I can’t sleep.  Kyle is gone again for work and I am sitting here staring at the computer as my eyes glaze over.

Today was strange.  We had a nice morning at my dad’s and then came home and Christopher spent the next 9 hours working on his math and vocabulary with about 30 minutes off to eat and do his chores. 

Once he was done he and I spent a little time talking about how he needs to work somewhat faster.  We figured he spend over 20 minutes on each vocabulary word.  Each one!  all he has to do is look the word up and copy the definition into the computer.  We practiced looking a couple words up and he found them in less than a minute.  He agreed that he was being very naughty and that it cost him all his free time.  I remember a couple nights with Ashley doing homework like this so I think it is one of those lessons that once learned stick with you.  Hopefully he will apply himself better tomorrow.

Blogs I Know · My world · Simplicity

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – September 22, 2008


The Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by
Peggy at the Simple Woman.
Thank you Peggy.


FOR TODAY : September 22, 2008
The weather is shifting to cool and fall feels like it is really here.   


Outside my Window – It rained last night so everything is damp.  This morning the cats had brought in a “little friend”.  I managed to scoop Mr Mousey back outside and I closed the cat’s window “door” so they can’t bring anymore friends home.

I am thinking –I have lots of work to finish this week. 

From the learning rooms – I plan to start working on our civics unit this week.  We will start by talking about countries, states and cities.

I am thankful for My friend Careen and her wonderful family.  We will miss them!

From the kitchen –Warm coffee so far.  Today is the first day of CCD so we will have something in the crockpot for dinner.

I am wearing  My brown slacks and a blue long sleeved top.

I am reading – Nothing…. what really?  yes, nothing today.  I need to fix that.

I am hoping – That I can manage to get at least part of me “Todo” list done today.

I am creating – Knitting Hannah’s sweater and making plans for Halloween.

I am hearing –  Nothing, the house is peaceful this morning.  Just the soft hum of computers and lights and the occasional sound of a car on the street.

Around the house – I am going to start twitching if I think about this too much — seriously.

One of my favorite things – The smell of things being smoked.  One of our neighbors smokes salmon and meat every year.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week – Not as much going on this week as last.  Enrichment classes start this week,  CCD and there is a cub scout meeting. 

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you – 

sleepy little girl


Advent · Christmas · Homemaking · My world

Holiday Grand Plan Week Four.

The Official Holiday Grand Plan started on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

This week is the post for week four, delayed but not forgotten.

This week the Master Bedroom is getting a good cleaning.   

Week Two follow up: The past two weeks have been a bit “up in the air” for me with us starting schooling and with Kyle being gone.  So far so good though.  The cleaning schedule is going well and the planning is starting to really take shape.

Week Three: Cleaning:  The Master bedroom.  Since the children aren’t allowed to play in our room it is the cleanest and most organised room in our home.   Easy week this week.

Preparing for the Holidays:  If you are going to order Christmas cards this is a good time to starting thinking about that.  We are looking at getting family pictures made later this month.  It is a good time to get a photo sitting, it takes time to get photos back and near the holidays appointments are at a premium.

Planning:  The Offical Grand Plan has recomendations for this week.  My list is a little different since we started a couple weeks earlier.

Gifts: I have a list and am checking it twice.  I want to sew pajamas this year.  The fabric stores are getting in their holiday fabrics and the craft stores are stocking up as well.  I will start the purchasing for gifts to buy in two weeks. 
Cards: This week I start working on my cross stitch cards.
Parties: No planning for parties this week.
Menus: No Holiday menu planning this week.
Decorating: No decorating this week.
Baking: I have my cookie and candy lists and I am starting to watch for sales for thing I will need. 
Devotionals: We are considering a Jesse Tree this year – I have a couple websites that I have been looking at for this.  I want to have an Advent Calendar, an Advent Wreath and an Advent Chain – I purchased a calendar last year that will be useable this year.  We have the items for the wreaths and the chain.  I would like to print out prayer books for the Advent Season – I am keeping my eyes open for art work for these.
Traditions: Nothing really planned for this week.

Things keep moving along. Next week I will start adding in some of the fall plans (whoopee).

Blogs I Know · Homemaking · Mary Mary and Martha · My world · Simplicity

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – September 15, 2008

The Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by
Peggy at the Simple Woman.
Thank you Peggy.

FOR TODAY : September 15, 2008
Beuatiful and clear Indian Summer.  

Outside my Window – Today is clear, cool and beautiful.  There are a few trees in the neighborhood that are just starting to turn.

