this past week…

May 15-21.

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*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.

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

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*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┬áreally 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.

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*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.

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*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.

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* 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.

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*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.

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*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…

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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. ┬áThe 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.

it’s not a joke…

Really. OCD, not a cute term to describe our somewhat quirky preferences. And here’s a short cartoon that explains why. Please read it.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/10/ocd-isnt-cute/

I do not have OCD. My daughter has OCD. I do not know personally what it feels like physically, emotionally, and mentally to have OCD. I only know of the suffering that OCD can cause from observation and from my daughter’s sharing with me. Yet just a tiny fraction of what I’ve learned┬ásecond-hand is more than enough to know that to trivialize OCD with casual jokes and references to our own odd habits is frankly just cruel.

And no, I don’t believe that people intend to be cruel with these remarks. Of course they don’t. So again, I ask you to please go read that cartoon.

Watch your 3-year-old child be UNABLE┬áto sit through listening to a ten minute reading of a┬ástorybook without having to go check at least two or three times to make sure her closet door is closed, and tell me she isn’t suffering. And that you’re not suffering for her.

Watch your teenage child start spiraling out of control when her OCD meds stop working. Watch her not be able to finish things┬ábecause everything she starts MUST┬ábe finished without pause or she MUST start it over. Not a challenge when you’re talking about, oh brushing your teeth or taking a shower. But those 8-10 papers for lit classes┬áthat have to be started and completed right down to their final draft in one sitting…well, that gets a lot harder. So much work she HAD TO delete because she couldn’t stay awake any longer or she had to go to work or to another class. It’s no wonder she crashed and burned and ended up in a deep depression with serious suicidal thoughts.

She is again doing well, has been for a few years, with new medication and new strategies. She’s such a freakin’ amazing young woman, I tell you. So freakin’ amazing. Yet I will always worry. And I will always hurt for her, and for every other person with OCD, every time I hear someone make light of the true suffering that OCD can cause.

(I should note that I do have her permission, and her blessing, to talk about this.)