Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Made it

March 31st is the biggest deadline of the year for my department. It is huge. It makes April 15th look like a day in the park. Well, maybe not quite, but it is a lot of work. I don't work on the stuff that's due. My role the last few years has been to take care of everything else. So I have been very busy too. I had 2 projects with 30th deadlines and one with the 31st. Plus client questions and crises.

Last night I was working until 10 pm, after having worked most of the day and cancelling most school subjects. I started again at 7 this morning. By noon today I'd already put in 25 hours this week, which is supposed to be my weekly total. I am done with the big projects. Things seem to be quiet (knock on wood, at least 3 times in the last 2 days I thought I was out of the woods only to have more emergency work fly in at me). I think I'm done. I still have to work the rest of the week, but maybe, just maybe, it won't be as frantically high pressure as it has been. At least not until the next time we have big deadlines.

I don't enjoy these frenzied rush times. I admit, I did at one time. I got a high out of the adrenalin rush. That was before I had a house and a kid and responsibility for her education. I don't enjoy it anymore. I'm tired. I have anger issues. I don't think we need to get ourselves into messes like this, but am powerless to change anything. The pressure and exhaustion don't help my anger issues.

When my ship comes in I am so done with this. But it doesn't appear that I'll get that for years and years and years. Not until I drop dead of exhaustion. Guess I need to keep my mouth shut and just keep doing what I'm told.

I think Mr. Incredible is feeling sorry for me. He got a little extra money for a job and said we should take a short trip, that I really deserve it. He also just got a copy of Tangled and suggested we order in Chinese to watch it this weekend. Those both sound really nice. After a little sleep. I think I'll get the cashew chicken and crab rangoon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Accountability Saturday

This is the first of what I am hoping to be a new weekly feature on Freakmom's Space. A recap of how I did on my personal goals. Why in the world do I think my readers want to read this? I'm sure you don't. But I need to answer to someone and you've been appointed those someones.

My goal is to exercise on Wii Fit 4-5 times a week. If no one is watching, it is easy to skimp and not do it. If I have to tell someone if I did it or not, I'm much more likely to do it. So that is what my weekly update will be: how many times I worked out that week and any other relevant tidbits I have to share.

Feel free to comment and offer encouragement, especially when I slack off. And if anyone out there is looking for a cheering squad of their own, I'm happy to offer my "way to go!" back atcha!

This week was a really good week for me: I exercised 5 times. (Why do you think I picked this week to start?) I am actually typing this on Friday, but I know I won't work out tomorrow. I have to go into the office all day tomorrow and I'll never get that much earlier to work out. But I am quite happy with 5 times.

Next week I see no reason why I can't exercise every day. We have no morning activities scheduled, so unless things get really busy with work or something else pops up, I should have a good report next Saturday too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dinner and a show

Today was our last school day performance of the year at the nearby theater. It was supposed to be our second to last, but Symphony Day was canceled. We think there was a terrible tuba accident. Or maybe the woodwinds are on strike. Anyway, Mr. Incredible went with Violet and I to see Mad Science Presents: Star Trek Live! It was a really good show. Mr. Incredible was picked out of the audience, much to his extreme horror, to go on stage and be "scanned" by the Vulcan. Of course, we know her scanner wasn't working properly when she made a joke about detecting a Big Mac. Mr. I hasn't eaten red meat in over 15 years. Now, if it had detected a cup of coffee and a turkey sandwich...that would have been spot on.

It did make him somewhat of a celebrity. After the show all the homeschool moms (we were seated in the "homeschool section" even though we were all our own groups and don't really know each other) told him how well he'd done. So did the ushers. We called it his stage debut. Violet and I kept saying thank goodness it wasn't us!

After the show we walked to a local pizza place for a late lunch. We had a green pepper and onion pizza. On our way back to the car we stopped in a cupcake bakery and each picked out a cupcake for dessert tonight. Violet chose a double chocolate, I had a chocolate chip cookie flavored cupcake and Mr. I went with cherry limeade. They were delicious.

