Saturday, May 31, 2003

I'm so glad the school closes in a week. Friday is my daughter's eighth grade graduation ... I'll just be so happy when its all over. School hasn't been good for her this year. She got in trouble. I ended up writing a civil rights complaint because of the way they treat her there. I just heard yesterday, the complaint is going to be investigated.

We got our new used car yesterday... a '91 Ford Tempo. Those of you with better cars probably aren't too impressed, but it feels like 'up' to us and we're very happy with it. Its clean and everything works. It needs a paint job just like most old Fords, but its so much better than my other car, I can't help but be thrilled. Finally we've got a working car radio and air-conditioning. How luxurious can you get? (No need to tell me.) I think this is the first time I've ever had a car with air-conditioning. I drove my daughter to Medford last night so we could spend the gift-cards my other daughter gave us. Wow, it was just a great ride and we had such a good time talking and getting to know each other better on the way home over Grayback. (Yes, the pass to Oregon is open again now - yay! - it closes due to snow every winter.)

Last month when we went to Medford in our old car, I was so stressed out and worried from the sounds it was making as we went over Mt. Ashland (ka-thwump, ka-thwump...) - we'd just purchased new front tires and it was pretty obvious that was the precursor to the problem. The day after we got back, a grinding noise started and we haven't been using it since. We decided instead of putting more money into it, we'd put a down payment on a newer and better car. So we've got that now. My son is having a great time cleaning and fixing up the old car out in the field. Probably some day we'll get the front end fixed for him to use.

Anyhow, we were thrilled with the smooth and pleasant ride to Medford and back. It takes three hours to get there. I sure like driving this new car.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Wrecked Cars, Weeds, and Web Maintenance

Saturday - my son took me on a tour of the town to see old classic trucks he's scoped out, and one wrecked classic car... we recorded this with photos in our homeschooling weblog.

I'm trying to get some weeds out of the garden. I thought I'd have a nicely landscaped yard this year but the guy who was doing yard work for us got into a silly argument with our son, then our neighbor accused the guy of stealing food. Anyhow, he's disappeared from our section of town and my half-started yard needs help. I'm trying to spend time out there every day to "make progress" and I'm encouraging my boyfriend and son to do the same. They are helping. My son weeded around our front stepping stones this morning. Any little bit helps. So far we've planted sage, periwinkle, iris and rosemary in the front yard. The kids planted the vegetable garden and though there's some seedlings showing, I have no idea what they are.

I got a lot of work done on a web maintenance job tonight and am feeling good about it right now. My to-do list has gotten so long, its scary... and there's several high-priority items I need to get on right away. Guess I'd better get busy.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

My neighbor put a good stereo in my old truck! Well, that was nice... the old radio was as old as the truck and when Aaron showed it to me he pointed out the Ford insignia on the bottom. It no longer worked, so the new equipment will be very much appreciated!

I also appreciated that Aaron got to learn how to take out and install one of these. We just gave him our old Ford Escort to tinker around with, to learn about cars. Eventually he'll have to replace that radio too - its in pathetic condition just like the rest of the car, but he can spend the next couple years fixing it up... he's about to have his 13th birthday so it will be a while before he can drive. I'm looking forward to getting our new car in June.

Keith and I drove across the river to get a lot of periwinkle our friends took out of their yard and saved for us. We're planting it in the front yard and in the back near the seasonal stream (which is already dry at this point).

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Tuesday... that was the day we had another news staff meeting at the Indian Creek Café. Mainly it was just Pete and me, but Bob chatted with us for a while. Later I went home to get Keith and we went shopping. That night I took my daughter to see a performance of "The Life of an Addict", a play put on by a group of 12-steppers in Yreka. It was pretty good!

Wednesday... I went to the Chamber of Commerce meeting and later in the evening, the Writers Club. In between I went to see Judy's new house on the other side of the river. It is cute, but they're doing a lot of work to fix it up. The foundation and basic construction are good - its just all the painting and floor covering type of stuff that needs to be done. The house sat empty ten years before they bought it this year.

