Sunday, December 15, 2013

The tree is going up

We are getting our tree put up today.  And Bubbles won't stay out of it.  Even with a short season, it is going to be a long Christmas season chasing the cat out of it.  I wouldn't object to not even having it up, but I am a known Scrooge.

My shopping is mostly done.  I don't buy for many people at all.  Mr. Incredible did most of the shopping for Violet, he kept having ideas for her. 

We have some cookies to bake this week.  Violet wants to take cookies to her art teacher next Saturday.  She did it last year too, and she said he seemed really surprised and happy to get them. 

This photo is of Bubbles in the tree last year.  I'm afraid it is what we'll be seeing again this year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tough winter

We had our third snow of the season today.  We got several inches.  Not enough to cause Violet's art class to be canceled but enough to have to shovel and worry about what the roads would be like.  We've had a cold spell, and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to only be in the teens again.  This is shaping up to be one tough winter.

I go back to work on Monday after 7 days off.  It was so nice to be off!  I wish I could be off permanently.  But alas, that is not to be.  At least I'll be working from home and not driving in.

My muscles are starting to speak to me again.  I did 3 miles today (at a quick walk, no more running for this old Freakmom).  I was so tired at the end of it.  I didn't sleep well last night, that may have something to do with it.  I was hoping to be down to 150 by the end of the year, but I seem to be stuck at 153.  I guess if I can stay there and not go up that will be good.  There are so many goodies sitting out on the counter calling to me.  It is hard to resist those once a year treats.

If anyone has use Khan Academy's geometry course as a full high school geometry course, let me know what you think.  We are considering it for next year.  I'm wondering if there's enough practice in it to be a full course or not.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So sore

I got the bright idea to run on the treadmill on Tuesday, instead of walking.  I only did about a mile at a run, my other 2 miles were a fast walk.  I am still so sore today.  Yesterday I did a medium walk thinking that would help.  If it did I hate to think how much worse I'd feel today.  I kept waking up during the night with my muscles hurting.

I'm going to walk again today, no more running. Guess I'm too old for that. 

Tonight I'm leading an online book discussion on "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by ETA Hoffman.  I've never lead a discussion before.  I hope it goes well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I've finally admitted it

I do too much.  I'm overworked.  I'm exhausted.  I'm stressed out. 

There I said it.  I'm no longer pretending that everything is under control.  I work too much.  Homeschooling does take time.  Volunteering eats into the day.  I didn't have enough time for me.  I've been trying to change all that.

I've been spending less time on the computer.  I've been reading more.  I've been working out more, and listening to books while walking on the treadmill.  (Oh yeah, I bought a treadmill last summer.  I got tired of being chased by dogs and almost run over by cars.)  I've lost 14 pounds.  I'd like to get down another 7 or so.  That will get me to my "pre-baby" weight.  You know, it takes 9 months to put on the weight, 14 years to take it off.  Sounds about right. 

I've cut our Girl Scout meetings back to an hour instead of an hour and a half.  It is amazing how much that has helped.  One third less of the time to try to come up with activities for the girls.  They don't mind.  In fact, one of the moms is really happy about it.  They babysit a 2 year old.  One hour is about her attention span hanging out at our house.  Win-win.

I've set office hours at work.  Most days when my hours are up, I can turn off my computer and walk away.  Not every day.  I am still a manager and a professional and sometimes things do need to get done.  But enough days to notice a difference.  Will this attitude and schedule get me promoted?  Nope.  Doesn't matter.  And I did it with my partners' blessing (and on their advice).  A few people don't like it.  They can suck it.

Sadly, my new schedule has cut out a lot of my blogging.  But I'm still here.  Hanging in.  But I do pop in and read your blogs when I can.  And I think of you all.  You can find me at Abigail Adams Academy, I'm working on improving my education by reading as much as I can.  And I'm on Goodreads.  I'll try not to be such a stranger.  But, I'll still be strange!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Walked Three Chapters Today

Today was a good day off.  If you read yesterday's post (and I'm sorry for my whining if you did), you could probably tell I really needed a day off.  Or two, or three.  But I'll have to settle for one right now.

I went for a walk this morning and started listening to my audiobook (Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber).  I walked 3 chapters.  I am going to really like listening to books while walking, I can tell.  If you have any favorite audiobooks available on LibriVox, let me know.  When I got back, Violet and I went out to Walmart.  I bought new running shoes.  I didn't have good shoes for walking, and I'm really considering running too, so I needed decent shoes.  And I bought some athletic socks.  Oh, and I started stretching for 10 minutes in the morning and evening.  Gee, I may just break out in health!

Our main reason to go to Walmart was to look for summer clothes for Violet, especially shorts.  She tried on a total of 7 pairs (plus a shirt) and bought 3 pairs of shorts.  She prefers them to be longer and actually cover her butt cheeks.  Those are hard to find for young girls.  But we did find some nice ones that she'll be comfortable in.

