet.

Violet has been enjoying the extra down time to just sit around and play. I don't think she's gotten bored yet. She did say that she wanted to take her Girl Scout candy, nut and magazine order form out and look for more sales. I really don't want to. Seems like way too much work. I know she wants to earn the giant stuffed seal, but I'd like to see what kind of sales she gets from Mr. Incredible's office first. I think she'll end up pretty close and then I'll just order a gift subscription of a magazine for my sister-in-law, I was talking about that anyway.

Speaking of Violet, I took her with me to a Mary Kay party last night and she is totally hooked! It was so funny how she really got into at the end. She even won a door prize: some Satin Hands lotion. I bought her the Velocity skin care line for girls. I think she really liked that I was getting her the stuff for teenagers.

Maybe today I'll get the house in order. Maybe I'll just take a nap.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sore wrist

I don't know if I've mentioned it in my blog or not, but my wrist has been sore the last few weeks. I think I strained it (big surprise) on the computer. Then I keep re-straining it when I go to pick something up awkwardly or grab a door that is slamming shut with it. The list goes on.

I woke up this morning and it hurt. This afternoon Violet and I stopped at Walgreens and I bought myself a wrist support. I am hoping that at the very least it will remind me not to grab that really heavy bag with my sore wrist.

We leave on vacation in a couple of days. I will have very little computer access while I'm gone. I am hoping that will give it time to heal. If it is still sore when we get home? Well, I guess it will be time to visit the doc.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Go ahead, make a scene

I've come to realize lately that I have a big mouth. Sure, I'm one of the quietest people you'll ever meet, but boy do I have a mouth on me.

When I was growing up my best friend would say to me "don't make a scene." Over and over again I'd ignore her and make a scene anyway. She'd roll her eyes or pretend she didn't know me, but I'd do it. If we don't stand up to injustice, who will? Maybe you can't fight city hall, but you can sure annoy them.

So tonight, I encourage all of you to make a scene.

Friday, October 5, 2007


On Tuesday I spent the morning at an anti-harassment seminar for work. No, I hadn't done anything to prompt them sending me to it. It was required of all employees. I think our new Human Resource Director is working on adding to her accomplishment list. No actually, I do know of a few instances at work where there have been problems and more than a few employees could really benefit from some reminders from the trainer.

So as I sat there I kept thinking about instances where I have felt harassment or other forms of bullying and intimidation. Not surprisingly most have not occurred in the workplace. I am rarely at my office, I work from home, part-time and deal with a pretty limited group of co-workers. But I have definitely felt harassment, bullying and intimidation in both the Girl Scout arena (where the bylaws and Girl Scout Law strictly forbid it yet it happens all the time) and in the completely unregulated homeschooling society.

Let's have a show of hands, who here has felt intimidated by a group of homeschoolers who all share similar religious beliefs that are different from your own? Either in person or online? Yep, I thought so most of us. Who has actually been put down either verbally or online because you disagree with someone's religious views? Let's expand it to differing homeschool styles? Or even differences in parenting styles and beliefs?

Yep, it happens constantly. If this were a workplace, that would all be illegal. At least the differences in religious beliefs, which I think we can safely extend to the creation versus evolution debate. I didn't ask the trainer but I'm pretty sure parenting styles and homeschool styles are not protected classes by law. I think he would have looked at me like I was a freak if I'd asked.

Have you ever sat through a homeschool park day or group meeting and not said a word because you disagreed with the beliefs the others were expressing? And how about when the others have been criticizing and belittling things that you do believe in? Have you done the little weak laugh when everyone else in the group was making fun of someone, because you really didn't feel up to standing up to them on that particular day? Have you ever left a homeschool forum because you were insulted or bothered by the negative comments being made about your religious, personal, homeschooling, or parenting beliefs? If so, you my friend have been the victim of harassment.

