Category Archives: moms

New year, new “Chucks”, new me

The new year is starting out very well.  I feel I have a good grasp on homeschooling eighth grade. We are now in our eighth year.  I think homeschooling into high school won’t be a challenge.  The challenge is to get my now 14-year-old son to think about something other than playing Minecraft on the computer.  I shouldn’t be discouraged, he does well, he volunteers at the local science museum and humane society once a week.   He’s really a good kid.  People ask me all the time, “What is he going to do about college? Will you homeschool college?”  I reply with, “Homeschool college?  Are you crazy?  No, I won’t homeschool college. Did you think about college in eighth grade? Good grief!  Let the boy enjoy his middle school and high school years. There will be time for college.  I never thought about college until my senior year of high school!”  Okay, maybe I don’t say all of that, but I sure do think it, and then some–

IMG_5156

My birthday was a couple of days ago. I turned forty-two years old. Yeah, that’s right–I’m forty-two years old. I know, I can’t believe it either!  I am not going to question this unexplainable youthful feeling I have.  Maybe it’s from yoga. Wherever it comes from, I embraced it and I ordered a pair of orchid Converse Chucks.  They look like this.

Why do I feel the need to define my “youth” by wearing some Chucks? I don’t really know. Maybe because it’s fun. Maybe I’m in denial about getting older. The truth is, I’ll probably look ridiculous, but I don’t care.  I do have my limits.  There will never be any skinny jeans in my wardrobe.  I draw the line there.

Some of my friends and family say I don’t look forty-two, I certainly don’t act forty-two.  How does a forty-two year old mom act?  Does she listen to Dinosaur Jr?  Religiously?  I doubt it.  I’m still obsessed with J Mascis. There–I said it.  No worries, my husband knows all about it.  He isn’t jealous.  He thinks it’s kind of funny.  He knows how I am and accepts me.  I know I’m not like any other forty-ish year old moms I know. My husband knows it, too.

Here in North Carolina, one would think it was already spring.  Last winter was mild, and this winter is feeling about the same.  In fact, the warmer temperatures have allowed some trees to bloom early.

Flowering tree

There was a small amount of snowfall in our area a couple of days ago.  The blanket of snow was nice to see on my birthday. Wish I could have seen this tree with snow on its blooms.

There isn’t much else to tell, other than I can say I am in a much better place than I was a year ago.  This time last year was horrible for me, and I never want to experience what I experienced ever again. Depression. Confusion. Anxiety that crippled me for weeks on end.  If you have ever felt real anxiety, you know how awful and scary it feels.  That tightness in your chest, the dreadful unhappiness, loss of appetite, and insomnia.  I lived on supplements like passion-flower during the day and valerian root at night to ease the symptoms of anxiety.  It helped only a little.  I couldn’t focus on homeschooling, chores, my home, or my life. I disappeared from blogging for a while and tried to get myself together.  I wanted to disappear all together, but I hung in there.  It took me several months, but I finally did it.  With that said, I’ll share a video of  Dinosaur Jr., of course.  J’s acoustical version in the studio is awesome!

But if you want to rock it out, listen to the original version:

Enough of my rambling. I’m just glad happy to be me again. Thanks for reading my blog.   🙂

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Demonstration and preview: Week 4

Last day at the studio.

My time at the studio has come to an end.  My family and I, along with our Japanese exchange student, drove to the studio yesterday to pick up my finished pieces.  I haven’t had time to take picutres of them.  I hope to do that during the next week or so.  In the meantime, here is a photo of a pot that turned out nicely.

One thing I had forgotten about was how much ceramics shrink after the glaze firing.   The coffee mug my husband made is now fit for tea, not coffee.

I had planned to return to the studio when our Japanese student would be with us.  I wanted to take the time to demonstrate to him how to throw clay on a potter’s wheel.

I typed out my own instructions on wheel throwing in English, and then translated it to Japanese using Google Translate.  I printed a copy to use to teach him.  My experience so far with using the Google translating tool hasn’t been 100% accurate, but I believe he understood me well enough.

My son also had another opportunity to throw on the wheel again.

I guided him along the process so his experience would be a successful one.  He did very well and I think he enjoyed his first time working on the wheel.

Next, his bowl will be bisqued and I will return to the studio at a later date to glaze it for him.  He will likely have already returned to Japan after it has been glazed fired.  I plan to ship it him when it is finished.  I’m sure it will be a small reminder of his time at the studio and his stay with us.

Funny how something so small could mean so much.

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The accidental slugger

Easter Sunday, we spent the day with my husband’s family.  After lunch, we all went outside to play softball with a Nerf bat and some Nerf balls.  The weather was beautiful with the sun shining and the warm breeze, a perfect day to enjoy the afternoon together.

