Back to the Back to School Grind

High school ain’t what it used to be, lemme tell you…

Getting the boys ready to go back to school sort of ran up and hit me in the face this year.  I knew it was approaching but didn’t expect that mack-truck-at-100-mph, out of nowhere feeling.

BTW, if you’re in Ohio, the Tax-Free weekend is THIS weekend!!  Friday thru Sunday.  I think the last few years they’ve done it, it was the 2nd weekend…but I could be wrong.  Either way, it leaves little time to shop, if you’re not prepared.

I managed to throw together a list (rather added to the school’s 4th grade list to include my oldest) and do some pre-shopping online last night.  Today, I went and got some of what they needed (shirts and supplies).  They still need jeans, shoes, haircuts and bookbags.  If the next payday or 2 don’t account for it, they can get by with what they have, but it’d be nice to have them totally squared away.

My oldest starts high school this year.  High school!!  And, high school ain’t what it used to be, lemme tell you.  Now, the list of classes reads like a college course catalog and Ohio offers different KINDS of diplomas – stuff like STEM Honors diploma, Arts/Theater Honors Diploma, Social Sciences Honors diplomas, etc.

They brought back Civics/Government, and Economics/Financial Literacy, which I’ve long said should be required learning before graduating.  You know how many kids the last 10-20 years were completely (!!) unprepared for the real world, couldn’t manage their money, and had no clue about how to be an active, aware citizen?  I’m glad these are back!

But they’re even offering things like Structural Engineering, Broadcasting, Publishing, and Ceramics.  They seem bound and determined to turn kids out who are college-ready, career-ready (some courses are designed specifically for vocational-prep), and well-studied.  Several of the classes on the list were ones I didn’t see till I was in college.

I only hope all this great learning is designed to be easy on a kid’s brain.  Too much homework has been shown to be counter-productive.  If they’re designed well, learning will be on-going, hands-on, and flow naturally.  If they’re not, kids will be overwhelmed with too much information and be stressed.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the papers sent home and how much homework the kids get.

Are you guys ready for the back to school grind?  What are you doing to prepare?


Ups and Downs of the Feline Variety

Well, it looks like all the kittens have been born.  We had 12 one week, 4 several weeks later and an unknown number a couple weeks after that.  The last mamas had theirs outside and they were well-hidden.

The first dozen are now about 3 months old and doing well as outside cats.  Our porch is their hangout and shelter in the heat and rain.  The 4 Artemis had went outside to finish weaning (where her sisters had their litters).  Unfortunately, they seem to have wandered off and one was found dead a few days ago. He’s in the pet cemetery, under a shade tree out back.

Same with her sisters.  I haven’t seen their babies at all and haven’t heard them in their hidey-holes for nearly a week.  I fear something may have happened but have seen no evidence of it, save for one left for dead in front of the barn.

That little guy, no more than a couple weeks or so old, was brought in and cleaned up.  None of the mamas wanted anything to do with him, so I’ve been bottle feeding him.  The good news is he’s doing well; eating better every day and getting increasingly vocal.  Artemis even comes in and cleans him occasionally.  She’d feed him but for her restlessness and his reluctance to latch on when she is laying still.  My best friend suggested the name William the Conqueror, for his strength and courage.  Another friend suggested Hercules.  They know my affinity for historical/mythological names and both are under consideration.

group of kittens like mine

The black male cat with a badly broken paw that’s been hanging around all spring (and fathered many of our black kittens, surely; the rest are likely Harley’s) has also not been seen for several days.  He is sturdy and can hold his own well, messed up paw or not, so no clue where he wound up.  2 of our males, Garfield and Morris, are getting aggressive.  This is balanced by the gentlemen of our brood – their daddy, Ginger, and Harley and Poto – acting as protectors of the mamas and babies.  Ging and Poto have already been neutered; the rest are in need of it.

But, first things first…the ladies need spayed to prevent another huge wave of kittens.  We have 6 of breeding age and can only afford to do 3 at a time (thank you CareCredit!).  With any luck, no more litters in the meantime.  We can’t afford too many – way past our limit now – and they are hard to find homes for.

Such are the worries of a crazy cat lady.  🙂

Catching Up With Myself

It has been WAY too long since my last post.  2018 has completely run off with me and I apologize for the delay.

Though the house still isn’t in the shape I’d intended by now, other things have been getting done.  The barn is damn near emptied out, the garden mostly planted in, and Summer Break is under way.  Oh, and can’t forget the more than doubling of our cat crew…I’m officially a crazy cat lady!  Of course, these are all things I should have been chronicling as they happened (otherwise why run a personal blog, right?).

When I renewed my blog a few days ago, I decided to revive and re-structure it.  So, some things will be changing while others will be getting more frequent use.  The upgraded plan included ads, so those will be a new development.  Not sure yet but the theme and layout may change also.

The most important changes, though, will be with the content.  New pages, sub-pages and a plan for content that’s useful to readers, more regular-like.  The categories will be broadly varied but the idea is to provide great info, resources, and ideas for each of them.

