Anyone like miracles??

The first night of my trip to Florida, I was tucked into my king size bed, in the deepest of travel-ridden comas when I was awakened by my cell phone.  Once the consciousness began to return, I noticed it was 1:30 in the morning and that the origin of the call was listed as “HOME”. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but the first thought that pops into my head at a moment like that is: “It can’t possibly be good.”  So I gingerly reached for the device, while simultaneously clenching every muscle in my body in preparation for the impact.

Imagine my shock when the voice on the other end of the call is my husband’s insanely elated one.  “You are not going to BELIEVE it!  You just aren’t going to BELIEVE it!!!” 

Actually, at 1:30 in the morning, I will probably believe that aliens have landed and have taken over the Pentagon, but ok.  On with the story.

“She’s back!” my husband squeals into the phone.

“What?”  I reply, praying to goodness he isn’t referring to Sarah Palin.

“Frisky!  She just showed up at the back gate!!” 

Frisky.  Our missing black lab.  Our precious doggie who had been missing for 23 straight days.  The one, who had run away in terror after the 4th of July fireworks, and I’m sad to say, we had finally given up hope of ever seeing again.  That crazy girl had reappeared into our lives again!!

She was 12 pounds lighter, and several ticks heavier, but she was Frisky.  And she had somehow survived her ordeal and found her way back home.  I can’t even possibly explain how incredible the excited squeals of my boys sounded in the background of that phone call. 

My only frustration was not being able to be there to greet her.  I told my husband to tell her I was still out looking for her. (Moms know how to add guilt at even the most inappropriate times).

So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Or at least a Black Lab Claus.  At this point, I’m ready to believe in just about anything. 

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That’s What She Said

I can’t say I’m a regular viewer of the show “The Office.”  I’ve probably seen maybe four or five full episodes, and maybe snippets of at least five more.  But the characters and the catch phrases have become part of the current culture, so that even if you have never viewed a single episode, you still might have a good clue as to who “Jim and Pam” are, or be able to respond to a general statement with the thinly disguised sexual innuendo: “That’s What She Said.”

I got to experience a little of THE OFFICE life myself this week as I headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to visit the headquarters of Time4Learning – – the company I have been contracting with for theTime4Learning Logo last few years.  Time4Learning CEO, John Edelson, invited me down to see how things work on their end, and because many of their different websites and programs are aimed at homeschoolers, he thought it was a good idea to let the employees get some face time with a long-time homeschooler who could give them the beef about exactly what is up with us strange folk.  😉 

So…I headed down to the Sunshine State prepared for some heat, humidity, and some invaluable experiences.  And I got a lot of each!  I discovered that in FL in the summer you are always on the run.  You RUN from your air conditioned house to your garaged car, then RUN from your air conditioned car to your air conditioned office, then you RUN from your air conditioned car to your blazing hot car, which you desperately try to air condition on your way back to the comforts of home.  You MIGHT spend five minutes or more of time outside IF there is a pool involved.  Otherwise, you simply sit by the air conditioner until October and hope for the best. 

Since I’m normally quite an out-of-doors addict, you would think this would have been a problem for me, but the folks at Time4Learning made me feel so welcomed, and were so thoroughly awesome, that I barely paid attention to the sweat filling up my bra each day (hey, I’ve always wanted to try one of those water bras, anyway!)

I have no idea if anyone’s office is like the one portrayed on television, but if even 10% of America’s offices were like the one at Time4Learning, we would have the world’s happiest work force.  This was an amazing team of people who have an incredibly diverse group of talents, and work together like a professionally oiled machine while still remaining upbeat, cooperative, and friendly. 

I was wined.  I was dined.  I got to work near some of the greatest visionaries in educational technology today.  And I even walked the beach. 

It was a BIG deal.

That’s what she said.

Blogging is so Incestuous!

And yes, of course, I used that title to increase my blog traffic for today.  But I’m in Florida as this “goes to press” so just try to find me and make me change it. Ha!

Anyway… I’ve been discovering some great new blogs.  And I was so proud of myself.  Until, of course, I saw that most of you found them before I did. 

Haven’t you noticed that we homeschoolers – – especially us “out there” ones (hee) tend to run in the same circles?? 

I guess it is only natural that if we like each other’s blogs, then we have similar tastes, and so we are going to gravitate toward other likeminded blogs as well. 

But, just in CASE you’ve missed any of the following bloggers, I’m going to introduce you to them today, and then we can compare blogrolls and make sure no one has one-upped us or found some secret gem of a blog that they are keeping to themselves.  We wouldn’t do that to each other…now would we??

Meet Homeschool On The Edge of Nowhere.  Ruralmama was one of my students in a past session of the Blog Writing Course I teach, and she headed out of the gates with a BANG!  Although her made-from-scratch food habit has given me a severe guilt complex, I still stop by to see what is happening…on the edge of nowhere.

Introducing Wake Up. Start Learning.  Mama Tea, the Hubster, and her boys Iggy, and Ooky will draw you in to their natural unschooling lifestyle and have you begging to come visit. 

And I’d like you to meet Mental Multivitamin.  And I’m going to let her description suffice, just because I like it so much: “M-mv often includes "The recommended daily allowance" — descriptions, synopses, and /or quotes from books, films, and occasionally cds, software, and artwork that can have the same effect on gray matter as juicing can have on the rest of a getting-older-and-wiser body.”

So if you somehow got behind, and haven’t added these bloggy gems to your feed reader, then by golly that is your goal for the week!  Otherwise we can’t be incestuous anymore.  And…well…that’s just not any fun at all.509128581_e5e700a838_t

But you can’t add any more of your own until I get back.  Seriously.  I’ll be watching you… 

Visual Learners and Beached Whales

I think I’ve blogged about the fact that H-T is a visual learner.  He is actually a visual AND kinesthetic learner, but I think the visual part may take precedence.