Most everyone had a turn batting, and then someone asked me if I wanted a turn, and I said sure.  I had recorded the others hitting the ball and so my husband, Daniel, took the camera to record me.  I am not sure what they all expected to see, but I obviously surprised them, especially Daniel.  You see, in my mind, I was just hitting the ball, but no one else could believe that I was ACTUALLY hitting the ball!!   I guess they did not think that I had it in me.  

While I batted, Daniel commented that the balls had his name on them, as to suggest that I was hitting them to get out all of my frustration.  It is no secret to Daniel, or his family, that I have to tolerate his antagonistic behavior and constant sarcasm.  For years, I have warned his parents that some day, I will give him back, but they have repeatedly said that there is no way they will take him.  They say Daniel is all mine with no returns…antics and all.

In the video, you will hear Daniel laughing and my many mutterings as I joke about “suffering” through his being home for over a month recovering from carpel tunnel surgery.  Some of my comments are inaudible, but you can faintly hear me mutter things like:

“…being at home for a WHOLE month!”  

And

“…watch another Fred Flintstone DVD!”  (Meaning I was tired of seeing the Flintstones on the TV every time I walked into the living room.)

One time I said something about “sitting around reading Star Trek books!”, but I don’t think that remark was heard very well.

Another time, my son called out, “MOM!” as to distract me in which I said, “Don’t wreck my groove!”  I jokingly mocked him because it is just like him to ask me about something while I am busy. 

Anyhow, the video is short but long enough to get a good laugh or a chuckle out of one or the both of us.  One thing is for sure, Daniel’s laugh is contagious. 🙂

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First day of spring

Happy spring to everyone!

The daffodils are blooming along with flowering trees, forsythias, and the like.   Many signs of spring are everywhere, including my aching back, which is  from clearing dead leaves out of my flower beds, and transplanting a large area of nandina.   Spring fever hits me hard with many garden projects around my house.

We are at week 29 with school, and we  just finished studying the Persian Empire, animal cells, and pi.  My son use to love math and has always tested a couple of grade levels ahead in the subject.  This year is a different story.  He isn’t fond of  this year’s curriculum of percents, decimals, and most recently, pi, area, and circumference.  The problem isn’t understanding how to do them, he can do them, he just hates it.  I don’t understand this.  My attitude is just do it if you know how, and don’t have an attitude about it.  It is so frustrating!  But I know I shouldn’t complain no matter how challenging things get.  My old college friend just returned from South Korea for a visit, and she explained to me that Korean children are in school for 12 hours or more.  They have no life other than school. When they are at home, they have no time for home life or to pursue personal interests.  They do homework until midnight or later, go to bed, and then get up at 6:00 am and start the day again.  Maybe there are some American school children with this schedule, but I am thankful to have the freedom and opportunity to provide an education for my child and allow time to do fun things.   He has time to pursue his own interests outside of what is required of him as a student.   School is important, but there is so much in life that a child should experience other than school. 

I am still reading The China Study, but nowhere near putting my thoughts together to blog about it.  It is still foremost on my mind.  I can easily talk about it rather than write about it.   Perhaps a better solution would be to do a video blog and post it on YouTube.  Hmmm… I could talk about my encounter with the couple who suggested the book to me.   Making a video blog is just a thought, but something I am considering.  

In light of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most things I am normally concerned with have taken a backseat.  Last week was uneventful with nothing written on my calendar, except for the 1 year passing of my dog, Bodie.  The down-time allowed me to do a lot of thinking, say a lot of prayers, and count a lot of blessings.  In the grande scheme of things, there is nothing I should complain about.  Nothing.  Even homeschooling.  

So, I will end this post with a familiar sign of spring, a bird’s nest.  It isn’t an actual bird’s nest, but a salad my son created for his first 4-H Nutrition Fair entry.   The salad was all his idea, it is similar to the salad he makes from the salad bar when we eat at Jason’s Deli.  I suggested the breadstick twigs to make the branches for the nest to rest on.  He created the bird theme for the table display and place setting.  It was a very clever idea and he won a blue ribbon for his dish.  It was a very proud moment for us all.

If you absolutely LOVE this salad and would like to make your very own at home, I have included the recipe.

Bird’s Nest salad

 

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May the Force be with you

I absolutely adore this commercial!  And with good reason.  You see, I once had my own pint-sized Darth Vader.   When I see this commercial, it brings back so many fun memories of the days when my son ran around in his Darth Vader costume.  

Now he didn’t go around trying to use “the Force” on the pets or inanimate objects, but he could swing a mean lightsabre.   Thank goodness we survived that phase!

Halloween 2005

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