Tag Archive: school

Thanksgiving – Already?

It’s hard to believe that another year is nearly gone, Christmas is almost here again, and Thanksgiving is this week. Where does the time go? It went into all kinds of things, for some of which I’m even grateful! Please note: this list is hardly exhaustive.

  • physical therapy – I started the year with appointments, had several months off, and now I’m back with more
  • bathroom floor – mine needed replacing. It was definitely a learning process, but I’m happy with the result!
  • Jacob graduated from college with honors.
  • Jacob and Elizabeth moved to WA. I’m definitely glad to get that stinky brother of mine further away… not, but I am glad he found a job.
  • Shelah got a new job as one of Salon 124’s stylists. She does good work!
  • Stephanie was inducted to Phi Theta Kappa, just like three of her older siblings.
  • We had a tie-dye party!
  • Rach, Shelah, Stephanie, Carey, and I hung out for a day in the Sisters area. That was a lot of fun!
  • Kimbelry and Kalyn won Awana trophies!
  • Mom got new kitties. They are cute, little stinkers who think inside is great, but given that some of us are allergic to cat hair, and that nobody likes the smell of used litter box, they are having to get used to their originally intended, outdoors lifestyle.
  • Carey started grad school, is getting A’s, passed the licensing tests, and is loving student teaching.
  • Kimberly loves her swing that we put up in an oak tree.
  • Kalyn has been learning the 4H market lamb ropes.
  • The chickens are (mostly) staying in their pen, thanks to a lot of hard work.
  • When I look out of my window, rather than seeing a nasty amalgamation of mud, weeds, trash, and chicken mess (it bore a resemblance to a neglected dump – yuck, yuck), I see Kimberly’s swing, Kalyn’s fort, and a lawn coming up. It’s AMAZING! Not only is it looking good, it feels good, especially because it was a group effort. Let me share just a few examples. Mom and I earned blisters getting Kimberly’s swing up; Kalyn, Stephanie, and I had fun times learning about teamwork while trying to lash together a framework of filbert poles to make a fort; Mom, Shelah, and I got facefulls of things we don’t want think about during the chicken run remodel; Carey’s close encounter with a hornet while helping fill the woodshed I built led to a new dance craze, the Weekly Shriekly (j/k! – she did shriek and dance thanks to the pain, but we ran to help rather than imitate); Rach, who came down and spent several days in order to help, was brilliant and built a device we could drag behind the four wheeler to smooth out the lumps left by tilling; Kimberly kept us all entertained by looking up bagpipe videos on YouTube; and Stephanie did some research to find grass that grows well in shade. It was a great team effort and makes me grateful not only for the beautiful space developing, but also for my family!

Not The Easiest Week

The last few days have been… er… interesting.

My brother is moving, somewhat unexpectedly, from 25 minutes away to more like 4 hours. He’s been frantically packing and prepping.  Several of us have been over at one time or another helping paint the house.

One of my sisters took a road trip and had another sister watch her puppy dogs. On the way to the dogs, that sister had car trouble. There was something with a fuel line and shredded tire. The fuel line caused problems on her way home, too, which meant gas went on the ground instead of her tank, two other family members ran to her rescue, and there was an attempt to hitch the van to a trailer to haul sheep for shearing that gave the van a dent. Oh, and one of the dogs? She might have ringworm. My sister tells me that the canine version isn’t terribly easy to catch as a human, but it’s a definite possibility. Guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.

An outdoor rave was thrown a few miles away. I can’t imagine what it was like for closer neighbors. We and others miles from it had no trouble hearing the bass and even vocals at times. That’s not at all normal for where I live. Noisy stuff is usually somebody’s power tool, tractor, or motorcycle. Something about the “festival” felt icky and strange. No neighbors received notification of a festival being held nearby, which I understand is common practice for large events. Seeing rescue vehicles held up at the gates instead of being allowed into the area (ambulance summoning usually implies emergent need) and hearing reports of drug usage and inappropriate defecations didn’t make me or the rest of my family feel any better, either.

I’ve had some stress from work. I also managed to acquire more blisters, scratches, and bruises from working outside over the weekend than I’d probably had in the last couple of years altogether.

My roommate’s summer work scramble has been stressful, and her homework load hasn’t been easy, either.

Another sister just had to treat her head for lice!

One of the dogs caught a chicken and yanked a bunch of her feathers. I don’t know that the hen took any more damage than feather loss, but I don’t think she wanted a summer do.

Little Miss Tire Troubled wasn’t done with her car woes, either. She went out last night to find a different tire had gone flat.

It’s County Fair week. Baking has had to be done; animals have had to be prepped; plants have had to be hauled. It’s a massive undertaking. I think this year three of my sisters are entering lambs, chickens, a bunny, baked goods, table setting, plants, fabric arts, and I don’t know what else. It takes multiple trips just to haul it all into the fair.

We (mostly my mother, a sister, and myself) worked outside. We hung a swing from a tree (the interesting part about that was cutting down the old tire to provide the tree limb with some protection), put a chicken wire top on the chicken’s run (we’re very done with them flying out, and they would not have been out for the dog to chase if the door had been properly shut), tilled a good sized patch preparatory to planting it with grass next fall, weeded (thistles – guess where some of my scratches came from?), removed the limbs from several felled trees, started cutting those trees down into firewood (need to figure out where we’re going to store the wood, but at least we got the downed trees off the fence), hauled rocks and sticks and other junk out of the area to be tilled, burned all of the excess wood and the (nasty) weeds, and did other random cleanup chores. We managed to do laundry, feed folks, and all the normal stuff. Mom even worked in crewing for her hot air balloon buddies early a  couple of those mornings.