So I’m always looking for great learning tools for the visual learner, and I happened upon one this week that I wanted to share.  It’s called WatchKnow.org, and the idea behind it is collecting all the free educational videos for kids and teens online and lumping them into one searchable directory. 

Now tell me, is that a great idea or what??!!

They also want people to join so they can inform them of videos they may have missed.  So if you have a visual learner around your house, this is a website you definitely want to check out and possibly join yourself. 

In other news, I’m flying out this weekend to Florida for several days on a business trip. 

Yes, I AM going to Florida at the end of July, and no I’m NOT a glutton for punishment.  That is just when they needed me.  So, bring on the heat and humidity…I can take it!!  (maybe) 

Sun & Water 1 Hey, they do have beaches down there, and don’t think I won’t be trying to sneak onto one.  If you happen to live in the Sunshine State, and hear warnings of a beached Albino whale sighting, pay it no mind.  It’ll just be my not-yet-skinny VERY Anglo-Saxon self perched on a beach towel and hoping to blend into the background.

I’ll post some pics from the land of the sweltering sun if I get a chance!

 

What do King Crabs and High Fashion High Schoolers Have in Common?

They are both – – strangely – – my television addictions of the summer. 

I’ve always had eclectic tastes in music, movies, and television, but this summer’s crop of Netflix rentals has even me asking: “What the…”

I’m a cynic.  I hate starting a show and getting involved with the characters and plots only to have a network yank the show from the air.  So I wait.

Wait to make sure the show lasts at least one season.  Wait to see if fans are as excited at the end of a season as they were at the beginning.  And summer is my time to catch up on things that have passed muster.

So this summer my two new obsessions are Deadliest Catch and Gossip Girl.  They both seem from first appearance to be shows I wouldn’t be caught dead watching.  DC is a reality show, after all, and as a rule I DETEST reality shows.  But there is just something about that dead bait and those yellow vinyl jumpsuits that just “hooks me” right in, and I can watch any and all episodes of those stinky, swearing sailors and their pots of crab. 

And Gossip Girl is basically just another teen soap opera.  Isn’t it???  Well, maybe not.  First of all, like most teen shows these days, most of the actors look like they haven’t seen their teens since Bill Clinton was in office.  And I hope to God no real teenagers manipulate, gyrate, and copulate like these do, and that even less of them have that much money to waste at their disposal.  But even with all of this, these over-sexed brats have made me care.  How, HOW did they do it??  I don’t know, but until then, my DVD player will just have to take cold showers between episodes.

So what are your summer can’t miss shows?  Anything else I should add to my Netflix queue?  Just remember, to make me fall for it, it has to be “out there.” Maybe some kind of cooking show/horror movie mashup?  Heck, obviously I’m game for anything this summer!

 

Is Your Blog Newsworthy?

Well of COURSE it is!  At least MINE is.  I mean, how else would you follow the exploits of my Coon Dog Clan or my missing doggie?

Anyway, if you feel that your blog would make a good newsletter, there is a new tool for making that happen.  Introducing…Five Filters.

Five Filters is a free RSS to PDF tool that can easily turn your last five or six posts into a very cool newsletter format.  You can even create a customizable newsletter title that matches your blog.

Maybe you have a cousin in Albuquerque who has never touched a computer, but wants to keep up with your family.  Or maybe you have created a great series of posts that would make a helpful online e-book.  If so, this might just be the ticket for you.

Anyway, I thought it was cool and wanted to pass it along.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

 

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Randomness

Summer is so…so…unstructured, isn’t it?  I guess that is a good thing, because we all need some “unstructured,” right?  But what about us ADD-types?  I’m beginning to think that there is such a thing as TOO much unstructured.

My exercising, for instance, has gone the way of the dinosaur.  During regular homeschooling months, I always fit the exercising right into part of my daily schedule.  Now, I just wait for the wind to blow my stair-stepper in my direction (so far, the winds are pretty calm here).  Oh well, I’d prefer to hike and dance and walk to the library and do more non-exercisy-type things anyway. 

I AM, however, being consistent with my No-S diet.  I’m not really weighing because I really want to concentrate more on it being a new way of eating than just a way to “lose weight.”  But my pants are already a little less snug, so I’m thinking it is having some positive side effects!

In other news, we still haven’t found our girl.  Golly I miss that black cow of a dog!  When we go to feed our other dog and see both bowls sitting there, waves of depression come over all of us.  We’re still getting the occasional call, though.  And checking the Animal Shelter about every two days.  I haven’t completely given up…but almost. (Sniff.)

My cousin won the title of “Coon Dog Day Queen.”  What do you  mean you haven’t heard of the “Coon Dog Day Queen”??!!  Well, suffice it to say that here in Redneck Central, we DO have a Coon Dog Day, where we celebrate those coon-tracking dogs that hunters are so fond of.   And that celebration is topped off by electing a Coon Dog Day Queen.  And my cousin won this year.  And she will ride on a float or some such thing tomorrow in the Coon Dog Day parade.  And yes, I will be front and center to see it.  Wouldn’t you??

In sadder news, my grandmother is passing away.  My 98-year-old Nana who in my eyes will always have the title of “Most Incredible Cook” in the entire southeast.  Let’s just say my Nana’s pecan pie could have put Paula Deen to shame.  She was just that good.  And she taught me just about everything I know in the kitchen…AND how to play bridge, to boot.  I know its almost her time, but I’ve had just about enough of goodbyes this week. 

So how’s all that for random?  I dare you to make a connection between any or all of it.  I certainly was too lazy to today.  Have a great weekend, everyone!!