Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pardon Me While I Fangirl

I got tickets to Glee Live!
I got tickets to Glee Live!
I got tickets to Glee Live!
I got tickets to Glee Live!
I got tickets to Glee Live!
I got tickets to Glee Live!

At first, I was too embarrassed to go, thinking I was going to be one of the few moms actually there, let alone of my age. Then I read an awesome fan report about the Philly show. The person talked about how all sorts of people where there, people of all ages, genders, clothing styles, etc. She gave me the courage to check for tickets.

I seriously had no expectations. The show I wanted was next week and tickets had gone on sale a long time ago. I thought for sure it would be sold out. It wasn't! And the seats I got? Pretty darned awesome. Not perfect, but not bad from what I've heard on tumbler and what I saw of the venue lay-out.

I'm taking my son with me of course. He's a gleek, but not as die-hard as me. Seems he's a bit embarrassed to go with mom, not that he has a choice. He plans on yelling out to the Warblers and Darren Criss, "My mom loves you!" LOL!

And to relate this to homeschooling, I'm counting it as Musicals, Music History, and Music Appreciation, and Classic/Awesome TV & Movies since Glee, naturally is a TV show.

If you go to Glee Live and see a homeschool mom flailing about like a little fangirl, come say "hi" 'cause that's probably me. LOL!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boarding School at Home, Part 3: How It's Supposed to Work & the Why

Why boarding-school-at-home? I already touched on many of the points in Part 1: the Catalyst, but it doesn't hurt to expand a little bit. I think the main reasons is that I need more order in our homeschool, more discipline in K's life, & more structure, which I guess is another way of saying order, in my life too. Discipline for K, obviously, being the main one.

By discipline, I don't mean beating the kid with a stick or having him answer with, "Yes, sir!" and "No, ma'am!" As I've said earlier, I need him to take me and schooling more seriously. Having a more structured environment where Mom is in control is a way of encouraging such a mindset, enforcing the rules & that school must take priority.

For those that don't know me, our homeschool has always been very loose & carefree. We're not unschoolers, but we're not school-at-homer's either. We school on the couch mostly, have no set schedule unless it's an activity day or have some place to be, laugh a lot, live in our pjs, try to school as many subjects as we can, but honestly, a lot has fallen to the way-side as we keep being forced into long breaks such as with the plumbing disaster & Thanksgiving. It's been this way for 7 years and while it has it's downsides, it'd been working up until K turned 13.

Again, K is an amazing kid. The best child you could ever hope for. He's the reason we stopped at one. We got the cool, crazy kid on the first try, the perfect fit for our family. But also again, the hormones have kicked in. We're nipping the attitude in the bud now before it becomes an even bigger problem. We've seen adults who grew up to be egotistical jerks because their parents let them run all over them & we don't want that for K. We want him to remain awesome. We also want to instill in him the personal discipline he'll need to make it in law or whatever profession ends up driving his heart.

Does that make sense?

So it's become a "the old way isn't working anymore, let's try the opposite" kind of thing. Hence, going from a very easy-going lifestyle to a boarding-school-at-home one.

How boarding-school-at-home is supposed to work. Emphasis on the supposed.

1. His room is a dorm room. As part of his grounding, it's not supposed to have any video games in it. Ditto for boarding-school-at-home. However, to be honest, there really is no other spot for them. So, games will be allowed in his room, but no game players.

In addition to removing "nearly everything he loves" from his room, I've also been helping him to give it a thorough dejunking, cleaning, rearranging, installing new organizers, even buying him new bedding & a new lamp. In essence, transforming it into a dorm room of sorts. His bureau is for undergarments & off-hours clothing. His closet, complete with two 6 pocket hanging organizers & hangers for ties & slacks, is where his uniforms are kept. There is no confusing which garments are for which times. (Trust me, he tried to get away with such early on, & stopped when it didn't work.)

We're not 100% done with the room, but a huge amount has been accomplished.

2. The uniform means it's time for school & gives me more parental control. The uniform stays on until schooling is done for the day. If he drags it out till 3 in the morning, then guess what? The tie stays on. Math is the subject he dawdles at the most. We're talking 2 hours to do a simple math lesson & nagging doesn't work. What is working is being in uniform. Doesn't work all the time of course, but for the most part, yeah, it's going according to plan. The kid is in uniform, I'm in uniform, and that means school is on.

