Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today's To Do List

1. Homeschool Meeting (get the kids up stinking early to do one page of math so there is something to turn in...math has been sorely neglected this week in favor of bean plants and salt dough maps)

2. Art class for the kids (a big, fat coffee for me)

3. Knitting on some of my WsIP (I'm going to a Yarn Harlot book signing and all her recent signing pics show people wearing something knitted...hmm...I don't think the shawl will be done in time since I haven't even started it yet, boo)

4. Dinner (what to make, what to make...this will hang over me all day until I make a slapdash decision to have what we had last night again, turkey sandwiches...maybe I should just decide that right now)

5. Read The Hobbit (right now...with my coffee...it's important to me so I should do that first, right? I mean, I can't just leave Bilbo in Smaug's mountain all day, can I?)

6. Volleytennis game and flag football practice (aka cheering for and supporting my children aka freezing my butt off at the park for three hours)

This is the top six of a longer list. There are some other lesser things I should do, like housework and phone calls, but, really, who cares? Not me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Well, we had a very laidback weekend. I was taking care of DH after his hernia surgery, which went very well and he seems to be getting back on his feet okay. We literally did nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV and doze. That's mostly what he did at least. I was there knitting or reading or farming.

I loaded up my Kindle with samples, looking for my next great read, and I think I've decided on Before I Sleep, by SJ Watson. It's a thriller and I need some type of escape from everyday life right now so this is probably a good one.

I started and finished Talking God by Tony Hillerman, a book that my dad suggested to me and even bought for me. Hillerman is one of my dad's favorite authors. When I visited Vegas this summer, my dad and I went to a used bookstore and he bought about 10 Hillerman novels, telling me that we'll read them together. And then I didn't read the one he gave me. And then I still didn't. And then I still didn't. And now, I finally read it, and he's already read all the others! Doh! But he was so pleased that I read it and wants to send me another one. I put off reading it because it didn't seem like a book I would pick for myself. But it was actually a good read. The story moved at a good pace and the characters were interesting. The ending was a little too neat for my taste, but on the whole I enjoyed the book. And I'm sure I'll enjoy the next Hillerman my dad sends, a lot quicker than I enjoyed this one!

My DH suggested I read Tolkien, starting with, of course, The Hobbit. I started it on Saturday and I didn't want to put it down! I am so surprised at what an easy read it is. I guess I was expecting a lot of Middle English (or would that be Middle Earth?) language and description. There is a lot more telling than showing, but he tells the story in such a way that my imagination works out the scene on its own. Plus, seeing the movies definitely adds a lot as far as imagery goes and what I picture when Gandalf is fighting goblins or talking to elves. So this is one case where I am happy to have seen the movies before I read the books. Interesting!

It was a great knitting weekend, not for getting things done, but just for the sake of knitting. I have several projects going right now and I love them all! I worked on my busy blanket, a scarf for my sister, another scarf for my sister, and got a lot of ideas for new projects I want to make. I got to see part of a Knit and Crochet Today episode about adding a lining to a purse. So simple! I'm amazed at how sewing techniques are so simple, but the idea of them is so daunting to me. I just need to get in there and do it!

Today will be a busy day. I kicked it off with 15 minutes on the treadmill and now some blogs and coffee. Having the kids take care of their own breakfast is one of the best ideas I've ever had. I definitely have more time to myself in the morning and that is really good for me. I'm on the down part of this depression cycle right now. Boo. I can feel it. I need to be more proactive here to stop the drop from being as steep or quick. At least I can recognize it now. Plus, I didn't go anywhere this weekend and I think that might not be good so many days in a row.

So, here's to hoping this day will be a good one for me and for you! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We have been so incredibly busy, so very, very, very busy. Professor X said he doesn't want to play basketball and I'm tempted to let him sit this one out since it would allow us some breathing room. Between volleytennis and his flag football we are at the park every day except one, usually Thursday, which is great since that's our TV night. But, until the beginning of November, we are locked into this busy routine.

