Archive for May, 2015

Jeopardy question: What is 9.6?

Answer:  The approximate weight in pounds of Skittles Andrew received from his friends for his birthday!  This for the guy who just had two root canals, two crowns, and about a dozen fillings.  = {

We have considered entertaining friendly wagers on the date the final Skittle will be consumed.


Cooking spree?!?

For one who tends to use words stronger than “dislike” in the same sentence with “cooking,” that’s rather surprising.  However, I have learned that most of the time that I, for no known reason, find myself marathon cooking, it ends up that some major thing occurs that makes it tough to cook, and I’m very glad I did.  Therefore, I am now wondering what on earth is around the corner that I can’t yet see!  = {

I have taken to freezing meals in square foil pans.  For many, many years, I used the half steamer size (roughly 9×13), but with just the three of us most nights, the eight-inch square works better.  And, if I do need to feed a crowd, I can combine two of those batches in a 9×13 pretty easily.  The problem is that when I do go on a cooking binge, I end up with LOTS of meals of the same thing.  I believe the cellar freezer currently holds:

Chicken enchiladas (5)

Red beans (1)

Saucy cheesy bake (4)

Hot chicken salad (4)

Chili (2, plus a bag batch for an upcoming camping trip)

Creamy noodle casserole (1)

And in other news, I had to take the trailer to our mechanic to have them fix the lights.  The last time we went floating, none of the lights on the trailer (loaded with kayaks) were working.  For a moderate fee, Aaron took care of the problem, but I had to sit there in the waiting room for a little over an hour.

I don’t watch much TV except for Jeopardy! at lunch and short segments of an occasional ball game – Cardinals or Red Sox only.  But the TV in the waiting room was on and above my control, so during my stay, I was unavoidably inundated with the last part of the Dr. Phil show and nearly all of the Ellen DeGeneres show.  Dr. Phil seemed fairly innocuous.  His questioning of the interviewee (a murderer about to stand trial) was OK, but I just couldn’t see the point of doing such an interview in the first place.  Ms. DeGeneres, on the other hand, gets two thumbs down and a full, four-finger gag.  Sick.  Truly sick humor.  If these are representative offerings of daytime television, I can now rest assured I have missed absolutely nothing of value.

Finding my thoughts for the day mushrooming. . .

Andrew is learning about fungi in biology, and his current module is primarily about mushrooms.  I am “lecturing” each lesson to him to help him with comprehension and retention, and I now know more about mushrooms, their reproduction, and their classification than I ever cared to know.  Their reproduction is too complicated for me to explain without referring to the book – but this is OK because I will not be the one taking the test!  However, for your educational enrichment, I will here list their higher level taxonomic classification, most of which I can remember (and spell!) from memory.  Of course, you may note with disdain that I have so far only remembered this stuff for two hours.  While I think my comprehension so far is pretty good, today is only Thursday, and Monday (the next day we do biology) will tell the truth about my retention.

Kingdom:  Fungi – organisms that are heterotrophic (depend on other organisms for their food), do extracellular digestion, reproduce with spores, and have chitin in their cell walls

Phylum:  Amastigomycota – fungi that produce non-motile (not self propelled) spores

Class:  Basidiomycetes – non-motile spore-producing fungi that produce such spores in microscopic cells called basidia; these are located on the “gills” on the underside of a mushroom’s cap.


Totally unexpected

At 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, a friend left a message on my phone saying, “I don’t know if you heard the news, but our oldest daughter passed away yesterday, and we’ll be making a trip up north for the memorial service, but we were scheduled to greet Sunday, and I was wondering if you could do that for us.”  I was stunned.

I called her back, told her of course I would greet for them, and asked if her daughter had been ill.  It turns out she was not in good health but was doing okay.  She was getting ready one morning and her back was bothering her, so her husband was giving her a massage.  He left the room to do something else for a few minutes, and when he returned, she was unresponsive.  The paramedics worked on her for forty minutes but couldn’t get her heart to beat.  She was 42.

