For the record, Facebook, I’m still here.
Still reading, and working, and taking minors to various practices and lessons, and Washing Stuff, and thinking.
Not so much.
This, not for any lack of what to say (!) but rather for lack of making the time to sit down and
log blog it.
But I keep getting these annoying emails from Facebook about telling people what I’m up to, and that I’ve got a bajillion notifications, and that I’ve been poked.
Which gives me a funny-strange, not funny-ha-ha feeling.
I don’t even know what that means, other than when Robert Duvall talks about it.
Do you make lists?
I ask because I am a list-maker.
Such a list-maker that I have, in fact, thought about sharing one or more of my random [handwritten] lists here just so you can see how often I am listing.
But I won’t. I can barely read them myself. And I don’t follow them half the time, even at the grocery.
However, I will show you a snap shot of my work surface as I spontaneously steal time this afternoon to write a little:
We had a few inches of snow last night, so we had a very short school day…”Ok, do your math, let’s go over Latin, pick up your dirty clothes, and here’s breakfast” was how it went, in a general sense, before friends and neighbors started showing up for a huge snowball fight.
And I, after my daily climb up the Sisyphean mountain of laundry, sat at
my desk the dining room table to draft a revision to my daily battle plan.
There’s a lot to choose from these days, as far as what I could do when I get unexpected free time. This photo pretty much tells the tale.
1 – I could cook.
You can see my apron hanging on the back of the chair.
And yes, I did use it earlier today.
This morning, we feasted on McCann’s Irish oats with grilled, thick-sliced bacon and topped with shredded Gruyère, sea salt, and hot sauce.
See?! It’s super easy. You, too, can have a hipster breakfast. Anytime.
Sigh. Dang foodie bloggers, alchemizing ordinary, everyday meals into something they’re not!
Actual breakfast: Steel cut oats, boiled in water on the stovetop, topped with bacon my husband threw on the grill while he shoveled the driveway so I could sort the ginormous pile of laundry while simultaneously giving a verbal Latin quiz so the kids could hurry up and finish school…and whatever the cheese in the plastic bag was that was already shredded and ready to just dump in the pot.
Last night, we had naanwiches with black bean hummus, feta, and grilled chicken. Or tortellini in a creamy spinach tomato sauce. Or both.
Which did happen. I won’t say who.
Today, I’ve not done much in the kitchen, just breakfast and Rice Krispie treats (how else do you feed a kid crowd?!)…who knows what we might cook tonight.
Wanna see what Lucy made for Sunday night’s weekly, mandatory Downton Abbey feast?
So, yes, cooking – and baking – is always an option around here.
2 – I could read.
And I did.
Today, so far, it’s been Paradise Lost, Book II (I’m participating in a book discussion on the forum at Ambleside Online) and Churchill’s Birth of Britain, Chapter 23 (I’m co-leading this one, same forum).
After I finish writing this, it’s going to be another few pages of TS Eliot.
I have an unmanageable list of books that I’m reading at present, so I’m assigning them to myself on specific days in order to finish what I start and start fewer until I finish what I start.
Kind of like the same habit I demand from my kids.
Hard to take one’s own medicine, isn’t it?
And why I am so dense that I haven’t been doing this for, oh, I don’t know, ever?
Here’s the list:
Monday: Birth of Britain. This sometimes stretches into Tuesday as well. Today, I actually read ahead of schedule. A rarity.
Tuesday: Paradise Lost. This is my third reading, and this time the biblical references are fairly leaping off the page. Haven’t read it since college, and it’s ever so much better this time.
Wednesday: TS Eliot’s Notes Towards the Definition of Culture. This is such a short book and yet it is huge. I haven’t been consistent (I’m in about one-third) but I’m hoping my Weekly Reading List will help to correct this.
Thursday: Off from any official assignment. Catch-up, if need be.
Friday: The Idiot.
I told my friend Silvia that I’d read it with her, just like Don Quixote, and I dropped the ball both times!
I read The Idiot during a trip abroad, and it had such a huge impact on me. It’s rather dense – Silvia offers her take on it here and I don’t think she’s wrong – but I’m one of those who truly believes that this is Dostoevsky’s finest work.
Or maybe I just like Prince Myshka.
Or maybe it’s because my husband’s reading Robert Massie’s Peter the Great right now, and when he reads something out loud to me, or when we discuss something from the book, it makes me think it’d be really interesting if I was also reading about Russia, only from a different perspective and a different time.
So I’m committing to the Prince. Again.
Saturday: Don Quixote.
I wrote about this here, and I’m sadly, and embarrassingly, nowhere near finished.
Back in the saddle. Again.
This is just my personal list – doesn’t include Bible, or devotional, or what I’m reading with the kids. I’ll write about that later.
Back to what I could be doing today.
3 – I could work ahead in my online courses by importing assignments and updating due dates.
4 – I could catch up this week’s grading for school – for our home school and for my online courses.
And I am doing this, a little earlier, and more when I finish writing this.
The 2015-2016 homeschool binder, wherein I file away everyone’s weekly work for posterity or The Government or later amusement or my replacement should something befall me, is at the lower right in the photo, spread out on top of my personal homeschool planning binder.
I keep up with the kids’ work with an ever-changing schedule, which I simply edit every week. We all have our own schedule, but everyone’s work is listed on mine. And if we don’t get to something, it just stays on the list for the next week until we finish it.
Sometimes we’re behind, sometimes we’re ahead. Such is life, right?
Here’s a snapshot of my list:
Sometimes I take notes on it, when we’re reading and I think of something I want to think more about…
Last week, I noted a passage in John 12: 38. As one of the kids was reading – I think it was Lucy – she read this verse and I jumped up to grab my copy of Paradise Lost, to share with them what leapt off the page for me.
The verse quotes Isaiah, who says, “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Why, Satan, of course!
‘Cause I just read this in Paradise Lost, in Lucifer’s first speech to his stunned hordes of fallen followers, who are coming out of a sort of stupor, realizing what’s happened as they wake up “far removed from God and light of heaven”:
From what height fallen, so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder: and til then who knew
The force of those dire arms? (lines 92-94; emphasis mine)
This is why I love the privilege of being able to educate my children – and myself – at home. These connections come all the time, and this is just one example.
And last, 5 – I could go crawl under a blanket and think about hot sand and salt water and oysters on the half shell.
A girl can dream, right?
Oh – you wanted to see the snow? It’s only a little – but enough to make the snowball fight a success:
Apparently, winter is just getting cranked up around here – we’re expecting a lot more than two inches this weekend. I’ll try to remember to post some pictures and maybe even write a little more then.
Wait – I’ll put it on my list.