Maybe not the normal dinner and a show, but a lot of local fun. And a new family memory of poor Mr. I being dragged up on stage. Broadway, no need to look out. I don't think he's headed your way. Unless maybe your computer needs fixing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cold Snap

A week or so ago it had been in the 50s and even 60s. It really seemed like Spring had sprung. Then in rained for several days. Yesterday, it got cold and snowed. There was still a little of the snow on the ground this morning. It isn't supposed to be above 40 for the next few days.

I hate this time of winter. We are so sick and tired of cold and aching to wear short sleeves and capris. But no. Winter coats and scarves are still required.

The daffodils are up at least 4 inches in the front of the house. The pussy willow is in full bloom. And it is too darned miserable to go outside and enjoy it.

At least there is no more snow in the forecast.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Change in plans

Actually, a quick change in plans on my blog entry. I just realized this is my 500th post in this blog! Wow! Time flies even when you neglect your blog from time to time.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

This morning I got an e-mail that Violet's book club was canceled today. There was an illness at the host family's house. It was rescheduled for next Wednesday. I was relieved, I had a webinar I had to listen to and several things for work to do. It was easier to get it all done without being gone for two or three hours. Violet was bummed (very good sign from someone who usually doesn't like to talk in groups, but who will have to at the meetings). But she was glad it was only pushed back a week and not canceled altogether. Am I seeing some signs of growing up here?

We did run out to the library and the bank. I got work done. We did some school work. We didn't add anything to today's list when book club was canceled. Some days I would. There's too much going on this week not to take a break whenever we can.

Like tonight. I have the client work done. I do have things I could do for work, but they aren't urgent. So they aren't being done tonight. And once again, I'm not checking e-mail in the evening. Last night I had 2 things come in around 10 pm (I found them when I logged in this morning). I wouldn't have done them last night and I would have fretted about them all night. They don't pay me to fret. I need to keep working on separating work and home.

We don't have anywhere to go tomorrow and we aren't looking for any trips out either.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Night Off

I have no work to do tonight. It is a rare treat. I've been bumming around, catching up on blogs, reading a little in Homeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old by Cafi Cohen. Violet will be a teenager in a blink of an eye.

Tomorrow Violet has her preteen book club, it will be their second meeting. I think she's really looking forward to it. I'm expecting a case of butterflies from her right before it. She usually gets those. I have some errands to run while they are discussing Gregor the Overlander.

I forgot to schedule history this week in school. I make a weekly list of subjects to do each day and we more or less follow it. (I know, yet I call myself an unschooler, Violet is the one who wants the schedule so we have some direction. Also she likes to know when we are done for the day.) Last week we were reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln (which said he hated the nickname "Abe"), so we didn't have history. This week when I updated the list I took out Lincoln but didn't add history back in. I left it up to Violet and she voted for a week off from history. She really likes our history book series, Story of US, but hey, she's 11, who's going to turn down not doing a subject when their mom forgets to schedule it?

This week and next are the two busiest at work. Therefore, I'm trying to keep things simple, like not adding history back in. I know I'll have more work thrown at me soon (probably right before we have to leave for book club tomorrow so I can fret about it the whole time we're out). But for now, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.

Now where did I leave that cork screw? I think a night like this needs a glass of merlot and a bowl of cashews.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Gail asked what we are earning, plants related, so I thought I'd post about. We are going to try to do both the Junior Plants Badge and the Cadette Plants IP. The Cadettes have already done a career exploration and a service project when we all visited the Land Conservatory and learned all about their work to save the native oak trees. They gathered acorns, learned to tell the different types apart and planted an oak sapling. Plus learned about the Conservatory and what the people who work there and volunteers do.

We are doing the Cadette IPs the "old" way, even after they start "requiring" the new way. In the old way, girls do at least 2 skill builders, where they learn something or try something, at least one technology related activity, one service project and one "career exploration," and 2 extras from any of the categories. With the new way, the girls do 2 skill builders, 2 from any category, write their own "smart goal" and do it, and write a "reflection."