Thursday... that's today... I'm so happy I get to stay home. I'm getting a lot of housework done; mainly kitchen, laundry and the front porch which I just swept and hosed off after a long, messy winter. My daughter wanted me to drive her up Indian Creek to see if her favorite swimming hole was ready to be used again. I refused - I'm sure the water's still too high for now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Monday was busy. I went down to the post office to distribute copies of Happy Camp News with Judy and Pete. We gave away about 200 copies that way. I left ten in the library. Pete's left them at a lot of local stores and will be taking them to communities upriver and downriver. We'll meet Tuesday at two at the café... staff meeting time.

I'm still trying to get 20 pictures together for my daughter... so far have spent about 4 hours on the project and sure would have appreciated advance warning. First I heard of it was last Thursday when she came home in a hyper, excited, disturbed mood... demanding I have the pictures ready the next day. I said no. The pictures are for her eighth grade graduation. I think the school in this town makes way too much fuss about this graduation from eighth grade. They're having a big ceremony. My daughter bought a formal dress and expensive shoes for the graduation and dance. Ridiculous. I've never owned clothes like that and I'm 50... she's 14 and needs to dress like a movie star? For what? Anyhow... the pictures are to be displayed in a slide show during graduation. They waited 'till the last minute to inform my daughter because she's not in the mainstream class anymore. I'll work on it more tomorrow after I get more feedback from her on which pictures to use.

The kids are taking good care of their vegetable garden. I'm already seeing seedlings sprout. Watermelon, maybe? I need to get some zuchinni plants to set out too.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Sunday - I've got a fire going in the wood stove right now. Its one of those days when its warmer outside than inside. I'm taking the chill out... because I find I can't think, work, or write well when I'm slightly cold.

We got the May print edition of Happy Camp News out - finally! It looks like we're reducing our activity to once monthly until we get better used to it. Then we may decide to go to twice-monthly again. We started with six staff members - now we're down to three active staffers and one advisor.

I liked the Ford Tempo I test drove... it has air-conditioning and a radio, nice upholstery... so I told them I'd take it. I hope it runs a long time. I'm buying from someone I know so I'm guessing they're selling me something good. It needs a paint job but that will have to wait until next year.

Its a nice quiet Sunday.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Friday - I've had such a busy week, working with two others to get the May print edition of Happy Camp News ready for the printer. This is the first month the three of us have done this, so the learning process was intense. I hope next month will be easier and less time-consuming.

Did I mention my car quit running? I think I did. I've been taking long walks and getting used to driving my old truck again. Its not bad, after a while. We're test driving a used Ford Tempo tomorrow. If we get it, I want to drive to the Bay Area to visit my family sometime this summer.

My daughter, Simoné, sent me a nice Mother's Day Card with a gift inside... I'm a lucky mother. :) I got it the day after Mother's Day because my car broke down right before last weekend and I didn't go check my mail for a couple of days.

Its been starting to get hot here recently. Maybe winter is over at last.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Nocturnal on Mother's Day

Sunday - Mother's Day... Well, its like this. I stayed up all night last night... got some web work done. Should have studied more but I'll do that tonight. (DHTML class and CSS2 class)

Today I woke up before noon because my sweet 14-year-old daughter made breakfast for me. Pancakes and eggs, apple juice and coffee. Wasn't that nice? Then I fell asleep again and woke up about 3:30. Where did my day go? But I need to work more tonight and I like doing it when the house is quiet, so that's my life. Also studying that DHTML book is no picnic and doing it while my kids are awake is futile. My desk is between the kitchen and the living room.

I heard from my oldest son, Joshua, age 30... via email he wished me a happy Mother's Day. I didn't hear from my two oldest daughters but my oldest (Simoné) usually remembers me. The other one (Naomi) pretends someone else is her mother and never contacts me at all. I didn't raise her although I desperately wanted to... and that's the result. Sometimes I feel sad about it but more and more I feel jaded about it... not sure I could explain but I feel its her decision and her loss. She's only got one real mother and I've got four other children so who's the loser? Of course I'd always welcome her back just like God welcomes all His children, even the misguided ones. But I'm tired of losing sleep and tears over it. So I don't. She's an adult now and can take responsibility for her decisions or make better ones when she realizes she's been... misguided.