Now people may call me an ass for this, & maybe I am, but the uniform is another way of showing that Mom is in control. She controls what he, the student, the sassy 13 yr old, is allowed to wear. The kid may have gotten a say in colors & some uniform pieces (he loves his gym uniform,) but there is no wearing of video game T-shirts or pjs during school time. I say when it's a shirt & tie day. I say when it's a polo shirt day. I say when it's a "I'm exhausted, you're sick, let's just have a pj day."

On a tangent note, the boarding school I looked into actually didn't have a uniform. They had a strict dress code, but no required uniforms. Personally, I figured if I was going to be paying that much in tution & fees, then there should be a frelling uniform rather than a
"look at stores like Lands End as examples of what is acceptable" dress code.

3. Is there a schedule? Right now, no there's not. We've never been good with schedules. Before the plumbing disaster & grandpa's funeral, I did have a lovely color-coded chart full of subjects that needed to get done based on their color-coded priority. We still haven't worked back up to that yet. We still haven't worked up to a full subject load again either.

There's still those problems of K's room not being finished & all the areas damaged by water in the basement dejunked & repaired. We can't keep paying a $90 for a storage unit. We can't keep having water leaking in through a poorly boarded up window, nor carpet that had been soaked by the Christmas of Poo. So, I've given myself till the fall for such to happen. For his room to be done & for enough of the basement to be cleared out & repaired so that we haul back what we've had to place in storage. K's still has a lot of schooling, it's just not as much as he needs if he's going to graduate 2 years ahead of regular schoolers.

I guess you could say that the day runs like this right now: I wake up first, have my coffee, go online, get into my Teacher Mom uniform, do laundry (there is always laundry to be done,) and a few other things at the same time. Then I wake K up, let him have 1/2 hr to an hour to have his breakfast & get some free-reading in (he's currently obsessed with the Redwall series & just finished all the Percy Jackson books.) Then I tell him what the uniform of the day is, have him get dressed, and we start school. There's a few breaks, of course, but he schools until he's done & then is allowed into his jammies. If he were to get done before midnight, of course he'd be allowed in regular clothes, but that hasn't happened yet. And to be honest, he LOVES his gym uniform so much that he's maybe worn non-uniform clothing only once or twice since this all began.

I hope this made sense. I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out, so please feel free to ask away. Just no bashing. I don't say your way of parenting is bad, so don't say mine is. It's something new that I'm trying. It may not work. We may only need to keep this up for a year or just a few more months. However, it is working for us. Hub & I are seeing a difference in K's attitude. To each his own and for us, at this point in our lives, it's boarding-school-at-home.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Updated! Boarding School at Home, Part 2: Uniform Pics, Description, & Evolution

Just some quick pics and graphics for now. There's the Summer Uniform Guide (Requirement,) K and I in said Summer uniform (yes, Teacher Mom gets one too,) and a Winter Uniform Guide where the teenager will be required to wear what I jokingly refer to as "the Full Dalton."

Update: Here's a bit about the uniforms themselves & the progression of them.

Before I became completely obsessed with the idea of uniforms for boarding-school-at-home, I knew I wanted shirt & tie days as a punishment. In fact, I remember the PMS-clouded day when I went to Sears, Target, & Wal-mart on my own searching for short sleeved shirts & non-ugly ties. I was nice though, and picked up some cool, casual plaid summer shirts. Honestly, I could've come home with heavy Oxfords, but didn't. I also could have come home with some fugly shirts because trust me, the majority were.

And that's what it all started off as: shirt, tie, & whatever the hell you want to wear as bottoms. K hated those days. He still gets grumpy about them, but I think he's finally resigned himself to the fact that he's going to have to wear a shirt & tie at least a few days a week and that he'll be doing "the full Dalton" come cooler weather.

In order to figure out what could work as uniform pieces from his current wardrobe & to weed out too small clothes to give to a friend of ours, K & I went through every last scrap of clothing he owned. He ended up with Men's-sized shorts that were too big even though they'd fit him just a month prior, a few pairs of jeans (he hates jeans, but we'd bought him some anyway during the short shopping trip,) a few undergarments, a ton of socks, and a ton of gaming, homeschooling, & cool sayings T-shirts. Everything else was too big (I'd panicked during his Winter growth spurt & apparently started buying Men's size large) or too small.

