What We’re Doing: Playing Catch Up

Since August, our family has been hit with a series of unfortunate events the likes of which Lemony Snicket might have written (minus the deaths). Months ago, I had a broken tooth repaired, but it never felt right. In August, it developed an abscess so bad, I couldn’t function. I made meals, but almost everything else had to be pushed off to the rest of the family. It resulted in a trip to urgent care, the ER, a combination of antibiotics, and ten days of waiting in pain for a root canal. Since I have a bad reaction to lidocaine, I spent each post-visit to the dentist in acute pain so bad I couldn’t think or stop crying for hours. But finally, it was over.

Then came two rounds of viral illness through the family in September. Mid-October, while taking my daughter to campus, someone coming off the freeway ramp parallel to the road I was coming up, was too much in a hurry to see us to their left, and tried to do a u-turn … into my son’s door. Though shaken, and in pain, we walked away from the crash, and have been seeing a chiropractor regularly to help relieve pain and set things right. The car, however, is still at a collision center, while the insurance company decides what to do with it. We likely won’t be getting it back, though. My son’s door was completely crumpled. Down to one car, my partner temporarily rented a second, so I could use his, but then … he was laid off, along with a lot of other people. Thanks to the stress, I developed a different bacterial infection, and had my third round of antibiotics in a year.

Introducing Peach and Knight.

Now life is never as simple as being “all bad” or “all good.” During this time, we also had a number of blessings. Despite my tooth pain, I completed my third poetry collection Aranya in time. We adopted a pair of bunnies from a local farm (named Knight and Peach), and celebrated my birthday with beloved friends. My son’s back in his drama and gymnastics classes, my daughter’s doing really well at college this quarter, and my partner has had some time to work on developing his skills further for the next job AND spend a lot of quality time with our son.

We had a good Samhain and made the best of Thanksgiving/Native Day of Mourning despite having a sick kid (we didn’t see the friends we’d planned on seeing, but we’ll make up for it in the near future).

After nearly twenty years, the first book in a collaborative series I started with my daughter’s bio-dad was finally published. While we’ve had some delays in being able to make book trailers, the book, at least, is available for sale to the public … finally. It’s the fourth book I’ve published under my legal name this year (in addition to one under a pseudonym).

Of course, all of these extremes have interrupted our routines, and the structured aspects of our homeschooling have fallen to the wayside for a time. Now that I’m taking a break from all but marketing, I’m able to look at ways to play catch up. As it is, there’s a lot to catch up on: cleaning, re-organizing, re-purposing the family room, correspondences, bills, and of course, re-centering our son’s education so we can return our focus to his foundational development (he’s had his needs met, and played a lot with each of us, but we haven’t moved forward since August on some of his basic skills).

We’ll be keeping our holidays low-key this year, and our extended family is doing the same. It’s much needed.

Rather than break everything down into sections (because there’d be too much or too little to say), I’m just going to offer you some highlights of the things we’ve been reading/watching/eating:

  • My son really enjoyed reading Hey! That’s my monster! by Amanda Noll.
  • He did not find Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker, even though I thought it was a decent, somewhat humorous book about managing one’s anger or disappointment.
  • He does, however, love the original Magic School Bus episodes we procured for him, and will watch them whenever we’re between episodes of other shows (mostly: Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Steven Universe, Eureka, and Star Trek: Deep Space 9). Too bad he didn’t show the same enthusiasm for Planet Earth or Reading Rainbow. But he loves Miss Frizzle so much, he’ll go on and on about what he learned from an episode, so win!
  • My daughter’s working on their own collaborative web comic with friends from college and online. One of them is even writing a soundtrack! I can’t wait to see what comes of it, as they give me little glimpses into their work. (Dragon prefers they/them pronouns.)
  • After decades of cooking, I finally made a decent turkey gravy from the drippings. It required stirring up the drippings while pouring them into the roux, and then adding broth. It tasted even better the next day when I added sherry to the roux (just as my stuffing tastes best with a white wine and broth reduction).
  • Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie thus far. We bought tickets for a 1pm showing on a Tuesday, and saw it as a family in giant, comfie seats. Even the Little Fox loved it, though a couple of parts we either covered his eyes (excessive violence), or he looked away of his own volition (something spooky, but I don’t want to spoil it).
  • Having caught up with Archer and Stranger Things, my partner and I have taken to watching Ted Talks together late at night. Since my last book of the year is complete, I’m taking a break through December. I’m only working on marketing, which frees up my evenings, which they haven’t been all year.

End of summer play with the princesses.

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