Monday, January 28, 2013

The In-Between Days

Today was one of those days that is really hard for me. I didn’t feel well, but I didn’t have a rip-roaring migraine, either. I was tired, achy, and had a moderate headache (about a 5/10) and felt worse whenever I did anything physical.

These days are hard because I’m not obviously ill like when I have a bad migraine, but I’m not feeling quite up to doing much. So I end up feeling pretty useless most of the day, thinking that I “should” be able to get up and clean something or organize something or (this week) pack something.

When I have a good day, I’m at least emotionally healthy enough to see that my bad and in-between days are unproductive days, but my worth isn’t measured in productivity. On my in-between days, I quite often feel down and moody, so I have trouble thinking clearly and get stuck on a spiral of negativity.

Another problem with in-between days is that they are often precursors to “real” migraines. As I look at the weather coming up tomorrow, I think that may be the case with how I feel today. Yuck.

There’s nothing to do about this except pray and keep telling myself what is true to try to get through the “Oh, I’m so useless” messages.

That’s all. More fun in my headache-filled life.

Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–January 25, 2013

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1. This week was “get ready to move” week, which was incredibly frustrating! Since we’re only moving down the street, we don’t need to have everything boxed up at the same time. Mostly, we’ve been decluttering. And, the decluttering has been quite successful. The things that still need to be done are the kids’ rooms and the school room.

2. The house inspection was today and was pretty good, except for one questionable problem. We were supposed to start renting on Monday, but now that’s up in the air until the inspection issue is resolved. I hate waiting!

3. In the decluttering, I came across the folders for my and PWM’s college degrees. They were all empty. I later found one degree that was framed, so I assume that the other two are framed as well along with my medical degree. Now I’m curious as to where they are! It’s not like anyone in the yarn shop is going to ask to see them, but I’d like to know!!

4. Rosie Girl got the letter this week with her audition date for the Music Department of the College of Fine Arts at UWSP! She’s working like mad on her audition pieces, and we’re praying it all works out for her to get into the department in her first year (and maybe even get a scholarship).

5. With the move coming up, I’m dreaming of how to decorate the new house without actually spending any money (or much money). Pinterest is my new best friend!

6. As much as I want to get this move over with, I’m glad we didn’t have to do it this week in the below zero temperatures. Of course, it’s going to be snowing this week. Yay.

7. Speaking of below zero temps, PWM’s mom from Florida is here to help with the move. Poor woman. But, she did live in Fairbanks, AK, when PWM was in 3rd and 4th grade, so she’s dealt with cold weather before – even if it was a long time ago. I still feel bad for her. It’s in the 70s in Florida this week.

How are you this week? See what others are up to at 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reviews–January 20, 2003

Books, books, books!! I do love me some books! Regular books on paper are my favorite, but audio is good, too. I have a Kindle but don’t use it too often, but I’m not philosophically opposed to it.

Our library system is having a reading program for adults to encourage us to write reviews for their system, so I’ll be cross-posting my reviews over there.

Agenda 21 – My dad gave me this Glenn Beck book for Christmas. It’s the story of a dystopian society that has come about as the results of the hardcore environmental movement’s agenda. The descriptive elements were good and the characters weren’t too badly developed. My issue was mainly with the plot. There was a developed plot and climax, but it wasn’t very strong. And the climax felt like the real beginning of the book. This is definitely an “issue” book. The authors want to show you the possible result of extreme environmentalism. The epilogue goes in to detail about the actual documents from the 1970s on which the story is based. I have a hard time getting too excited about it since the only significant changes the environmental lobby has gotten us to make have been to change out our light bulbs and get some of us to drive hybrid cars. I don’t think we’re in imminent danger of being forced to live in communes under the authority of faceless bureaucrats. B-

House Atreides – This is one of three prequels to the Dune series of books. It is named for the Atreides family, but there is also a great deal of plot about the Corrino and Harrkonen houses. This book (and the other three in the series) introduces us to the main characters in Dune (which I still haven’t read all the way through). The primary plot lines in this book center around the young Duke Leto and his year-long education on the planet Ix, which comes to an end when Ix is invaded and overrun by an Empire-sponsored house in a plot to make synthetic spice. In the meantime, House Corrino and House Harkkonen are involved in their own scheming and plans. A

House Harkkonen – Second of the three Dune prequels, this continues the story of the universe created by Frank Herbert. The plots and schemes of the Atreides, Corrino, and Harrkonen houses continue unabated with emphasis on the extended Harrkonen family (where DID Raban and Feyd Rautha come from, anyway?). Another good read (although I listened on audio, which was quite well done). A