One big thing that was discussed was my company's zero tolerance for retaliation. You cannot retaliate against anyone for making claims against you. (I'm assuming this puts an end to my original plan if I were ever the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. I intended to punch the offender square in the face and march straight to the office of one of the managing partners and tell him to keep his employee's paws off me. Well, I still might do it if the situation ever arises. It will be worth being fired over.)

Have you been left out of public homeschool events because of a personal dispute with someone about styles or beliefs? Fewer hands this time, but I'm guessing that's because we've chosen not to associate with those that have offended us. I have had holes bored through me with eyes after disagreeing with someone. I've been banned from a homeschool website that I had said I was willingly leaving because I found the other members' statements not only hurtful and mean but downright filled with hate and bigotry. (She didn't have to ban me, I had said I was never returning.) I guess we've pretty much figured out our own way of avoiding retaliation, we avoid the harassers.

Harassment occurs all the time in our homeschooling world. What kind of lesson are we teaching our children? We say one of the reasons we choose to homeschool is that we want to control what sort of social situations our children are exposed to. Then we expose them to this. You would think that since we are such a minority in society that we would be more supportive of each other. Yet we are not. We go past the simple lack of encouragement into the realm of intolerance and hatred. It is a real shame we can't put personal beliefs aside and get along better. Especially if we are doing this for the reason we say we are. For the children.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nothing like a haircut

I've been wanting to get my hair cut for weeks now. Violet didn't want hers done, so I really didn't want to drag her with. But with the trip only a week away and my hair not getting any shorter on its own...

I was complaining to Mr. Incredible via IM that I didn't have any time to go get it done. Then I decided to stop complaining and just do it. I talked Violet into getting hers trimmed. And off we went to Super Cuts. We got in right before a rush so within a half an hour we were on our way back home, looking good in our newly trimmed locks.

That feels good. Won't Mr. Incredible be surprised when he gets home?

Much has been going on

I've been busy lately. I keep thinking how much busier I'd be if I were still involved with the Brownie Troop.

We went to the in-laws this weekend. They live in Central Wisconsin and the leaves were just starting to change. We went on a long hike at Devil's Lake State Park. Up and down cliffs. Me carrying my little pink purse. Passing troop after troop after troop of Boy Scouts at a jamboree. My own group even making fun of me for having my purse with. Well, I was told we were going over to the nature center. No one said anything about a 2 plus mile hike until we were well on our way. I had even pointed out back in the car that Violet and I didn't have the best shoes on for a long hike and something short would be appreciated. It is fine to change plans. I can be flexible, really I can. But tell a person so they can get prepared for it.

Same sort of thing happened when we were coming home. We were supposed to be back by early evening, so Sister in law who rode with could catch her train back to the city. Mr. Incredible and Sis decided she'd stay over instead and take the train back in the morning. Did anyone ask me if I had stuff planned for the evening at home? Nope. I had to finish my Sunday work assignments on Monday because we got back too late.

In other news school is going fine. We leave on vacation at the end of next week so we aren't starting anything big right now. Just doing little things and finishing up projects and studies. That laid back approach has been nice since it was also the Girl Scout registration deadline and I had 15 or so troops to process their paperwork. I love the registrar job, it is perfect for me. I just finished the last one this morning. I have a couple of more loose ends that will need to be tied up and I'm expecting a few late registrations to come in. But the bulk is done. In fact, I think I hear someone now at the front porch rattling around in my "Girl Scout bin" leaving or picking up something. Too bad Mr. Incredible isn't here right now, he loves to run out and check it after someone drives away.

On Monday I went to an anti-harassment seminar for work. It was pretty good. I have a lot of observations about how the entire homeschool community could really benefit from anti-harassment training, but I think I'll make that a separate entry later.

The next big thing is to start packing for the trip and doing last minute errands for it. The next small thing is lunch. Then maybe we'll actually do some school work today. I don't really feel like it though (and who is Violet to argue with me!). I think I am already in vacation mode!