So what's a "smart goal," you ask? I don't know, I don't get it. It says they are "simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely." Get it "SMART," stupid if you ask me and the 2 girls I work with. If that wasn't written by an "educational professional" I don't what is. It sounds to me like they make up some easy thing they want to do and do it. Okay, maybe I could talk to the girls into that.

But the "reflection," yeah, Girl Scout Police, you try to get 2 always been unschooled, never institutionalized, preteens to write a "reflection." Go ahead, I dare you. Not going to happen, is it? I did it their way, I discussed it with the girls. I got eye rolls, and "that's stupids." You see, these girls have been raised to think for themselves and to not waste their time on stupid filler activities that have no purpose and they have no interest in. They aren't public school drones who will do it just because it is "assigned" to them.

I talked to the 2 girls in question and they overwhelmingly said they want to "do" things, not sit around talking about things or writing about things. They want to go places, try things, learn about new stuff. They'll read a book on their own time. When they are with their Girl Scout friends they want to be out there experiencing things. I asked the younger girls too, same answer. We want to earn badges and do stuff.

Since neither of the girls are interested in doing their higher awards, the dumbing down of which is a post for another day, we will continue to do the IPs the old way, where they get to do more and try more things. We will never need council approval on anything they do. Granted I can see where a public school leader would not have liked the old way. You can't complete an IP in a meeting in your regular meeting room when you have to have a field trip to see or try some technology, meet someone who works in the field and do some sort of related community service. The old way takes longer. The new way you could crank them out quicker and send the "reflections" home as homework. That's not why any of our little group participates in Girl Scouts.

Where was I? Yes, plants. So I still need to read the Junior and Cadette requirements for plants, but I figure that at least a few of their suggestions will be stupid. (See why I don't volunteer at the council or service unit level any more? I just can't keep singing the corporate song and dance anymore.) I thought it might be fun to make planters out of reclaimed things. I have a broken iced tea pot and a storage container with a cracked lid. Shoes are really cool with flowers growing in them. The local community college was supposedly starting a rain garden, but it was supposed to be open last fall and I haven't found a press release about it. I'm going to have to call and ask. But that's all I've got. May and June is the perfect time to do this badge in our climate, so if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.

Back to my rant for a minute. Where on earth do they find these test subject girls who claim to like all these changes? Pod girls? Girls who are so overworked and stressed out they don't really care any more? Their own girls who they can bribe to skew the survey results? Or is this what institutionalized girls really want? If so, I'm more glad than ever that we chose the unschooling path.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We had a couple of rounds of thunderstorms today. It really felt like Spring. We even got some hail for a few minutes. Nothing severe, just a nice welcome, anything but snow falling from the sky. I pulled my car out of the garage this morning and let the rain wash it off. I'd parked under a tree about a week and a half ago and the birds got it good. I know, I should have washed it long before now, but you know how it goes. The rain got the gross stuff off.

Tomorrow is Juliettes. The girls are finishing up their journeys. The Brownies are making puzzles to teach some younger kids the order of the colors of the rainbow. The Cadettes are putting on a badge workshop focusing on air pressure experiments. So the projects aren't straight from the books, but they do represent something the girls learned along the way. And they are much more doable for our size group and the fact that they all live in different communities. And they will enjoy themselves. Take that Girl Scout Police. (Yeah, I have issues.)

After we wrap up the journeys (Breathe and Wow, for those of you playing along at home), we're going to do pets and plants. Not at the same time. We've got a field trip to a vet office scheduled next month, and I think I'll see if the girls want to try to make some homemade dog biscuits. No clear plans for plants yet. Any ideas?

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crochet class

Violet had her crochet class today, turned out to be private lessons. There was only one other girl who had signed up for the class and she had to cancel at the last minute. The crochet lady was game to go on and taught Violet 4 crochet stitches. One of the library ladies was there and another came in to learn to crochet.