She also looked at the bedding and picked out a new comforter and sheet set and used a gift card she'd gotten for Christmas from her Grandparents on them.  They are cute, bright colors, geometric designs.  Very Violet.  I don't know if I mentioned, but we got her a loft bed this winter.  Very teen.  And it was time to update her sheets and comforter.  I mean, Hello Kitty is cool and all, but the same Hello Kitty you've had off and on since you were 4, not so much.  She's going to donate that set (her idea).

I've been trying to expand my cooking horizons and made salmon with a marmalade and soy glaze, couscous, roasted brussels sprouts and glazed carrots for dinner.  All pretty good.  I tried a new glazed carrots recipe and didn't really care for it.  I loved the salmon though.  The recipe called for orange marmalade but we had a three fruit marmalade so I used that instead.  Very tasty.  Interesting, as I look at the links for the recipes (I used my Cooking Light magazine hardcopy when I made them) the salmon got 5 stars, the carrots 1 star.  I'd agree. 

Back to work tomorrow.  But at least I'll be working from home.  Easier to hide there when needed.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I hate pressure.  I hate stress.  I long for days when I have nothing to worry about.  I'm sure that will never happen.  I've had a horrible stabbing pain in my neck and shoulder for 3 weeks now.  I'm sure it is job stress related. 

One thing I dislike about my job is the last minute, high pressure, intensity of it.  You'd think I was a trauma surgeon or on the bomb squad.  But no, I'm an accountant.  When I went off to become an accountant I never dreamed there would be stress and high pressure involved.  It is just crunching numbers right?  Sit in your little cubicle and make sure the columns and rows all add up, then go home.  Nice and neat and tidy.

I was wrong.  People yell.  They get intense.  They put off stuff and it becomes your problem.  They yell more.  They make promises that can't be kept then make you keep them.  Even though I don't actually crunch numbers anymore, the pressure is there all the time.  Different pressure, but there.

I don't recommend a career in accounting to anyone.  I got my degree following the advice that I could work anywhere with it and always have a job.  Probably true.  But no one said anything about the yelling.  Or the pressure and stress. 

I've figured it out, I wish to work at the mini-golf place.  Handout the putters and score cards.  Sell bottles of water.  Sweep the greens.  Hose off the castle.  Occasionally repaint the windmill.

But no.  I went the safe and easy route.   Please tell them it isn't my fault we don't have enough people to get all the promised work done.  I said we needed help.  They insisted we were properly staffed.  They are going to work me until I have a stroke.

If you need me, I'll be pulling golf balls out of the alligator's mouth and washing bird poop off the giant gorilla.  Or at least dreaming of it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rain Again

The rain is back tonight.  I've been periodically checking the skylights to make sure they aren't leaking.  They did once several years ago and we had to have a guy out to caulk them.  It was a temporary solution and one of these days we'll need to do it again.  But so far, today's not the day. 

I've started walking again, now the weather's warmer.  I prefer to walk in the morning, after people have left for work and school.  It is so much quieter out then.  Sometimes have to walk after dinner.  I don't care for that at all.  I did download an audio book for my phone, I'm going to give it a try to listen to it while walking.  I've chosen Dawn O'Hara by Edna Ferber. 

My eye appointment went very well.  For someone who can never seen anything, I have very healthy eyes.  My prescription didn't change and she recommended continuing with the contacts and readers as needed.  Works for me, they are going to order the contact for me and have them shipped to my house. 

This afternoon Violet and I seemed to get a cooking bug.  We made grilled chicken (indoors in a pan), grilled asparagus, sweet potato fries and couscous.  I had sweet potatoes and asparagus that weren't getting any younger.  We decided a sauce was needed, so we looked up recipes and found one for a Dijon mustard vinaigrette that Violet thought sounded good.  But we didn't have an Dijon mustard.  So we found a recipe for that too.  Violet made the Dijon, then the vinaigrette with that.  Tasty.  Really tied the chicken, couscous and asparagus together. 

Tomorrow is digital movie maker day.  I hope to drop Violet off with Mr. Incredible at his office, then if he doesn't have much going on after they are done, she'll hang out there and ride home with him.  I'll go have a wild and crazy time and hit the library to get some holds, Walgreens and 2 grocery stores before coming home to put it all away and work.  But, if client issues come up and he needs to make stops after he leaves the office or will be a long time, I'll just get the groceries and go back for her before coming home. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Again.  It seems all I do is run, run, run.  I'll be glad when our school year ends and I have one less thing to do for a few months.  We have a list of subject matter that we want to get through before calling 8th grade over.  In the next couple of weeks we should start making good progress towards the end.  I hope to have most of it done by mid-May, and everything done by mid-June.  Pre-Algebra will take into June to complete.

Tomorrow we have Juliettes.  Just one more meeting after that one.  Tomorrow is garden stones, painting clay flower pots and making s'mores bars.  The last meeting is "ironing day".  They can bring their sashes and I'll help them iron on their badges and patches from the year.  Also, they'll bring back their pillow cases that they started during the last ironing day.  They trace designs on iron-on paper, iron them on the pillow cases, then use the fabric markers to decorate them.  It was a huge hit last time and they wanted to do more.  Also, we never got to the fuse beads last time, so I'll get those out again if they want.  (The link has the full description from before.  It is basically the same plan.)