I am thinking –I have let myself get off track the last couple weeks and things are starting to pile up a little.

From the learning rooms – We will be starting back with music and art this week.  Hopefully we will also be doing and outing for civics.

I am thankful for Good friends.  I was given a Beta key for WoW… woot!

From the kitchen – Warm coffee so far.  We will be having some chocolate cake today.

I am wearing  My brown capris and a comfy top.  Lot’s of work today.

I am reading – Starship troopers.  Yes, that seems like an odd selection, especially if you have only seen the movie, but this is about the third time I have read it.  It is short and insightful.  Great stuff.

I am hoping – That I can manage to get at least part of me “Todo” list done today.
I am creating – Knitting Hannah’s sweater and making plans for Halloween.

I am hearing –  The kids are yelling a lot this morning.  Apparently they are pirates.

Around the house – I am going to start twitching if I think about this too much.

One of my favorite things – The little “survivor” fern that managed to live through being forgotten along the side of a planter, not watered, sunbaked and still recovered. It is looking really healthy at the moment.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week – Kyle is traveling this week.  Still! He was gone last week as well and this is a big part of why I am so off with everything.  He will be home Friday.  Josh’s birthday is today.  Ashley’s confirmation practice is tonight, then she is Confirmed on Wednesday. 

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you – (bonus three)

This little guy is turning five today.



My world

Kill Claudio

or “Why ‘Troopergate’ won’t matter much.”

Marcus Stone – Claudio, deceived

Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

Kill Claudio.

Hands down “Much Ado”  is my favorite of Shakespeare’s comedies, I know that marks me lacking in taste, but what can I say?  Beatrice and Benedick in their quick witted, sharp tongued, reluctant love affair get me laughing every time.   And the scene where Claudio, deceived by Don John, spurns Hero and Beatrice claims Benedick’s love and his hand in avenging her cousin’s honor might be instructive for the current political season.

At my parent’s house a couple nights ago the “troopergate” thing was floated for about 30 seconds before totally dismissed.  “Man who cares if she tried to get the dude fired, he tasered a ten year old and threatened their father’s life?  Anyone who wouldn’t fire a trooper pulling that sort of crap should get the boot.”  Hand me another piece of fried chicken and let’s talk about Georgia joining NATO, the obligations of NATO allies to smaller nations, and the parallels of Russia’s current aggressions towards Georgia over South Ossetia and the German attack against Poland over the Sudentland.  

Troopergate?  Who cares?  Even under the worst possible spin (Monegan was fired because he refused to fire Trooper Wooten) the “red-neck”, “unwashed masses” of small town America and the big city transplanted trailer dwellers and other low life, don’t care.  Why?  Because enough of us would ask our Benedicks to “Kill Claudio” too if it came right down to it.   It is one of those elusive “family values” things.  We value family.

When I was going through my own divorce years ago my older brother said something sort of tongue in cheek about there being a lot of places out in Eastern Oregon where no one would ever think to look.   My younger brother concurred and they spent a few minutes talking about way out places miles and miles from anywhere and what a pleasure it would be to take my soon to be ex out there and “drop him off naked with nothing but the buzzards for friends”.  We all laughed, with a touch of guilt,  but the sentiment was that they, in their hearts, wanted to defend their sister’s honor.  Not in the sick and twisted way that we see in the Muslim, tribal, honor killings, but more in the “you wrong my sister and there will be hell to pay” way.   Which might seem sick and twisted to some, but I guess it might be a cultural thing.   I have no doubt if I was actually in danger, the kids were being hurt, or the ex was threatening the family with violence my brothers would do just about everything in their power to help me.   Or at least they would want to.

I look at the “Troopergate” thing and can’t really work myself up to much more than a shrug.  It is family dirty laundry, probably not handled in the absolute best way possible, but if someone tasered my nephew, was terrorising my sister, threatened my dad, by all reports wasn’t shining so hot as a state trooper anyhow and the person in charge of the situation wasn’t doing anything about I might just do the same thing.  If Palin had gone on the line like this for random woman, victim of spousal abuse, against psycho husband with a state issued gun I think a lot of typical “feminist” would applaud, heck if she had a ‘D’ by her name I suspect they would be pinning a medal on her for her brave stance in support of victims of domestic violence. 

Does this, can this, will this sink Palin?  Nope, the core constituency will see it for what it is, one sister going to the mat for the other.   That in no way will diminish Palin’s appeal.  No one is going to worry about her abusing power in the Vice-presidential office, this isn’t about some personal slight against herself, this was about defending family.  Compare that to the Clinton’s slash and burn tactics with their enemies and there isn’t much left to say.  Troopergate won’t amount to much even in the worst possible form it could take.  If you want to keep reading about politics I highly urge you to look at my favorite Catholic Politics Blog: The Anchoress she is doing a most excellent job of posting all the great Palin stories.

