Monday, October 29, 2007

Where am I?

I feel like I've been dropped on another planet in an alternate universe. This month everything has changed. My present has changed dramatically, my future looks very different, and even my past doesn't seem the same. I know someday I will look back on this time and I hope I will take pride in the fact that I made the right decisions; I have a lot of life-changing decisions to make, some of which will affect others considerably. Please let me make the right choices.

I'm doing the best I can.

I sometimes feel I should be angrier with him. But I have enough going on in my life without adding an extra negative and draining emotion to the mix, so alongside the sorrow and disappointment, I feel compassion instead of anger. He's going to lose everything. This is the life that my family and I thought we'd saved him from, and it turns out that nobody could save him from himself. It's very humbling and disheartening.

He is such a sad and angry and miserable person, and I'd never want to be in his shoes. As hard as my road is right now, I'd still choose it over his any day. At least I'm surrounded by love and light and laughter and learning and goodness and beauty.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Goodnight Moon

Making memories.

Tonight we played peek-a-boo with a day-old pumpkin moon the color of milk and honey in the sunshine.

Life is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spirited Away


As soon as he was allowed outside, Spirit became a happy cat. Unfortunately, he started regularly accessing the neighbor's house through their cat door, and when poor old diabetic Mr. S went to pet him, Spirit attacked. This 80+-year-old man has a massively infected hand, bright red and swollen to twice its normal size. He's been to the doctor and everything. These are the sweetest neighbors I've ever had, and after a couple of years of doting on each other's cats and helping each other out, I was horrified to find out about this turn of events. I apologized profusely and want to do more.

I brought Spirit inside as soon as I saw him and did not allow him out again.

This angered him greatly. Spirit is not a cat nature ever intended to be indoors. His indoor temperament (combined with his massive size and strength) is the reason he was on the euthanasia list at the shelter when I brought him home. He was so miserable and angry that he could not settle down. He yearned to get outside, he terrorized the dogs, he attacked and threatened the humans. The kids became fearful, and I had to throw a blanket over him to move him out of doorways so we could all pass. He was the angriest, unhappiest, most miserable cat I've ever seen.

After doing what was hard for me because it was best for him, Spirit allowed me to briefly pet him, rub his cheek, and he gave me a quick kiss on the hand. He then promptly screamed bloody murder and went into full attack mode when I put him in the travel crate to take him to his new life. He is now a barn cat out in the country and I'm sure is very happy. But my heart is a bit broken.

Spirit, a piece of me is still with you. I never wanted it to be this way.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who would've guessed?

Click to view my Personality Profile page

INFPs are introspective, private, creative and highly idealistic individuals that have a constant desire to be on a meaningful path. They are driven by their values and seek peace. Empathetic and compassionate, they want to help others and humanity as a whole. INFPs are imaginitive, artistic and often have a talent for language and writing. They can also be described as easygoing, selfless, guarded, adaptable, patient and loyal.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dumbledore is gay!

That freakin' rocks! I love you, J.K. Rowling.

"Rowling...also said that she regarded her Potter books as a 'prolonged argument for tolerance' and urged her fans to 'question authority.'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Life is Part of Life

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The stinkiest foster I've had, this potent tom cat was attacked by a dog and has bite wounds on both sides and his belly, in addition to being severely emaciated. Tomorrow will be a week since he came to me, and so far so good. None of his wounds are abscessing that I can tell, his spirits are great, he's eating well and gaining weight, and what goes in is coming out as it should. He has a long road ahead of him, and I'll be at his side for as long as he needs me.

Little Girl & Little Boy
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Representative of real life, Little Girl is in the spotlight in these photos. Vocal and strong, she's a definite focal point. Her brother looks just like her, but his nose is brown. They are about 5 days old, and small for their age. They were found in an abandoned cat nest, very cold, with dead litter mates, nobody cleaned or detached from placenta, and near death. While small for their age, they are eating and eliminating and getting me up at weird hours and generally being charming little squeakers. I think their names will come when I can look into their eyes. I've had them since they were less than 24 hours old.

