Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween

Twice in a month. That's better..? Right?
I feel like I am ten times busier than I was last year. That's just about it. Then sometimes I'm not at all. But I am recovering from busy in those times. So they are fruitless. Well, besides rest.
Halloween is coming up in a couple of days. We've got a pumpkin. I'm making Tres Leches Cake. Hmm.
I bought candy. Its so expensive. We're gonna have to make up for it with tricks. Sorry kids.
Xana will be Wednesday Addams. Alecia wanted to be a pirate but all the affordable pirate costumes are super cheesy and she wants authentic. So she's going to go zombie.
We aren't all-out Halloweeners. Though I really do embrace the idea of celebrations like Dia De Los Muertos or Samhain. I like the belief that many cultures have that the veil is thin between the living and dead at this time. I can see how humanity drew that conclusion. Cool weather sets in. Leaves die off and fall to the ground. Predators begin to stalk prey more fervently. Evidence of our impermanence is certainly more visible. This time of year I always think of those who have gone on before us. I take time to think on them and dust the cobwebs from my memories. Making a place for the souls of the dead at our table, as in the Gaelic Samhain celebration, is a way to describe what happens in my mind. I am not making a physical place for them at our table, but I am clearing them a place in my mind to think on them and remember them. We light candles in the night and in our jack-o-lantern and tell the girls stories of those who have gone ahead. That is how we celebrate.

Anywho, as a note to what is going on with us this week. I am down a weekly client, after a series of clients that were temporary, so I am down to three days working until I track down more work. In the meantime, I spent that extra day building a menu for the week and a detailed grocery list. I often wonder if other people spend the sort of time that I do on a grocery list. Its a labor of love. And of budgeting. Leaves my head spinning. Currently I am checking out Plan to Eat in an effort to streamline the process. I will let you know how that goes. Fortunately we do have online ordering and delivery for local grocery stores. Sometimes I remember to plan ahead for that even.
Alecia is heavy on the books, though she has been a bit sick this week. She is really loving her Two Roads Charter experience and it is awesome to see her eagerly take on the challenge.
Xana is switching gears and putting off Two Roads for a time. This year has been a lot of change for her and it has not been easy. So we are easing into feeling our way through homeschooling while I am working part time. We're carving our way through. As I have said a million times in our homeschooling experience, I am SO thankful for the internet. Education NOW, anything you wanna learn, anywhere, any time. A feast for the curious mind, and THAT is how we have managed to grow such smart kids. Hungry brains and an all you can eat education buffet via internet.
David is loving his new schedule and has gotten back into biking, as well as made time for new hobbies, so that is great news indeed. He's a man who needs hobbies. A revolving door full of them.

The girls and I are so excited about the next month we almost can't stand it. We are going to see Bastille in a little over a week AND the Bryant fam is coming to see us for Thanksgiving. We don't really know how to contain ourselves.
On that note, I leave you with a Halloween Bastille song. This is one of my favorites. Embracing skeleton lovers, what a great image for Dia de Los Muertos.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Fickle Fail

So far I have failed to keep up with my blog since moving, or since - well since a while. I am going to once again attempt to remedy that. I am constantly wanting to jot thoughts down and never take the time to do it. Instead I suck up spare time with Netflix, Facebook and Farm Heroes. I am going to try to exchange some of that time. Life is short. There are so many people I would like to keep up with and I am terrible at touching base with those people. So this is a way I can at least share my life with those I love.

