Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Incoherent Ramblings

It's been weeks since I posted. I am so sorry. I don't even have a good excuse. I've spent much of my time lately hiding in my bedroom, trying to get away from the arguing, whining, complaining, and yelling that seems to be overtaking my house lately. Plus, we've been dealing with some stuff with Dea, stuff dealing with her Bipolar & her doing things she shouldn't be doing. I'm not comfortable going into details about it right now. There are worse things she could be doing, but I'm still tired of the stupid & dangerous behaviors. Everything lately has been sort of BLAH! Part of the problem is the weather. We live in the Midwest, USA and weather has sucked here lately. We've had record numbers of days with record lows this winter. There have been way too many subzero temps. Plus, there is ice everywhere. I have spent multiple nights helping my husband dig the car out because he got it stuck while trying to pull into our regular parking spot. We have had ice, rain, flooding, snow, and subzero temps. I really hate winter right now.

Here is the flooding we had a few days ago:

Here is the view from my backdoor tonight, where we usually park the car:
The ice where we normally park (the smooth area) is a good 2 inches thick. The lumpy ice closer to the door is thicker than that. Walking out the door is dangerous, as you are almost guaranteed to fall. Plus, to make it more fun, my daughter keeps letting the dog crap on the ice (notice the brown spots), so you have to try to avoid the piles of frozen feces when you fall. Anyway, the terrible weather has made it difficult for us to get out much this winter, & we all have a bit of cabin fever. I have had a really hard time focusing lately, as I keep daydreaming about moving to California & learning to surf! I want to go out & walk or go hiking or jump in a lake & swim for 4 hours, anything except staying in this house!

Well, onto better topics. I love tax filing day! I know that sounds strange, but I really do love it. You see, I have gotten a refund on my taxes every year since I turned 18, so it's nice to know that money is coming. When we get taxes, I get to buy school materials & other things we need. I also try to get at least one thing we don't need, something that's just for fun. This year, we can't get everything I wanted to get. Some things will have to wait until next year. Someone stole our grill last year, and I was hoping to get a new one with taxes. It will have to wait, though, as we have more pressing needs. There were some DVDs we were going to buy, but I've decided to save up for those throughout the year & try to get them for Christmas. My pretty new fridge will also be waiting until next year, with hopes that we'll be able to afford a better one next year than we would be able to get this year. There is only one thing that I might not be able to get this year that really bugs me. There is a Certified Herbalist course I want to take & was hoping to pay for it with taxes. I'm not sure I can, though, and that sucks. Well, technically, I could get almost everything I had initially planned on, but that wouldn't leave any money left to put toward debts, and we really need to pay down some of our debts. Not having money sucks even more than winter does!

So, I'm currently finalizing my lists of what we're doing with tax money. School for the kids this year will cost more than ever. With Dea starting Chemistry later this year, & Jay doing Chemistry & Forensics this year, we have a lot to buy. Yes, he's only doing Jr High School level Chem & Forensics, not High School, but it still requires a lot of stuff. Luckily, with them both doing Chem this year, I can combine much of the lab work. Combining them for school isn't something I get to do much of with there being almost 6 years between them.

Our library finally got their subscription to Rosetta Stone working in late December. This is great news, as we can't possibly afford to buy RS for all the different languages we want to learn. Jay has started using it to learn Mandarin. I have started using it to refresh my French & learn Gaelic. Dea keeps claiming that she is going to use it for several languages, but has yet to start one. Personally, I enjoy learning other languages. I find it fun. I don't know why it's such a battle to get her to learn one.

Dea started her new term of school. She's doing fine with it so far. Many of her subjects this term will have credits based on time (a minimum of 150 - 180 hours of study). She picked up a pad of weekly time sheets at OfficeMax, & is using those to keep track of the hours she works on each subject. It was actually a pretty cool idea, and I'm proud of her for thinking of it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

January 2014 Wrap-up

The books I read in January:

For Dea's English:
I've been reading The count of Monte Cristo, though I am not yet done with it.

From Jay's Required Reading List:
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is the true story about a little girl who was exposed to the radiation from the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. Ten years later, she died of leukemia caused by the radiation.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Edward Tulane is a china rabbit. He lives with the little girl who owns him & her parents. When the family takes a cruise, Edward Tulane falls overboard & is lost at sea. After being saved from the sea, he lives with multiple other families and learns to truly love.

For Book Clubs:
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

For Challenges:
A Book of Five Rings
The Sandman
I am Not a Serial Killer

In other news:
February starts a new term for Dea's high school. Her previous term ended at the end of January. Jay has been sick the last few weeks, so he has been doing a very lite schedule (mostly reading). We've dealt with a few rounds of illness running through the house, but maybe that will get it all over & done for a while. My husband & I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Now that the illnesses seem to be winding down, maybe I can be a bit better about posting here (sorry I haven't been around for a few weeks).