If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, September 15, 2006


We got through the first day of the writing class. I had two more students sign up--last night, as a matter of fact--so I have a total of six students. Today was just a discussion about writers, stories, and genres in general. We're all going to write our own story, based on the same premise. That's how I'm going to prove that seven people with the same idea will write different stories.

I saw shy kids (well, a few were shy; one hardly stopped talking) come into the room, and I saw smiling kids with twinkling eyes leave the room. I think this is going to be good. It's great to see teens excited about writing. I'm counting on this to inspire me, too.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Decisions, decisions...

I've made no secret that this year is all about High School prep. It's my last year homeschooling, insofar as we know right now. I have people ask me from time to time what I plan to do next year, and thus far have always answered, "I don't know; it's a little early to tell." On one hand, I could go find a 'real' job and shift back into the 9-5 world. On the other hand, I could focus on my writing and caring for my home and family. I could be here when I get home from school. School hour jobs that pay a decent wage are tough to find unless you work at the school. Been there, done that. It was fun, but not that fun.

I was talking with some friends over the weekend about various physical ailments and one of the gals whipped out a book about aromatherapy. (We were at her house; it's not something she carries around in her back pocket.) I have done some research on aromatherapy and herbal remedies, barely enough to get me into trouble, but I have toyed with taking some classes on the subject. My friends encouraged me to do so.

When I got home, I did an on-line search. I looked five or six years ago and found one school in the U.S. that was considering a distance-learning program. I didn't find them on this search, but I did find one in my state. It's on the other side of the state, but they're entirely self-directed. I can earn a Family Herbalist Certification in less than a year, or I can go all the way to Master Herbalist in two to three.

I'm actively praying about it. It's not a cheap course, but it won't break the bank. I can use my knowledge to help my family and friends, it would help a lot with writing historical fiction. There is also potential for it to be an income producing venture, but I'm sure there would be additional expenses, even if I work sporadically from my home. I would need, I'm sure, some sort of state license at the very least. It's not a question, at this point, of whether I'm going to take some of these classes. The question is when do I take them, and how many? Will I be able to justify spending several thousand dollars for research and treatment of strictly family members? Is it worth my time to acquire the knowledge, only to help family members, and no one else, out of fear of liability?

I'm not in this for the money. If I can make some money, that's great, but my first objective is to learn what I can about herbal healing so that my family can be as drug-free as possible. Prescriptions are only getting more expensive. If chronic conditions can be treated with herbs and prevention, it will be far less expensive in the long run (and, I'm sure, much gentler on our bodies), and I may be able to justify the cost that way.

At this point, I'm open to prayer, suggestions, and opinions. Fire when ready.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


One of the moms in our homeschool group is starting an organic gardening class, once a week, on Thursday. That's awesome, because it's something Vicky and I both want to learn (well, ok, I want to learn and she's up for if she gets science credit), and Thursdays are open.

So why the whimper? It starts THIS Thursday. I thought I had another week. It's fine, I'll work it in, but it's just another example of prioritizing. I've had to turn down coffee with friends and extra weekday work hours because if we don't get school done in the morning, it's not going to get done. I have to drag my child downstairs to start by 8:00 so she'll get into the routine of starting off early. I have to be very selective about our outside activities or they'll eat up all of our school time.

There is a fine line, my friends. We need some outside stuff. It's important not only for our mental health, but also so that someone else can teach her things. If I'm in the class with her, learning new skills, I'm setting a good example. We both form friendships. We get socialized! On the other hand, the time at home is important because, duh, it's homeschool, not chauffer time.

We started school one month ago today. So far I have stuck to the schedule like an insane woman. I have recognized the mistakes I made with Alex and am determined to make new ones with Vicky. I'm wearing down, though, and am dreaming of Christmas break. I never knew, when I was in school, that the teachers look forward to school breaks more than the students! Four weeks down, thirty-two to go...


Monday, September 11, 2006

Wow. Five years already

Five years ago today we were supposed to be in San Antonio, on vacation. We slept in and woke up when my mom called to tell us to turn on the TV. The base was locked down before we could decide whether or not we should still go.

Last night's evening news showed some of the footage taken when the second tower fell. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. Eric watched the mini-series on TV last night, but I couldn't do it. I haven't seen the movies and I don't want to. I'm emotional enough as it is; I don't want to relive that day.

Are we safer today? I keep hearing that question. Personally, I just don't know. I think that if terrorists really want to get in, they're going to find a way. The reality is that there is no safe place. We're not protected by geography or security. Danger is all around us, and most of it is not man-made. The truth of the matter is that if it's your time to go, you can be alone in an empty room and you're going to go somehow. It sounds fatalistic, I know, but it's true. Heart attack or terrorist bomb, you're going to go somehow, and it doesn't matter how or when. What matters is what you do with the time allotted.

The people who died on 9/11 didn't think they were going to die when they left their homes that morning. Their spouses and kids went on as usual, not knowing that their worlds were about to be ripped to shreds. We shared in their devastation, just as we share in the grief and sorrow of the people fighting the terrorists today. Fear and anger in excess are counter-productive. Sometimes a small change can make a big difference. What are you doing today to make the world safer?