__________November 16, 2015__________

Utterly Unexpected

Today was one of those days where you thought you knew exactly what would happen (and didn’t look forward to it, at all), but then a crazy whim sweeps you completely off course and everything turned on it’s head, but in a really good way.  D’ja ever have one of those?  They’re amazing days.

I should back up, though.  I was going to tell you about ‘The Martian’.  It was a great movie, except that a) I have a bad cough and b) gave birth to five nine pound babies.  This means that even if I peed six seconds ago, if a coughing fit hits me, my body will instantaneously make more pee to help me have an accident with (unless I cross my legs, which… theatre seating…?)   I know – it’s utterly unspeakable, but I have no filter.  [[[[*MORTIFYING!*]]]]  Anyhow, did you know that movie is something like half a DAY long?  It is.  Two hours, twenty-four minutes.  And about halfway thru, my bladder was kinda getting full-er-ish.  Which would be no problem, if it weren’t for the fact that I *really* had to cough.  I was managing to hold it back, but it was VASTLY uncomfortable, and when we hit the time that a normal movie would be ending, my body was SCR-eaming for a total purge – of chest congestion and urine, at the same time.  I was pretty much done with focusing on the movie, and had to RUN.

Other than this, it was a great film.  My kids absolutely LOVED every minute of it (and I’d been concerned that it might not hold their attention!).  No, they all were glued to it.  As for me, I was up at 4-something this morning looking at the trivia and goofs on IMDB (<< love doing that).  I learned SO MUCH from reading those two sections.  It was fascinating.  And quite honestly, I really would like to read the book, now.  I hear it’s worlds away BETTER, which is pretty hard to imagine!

The only thing I didn’t like was Watney using hexidecimal to communicate.  Yes, 16 characters is better than 26 (the alphabet), but wouldn’t decimal be even better, with only ten characters?  I was just looking at this table [http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JQ5kGwRMHzI/UHN4DhWgpKI/AAAAAAAAACw/v1cX5qZmubA/s1600/Ascii_Table-nocolor.svg.png] and it seems to me that decimal is less complicated than hexi.  I don’t know… honestly the closest I come to hexidecimal is when I mess with the colors on my blog – I use hex codes in the HTML/CSS formatting.  But anyhow.

We had supper at Burger King, and it was THE weirdest thing… the girl who waited on us came out and asked us how we were doing (?!) and I took the opportunity to do what I *always* do at a time like that – gripe about TVs in fast food restaurants and the demise of society.  Which she was delighted with, odd little 19yo chick.  She was so excited when I told her we’ve been TV-free for 19 years.  And with five kids, she guessed, “You guys homeschool, don’t you?”  Yes…  “You’re religious?”  That was a trick question, because everyone assumes that ‘religious’ means ‘Christian’, and we’re NOT.  “So… what are you?”  Which is *another* trick question, but our answer just made her even happier, weirdly.  She had a MILLION questions for us, but had to get back to work at the counter, so I moseyed up there after we were done, and made sure I answered what she wanted to know.

Turns out, she ‘collects’ characters (?!) and we qualified.  What the heck?!  Yeah… she pointed at another table, and said, “See those two guys?  They come in every Saturday night.  The short one does all the talking at the counter, because the tall one only speaks French.”  Anyhow, it’s not often you meet young folk who are so alert/aware, and so curious.  She was… okay, a little aggressive for my taste, but it was interesting!

NoTe:  Large families with no TV are *NOT* the norm for homeschoolers, these days.  The denim jumpers, long hair, oddball families is the antiquated version of homeschooling, and we’re rare, nowadays.  Mostly homeschoolers are latte drinking, tall boot wearing, gossipy women who teach twaddle by way of laptops and tablets and LOTS of screen time with the TV set.  They average 2-3 kids and say ‘For Reals’ every other reply.  YES, they’re christian, and YES, they look down on anyone who’s not.  Which would be me and my backwards little ways.  Tangent, sorry!!