Wednesday we're going to my folks' house for the day.  I've got an eye appointment with my eye doctor from way back.  My dad likes to drive me to the mall where his office is, hang out then have lunch afterward.  And since they always insist on dilating my eyes to the point where I can barely see to sign my credit card slip, I appreciate the lift. 

It is finally starting to get warmer and stay warmer.  Maybe.  The rains have mostly stopped, but there is still a lot of flooding around.  Our yard desperately needs attention.  I'm hoping next Sunday I can get to it.  During the week I have homeschool, work and activities every day.  I spend all day Saturday at the office.  So that just leaves me Sunday.  Today I spent the day cleaning the house for Juliettes, getting out projects and helping to make a super hero costume.

The movie Mr. Incredible is making with Violet, Butterfly and Wright has Violet cast as a superhero.  We made her a cape today.  She made her own mask.  Her character is a normal teen who fights crime, so we just had to find her a pair of jeans and a shirt that would work with it.  Violet had designed this character a few weeks ago in her digital art class.  Then, as they were writing their movie, the kids all said "we need a superhero" and Violet said, "I have a superhero character I can be."  Let's just say the movie experience has been very good for all 4 involved.

Have a good week. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paint Induced Magic?

Violet and I recently finished reading the Psammead series by Edith Nesbit:  The Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet.  In the series the children experience all sorts of magical happenings including meeting a sand fairy who grants wishes, a flying carpet that will take you anywhere you want, an amulet that will take you to any time you want, and a phoenix.  The books were written in the early 1900's and are considered classic children's fantasy.  Definitely a read worth your time.

As we got towards the end of the last book, we found the children sitting at home painting.  Then they started eating the paint!  Yes, the books clearly state that the children we sucking the paint off the end of their paintbrushes and tasting it.  The various colors of paint tasted different.  They only did it a couple of times, and the text made it seem like it was just normal.  But it had Violet and I looking at each other and wondering:

Is all magic in early children's literature simply a result of lead poisoning??

It would explain a lot.  Narnia:  nothing more than brain damaged hallucinations.  Oz: Dorothy and the others who "visited" probably were peeling the paint off the walls shortly before their trip.  And why don't most children today get to experience such out of body adventures?  We've eliminated virtually all toxic children's art supplies.  I think this is worth exploring.  Perhaps when Violet is in graduate school it can be her dissertation thesis. 

Until then, we are theorizing that the sand fairy was a stuffed monkey, the phoenix was a parrot, and they simply hallucinated time and space travel from within the nursery.  And never eat your art supplies.  Just in case.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Losing my Gung Ho

Well, I started out great walking.  Made it 5 days in a row.  Then the temperatures dropped and it started hailing, icing and snowing.  It is not supposed to do that in April!  Especially the second half of April.  And yet, here we were the last couple of days being snowed on by little icy pellets!

Yes, Sabrina, it will eventually warm up here in Illinois.  In fact, it will likely go from this icky, cold, wet weather straight into hot and humid.  So keep your shorts and sandals around. 

The flooding is crazy here.  I know several families with leaking basements and/or roofs.  Luckily our sky lights are holding up so far.  The fields are flooded.  A couple of nursing homes had to be evacuated.  Roads were closed.  Did I mention, it rained a lot.

So, I haven't been walking in 3 days.  I just couldn't bring myself to go out in 30 mile an hour winds with periodically heavy rains and ice pellets coming down.  That doesn't cooperate with your umbrella very well.  Sigh.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and sunny.  (Today was sunny and cold, but I was at work all day.)  I must take myself out for a nice walk tomorrow.

I've got to get my gung ho back.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

It has rained practically non-stop for weeks now.  Everything is flooded.  My phone keeps getting flood warning alerts.  (I'll have to tell you about my new smart phone, I finally joined the rest of the world - but don't tell Violet I said that, she claims she's the only one on the planet without a cell phone at all.)  The backyard is soggy.  The bird feeder has an inch of water in it.  The fields all have ponds in them.

Today it was thunderstorms with hail.  Lots of lightning.  Huge thunderboomers (for those of you native Chicagoans).  So what did we do?  We headed out into it all with our umbrellas and tried to see the taping of Restaurant Impossible.  We did see it.  We spotted Robert and Tom both in the restaurant they were rehabbing.  We saw their tents and crews.  So far they hadn't taken the stuff out and we have no idea where they are going to put it.  Perhaps when Mr. Incredible gets home from work he'll have an update.

So there we were standing in the park across from the restaurant, under trees, with umbrellas.  BOOM!  We went to a used bookstore.  Violet scored some Sisters Grimm books she's been trying to find.  We stood under the awning with a bunch of other people debating what to do.  We went for it and walked around the square, peering in the restaurant.  BOOM!  We walked a little faster through puddles and raging waters on the sidewalks and streets.  Then Violet and I went home and Mr. I. went back to work.  Shoes, socks, jeans all soaked through.

