Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quick Takes

I tried all week to get here, with a yarn along post, and then a sewing post, but blogging always takes the back seat. And so it should, but still. Can I do anything I want to do? I know the answer to that question.

Speaking of "can I do anything I want to do?" I am going to break a cardinal blogging rule and gripe about my husband. Only because I need advice. I had an event on the calendar for this Sunday -- an annual fundraising walk in memory of Jill in Cincinnati. My brothers and mom and I were going to drive down, hopefully see new baby Margot, I was going to sit with my grandma while every one else walked, and then we would drive back -- all in one day. But, my husband informed me yesterday evening that he has a golf outing all day Sunday. And his events always trump mine, I guess simply because he is more domineering than I am. We don't have a family calendar per se, just my daily planner and ical -- and when I have an event, I put it down on both. When he has an event, sometimes he tells me about it, but usually only when I have to be present -- like a couples thing, usually for work. He didn't tell me about the golf outing (although he always says he did tell me, but frequently realizes later that he only thought he did).

I know the obvious solution would be to have a family calendar, but we have no wall space for a big one, and it would take a 10' x 10' calendar for him to notice.

Do you have family meetings to discuss upcoming events? How do you manage conflicts, and who "wins" at your house?

In my last post, earlier in the week, I told you that I was going back on blood thinners, but this time instead of the old blood thinner standby, I was going on Xarelto, a new blood thinner which is easier to take because 1) you don't have to watch what you eat (high vitamin K foods especially), and 2) you don't have to go to the clinic regularly to have your INR (measure of coagulation) checked. The hematologist painted it as a win/win (well, a win/win even though I'm on blood thinners for the rest of my life). I had a thought though, before I picked the medication up from the pharmacy, that I would run it past my family doctor. She manages most of my other medications, so I wanted her opinion.

She personally called me the day after I called her office, and told me that even though Xarelto is, technically, a good drug (for the above reasons) she would not take it herself and wouldn't advise me to either. Her husband is an ER doc and she said it is an ER doc's nightmare. With coumadin, if you are in a car accident, or fall down the steps and have a brain bleed, or need an emergency appendectomy, or coronary bypass, or whatever, the doctor gives you a big shot of vitamin K and reverses the effects of coumadin. There is no reversal for Xarelto, currently (it seems someone didn't have his thinking cap on when the drug company was creating that drug). So if you have a bleeding emergency, you're out of luck. I don't think the trade off of convenience is worth the risk.

Late this morning I had to run something down to one of my college boys and I was standing in the kitchen, freshly dressed, filling a cup with iced tea for the road. I dropped the cup (which I seem to be doing a lot lately) and the tea splashed up on me and, of course, all over the floor. I may have said a bad word, but then I mopped up the spill, and took the splashed clothes to the laundry room to put them in the washer. When I pulled another skirt off my "clothesline" in the basement I felt a drip on my arm. I looked up and saw that the 2 cm hole in the ceiling that the electrical wire to the island runs through had acted like a funnel for my tea spill and all of the hanging clothes (two dozen or so dress shirts and some pants) had tea drips all over them. Sigh. That's what I get for getting behind in the ironing.

Speaking of running something down to one of the college boys (and I might have been in a cranky mood even before the tea incident because of this), I vow (right hand held erectly) not to make any more absolutely unnecessary interruptions to our school day. I find that even if I have a quick appointment somewhere, or feel it necessary to do something in between "start" and "finish" in our day, the whole day is shot, nothing goes as it should.

I used to think it was great because I could get a dental appointment or doctor's visit for Faith scheduled during the day because we didn't need "after school" times, but no more. Unless someone is on fire, or bleeding to death (see #1), no interruptions. We'll just have to wait for after-school schedule slots (and college boys will have to wait, too). Luckily "after school" for us is 2 which is still before "after school" for most kids.

I also vow not to make any more purchases based on what I have just read on a blog. You do that too, right? Did I not learn anything in marketing 101? Of course most of the time, my impulse buys are not the result of a marketing genius, but still. Note to self -- no more impulse buys. I have noticed them stacking up....art books here, a cookbook or two there, e-books, this yarn, that pattern. And they never seem to be really right for us. No more. I vow. And I won't link to "stuff" here either. Unless it's really super, awesome great and will change your life. Promise.

Dear Homeschooling Guru Whoever You Are (the homeschooling equivalent of Dear Abby),
My daughter is the most distractible child ever (slight exaggeration). Even though she and I are the only two humans (cats and dogs distract a lot!) in the house during our school day, she really has trouble focusing on school work. I try not to make her read all of her own material, but it seems when I am reading (especially history or science), she is fiddling, with anything -- even a piece of thread will do (and even when the material is interesting -- at least to me!). I make her sit on her hands, but that makes her giggle (she's 11). I send her to sit on the steps as punishment (where I can see her). I have now told her that her outdoor time after school is in jeopardy, depending on her school day performance. I hate being an ogre, but I'm sick of this. She's in sixth grade and should be able to control herself. Any advice? (And sending her to the principal doesn't work -- that's where she gets the distractible gene and they just end up in a tickle fight).

Well, that's all Seven Quick Takes. I guess I qualify to join Jenn at Conversion Diary.


