__________November 05, 2015__________

Stray Dog & Sickies

Quite frankly, it’s been a really rough couple of days.  I’m starting to feel like I’ve got my head screwed back on, correctly, again, though.  And thank goodness for that!

Did I tell you about K****?  I don’t remember, and K**** has so discombobulated me, lately, I can’t even THINK straight.  In any case, I saw *the* funniest ad for an e-mail penpal.  It was tongue in cheek, and witty and all shades of smart-sarcastic.  And it made me laugh out-right.  It was this guy who’s getting a divorce, and he was just so matter-of-fact about how he may as well start weeding thru the idiots on-line now, trying to find a woman to connect with, because it’ll probably take the duration of his divorce proceedings to find someone with half a brain.  He had this HUGE list of requisites for a woman to write and ‘get to know’:  less than two psych meds, less than three doctors, no drugs or drama, ‘doesn’t have to be beautiful, just don’t have fallen out of the ugly tree and hit ever branch on the way down’, know how to use Google so as not to look stupid, etc.  He said, “Put what the ‘G’ in Roy G. Biv is as your subject line.  If you don’t know, try that whole Google thing.”

Anyhow, I liked the ad so much that I shot off an e-mail, saying that he really made my day with that one, and that while I wasn’t really *responding* (and did NOT meet his ‘qualifications’ as penpal), I just wanted to thank him for the laugh.  Anyhow, he wrote back, and wrote back and wrote b… and wrote, and wrotewrotewrote.  K**** writes a LOT.  And he’s an insanely huge MESS.  His story… I can’t even keep up with it.  Involving medications, psychiatric hospitals, his wife’s affairs, mental breakdowns, police reports, disabled children, missing persons ads, crazy runaway trysts, homeless shelters, disability claims and more.  Like a bad red-neck soap opera I wish I hadn’t come upon.  I don’t know how to even RESPOND to any of that!!

And he’s SO *SO* grateful to have someone to talk to, and really needs my advice and encouragement (so that makes me feel guilty for even THINKING of ditching him, because maybe I was put in his life to be a help…?  How do I know?!) although he got two other replies to the ad, one of which is a friend of his wife’s sister, so he’s thinking she might be a good hook-up and listening ear.  (I’m thinking she’s going to take everything he says on-line back to his wife!)  The other woman who responded?  He’s decided (as of this morning) that he’s got *feelings* for her, and wants my advice.  Good gravy!!  It’s been less than a WEEK since he posted the e-mail ad!  I haven’t ANYTHING to say to that…!!!!

Anyhow, so yeah.  By yesterday afternoon, I just had to get the heck OUT of here, away from this machine (and K****).  In fact, the very thought of e-mail had me balking.  Sorry!  I just needed a SERIOUS break.  So I took the kids on a walk up to Seidman Park, for a hike.  Not my best idea: what with Isaac illin’, Ethan hacking up a lung, and Lydia got my guy’s pink eye.  We were a whiny, miserable, motley crew.

Raking was kind of a follow-up attempt at escapism, but mostly it just cleaned up the yard.  Anyhow, we ended up doing some school reading and then I let the kids stay up late and watch ’84 Charing Cross Road’ with me.  It’s a book I read a long time ago, and I’d wanted to see the film version of it.  It was every bit as good as the movie – which I was concerned about.  The book (a true story) is about an American woman during WWII who writes to a bookshop in London to try to get hard to find antiquated books.  She strikes up a correspondence with a very dry, proper associate named Frank, and ends up befriending everyone in the shop, and then his wife, t’boot.  She’s snarky and saucy, but she sends them meat during the rationing time, and… well, I was worried Hollywood would make it into a romance (it isn’t – in fact, they never actually meet, in the 20 years they correspond!), but thankfully that didn’t happen.

But it was SO good… Helene’s personality came out, just like in the book… and the kids fell in love with the friendships between everyone… and all because of a love of books and correspondence.  Lydia kept saying, “She’s SO much like you, Mom!”  Even when Helene squealed on the bus.  Lydia laughed out loud and was pointing at me.  So funny.  Apparently I act like the demographic of women born in the 1930s.  Kinda knew that.