Gasping at the cost of Land's End's clothes considering how much the basement Mural/Pantry Room remodel had just cost us and because the kid was in desperate need of shorts, we first went shopping locally. That's how K ended up with plaid shorts that you see in the Uniform Guide. Ditto for the polo shirt colors. Sears had them on sale for $9.99 which beats $25 Land's End shirts. Not that we won't be buying a ton of Land's End stuff. It's just when you need clothes NOW, you're going to take what you can get & what fits. And that's hard since K is in between Men's & boy's sizes. When we did place a small LE order, 1/2 had to go back as it was for being too small despite going by their sizing guide. And goodness forbid that Sears actually carry the larger Lands End uniform sizes. (They don't, we asked.)

Grammar tense change warning since I wrote this little bit before I wrote the above stuff: It's frelling hot & humid where we live during the summer, so there was no way I can bring myself to making the kid wear slacks during the summer. I have them listed in the uniform guide only as an option. He tends to be colder than hub and I.

Color Choices: Oh boy, has there been a debate about colors in our home! I also think Lands End is now refusing to send us any more fabric samples because the ones for the ties still hasn't come in. I knew I wanted navy blue. K likes blue. Hell, we all do. Navy blue pants are certainly easier to keep clean, the Hopsack blazer (the LE blazer you see pictured in the guide) only comes in navy, and damn if Kurt didn't look all sorts of adorable wearing the navy blue cardigan as part of his Dalton Academy uniform. (That's also why the cardigan is a must for K's uniform. He'll look just as adorable & damn it, I want one too. Okay? LOL!)

K also loves dark teal, medium/soft blues, and colors in between. So, I figure, what's the harm in adding those colors in if we find them? His bedroom is full of those colors as well. (Get the whole boarding-school-at-home vibe here?)

It's the accent color that's given us so much trouble. Hub hates green as he doesn't think it and blue go together & he has flashbacks from parochial school. K was rooting for red. (I threatened him then with a Dalton tie & he threatened back that it would be against the Geneva Convention. LOL!) I liked yellow and burgundy, but was voted down by both hub & K. Hub also hated red. I got K & hub to settle for green because even though the majority of Lands End uniform warmer tops have only evergreen (dark green) as a choice (aside from their other standard colors,) they have polos in a lighter shade.

The "official" boarding-school-at-home tie is in the shade/pattern "clear blue plaid." You can find it here:

I liked this choice because it gives us the freedom to add different colors to the uniform in later years. (Yes, later years. I have a feeling we'll be doing uniforms clear through high school.) We have other blue patterned ties & those are fine to wear too. I just like the idea of having an "official" tie. :-)

The shoes for fall/winter are listed in a couple of colors because said color is dependent on what we can actually get later on. We know K will have outgrown his current shoes come fall & that will take him out of the kid sizes. He's already wearing Men's winter boots. The lace-ups are because he's spent nearly his entire life not having to tie his shoes & damn it, he's going to start.

Other parents will understand this. The style of shoes our kids have had are ones with bungee laces or no laces at all/slip-ons. I'm not the only parent with a kid who technically can tie his shoes, but honestly isn't very good at it because he's never had the need to become good at it. So, rather than end up with grown son who can't tie his own damn shoes, I'll be requiring lace-up, tieable shoes come the fall. The exception might be sneakers because LE currently has some really cool ones in blue. (They're pictured in the guide.)

The Oxford shirt color, French Blue, was chosen by K and I'm fine with it. It's a good choice as it will hide stains better. White is there as an option only because we always keep a white dress shirt around for funerals.

So why the more formal uniform come fall? There are a few reasons. I'll bullet point them.