  1. Are you sure she's not listening when she fiddles? Mine ALL do things when I'm reading aloud (color, play with clay or Legos, crochet, etc) and I actually think they listen better that way. It seems to still their minds if they are moving part of their body.

  2. Yikeserella! Hooray for a good family doctor - that new med sounds terrifying!
    And I'm with Sarah, I believe studies have shown (I mean other than anecdotal evidence) that many people really do concentrate better when they are doing something else at the same time. I actually used to give one of my students things like silly putty on purpose to fiddle with while said student listened to lectures. My kids do art (or crochet or something) during our read alouds every day.

  3. I have kids who do that too and even if they are listening, it drives me nuts! I can't concentrate with all the commotion. If you figure out a solution, please tell me!

    I, too, need to take a vow of no interruptions during the school day. Someone please inform the baby!

  4. Family calendar: We have a great big one on the refrigerator, one of those giant desk ones from the office supply store with the tear-off months. It's not very pretty, but it has lots of room, which is important for us. We have a top-door freezer, which is exactly the right size. I write our dinner menu in the white space at the top of each square, and timed appointments are written on the lines. (I like them in order, like morning appointments at the top, afternoon in the middle, and evening at the bottom, but Davey just scrawls them anywhere.) We also each keep our own planners. Sometime on Sunday, usually after dinner, we get our two planners and the family calendar and we remind each other of the week's upcoming events, along with anything we forgot to write down before. Then we talk about other things that we need or want to happen during the week and schedule those in, anything from big farm chores to family games. If there's a conflict, it gets dealt with, and if something comes up last minute, it's too bad. Everybody we deal with knows we need advance notice.

    Now Jonny is in sixth grade, too, and he's as fidgety as they come, but I think there has to be a point where you force the child to take responsibility for their work. Some things require interaction, and some just need a quick check, but I think he needs to do most of his work independently. That said, I don't schedule his days too heavily. He can finish all of his work in 2-3 hours, and I think that's enough for a 12 year old boy, but if he dawdles and fiddles instead of doing his work, he'll be sitting there all afternoon instead of going out to play. He only did that once since we started school, realized it was a Bad Thing, and has finished all his work well and by lunch time ever since.

    I figure if the child has no learning disabilities or issues which prevent him or her from doing any particular work, then there is no reason why the child should not do the work, whether it be chores or history assignments. And sometimes, as a parent, I have to adjust my expectations based on what my child is actually capable of. For instance, after Jonny's first six hour day, I was really concerned I'd overscheduled him, but when he finished up by lunchtime the next day, I knew I was spot-on. If he'd consistently had trouble, I would have made adjustments.

    So that's what works for us. :-)

    I'm really glad you have a family doctor you trust. We don't have anybody we're comfortable with, which makes me really glad the children don't have any chronic issues. I don't either, but Davey does, and it's really hard for us to get him appropriate and responsible care. Really hard.

    And I too am guilty of buying things mentioned on other blogs. I have vowed to never purchase anything recommended by Elizabeth Foss, because I never like them, but I always click and wonder anyway. :-)

    We've sorted through the clothing of seven children this morning and made note of everyone's needs, and now the smaller ones who have pass-along clothing up in the attic are swarming around me, waiting for me to go find them some "new" outfits. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

  5. Sarah,
    I think it depends on the subject. For instance, if I am teaching science, she is listening and can answer questions correctly. If I am reading history, she can hardly remember more than the last word I read! There is a definitely interest level variation. What really annoys me, though, is when she is clearly doing something just to avoid listening!

    1. Oh yes, I see. That WOULD be frustrating!

    2. But, compared to homeschooling three children with a toddler and twin babies in the house, I realize I sound RIDICULOUS!

  6. Kimberly, like I said in my response to Sarah, Faith listens differently depending on what subject I am teaching. It may help to have her coloring while I teach about pyramids, or volcanoes, etc., but it makes more work for me. She is so different from me in this way, and THAT is the source of my irritation, I think. ;-)

  7. You must print a schedule out for Peter so he knows when he is allowed to disrupt, or when to just sit quietly, Jenny! ;-)

  8. Jennie,
    I guess sitting down together to discuss the schedule is what we need to do. But still no guarantee it won't happen again (and again). If I ask him "do you have any nights you won't be home for dinner?" he'll check his calendar and still manage to miss something. And if something comes up mid-week, he won't remember to tell me. :-P

    Faith is pretty efficient in getting workbook work done, and math. It's just when she is required to listen or read something she deems boring that she fiddles. If she fiddled and attentively listened I wouldn't mind. I don't like reading the same material twice (especially if it's BORING!). ;-)

    About buying things I see on other blogs -- BINGO. Same name, or at least one of them. ;-) I now consider reading about "stuff" on blogs in the same category as looking at catalogs that come to my house -- a near occasion of sin!

  9. Barbara and Jennie, I agree about resisting the temptation to get sucked into buying stuff just because other people like it, but I am very grateful that I have found a couple of bloggers whose book recommendations I can really trust. Maybe it's a matter of finding that right someone or two (and ignoring all the rest). :-)
    And Barbara, perhaps Faith should read the lessons aloud to you?! (and you can do the stitching while you listen...)


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!