Was it worth it?  You bet!  Because you know that story is going to get built up over the years until we practically have Robert and Tom stopping by our house for coffee and cookies.  Wish the weather were better for it.  But hey, if you watch the show, you know the weather always stinks on the days the rehab a restaurant!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

These Keds Were Made for Walking

I've logged in 2 miles a day for 4 days in a row now.  I just go in a big circle around our subdivision.  There's no place to walk to around here that doesn't involve crossing a dangerous road.  Eventually I might try it.  But for now, I'd rather walk peacefully and not be a flap jack on the side of the road.

Tomorrow I am going to take off from my walking routine and wear my pedometer when we go to the Square to try to see some of the filming of Restaurant Impossible.  I plan to park a couple of blocks away, and Violet and I have some used book sales to check out, so I should log at least a mile.

I splurged and spent $25 on a new digital scale.  It was the rest of my gift card money from Christmas and other things.  I wanted a better readout than our old scale which measures in "ish" increments.  You know, I weight 165-ish right now.  I want to weigh 150-ish (well, I really want to weigh 140-ish, but one step at a time).  It is hard to see how you are doing through a dust-covered, 25-year old scale which is difficult to make out the little lines on.  So I splurged.  Now I can see if I am really making progress or not.

I am racking up the points at Walgreens.  

Monday, April 15, 2013


I have been reading a lot lately.  No, I mean A LOT.  I think I am escaping reality.  Okay, so no my reality isn't that bad.  But dammit, I've worked so hard, played the rules, did everything like I was supposed to, and now I just see it all going away.  Why did I bother?  And I don't see any end in sight.  I'm going to be working like this for years.  Probably until I drop dead.  There will be no retirement for me.  No social security check or Medicare benefits.  Those will all be used up and driven into the ground by the buttheads who call themselves our representatives.

Yeah, I'm bitter.

So at night, I sit and read.  And read.  This year I got the idea from some fellow bloggers to track the books I read in 2013.  I read their "50 books in 2012" or "100 books in 2012" posts and thought, that would be fun but I'd get no where near that!  Well, April 15th and I have completed 22 books so far.  Some were personal, some were homeschool related read alouds, some were for Abigail Adams Academy.  And I have another 5 books in process.  (Reading multiple books at once is a habit, good or bad you decide, I picked up over at Abigail Adams.)

You'll see patterns there, like I've recently discovered the joy of Stephanie Plum novels.  And that Edith Nesbit is our current read aloud selection.  But this is where I've been since January 1st:

1    The Good Earth,  Pearl S. Buck
2    Being Washington,  Glenn Beck
3    Martha Washington: An American Life,  Patricia Brady
4    You Learn By Living,   Eleanore Roosevelt
5    One for the Money,  Janet Evanovich
6    Grand Finale,  Janet Evanovich
7    Two for the Dough,  Janet Evanovich
8    The First Ladies,  Margaret Truman
9    The Enchanted Castle,  E. Nesbit
10    The Five Children and It,  E. Nesbit
11    Three to Get Deadly,  Janet Evanovich
12    Why Leaders Can't Lead,  Warren Bennis
13    Great Son,  Edna Ferber
14    The Phoenix and the Carpet,  E. Nesbit
15    Four to Score,  Janet Evanovich
16    Man's Search for Meaning,      Viktor E. Frankl
17    The Four Agreements,  Miguel Ruiz
18    Queer Little Folks,  Harriet Beecher Stowe
19    High Five,  Janet Evanovich
20    The Kingdom Keepers,  Ridley Pearson
21    The Story of the Amulet,  E. Nesbit
22    Chomp,  Carl Hiaasen

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Catching You Up

I know, I've once again disappeared for a long period.  I'm still here.  Still hanging on.  Working too much.  Stressing too much.  Generally making it through the day but that's about it.

Work.  I often feel bad after I go in.  I don't fit in.  I'm not part of the team.  Makes me sad.  If I have to work so hard, I'd like to at least feel like I belong.  But I have no choice.  Maybe it is in my head.  I shouldn't care.  But I'm not good at letting things go.

School.  We're starting to wrap up subjects and looking towards next year.  High school!  Can you believe it?  Seems like just last week I was trying to figure out how this whole homeschool thing would work for kindergarten.  I'm looking for a new math program for Algebra I for next year.  We've like Teaching Text books, but have stopped using the CDs.  Violet says it doesn't always explain things.  I think the problem may be that if it varies at all from the example, she freezes.  We've been reading Danica McKeller's books, "Kiss My Math" and "Math Doesn't Suck".  Violet really likes them and they do explain concepts in fun, easy ways.  She's also started watching some related videos on Khan Academy and that has helped explain things she struggles with.  The big struggle is confidence.  I'm going to have her practice more on Khan. 

