Wednesday, August 30, 2017


It's only 9:30 a.m., and I already need a do-over on this day.  It started early, fighting with Sarah before school.  While Noah was at driver's ed, I had a couple errands to run.  I drove to Dollar Tree and parked before I remembered it doesn't open until 9:00.  So I drove to Kroger, parked, went to get my purse...realized it's in the other car.  I scrounged up all the loose change and emergency bills I could find, and counted a little more than five dollars.  Can't buy much with that, but I went in to see what I could do.  I ended up with enough marked-down items from the produce section that I could turn them into lunch: kale, mushrooms, and beets.  I had to put the apples back because I couldn't afford them.  I was too ashamed to go to the regular checkout lane with all my pennies and dimes, so I went to the U-Scan and fed them into the machine, which took a long time. 

After Noah's class, I decided to make zucchini muffins for breakfast while he started on his English lesson.  I poured hot water into a cookie sheet and put the muffin tin on top of that.  My plan was to bake the crud off the cookie sheet and also to keep the muffins moist while they baked.  I stupidly didn't open the oven door before I got to it with a pan that was stupidly too full of hot water.  I needed Noah to open the oven door but didn't want to disturb his adverb lesson, so I tried to balance the pan and do it myself.  I dropped it and spilled hot water all over myself and the floor.  After I cleaned all that up, the muffins were ready to go in the oven. The recipe said to bake them for 10 minutes.  After 30 minutes, they still weren't firming up, so I scooped them into bowls and told Noah we were having warm zucchini pudding for breakfast. 

The day is still young, so I'm hoping I can start doing things right and redeem the rest of it.

Monday, August 21, 2017


I arrived at the school ten minutes early, like I always do, to pick up Sarah.  I left home in a rush, wearing a big tshirt, flip flops, and shabby black pants covered in cat hair.  My hair was a disheveled mess, and I didn't smell great because I hadn't had a chance to take a shower yet.  I thought, "Good thing I won't see anyone."  You know already that this isn't going to go well, don't you?

The bell rang, and kids started flooding out the doors. I looked at each kid, but I didn't see mine.  After ten minutes, no more kids were emerging.  At first I was annoyed, because it was less than two hours till I had to drive her to gymnastics, and I still had to make dinner.  A few minutes later, all the kids had cleared out, and Sarah was nowhere in sight.  I knew they kept the doors locked and I wouldn't be able to get in and look for her.

I'm an educated person, but as I sat there staring at the locked-up building, I just couldn't think of what to do.  No ideas at all came into my head (in hindsight, I have several).  So I called Mike and said something intelligent like, "I can't find Sarah. What should I do?"  While he was still questioning me, a man in a suit came out of the school.  He looked important.  I hung up on Mike and lunged at Suit Man with my big shirt and cat hair pants flapping in the breeze.  I said something inspired like, "My daughter didn't come out. Can you help me?"  He asked me her name, and when I told him, he said, "I think I remember her being called to the library after school."  He took me to the library, and there she was.  The school had been having trouble getting her ipad set up for the past two days, so she had been called to the library to get it fixed.  She told me that Suit Man is the principal.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Day in the Life

6:23 a.m.--Alarms start going off.  People are getting up, eating breakfast, getting ready for school.
7:30 a.m.--Leaving for school. Praying a blessing over each student in the car.
7:40 a.m.--Dropping off Sarah at the junior high.  She gets out, steps boldly in front of the car in the other lane, and puts her hand up like a traffic cop.  The mom in the other car stops, and we smile at each other about Sarah.
7:45 a.m.--Dropping Noah off at the high school for driver's ed.
8:00 a.m.--Quick trip to Kroger, then settle into my parking spot by the driver's ed door.  I do my morning devotions in the car now.
8:50 a.m.--Noah comes out, and we go to We Care, Inc. to load canned vegetables onto a trailer to take to Community Harvest Food Pantry. 
 10:00 a.m.--Home to work on math, English, biology, Korean, and history.
10:05 a.m.--Noah's friend's dad offered Noah a job at 1:00 today.  He will be helping tear out old flooring and install new hardwood floors.  It's a good opportunity to gain real life skills and earn some money, so I adjust the schedule.  Now we're going to get math and English done before a long P.E. class at 1:00.  Biology, Korean, and history are going on the back burner for now.
I read somewhere that burning bay leaves increases the mental ability to focus.  This is certainly a time when we need to focus on math and English, so we burn a few.  Noah said, "I don't think this is going to help me focus.  It just makes me want to play with the fire."  But I notice that he attacks his math with more focus than usual.
Marty comes along after awhile and eats the charred bay leaves.  Then she sprawls on Noah's math book, so he switches to English (thus learning compassion and adaptability).  He stays focused on it and does a great job. We go over the corrections together, and then he goes back to math, because Marty has moved to the floor.

12:15 p.m.  Lunch break.  Vegan quesadillas, cherries, vegan cookie dough dip.

12:50 p.m.  Taking Noah to his job site.
1:00 p.m.  Scurrying around starting dinner and doing a bunch of little chores that nobody will ever notice: emptying and reloading the dishwasher, emptying the vacuum, cleaning up cat puke, going through the mail, watering the garden, etc.

2:45 p.m.  Time to pick up Sarah, quiz her about her day, and listen to her stories.  Her favorite subjects (for today at least) are science, art, and lunch. 

3:15 p.m.  Homework with Sarah. Petting Shiloh on my lap.

4:00 p.m.  Continuing dinner preparations.  Veggie and rice stir-fry after Mike gets home and before gymnastics.

5:10 p.m.  Taking Sarah to gymnastics.

7:30 p.m.  Home.  Time to relax and all be together.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hiking at Mathiessen State Park

We hiked with friends today.  Mike is on vacation this week, so he got to go too!
 We started at the upper dells.  Noah quickly realized that he didn't wear the right shoes for this treacherous terrain.

 He ended up carrying his shoes and hiking in his socks.

 We stopped near here to have our picnic lunch.
 After lunch, we hiked to the lower dells.
 The kids climbed this slippery rock face and slid down the waterfall.

 Too old for climbing and sliding, we just enjoyed watching the kids and the beautiful scenery.
 Sarah slipped on the slippery rock and cut her chin and inner lip. For some reason, I happened to have a little fist aid kit, so I was able to mop up the blood, disinfect the wound, and bandage it. She washed her shirt when we got home and was glad the blood came out of it.
 I crawled through a cave to take a picture of Noah and Liza in the water.
 The whole gang.
 Sarah and Liza, joined at the elbow, hiking back to the parking lot after a fun day.
I was the only one who brought a change of clothes, and Sarah needed it more than I did, so there she is, dressed like me!