Death is part of life

We had two fosterlings die within a short period of time not too long ago, and both were hard on us. Despite the sadness involved, everyone in the family wants to continue fostering, saying that the love, and joy, and laughter outweighs the grief, and that those we could not save will have another chance someday.

Unfortunately, we cannot bury everyone on our small piece of land, so we give most back to the animal shelter. However, we buried pictures Marian drew along with multicolored locks of Scarlett's hair, and sang our traditional funeral song at graveside:

Fur and feathers and scales and skin
Different without but the same within
Many a body but one the soul
By all creatures are the gods made whole

(from Circle Round)

Then we say goodbye, hope to see ya later, and wish them safe journeys while assuring them they are welcome to stay as long as they need.

Peace, babies.

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I heart UU

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Moon and New Path

Pagans and astrologers know that important activities are best begun just after the New Moon. While I didn't plan it this way, I've ended up on just such a path. Last night was the new moon; after a shocking and scary day, I gazed up at the dark sky and its deepness helped me to let my fear go. I fell asleep visualizing security, stability, and money. (How spiritual of me, no?)

Life is changing and I am taking on the challenge of becoming a creative entrepreneur in order to hang onto the crazy beautiful life my little family has. So entertwined with homeschooling that they cannot be separated, this sweet and full family life is fully capable of expanding to include these new endeavors. I'm thinking positive, laughing and smiling with the kids, and hanging on tight for this wild ride.

And on a more matter-of-fact note, if anyone has any ideas for how to increase my earned income by at least $600 a month while still homeschooling, feel free to post them here. I have a long brainstorming list going and am tackling items one by one. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When the kids are too quiet...

Apparently Sophie requested a tattoo, so Marian opted for a full sleeve. Yup, fingertips to the top of the shoulder. Kat would be so proud.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Portrait of an Insomniac

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Children’s Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters

Homeschooled children often struggle to find books that show children like them. Since school is the norm, most children’s books are either set in school or are geared to prepare children for school. Fortunately for book-loving homeschooling families everywhere, there are many books featuring homeschoolers they can add to their home library. For the purpose of this compilation, a “homeschooled character” will be defined as a school-aged character who is either overtly homeschooled or who experiences sustained learning and life events over an extended period of time with no mention of school. Now for the list, which I guarantee is incomplete and ever-growing, much to the joy of homeschoolers everywhere.

Children’s Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters

The Adventures of Bellota, Avellanita, and Castanita by Elsa Bescow

The Adventures of Lil' Wolf, Twinkie, Toes, and Flower Girl in the Homeschool Forest by Jacqueline R. Campos

Allison's Story: A Book about Homeschooling by Jon Lurie

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

Ana on the Farm by Elsa Bescow

Are we there yet?: A journey around Australia by Alison Lester

Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Brian's Hunt by Gary Paulsen

Chicken Friend by Nicola Morgan

The Conch Bearer series by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series) by Diana Wynne Jones

Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Dancing with Dragonflies by Jack Francis Gorfien

Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

Drift House: The First Voyage by Dale Peck

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter and Rennard Strickland

Eloise by Kay Thompson

Feed by M.T. Anderson

From The Mixed-Up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E.L. Konisburg

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

I am a Homeschooler by Julie Voetberg

I am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos

Ida B...and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell

Islander by Cynthia Rylant

Jess (American Girl Today) by Mary Casanova

Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos

Josefina an American Girl (The American Girls Collection) by Valerie Tripp, Jean-Paul Tibbles, and Susan McAliley

Journey by Cynthia Rylant

Kandoo Kangaroo Hops Into Homeschool by Susan Ratner

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Gouge

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Littles by John Peterson and Roberta Carter Clark

Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Gouge

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Meet Felicity: An American Girl (American Girls Collection) by Valerie Tripp