Activities.  We've quit all the ones she wasn't enjoying.  Now we just have 3 more Juliette meetings this year and 1 more digital art class.  She'll take art again over the summer, her instructor is taking the next session off.  Next Friday the Juliettes are meeting to go to 2 art displays on the Town Square.  One is the Little Women's art show, art by girls ages 7-17.  The other is a local watercolorist.  And Mr. Incredible is going to do a 3 or 4 part workshop for Violet and her best friend Butterfly and Butterfly's little brother (we'll call him Wright - he was obsessed with airplanes when he was younger) for the girls to earn the Digital Movie Maker badge.  Sometime we plan to start karate lessons for her.

Volunteering.  Me.  I'm counting down the years until we retire from Girl Scouting.  Why do I keep doing any of it and not quit now?  Because it is easier to deal with as an outsider (meaning one who has no connections to a school - they claim it isn't related to schools but that hogwash, plus all the other parents are so wrapped up in schools and school schedules - it is completed school-focused) as a volunteer instead of trying to find out what is needed for the things Violet and her girlfriends want to do.  I'll just put up with it a little while longer.

Volunteering.  Violet.  She is busy volunteering at the library.  Most Thursdays she's there either at her Volunteen meeting or helping out with a program.  She's signed up to volunteer with the summer reading program starting in June.  She's logged enough hours to earn the Cadette Community Service pin.  She loves it!  I love that it is so close to home and that she's so comfortable there.  The librarians all know her.  She likes the other teens who volunteer too.

Big event coming up.  Restaurant Impossible is filming on the Town Square this week.  Across from where Mr. Incredible has his office.  We plan to go over and attempt to walk around and see something.  Us and probably everyone else in town.  And I complain about parking during Farmer's Market!  Violet and I plan to park a few blocks away near the library and walk up.  Then on our way back stop in the library and check out their used books they always have on sale.  When we heard what restaurant they were rehabbing we all said, "never heard of it."  No wonder it needs help!  Of course, we've walked past it a million times.  Never thought to go in.  Just as well, the few people we've talk to who have eaten there have said they felt sick afterward (one is a local chef we know).

Exercise.  I'm going to start walking every day.  I started yesterday.  Did you know you can log your miles at and get point for every mile?  That's what I'm doing.  I also ordered a new scale.  I'm hoping to lose some weight and get in better shape.  I hope that will help me to feel better. I could use a pick me up.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Only a few more years

Today's post has been bubbling around in my brain for a few weeks now.  Only I didn't realize it was a blog post.  I thought it was just something annoying me.  But I'll come out with it:  I can't wait to not have to deal with 75% of all moms out there.  Violet is in 8th grade, just a few more years of it.  At least I would assume.  Those of you with kids who've graduated high school can let me know if it doesn't end as early as I think it does.

Now I have some great mom friends.  Some in real life, some imaginary.  There are other moms who aren't really friends, but who I like and respect and would enjoying hanging out with if the circumstances of life, the universe and everything would only permit. 

Then there are the meanie moms.  And the annoyingly stupid moms.  And the ones who can't look up from their phone or iPad or whatever their device du jour is.  And the ones who are just "too busy" to be polite, do their share, stop talking about all their stress and everything they have to do.  I'm sick of all them.

One nearly ran Violet and me over in the art studio parking lot this morning.  She couldn't stop talking on her phone while trying to park to wait for her kid long enough to let us cross over to the entrance.  She saw us, then gunned it.  Nice.

I know I shouldn't judge anyone until I've walked a mile in their shoes, but really, I wonder what on earth some of these people have going on that they are so incredibly wrapped up in themselves that they can't stop whining and trying to make their problems my problems.  Trust me, I have my own problems.  I haven't been able to breath this past week, I've had so much to do. Still, I manage to smile, say hello, plan Juliettes and take care of previous commitments I've made.  I try to be friendly and not to complain too much, or at least spread my complaining out so no one gets it laid on them too thick.  Okay, I do need to work on that.

There's a new woman at work, I really like her.  She's about my age, maybe younger (or maybe I just look old these days).  We were talking about the meanie moms and why do they have to be so mean.  That was when I realized, just a few more years and I'll be done with it.  After 13 years of them trying to one up me, out "busy"me and generally act, well mean, I won't have to do it anymore.  It is one aspect of motherhood I won't miss at all.

Is that bad of me? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Yep, today I crashed.  I couldn't get up this morning.  Work issues are weighing me down.  I have done so much the last couple of days, I was just pooped today.  I still got through a lot, but not as much.  I am ready for a nap.

I think I've overworked Violet too.  She was complaining of a stomach ache.  I had her try to do a math lesson, we use Teaching Textbooks.  Partway through the lecture I looked over her, her eyes were welled up with tears.  I told her to go ahead and stop.  She wasn't going to learn anything in that mental state (I was kind about it, that sentence has the potential to have been said snottily - I assure you I didn't say it that way.)  I suggested she read another chapter in her book, then we start a new jigsaw puzzle.  The only other schoolish thing we did was read a chapter in The Enchanted Castle, our current read aloud.

