Monday, January 31, 2011

The weekend I had

I had such a wonderful, busy, filled with people I love, weekend. We have been busier since the new year started than we were all through the 'holiday season'. For some reason I balk at the thought of all the things I 'have' to do during that time of year. I really would rather just hang at home. January see me ready to get things done.

Friday night we, finally, after many attempts and rescheduleings, went to Euclid Hall with my BFF & her hubby. I 'did' my hair and face, something that very rarely happens. Look at what I can look like if I try.
So I cleaned up good. The food was amazing and the company was even better. The restaurant is kind of Americanized German food. They had sausages (made on site), mustards (same deal) schnitzel, spatzel (did I spell that right Angie/Ray), but not traditional. Plus they had the Canadian national dish poutines but with wild mushroom gravy (Dave feel free to correct me on this, you know let me know what the REAL Canadian national dish is)  Oh and tons of beers and whiskey. Much of the food is locally sourced, including some of the whiskey. Yum! Wonderful night, thank you so much Michal & Rich for taking us to such a wonderful place.

Saturday included DH fixing the car, it has needed new struts for, well years actually, but they had gone out completely so it was time. Have I mentioned here how much I love that my husband is not afraid to work on a car. He will go in pull it apart, fix it and it will run at the end of it. He fixed my alternator a couple of months ago, he fixed his struts this Saturday.
My Dad came over with his air compressor and they fixed the car. It helped so much that the temp on Saturday was in the 50's. (Unlike today where our high was sometime this morning before the sun rose and the temp is going to be dropping steadily until sometime on Weds.) While they were fixing that my Mom & I made lasagna, 7 dishes of lasagna.
This was the last 2 waiting for their turn in the oven. I felt like we were all productive. The Boy just kept running from one group to the next, helping at times, making random noises at others, but basically seeming like a happy child surrounded by the people that love him. This is when I really wish we lived closer to my folks. My Mom & I could do this bulk cooking thing together more often. The Boy would see them more often, and so would I. Ah well maybe someday.

On Saturday I had my girlfriends over for circle, I made, kinda, Chinese food in honor of the New Year coming up this Thursday (Year of the Rabbit). It was wonderful to cap off the weekend with friends I share everything with.

Next weekend is looking to shape up to almost the same level of busyness. I'm so happy with it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reading, mine not his...

My BFF gave me a book to read, one of those books you were suppose to read in high school but being the stubborn, you can't make me read that shit, honors student who ended up taking 'contemporary lit' (aka read paperback books and we'll give you an english credit) I was I never read most of them.

The book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
I'm only on the second chapter and I already love the writing, I can feel myself being pulled into this world of poverty, and family. So I will spend the morning teaching my son and hopefully the afternoon losing myself in a book that I 'should' have read 20 years ago but am only meeting now. I wonder what else is out there for me to discover?

We are reading A Cricket in Times Square with the Boy.

It is another book I never read back in the day and I'm glad I remembered it to share with the Boy. He loves these kinds of books, the books with little anthropomorphized animals. I will need to find some more. 

Next up for me I think I'm going to read the Anna Quindlen book Rise and Shine. Another book from my BFF's library. Which reminds me I need to gather all my borrowed books and give them back. They end up stacked around the house and they need to go back out into the world to be enjoyed by others. If I gather them this week I can give them all back on Sunday when I see her again. Yippee!

Do you think I can get 2 books read in one week. Wow what a luxury, I'm not sure but I think I'm going to try.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Questioning schooling...

The Boy has been having difficulties with school lately. He is getting morning stomach aches. He just feels bad in the morning. He is miraculously 'cured' by noon when we have either called off school because he is 'ill' or because we have finished any lessons we had for the day. This has happened nearly every day since we started back in at the beginning of the month. I know this feeling, I've had this feeling. As a 43 year old adult I can name it as anxiety. Watching my 8 year old son live with it just makes me want to cry, and fix it.

Some history, in case you don't know it. When I pulled him from the brick and mortar school in Kindy we took maybe a week break from 'schooling' while we waited for our school books to arrive than we dived right in. The next year we started the virtual charter, which is lovely in many ways but not what worked for my kiddo. Very much schooling in the traditional sense with the exception you do it at home. This year, we went back to the math program he loved so much during Kindy and I have struggled to find a reading program he will like and learn from.