House Corrino – Third of the three Dune prequels, this book focuses on the activities of House Corrino, the Imperial family. Along the way, we also learn more about Gurney Halak, Thufir Hawat, Duncan Idaho, and the Houses Atreides and Corrino. Another well-paced and interesting book with high quality audio. A

Accelerated by Bronwwen Hruska – I finished this book in two days. It’s really good. This is the story of an upper class New York school and it’s need for boys to fit in so badly that they convince parents and doctors to overmedicate these kids with stimulants. The plot is strong and engaging. The characters are well-drawn. The book drew me in and kept me interested until the end. A

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver – I loved this book, but I’m not sure how to describe it. One day, a young mom finds that the nearby woods, that her father-in-law wants to have clear-cut, have been chosen as the over-wintering site for the monarch butterflies since their traditional site in Mexico has been made unusable due to global warming changes. The aftermath of this (very fictional) event involves the woman’s family, church, and town, in ways that no one could have imagined. This book clearly wants to send a message about global warming, but I didn’t feel like I was being beat over the head with the message. It was a story about relationships with global warming issues as background. A+

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans – The popular blogger has written another book, this one a documentation of her year of trying to live according to “biblical womanhood”. First, this book is not a theology book. If you want an in-depth discussion of the various issues about women in the Bible, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Second, Evans tries to take an even hand toward the issues she chooses to tackle, but her bias towards a more “liberal” position is evident. That’s OK, but you need to know that it’s there. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. Evans chooses 12 different attitudes that women are to embody to explore each month. Within that month, she delves into more practical things. We get to laugh at her attempts to sew and make challah as well as scratch our heads about the ancient Israelite rules regarding menstruating women. When she gets serious about interpreting scripture, she is charitable towards those with whom she disagrees. Overall, a very good book. A

So, get to a library and get reading!

Overwhelmed!

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, so I thought maybe writing my clear my head a bit. And then I’ll knit (of course!).

This next week, we’ll be decluttering. The entire house. Ack! If we don’t want to move it to the new house, we will get rid of it in some fashion. This is a wonderful thing to do, but doing it in only one week is a bit . . . crazy. My mother-in-law is here to help, which is excellent.

In two weeks, we will actually be moving. Since we’re only moving 6 blocks away, we’re going to take the whole week to pack boxes, move them, and unpack them, and start over. At the end of the week, we’ll get the furniture moved over. I’m praying that moving things gradually, a room at a time, after decluttering, will be the least stressful way of doing things. I hope.

The week after that, we will clean the old house from top to bottom to get it ready to sell. I see lots of vacuuming, mopping, and general cleaning in my future.

And the week after that will be when we get settled into our new house in earnest.

I’m still overwhelmed, but breaking it down makes it look a little more manageable. And my word for the year is “Walk”, so I’ll just take one step at a time.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Week In Review–January 19, 2013

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Things this week went really well until Thursday night when I got a rip-roaring migraine. I felt really rotten until this morning Despite that, Friday was the day when we accepted the counter-offer on the house that we’re purchasing. The kids are learning quite a bit in this house buying/selling process since we’re trying to keep them in the loop with everything that we’re doing. It also helps to have their buy-in as we make these big changes. Starting next week, we will be trying to get schoolwork done as well as decluttering and packing so we can move in two weeks and have this house ready to go on the market. Yikes! But, first, here’s what has happened over the last couple of weeks.

Wild Man

I’ve changed Wild Man to a block scheduling format. Every day, he does Math, Grammar, and Spelling (well, if I’m up to helping him with spelling). Bible, History, Literature, Writing, and Science are spaced out so that he does two subjects each day and each of them twice a week. Overall this is working really well. I still have to work to keep him focused. If I go up to the shop for several hours, I will probably come back to find that he spent a good bit of that time practicing guitar and is shocked to find that I was gone for more than fifteen minutes. Clearly, he needs some supervision, but, we’re making progress.

History – Studying the Civil War. He read The Boys’ War and learned about life for teenager who served both the Union and the Confederacy. We’ve been watching “The Abolitionists” on PBS which has also been helpful. One day, Wild Man asked, “Mom, was the Civil War over states’ rights or slavery?” Wow! What a question! (Especially from a kid who doesn’t usually engage history.) Rosie Girl was downstairs, so we had a good discussion of which factors we thought played a part in driving the nation toward war.

Literature – I know we have Dragon Gate in this house somewhere, but I just can’t find it. Right now, he’s enjoying some Percy Jackson books, so I’m just happy that he’s reading.

Science – In the last few weeks, he’s read about wetlands and grasslands.