Meet Kaya: An American Girl (American Girls Collection) by Janet Beeler Shaw, Bill Farnsworth, and Susan McAliley

The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

Monster of the Month Club (Series) by Dian Curtis Regan

The Moomin books (series) by Tove Jansson

The Nature of the Beast by Jan Carr

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durell

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr

Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand

Olympus: It's Not Just a Game by Scott W. Somerville

Operation Red Jericho

Operation Typhoon Shore by Joshua Mowll

Pippi Longstocking (series) by Astrid Lindgren

Road to Coorain by Jill Ker Conway

Ruby Slippers School (Series) by Stacy Towle Morgan

Sarah, Plain and Tall (Series) by Patricia MacLachlan

The Sea Chest by Toni Buzzeo

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Shouldn't You Be In School? by Angelina Hart

Skellig by David Almond

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan

Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate

A Time to Fly Free by Stephanie Tolan

The Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore

Tonia of Trelawney: A Buccaneer Girl by Jacqueline C Grant

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

What would Joey do? by Jack Gantos

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman

Wise Child by Monica Furlong

The Wizard of Oz (series) by L. Frank Baum

The Year I Didn't Go to School by Giselle Potter

Head to the library, the bookstore, or online, and pick up some of these treasures for your literature-loving family. I know I will!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lost track, man

I was hoping to keep track of all the books the kids and I read together this past week (just for kicks and nerd points), but I didn't do it. We finished our chapter book, The Littles (Peterson), and started two new ones--Matilda (Dahl) and The Magic Tree House #2: The Knight at Dawn (Osborne). And we're on chapter seven of The Golden Compass (Pullman) on CD. Over the week, we read lots of fall and Halloween books, and here is the list from the one day I kept track:

Tuesday's books--

Hansel & Gretel (Patience)
Jack and the Beanstalk (Patience)
Goodnight Moon (Brown)
Winnie-the-Pooh Tells Time (Milne, Shepherd)
Winnie-the-Pooh ABC (Milne, Shepherd)
Winnie-the-Pooh 123 (Milne, Shepherd)
Winnie-the-Pooh Opposites (Milne, Shepherd)
Winnie-the-Pooh Colors (Milne, Shepherd)
Mother Goose's Humpty Dumpty and Friends
Curious George and the Bunny (Ray)
PlayTime with Big Bird (Gorbaty)
Barneys's Alphabet Soup
Santa's WorkshopRainbow Duck (Lodge)
It's Not Easy Being a Bunny (Sadler)
Things That Go (Midal)
Corduroy's Halloween (Freeman)
Now, Soon, Later (Grunwald)
Dinosaur Train (Gurney)
Kiara's Colors
Itsy Bitsy Spider (Spangler)
My Big Bright World (Gabriel)
The Moon in my Room (McGrew)
Polly Squawks (Parent)
Care Bears Bedtime Bear (Knight)
Gandhi (Mitchell)

Fun, fun!


I am suddenly writing all the time; I've filled pages and pages of creative writing, I've submitted several non-fiction pieces to Associated Content, I whipped a press release out of my butt (heart? brain?) in record time. I'm needing to restrain myself from starting on my NaNoWriMo novel, but am jotting down plot notes as they come to me so I won't explode. No prose, though, I swear!

I feel full of spiritual energy; I've been connecting with beings around me more than ever before. I'm feeling pulled to more action than I have for a long time. The Tao is sucking me in and pulling me along where I am supposed to go. I'm reading and thinking and feeling and soaking up every morsel I can, and I'm never full.

I did a Tarot reading for myself tonight that helped me clarify several things and see my path more clearly. I don't know that these cards have divinatory powers; I think rather they may enhance one's own divinatory powers and can be a useful tool to enhance one's intuition and insight.