So now I'm questioning my adherence to schooling in such a traditional way (don't laugh it is kind of traditional, we do reading, math, history, and science) I think he is feeling like there is just no way he can do well. He is starting to think he is bad at school work and that it is too hard. Lately he has said he is better at history, and that is what he enjoys. Which is fine, and we can study that but I'm thinking we need a dramatic break...

So with that in mind, what I'm thinking of doing is something I've heard called 'deschooling' We don't do school work at all. We visit places, we read things but just for pleasure. There is no sitting down and working on decoding words, or working on the next math problem. There is just time to hang out. Now this is where I put the rules on it. It can't involve sitting in front of the TV or video screen spending the time being sucked into the boob tube.

Everything I've heard about deschooling involves taking months off, I'm not sure either DH or I can commit to taking that much time off of formal education. My thought is to combine it with February's Thing-a-Day project. We will not be working on any of our regular lessons, but we will not be watching TV. We will be reading, making things, playing games, and other fun things. If it works well and he seems to be thriving with the less structure maybe we will continue it into March, if it feels like we are floundering in a sea of 'nothing to do, can't I watch TV' then back to lessons it will be.

This is gonna be hard for me. This is going to mean I can't turn the computer on until 4 in the afternoon, since that in my mind is when he can watch TV again each day. That means no Facebook, no computer games, no tv shows. It will give us time to find creativity, and the fun in doing things, rather than watching things.

DH & I are thinking about it. Who knows, it may not be the right track. I may be grasping at straws but what I will say is what we are doing right now is not working, it is not making him a enthusiastic learner, it is making him an apathetic learner. Isn't this one of the advantages to homeschooling, changing things mid course to find something that will work?

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm not sure it is creative, plus not Feb. yet but....

So first, today is the day to sign up for Thing-a-Day  you need a account but come on and join me. In a surprise move (or not) I'm earthami over there.

I have nearly finished my curtains for the dining room. All that they need is to be hemmed, but I'm not sure when that is actually going to happen since I have already put up the curtain rod and hung them. The idea was to hang them and then hem them to the same length. The problem is I can't see the hem from here and I'm tired of messing with my sewing machine so it maybe quite awhile before they come back down and I finish them. Ah well, eventually they will need to be washed so I'll do it then, you know in 10 years or so. ;)

I have been collecting things to use during my month of creativity. I've pulled out my embroidery thread, I know where my (damned) sewing machine is, I need to wash my fabric stash so it is ready to go, look at my pantry and see if there is any food type things I will need to make things. I have a knitting project ready to get started and the spinning wheel is ready to be worked on again.

I'm dreading trying to sew anything because my machine is such a PITA. The bobbin seems to randomly change tension. I think I have figured out the best way to use it but it involves being barefooted  and sewing at about 1/4 the speed that would be full speed to be used on you know straight seams on medium weight fabric. I will say the curtains are made from upholstery fabric and so are a bit on  the heavy side, but not as heavy as say denim. So I should be able to go faster. Moving on, I need to be happy that I have a machine, that I can get it to work and how lucky I am to have it. I really do feel that way even with the careful handling it needed to sew 8 straight seams over 3 days.

We'll see how I do. What are some ideas of things you are going to be making?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I did it, I made something!

Well something other than a demanding 8 year old boy, that has been the hardest and sometimes rewarding work I've ever done. ;)

No I mean I decided to embroider something. I started with some sketches.
First attempts at cephalopods

I liked them but they weren't quite right, I kept playing to see what else I could come up with. I finally came up with a better sketch of a cuttlefish.
It was much better but needed a little cleaning up.
Better, much better. So off I went to find my embroidery thread, fabric and needles. Yes I have all of these things in my house. Haven't I mentioned before I 'collect' things? Then times like this make me worse that before because I was able to get everything I needed without spending a penny or leaving my house. (Let's act like it was the money and not be such a homebody kay?)

The outline done! This was such a fun project. I'm so pleased that it is looking like a cuttlefish still.

Look it is done. I can't get over that I finished this in one day. Well mostly, I still need to find a way to frame it to hang it on a wall.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to try to get curtains made for the dinning room. I will have to buy a curtain rod, but I have the fabric already.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Creativity, I need to find you...