  1. I just like the more formal look, the one I love to call "the full Dalton."
  2. K is always complaining that we keep the house too cold in both summer & winter. Neither hub nor I can tolerate the heat, yes, even in winter, and I'm honestly quite tired & pissed at having to nag the kid to put on a damn pull-over. So, now one will be required. He's cold? Well, he can wear a sweater or sweater vest under that blazer or cardigan. If it's a polo shirt day, he has this awesome looking Shawl-Collar Pullover as one of many other extra-layer warmth options:
  3. I think a more formal uniform will reenforce the "school is to be taken seriously and so is mom" idea that I'm trying to install. I can't bring myself to require a blazer in summer. In the cooler months, there's no reason not to. He will get a couple of polo shirt days and of course no have to wear it & the shirt & tie for soccer & other athletics.
Why do I get a uniform too? There are a couple of reasons.
  1. As my friend Kel said, it won't be a situation of "Do as I say, not as I do." If the kid is in uniform at our boarding-school-at-home, then Teacher Mom should be too.
  2. I used to secretly mock people who said they make themselves & their kids "dress to the shoes" for homeschooling. But you know what? I really do find myself more productive with chores & more in the same schooling mindset as I want my son to be in. If I've got jeans & shoes on, I'm more likely to take out the garbage since I refuse to in my pj pants & slippers. I agree with Kel that snuggling on the couch in pjs to school your kids when they're younger is a wonderful way to homeschool. But K's a teenager now who will be soon going off to college & then law school. ...but back on topic...
  3. I think uniforms are cool, okay? I always wanted to go to boarding school to get away from my parents. And with that would come uniforms instead of having to...I save you from a rant about my childhood & 80's fashions. Basically, they're cool & why should I be left out? Teachers at private schools have a dress code. Now, for practical purposes (i.e. I'm taking out garbage, lugging laundry up & down narrow basement stairs all day, dejunking the house, all in-between lessons,) & the fact that right now we don't have the money to buy me more uniform pieces, I've allowed jeans to be an option for my uniform. I'll eventually get a long navy skirt, some slacks (since I can't find the ones I wore to grandpa's funeral,) matching Oxford shirts, hopefully a tie (I really want a tie!,) a cardigan (want this even more,) and long sleeve polo shirts that match K's. As you can see in the picture, I already have matching short sleeve polos & a pair of matching shorts. While I think it'd be kind of cool to have a plaid skirt that matches the tie, they don't make them in my size. Ditto on the belt.

I think that covers the basics of the boarding-school-at-home uniform. I'll talk more about how I want boarding-school-at-home to eventually run in my next entry. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a polite comment.


Boarding School at Home, Part 1: the Catalyst

It's 5:31 a.m. & I haven't gone to bed yet, so bear with me please. I swore I was going to type this all out by tonight or tomorrow, which is technically today, so I will.

It, the whole boarding-school-at-home thing, started out with a couple of catalysts. One really. K turned 13. It, the sass, the attitude, the testing-of-the-waters, the typical teenage hormones, actually came out a couple of weeks before his birthday. It wasn't too bad at first, and to be honest, most days, these months later, it's still not too bad. He's a great kid, truly a wonderful person. It's just...

The sass arrived. Grandpa died & a furious amount of making sure we all had funeral clothes that fit (something we actually keep prepared for considering the amount of funerals we end up having to attend,) and packing and making hotel arrangements (nearly every hotel was booked & then when we did book a place, they didn't have our reservation when we arrived,) renting a car, driving 14 hours straight to get to there, having to celebrate both your husband and son's birthdays on the same days as a family member's viewing and funeral...

Scrambling to look up the entrance requirements to Harvard & Princeton because your 13 yr old has decided he now wants to graduate at age 16. Freak out over the fact that you haven't done enough & now have to add a shit ton more courses to his school load in order to make it happen. Have your $600+ Amazon order stolen from your porch despite the fact that you homeschool in the living room, right near the front door & hear everything that goes on near said porch. (We think it got delivered to the wrong house, despite UPS saying otherwise.) Finding out from Amazon that 1/2 the stuff you ordered can't be reordered and what can will take 3-4 weeks to be delivered to you. You know, all that new stuff you needed for the high school level courses you suddenly find yourself teaching.

You're already really fsking tired of wasting every damn Saturday driving 40 minutes each way to Pokemon League where you have to wait for HOURS while your son plays (okay, so you have your laptop, but still...) And he doesn't like some of the kids there & visa versa, so whenever the mean kids are there you have to hear about it the whole drive back. Also, you never ever can sleep the night before you have to wake up early to be somewhere so you've got sleep deprivation induced stress on top of the other stress & boredom.

You make plans to spend the day with your bf who is also your son's Godmother. She kicks her husband, son's Godfather, out of their place so y'all can have a nice lady chat kind of evening. Why do you do this? So your husband can have The Talk with said 13 yr old son. You homeschool. It's up to the parent to teach sex ed. (BTW, that was also one of the books that got stolen from your porch & you had to wait on for a new copy.)

Well, son doesn't like this at all, despite the fact that he was told such would happen weeks in advance. He barricades himself in the bathroom for 8 hours & throws a shampoo bottle at husband to keep him from coming in. You find out about this hours later in a fsking text message.