Bible – I think BibleMesh is a good fit for Wild Man. He watches the videos and reads the articles. We’re still working through the section on Jesus.

Writing – His paragraph writing is pretty good. The last two paragraphs were given to me with minimal problems in grammar or punctuation. I’m planning to try a WriteAtHome workshop for the end of the year. He hasn’t written anything as long as a report yet, but I think we’ll try that soon. The WriteAtHome could be a good fit for him since they tend to work with kids at whatever level they’re at.

Math – Wild Man was frustrated that his ALEKS assessment didn’t show much improvement, so I’ve been sitting down to watch him go through his lessons and found that he hasn’t really been understanding things as well as he should. And, it turns out that I can teach math (at least Algebra 1) better than I thought! I think he’ll be seeing more progress now with just a bit more interaction with me during his math lesson.

Music – He’s working on some pieces for Solo and Ensemble as well as his usual stuff for band. He is really enjoying Youth Band as well as playing some with the adult worship band. This weekend, he is leading worship for the kids’ service.

Rosie Girl

Social Sciences – When she finished reading The Godless Constitution, she’ll be done with American Government. I have a Sociology course on DVD on reserve from the library along with a couple of books for her Sociology credit.

Japanese – Her final Japanese credit will be from working on Rosetta Stone, which she’s enjoying.

Math – She’s plugging away at Algebra 2. She even did some last night with PWM after doing a fair amount during the day. She’s also doing Dave Ramsey Personal Finance and learning a lot about managing money.

Literature – She continues with British Literature. She was thrilled when she realized that she got to read Emma!

Music – Her big music thing is that she’s working on her piano pieces for her college audition. She’s also been doing some arranging and composition on her own.

College prep – She’s been getting info about residence halls and meal plans from UWSP. ACK! It’s really real.

That’s what’s been going on in our homeschooling world. What’s up with you?! Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read what other homeschoolers have been doing!

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–January 18, 2013

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What a crazy couple of weeks it has been!! My previous post explains how we are moving our house and business over the next few months. The last few weeks have been a bit stressful as we’ve made our offer and waited for a counter-offer, etc. But, the papers are signed and things are really happening!!!

1. PWM told his mom this morning that we accepted the seller’s counter-offer and within a couple of hours, she had a flight reservation for tomorrow to come help us with the move! She does not mess around!! And her help is most welcome! Somehow, we’ve got to move to the new house and get this house cleaned and ready to go on the market while still homeschooling and working around my headaches. Yes, Grandma is most welcome!

2. I’m not sure that our new house is that much bigger than our current house, but the layout is much different. It has a formal dining room, but we don’t have any formal dining furniture – nor do we entertain formally. At my sister-in-law’s recommendation, we’re going to try making the formal dining area a library/school area. There is a lot less closet space, though, so we’re going to have to get creative on storage.

3. Moving provides a great incentive and opportunity to get rid of stuff. Lots of stuff. I’m going to have to keep an eye out, though, that PWM doesn’t start giving away books. I love books. But we can get rid of lots of other stuff.

4. The kitchen in the new house is lemon yellow. My current kitchen is blue. If it was only blue, we could make it work, but I have a fair bit of pink as well. PWM agreed to paint the kitchen for me as soon as we actually own the place. In the meantime, well, CLASH!

5. I got my computer glasses this week! These are glasses with lenses set for only the distance for my laptop, reading, and knitting as opposed to my usual progressive lenses. I have found, though, that I need to remember to change back to my regular glasses for watching TV or getting up and walking around because my distance vision is (obviously) pretty blurry in these and I have no interest in running into walls or falling over my own feet.

6. I hate to complain about winter weather since we did choose to move up here, but we’re about to have a couple of days with high temperatures barely above zero. Ouch! I’m going to bundle up and not go anywhere till it’s at least 10 degrees!!

7. Botox update: I think my daily headaches are milder, but my migraine that started last night has been quite intense. I’m only two weeks in from this set of injections, so we still have some time to wait, but I’m optimistic that it will be useful. Placebo effect? Perhaps. But, sometimes, you have to just take what you can get!

That’s what’s going on in my world. How are things with you? Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others are up to!

Moving!!

Yep, we’re moving!! But, it’s still in Weyauwega, although the whole thing is a bit complicated. We wanted to find a permanent home for The Knitting Nest and were intrigued by the idea of living on the same property where we work. And we found one that fits the bill!

103 W. Main Street has a main house that seems larger than our current home (although that may just be the layout), a “cottage” that used to be a chiropractic office, and a large garage (that’s heated!). We love the main house – it has a great floor plan and a bathroom upstairs. The cottage will make a wonderful yarn shop. It does need some work to transform it, including paint, but it’s not a ton. The garage is heated and very large, so Patrick can do his woodworking there, even in the winter.

