Category Archives: current events

where in the WORLD has siouxsie been?

So much to tell. So little time right now. We were without electricity from Sunday at 3 pm to Monday at 6 pm. My parents and sisters were without electricity for an additional 24 hours beyond that, so there was some time spent on Tuesday helping with a generator, ice, dinner, etc. Even after our electricity was restored, our internet was not working until I finally called the provider tonight and found out that a relatively simple remedy was available, of which I availed myself, and fixed the problem.

I’ve missed you all (yes, ALL of you) and will be updating you in the next several days about the many adventures of the past several days.


Three Weeks Down — 33 to Go

Or, Sleep-Teaching — I Recommend It.

So, we’ve completed another week of homeschooling here at Siouxsie’s house. Things were not QUITE as smooth this week. People had questions about why they have to learn grammar if they are going to be professional skateboarders. “To raise the perception of the intellectual level of the sport” growled Daddy in response. People cried when they had to figure out how many pounds and ounces the zucchini in the picture weighed. They cried even harder when I suggested they figure out the difference in their birth weight (11 lb 7 oz) and their little brother’s birth weight (8 lb 12 oz), even when I made a mistake and said “their” birth weight was 11 lb 12 oz). We had people telling me they can’t do the program I selected for their language class this year. We had people making humorous videos of homeschooling with lots of photos of their own face making bored looks and emitting huge sighs. And we had small people unloading every shelf/box/container they could get their little two-year-old hands on. And then there were the people who felt very poorly treated for having a long day of school in spite of the fact that there are days when we do almost no school — they just didn’t see that it isn’t possible to have an exact 5-hour day every day. And they didn’t like that.

Ah, but we read some great stuff and really did make some progress. And my students made some awesome connections — one of them listened to me read about being optimistic and later commented during a read-aloud that a particular character was very optimistic. I love stuff like that. I’m reminded of how much I like the curriculum I am using this week. I’m reminded of how much I love teaching my own children and what a privilege it is to do this. And how great are kids who will continue on with their work when their tired mother just HAS to have a nap right now? Pretty great, I’d say.

Ever onward, always improving. Looking forward to next week.

Two Weeks Down — 34 to Go

Just finished up our second four-day week of school (Labor Day). I am happy to report that it was an excellent week, with many solid hours of instruction and work put in by all of us.

Some highlights of the week:

A science experiment that worked!(photo of the kids’ feet demonstrating how our skin lets off water vapor)
Another wonderful poem written by Eli.
More good readings from “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – for Teens”
Happy, engaged students.
A positive outcome to the tragedy of running out of printer ink right at the wrong time.
Two whole weeks of homeschooling using the same methods and not thinking I need to make any major changes.

Adjustments next week include having Anna-Jessie tackle math earlier in the day since she tends to do everything else first. Also, I want to help her get more organized with her reading. And, lastly, continue to adjust how I give out assignments to students who are in two completely different grades, but doing mostly the same curriculum.

Shall we Order McCain/Palin t-shirts?

This was the subject line in an email from my good friend, Holly, which arrived in my inbox this morning.

Perhaps it is not the most politically astute decision to be in favor of someone just because they are a mother of five, like I am, with the youngest one having Down syndrome, like ours does. But I believe it says a lot about Mrs. Palin that she knew her baby had DS and she still chose to give life to her child.

And surely there are others in the US of A who are in favor of a particular candidate because of something as non-political as what I am mentioning here.

I don’t get very involved in political discourse, although I do vote every time I have the chance. I haven’t read the cynical version of why McCain chose Palin, although I’m sure someone out there has cast aspersions on his reasoning. I don’t guess we really get to know everything — all we can do is figure things out the best we can.

I’m even going to get a yard sign. First time ever.

Long Conversations with ?????

I got up this morning and needed to use the phone. (Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say bathroom!). So, I padded around quietly trying to locate a phone. We have four extensions, and usually at least two are MIA. Those people who came up with phones with cords had a really brilliant idea.

I found the phone under the train table. And noticed it was off the hook. So to speak. And I noted that the current “conversation” had been going on for 532 minutes. That could be a record here.

Thankfully, we aren’t charged by the minute, so I just calmly hung up and made my call.

A Milestone for my Lovely Daughter

After a heartbreaking morning on Monday, when after counting down for 120 days, Valerie found out that what WE thought was 15 1/2 years old really was not, according to the state, we decided to give it another shot and see if she had reached the magic milestone yet. This time, the computer agreed that she is indeed 15 1/2 and was eligible for her temporary learner’s permit. We went to the driver’s license bureau which is a mile away, and we got the permit packet, but had to go to ANOTHER location for the test, which she passed. The questions she missed were related to penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.

As I waited in the waiting room, the girl next to me told me she liked my toenails! Wow! My pedicure has drawn the attention of a lot of people over the past few weeks!

After Val got her official documents, I drove her to a local Catholic church that has a HUGE parking lot and she drove around for awhile. Today she drove for another 20 minutes or so through quiet residential streets, but she is quite content for me to drive on roads that require any kind of speed. I can already see she is getting more and more confident and it’s quite the milestone to have one of my children driving!

Watch out, world!

Updating Everyone Especially Stephanie (My Pet)

Hello faithful legions of readers!

It has been five entire fun-filled days since I have last written. Although the yearbook is tapping its toe, and threatening to send me to the principal’s office if I do not complete it, I have decided it is now time to bravely update the world on my doings from the week!

Many great highlights from the week. Kepler and I went to his new physical therapist and I really like her, and I think Kepler does, too. He thinks physical therapy is super-duper fun, and since we only go once a month, it’s always new to him. The facility is updating their computer system (again) to the biggest, best, and newest program so we had a slight delay, but since none of our information has changed, we got through pretty quickly.