Long story short, we got all of the little things we needed for our backpacks at Wal-mart after that… we really brainstormed the heck out of it.  Since the stroller is gone from the back of my car, I wanted each person to have a backpack with stuff that they might need in it.  But we wanted to add ‘extras’, too.  So we went shopping!   We have sanitizer, bandages, Neosporin, P-38, matchbooks, a giant paperclip, a large safety pin, a carabiner, a small tube of bug spray, a small tube of sunscreen, a plastic raincoat, a space blanket, a granola bar… a crank-charge flashlight… I can’t think.  Oh, a burned out gift card with duct tape wound around (about seven foot, each, I think).  I still need to get a five and five ones for each person. But if you have any additional suggestions, I’m open to them.  The more the better, no?  And we haven’t even gotten to the clothing part (although it’s going to be socks, underthings, sweats, swimsuit, a heavier pullover, gloves, and a hat, I think.  Oh, and the towel.)

We assembled the non-clothing pack in the front, today.  Got everyone labeled and arranged as far as we could, so there’s that.  And then I needed a serious break.  I’m regressing, I swear it.  But as Brian flopped on one sofa and I crashed on the other (well, loveseat)… I was looking at Lydia’s piano.  (Brian’s great-grandma was 100 when she insisted we inherit it, since I’m the only one in the family who can play, and I had just found out I was having a baby girl, when she started failing and shortly after passed on.)  They brought it to Michigan on a horse-drawn wagon in 1908, so how could I say no?!  Anyhow, it’s a beautiful upright grand – the wood looks almost tiger-striped! – and has a claw-foot stool, so it’s WORTH having.  So yes, I have TWO pianos in our house.

On top of it has been (for YEARS now), my scrapbook collection.  Except I’ve outgrown it a long time ago.  I’m on book… 29 now?  I’m not sure.  It used to be a book a year, but after Aaron (8) was born, we’re now at about a book every six months.  And I combine photos on prints and chop things down as much as I can, too!  We just… do to many things with too many children involved!

Anyhow, so I thought I might look for a new bookshelf for the scrapbooks.  Off to Craigslist – is there any better place, I ask you!?  🙂  And I found one!!  It’s six foot by 30″ wide, and STURDY – not that cheap Sauder press-board crap.  And they only wanted $30 for it – so we called and said, “We’re coming!!” and drove into Kentwood to pick it up.  Beautiful shape.  Very sturdy unit.  So I was really, really happy.

So this afternoon we spent redoing the living room (instead of leveling a spot and laying cement block bricks as walls for our new/moved compost bin, which I desperately NEED, but… who wants to do that?).  You should SEE the difference!  It’s SO nice – everything has been freed up.  The piles under the piano (and there were PILES under it) are gone, it’s so beautiful…!

Then the kids went out and picked up and put away their whole in-the-woods set-up for the winter, while my guy took stuff downstairs for us and they all tended critters.  (Mama gets Saturdays and Sundays off!!)  I got to dust and deal with the bookshelf mess in living room, though.

But no compost bin.  S’okay… I can keep throwing the scraps in the now-dead garden, for a while, yet, I guess.  I’d rather have things in hand inside, anyhow – it’s RARE that my guy pitches in and does stuff, in here.  But he fixed my vacuum (the part came!), fixed Aaron’s cracked-phone, helped me with bone broth (I’m trying my hand at making BONE broth!  It’s very exciting, and I’m told it smells SOOOO good… but my sniffer’s on the fritz, so who knows).  And he helped me hang the new curtains… although I need to crochet tie-backs for them, I think.  It’s a quickie project – mostly a matter of finding wine colored yarn.  Later.  When I’m motivated.

So yeah!  It was a wonderful day.  Would’ve been better if I weren’t 80% deafened and utterly congested, but one cannot ask for the world, you know.  And maybe the bone broth will do the trick, no?

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