They offered to let me stay, but I knew Violet would be more comfortable with me not watching her. But when I picked her up she offered to teach me the basic stitch. I guess she'll have to teach me the names of the stitches too.

The class was part of their hobby corner for teens. They seem to do it every other month. I'm going to encourage her to go back in May for the next one, regardless of the topic. She loves arts and crafts so much. The library lady who was there is the one who oversees it. She works with a lot of the teen programs. I'd like for Violet to get involved with their Teen Advisory Board and to be a volunteer with their summer reading program. But those are both things she'll really have to want to do. I'm thinking if the librarians ask her to join, she likely will. I think they'd both be really good experiences for her (if it is her decision) and confidence builders. Just like crocheting was.

Tomorrow we've got nothing scheduled. Those are my favorite days! Maybe I'll get my crochet lesson.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Well, perkier at least. I am feeling better. I never did figure out what, if anything, was wrong with me. (Insert your own joke.) But I do have more energy back.

Which was a good thing because work kept popping up all day. I couldn't believe how much stuff came up today after the last week or so had been so nice and quiet. I didn't get it all done, but I can work on it more tomorrow. I'm done for the day.

Tomorrow is the crochet class and I'm looking forward to spending 2 hours at the library reading and bumming around. It is close enough that I could drop Violet off and go back for her, but she preferred that I hang out there while she was in the class. I don't mind. How could you object to 2 free hours in a library? They have wifi, so technically I could work, but I'm not going to. Actually, since I cannot confirm how secure their wifi is, it is best I don't work on client projects anyway.

I am rereading The Chosen for the Classic Moms discussion tomorrow night. It is a great book and I thought I'd refresh my memory of it since I read it over Christmas time. Besides, it doesn't make any sense to start a new book right before a book discussion. If I finish it, I'm going to browse through the library's magazines or maybe leaf through some cookbooks. Mainly, I'm going relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Actually, our library is so cramped and crowded that there generally isn't any peace and quiet it in. But no one will be asking me to do anything, so that will still count.

Did I tell you I officially became our homeschool group's treasurer this week? We are a mostly online group. My only responsibility is to collect the $2 per family dues that are paid to our state group that we are an affiliate of. I volunteered to collect the dues this year and our contact person asked if I just wanted to be treasurer. Since I'd rather do that than anything else, I agreed. The funny thing is, over the last few years I've almost quit the group a dozen times. Guess I'm not going anywhere.

Except to bed. Good night everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I am tired. I feel like I'm coming down with something. But I've been feeling like this since Saturday, you'd think I'd have it by now. I have a headache and my muscles ache. For a short time yesterday I had a scratchy throat, but that went away. Sigh.

Maybe it is time change syndrome. Or it could be allergy-related and have something to do with the daffodils poking up and a few buds forming out there. Whatever it is I wish it would go away.

I'm not sick enough to say I'm sick. I just don't feel good. I tried to sleep in this morning but the snore-alarm next to me started going off. It is so hard to get the snore-alarm to stop that by the time I do turn it off I'm too awake to go back to sleep, so I didn't bother trying. I just got up and had a cup of tea and a bowl of oatmeal. That helped, but I'm still not myself.

At least I don't have anywhere in particular to be today and there's not a lot of work to do. I think I'll make the snore-alarm cook dinner tonight.

Maybe I'll be perky again tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I finally set up my favorite blogs to come to me via Google Reader. Yeah, about time. I'm so behind on my internet life. Wish I could say my real life were more interesting, but it is not.

Here's what I've been up to: work, Violet aced decimals in school, I'm still knitting, Girl Scout cookies were ordered, delivered and life has gone on (have I mentioned I hate cookies?), I filed our taxes, my state is corrupt, weather is cold and blustery but at least most of the snow has finally melted.

This week Violet has an American Girl book club meeting and is taking a crochet class at the library. She agreed to take the crochet class as long as I promised that she didn't have to teach me to crochet afterward. In Classic Moms class we will be discussion The Chosen by Chaim Potok. What an awesome book, I completely recommended it!

Hope you are all having a good winter!