Tuesday, I went to my first personal training session with my very own trainer, Javier. I had had two free half-hour sessions with him a couple weeks ago and decided I just didn’t like his style. But I’ve had enough trainers to know that they all have their strengths and weaknesses and own styles, and I decided to give the training relationship a chance. The main thing about personal training is that I LOVE it. And I already feel more fit and healthy and balanced.

Tuesday night I went to my special Food Group where I meet with other women who have eating disorders or food issues. What a sweet time that was. When I arrived at group, I was feeling very tired but when I left I was feeling beautiful and energized!

Wednesday I went to my regular therapy group, the first meeting I have attended since Mark left. You can read more about that change here..
I wondered what the group dynamics would be like, but overall I thought it was a great improvement, even though we will miss his input and presence.

Thursday, I became a temporary pet owner. We are pet-sitting Mason, a sweet, sweet dog belonging to friends of ours. Valerie was hired to take care of him but she was at camp this week, so the rest of us walked him (and stuff). I think everyone who knows me know that I would most certainly NOT call myself a dog person. I have had one dog in my life, and even though “Bernadine” was our family dog, I doubt that I ever even petted her, let alone walked her, or cared about her. (Fortunately for Bernadine, my two sisters loved her dearly, so she got lots of love and attention.) Anyway, surprisingly, I have really enjoyed having Mason here. He will be here for 2 1/2 weeks.

Friday, I had my other personal training session of the week. It was really probably a little more intense than I like, but it’s always a process to figure out how to work with the trainer. Maybe I have hindsight disease, but I don’t remember my first trainer ever having any trouble figuring out good weights, reps, exercises for me. Javier isn’t having any trouble figuring anything out, but I want to make sure the exercise time is the most value it can be, and if I work out too hard that is no better than working out too easy.

I will post this and write another post on the major learning I did this week.

Into Each Life A Little, Er, Tree, Must Fall

or What I Learned About Insurance Today

Did I know that it was going to rain today? Did I know that it was going to rain horizontally today? No, and not only did I not know those two things, I also did not know that my beloved Previa (The Good Egg) was going to get mooshed by a big stupid tree branch from our neighbor’s tree. And, not only THAT, but I didn’t know that events such as the one I have just described — remember, the NEIGHBOR’S tree broke and smooshed the Egg — who gets to pay for it? Yes, WE do!

I was shocked, I tell you. His tree falling onto our property — seems like a clear-cut case of his homeowner’s insurance paying for the damage. But, no-o-o-o-o-o-o. That falls under our responsibility.

Bad news, for sure. But, worse news. We dropped the comprehensive and collision on this car awhile back ’cause it’s really old and I guess we figured it wouldn’t be worth it to fix the car.

First, we saw that the tree branch had fallen. Then, we noticed that the Previa was entwined in the branches. Then, we noticed that the windshield was big-time broken. So far, not too bad. Then, we noticed that the back sunroof was broken. And, after the branch was removed, we discovered the body damage.

I haven’t gotten around to telling all my blog readers about the Previa. It was made the day Valerie was born (1/27/93) and she’s been looking forward to driving in it just about a month. The middle row of seats in the Egg (as we call it) turn around and have seatbelts you can wear while facing backwards. It took us a lot of places with the kids facing each other, playing games, and occasionally kicking each other. There are two sunroofs in the Egg and I always have loved the amount of light that comes into the car.

I don’t know for sure that we have lost the Egg, but it for sure is a Cracked Egg at the moment.

Nascar Fans being hit Hard with Gas Increases

I listen to talk radio while I cook supper. Today a well-meaning tree-hugger called in with an idea: Let’s have the Guv’ment BAN Nascar for 2 years to SAVE ON GAS. The two hosts thought it was a pretty stupid idea, but I think that was mostly because the guy didn’t have any of his ducks in a row. Didn’t know how much gas the cars even use. One of the callers after him said HE had heard them Nascar racecars actually get NEGATIVE gas mileage. Didn’t explain how that was possible, but wow, what a concept!

Interesting idea, but let’s not have the government involved in this, hey? Do we REALLY want to give control of this over to the people who think it’s a good idea to spend $41.8 MILLION dollars on a letter to say, hi, you’ll be getting an economic stimulus payment sometime, maybe, but we’re not going to tell you how much or when. See ya later.

Read more about the woes fans are experiencing here.

Perhaps some of the fans, especially the guy who can’t believe his fuel cost is going to actually exceed his BEER cost, might consider not going to the races cause it’s expensive to drive big ol’ motorhomes that get like 4 mpg.

I admit I’m not a Nascar fan and I wouldn’t drive 1/4 mile to see a race. Probably wouldn’t even go out the back door if the race was right in my backyard, but I am surely not a Nascar Fan. I also am not denigrating Nascar fans in general, but I have to admit some of them say some pretty amazing things. Nascar is probably pretty darn cool if you like that kind of thing, so there’s a place for it.

But, I’d say, let’s let the Nascar teams worry about how much the gas is costing, let the motorhome drivers worry about how much it is going to cost to get to the races, and the rest of us can figure out how in the heck we are going to continue to pay those prices at the pump.

I’m feeling like it’s time to get creative.

Read About This in the Waiting Room Today

So, if you don’t have time to follow the link (click on the title of this post), I’ll just summarize. A “man” who used to be a “woman” is now “pregnant.” I saw this in People magazine. He looked pregnant to me. I hesitate to comment on this story since it’s relatively bizarre, but I thought you should know.

Really, my favorite line was when he said he couldn’t find any “manternity” clothes.