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 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.

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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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amidst the pages, April 2017…

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For me, not a shabby reading month, quantity-wise. Quality-wise, which is obviously the “-wise” that matters, it was pretty stellar.

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

“The Terminal Beach” by J.G. Ballard

“The Heat Death of the Universe” by Pamela Zoline

allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations by David S. Wilcove

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Storm (issues 1-4) by Warren Ellis and Terry Dodson.

Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider by Devin Grayson, J.G. Jones, and Scott Hampton.

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992 by Audre Lorde

Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

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That boils down to 7 novels, 3 comics, 1 non-fiction science/nature, 3 poetry collections, and 2 short stories.

6 by authors/artists of color. At least 3 by LGBTQ authors. (Work harder on diversity, Debra Anne.)

10 by women. 4 by men. 2 by combination.

2 YA.

6 read in part for homeschooling.

6 from library. 2 through Marvel Unlimited. 1 on-line. 7 from my shelves.

11 physical copy. 4 ebook/on screen. 1 audiobook.

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A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver. Utterly adored. She remains a favorite author.

“The Terminal Beach” by J.G. Ballard. Didn’t do much for me. Gray had same opinion.

“Heat Death of the Universe” by Pamela Zoline. Enjoyed this one a lot. Odd. Quirky style. Gray enjoyed this one as well.

allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson. Loved it. Broke my heart. Reminder of how broken our justice system is.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. While I enjoyed this one, I’m not sure I understand the overwhelming hype that surrounded it.

No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations by David S. Wilcove. Unsurprisingly, it was sad. But not without all hope.

Ariel by Sylvia Plath. At the risk of ridicule and shame, I have to admit I didn’t connect with these poems very well. One of those times when I truly felt I wasn’t smart enough to read the book.

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. Heart these books hard. Had a few random thoughts on them here. Gray really enjoyed these too.

Storm by Warren Ellis. First dip of the toes in the overwhelming world of X-Men. Am eager to explore more. Kind of love-at-first-sight with Storm herself.

Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider by Devin Grayson. Didn’t love, though definitely didn’t dislike either. Intrigued enough to want to read more of her story.

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey. Don’t read much of this sort of sci-fi–the space ship, traveling the universe sort. Which I guess is what many people automatically think of when they think of science fiction. Anyway, I was sort of surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, though I can’t claim that I loved it. Anne McCaffrey always make me think of Pat and her love for the Pern books (which I haven’t read), and that makes me smile. Gray did not like this one at all, mostly because of its style.

The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance by Audre Lorde. Wow. This collection, just wow. Some of these poems ripped my heart out. Loved this one hard.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. This book was so much more fun than I’d thought it was going to be. A change your life book–no. But it was fun.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book, yeah, now with this book I totally get the hype. Favorite this month…wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up favorite of the year. Talk about a heart-breaking look at racism in this country. I can’t do this book justice, so I won’t even try. But damn, so worth the read, people.

Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. At the start I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to be for me. By end I was screaming, “More, more, I need more now!”

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