There isn't much on the list for tomorrow.  We'll try to hit the school books again.  And she has tennis.  Provided she feels good in the morning.  I find that the "off" feeling sometimes is a precurser to being sick.  We'll see what morning brings.

Monday, January 21, 2013

On a Roll

Wow, I cannot believe how much I've been accomplishing the last couple of days!  I'm probably going to crash soon or hit something I can get past.  But for now, stand back.

Saturday after art/Starbucks, we went home, had lunch, went to the library, went to Walgreens, then came back home.  At the library I turned in my first book finished for the winter reading program (You Learn by Living by Eleanore Roosevelt), got my raffle ticket for it, checked out some Bill Nye the Science Guy DVDs for science, and got some jigsaw puzzles from the puzzle exchange.  Our library does this twice a year.  You take in your old puzzles, get a ticket per puzzle you bring in. Then after they have them all, you go back with your tickets and get new puzzles.  The puzzle exchange started at 9 am that morning, we got there at 2 pm, and the librarian said that over 200 puzzles had already gone out.  We had no problem finding 5 puzzles for our 5 tickets.  Back at home Violet and I worked our first jigsaw puzzle. 

I've also (mostly) caught up with my Abigail Adams Academy class, (mostly) caught up at work, (mostly) cleaned the house, (mostly) prepped for Juliettes and (mostly) caught up with personal correspondence and bill paying.  I'll never be completely caught up because something else always comes up right away.  What I'm not caught up with is reading all of your blogs.  If it happened after January 4th, I don't know about it yet. 

We are also making nice progress with school.  Of course, I shouldn't say that because I'll jinx it.

We got the errands done because the temperatures dropped and if I don't have to go out, I'd love it!  The highest I've seen it today was 4 degrees.  That's staying in weather!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I was actually going to write this post last night, but I was too tired to write about being tired!

I went to the office yesterday.  It was the first time I'd been there since August.  Not a bad schedule.  We had a woman in for an interview or possible networking or some sort of relationship, not sure what they'll work out.  But I wanted to meet her because I will likely end up working with her.  As my fellow manager said, "it is like she's one of us already."  We like her. It was worth the trip in.

Tennis went fine on Wednesday.  Violet was pretty nervous about it, she always is when starting something new.  She thinks this will likely be her last session.  Either way is fine with me.  It is close by our house, I can sit and knit during it, but I'd be happy to stay home and not pay for the classes as well.  Thursday's girl's club (aka Cadettes) got cancelled.  The daughter of the mom who leads it was sick.  We were glad not to be exposed to germs.  We are trying to avoid sickness, but didn't get flu shots.  Let's just say the decision not to get the flu shot didn't sit well with my mom.  If we get sick and die from the flu, she'll kill me.

The week coming up is very light.  Just tennis, maybe girl's club, and art on Saturday.  Violet is at art now.  She isn't sure if she's sticking with that either.  I'm going to encourage her to keep that up a little longer.  But not if she really decides she's done.

I picked up the cookie order form from the office yesterday.  Cookie sales are way down this year.  Usually she sells in the 120-150 box range.  This year it looks like it will be 80-90 boxes.  But for a girl who didn't really want to sell, that's fine.  Fewer cookies to bring home, sort, deliver and collect for.  Four more years after this one.  Then I'm never eating another Girl Scout cookie again.

We are one of the few councils debuting the "snack bars" this year.  Or as Violet and I call them, the "rip off bars."  They are $5 for 5 bars.  Way too expensive.  None of her customers have ordered them.  We were going to try to talk them out of it if they did.  I don't know if the Girl Scouts are trying to claim they are a healthier alternative.  They aren't.  I hope sales of them completely stink.  They took out 2 of our cookie varieties to have them on the form.  We aren't pleased.  But not a lot of decisions Girl Scouts make lately really please us.  Such a disappointment for a girl who so loved the program a couple of years ago. 

The rest of the weekend will include a trip to the library, buying a gallon of milk, working, a little school work, and trying to stay warm as the temperature plummets tonight and tomorrow.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This morning we took Bubbles in to get her stitches out.  We were worried she'd be off hiding and we'd never find her at appointment time, so Violet found her and played with her for almost an hour before we went.  We were there and back in under 20 minutes.  I don't know how they take the stitches out, but it was quick.  Violet and I hung out in the lobby and talked to the kitten who was up for adoption. 

We started second semester today.  Violet did a math lesson, and after about a 4 week break from it, was rusty.  We also chose our next read aloud, The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit.  We are looking forward to starting it.  We also did a spelling lesson, and she did great.  We are using Spelling Power this year.  We are as happy with it as anything we've used.  Spelling just isn't a favorite.

Tomorrow is the first tennis lesson of the new session.  We're not sure if any of the girls she knows will be in it.  But Violet is more interested in tennis than having friends in class or not.  Friends are great for hanging with and socializing, but when she takes a class she's more interested in the class.  At least with tennis, there's no time to joke, they are playing and learning the game.  Now art class, they sit and talk while drawing and creating.  They comment on each others' art work, chit chat about things, and generally have a good time.  Or so I've been told.  I'm at Starbucks during class having "me" time.

