Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 437


August 15, 2014

Day 437


I have caught a cold from the Littles.  I don't think there is anything more insulting than a summertime cold, really.  They're to be expected in the winter, but not now!  So today I'm dragging myself around with a sore throat, watery eyes, and a bloody nose.  Yes, a bloody nose - must have ruptured a blood vessel from all the sneezing or something.  I have not had a bloody nose since I had surgery as a kindergartner and got the vessels cauterized.  But this one side keeps dripping blood this morning, which has been a little freakish for the kids.  I just hope I don't drip on my newish carpet!


On the other hand, normally my allergies have kicked in by this time of year, but so far, I'm good.  Maybe it's been too cool for the ragweed to grow much.  Wouldn't that be nice?  It has been a cool summer, though.  The kids were complaining yesterday that I haven't been in our pool, "not once, Mom!"  It hasn't been warm enough.  But even if it does warm up, I'm sure not going in it now.  It's dirty and bug-filled.  I think I'm going to need to get a pool vacuum if we're going to keep using that thing.


This has been a hard week, emotion-wise.  Tuesday night the metallic taste of grief filled my mouth and felt like it physically slammed into my chest once again.  I would say that today I am finally doing a bit better, but the past three days have been rough.   Never do I feel so physically weary as I do when those waves of emotion roll over me.


On grief: in the beginning, it was a constant presence.  I remember my bones literally ached and my stomach felt weighted down.  But I also had this blessed numbness that insulated me from the worst of it.  As the numbness wore off, the grief was sharper but it also has decreased in intensity.  In a way, that fact kind of pleases me.  It just shows me what a caring Heavenly Father we have.  He knows we aren't designed to bear the full weight of grief all at once, so He allows it to come in stages and coats us with a protective covering in the beginning when it's the worst.


As I look back over this last year, I am so thankful I did not try to mask the pain with prescription drugs.  I am quite sure that I would be a lot worse off now than I am had I done that.  It just delays the inevitable.  Grief is something that, when presented, must be experienced.  Even Psalm 23 talks about walking "through the valley of the shadow of death."  Nobody dwells in the valley forever - unless they want to, I suppose.  It is a temporary period in life, although I am pretty certain that once experienced, its shadow is never completely gone.  I say that about the drugs and I want to make it clear that I am not condemning anyone that truly needs them.  I have read story after story of depression patients whose lives were turned around by the careful use of neurological stimulators. I have friends and loved ones that had to take them.   They can serve a limited purpose.  But I knew, even in those early dark days, that they were not the answer for me.  I am thankful for that.  Of course, with this cold I've got right now, I was popping all kinds of stuff this morning - cold and sinus tabs, migraine meds, and old antibiotics, along with some oils and herbs.  I'm covering all my bases!  What was it David's old Learning RX instructor would always quip?  Oh yes - "Better living through chemistry!"   I'm a walking pharmacy cart today.


How did I get off on that, anyway?  Oh yes, the grief wave that rolled in this week...I am now up to the time of Paul's death in my scrapbooks.  I'm getting caught up!  I did the journaling today for those few pages covering his death.  I did ok.  I might have been more of a mess had I gotten to it earlier this week, but today I'm not doing too badly, thankfully.



I was in Walgreens with Ellie earlier this week.  There was a tall middle aged (but more middle aged than me!) man in front of us who had a huge gut.  Ellie looked at him somberly and then turned to me and in a loud stage whisper exclaimed, "Mom, that man have baby in his tummy!"  I hope, that in addition to being overweight, the man was also at least partially deaf!



Fed Ex just delivered some school books.  The girls were so excited and one exclaimed, "It's the UPS man!"  The delivery guy said, "Oh, no - it's much better.  I'm the Fed Ex man!"  I'm not sure when we'll actually start school this year.  I'm leaning to waiting until after Labor Day.  I think that's actually the first of Sept, so that's not too far away.  It suddenly dawned on me this week that I don't have books yet and I scrambled to figure out what I needed and order them.  But when I ordered some of the things I needed I discovered that it was the exact same date I had ordered a year ago.  So, I must get panicky about the same time every August!  I really would like to make it to the home school conference next May so that I can take care of it all then, as well as save on shipping.  Although, since I have to pay for the conference, I'm probably not really saving anything.


