Spinning Sunshine

January 31, 2011 by Rieshy

I came home from my Spinning Guild meeting to sunshine.  We barely remember sunshine around here.  I took some pictures of the sun-glare just to prove I wasn't dreaming.

This photo made me think of a ship's wheel.  Voyages from front porches with spinning wheels?  I don't know, it's a stretch.  I really need more sunshine.

We are gearing up for another snow storm and gray week so I took another shot of my wheel overexposed in sunlight.

Isn't it odd looking? 

If you have a stressful life and a textile-addiction think about taking up spinning.  As you spin you can think about sheep dotted on a green hill bathed in springtime sunlight. 

If you spin a raw fleece you can even smell the above pictured sun-bathed sheep.... but that's not quite as fun.


Read and Ask, It's A Parent's Job

January 27, 2011 by Rieshy


One of the first things I learned after one of our children was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder is to read everything. 

Read everything about the disorder.

Read every doctor report.

Read every lab report.

Read every hospital visit summary.

Read the label on every I.V. bag placed on my child's pole.

It's amazing how much you can learn and at the same time scary to see how easily mistakes are almost made.

Yet, last August, when we switched pharamcies in order to have two medications compounded into one formula I neglected somewhere along the way to re-read the medication info.  We've been getting a 3 month supply of our son's medicine UPS-ed to our house every 3 months.  Makes sense.  After all, the doctor prescribes it in 3 month amounts and it saves us money on both the copay and the shipping.

Today I opened the new shipment.  It had new, more colorful labels that caught my attention.  I was waiting for pasta to come to a boil so I read the entire bottle.  My son's 3 month supply expires in 1 month. 


The pharmacist was lovely and appalled.  He's says it's the interaction of the two meds. that have changed the expiration date...

I'm re-reminding myself, it's my job as the parent to be my child's advocate, and safety expert.

Read, Read, Read!



Almost Wordless Wednesday

January 26, 2011 by Rieshy

I couldn't find my 3 year old early this a.m.  Until I heard big sister's voice...


Blessed Irony

January 24, 2011 by Rieshy

My 19 year old son is leaving soon for an internship in Haiti.  He'll be doing construction and working at an orphanage for several months. 

I headed off to try to find some lightweight clothing suitable for the Caribbean rainy season.  Hmmmm, not much available around here this time of year, especially not at the cheaper stores.  I found myself at an outdoorsy shop buying permethrin and mosquito netting and some clothing.

Spf 50 shirts and pants that can be washed in a sink and trusted to drip dry overnight. Shirts and pants that are lightweight and vented, and promise not to hold odor.  Clothing that rolls up into the smallest of bags and come out unwrinkled.

In other words, clothing that is Not Cheap.

My son, who hates spending money, who- with the exception of Converse sneakers- could care less about fashion, and who prefers getting his clothing at GoodWill,  spent more on one outfit than he's ever spent on one outfit before.

The irony was not lost on us.  The blessing of being able to go to a store and buy clothing that will keep him healthy and comfortable was also not lost on us.

Hopefully, in Haiti, the blessing of being odorless will not be lost on the people he works alongside.


Is Cynicism Russian?

January 21, 2011 by Rieshy

My husband got the film, Russian Arc.  It was filmed in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.  It is touted as being filmed in one take- no cuts at all.  My 18 year old son and husband were skeptical, they had to watch for themselves.  Evidently their conversation was attended to much more closely by both our younger sons.

It was akin to a sporting event.  All males in the family, even the 3 year old, sat to watch this Russian language- subtitle only film, in order to find cuts.

Anytime the movie panned to a dark corner as the camera swept through the corridors of the Hermitage my 4 year old, completely caught up in the spirit of cynicism would yell, "I See A Cut!"

We are weird.


Growing Pains

January 20, 2011 by Rieshy

This morning my 4 1/2 year old son pulled on a pair of pants that fit 5 minutes ago.

They are two inches too short.

My heart aches with joy.

This isn't the normal sweet joy of a mom watching her sturdy toddler stretch into a skinny young child.  It's a victory dance of joyful thankfulness.

It's hard to explain. 
This child of mine, is a child I've watched slip into unconsciousness.  This child of mine, with FOD, is a child to whom any growth spurt is a dangerous time of possible metabolic decompensation.  The phrase "growing pains" takes on a whole new meaning with this child. 

However this child of mine is busy lasso'ing his brother with a yo-yo while pulling on above mentioned too-short jeans.This child of mine is alive.  Alive and growing.  Alive and growing well.