You come home steaming mad. Normally, the push-over parent, you ground the kid 1 week for every hour he spent locked in the bathroom. You take away everything he loves. No video games, all but a few of his 100+ stuffed animals, no Pokemon cards, no TV except for a few shows & only when you say, etc. You start stripping his room bare.

In stripping his room bare and shoving everything into the basement, that's when you discover the latest plumbing disaster. Water, apparently, has been leaking from the main bathroom all over the Sewing/Junk Room in the basement. But you can't call the plumber yet. Why? Because your basement looks like a hoarder's house thanks to you being the one to keep all the dead relatives' stuff & using the basement to stash stuff away whenever you needed to quickly clean the upstairs/main living areas.

So you start dejunking like mad, rent a storage unit, lift tons of crap you shouldn't because of your sciatica & arthritis in your lower back, and...wait for in the process that the previous owners had boarded up a window with nothing but fsking paneling & it's caused water damage & mold to another part of the basement. Also, that flood you had from the Christmas of Poo? Yeah, you missed some spots & damaged items.

You finally make a big enough path for the plumber to get in to see the problem. He says it's just an intake leak (expensive of course, but not a drain problem.) Despite the leak being "fresh" water, it still makes the basement smell like poo and you worry about getting dysentery. Your husband had it last time, so it's your turn now.

The pipes get fixed, but your hell isn't over yet. The Junk/Sewing Room needs to not only be cleared out, but the soaked & smelling old carpet ripped up/cut up into pieces, shoved into garbage bags, and then hauled upstairs & outside. The walls & floor need to be washed & bleached down. Soggy ceiling panels need to be ripped out. The walls of mismatched dark paneling need to be painted, a new floor laid in, ceiling panels replaced, and large plastic storage shelving units set up so that the room can made functional instead of returning to a massive pile of "I don't know what to do with it" junk.

And what does your new 13 yr old do during this time of plumbing crisis where he doesn't even have to school nor help you much? He actually gives you attitude and sass. Because that's exactly what mom needs in her life.

So, what does a homeschool mom who's already grounded her kid for 8 weeks start thinking of as punishment? She looks into local boarding schools. I'm sure I'm not the only mom who's done this. In fact, I know I'm not. Turns out, boarding school, at least the one I truly considered, is $46,000 a year and that's not including a ton of extra fees. Yeah. That wasn't going to happen and to be honest, homeschooling works. It's what's best for the kid, sass or not.

So, you start thinking to yourself some more...and channeling a bit of Dalton Academy 'cause you just love Kurt & Blaine...why not do boarding school at home? You've already started stripping the teenager's room of everything. You know he needs more discipline both in his attitude and in taking school more seriously. So why not do it and throw in a uniform requirement as well?

Of course you also admit to yourself that maybe you're too much of a Gleek. Maybe it's a really crazy idea. So you tweet about it to your homeschool mom friends and they actually think it's a good idea. After a couple of weeks, you get brave enough to post about it on Facebook and your mom friends who aren't on Twitter also think it's a good idea. Hell, even your husband, who attended parochial school from K-12 and always thinks you're crazy, thinks it's a good idea.

So you start planning and thinking some more. The Land's End School Uniform catalog, both print and web versions, become your new best friends and stress reliever. (They still are.)

And that's where I'll leave off for now. The next entry will have details on the uniform and probably, maybe, hopefully, some deets about the rest of boarding-school-at-home as well. I've been typing for nearly an hour already, so just expect a few pics for now. If you made it through this entire entry, you have the patience of a saint or need to share whatever it is you're drinking or smoking. LOL!

Oh, and about The Talk? I ended up giving it to him. A few talks actually and they turned out really good. I was very open and honest, related things to the Glee characters, telling him how important what Burt said to Kurt was, that he should strive to have the kind of honest, friendship-built relationship like Kurt & Blaine have no matter if he's gay or straight or bi. He knows he can come to me about anything & was open to hearing me talk about things I was never taught in ps, had to learn on my own, and felt them important for him to know.


Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Finally Updating My Blog!

Sorry for the very long delay in updating this blog. So much has happened these past 8 months. Wow! Has it really been that long? Doesn't seem like it.