Next post, I promise, is back to my Holiday Grand Planning and my normal “quiet Catholic Homemaking blogging about nothing really exciting”.


Political drive-by posting

After reading a bit this morning about how the Dems are comparing Sarah Palin’s experience to Obama’s I just hope somewhere in the Vicepresidential  debate Biden waxes long and eloquent about his experience and gives Sarah the opening to say something like “You know Senator, you are right, between you and I you are more qualified, but the fact is that you and I are both the understudies in this election.  I am stepping into this position with time to learn and be mentored.  The people should be looking carefully at the relative experience of the two leads, and when they compare Obama and McCain there is no contest.”

Advent · Christmas · Homemaking · My world

Holiday Grand Plan Week Three.

The Official Holiday Grand Plan starts on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

We had a fantastic trip last weekend and we have started schooling again.  This is the third week for the Grand Plan, The Entry/Foyer week.  Since my house is a little different than the Grand Plan I am also adding my laundry room to the list. 

Week Two follow up: My time away gave me a chance to think about the Questions from last week.   I made notes in my planner to help me keep our goals in mind.  We want to be sure that this year we emphasise the spiritual and play down the material, focusing on “special times” not “special things”. 

Week Three: Cleaning:  The entry/foyer/laundry room is my focus this week. 

Preparing for the Holidays:  Check out the holiday prep items.  This week I am making plans for the holiday baking.  Each year I like to make six types of cookies and three candies.  By deciding what we will make this week I can keep my eyes open for sales and stock up on the good stuff when it goes on sale.  I also need to check my craft supplies to see if there is anything I have on hand that should be used so I am not buying what I own.

Planning:  The lists continue to get fleshed out as I work on them.

Gifts:  I am starting to think of specific gifts for the people on my lists. 
Cards: I need to get patterns for the cross stitch cards and then start looking into cards for the rest of my list.
Parties: We will be doing our Christmas eve party.  I am still thinking about how we want to do this.
Menus: I want to have some freezer meals made for when things get a little nutty near the holidays.
Decorating: Everything seems to be in good shape from last year.  I haven’t checked the lights, but I will do that once they go on sale again.
Baking: I need the cookie and candy list finished. 
Devotionals: We are considering a Jesse Tree this year.  I want to have an Advent Calendar, an Advent Wreath and an Advent Chain.  I would like to print out prayer books for the Advent Season.
Traditions: Are we going to need tickets for special events? When do they go on sale? which things do we definitely want to do?  Still working on this.  Zoo lights and maybe the Nutcracker with my mom.

Again I have to keep reminding myself that the goal isn’t to blow Chritmas bigger it is to make the planning easier.  Hope everyone has a great week.

My world

Ok, just call me “fan girl”

I have taken a slight interest in Alaskan Governor and now Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin for a while.  Now, I am a full blown fan.   Everything I read about her makes me like her more.  Like so many others online I am shocked and appalled at the vitriol being thrown in her face since her nomination was mentioned.  Nothing is more flabbergasting than seeing “liberal” women start to wander down the “shouldn’t she be home taking care of that baby?” track.   I spent a good deal of time wondering yesterday just what is driving this frenzy about Palin.  I came up with my answer last night.

Palin had committed the unpardonable crime of betraying the old dames of feminism.  Somewhere along the line old school feminist, the ones who are the elder politicians and university department heads today decided that in order for woman to truly be equal to men they had to more or less unsex themselves.  They had to be able to have sex on demand – like men (pro-birth control, free-sex) and be able to walk away from parenthood – like men (pro-abortion on demand).  That would get them so far, but to be fully equal they also had to emasculate the men around them – lord forbid a man comment on a woman’s appearance or open a door for her.   They also had to “gender normalize” the physical requirements for military, police or firefighters… and even neuter what was left of gender specific usage in the English language.  Some of this has been good, but it also has created a set of beliefs, a creed if you will, that defines “feminist”.  Which is one reason why so many woman don’t just reject the term, but vilify it. Some older feminist woman are surprised  that younger woman aren’t more grateful to them for the barriers they broke down which allow younger woman more opportunity, but to quote Michelle Bernard, “…feminists fought for them to enjoy a certain amount of rights, and they [younger women] do that, and then they hear from another generation, ‘well how dare you opt out and stay home to raise your kids? You’re a traitor to the feminist movement.’ Well if somebody’s going to tell you that, why would you want to take that badge on?”    This theme has been discussed for the past few years and more pointedly this election cycle where young woman supporting Obama were seen as not exactly showing sisterly solidarity to Hillary.

