A Routine Life

I feel like I hardly post anything except photos these days. Well, not that I just feel that way, that's the way it is. However, I don't seem to be doing anything of interest lately. Not that my life is bad, it's just fairly routine.

We're getting back in the groove of homeschool after the holidays, so that occupies a good part of my day. I still need to better implement a couple of subjects, but we're getting there. At least the basics have become routine now. The boys do so much better when we have the structure of school in our days.

During times of independent study, I clean the kitchen, work on dinner and laundry, and pop online occasionally. We're usually done with school anywhere from 2:00 - 3:30 in the afternoon. That leaves a little time for further household chores, online surfing, or errands on most days. At least once a week we get together with some friends as well.

Most nights we're home. We usually just chill out in the family room together. I've been spending my free time in photography books, attempting to improve my skills. Although you can only read so much before you really need to get out and put it into practice. But I haven't done so much of that. I decided to get on the Project 365 bandwagon this year and that's coming along well. Head over to Photo Bunny to see the 31 days of progress.

Before I know it, it's bedtime. Fill up the dishwasher, shut down the laptop, and it's off to bed.

Thursday afternoon and today I made quite a bit of progress in the guest room/studio. I'm looking forward to getting that taken care of, for a number of reasons. First, I want to be able to scrapbook again - it's been too long since I have. Second, I have a dedicated place to work on grading papers and making plans for school. Third, the Gremlin Wrangler and her man will be sleeping there when they come to visit in a couple of months. I'm really looking forward to #3. A lot. I'm expecting a significant amount of hilarity.

We did get out for some letterboxing last week on our 70 degree day. In January. I love it. A nice summer day in the middle of winter. The leaves above are from that day. I suppose I could actually post that - our one activity this month. LOL!!

I guess that's about it. My life in a nutshell. Or in a blog post. While routines can sometimes be boring, I'm okay with it right now. There's always plenty to do at this point in life, but not always great blog material.

Thanks for hanging in with me, if you're still here. I'll try to get back to some regular posting. Have a great weekend!


My Boy and His Cat


Wordless Wednesday - Hyacinth

More wordlessness here and here.


Wordless Wednesday - In the Forest?

More wordlessness here and here.


A B See Photo Meme - A

A new year, a new photo meme. Over at The Homeschool Post, Sprittibee has started the A B See Photo meme. Similar to others, you shoot a photo for each letter of the alphabet. Post it along with the accompanying story, description, etc.

Here's my first entry, brought to you by the letter A29

These are my beautiful new appliances that we purchased when we bought the house. On a happy note, we got a great deal on both.


Homeschool Memoirs #21: School Days

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I've done an extraordinary job of participating in the Homeschool Memoirs meme over at the The Homeschool Post. This marks my third post (out of a total of 21). LOL!! It will also serve as my entry back into the PhotoStory Friday meme.

This week's theme is to post a photo from your school years. I have plenty, but this one is recently scanned and available. This one will add a little unknown tidbit for you: I was a pom-pom girl in high school. This was shot at a local park (a big huge hiking trail park with bluffs and hills and such) early in the morning. When we were done with the shoot, we went to McDonald's for breakfast. That was around the time McDonald's started serving breakfast. I had the pancakes, cause I'm not an eggs kind of gal. Funny, the memories you can find attached to things.

I had my first car at the time - a 65 Impala convertible. Dark blue with a white top. I once hauled 8 pom-pom girls in it (including me). My best friend and I both "drove." I steered, operated the brake, and the turn signal. She steered, operated the accelerator, and the gear shift. We had to, because both of us were squished into the driver's seat space. Four girls in front, four in back. Rag top down, of course. Fun times.

Check out more school photos here, and for other PSF entries, click the button.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

And have a wonderful Friday!

p.s. - the photo is circa 78-79


Wordless Wednesday: Miit My Family




the Comedian

Go here or here for more wordlessness.

A Warning

We had an interesting morning. As I was getting ready to head to the shower, my son asked if I'd grab another box of cereal. They're stored in a cupboard in the garage, so I popped out and got one for him. When I stepped into the garage (from our dining room), it smelled like something was burning. Actually, more of a smoldering odor. Like paper, wood, or cardboard. It was a very strong scent. I checked around the garage and found areas where it wasn't as strong, watched for smoke or flames and saw nothing, and ultimately called 911.