I have to admit today's joy is still tinged with a hint of sadness and even fear for his future medical unknowns. - but those are my growing pains, spiritual not physical.

To any parent dealing with a child's chronic illness, growing pains hurt.  But with faith, in my experience, the sadness is slowly tinged with joy and then the joy grows until it is joy tinged with sadness.

What happens next I don't know.  I'm not there yet.  But, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."- Philippians 4:13  So I know I'll have more growing pains... and in the end,
that's a good thing.


Pride Bubbles

January 15, 2011 by Rieshy

This morning at breakfast 16 yo daughter was showing me the piano sonata by Mozart that she is to learn this winter for scholarship try-outs.  14 year old was reading through some music from the choir she just joined.  The girls started comparing music, and acting goofy, they decided to sing the bass line of the piano sonata.  14 yo then broke out into an outrageous soprano line from The Magic Flute.

Very funny.  A rather classically-raucous breakfast

Then instantaneously my 11 yo, 14 yo and 16 yo daughters all started singing from the opera Il Trovatore - and quite loudly I might add.

I swelled with pride.  Surely here was proof that I am an awesome home school mom.  My children are so versatile and so familiar with great art...

Foolishly I asked,  "How do all three of you know Il Trovatore?"

The answer was a gigantic pin-prick to my pride bubble.  Pride cometh before a fall (or a popping sound)...

"Oh it's in, "A Night At the Opera," on one of our Marx Brothers' dvds."

I should have known.  After all, I learned The Barber of Seville from Bugs Bunny.


Speaking of Learning Styles

January 13, 2011 by Rieshy

I took a vocational apptitude test when I was a junior in high school. It was supposed to help me chose a college major. It was well worth my time.  I learned that the profession I was most apt to enjoy and succeed in was as a professional watch maker. 

No lie. That was the official result.

Because soooo many colleges in the U.S. have watch making departments.  Don't you constantly bump into happily educated and employed watch makers?

Today, I take a rather resistant high school junior to a vocational aptitude test.  I've not shared with her the watch making story.... yet, however, she is already convinced that the test will be a waste of her time.

Today, I hope will be more successful than my testing so many years ago.  Today, I hope will open up new ideas for her.  Today, I hope I will bring home a child that thinks, "Gee, Mom is so smart.  I've learned so much about myself."

If instead, I bring home a daughter that has learned she should major in Concrete, I will never hear the end of it, and I will have learned that my learning style is that I don't learn from experience.

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Learning Style?!?

January 11, 2011 by Rieshy

For a few months my third grader has been randomly saying things like, "If you have 'to', as in to go to somewhere, and you add 'o.k.', then you have 'took'.  It's always a non-sequitor and generally occurs while I'm trying to drain pasta without scalding anyone, or when I'm attempting a non-protected left turn while handing out sippy cups.  Mind you, his verbal spelling isn't accompanied with punctuation.

My brain has to hiccup to catch up.

One of my sisters sent us Bananagrams for Christmas.   Bananagrams is Scrabble for people who like to make up their own rules.  My third grader loves it! I was thrilled.  I thought the game would fufil his need to out-spell me.

Alas, the child still spells constantly.  But today took the cake.  I was dealing with a tantrum-ing 3 year old whose attempts to dominate the world were not proceeding to plan, when suddenly I heard my third grader yell over the tantrum,

"Mom, if you take the German word der, and then put win in front of it and then change the 'd' to a 't' it spells winter."

My brain slithered out of my left ear.  What sort of learning style is this?  How can I harness his mad skills?  Most importantly and frustratingly, why are the multiplication tables not coming as easily...


On- Sort Of

January 8, 2011 by Rieshy

January, that blessed month of ho-hum and grind.  A relief after December.  We are back to school.  Back to work.  November viruses finally vanquished.  Coffee pot perking and tea pot whistling.

Time for:
  • Quiet, gray days of drizzling freezing rain.  
  • Studying.
  • Eating down the cupboards of all the odd holiday ingredients that were left unused. 
  • Music substituting for sunrises because it's still dark when the day must start. 
  • Studying.
  • Stews and soups for lunch. 
  • Ginger cookies.
  • The gym instead of freezing walks. 
  • Reading novels because it's dark by 4:30 p.m.  
  • Studying.
  • Watching Lord of the Rings, the extended version.  
  • Starting over through the Bible. 
  • Stir-crazy children leaping on furniture. 
  • Fixing furniture.
  • Studying some more.
  • Quiet hobby-ing.
  • Wondering what the neighbor's heating bill is after listening to her unit crank through the night with nary a pause.
I really like January.  I's just her sister- February- that I'm not crazy about.