My youngest, a son... AARON... didn't know it was Mother's Day. I reminded him. LOL He's 12, almost 13 (in a few days).

Keith wished me a Happy Mother's Day (my boyfriend) ... he wasn't able to call his mom because he doesn't know where she is right now. She's been in a half-way house in Jacksonville, Florida for years... until recently when she was transferred to some other kind of facility - maybe a convalescent type hospital... we don't really know and he's had trouble getting answers from her other family members. She's bipolar and diabetic. Very sad... she must have it bad because she's been institutionalized for years. I've never met her (have never been to Florida).

I emailed my mom. Then I tried to phone her but the cell phone number I had for her now belongs to someone else. Last I heard she was leaving Texas to spend a few months in California. That's good, since I'm in California too... and so are all her other kids.

Wherever you are Mom, I love you! Happy Mother's Day and many more!

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Saturday - Today our car started making terrible grinding noises. There's been some strange noises associated with the new tires too. Its not been a great day. Keith says we can get another car next month. Until then, I'm either driving the old truck, or walking.

A few days ago the kids decided to grow vegetables this year. They dug up the old garden behind the house and prepared the soil yesterday. Today they planted veggie seeds. I hope they grow well! They've also got flower seeds for the front yard.

My children are so awesome. :)

Today they also decided they need our shed for gardening equipment, so they're trying to clean it out. They were amazed to find toys they'd boxed up three years ago when we moved. Now they're wondering why they kept so many of them. Back then it was a major emotional attachment, and now they don't care. I'm going to toss most of them, except the sentimental items.

Friday, May 09, 2003

From the Friday Five:

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?

Not especially. I keep trying to get my act together and though there's positive changes, there's no perfection.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?


3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?

Yes, its organized. I took time earlier today to do that. I still have some filing to do.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?

No time for alphebetizing!

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize?

My time!

My Blogshares news: Today a nice guy sent me 500 shares in his two blogs: Brewed Fresh Daily, and Cigarettes and Coffee. He's trying to get the value of the two blogs to rise, so I'm helping by placing these links on my weblog. I also put them on three other weblogs.

I'm looking at my fireplace - the logs are still burning but just barely. I hope they don't go out. Its cold in here at night!

I'd better get back to studying DHTML. I'm on a schedule y'know...

I set up yet another weblog over at JournalSpace this week.. you're welcome to go ahead and look at it: I like their weblog service because of the community... you get to know lots of other people there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Did I mention I'm taking a DHTML Class at Barnes & Noble University? I'm keeping track of my progress in my new Klamath Design Weblog. As a webdesigner I'm constantly trying to improve my design skills. The DHTML will help me design my own drop-down menu systems rather than having to use someone else's code.

Wednesday - Today my daughter called from school at noon to say, "They won't let me eat any food, just like yesterday. Come and get me." She's had a terrible couple of days there. She's just so unhappy in the program she's assigned to (and she's got all my sympathy on that). I am guessing that if she'd stayed she'd eventually been given the chance to eat. When I arrived she was with the principal in the hallway, holding a plate of food. She still wanted to go home. We talked with her therapist for a few mintues... as she just happened to be there today.

I told the principal to tell the teachers to take my child's disabilities into consideration and not to think she should behave just like other kids. I also requested that they not withhold food or bathroom visits from her (the no-bathroom-access incident was yesterday's news).

On the way home I noticed the Indian Creek Café was open and so we stopped and got some goodies at JavaBob's... chatted with Bob for a while and then the woman I do web maintenance for came in and we chatted with her too. It was fun, my daughter was happy, and we all had a great time. Now my daughter's back in her bedroom enjoying her computer and TV. She brought homework home from school and I'm sure she'll get that done too. She's really dedicated to doing her schoolwork and looking forward to her graduation ceremony and dance in June.