Hubby came home and the fire department came - two trucks even (hold your breath - I didn't get any photos). We had a half dozen fire fighters checking out every nook and cranny in the garage, as well as outside, the patio, and the attached shed. They brought out the heat-sensitive testing equipment and other things. The weird thing is that they could find nothing. No heat anywhere. No smoke. No fire. But they sure smelled the odor.

The only item of concern is the Griswold electrical plan in the garage - extension cords strung along to a variety of components; garage door opener, outside light, fluorescent lights, incandescent lights, etc. It's one of those things we knew should be addressed, but hadn't done anything about. One of the fluorescent fixtures seemed to be going out, but the odor was definitely not electrical or ballast.

So as much as they were a bit unsettled at not finding a source, they had to pack it in and leave. Not before installing a smoke detector in the garage and one in our family room, cause we still needed one more. (Side note: I didn't know the fire department would give you free smoke detectors - we've purchased our others.) So we're to stay here and monitor things for the next 24 hours. These guys were awesome, btw. They're practically a stone's throw from our house, so they showed up quickly. They checked every possibility. They were friendly and kind. Our kudos to these hard-working guys.

On a good note, we have a fire extinguisher just inside the garage door. Had we spotted any small flames (before the arrival of our neighborhood fire fighters), we'd have had that available to use.

After they left and the four of us were hanging out discussing things, I pondered that maybe it was a warning from God. Maybe He was getting us to deal with the electrical Griswoldness in the garage because something bad might have happened. There's been no more odor since then. It wasn't anywhere else in the house or outside - just in the garage.

We're not taking this warning lightly. Hubby called an electrician friend before heading back to work. He'll be out in the morning.


This n That

Disclaimer: The photos are entirely unrelated to the words. Their sole purpose is to break up the uber-wordiness of this post.

Do you know about AccuRadio? It's pretty darned cool. Because our Christmas music is all packed away, except for Trans Siberian Orchestra, because we bought a CD at the concert, I was trying to hook into some good Christmas tunes online. One of my Twitter friends, Lorraine, was kind enough to share AccuRadio with me. And I dig 'em. It's free, but they're always open to donations. They have an incredible amount of options for your listening pleasure. And it sure beats the pants off of sitting here in the studio/craft/guest room with only the click click click of the keyboard for my listening pleasure. So check it out. Or not. It's up to you.

Yep, I'm at it again, pure and simple randomness. It's all I have lately. Not sure what that's all about.

Speaking of the studio/craft/guest room (maybe I'll rename it the SCG room), I got through a TON of stuff in there today. It's far from done, but boy howdy, do I feel much better about it. Threw away a lot of things that will never be used and are a total waste of real estate. It's a very good thing.

I love the way "studio" sounds - it gives the impression illusion that I'm an artiste or something classy. "Craft room" makes me feel like I'm in elementary school. I'm just not sure what to call this room. It's our 4th bedroom and it hosts a workbench (where I scrapbook), one of my printers, a twin bed, a big desk, the homeschool supplies and resources, all my scrapping and stamping supplies, and my off-season clothes. I sometimes blog, twitter, and surf here. School planning happens here. Calling it the "spare room" or "extra bedroom" or "other bedroom" just sounds so blah. So what do I call it? If I change its name all the time, no one will know what room I'm referring to.

It's also warmer here than in the dining room, so yesterday when Lucy came over to visit, we hung out up here. Even though it was packed full of boxes and totes. Even though only person can maneuver in and out at a time. She sat on the bed to knit and I started the sorting and purging process. With the laptop here, we can have groovy tunes (see AccuRadio), and we can keep an ear out for those crazy Wii-playing kids right beneath us. Ha! Ha! Not that there's much to hear. Just my boys getting a little overzealous with Super Mario Smash Bros.

So any ideas?" Multi-purpose room" (which it totally is) sounds like a gymnasium/cafeteria/etc. room at a school. Help me out here, peeps. Please?