Oh, I know what was funny!  Helene was completely irritated by William Blake (the poet).  We ALL busted up laughing, because our artwork this week is ‘Laocoon and his Sons’ – which William Blake said was a ‘cheap imitation of ancient Jewish art depicting Yehovah and His two sons, Satan and Adam’.  I. WENT. POSTAL on Blake’s hiney, during our art lesson, for that!  First, no Jew would *ever* make a graven image of Elohim.  Second, Satan is a spiritual being and Adam a physical one – they are NOT brothers, in any sense.  And then last night, on our TV screen days later, Helene was utterly offended at his claim to have seen the prophet Ezekiel appear to him in his childhood.  She declared his mother should’ve given him a sound thrashing.  I was on the sofa, vehemently agreeing.  She’s cut of my cloth!

Anyhow!  I’m feeling better about things, today.  Have been absolutely CR-azy, on-line, trying to locate homeschool resources for a specific history curricula that… apparently everyone else has piddled out on, and never made it as far as we have?  I don’t know.  So I’m re-inventing the wheel, making up my own activities and resources, and then *attempting* to share them.  After all, if I’ve done the work, why make someone else do it all over again?  I know a lot of homeschool moms charge $$ for their stuff, but we’re a poor lot, out here.  I couldn’t do that to people.  I’ve actually been assembling free resources for homeschoolers for a very long time, now.  My stash averages 350+ downloads per month, so that’s good, right?

I found a HUGE mess, this morning.  A list of links that I thought was complete on my site was NOT linked to anything at all – so I spent an inordinate amount of time looking up and linking all of the stuff on the list.  Then I realized that the list – while important as a citing of resources – was far less useful then the file I put together of all of those things on the list.  Instead of looking up all the links, I could just share my document, and save people having to create their own document.  So I did that, too.  It’s a LOT!  For the record.  Took too much of my little free time, today.  But it made for a great activity for people to grab for Lesson 37.

Well, tonight was a little crazy, but nothing too terrible.  Ethan (today) also got the pink eye.  I don’t EVEN want to talk about it – **I’M SURROUNDED BY A BUNCH OF SICKIES!!!!!** – but it was swim class for the littler two boys.  (The older two boys’ class got cancelled, the younger two still have lessons.)  I couldn’t take Isaac (dramatically dying of his cold) or Ethan and Lydia (the Squint Twins)… so my plan was – and I *always* have a plan – to drop my guy and the two swim boys off at the pool, and let the three bigger kids play game-boys in the truck, while I went and did the grocery shopping.  Then we’d pick the others up and go to supper.

A few things:  First, one of the activities I came up with (for lesson 38 – this one on the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70) was to make ‘busted up bricks’ Chex mix.  See, Messiah said that not one brick would be left upon another when the second temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed.  And what happened was that everything inside the temple was gilded with gold.  So when it burned, it got so hot, the gold became molten, and flowed into the very cracks of the bricks.  This is why it was disassembled… to get the gold out of all the bricks!  Making Chex mix means coating ‘brick’ shaped bits with all sorts of wonderful things (chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, etc)… and of course, the mix I chose even looks like ashy rubble!  [http://www.chex.com/recipes/chocolate-coffee-toffee-chex-mix/7c21697c-0e5b-42ff-a8e0-32735d0a55f5]  Fun, and tasty… and a good illustration, too.  Except Lydia has braces, so we’re replacing the toffee with dried cherries and blueberries.  Should be just as good.

Grocery shopping was tricky.  Usually I have people along to help push the second cart (yes, we fill two carts, because I only shop once every three weeks), and usually there are people to unload onto the conveyor while I pack up at the end with the cashier… but this time it was just me.  They were very nice about letting me fill my first cart, and parking it out of the way, and finishing my shopping with a second cart.  A lady worker even pushed one out to the truck for me.  It went alright, considering.  And I finished all of this just in time to go get the guys!

Anyhow, only three e-mails from K****, today.  ((shaking head))  I think he’s lonely and kind of needy… but nice.  Mostly.  A little like a stray dog, which wasn’t what I had expected, but… he’s pretty nice, I guess.  Under the drama.  He’s talked me into a weight-loss challenge, and that’s something I *really* need.  (He needs it more than I do – he’s 400+ lbs.)  But maybe he was put in my life because he needs this.  Or because I needed someone to compete against.  I don’t know.  I just don’t want to write off something that might be beneficial, y’know?  I just don’t want to e-mail that much!!!  Once a day is my limit!

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