I've been up to my eyeballs in school paperwork this week.  I'm applying for a widow's grant from the Home School Legal Defense Assoc. It's a program where they help pay for school books for homeschooling widows. That took a lot to get ready.  I finally got it mailed off yesterday and realized today that I forgot to include a copy of Paul's death certificate.  Ugh.  So I suppose that's going to slow down the process.


Monday I have to get Ben registered for school.  He starts Aug. 27, which is pretty late for them and most of the area schools, I think.  Most of my local friends were posting "back to school" pics this week on Facebook.  But it takes reams of paperwork to get him back in school, even though they know everything about him already.  This year I even had to fill out an "English Language survey" for him.  I think it's fairly obvious what language he speaks and is spoken in his home.  But they wanted to know a whole lot of stuff that I really did not think was any of their business, like where Ben was born and what states he has lived in.  On one page they ask a bunch of questions and at the end it has "Date?" - just like that, with the question mark.  I wrote, "not yet."  They may  not appreciate that.


I have to get David's CPI done this weekend.  It was so nice last summer not having to fill out any paperwork at all, since Iowa changed their homeschooling laws.  I could just say I was an independent instructor and the school didn't need anything anymore.  Awesome!  But I want him to take Driver's Ed next summer through the school and because of that I have to do his paperwork, as well as pay a supervising teacher to tell me I'm doing just fine.  Technically, I could teach Driver's Ed myself which would save me a bunch of money, as well as paperwork.  But nobody seems to know yet exactly how one goes about doing that since the law is still so new.  I would just as soon he learn from someone else, though.



I mentioned in my last post that Mon. night I would be presenting during my writer's meeting.  I'm entering a contest and I wrote a story about the girls.  I was somewhat nervous.  My writer's group has real published authors - like people who have books with their names on the cover!  And then there's those of us, too,  who are still puttering around in "someday" land.  So here I was handing out copies of the first 1200 words of my story to these vastly experienced writers.  I found myself literally shaking at one point and sternly told my  nerves to knock it off.  They loved it!  I found myself slowly beginning to breathe.  Maybe I can write!  They also had some suggestions for tightening up the story and one even came up with a good, potential title (I'm terrible at titling) so now I'm kind of anxious to get back to the story and implement their suggestions.  Today probably would not be a good day for that, though - too many drugs floating around in my system!



Today is the very last camp day and Will comes home tonight.  I'm happy!  But this next week will be a whirlwind as we get him ready for college and take him up in six days. He texted me last night and told me he needs an immunization exemption form which means we have to fit in a trip to the bank to have the form notarized, too.   Tomorrow Will is taking his brothers to the state fair.  I sure hope he doesn't lose any of them.  I rented several girly movies for the girls,  I hope that and offering to paint their nails might be enough appeasement when they figure out they're not going to the fair, too!


And then Will has a job interview in Ankeny on Monday.  So he may very well start school with employment already in place.  That would be a relief! 


Yesterday, David was able to work at our state church association's fair booth for most of the day.  He did this with his youth leader and a couple of boys from the youth group.  He had several opportunities to witness, as well as having to deal with some know-it-all church lady who was quick to criticize how the boys were doing their job.  He came home so pumped up!  David has always had a heart for evangelism, but he's also always been terribly self-conscious, too.  That's not such a great mix.  But his confidence is increasing these days and it sounds like he really had some good interactions yesterday.  I don't know what God has planned for David in his future, but I could totally see him in full-time missions at some point.  He has that kind of heart and the fire to go along with it.


Well, I need to get the Littles fed.  They keep popping their heads in my room and asking for food.  They also seem to have a continual,  pressing need to inform me of the latest infractions of their siblings.  Better go....











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