First reason for the delay: I was exhausted from cooking Thanksgiving for 100+ people. It's normally something that I enjoy doing for my husband's coworkers, our friends, & us. This year, I didn't want to do it. I was too tired from the months of complicated sewing of K's Halloween costume, among other things. But I let myself be talked into it. I even made extra to sell at Homeschool Market Day. (Which my homeschool mom & dad friends remembered when K & I brought stuff to sell a couple of weeks ago.)

Thanksgiving, as always, took over a month to recover from. I'm not sure if I've ever blogged about how much work it takes. We're talking 4-5 weeks of non-stop cooking, baking, shopping, & prep work. I have just one stove, a 1954 Kenmore in the tiny kitchen of my 85+ year old home. Its fold down, cast iron lids, are my only prep surface. After cooking/baking, everything has to be carefully wrapped & driven over to husband's 2nd job to be stored in one of the walk-in freezers. That's just the tip of the giant iceberg. I won't bore you with the rest unless you ask.

Second reason: Blaine Anderson came along to sweep Kurt Hummel off his feet on "Glee" in the episode "Never Been Kissed" and I turned from a fan of the show and Kurt into a die-hard Gleek and Klaine shipper. I'd sworn off fandom after the nasty, crude, flaming of non-Jameron shippers (i.e. folks like me who couldn't fathom John Connor with Cameron, a frelling Terminator!) during TSCC (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles') all too brief run. (Thank you Fox for cancelling yet another great sci-fi show.)

I won't bore you with the details of my Gleekiness either. However, I will share the link to my tumbler account where I reblog a ton of Klaine, Kurt, Blaine, Darren Criss, & Chris Colfer stuff, post late-night insomnia-induced ramblings of how I incorporate "Glee" into homeschooling, and the occasional thing about my favorite sci-fi shows and trichotillomania. This is my tumbler page if you're interested.

Third reason: My grandpa died at the age of 98. It wasn't an unexpected death, but it did require us to spend a week back home. The same week that my son turned 13, two days after my husband had his own birthday. Luckily, the only tickets to Broadway's "Wicked" that my husband could get us were in early Feb, so we were able to celebrate son's birthday in style. He'd been dying to see "Wicked" for years & had requested this as his present. We had AMAZING seats and the play/musical was beyond what we had ever imaged from the soundtrack (which of course we had memorized long beforehand.)

Fourth reason: Yet another major plumbing disaster. This one, while not as bad as the Christmas of Poo, certainty smelled like it & has required as much work. It took 2 months of my intense labor to repair the damage & I'm still not done with everything. I'll blog more about that later with pictures.

Fifth reason: This actually happened right before grandpa's funeral. K decided that he wants to graduate by age 16 and go to a top notch college with a good law school. So I went from teaching a 7th grader to figuring out how to cram in a ton of high school courses. I like subcategories & color-coding, so that totaled out to 27 different subjects. All of which, after geting on a roll, had to be put off due to the plumbing disaster.

Sixth reason: This one, I am definitely going to be blogging about next in it's own separate entry. My son turned 13 and a whole new level of attitude came with it. Yes, it's to be expected. No, I'm not about to put up with it. "Easy-going, push-over mom" is GONE. We now do boarding-school-at-home. Or rather, I'm still trying to implement the fullness of what I have planned. It's taken longer than I expected.

Seventh reason: Along with the basement plumbing disaster repairs/forced remodeling, I've taken to trying to dejunk the rest of the basement, kitchen, living room, K's bedroom, & mine & hub's bedroom, with the focus on the first 4. The plumbing disaster did have one good benefit: I now have a whole room for storing things in an organized manner. I'm hoping it stays that ways & doesn't revert back to the Junk Room it once was.

Eight reason: I finally got a Twitter account. No longer do I bore my many Facebook friends with rambles. Now I tweet about them. I can have all the verbal diarrhea I want, vent out my stresses, & don't have to worry about bothering my friends. Tweets are easier to ignore than FB posts. They're also entertaining to read & post while running errands.

And so that's my entry for now. I promise to try to get to more this week, if not today. I really want to talk about boarding-school-at-home, my new obsession and the bane of my son's existence.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Sample of Thanksgiving Cooking

Maybe it's a brag, maybe it's just me wanting to share what a slow day of Thanksgiving Feast Cooking is like. (For a Baking Day, imagine roasting, then peeling, then pureeing, then turning 20 lbs of sweet potatoes into 14 pies and a catering tray of candied sweet potatoes.)