Last night I prepped a lot of homeschool stuff. I've been flying by the seat of my pants and I think it's caught up to me. I've been feeling so stressed out the past couple days. I have the rest of the week set and planned out, so hopefully that will help me relax. I found an old school book that I used with Professor X in kindergarten, Making the Grade, and thanked God. I've been at my creative wits' end with Mr. M and science and social studies, but this book definitely points me in the right direction. Excellent. Two points for me for finding it buried in the homeschool closet.

I've been squeezing some knitting into my days. Yesterday I learned the airy garter stitch while I waited for the kids to get out of art class. Such a beautiful and simple stitch! I foresee a lot of projects with this one, scarves, arm warmers, bags, just about anything. I finally finished the arm warmers I was working on, the raspberry and the Halloween. I have to seam the Halloween pair carefully though so the black doesn't show through where the orange stripes are. DH said he thought it would look cool, and it might since it's Halloween and the stitches are black, but I'm undecided. I'll post a pic when I finish them.

I've been feeling a lot better this week so far. DH has a show tonight with his jazz band, really a big deal. They're playing at a well-known restaurant, kind of an audition to get a paying gig. But my point is that I will be on my own with the kids for several hours tonight. Night is my struggle. My brain goes into those familiar ruts and it's hard to pull out. My plan is to knit and watch TV until DH gets home. Hopefully that will help. I hate knowing that I can't trust my brain, but at least that means I know myself, I understand myself, I realize I have limitations. That has to be good, right?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today I woke up to Mr. M and Pb (my adorable chihuahua) both snuggling with me in bed and the sound of rain falling once again. What a great experience for imagining we are living in Washington! I love it. I also love the rain today because it means PE class is canceled and we can finally catch up on all the homeschool things we need to do. But I doubt the kids will be as enthusiastic.

Dinners have been going great this week so far thanks to the crockpot. Last night my DH told me that my potato soup reminded him of a potato dish his grandmother used to make, high praise indeed! The way he described it, taking the first bite and immediately thinking of his grandmother's cooking, reminded of the scene from "Ratatouille" when the food critic tastes Remy's food at the end and flashes back to his mother's cooking. I mentioned this to my DH and he laughed and agreed. Funny how food can do that. And it's also funny how I'm an adult yet see parallels in life to Disney movies. But that's another blog.

For tonight's dinner, though, I am stumped. My creativity is sorely lacking in the kitchen lately. I have no idea what to prepare. So, you know of course, that means turning to the old standby that everyone loves, breakfast dinner! I think breakfast burritos stuffed with eggs, bacon, cheese, potatoes, and a little salsa sounds perfect. I just have to go to the store and get it all. Boo.

My mother is moving to WA. Strange that. Strange timing and all of it. But it's been her dream and now she's getting it so good for her. She asked me to make the road trip with her, but the thought of being trapped in a car with anyone for several hours is enough to make me relapse. So I declined. The power of saying no is really good.

I miss having the Internet on my phone. I can't send pics or check email or anything. DH is researching new phones and even had me watch some phone reviews on YouTube to see what I thought of the models he is looking at. I was impressed. He misses the Internet and pics even more than I do! This is a great project for him. I would just get stressed out.

I'm off to start my day. My mug of freshly ground Pike's Reserve is sitting next to me patiently.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I've been so busy these past couple days, I haven't really been inspired to write. But I don't want to lose the routine of coming here and emptying my brain, so here I am.

Meal planning is definitely going better. I got the crockpot out yesterday since I knew I would be out with the kids all day. I made some round steak with carrots and potatoes. It was delicious! After freezing during Professor X's flag football game, we were all happy to come home to a cozy dinner. Today Princess O has volleytennis practice, and it's been raining most of the day, so I made some potato soup, always a great hit with the family. So the house smells wonderful right now and I am less stressed because dinner is already made.

The Monday routine seems to be set now. I drop the older kids off at their classes and head to the laundromat with Mr. M to do laundry and schoolwork. He isn't too distracted by everything happening at the laundromat and we actually can get a lot done. I even stay and fold all the clothes since there's usually about 20 minutes between the wash finishing and picking up the kids. I really like this laundromat. The owners keep it very clean and it's not really crowded at all. There are tables and vending machines in addition to supersize washers. Plus it's close to the house and the class. Yesterday the owner saw me unloading the clothes into a cart to take inside and he came out and took it all in for me. Did I mention I won the raffle? Yep, a $10 laundry card and my picture is still posted with the other winners. So cool!