Having recently begun my own business in household assistance, I have been getting to know new clients. My Mondays are spent with Sarah, who is a young 20 something with three little ones, one of which is only a handful of months old. She is very sweet and just one of those people who exudes calm, positive energy. I enjoy being in her house. Its very warm, sunny, fragrant and quiet. Like most moms of multiple little ones, she is behind on lots of things at home. Laundry, dishes, regular cleaning, so its good that I can help her and she is very grateful, an added perk of the job. Its nice to swoop in and save someone from the encroaching disaster. It fulfills my own chivalrous senses; plus, what I would have given to have someone swoop in and save from the avalanche that my household has been at times! I know what a blessing it is.  Sometimes I get to amuse her little infant daughter, who is just the cutest little patoot.
Today Xana went with me because school has been really causing her a lot of anxiety, which I do not know what to do about currently. It really just wrecks my day when she has a panic attack in the morning over attending the homeschool enrichment course. Lately it has been almost every time and I am now considering removing her, which kind of throws a wrench in my plans for this year and next, when I had planned to retire from homeschooling. Forunately, I am flexible. I haven't committed myself to too many things and have had success at creating my own flexible work schedule that is subject to my own terms.
I have determined that this has just been too many changes for her in a short amount of time. Moving. An entire new atmosphere at home. A new schedule. The loss of her friend network and the loss of the little 'village' we had going. Then there is puberty, which is coming at her like Miley Cyrus' wrecking ball. Periods. Shaving. Boys. To add to all that a new, more rigorous school experience which has turned out to be nothing like what she imagined. I had thought she would thrive amidst a school environment and as all parents are at times, I was totally off on that. While she adored the idea of lockers and class presidential elections and sports, she has been crushed by the reality of hard teachers and being half a foot shorter than her peers who treat her like a little kid, having come from a homeschool group where she was like the mother hen to a host of girls younger than her. Its all been so hard, I totally get it. I clearly remember the strains of school, though I had no choice or flexibility. I simply had to go. She has not grown up with that idea. And so quick she is to say "I don't have to do this" that it has caused a conflict within me to push her to muscle through. And of course, the more I push, the more the panic rises. *sigh*

On that note...

To sum up my world for the day, I hit home and made my weekly appointed phone call with one of my besties then proceeded to fall into a short binge of Walking Dead. I am not generally a fan of zombies or or dystopian tales, but I am so invested with these characters I simply have to keep watching to find out what happens. Also, the show just has this sort of haunted lens into this whole zombie apocalypse. The characters themselves seem haunted and are so broken that they change from one scene to the next. Will they be tough or will they show mercy. What is it that they have in them this day? We think we  know what we would do in that situation, we think we know ourselves, but really, we have no idea what that sort of trauma will do to us! That is what keeps me watching. Which character traits end up panning out on the show? Which are weaknesses? I have also played the video game, which really expounds on that idea. When pressed, what would we do? The game changes based on your reactions and your decisions. I once clicked the wrong thing and there was no going back. I had a moment of devastation, as it wasn't something I would have done, but then I thought, life is like that. Many times we make choices that we look back on and think 'why did I do that? That's so unlike me'.
I think that ultimately the show finds success not because of zombies but because it wrestles with the fear of an unimaginable situation and the suspense of life-or-death decisions. That is why the show is popular and that is what I always tell skeptics who haven't ventured to watch it.

Before bed, Xana and I watched Once Upon a Time together, which she loves and I find a bit cheesy, but I keep watching because of Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook. You know me. Always a sucker for a dark, handsome, underdog hero.
We then read three chapters of the Wizard of Oz together; the original version, which I have not read til now. I have thus far been surprised by the differences in the classic film. Thus far, it turns out, there are more parallels between the original Wizard of Oz book and Gregory Maguire's Wicked book series.

Well, at this hour I guess I'm up for the day. Woohoo for earlier than expected mornings due to insomnia!
Going to throw some no-knead bread out to go with my slow-cooker lentil soup and get this day started.
Love to all.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quiet is the Thrush

Quiet is the thrush
beneath the weeping wind.
Aching dull is the sky
to which the soft elms bend.

Heavy is the air
that moves in from the seas,
and laden with a chill
that threatens soon to freeze.

Fallow lay the fields
and broken are the walls,
open are the gates
and empty are the halls.
Useless lay the swords
upon the cobbled ground,
for not one man of valor
in armor can be found.

Weary are the souls
that have measured every hour
with the lonely grieving toll
of the church bell in its tower.
Murdered is our king
and the few left in his stead,
those who still remain
will surely soon be dead.

Breached were our defenses,
and quickly overtaken.
Broken were the treaties,
all the oaths forsaken.

Quickly will we fall
and all will be forgotten,
crosses in the churchyard
under thick grasses sodden.
Blazoned is the victor.
Our destruction is his glory.
Bold heroism remembered,
as time will weave its story

©2014 Eleanor Raif