I think a lot of the reason for so much unhappiness at school this week is the standardized "star" testing they're doing right now. I'm surprised I was never notified of the testing in advance. No wonder most parents don't know they have the option of not having their children tested. If I'd known, I would have discussed it with my daughter and asked if she wanted to take the testing or not. It is mandatory for the school, not for individual students! I'd sign the form or write a letter to the school (to have her exempted) in a flash if I knew my daughter didn't want to be tested.

Pretty much, though, I leave it to her to make decisions about her own education. I believe kids are capable of deciding what to do with their lives, to a certain extent. Compulsion (in matters not having to do with safety) is often destructive to a child's emotional well-being and development of independent, analytical thinking. I want my kids to make decisions and learn from mistakes, just like adults do... just as is natural for all human beings.

If people are constantly told what to do (as is common in the schools) they are getting the hidden message they are incompetent to decide what's best for themselves. It damages self-esteem. Ask me, I know.

I like this quote that I found yesterday in The Teenage Liberation Handbook: "Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I thought you might want to know more about the mysterious Linda Martin..... so I decided to see if Google had any information.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Aaron, my 12-year-old son, has been working on creating a garden/picnic area in the backyard. He just gave me a wishlist of things he wants or needs to complete the project. I posted it on our homeschool weblog.

Today my daughter's new TV set was connected to satellite (Direct TV). A few minutes ago Keith came out here and said, "Notice how peaceful the house is with her back there watching TV?" This is a valid comment. My children's #1 argument-starter during the past year has been the TV set in the livingroom. Now Aaron's out here playing with his playstation 2 and she's leaving him alone. Cool!

I went to the Happy Camp News staff meeting today. Judy and I sat there in Indian Creek Café chatting and eating. Bob talked things over with us for a while and helped set a price for distribution of inserts. I need to do some cost projection analysis so we'll know how many ads we need to sell to make this print edition work. After the meeting we went to the Computer Center to look at some of the pages we've developed over the last week.

I was sad to hear that Judy's yellow car quit working yesterday... probably permanently this time.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

From the Friday Five

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.

Anything my teenage daughter listens to. I like a lot of the songs but if I start dancing she has a fit.

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.

Stuff I wrote - I have a bad problem about crying from excess emotion when I sing my own songs. One is called "The Wind is Bringing Change". I wrote it in '87 - inspired by some questions my daughter Naomi asked me. Now Naomi's 22 and won't talk to me. (She's thinks she's too good for me.) Another song that makes me cry is "Through my Tears"... a love song I wrote for my kids' father who really couldn't care less. Its still a good song.

3. Name three songs that turn you on.

um... I don't have an answer for this one.

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.

"What the World Needs Now" - Dion Warwick
"Coal Miner's Daughter" - Loretta Lynn
"Crazy" - Patsy Cline
"To the Moon" - Capercaille

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without.

This is getting harder. I don't think there's any songs I couldn't do without. I love songs, but they aren't vital to my life. lol

Sunday - Yesterday I went shopping with my daughter in Medford. I spent so much money in one day, my bank called me this morning to make sure all the charges on my card were mine! Most of that was my daughter's birthday money. She bought a formal dress for her eighth grade graduation and a swimsuit.. and accessories. I also got a tv for her bedroom so the kids will argue with each other less. Most of their arguments are about the television.

My car runs worse all the time - it really worries me, especially on that highway between Yreka and Medford... it goes over Mt. Ashland... very steep on both sides.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I've been busy! We're putting out a print edition of the Happy Camp News bulletin using the facilities at the Community Computer Center. Since the three people doing this work aren't used to using Print Shop (despite our training day) we're going slow, learning to do the job. The good news is that we're actually starting to sell ads, to make the project pay for itself. Any extra funds go to the Happy Camp Writer's Club. I think we've got a good thing going!

I've also been learning more about CSS webdesign and putting shopping carts on websites.

My daughter's in school today. Aaron's project of the week is to build a stone-lined path in the backyard and put in a small garden area. He chose these projects himself. The path leads to an area he's cleared of blackberry bushes over the last month. He's got lots of plans for that section of the yard.

Keith is off getting his blood tests and some new tires for the car. I need to get ready to go help friends get used to their new (used) computer.