this past week…

September 4-10, 2017


*Annie’s texts about going out for the “woodsmen team”…seriously, I cannot believe she is doing this…and it cracks me up equally as much as it scares me…


*Back to school day on Tuesday went amazing well for Gray and me. By which I mean, he did little complaining, worked hard, and managed to remain in good spirits. *huge thumbs up*


*The bathroom sink fiasco of Labor Day 2017. Poor Rich. Woke to find our bathroom sink leaking. Thought it might be as simple as replacing a gasket…wrong. Three faucets later (the first two were defective), five trips to Home Depot, and approximately one million curse words later, not to mention $100 poorer, Rich had us hooked up with a working, non-leaking sink again.

*Oh my goodness. Poor Gray. Yeah, after the great first day he had, school took a decided turn for the worse with the start of the online course he’s taking on American Government. We thought an online class would be a good way to ease him into college classes. Oh how wrong I was! *sigh* Their initial assignment just about killed the poor kid. They had to do an “icebreaker” assignment, where they each had to write a post about themselves and why they were taking this class. And it had to be at least 500 words. In general autistic people do not do well with small talk, and Gray is no exception. He gets to the point. He spent 7 hours trying to get up to 500 words. And he still has to do four required responses of at least 125 words each to other’s posts. *more sighs* I’m hoping it will get easier for him when they’re actually discussing the course topics…

Favorite photos:

IMG_2404This sweet little eastern phoebe.


Baby cardinal. Aww, what a cute little fluffball.


*Finished A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold. *finally*  These were truly some of the loveliest natural history writings I’ve ever read. I can see why this is one of Rich’s all-time favorite books. (Thank you, homeschooling, for finally getting me to read it.)

*Finished Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World by Tim Marshall. Started this one earlier in the summer but then had to return it to the library before I’d finished. Was easy to pick up where I’d left off. (It too is for school.) I guess I would say it’s a book about how geography affects international relations. For the most part I enjoyed it, and I definitely learned a lot. But there were moments when the author made me cringe a bit, and moments when I wondered if he wasn’t overstating things. But international relations is not an area where I know much of anything, so it’s hard to judge.

*Started The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell. Also for school. (We’re doing ecology this year.) I’m only about a third of the way in. It’s an enjoyable read; there’s loads of interesting natural history info. The writing, while perfectly adequate, doesn’t enchant me the way some natural history writing does though. (And oh my goodness, is the author fond of metaphor. Sometimes very odd metaphor at that.) But like I said, I am enjoying it overall.


*As far as RIP-reading last week, we finished a reread of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (It was Rich’s and my read aloud together book.) I believe this is the fourth time I’ve read this one (and it’s at least Rich’s fourth time). And I can honestly say, I enjoyed it more this time than ever. Maybe because we were reading it together? I’m sure we’ll probably start The Prisoner of Azkaban this week.

*Also got a few more chapters read in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. This book is so freakin’ good! It’s funny and sad and incredibly informative all at once. And wow, how it’s reinforced my long-held desire to be cremated without a viewing or funeral service.


*The latest episode of Project Runway. I have to agree with who was canned this week–Deyonte’s nightwear was about as frumpy as it could be. As brutal as it must feel to be the one who gets sent home, I’m guessing he must have at least been happy to get to go home in time to see his baby born. I’m so happy that Kenya made it through. She and Samantha are my favorites at this point…though I thoroughly admit that is a likability vote. I don’t feel like I have a good grasp on anyone’s overall talent , so it’s still too early for me to have a true favorite as far as design goes. It’s probably mean for me to say, but omg, do I hope that Claire and Shawn get booted soon…they annoy the bloody crap out of me.


*And for my RIP-viewing, Max and I started rewatching The Walking Dead in preparation for it’s return next month. What can I say, I’m still pretty much obsessed with this show, with these characters. I admit that last season wasn’t my favorite, but rewatching it (for the fourth? time) has me remembering why I love these characters and remembering just how far they’ve come. Max and I had better pick up the pace though; we still have 6 seasons to rewatch before October’s premiere of season 8.

*Rich and I watched The Raven. I’d never even heard of it, but it caught my attention at the library and I grabbed it on impulse. Glad I did! We both really enjoyed it. I’m actually somewhat surprised, as I tend to be leery of putting real people into fictionalized stories. But what can I say, I got thoroughly engrossed into this serial murder mystery with Edgar Allan Poe at it’s center.



*Hexies, hexies, hexies. Still crocheting hexies. While they are the perfect mindless project for tv watching, I will still be happy when I get them all made and can begin the next phase. Hopefully this coming week. Hopefully.



*Gotta admit that the dinner table lacked excitement during this first week back-to-school. Just simple stuff like grilled cheese and salsa pasta. But Saturday, Rich whipped up his first batch of chili for the season, and I was in heaven!


*And Sunday afternoon, I finally decided to show the kitchen a little love and tried out a new recipe. Chai-spiced pound cake from the King Arthur Flour website. Easy recipe and delicious results.



this past week…

May 15-21.


