Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Week in Review

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. ~Victor Hugo

I think I have been in calling out to my Lord quite a bit in the last few months, even though I have, at times, avoided prayer. I think part of me knew I was being stubborn, stuck in the mire and wanting out but my way. God was showing me not the path of least resistance, but the one He had prepared for me and I for it. The difference in my attitude is not just the schedule change, although that was a large part of it, but something more...something more like trusting Him more with the Princess' education and allowing myself to enjoy both her talents and my own. I had just gotten off track with the whole thing, but now...ahhh, so much the better now!

My daughter cleaned her room and her hamster's cage. I dusted and vacuumed most of the house because the fleas had finally died down and the diatomaceous earth I used to treat for them for the last three weeks was everywhere in my house--and I do mean everywhere, on everything and in everything.

My husband was out hunting for the day and came home late in the dark with a deer. Although past her bedtime, my daughter was as excited as the outside mitten kittens, but for differing reasons. There was an outside party next door and we were trying to be discreet, just in case the children would be upset.

We had to process the deer that night in our garage, at least in part, which took a few hours being it was the first we have ever done. My husband was given the deer by his hunting partner, who had shot it and felt it was not worth taking to a processor because it was too small. Actually it was average size for a doe in our area. It is not like my husband did not earn it, at least, a portion of it, for it was he who tracked the deer, since it ran away, and hauled it back.

Because we all were up late the night before, we left for Sunday School late. There was a dinner after church as it was Pastor Appreciation Day and there would be no evening service, which suit us fine as we had more processing to do. Once done, my husband packed as he would be leaving after work to fly out to Boston on Monday night.

After my husband had left for work, the day unraveled. First thing in the morning when I was feeding the rabbits I noticed a freakish accident in which a bunny's back leg got caught in the wiring of the cage. The leg was obviously broken or dislocated. While trying to get him freed, with my daughter holding him, she expressed concern for one of the mitten kittens. Midnight, the prissy, long-haired one who rather be a lap cat and carried everywhere, was on the ground and from the description given by my dramatic Princess, because my focus was on the bunny, the kitten could have had a seizure. I called my husband about the bunny, this before I understood what may have happened to the cat.

We began lessons a bit late, but all was going well, although I was a bit frazzled on the edges about the bunny. The Princess finished her pastel drawing of a horse for an art show and we went to the arts and craft store to get a can of fixative spray. After I realized that I had gotten "workable" fixative instead of the "final" one, I called to find out that the final fixative was one aisle over. Of course, the cans of final fixative and working fixative were in separate aisles! What was I thinking?

Then my daughter saw the next door neighbors walking their dog in costumes and began getting upset about treat or trick already starting. She never has like people being in full costumes with masks, but I thought she had grown out of it. I am still not sure if she was just being dramatic or truly upset.

This year she had a plan to keep children from stomping on the porch. What she did not plan is slipping on acorns while trying to move a heavy trash can to block the front steps and falling hard on her knee. About twenty minutes later she was fine and sweeping the sidewalk. The trash can, with a "no trick or treating" sign, was to stop the children from walking up to our door, which they always do even when we have porch lights off and drapes drawn close. It drives our dog crazy and we tend to hide downstairs, but this year we decided to enjoy sitting in our living room without closing the drapes, enjoying an episode of SG-1 while eating dinner and munching on a few treats. The Princess is proud that she came up with a way to keep those trick or treating off our porch.

The horses decided to be mischievous and play musical stalls...without the music. We got them situated and had no other incidents. After our chores there, I changed clothes because we needed to do some errands, including exchanging the fixative, but I left an article of clothing by accident, which I did not realize until we had returned home.

We went to the bank, got our refills of water from Kroger, filled the van with gas, exchanged the fixative, and stopped in at Target to look over the marked down candy. Several times I found myself thinking how much more I am enjoying the freedom on Tuesdays with the new homeschooling schedule. At home, the Princess had a shower, then we had a large lunch. I then showered while the Princess began working on her horse curriculum and the Latin she did not get done the day before.

All seemed to go so well, but later I realized I forgot to remind her of piano practice. I was distracted because I was trying to finish matting, mounting, shrink wrapping and placing a card on her artwork, as required so that we could turn it in at the 4-H meeting that evening. The meeting place is just a few minutes from my home, thankfully, because I realized on the way there that not only had I forgotten to take a picture of the pastel drawing my daughter did, but I had forgotten my camera as well, and the artwork is to be donated and sold to raise money to be split by the county animal control and an animal rescue group. I left the Princess and went back home for my camera and when I came back I was asked by a mother I know to take pictures of her daughter's presentation for her 4-H portfolio, which helps her qualify for scholarships. This is the same girl who has given the Princess a few riding lessons.

My husband returns home from Boston late, just before I had fallen asleep, which I did soon afterward.

Lessons go well. On Monday we covered Stonehenge, so for art in the afternoon I asked that she do a pencil drawing of Stonehenge from an elevated perspective so that the top was elliptical and also to begin a drawing for our Christmas cards. She felt it was too early, but I reminded her how rush we get when we wait until December.