The overt sexism from other women just saddens me.  I remember well twenty years ago where being a young woman on campus and pro-life meant you were persona non grata at the woman’s’ student union (that hurt btw “sisters”).  If you didn’t walk lock step with the pro-abortion dogma you were a trader to your gender no ifs, ands or buts.  I also remember the snide words of a former manager while I was walking out the door of my corporate career to stay home and take care of my new born while my husband, who had been doing the stay at home dad thing, went back to work.  She told me I was “shooting my career in the foot to stay home and take care of a baby” (that hurt too, but it sure made it easier to say goodbye).  Woman who have opted to take the feminist path have no problem vilifying those ungrateful girls who become apostate.

There are woman who actually and honestly believe that woman can’t be equal if they can’t destroy the products of their own fertility, woman can not be successful if they are burdened with children, especially not unexpected babies, not ones conceived when over 40 and certainly not any child ever with a disability.  Young woman must be able to have sex on demand, and use birth control, and if that “fails” then they need to have mommy quietly whisk them down to Planned Parenthood (a misnamed institution if there ever was one) and “take care of the problem” so the young woman’s life isn’t “ruined” by that horrific punishment called a baby.   

To the liberal feminist of my mother’s generation conservatives were viewed as vile kill-joys.  Conservatives are the people who brand woman harlots, who don’t want you to have fun.  They are the ones who want to starve the poor, abandon the sick, kill the criminals and start wars for the sole purpose of having young men die on far away shores.  One reason liberals so strongly object to parental consent laws.  In theory a conservative parent wants to keep their children away from birth control and then beat them senseless and kick them out of the house if they end up pregnant — but they don’t want them to get an abortion. 

Men were the enemy. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” If you got married it had better be an equal partnership where all chores where spilt evenly and he can’t hold you back from your education or career.  Best if he isn’t too “manly”, certainly not into the military, guns, sports… maybe a nice poet.

Palin takes all this thinking by the ears and shakes it loose.  She, by her life, shows that a woman can be powerful, beautiful and fertile.  A baby, even unexpected with special needs can be welcomed and loved and perfect.  That  conservative parents would stand by their daughter when she become yet another statistic of teenage pregnancy just pulls the rug out from the ugly stereotype of the ruthless self-righteous parent motif.  What about her husband?  He is a man’s man who helps raise the kids.  She needs him there and he supports her.  They are a partnership of aid to one another, not a couple of folks living together with a “no compete” clause in affect.  This frightens and appalls the old ladies of the bra burning brigade.  If they are not  correct in the idea that a successful woman can only exist within the bounds of their dogma, their dogma just might be wrong all together.  How will they convince young woman to follow in their shriveled, barren footsteps when lovely, fertile Sarah Palin is out there?  Palin is dangerous to that mindset.

But the women I know look at Palin and say “rock on sister.”  She becomes almost archetype the more the media and liberal idiots online attack.  Sure, throw mud at her kid: She is Boudicca.   Criticize her mothering: She is Devorah.  Question her relationship with her husband: She is Gorgo.  Question her experience or the fact she was a beauty queen: She is Ester.  Women have long been proud and noble creatures.  We are Victoria and Hannah, Zenobia and Cleopatra, Isabella, Antigone, Catherine and a nameless host of mothers, wives, sisters and friends who have carried babies, carried burdens and made history sometimes by leading armies or nations, sometimes in learning and rhetoric and often by rocking the cradle. We don’t want to have to become shells void of femininity in order to be considered valuable in society.  

So, I adore Palin.  I love the idea of a pioneer mother as Maggie Gallagher puts it.   This is an older and more noble (at least to me) feminism, one that doesn’t have to unsex woman or chew them up and spit them out for the benefit of the corporate world.  It looks past the women of the 60s and 70s who seemed to not really like being feminine and see women who are simultaneously strong and powerfully and authentically and naturally feminine.   Anyone woman with five kids, who nurses a baby in the governor’s office, hunts, fishes and looks great in heals and a skirted suit has my respect and when she is pro-life my vote as well.  Up until now I was feeling nothing so much ennui over the upcoming election, now I am thrilled.  Palin has engaged me, lured me in and charmed me.  Just call me “fan girl” and pass the McCain/Palin yard signs and bumper stickers my way.