Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


• I liked this post by Penelope Trunk. Particularly the first paragraph -

“When I started homeschooling I was inundated with useless advice. Use cupcakes to teach math! Use car trips to teach geography! The ideas are not helpful because parents who are able to conceive of the idea of homeschooling do not need help thinking of fun projects. The problem with fun projects is that most parents don’t think they are fun.”

I find making things fun excruciating mostly, because I rock at homeschooling that way. I’m more of the, “will you just get to it so we can move on with our lives?” sort of mom, which is probably the exact opposite of the kind of encouragement that will get me the next DaVinci. If it’s not already fun to you, then let’s just grit our teeth and get through it so we can do the fun stuff. And in any event, my kids are wise to me, and nothing arouses suspicion like The Chirpy Fun Voice.

• If you have any budding geeky sorts, consider downloading Scratch, a free drag & drop computer programming language published by MIT and designed to introduce kids 8-16 to programming. Tressa told me about it, and the minute the book came in the mail and Jim downloaded it, the kids were riveted for entire HOURS in a row. It’s astonishing.

• Read the story of How Eddie Spent Her Summer Vacation. Make lots of mental notes about the evils of nature.

• Happy Monday, my darlings!

The Simple Year?

In CategoryNavel Gazing

I am very interested in simplifying my life. This is probably comes as zero surprise to you, what with my endless blathering about getting rid of stuff for the last few years. To this end, I read a lot of minimalism blogs.

Reading is almost as good as doing, as we all know. That’s why Pinterest is so huge.

I am trying to convince my husband to spend a year downsizing and simplifying our lives (says the lady who bought 6 pairs of leggings last week). A few weeks ago I discovered a blog called The Simple Year. It was started by a woman who wanted to write about her decision to buy nothing new for an entire year. Then after the year was up, she decided to pass the blog along to another person, this time to a woman who was trying to shovel out her whole house and downsize. I read all the archives and was very happy to discover that Year Three was going to begin and I could read along with another person on the simplifying journey.

Then the Year Three person decided to write about being kinder for a whole year, which is nice (if a bit of a non sequitur), but it’s not helping me simplify.

I like the idea of a year-long project, because a year is a long time, but it’s also a defined amount of time.

Here’s the thing. I feel like I have 967 part time jobs (jobs, of course, being a very general word and not indicating any sort of income generating) and I suck at all of them. Cooking, cleaning, teaching kids how to cook and clean and sew and use a microscope and chase whatever other rabbits they decide to chase, blogging, homeschooling (haven’t even bought anything for this year yet, GAH), knitting, sewing, selling pencil sharpeners, running the household, researching what in the hell to do with the 40 pounds of peaches I just bought on the spur of the moment and are ripening all over the dining room table….

movin’ to the country, gonna eat me a lotta peaches

These things all have sub categories, obviously, and they all occupy a lot of mental space. A LOT. I started thinking maybe I should quit some of them so I can focus on the really important ones. Like making dinner and doing school. You’d be surprised how much energy I expend on dinner and school. Or maybe you wouldn’t. If we get all our schoolwork done and I make a good dinner, I feel like sitting on the couch and high-fiving myself for the rest of the day. **nailed it!**

Maybe I can find a way to simplify within each job? Or maybe I can finish some of the one-time only projects that distract me, like installing closet organizers and doing something with all the shoes that are ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE ALL THE DAMN TIME WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY SHOES WHYYYYEEEEEEEE **pant-pant-pant**

Also I find myself intrigued by Project 333. Have you heard of this? You basically choose 33 things from your wardrobe to wear for 3 months. Pajamas and workout clothes and underwear don’t count. Daytime clothes, shoes, and jewelry count. Has anyone done this? I don’t think it would be that hard for me, but it might be interesting to find out for sure. For one thing, most of my clothes are lounging clothes (see: 6 new pairs of leggings) which don’t count; and for another, I don’t have that many clothes in general. Plus it’s not like you have to get RID of anything, just put it away for 3 months and see what happens.

We’ll see. There’s a lot of ideas floating around over here. I don’t know why I crave to live smaller and simpler. It seems calmer, maybe? Sometimes at night I sketch Tiny Houses. I have a whole notebook of them. Is that weird? Probably it’s not. Jim is all like, “I just BOUGHT you a house, woman.”

So. Thoughts? Shall we 333 together?

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


I have a million links I’ve been saving for you guys, so here we go -

7 Reasons We Should Stop Praising Excess. This really resonated with me. I love this blog in general, but this post was excellent.

• This is hilarious - Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know About Being a Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey

A Thousand Rivers. A link from Lori Pickert’s Facebook page. Just riveting. I also found it rather freeing.

• Dictionary.com got eviscerated for this definition of Homeschool last week -


Needless to say, they changed it.

• Happy Monday, y’all!

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


• I got an email from Ashley Madison over the weekend. Ashley Madison apparently being an online matchmaking service, but for married people. The subject line was “Life is Short! Have an Affair!”

Firstly, is that really a compelling argument for an affair? Because life is short? All that tagline does is make me want to come up with my own – “Life is Short! Make a Huge Mistake While You Still Can!” or “Life is Short! Make Your Kids Hate You Forever!” or “Regret Not Being a Whore in High School? Make up for Lost Time!”

Secondly, how did Ashley Madison get my email address? I am not their target demographic. For one thing, between homeschooling and a husband that works from home, the last time I was alone was in 2004. Plus also I have already reassured Jim that I would only cheat if it was with George Clooney. He was like, “well, have him buy you lots of presents, we could use the money.”

This post, which contains one of the best lines I’ve ever read about being a stay-at-home-mom - I didn’t give up myself for them. I became my true self through loving and mothering them.

• I need some suggestions for books for Little. She is a competent reader, but she doesn’t have the confidence to match. She like to read below her ability (which is fine), and she also basically refuses to read books that her brother read first. So the Boxcar Children, Cul-de-Sac Kids, The Littles…. all those awesome series’ that I gave Big are dead to her. I downloaded some Beverly Cleary – I read all her books when I was a kid – but want to preview them first for content.

Any other ideas? Finding books I find acceptable is a real struggle, and having her turn up her nose at Big’s books doesn’t help. I find most contemporary books lacking. The writing is insipid, the storylines are uninteresting, and finding books without magic, witches, or supernatural stuff is near impossible. Yes, I am one of those people who has never read Harry Potter. Judge me if you must, I know I am eye-rollingly picky.

Help? Melanie? Tressa? Karen? Anyone?

• Happy Monday, y’all!