I was perusing my photos last night as I stayed up way too late watching the second run of Monk and Psych and I discovered that I do have a photo a day so far for 2009. So I can start Project 365 retroactively. Well, I guess it's post them retroactively. I already took them. I'm getting them resized and ready to post, so I should have them up before the weekend's over. You'll be able to see them at Photo Bunny. The first few days were incredibly boring, though. But that's okay. It will still provide a chronicle of sorts of the year in photos. It makes me think about photography more. I'm still such a novice photographer. I love looking at the work of others. It inspires me.

Last night we went to Red Lobster with my parents for dinner. It was delicious. For whatever reason, I thought I'd have something besides crab. I have no idea what compels me to think such nonsense. I mean, seriously, if I'm going to Red Lobster, that's what I have. So I ordered some shrimp dish. Although my mom had already ordered crab. Then hubby ordered crab & salmon. And I knew that I'd be sorely disappointed when they were enjoying their succulent steamed crab and I was nibbling on shrimp. Not that I don't like shrimp, but we're talking CRAB. So I changed my order. I'm sure the waitress appreciated that. It was SO good. Haven't had crab in a very long time. Like probably my dad's birthday in November. 2007. He didn't choose Red Lobster for his birthday dinner last year. Which was an enormous letdown for the Comedian. He had been anticipating Grandpa's birthday dinner, because he was hankering for some coconut shrimp. He was a happy, happy boy last night. Not only did he get a scrumptious meal, he spent the night at a friend's house. And played and played and played. Until midnight.

I think I know why I'm having a hard time blogging anything anymore. It's a two-part discovery.

1. I spend too much screen time on Twitter. It's a love/hate thing, I think. I love the ongoing chit chat with friends. But it's also a constant distraction. Which isn't good when you suffer from Anti-Gravity Colander Brain.

2. Words and creativity flow more freely for me at night. Later at night. The later, the better. Either that, or I get entirely loopy. Sadly, age has forced me into a longer sleep pattern. Which I mostly don't mind these days, but I'm missing out on some good stuff. Because I'm asleep.

I used to live just fine and dandy on 4-6 hours of sleep per night (that was a really good night). But I just can't any more. I was mad about that for a long time. I felt that I was losing out on productive time. I finally had to get over myself and accept that I need more sleep than I used to. But it definitely impedes my creative side. And no snarky comments about how entirely uncreative my blog is. Or my photos. Or my writing. Even if you're thinking it. At least I won't know. I can't hear your thoughts through my laptop. Which is probably a good thing. I can live on in oblivion.

Of course, if I keep writing these really long, meandering posts, I won't have to worry about people thinking strange things about me. I'll lose them entirely. You know what the proverbial "they" say about blogging. Something about not writing so much. Of course, "they" say other things, too. And I don't obey "them." I have a hard enough time obeying those I know. Much less "those" I've never met, can't identify, nor figure out where they get their information. Maybe these posts are good for insomnia.

Can't sleep? Go to Bunny Trails for a dose of mundane droning about nothing . . . what was that you said? Sorry, I must've fallen asleep, while reading her drivel.

Isn't my little carrot border cute? I made it. All by myself. I was rather pleased with myself for that. You know, it's the little accomplishments in life that make my day. It's tiny, cause it was created for my sidebar.

I've been going through the Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book to try and learn more about CS3. It's gone very well until Chapter 6. They have you do a myriad of things on one project, which is all fine and dandy. Except I feel like I'm doing it, but totally not getting it. It's like I'm in a calculus class or something. Not that I ever took calculus, but that's what I imagine it would be like. Not that I really spend a lot of time imagining about a calculus class. Sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah, the CS3 class. I'm only halfway through the book and it's probably due back in another week or two. Sigh. That's another reason I've been blogging less. Cause I want to get through this before I have to return the book.

I should put some photos in this post. Maybe it would break up some of the monotony. Too many words. No pictures. Not good. Hopefully by the time this actually posts, there'll be some irrelevant photos to view.

So then. Have a great evening, day, night, whatever time it is where you live if you made it this far.