The other day when everything fell apart, I ran into someone at a time and place when I had deliberately sought solitude and secrecy for my tears. I shared only a little, and declined the friendly help she offered. Unfortunately, another piece of bad news slammed me the next day and I felt I had nowhere to turn. Then I remembered the serendipitous meeting and...I asked her for help. It was very hard. It was very different. And it was very worth it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Foster Factoids

I set up a spreadsheet today and entered all my fosterlings. Yes, I'm very cool, I know.

Since April, I've had 34 fosterlings (some for repeat visits)--33 cats and one newborn puppy, for a running total of 560 days of care so far. Of all of them, I've only adopted 2 myself. So stop calling me a sucker. ;)

First Ice Cream Cones

Okay, Marian had an ice cream cone, once. Years ago. This was a first for Leo and Sophie. For those who don't know, Leo and Sophie have a gluten-intolerance (Celiac) as well as other major food intolerances (dairy, soy). A dear friend of mine surprised us with a package in the mail today containing ice cream cones safe for everyone in our family. (The "ice cream" is raspberry sorbet.) Take a look at the joy friendship brings.

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And my favorite picture. You can see the utter bliss... Such a happy Leo.
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Thank you, Corey!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dylan said it best

Big changes in my life, with an uncertain outcome and future. I lost one of my jobs yesterday and made some unpleasant discoveries about human nature. However, I feel something exciting on the horizon.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

--Bob Dylan

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pink- Dear Mr President - Live

A song of our times. It touches me like no other.


50,000 words in 30 days.

Yup. I'm gonna join thousands of others in a month of written verbosity, and put my diarrhea of the fingers to good use. So if my blogging slacks off in November, you'll know it's because I'm hard at work writing my novel.

Care to join me?

To Lighten the Mood

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And more of my new glasses, the second pair...

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ode to Old Mr. Whiskerson

Ode to Old Mr. Whiskerson

Skin and bones and toothless gums
And whiskers that went on for a mile
We took you home and pampered you
And in return you made us smile

You nibbled and licked when we rubbed your belly,
You kicked your leg when we scratched your ear
You chirped and purred like a rusty engine
It was clear you really liked it here

Your last days were full of love
You gained strength until the end
You locked eyes with me in your last moment
And I know someday we’ll meet again.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And the survey says...

A favorite blogger of mine requested I answer the following survey:

1. Does someone love you?

2. What color is your couch?
Right now it is covered with a king-sized comforter in fall colors. Under everything, the upholstery is seventies gold with large images of fruit and birds.

3. Has anyone ever mistaken you for someone famous?
Yes, but they couldn't place me so they never said anything about it.

4. Are you named after a grandparent?
My middle name, yes.

5. Say you were given a drug test right now. Would you pass or fail?
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6. Are you taller than 5'6"?

7. When was the last time you were disappointed?
Saturday morning, because my kids were disappointed.

8. Ever seen a dead body?

9. Who was the last person to send you a text message?
My sister.

10. What did you do yesterday?
Alone time in the morning, quick chat with friends in the afternoon, snuggly TV time with kids watching tattoo shows, a nap with Leo, time at the animal shelter.

11. What’s the first thing you would do with five million dollars?
Pay off my student loans.

12. What nationalit(ies) are you?
English, Irish, Native American. American Mutt.

13. Any upcoming concerts you want to attend?
Nothing comes here, so I'm grateful to have spent so many years in Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world. I was able to fill up and see more shows in those years than many do in a lifetime.

14. Who’s the last person that you felt was stalking you?
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15. What’s your zodiac sign?

16. Where do you spend most of your money?
Grocery store.

17. On what do you spend most of your energy?

18. Is there a secret you've never told any of your friends?

19. What are you doing in 2008?
Hopefully more of the same.

20. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Is Shrek Disney? Because I love the kickass princesses in Shrek the Third.

21. Have you cried today?
No, but I cried yesterday. And the day before.

23. What is your ringtone?
ring ring. ring ring. ring ring.

24. What is the wallpaper on your mobile phone?
one of my kids. I alternate them.

25. Name twenty five bloggers you read that you’d like to learn twenty five things about.

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