We received Beautiful Feet's History of Classical Music. At first glance, each lesson looks to be more involved than the History of the Horse curriculum, perhaps better geared for an older child, so I think I will break up the lessons a bit so that the Princess can do them in the van between errands more easily. I want more than just a day to look through it, so I decided not to begin it until next week.

I relaxed in the afternoon, worked on separating money into the budget envelopes, viewing sales flyers online for my health food store, and organizing my coupons. I was particularly excited to find the 32 oz. organic canola oil regularly around $13.00 is on sale for $8.49 and there is also a $2.00 off coupon, so the $10.40 normally would pay with my 20% discount would be $5.19--half the price. Besides cooking, I use canola oil to make mayonnaise and ranch dressing, and because it is higher in Omega 3 than most vegetable oils, it is a healthier choice. Organic white flour normally around $7.00 for five pounds is also on sale for $4.99 with a $1.00 off coupon, my price of $5.60 down to $3.19. The whole wheat would be about 80¢ more. Also on sale is various soups and flavorings with coupons and sugar without. This is when I really stock up on baking goods and soups for my hunting man, but I try to hold back enough for two turkeys also.

My husband's van had a flat tire, because one of his accounts has a building still under construction and the workers cleaned up by blowing around the debris in the parking lot. A couple of screws found their way into the most worn tires, fortunately, but they may have lasted another 25,000. My husband filled the tires with air and asked me to follow him to the place where he would have the tires replaced on our way out to do errands.

I thought I would then double back and drop off one of the Princess' books at the library as well pay for one overdue and renew it. I really wish I would stop forgeting that the library's hours have changed, so it was not opened and we would do that on the way home.

Stopped at Walmart to look at marked down candy and got a little. Then we went to the health food store. (I know that sounds counterproductive, candy and health food, but we eat very little candy. A few bags keep well in my freezer for months. Besides, organic chocolate is very expensive.) At Life Grocery, I bought my bargains and a few staples like eggs and fruit. The Princess has taken up helping in the store the last few weeks. She asks what she can do and they usually have her front items or locate items where the labels are missing on the shelves. This time they "paid" her with a bag of natural milk chocolate, which she shared with me. Isn't she sweet? It tasted more like something between milk and dark chocolate and I really liked it very much, but then I never met a chocolate I did not like.

We also stopped at Big Lots and bought 16 oz. organic Newman-O's, a sandwich cookie, for just $2.00, which is the best price I have ever seen, but for some reason I have found them only at one Big Lots of the three closest on our errand run.

During the piano lessons, I read several chapters of a book. Afterward, we started the drive home with a stop at the Post Office. Because of an accident on the highway, we were delayed about 20 minutes and this time we did not stop for a Happy Hour half-priced milk shake at Steak-n-Shake. We stopped at the Target closest to home and bought five (all that was there) Sweet Leaf Organic Tea in the 64 oz. size for $1.99 (with the 8 oz. near it for about $1.49). We have plenty of organic spring salad mix so I did not stop at Sam's Club for it this time.

Then we made it to the library. The Princess placed two of the remaining Ramona books by Beverly Cleary on hold, which means they were ordered from other libraries.

At home we unpack and I begin dinner, which is usually just a salad, especially if my husband is working late and he did. The Princess and I watched a Stargate SG-1 episode during dinner.

Thinking my husband would be working on Saturday, I focused on lessons with the Princess and planned to work on reorganizing my pantry, kitchen cabinets for food, and upright freezer on Saturday. Of course, plans around here are never worth writing in pen and my husband will be home on Saturday after all which means he will not get a comp day so we can go to the apple country (North Georgia) on Monday as we had penciled in.

We had a nice dinner, rabbit with black beans and rice. I am still trying to get use to cooking rabbit, because it has so little fat, it can be a bit chewy in comparison to chicken, which is what it tastes like for the most part.

My daughter cleaned her room and swept the back deck and sidewalks. I defrosted the upright freezer and organized it with older items in the front and everything more easily accessible. My husband decided that he would like to move the pantry from the garage to one end of the arts and crafts room, because we had a mouse problem that we think has been corrected, but why encourage more? Also, that way we can use those shelves in our garage as our mud room area with hunting supplies and gardening items. To make room in the arts and craft room, he is now moving his computer and hobby work bench to another wall and clearing it out of all the outdated computer stuff not needed anymore.

I am half way done with the pantry, checking all the dates to move the oldest to the front and making mental notes of what we have, need, and should be used. I have not even started in the kitchen and I have my doubts that I will get to it today. We need to stop at a store tomorrow after church and perhaps then I will relax...while I prepare lessons for the week, that is.

And, we have to change the clocks now too!

You know what is the most amazing thing is: I am feeling so much better emotionally (and a little tired physically). I don't know if it is the new schedule or just a phase or maybe I just slapped myself in the face with reality, but I actually feel I am trusting God again and the rest, the bad along with the good, has had a very different feel for the last two weeks and even when I look at the next few weeks which are always very hectic with extra 4-H activities.

Still, I just have been feeling at more peace. Thank you for the prayers.

~ My Lord, thank you...just thank You. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.