18 December 2014

Christmas 1914

My grandmother Maxine's Christmas tree, one hundred years ago.  She would have been five years old when this was taken in the city of DuBois, Pennsylvania.  

15 December 2014

Police Grilling Homeschool "Truants" in Wisconsin

Until recently, "stop and frisk" was the law of the land in New York City.  Cops could stop you for any reason or no reason at all, grill you, and pat you down.  It was only ended (for all intents and purposes) after the courts ruled it unconstitutional and a new mayor took office.  It might cut down on crime to stop everyone who looks a little shifty, but guess what?  People have the right to move about freely if they're not suspected of actually committing a crime.

Unless they're homeschoolers.

Ignoring all rights citizens normally possess, cops are bugging random kids they see out during "school hours," even if they have no evidence that that particular child is truant.  And worse?  They're now stopping and interrogating entire families as they move about their business, both parents and children.

Instead of putting in an injunction or using I don't know the hell what other recourse, HSLDA is meekly issuing a "guide" for parents in these situations.  It advises them to politely ask for a name and badge number, and give the cops names and addresses. 

Some in homeschooling discussion groups posit that this is simply an extension of Big Data under Common Core.  In an effort to "prevent" the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline," schools are teaming up with cops so that they can know where all children in their district are at all times.  I'm telling you, this is beyond creepy.

I would definitely be in full support of federal guidelines for discipline for public school students on campus or on busses.  We began homeschooling when my autistic child was locked in a closet called a "recovery" or "safe" room.  So guidelines that tell schools what sort of crazy-ass punishments they can and cannot implement, to my mind, would be most welcomed.

But leave the general public alone.  And yes, that means even those children who look like they ought be in school.  Get a warrant and a mug shot before you interrogating small children and their moms, wouldya?

14 December 2014

Christmas Present Revealed!

I bought this Madame Alexander doll for 75 cents at the thrift store.  Its hair was in bad shape, but I fixed that.  I crocheted her a little yarn vest with the leftover yarn from a scarf I made for Woodjie.  And I'm making her a little blanket.  And because the dolly was so cheap, I felt justified in ordering a boodle of really cute clothes and shoes on Amazon.  I hope Rose enjoys the doll as much as I've enjoyed preparing her present.

Do You Sound Like a Bumpkin?

Would you like to change that?  For only the USD equivalent of about $710, you receive ten sessions on how to speak in the upper class style from people in London.  The website even includes a helpful pronunciation chart just like the one on the My Fair Lady movie.  Good grief.  Well.  Here you go.

12 December 2014

Just in Time for That New Year's Weight Loss Resolution...

I've been working very hard for about a year and a half on losing weight and it is more than a little slow.  The math just doesn't seem to work out, and I'm not losing nearly what I ought because by the numbers?  I should have really been much thinner by now.  I have little energy.  You know.  Fat, lazy slob.  Not to be melodramatic, but I hate my life, or at least most of it. 

It's really bugged me for a while and I've tried to work at being a better person and all that.  Changing my attitude about things and so on.  It just doesn't happen.  I still feel all slovenly and I really don't care that I'm wearing sweatpants, thanks.  Even brushing my hair seems like too much work.  Like there is no point even trying to lose weight any more, everything is against me, "fat" is just part of who I am in a way I can't express.  I sort of live like a snail.

It just doesn't matter.

Recently I went to the doctor because Woodjie eloped again and I about died trying to catch him.  I'm just so out of shape.  So he ran a bunch of tests.  Apparently I have something called "hypothyroidism" and what it does?  Is turn you into a fat, lazy slob.

And there are pills for it!  And in a few months, when they knock up my meds a notch or two, I should start to feel better!  Yay!  I took my first low-level dose of Synthroid today.  I am happy to have a name for this and some hope that at the very least, it's not my personality.  *whew*

I told my dad about it and he's all, oh yeah, that's what my mom and Aunt Dot had.  Well, wonderful.  What else do you think I might die from that's hereditary?

And he sent me a list.

Thanks, Dad!  :)

05 December 2014

Happy Birthday, Woodjie!

Woodjie has always wanted a cloak like his big brothers'.  So in honour of his turning eight years old, he got to choose his own fabric and have one made.  He will also go shopping with the money his grandparents sent him tonight and when he goes to bed?  He will get his new alarm clock plugged in by his bedside. 

The best part was going out to the Chinese restaurant, where he ate fried doughnuts, jello, prepackaged cookies and ice cream.  Just like they do in mainland China.

04 December 2014

Christmas is Different for Us.

(A facebook status from a friend, used with permission.)

I'm nearly done...

Saying 'no' will be high on my agenda for the next few weeks.

Not because I'm callous or being difficult... but simply because I need to protect my own wellbeing and that of my little family.

'What do you mean?', you may ask...

What I mean is this:  As it is, my kids and I operate on a system that has less tolerance for change and 'being out of routine' than many people (think; school structure gone out the window as regular learning makes way for alternative end of school year activities, tidying up loose ends at work before holiday break, extra activities such as concerts & projects... transitioning to new places!!!).
 

We only have so much space in our systems for socialising, and for being in crowds and amongst lots of people (think; parties, end of year gatherings, Christmas get-togethers, award ceremonies etc etc).
 

The general environment out in the 'busy' world at this time of year also puts extra strain on our sensory systems (think; 'extra people shopping' noise, flashing Christmas lights in shops and other places, different smells, noise, did I mention noise???)
 

So please don't be disappointed if we can't make it to something, or if we pass you quickly in the street, or if we fall off the radar for a while... we are trying the best that we can to make it through the next few weeks 'happy and healthy' and to keep life as simple and routine as possible.
 

Love to all xo