(I'm seriously procrastinating right now. I should be writing learning records for our charter school meeting tomorrow but I'm blogging instead. Oh, well. Everything will get done in its own time. Right? No? Oh, yeah, I have to do it still. It won't write itself. Boo.)

We have such a great time watching Professor X playing flag football. He's really into the game and very focused, which is not his personality outside of video games. I love cheering for him and watching him chase down the other team's players. He rips their flags off like a pro! The only thing I don't like is how cold it is outside! Of course, being in SoCal, I realize that's relative and I should just make sure I wear pants a heavier jacket so I will be comfortable. I used to live in Ohio and NJ where it was truly freezing. What a wimp I've become! Here is a pic from last night's game. I was struck by the color of the sky and the way the lights lit up the field. My DH was so nice and brought me a pumpkin spice to enjoy and get warm with, delicious! But see, the coach and most of the players, and DH, were all wearing shorts, so I know it wasn't really THAT cold.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today is going to be very busy. I'll be running the kids around to three classes, going to the laundromat, then getting us all to the park for practice and a game by 5pm. I'm not looking forward to it. But mentally, I'm hoping this will be a good day. Keeping myself busy is one of the best ways to not stay in my head so much.

This weekend was really laid back. I basically sat on the couch with DH and watched TV, Parks and Rec and football. It was nice and something I don't let myself do very much, but now I will. I spent all Saturday watching a BBC miniseries called The Buccaneers about American girls finding husbands in London. The acting was so-so but the storyline was interesting. There were four episodes and in between each one I got up and did a little housework, mostly dishes, before I started the next. It felt great just letting myself sit and relax. DH slept through the first two episodes and then woke up for the last two and started asking me questions about who was who and what was going on. Really?! I told him I would explain it to him later because I wanted to finish watching! Ha ha! I loved his willingness to let me watch what I wanted, and then he took a nice long nap on the couch next to me. It was a great afternoon. I didn't mind that he fell asleep and he didn't mind that I wanted to watch a BBC miniseries all day. A good compromise!

I didn't meet my knitting goal of finishing the Halloween arm warmers, yet. I'm hoping to get them done today while the kids are in art class. I also have the raspberry arm warmers to finish and the scarves for my sister. I need my knitting mojo back! I have a lot to do. Plus Christmas is coming up and I really want to have my Etsy shop going before the end of this month. We'll see. I may need some more early mornings just for knitting! I wonder if that would get me up? I set up a chair and table on the front porch so I can sit out there to read, but it would also be a terrific early-morning knitting nook. Hmm.

I started reading The Life of Pi. I saw this book at Barnes and Noble, was intrigued by the cover, and then bought it for my Kindle. The story is very interesting so far. Pi's family runs a zoo in India, and I love that. I'm fascinated with zoos and the whole wild animal in a cage dynamic. The author has a wonderful way of pointing out the benefits of the animals living in captivity versus the wild. It's also based on a true story, which is one of my favorite things to read, too. Should be good. I got bored reading The Vampire Lestat. I skimmed ahead in the book, got the basic gist of the story, and now I've lost interest. I don't know why I do that! I just have to know what's going to happen, but then sometimes that ruins the rest of the story for me and I don't care to finish it. I tell myself, "Well, I already know what's going to happen. What else can I read?" Dumb, right? I do this with movies, too, though with far less regret. I love to spoil a movie and then watch it. Love it. I need to know what's going to happen and I don't like surprises or being kept in suspense. I wonder what that says about my personality?

Our trip the fair was fun, but very expensive. We planned to eat there and oh wow, did we spend some money! I'll post the pics and all that on another blog. But we spent the day walking around, this is our 3rd year in a row going, and we realized we were seeing the exact same things we saw last year, and the year before. Why do we keep going? I don't know. We said this was our last year, but of course, now the kids want to enter projects for next year. Meh.

I'm off to start this busy day.