O Canada

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

So here’s something – you can’t just waltz into Canada without a passport anymore.

On Sunday, which was our last weekend day in Michigan before we head back to Colorado for a couple of days to vote, we decided on the spur of the moment to run up to Canada, eat some lunch, and get some weird Canadian money.

I may have told my kids that Canadians are very much like Americans, except they have three eyes and that I don’t want them to be rude and stare.

(I love Canadians. I have very warm feelings for Canadians. Don’t be offended. I like to harass my kids. They are gullible.)

At the border, the not-unattractive Border Agent asked for our passports. I said, “oh. I don’t have one, all I have is an American Driver’s License,” and he’s all, “what about your birth certificate?” and I said, “I keep those at home in a safe-deposit box like a normal person” except without that last part. Who carries around their birth certificate?

Anyway, he let us in eventually, after I assured him that I had been to Canada before and hadn’t started hardly any international incidents. I also promised to only darken Canada’s doorstep for only two hours.

We discovered there are ZERO businesses open on Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie.

We found a Wendy’s, had some “oh my gosh mom, Canadian food tastes GOOD” chicken strips, hit the duty-free store, and headed back home.

The American Border Agent raised his eyebrows when I told him we didn’t have passports. I explained that The Other Guy had let us in without them, but I could see that wasn’t the right answer. I copped to being born in California, remembered my date of birth, and rolled down the windows so he could peer at my children. I mentally reviewed everything I know about American football, and was preparing to disavow any knowledge of hockey when he decided to let us in.

The minute we got back in the country, Big accused me of lying about the three eyes.

But the Border Agent had not removed his sunglasses. So who knows?

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday

• As you may be aware, we are having a big election next week.

I have been getting a lot of phone calls from pollsters. A LOT.

I am not a resident of Michigan. However, this has not stopped me from answering all the ballot questions as if I were.

I find this endlessly amusing.

• The other day, I bought a box of Ritz crackers and there were only three sleeves of crackers in it.

I was so incensed, I can’t even tell you.



• I discovered Penelope Trunk’s homeschool blog. It’s quirky, honest, and different. She is a career coach, but she also started homeschooling her kids. She has a lot of interesting views on homeschooling as a result of her success in business. I became enthralled and have been chewing my way through her archives.

Here’s an interesting post called Books I Hate. I wish I were brave enough to write a post about books I hate. Here’s one called Teaching Writing: Ignore Grammar. Here is a REALLY thought-provoking article suggesting that being an activist for change in the school system is a waste of time. Ooh, here’s another called You Don’t Need To Teach Reading.

I find myself agreeing that you don’t really need to teach reading, but not so much I am going to stop doing it. I can see how well Little reads after essentially getting the shaft for the last year. It’s amazing, actually.

I am going to be coming back to grammar in a couple of weeks. Get your advice ready.

• Happy Monday, y’all! Those of you in the path of the Frankenstorm/Snowicane/PERFECT STORM OF DOOM stay safe.

Link up with your own randomness below! Don’t forget to take the button – continuity is key if we are going to take over the entire internet! (evil cackle font).

Wrap Up: Weeks 6 and 7

In CategoryHome Schooling

Week 6

I am drawing a complete blank. I know we did stuff last week, but that was like, 13 days ago, and apparently beyond my ability to recall. Sometimes the only way I know anything happened is if I took pictures.

I checked my Picture file, but realized I hadn’t downloaded them in a couple of weeks, so then I decided to do that and then I couldn’t find the cords, and then when I was looking, I saw the Kindle cord and remembered it needed to be charged and then after I finally found the camera cord and downloaded the pics, I noticed that I should really organize my pictures better and get them out of the Raw folder, so I did that, and then I started Google chatting with a friend, and then I remembered that I was writing this post. Elapsed time: 3 hours and 40 minutes. As you can see, I am right on top of things.

To recap: We did some stuff. I just can’t remember any of it.

As long as I am confessing to my shortcomings, you may as well know that some days the only reason I can tear myself away from the internet and do school is so I’ll have something to write about here and my true lameness will remain hidden for another week. I see that I have failed along the way somewhere.

Week 7

Week 7 was emotional. We had math crises (crisises? crisis’? crisiseseses?), handwriting crises, teeth-losing crises, and not-enough-playing-outside crises. I realize my children are little, and their problems are little, but I’m still wrung out after 2 hours of “I can’t doooooo thisssssss!” drama. In fact, while I was writing this post, both of my kids managed to have breakdowns.

Then I spent some time thinking about what school would be like for them. My kids get discouraged and cry. I don’t remember my classmates doing that, though. What do kids in school do when they’re upset they can’t make a proper 9 and their mommy isn’t there to scoop them up and comfort them? Do kids in public school become experts at stifling their feelings, or are my kids weenies? Is it a good skill for a 7 year old to have, keeping a stiff upper lip? Or is it sad?

There is a fine line between keeping them from getting too discouraged and saying “no, I’m sorry, this is not good enough,” and I struggle to find it every day.

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing over here.


I have no schedule, so we are just working through our various books. I have a mental picture of where we are now, and where we need to be in June, and so far it’s working out. It’s surprising, really. I have way less anxiety without a written schedule telling me what to do all day. If Little wants to do 2 chapters of geography in a sitting and skip science altogether, I’m fine with it.

It’s very weird and not like me at all. When I’m not agonizing over abstract ideas, I am pleased with our progress.

I don’t have a Work-at-Home husband underfoot all day so I can be the person wielding the plunger

In CategoryNavel Gazing

The other day I had to plunge the toilet after my daughter spent some time in the bathroom.

(that’s the kind of first sentence that really draws in the reader, don’t you think?)

I gave her a gentle reminder that it’s not really necessary to use a half a roll of paper during the, um, proceedings, and sent her on her way.

Subsequently, Lego City was plagued by backed-up toilets. Right in my ear. All afternoon. In great, sewage-y detail.

Livin’ the dream, people. Living the dream.