In time, this site should become a place you want to return to, like going to a friend’s house for a glass of tea and good conversation.  In the meantime, thanks for bearing with me.  🙂

Ringing in 2018!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

2017 has been a crazy year in many ways, and been rewarding in others.  The good news is we can resolve to make the changes that improve the stuff we didn’t like.  We can look ahead with hope and take action.

I hope y’all enjoy your last night in 2017 and ring in 2018 safely.

Duties, Delays and Docs: A Summary

I did not mean to stay away this long.  It’s been a wild month.

I got caught up with a writing project I was working on for a client, which was way more work than I originally anticipated.  Then, my family and I passed around this awful Ping Pong cold for a couple weeks.  We spent Samhain, and my birthday, sick and it put me further behind on my project.  Lovely, LOL.  Thankfully, my client worked with me through it and extended the deadline.

Then, I had to train for the Election Day duty I signed on for a few months ago.  It wasn’t easy to do so much sitting for 15 hours straight but, considering that some countries don’t have democratic elections or ones in which citizens are involved at all, I felt honored to have been part of it.

A visit with my primary care doctor uncovered an issue (enlarged vein) that a previous doc found way back in 2012 but never mentioned to me.  Why?  Who can say, but it was the same doc who messed up a surgery I had that year and got kicked to the curb.  Oddly, another doc missed it in another ultrasound done 2 years later.  I have a check-up with my new specialist scheduled for sometime next month, so I’ll bring it up then and discuss my options.

I finally have a moment to breathe, in between events and with my project draft now in review.  With any luck, it won’t need much, if any, editing and we can move on to the next phase.  Fingers crossed, especially since I’m in discussion for another project that will ride alongside this one.

So, I apologize for not getting my Samhain installment posted on time.  My OCD isn’t happy about it not getting done and I’m hoping to get it before Yule’s installment.  In any case, I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving this Thursday…eat well and enjoy the time with loved ones!

Wildcraft’s on Sale!

Heads up, y’all!  The Wildcraft game is on sale, until this Thursday.  Typically, it only goes on sale in the winter, around Christmas-time, I believe.

For those who hadn’t heard of it yet, it’s a board game that teaches herbs and is cooperative (rather than competitive). My kids were stoked to get it for Christmas a couple years ago.  And, us adults enjoyed playing it too.  I also got their Herb Fairies set last year, when I was homeschooling my youngest.  Heck, the whole she-bang they offer is very cool.  If you’re into herbs at all, Learning Herbs is definitely worth a look-see!

If you have heard of it and  been on the fence about buying it, or waiting for it to go back on sale, now’s your chance.  Till Thursday, it’s down to $19.99 and you still get all the bonuses.

Image result for wildcraft game

Misplaced Myths #2 – Medusa

Back in the day, I had a blog called Misplaced Myths.  It contained various myths, legends and tales turned sideways and over-analyzed, sometimes to a comedic extent.  Needless to say, it was fun to write and I decided to bring it back here as a regular feature.  (Re-)Introducing Misplaced Myth Mondays!

Medusa:  Ancient Anti-Feminist Rhetoric?

According to legend, Medusa was a Gorgon who had snakes for hair and a face so hideous, it would turn a person to stone.  She lived with 2 Gorgon sisters, who shared her distaste for mortal man.  Perseus killed her by cutting her head off, aided by a reflective shield given to him by Athena.  He then used her head as a weapon before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield.

Another, less known, aspect of the legend was that Medusa was once beautiful.  So much so, in fact, that she was said to inspire jealousy everywhere she went.  She was raped by Poseiden in Athena’s temple, which enraged Athena so much that she made her the hideous creature of legend.  Perseus was credited with saying he felt her punishment was deserved.  Some hero.


It seems the story is rife with victim-shaming, but is it also a piece of anti-female propaganda?  If Medusa was, in fact, a victim of rape, wouldn’t it make sense that she’d prefer living apart from men, with other females who felt as she did?  Perhaps, it left her not caring about her appearance, or even trying to be less attractive.  Was she really cursed by Athena, or did her hair simply become so disheveled that it resembled snakes to those who looked upon her, turned to stone in their shock and disgust?

What is the takeaway from a story like this?  It makes you wonder who’s really the hero and who’s the monster.

Got a myth you wanna see misplaced?  Gimme a holler!

Happy 4th of July!

I can’t believe it’s the 4th already.  We are solidly through the first half of 2017.

Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence here in the U.S.  Many of us have the day off and will be spending time with family (I’ll also be finishing up some tasks in the garden myself).

With that in mind, I’ll keep this post short and sweet:  Enjoy your Independence Day, y’all…Eat, drink and be merry!

Pulling Out The Welcome Mat

Come on over, sit down, take your shoes off…

Well, I finally did it, y’all.  I got my website put together.  At this point, it’s still in the organizing stages.  As time goes on, I’ll likely change up the theme and what-not till it’s in proper shape.

Stay in touch.  I’ll be populating this page, and getting my content schedule and social media in place, so things could start getting interesting 😉

log cabin porch in rain
(Photo by Eric Yuen, courtesy of Freerange Stock)