Thursday, July 3, 2014

Life Happens When You Least Expect It.

I really should have blogged through the last couple of months and events, but frankly, didn't have the gumption to do that.  My attention was most assuredly diverted to various complex and sundry projects like MOVING and SURGERY.  It happened all at once, too - as in simultaneous madness reaching a crescendo that you just can't quiet down until it's darn good and ready to hush itself.  You sometimes just have to strap in and wait patiently (PUN!) for it to wind down to a halt, even if you hadn't planned on spending a few months at the theme park on a thrill ride.

Slow down it has!  Life is GOOD right now.  We've moved to the mountains and I've healed well enough to feel almost up to speed.  An ultrasound in March revealed a large tumor on my left ovary.  I nicknamed it "the Dictator", sent in a team of surgeons with a DaVinci robot to extricate it, and am ever so glad it's all behind me.  Although large, the tumor was benign, a fact I learned after I awoke from the anesthesia.  The not knowing part sauteed my nerves a bit, but I really didn't have much choice other than to go in and see what it was.  I learned of the interloper after we were under contract to purchase this house and right or wrong, we elected to forge ahead.  Enough said!  This particular story has a happy ending, for which I will eternally be grateful.

Through it all we UNSCHOOLED!  See?  Moving, surgery and unschooling can absolutely co-mingle in a room together successfully.  I didn't even have time to introduce anybody, so instead chucked them all together and hoped they'd work it out on their own.  Since we were following an unschooling philosophy for most of the school year anyway, the teenager took the stressors in stride and carried on with learning the way he likes to.  On his own, with little interference from me.  Because of the surgery we, of course, spent a few weeks oblivious to any type of educating, but even then, in his own way, he found interesting subjects to pique his curiosity.  He also learned about mortgages, closing, packing, schlepping boxes, interest rates, paperwork, and stressed out parents.  He even got to see his mom on morphine the night after the surgery.  I remember trying to communicate with him, but I think my words were pretty slurred and I kept falling asleep mid-sentence.

We are almost settled in the new digs and are absolutely relishing the warm days, cool nights and the wild critters who run amok all over the property.  So far we've seen a giant wolf spider, two black widows, one rattlesnake, tons of birds, coyote, deer, and wild turkeys.  I keep waiting for the mountain lions and bears to join the party.  I am going to post a picture of the giant wolf spider.  If you don't like giant wolf spiders, I suggest you squeeze your eyes shut and scroll down a little further past the picture of the giant wolf spider because this one is a doozy.  She was on the wall of the house near one of the windows.  My husband refused to harm her, so he used a plastic box to move her away from the house.  I did not sleep well that night or the next, so had to figure out a way to come to terms with our new cohabitants.  I'm feeling pretty good about them - until I see the next one, that is.  BRACE YOURSELF:

Holy cats.

The teenager and I looked at all sorts of pictures of spiders online to figure out what this one was.  That's a good practice to help with a spider phobia of sorts, by the way:  immersion!  As near as we can figure, this is a wolf spider.  I'm told they do a good job of ridding the land of other unsavories; hopefully they don't lump humans into that category.

Onward, ho!  I've had energy to research options for ninth grade homeschooling.  We will be forging ahead into highschool, learning at home.  He's enrolled in an umbrella school which offers homeschooling families oodles of flexibility and options.  We'll likely do a mix of online classes, lots of reading, some computer programming, some writing, some guitar and drum playing, and some volunteer work for 9th grade.  Our advisor will help us assess the teenager's interests and learning styles and will offer suggestions for the year.  We can be as clever and as broad as we want to be and I am truly excited about what will take shape.

I ordered a series of Chalk Dust math videos and texts on eBay for the year.  That's the only item that is settled.  The rest is gradually forming as we brainstorm the endless possibilities.

On a much cuter note, after we moved we fostered two litters of kittens from the animal welfare department.  If you like kittens, you'll want to pause and linger over the next picture.  PDC.....pretty darn cute.  That's Ernie on the left and Tub on the right.  Yes, Ernie always sported that expression.  They just left today to get neutered and to move on to the adoption center.  We sure do wish them great families and long, healthy kitty lives.

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