I'm looking to find my creativity. I have spent many years feeling like I am not a creative person. I no longer want to accept that, for a couple of reasons.

First, I have the need to make things, I feel it deep inside and become unhappy when I ignore it. I enjoy seeing new things come from my mind and become real in the world.

Second, I don't want my son to grow up thinking that creativity has to be perfect, that if it isn't exactly what you wanted you can't do it.

So with that in mind and the serendipity of Craft Magazine posting on their blog about the Thing-a-Day I'm going to do this both for myself and with my son.

On Thursday this last week we went to the Zoo and he took pictures of things that he found interesting, cute, or fun. The only direction I gave him was to frame his pictures, make sure what he sees in the viewfinder screen is what he wants to see in the final picture, to look for the others things that will show up, the trashcans, the people tying their shoes with their butts towards you, you know that kind of thing. I also wanted to let him know that some pictures don't come out the way you wanted and they can be deleted easy peasy. He did really well and he deleted many that didn't come out the way he wanted.

So I'm thinking his will likely take the shape of photos and mine will be knitting/sewing/cooking. His might be drawing, or lego building. The thing it it doesn't matter, it will just matter that each day we devote some time to making new creative things.

Wish us luck and let me know if you are going to join in. I'd love to see what others make in the month of February to push away the darkness and call to the light of spring sooner.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm not crazy!

Well, I'm not imagining things, there really is a vast conspiracy to keep me from my preferred tampon. Ok, maybe not a vast conspiracy against me per say, but against women.

A few months ago I noticed I couldn't buy OB tampons in size Ultra. I bleed a lot, a lot, a lot and need the added protection the up to 18 grams of liquid containment gives me. After a month of fruitless looking on shelves I took my search online and found that at that time Johnson & Johnson was saying they were having manufacturing 'difficulties' and the Ultra would be back on the shelves 'eventually'. Well I sobbed and horded my precious purple bullets like gold, I would only go out of the house and have to use the ultra if there was a HUGE pressing need. So one or two days out of every 25 would be me housebound. Sad story.

Now for the past month or so I have noticed that all the other OBs are gone off the shelves, again I waited (I'm a stock piler I can last a few months without having to buy) I'm getting to the end of my stash and I find there are no more OBs coming lately. According to some other people's research OB is now saying that Ultras have been discontinued but the rest of their line is just having manufacturing problems. I just heard that line 8 months ago.

I am a sad, sad woman here. I have no idea what I'm going to use instead. I'm mad, and frustrated with Johnson & Johnson. I guess I should call them and let them know how I feel. I'm going to be on the phone tomorrow talking to J&J letting them know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good thing this is a Drama Free household

I'm going to try to be more purposeful in my interactions with my son and my husband. I find myself getting caught up in a game and ignoring the flesh and blood people in my house that I love so very, very much.

Like I said Drama Free Household.Speaking of that love, last night, whew. Well lets just say that the Boys sensitivities and the Husbands sensibilities clashed and caused my title to be laughable. It ended with them having a grand old time but there was a bit in the middle where I was in the middle and was so grateful for my ability to be diplomatic. Oh wait I'm not know for being diplomatic. Well I tried on the hat and while it didn't fit perfectly we did make it through it. It ended with the boy coming downstairs with his blankie over his head calling it his shame curtain. I swear I'm going to get that boy into acting one of these days.

We are going to get back into the swing of school today. Yesterday was a bust because I had to give the Boy benadryl Sunday night and it knocked him out for the next 18 hours. I guess he outgrew the crazy wildchild phase with it. 

We are about to start a painful, frustrating portion of our schooling. I'm picking up Phonic Pathways again and we are going to work our way through it. So today will be getting a feel for where he is it and where we can start again. Wish me luck, lots and lots of luck, oh and maybe send some extra serenity my way. (I can always use some Captain Mal in my life)

On the knitting front, well there is nothing new on the knitting front. I'm still trying to get the edging done on the shawl so I can have it for my own. Then I think I'm going to try for a sweater for myself. Then, well I may start on socks again after a year hiatus. I need some for my own draws. Wow that all sounds horrible selfish, but I almost never seem to keep my knitting so I'm gonna be a bit selfish for a while I think.