The sidewalks and parking lots are still icy.  I'm glad I got those boots at the thrift store, they have good grip.  Next week we are supposed to have some subzero temperatures, but this week is supposed to stay nice.

Monday, January 14, 2013


We had a Juliette meeting today.  Well, technically, we had a gathering of a group of homeschooled friends who all happen to be Juliettes and who like to work on badges together once in a while.  No need getting anyone's sash in a bunch and thinking we should become a troop. 

Anyway, we made choco-coconut sandwich cookies (from Rachel Ray's magazine) and called those a quick and easy snack (and they were), and we made applesauce brownie cake and called that a lower-sugar alternative dessert.  Both were good.  It was the view of the majority that the brownie cake needed something.  Ice cream, whipped cream, powdered sugar, chocolate drizzle, something.  Then it was decided that it needed all of the above!  These girls like their desserts.  This finished up the Eating for Beauty badge for the Cadettes.  The Juniors were counting the cooking towards the old Let's Get Cooking badge.

We also made posters, Toulouse-Lautrec style.  We looked at some of his artwork, then I made the sky the limit on what they wanted to make on their poster.  Three of the five ended up being Girl Scout cookie posters.  Not even one of the things I suggested.  The other two were silly "save the" posters (Violet's was about evil mice, and Butterfly's was to support stick people).  Hmm, the Juniors were the ones wanting to sell cookies with their posters.  The Cadettes were just silly.  I think there may be something to that.

At our next meeting in 2 weeks we are going to celebrate Chinese New Year. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ice Storm

Last night we were hit with freezing rain and snow.  Made for terrible driving.  I had been supposed to go out to dinner with some friends, but had begged off.  There were a million reasons, mainly, I just didn't feel emotionally up to it.  Anyway, I was so glad I did because I would have been out there in all that ice, for no good reason. 

Today Violet took her cookie form to the two neighbors who always order from her.  One placed their order.  The other didn't answer the door although we know there was someone home.  It could be like us, we often don't answer.  We get so many solicitors, even with the big "NO SOLICITING" sign on the door and we often don't feel like it.  So we left a note in their door.  They'll either call with an order or not.  She's really not enthusiastic about sales this year, that it is fine either way.  They've ordered from her for the last 7 years so we did want to give them a chance.  The mom works at the elementary school and has liked to be able to tell all the hordes of little girls who ask her there that she always orders from her neighbor, Violet.

We also got through the last of our first semester work.  Tomorrow we have a Juliette meeting here, then Tuesday we'll get started on Spring semester.  I guess I had better get a plan a bit more firmed up. 

I don't know how I can be so busy all the time.  I am constantly putting out fires and moving on to the next one.  It doesn't help that I'm still insisting on getting a lot of reading time in.  But I think I really need that quiet reflection time.  A crazed mama is not a pretty thing!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


On Tuesday, Violet got her phase 2 braces on.  She's still not chewing and biting into foods completely.  I think she is growing quite tired of mashed potatoes, Jell-O and pudding.  She's started with pasta and some other softer things now too.  But there were a couple of days with lots of Advil and lots of non-chewing needed foods!  The estimate is that they will be on 12-18 months.  She's determined to make it closer to 12 months, so she is doing everything in her power to do so.  No chewy candy, no popcorn, no soda (it leaves white spots on the teeth per the orthodontist).  Brushing and flossing all the time.  The orthodontist said that most phase two-ers like to just get it done and put up with a little more pain.  Violet says she agrees.  On and off.  That's her hope.

Since she isn't drinking soda, I figured it was the perfect time for me to cut back too.  Really there's no nutritional value in the stuff, so why drink it?  And maybe I can drop those extra few pounds I'd like to take off.

Next week Bubbles gets her stitches out.  My mom had a crown fall off and had to have an emergency dental visit.  A family friend fell and broke his wrist during the exercise class he was taking with my dad, my dad insisted he "get in the truck, I'm taking you to the emergency room."  So between all that, we've been surrounded by pain.  "My surgical scar hurts." "My teeth hurt."  "My wrist hurts."  "My broken tooth hurts."  Put this one down in the records as another difficult winter.

Currently Violet is in art class.  When I pick her up we're going out to lunch, then to a Girl Scout exhibit in a historical museum a few towns over.  We haven't been to this one yet.  We've been enjoying all the 100th anniversary exhibits we've gone too.  I'm not looking forward to driving there.  It is in a downtown of a fairly big city.  I hope the parking is easy to find.  I stress more about where to park than anything else.

I finished reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  I really enjoyed it.  I've started You Learn By Living by Eleanor Roosevelt.  I'm enjoying it.  It is her response to the many people who asked her for advice for living.  It is interesting reading about her own insecurities and fears.  I tend to think of her later in her life and career as the confident, successful woman and first lady.  I need to read a biography of her next.