Why is Wilson Pickett singing "Born to be Wild?" I mean, I dig the blues and WP, but this is a little . . . unusual.

Well, I guess that's it. Really. No more off the wall comments to throw out at you. I think I've used my quota of rambling posts for the month (quarter? year?) I'll try to collect something more cohesive for next time.

Until then.


Little of This . . .

...and a little of that. I really don't have any specific things to write about. Just the usual randomness that flows through my life during a day. I was thinking that I just love the way Miz Booshay has her random chattiness each day. I'd hate to be a copycat, yet it's such a cool style. What is it that they say . . . ? I can't remember, but it's something about copying being a high form of compliment. Yeah, that really sounded like it. Or not. Okay, I have to go find it now. Back shortly.

Okay, found it.

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery."

All that effort to say that as much as I love Miz Booshay's style, it's hers. Would that be wrong to copy it? Or would I be extending her a compliment? Knowing me, I wouldn't even stick with it. The only consistency in my life is inconsistency.

So onward and upward. Have you seen/heard/read about this law that is to take effect next month? It's the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act. Quite honestly, it's a little bit scary. I'm all about providing good, safe products for our kiddos. But talk about overreaching legislation. I'm sure they had good intentions when they started with this, but someone got lost along the way. In a nutshell, testing would be required on pretty much all products for use by children under the age of 12. Toys, nursery furniture, stuffed animals, etc. They would be tested by a third party for lead and phthalates. What does that mean for consignment stores? For the mom & pop business who makes handmade wooden puzzles or cars? Individuals and small businesses are not going to have the financial resources to submit to this testing. Click the sweet little bear for more information and links.

We started back to school today. A somewhat abbreviated version, because we had homeschool bowling after lunch. Then there's more bowling fun tonight with the local homeschool group. Bowl-a-riffic! Even though the boys still mess with each other, I can definitely see a difference in their behavior when the structure surrounding a school day is in place. Maybe it's just less opportunities for boy foolishness. Nevertheless, it's sure better for me. Besides, they've played WAAAAY too much Wii and Spore over the past couple of weeks. Time to move back to reality.

I have to help ClayGuy make buttercream frosting. He wants to build a house of PEZ, using frosting as mortar. Kind of cute, eh? I'll be sure and post pix. I guess he should read my tutorial on making frosting. Nah. A blog is no substitute for mother-son bonding time.

Okay, back from a Chipotle run, and ClayGuy's busy building his PEZ home. Hubs and the Comedian are off bowling with the homeschool group (the Comedian bowled his best game ever earlier today - 157! He was hot!).

Photos are all uploaded from my camera. On the computer. On the external hard drive. No DVD yet. Maybe I'll go upload to Flickr since there aren't that many this time. I've wanting to participate in Project 365 and totally thought I'd do that this year. Naturally, I'm not off to the best start. Well, I guess it's not that bad. I have taken at least one shot per day. Just haven't posted yet. Some are kind of silly, but I'm shooting daily and that's the goal. I think I'll just go ahead and post them on the applicable date over at my photo blog. It's only a week of backtracking and then the project won't spill into 2010. Besides, I may want to start a new one then. Or not. We'll see. Seems a long ways off, yet it will be here quicker than I can imagine.

I have to say that we absolutely love our new home. It's been just over three months and we like it more and more all the time. It's big enough without being too big. The family room is quite cozy - we can all watch something together, play some Wii bowling, or do our own thing, but still be together. It's also one of the warmer rooms in the house. There are still plenty of boxes to deal with (in the crawl space and the garage), but that's okay. We're here and it's good.

Oh, and the almost $400 utility bills which lit a fire under us last year to begin this venture? HALF of what they were at the old house!! And we're warm. And comfortable. What an enormous blessing!

Want a strange little blast from the past? (Unless, of course, you're too young to remember.) Check out Robin's post. I don't want to give anything away, but do these lyrics ring a bell for anyone?

"...Singin' and jinglin' a jangle
Floatin' like the heavens above..."

I just don't think there's anything that can follow Darrell & Toni. LOL!! That will be the end of today's rambling meanderings. Hope you enjoyed this odd little journey with me.

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