So, how are the logistics of this going to work? We are going to rent the 103 W. Main property starting the first of February. This allows us to get most of our stuff out of our current house and facilitate getting it sold. As soon as our current house is sold, we will close on the 103 W. Main property. During this entire time, The Knitting Nest will remain open at it’s current location. The owners may be a little dragged out and exhausted, but we’ll still provide quality yarn and great service!

When the 103 W. Main property is completely ours, we will do the necessary renovations on the cottage, create some parking, put up some signage, and move The Knitting Nest to it’s permanent home. And, don’t worry, you won’t miss the move!! We’ll make absolutely sure that everyone knows about it!! The shop location will change, but we will still carry the same quality products you’ve come to expect. We hope that this move will make it easier for Patrick to do even more woodworking so we can sell even more of his hand-turned wooden knitting needles, shawl pins, and more.

That’s what’s up with us. It’s going to be a crazy spring. Somehow we’re going to work all this around my headaches and the kids getting schoolwork done, but we’re optimistic (or psychotic!). Hang on for the ride – it’s going to be a blast!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

January 9

The last three days have been surprisingly full.

Monday

Our dishwasher isn’t draining properly and we won’t have the money for a new one for about a week, so we are now hand-washing all the dishes. yippee.

I had my third Botox treatment. I still don’t like needles.

PWM and I went to dinner at The Melting Pot since we got a gift card from my brother and his wife for Christmas. The whole experience was amazing! And the food was delicious! We had cheddar cheese for an appetizer and then salad. PWM had some kind of sampler dish for his entrĂ©e and I had surf and turf. PWM didn’t know how much I love lobster because I haven’t had it in all the years we’ve been married. We topped it off with a dark chocolate and white chocolate fondue. It was a great night!

Tuesday

I de-Christmas-ified the house. I got everything into boxes and got PWM and Wild Man to take them downstairs for me.

New glasses!! I didn’t realize how bad my vision was until I saw the eye doctor a few weeks ago. I love being able to read without straining or having to move my head to find the one perfect spot in my lenses where I can see things. I think getting my new lenses is going to be the high point of my week!!

Wednesday

I did a bunch of cleaning today. The living room is clean except for being vacuumed. I de-cluttered the baskets on the antique radio and the one on the end table in the living room. And I got some laundry started.

I’m still working diligently on Rosie Girl’s sweater. I have the duplicate stitching on the back about halfway done. Hopefully, just a few more days of work and it will be done.

Wild Man had an orthodontist appointment early this morning, so we were up and moving pretty early today. We discussed doing block scheduling for his schoolwork. He’s going to try doing several days’ worth of just one or two subjects of schoolwork each day so he doesn’t have so many transitions during the day. He seems to lose a lot of time during the transitions and doesn’t finish his work till evening, when he could be done by 4 or 5 at the latest, even if he sleeps late. It seemed to go well today. We’ll see about the rest of this week.

That’s what’s been going on around here. Anything exciting in your world?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Who Is Jesus? Part 1

This year, I’m reading the Bible readings through The Divine Office of the church year. I’ve found a site where the readings are available in the ESV, which is quite convenient, but more on that in another post.

Since I’m focusing this year on “Walk”ing with Jesus, I’ve decided I’m going to try to see in my Bible reading each day or few days who Jesus really is. So, let’s start:

John 1:1-4 Jesus is God, Jesus is the Word, Jesus is eternal

Ephesians 1:20-22 Jesus is the head of the church, Jesus was raised from the dead.

Mark 1:21-22 Jesus taught as one with authority

Mark 1:23-27 Jesus cast out demons

That’s all for now. More in a day or two.

Friday, January 04, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–January 4, 2013

2013 has been a pretty uneventful year so far, but let’s see what I can come up with.

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1. I get new glasses next week!! I have this paranoia about telling a doctor when I have a problem because I’m sure they won’t find anything wrong and it will all be “in my head” or hypochondriasis. I went to the eye doctor last week for an annual check up, but also because the vision in my right eye has become so terrible. Even with my glasses on, everything in my right eye is blurry. It turns out that I’m not imagining things! It’s not good that my right eye has changed so much and has some pre-cataract changes, but it does mean I’m not a total hypochondriac!! Now I’m ancy to get my new glasses because, now that I’ve admitted how poor my vision is, it seems to be even worse than I thought.

2. While everyone else was partying or at least watching some object drop at midnight on New Year’s Eve, Wild Man was at a friend’s house, PWM and Rosie Girl were watching Dr. Who, and I was knitting. Yes, the excitement is overwhelming.