So, I'm not doing as good as I should with my blogging.  It was crazy how busy this past week was.  I hope things quiet down soon.  Bwahahah.  What am I thinking?  It won't slow down.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cookie Sales Starts

It is the start of the Girl Scout cookie sale here.  Violet's form is posted in the kitchen at my office.  So far it looks like she may be the only cookie seller there.  In the past there have been more girls selling.  Forms could still pop up later this week, so we won't count our cookies until they've been ordered.  She has 2 neighbors who always order from her.  Other than a few cookies for us, I don't think she's doing much selling this year.  The incentives don't excite her.  The Juliette proceeds have been cut in about half as previous years.  And she's getting older and the thrill is gone.  Hopefully my office will mainly order cookies to be donated to the soldiers.  Those I can do without ever having the boxes arrive.

Violet is back at art class, her favorite activity.  She had last week off for the holidays.  They always have "art challenges" to draw and bring in if they want.  She was working on her drawing yesterday.  Something with a giant evil chicken fighting an army of mice.  They do a lot of fantasy drawing in her class.  Her art instructor is a children's book illustrator and his art work runs to fantasy/sci fi as well.  It is a great class for her.

We're taking a week off before starting Juliettes up again.  I've been finding some activities to do.  On our first meeting we're going to make applesauce brownie cake (a recipe with lower sugar) and choco-coconut cookie sandwiches (a quick snack).  That will complete the Eating for Beauty badge for the Cadettes (technically the badge didn't say to make the items, we just like to cook).  The Juniors have already finished the Looking My Best badge.  The next meeting will be Chinese New Year, then a Valentine meeting.  Since we're doing cooking and art badges this year, it is easy to fit in some badge work with the holidays.

Tennis doesn't start until mid-January.  Which is good.  We need to ease into things.  I made the list of things to finish for "first semester" and it wasn't too bad.  We've started to work on that and will finish next week.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bubbles is home

I picked up Bubbles this morning and brought her home.  She has 3 days of pain meds.  It is one tiny tablet for each night, which she just gobbled up.  (Reading back through it, she just gobbled up tonight's tablet, not all three.)  I was surprised at how much fur was shaved off.  We are supposed to keep her calm and not jumping or playing too much.  I thought she'd be quiet and tired, but she certainly wasn't this afternoon.  Tonight, since Mr. Incredible has gotten home, she's been little miss sleepyhead in his lap.  So, of course, he doesn't believe that she was nutty earlier.  Hopefully she will stay calm, so she doesn't pull her stitches.

Violet did her volunteer work today.  At the first program they had quite a few kids.  She helped with a craft project.  The second program was for older kids (the same age group as the Volunteens), and the only ones signed up for it didn't come.  So it was just the 5 Volunteens who were there.  Violet said they just did all the activities themselves and had a good time.  I think that was probably good for her to have the time with her fellow volunteers. 

Tomorrow we have no outside activities!  Yay!  Tomorrow is my mom's follow up appointment with the surgeon.  She's feeling really good, well tons better.  So we expect the appointment will go well.

Tonight I'm beat.  I had to make 4 trips to and from the library today!  I think that explains my headache.  Good night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Second Semester

I think rather than starting up with homeschool next week, we'll actually wait a week.  We'll spend time between now and then trying to finish up the first semester things we didn't quite finish.  We're almost done with a history unit, a science unit, a book we're reading.  I need to make a list of the few open items and just clear those off the list. 

Today Bubbles went in early for her spaying.  She comes home tomorrow.  The vet called after the surgery and said it went very well and that she was doing fine.  Tomorrow Violet has 2 separate programs at the library that she's volunteering at.  Saturday is art class.  She still has some art projects to work on, thank you's to write, and a Christmas gift to finish sewing (yipes, well we haven't seen that grandparent yet).  So this week wasn't good for starting anything new.  And next Tuesday she gets her braces on.  Yep, I think the 14th and a new semester is in order. 

I don't think I told you, but my mom's surgery didn't go as smoothly as hoped.  It was supposed to be outpatient, home by 5:30.  Well, she was in the hospital 3 days, and probably should have stayed longer (she says she was really cranky with the nurses and the doctor finally said he thought she'd be more comfortable at home).  She's finally getting back up on her feet.  But that made for a few stressful weeks.  My dad handled all her home care and did a great job, so Violet and I stayed out of the way (and my mom really didn't want Violet seeing her laid up and in pain).  But there were lots of phone calls and remote helping going on. 

So since we'd just gone through that with my mom and knew the hospital surgery routine, Violet and I were joking with the surgical assistant at the vet's this morning that Bubbles would need drawstring sweatpants for after the surgery.  And the assistant added she'd need a pair of compression socks, too (guess she knows about the surgery thing, too). 

Well, I know my long time blogging buddies have heard this before, but I am resolving this New Year to blog more.  I love blogging and I really fell off it this fall.  It has been a difficult few months around here and I just didn't have the mindset.  But since I love to write so much, I'm going to try very hard to get my butt in my chair and write.  At least a little.  A few times a week.  It is good for me and helps clear my head.

Feel free to call me on it if I slip.