My friend’s husband has had some ongoing medical issues, and he needed to have some lab work and ultrasounds done before making the road trip.  At 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, he called his doctor who told him to go to Urgent Care.  They couldn’t do the necessary ultrasounds and sent him to the E.R. where it was determined that he had a blood clot behind each knee and one in his lung in a dangerous location.  Now he’s in the hospital for a few days on both injected and oral blood thinners.  Their daughter’s body was cremated, and the memorial service has been put on hold until they can get there.

How exactly does one deal with that kind of tragedy and stress all at once?  My friend is a stronger woman than I am.  Her daughter’s dead and her husband is in the hospital, yet she can carry on a conversation and make necessary arrangements.  I wonder if she is in shock and it will all hit her later on, or if she just has great faith that enables her to keep going no matter what.

My daughter turns 25 tomorrow and she is in great health.  So is my husband.  But this situation reminds me that we have no guarantees about how long we’ll be here.  Whether I live forty more years or I die tonight, I know that when I finally see Jesus, when I’m held in his arms, it’s going to be glorious!

Remix OK, but not nearly as fun as the original

I am in the midst of having some dental work done.  It seems that many of my fillings (some of them very deep and wide) are crumbling apart.  Our new dentist doesn’t know why this is.  They are admittedly old – some of them possibly as old as 20+ years – but to have them simply flake apart is mysterious. In conjunction with the fillings themselves failing and needing to be replaced, in numerous places my teeth have decayed (in some places extensively and in one case nearly to the nerve) under and behind said fillings, necessitating. . . are you ready? . . . Yes.  Five crowns and a host of fillings.  The dentist we have retained to do all this work is supposedly one of the best in our area, and he is super polite, super fast, and super thorough.  He does his work with excellence, and so far (after three hours in the chair and one crown and two fillings down), I am quite pleased. Even so, all things considered, I’d really rather just play the old Five Crowns game; the one where the kings go wild.

First time for everything

On the evening of May 11, 2015, I did something that I have never ever done in my entire life.  I registered a child for school.

Yes, you read that correctly.  After 25 years of homeschooling, we are taking the plunge and enrolling Andrew in a local Christian school.  Come August, he will be a sophomore at Trinity Christian Academy in Hollister, Missouri.  It’s a small K-12, accredited school with an enrollment of less than 100.

On an afternoon in late April, we three had met with the school administrator for about a hour one afternoon and asked a LOT of questions.  Her answers generally sat well with us.  She then gave us a tour of the school, taking us around to meet the various teachers Andrew would have.  Even though we were interrupting their classes, they seemed glad to meet Andrew as a potential new student, but I have to say the thing that impressed me the most overall – and it REALLY impressed me – was the attitude of the students.  In each classroom, after we were introduced, each of the students stood and introduced themselves, and they were all so. . . how can I say this?. . . non-cliquish!  How terribly refreshing!  Teens in groups can tend to ignore outsiders, but these kids acted like they were genuinely interested in getting to know Andrew.  Wow!  They were warm and cheerful and pleased to meet him.  I was very pleasantly surprised.

Then last Monday evening, we attended the school’s annual open house and end-of-the-year program, and once again, the kids seemed to welcome Andrew as a friend.  We filled out preliminary forms, paid initial fees, and drove back home with our first-ever enrolled-in-school student.  This is a really big step (kind of like a really big shew) and our decision was not made lightly, but we believe this will be a good change for Andrew.

I’m still trying to get my brain around everything that this new season of life will mean, both logistically and emotionally, but thankfully I still have a few months to adjust to the changes.  = )

They’re back!

A few days ago, Scott was sitting on the porch swing reading his Bible, and when I stepped out there to ask him something – quite possibly for help in cleaning out the filter on the washing machine, ha! – a HUMMINGBIRD flitted past the white chain over the grill from which one of our hummingbird feeders will hang, once I get them filled.  Yee-hah!  I never can remember when I should hang those feeders, but it seems that April 25 is generally the target date.  Maybe I should just remember to do it when I “hum”
happy tunes to myself once our taxes are paid.  = )

So yesterday I filled them and put them out, and within 24 hours, there was a hummer humming at my feeder.  This makes me smile!