*The school year. This was Rich and Annie’s last week of classes for the spring semester (with this current week being finals week). As has been the case most of this year, I’m frustrated as hell and clueless as to what else to try to make Max actually care about school. He was actually doing fairly well this last quarter, but totally fell apart during this last week. I think it’s a combination of things with him: incredibly poor organizational skills (we’ve tried so many approaches and nothing seems to stick with him), laziness, and the fact that he just doesn’t much care. And Gray and I are still plugging away. He worked a bit over the weekend in an effort to finish the year up early. His school year goes until June 21st, but if he busts his butt he’ll easily start his summer vacation before that.


*Flapjack continues to be happy about the abundant dandelion crop.


*Preserving season has officially begun with the canning of the first two pints of rhubarb jam. I always look to preserving season with about equal parts dread and excitement. It would be entirely excitement if it weren’t for how hard it can be on the damn fibro when there’s a lot to do in any one day/week. Anyway, here’s hoping for a successful growing season and lots of food in the pantry by winter.

*I think I only finished one book. Even with Bout of Books, it’s just been a really slow reading month. Part of the problem (always) is the fact that I have too many books going at once. (Of course this can be really misleading in the opposite direction as well, on those occasions when I finish four or five books over the space of a day or so.) Anyway, I finished Kate Tempest’s poetry collection, Hold Your Own, based on the myth of Tiresias. It was really good.


*Max spent a couple hours at the doctor Wednesday evening. He’s had this respiratory/sinus infection thing going on for what seems like forever. Finally by the end of the weekend, he’s starting to see a wee bit of improvement.


*Thursday was an awesome day for Annie. There was an awards ceremony for all the scholarship winners. (She had won one of the three scholarships awarded from the biology department.) Following the ceremony, there was, according to Annie, one of the best receptions, food-wise, that she’d ever seen. LOL.

This girl kicks ass, I tell you. She also won a biology scholarship from some association of 2-year schools. And she won the highest merit scholarship they award from ESF, where she was accepted into the chemistry program. And earlier she’d won a scholarship from the English department. Four scholarships in three different areas of study–can’t claim she’s not well-rounded.

She got to celebrate a little bit more on Friday when the biology department threw a little reception for the scholarship winners.


* Thursday was an awful day for Gray. He went with Rich to take the placement test so we could get him registered to take an online class at MCC in the fall. Despite his test anxiety, he made it through and did excellently on the test. But during the afternoon, he had a meltdown when Rich wanted to go to Annie’s award ceremony. Autistic meltdowns are hard on us, of course, but nothing compared to how hard they are on him. Rich has found him an isolated table, so he wouldn’t have to interact with any other people, but this wasn’t good enough for Gray. He wanted to wait in the car. But being 93 degrees that day, that was just not going to happen. I’m very proud of him–he eventually managed to pull himself together, he told Rich to go to the ceremony, and sat at the isolated table until Rich got back about half an hour later. Sadly, he sat in a state of near panic, was unable to focus on any schoolwork, and managed to scratch the entire side of his thumb to a raw bloody mess. Life just isn’t easy for this kiddo, but he makes me proud and grateful to be his mom every damn day.


*I cannot even remember the last time, all five of us have been together as much as we were this week. And believe me, we’re treasuring every single instance it happens! Friday night we all went out for pizza, Saturday we all went to Tim Hortons for work session, and Sunday we were all home to eat supper together. Woohoo!

*Tried a new recipe. For homemade French bread. Found it here. So easy to make! Definitely not the most flavorful bread ever, but it got thumbs up all around nonetheless.


*And finally, on a very sad note, Charley seems to have took a turn for the worse again. Refusing to eat, throwing up, just generally not being his happy little self. I’m afraid the vet’s hope for six months was too optimistic. He goes back to see her tonight…


this past week…

May 8-14, 2017. We’re halfway through May?!!

*It was an up-and-down week for Charley, which I suspect most weeks will be from now on due to his kidney disease. Still a battle getting him to eat most days. But he has also seemed to have a little more energy by the end of the week. Also good, the diarrhea seems to have run its course *fingers crossed* and he is sleeping through the night again.

Soaking up some sunshine and some pets from Gray.

*It was Bout of Books 19, which I already posted about. I had a lot of fun with it.

*We have a red squirrel visiting again this year, which makes us very happy. (Rich has a special affinity for them, as he did his PhD work studying their populations in Cherokee National Forest.)

*Annie’s girlfriend flew up for a visit, which obviously made Annie ecstatic. And Rich and I were very happy to get to meet her; she is a total sweetheart! The two of them together–ahh, it just makes my heart happy.

*More garden prep going on. We’re running a behind on getting our cool weather crops in, but considering the hail that pelted down yesterday maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

*The rhubarb is growing quite abundantly this season! WooHoo! Harvested the first this year, and made tart. Because tart is my old standby for fresh rhubarb.

*Made zucchini oatmeal muffins using zucchini frozen from last season’s garden. And tried a new recipe for biscuits. Biscuit boy (aka Gray) voted it a keeper.

*The weather was largely cool and lovely, with highs generally in the 50s. The weekend was slightly warmer. I have a feeling from looking at the forecast that we’re really going to miss that weather this week.

*Mother’s Day was relaxing. We took Amber to the airport. I did a lot of reading. Rich, Gray, and I went for a walk at Mendon Ponds, though Mom called me back while we were there so I spent the entire time on the phone.  The whole gang went out to eat at Monte Alban. Annie gave me a gorgeous mug that I’m completely in love with.

All in all, a pretty good week. I am blessed.