It’s just been a crazy, busy, tumultuous week. Good stuff, hard stuff, weird stuff – all tumbled together and wearing us down until we were out of resiliency. No more rubber, no bounce back, gone was the elasticity! The lice last night were about the last straw. I had a moment where I thought one of my sisters was playing a joke in very poor taste, but no. True story. I poked my nose in to say hi and see how she was doing. The poor kid was combing the lice out of her hair, exuding something of the same horrified disbelief that I was feeling, that “How did this happen? What’s going to happen next?” She said, “I’m just trying to remember to be anxious for nothing.” She’s right. She’s exactly right.

Philippians 4:6

New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

My Poor, Neglected Blog

I have neglected it for the past few weeks. What can I say? The poor thing’s had to endure my silence. It has been a busy couple of weeks. First part of this week I spent either sick or with my back tweaked again. I’m not certain which, though I’m leaning toward sick. Then again, it could have been both, ’cause that would be, like, so much fun, right? 😛

Last week, I graduated from physical therapy. They sent me off with an injunction to continue my exercises at home. I was doing that and possibly being a little too diligent at the beginning of this week. My back complained, the cranky, ol’ thing. Really, it is much better, and it’s amazing what a difference that makes in my day to day activities. It’s amazing how much more energy I have and how much more motivated I am to do things!

Another thing that has changed in the last month or so is Carey starting grad school. She’s working hard, and she’s really doing well. I’m very proud of what she’s already accomplished. Before she started, I knew that it would change her life up a lot. I knew most of her world would be occupied with work and school, because when a person is working and going to school, that’s what tends to happen. I did that not so long ago. If I wasn’t working, I was probably doing homework or in a class, and if I wasn’t doing any of that, chances were very good I was thinking about one of them. I knew she’d be fairly preoccupied, and that there would be consequences. She definitely plays less WoW these days, and her homework has cut deeply into watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, among other things. Facebook sees less of her, too, I suspect.

What I didn’t think too much about was how my life would be changed by Carey’s school adventures. I did figure I’d end up with a few more of the household chores, and I knew I’d have to respect her need for time to study, but I definitely underestimated the impact on my schedule. After all, I’m not the one attending. I might not be sitting in her classes and doing all her homework, but I am involved. One thing neither of us appreciated was that it’s been a decade since Carey attended college, and the changes technology has made to the college experience. Online classes are a sometimes wonderful and somewhat confusing new experience for her! The sheer amount of access she’s got online (class, library, etc.) has been overwhelming at times, and I’ve been the lifeboat for some of it. Another difference was that she didn’t work much ten years ago, and she’s needed some help juggling her schedule. I have also assisted her with figuring out what assignments to do when, helped interpret instructions for her, proofread some of her work, shown her how to streamline some of her work, and so on. I guess what I’ve been doing is teaching Carey how to go to college as an adult. Too bad we couldn’t have started lessons before she actually started classes!

Yet another blind spot was I never considered how I would feel about her school days. If you know me much, you might know that I test as INTP on a Meyers-Briggs personality type indicator. The P is negotiable. It’ll switch to J once in a while, but the T, the Thinker side, is set. I would be a thinker and not a feeler, so it’s pretty common for me to have blind spots regarding my feelings. I kinda forget on a semi-regular basis that I have them, and the feelings I’ve had about Carey and school haven’t been universally pleasant and wonderful. I’m proud of her and happy for her and all that good stuff, but I realized that for myself, I sometimes feel pretty sorry. I could be jealous without much effort, because what she’s learning sounds like fun! It’s all intellectually stimulating and stuff, and I love that kind of thing. I never get too far into my green eyed makeup. It’s really not my thing. I have pretty blue eyes, and the green clashes with too many of my clothes. 😉

What’s been a more serious emotional struggle is that it’s easy for me to start feeling ignored and neglected, and I could get real petty real fast if I slip too far into that. It’s not a good feeling to feel like Carey’s getting to have all the fun while I get – oh joy! – to do the housework and be the good friend and supportive roommate who is invisible behind the mountain of books and assignments. It’s not a good feeling to feel like school stole my best friend. Those kind of feelings, while needing some validation, also need, I think, to be carefully shepherded. They are true, to a degree, or maybe it’s that they’re based in some truth, like the fact that Carey is busier and has less time to spend with me. The temptation with that, though, is to get carried away and start feeling like that means she doesn’t care about me. That school is a year plus commitment for her can serve to reinforce that feeling, because it’s been several weeks, and I know it won’t magically get better next week! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how little voices love to whisper to all those hurt feelings and insecurities and unmet needs in order to inflame and exacerbate them? It can all feel much too true. Fortunately for me, while I never thought about it, Carey knows me well. She doesn’t have a load of free time, but she does make a deliberate effort to engage with me. It does make a difference.

Guess that’s about it for now. I do have some other ideas about posts I’d like to write, but I thought a general update was a good idea for right now. Since it’s been a while and all that, ya’ know?