3. Our library system is having a reading program for adults where we can have our name put in for a monthly drawing for every book that we read and review. This is SOOOO my kind of contest!! I’ll still read my books that I got for Christmas, but I’m definitely going to have some fun with reading other books, too.

4. I finally finished knitting Rosie Girl’s sweater and I’ve started embroidering The Doors of Durin on the back in duplicate stitch. Oh. My. Goodness. I did not realize how tedious this was going to be. I’ve done duplicate stitch before, but not on so large and intricate a scale. I do about 30 minutes worth and then take a break and then do another 30 minutes worth. It’s going to take me several more days, at least.

5. I’m planning on taking down Christmas decorations on Sunday. I’m saying that we’re taking them down on Epiphany ‘cause that sounds really religious. Actually, it’s the first day that it looks like there’s enough time to take them down.

6. We start our homeschooling again on Monday. Unfortunately, the local school started on Wednesday. We didn’t really think much about public school stuff until late on Wednesday when we realized that Wild Man had missed band. Alas. He got there on Thursday and Friday, though.

7. One of our cats has taken to napping on my and PWM’s bed during the day. If I lie down on the bed in the middle of the day, she fusses at me as if the bed belongs to her. She barely moves when I put my feet down toward the bottom of the bed and quite often just lies down on top of my feet. Silly.

So, what’s going on in your world? See what others have to say at 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Looking Back at 2012

I’m not going to miss 2012. It wasn’t the best year I’ve ever had. There were good things, but there were plenty of not-so-good things.

2012 was largely defined by my headaches. In January, we found that my creatinine level was elevated, so my doctor took me off of meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. My creatinine stayed high, so I ended up visiting a kidney specialist and finding out that I have mild kidney damage from years on this medication. On a brighter note, my creatinine was back to normal a couple of weeks ago!

Stopping the meloxicam, though, cranked up my headaches. Sooooo, it was back to a neurologist. This time, though, I’m seeing a guy who’s pretty new and who impresses me with his thoroughness. He also has a good bedside manner – very important when dealing all day with people with migraines. I’ve had a couple of rounds of Botox with just minimal relief. Unfortunately, I also fell and hit my head several months ago which triggered a worsening of the headaches. Yeah, 2012 wasn’t really my year.

On to some good things, though! The Knitting Nest is doing better than we could have hoped for. We have been so happy with the response of yarn crafters to our shop. I love getting to knit for a living! PWM does most of the “hard” stuff – like going to work every day!! I don’t have to go in when I have a bad headache (which has been a lot this year) and I get to knit at home or at the shop. It’s a great job!

Rosie Girl has had a really good year. The big thing that happened for her is that she went to Music Camp at UWSP and discovered that she really does love music composition. She’s been taking composition lessons this Fall which has been confirming for her that she wants to study composition in college. Speaking of college, she will be going to UWSP next fall! She still has to audition for the College of Fine Arts, but she’s been accepted into the University. It’s hard to believe that my little girl is 17 1/2 years old.

Wild Man started high school this year which kind of freaked me out, but which he took in stride. He’s in the high school marching band, but he much prefers his time in the church youth worship band. He will try to play anything resembling a guitar – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, mandolin. He has even convinced his sister to give him keyboard/music theory lessons.

That was 2012. Here’s praying for a happy and healthy 2013!!

Word for 2013–Walk

My word for 2012 was Simplicity. Overall, my life is more simple today than it was last year, although I still have room for improvement. I hope to keep the new habits of simplicity that I’ve developed, but want to focus on a few new things this year.

For 2013, I’ve chosen the word “Walk”.

  • Physically
    • I want to walk more, either on the treadmill (it is winter here in the Great White North) or outside (when it warms up).
    • When my headache isn’t too bad, I’m going to try to “walk” through daily activities instead of working too hard and making the headache worse and stopping completely. In other words, I’m going to plod.
  • Spiritually
    • I want to walk with Jesus (who was a great walker while here on earth).
    • Galatians 5:16 tells us to “walk in the Spirit”.
    • According to Ephesians 5:2, we are to “walk in the way of love”.
    • While I’m physically walking, I’m going to try to listen to the entire Bible on audio this year. (I already have the NIV on audio, but I have only listened to part of Matthew.)
  • Emotionally
    • I’m going to limit my activities so I’m not emotionally overwhelmed. This means continuing not to have too many books that I’m listening to or knitting projects that I’m working on (OK, I know I’m already overwhelmed with knitting – I won’t start any more!).

So, do you have any New Year’s resolutions or New Year’s words?