From Facebook posts today:

First post, "Grocery store run has been done. First cup of coffee and breakfast, almost done. Now I've got to get off my bum to make and bake the vanilla cake for the last chocolate mousse cake. Then it's time to bring out the giant stock pot, chop a ton of vegetables, & start making the chicken stock.

Next, "Mr. Gooble Wobble-Me-Up is in the oven and the giant pot of chicken stock is cooking on the stove top. Vanilla chocolate mousse cake was made and delivered to the theatre's freezer. Turkey #2 got transferred from the freezer to the fridge for defrosting. Hope to get 4-6 batches of Kiran's Crazy Cookies dough made tonight & put in fridge to chill.

Even with the air conditioners running full blast, the house is hot as hell. Damn oven, turkeys that take hours to roast, and stock that takes hours of simmering on the stove top. :-(

A friend asks, "Do you have time in between all that to take a deep breath???? LOL"

I reply, "
T., considering I'm answering your reply 44 minutes after you wrote it...'no.' LOL! 3 batches of cookie dough have been colored (orange, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, & original/dough,) the 25 lb bag of sugar taken out of car and poured into the *finally arrived* food grade bucket, discovered that I'm going to need to pick up another 25 lbs. pounds after the cookies LOL!, this week's shopping lists made, turkey's been basted, yelled at Faberware timer for yet again not working, husband came home & has been shown what's to eat & what needs doing tonight (very basic husband-only things,) put a bottle of hard cider in the fridge to chill for me, stock has been stirred, and more water filtered for said stock. And the night's not over yet."

Until next time, I remain the overheated,


Busy couple of weeks

This will be brief...maybe. Unfortunately, there won't be pictures. Husband bought us a new camera, but he hasn't downloaded the pictures from it yet. (Currently we only have a cable for it, not a memory card.) I'm too busy to learn how.

Our last couple of weeks in brief:

Halloween: Went pumpkin picking at a local farm, visited Daddy's 2nd work and only a couple of houses including the amazing "Halloween House" down the street. They expect us every year and always have a special treat for Kiran. He didn't mind not trick-or-treating much because the costume is so hard to breathe and see in and he's not in it for the candy. He just likes showing off. :-P

Had AWESOME AWESOME time at Ubercon. Made lots of new friends, the staff absolutely adored Kiran, and his costume was a huge successes. Kiran described the con as Heaven. :-) I got to play the only video game I really loved, Qix, thanks to one of the staff who had built an arcade like set up and had a ton of old games, including Frogger. Very cool!

Homeschool Bake/Craft Sale went very well. We were swamped the minute we started setting up. LOL! Nearly all the bread was sold and folks asked us to bring more next week. Other big sellers for us: Kiran's Crazy Cookies, cupcake-sized pumpkin, apple, apple crumb, sweet potato pies, and whole pies of the same.

Local homeschool friends: We'll be bringing more Kiran's Crazy Cookies ($0.25 each) and both Herb and Multi-Grain bread ($2.00 each) this Thursday. Perfect for Thanksgiving and meals leading up to it!

Thanksgiving Feast 2010: nearly all the shopping is done except for last minute salad ingredients. The desserts are baked and happily sitting in a freezer. Two chickens have been roasted for the stuffing and their bones are sitting in a huge pot turning into stock as I type. The first of two 20 lb. turkeys is currently roasting. It's bones will be turned into stock tomorrow. Three cups of margarine are softening up in the massive mixing bowl waiting to be turned into delicious cookies.

Laundry is somehow being kept up to date despite 1-2 loads of dishes being run every day on top of handwashing others. The living room is a mess, but that's to be expected this time of year. It was cleaned shortly before Halloween, but can't truly be gotten to till after Thanksgiving.

Kiran is happily schooling himself despite this being our "summer break," coming up with more ways to save the world. He's going to be cleaning out the living room wardrobe tonight looking for coats to give the homeless children in NYC that he'd heard about on the news. We both continue to watch a lot of educational programming as is our wont, actively schooling or not. One of Kiran's "save the world" plans includes his theories on the Irish Potato Famine he'd seen a special about the other day. (I swear to you, I taught him this last year, but I guess it took a "repeat" for it to truly sink in.)

And that's it for now. Will try and post pictures and updates when I can.

~CoffeeHeidi, making bread by hand, never machine, and slaving over a 1950's stove 20 hours a day.