7 Quick Takes: Ask Me Anything Edition

7 Quick Takes

With the quarter starting for me this week, I’ve had a couple “get to know you” questions that have gotten asked by my instructor in addition to some questions people have asked me. 🙂

— 1 —

What do you like to do when you are not working or studying? SLEEP! 🙂 I also read too much, blog, hit the beach with Daniel (which I did today), search for the best iced vanilla latté with whole milk (the current winner: Diedrich Espresso), and crochet.

— 2 —

How does your online class work? It uses a learning management system called Canvas that is similar to Moodle or Blackboard. I login to the site using my school email address and click on the class on which I want to work at that moment. There’s usually a clickable copy of the syllabus and a list of learning modules and I click on one of them to do it. My instructors can create quizzes and tests online which I have until 11:59 p.m. on the due date to take and I can turn work in as well by uploading it to the site. There is almost always a discussion board on which we have to post and frequently, several of the assignments call for us to post something (and sometimes link a file) and then reply to two other classmates’ posts. (We can reply to as many people as we want usually.)

For my Microsoft Office classes, my school has used SNAP for evaluations but thankfully, they are moving away from it because it was a piece of crap last year — it crashed my laptop on a regular basis so I’d have to go do evaluations on the computers in two of the labs on campus in case something happened. I think the worst time was during my Excel/Access class when one of the Access skills exercises crashed 4 of the computers in the lab and then crashed my instructor’s office computer three times! She finally just opened up Access and told me to do some random things so she could give me the points.

— 3 —

Why did you choose Accounting? When I was working at the import brokerage in Montana from 2007 to 2010, they couldn’t find enough work for me to do within my job description so they asked our billing lead if she had anything I could do to help her. She had me help with some of her USDA vet bills twice a week and I found that to be kind of fun. When I had to find another job when I moved to southern California in 2010, most of the admin assistant ones wanted A/R or A/P (accounts receivable or accounts payable) experience and I didn’t know that the vet bills counted. When I moved up to Washington last year, Mom offered to pay for me to take a couple classes and I decided to take Practical Accounting and Excel/Access… and I fell in love.

— 4 —

What goes in your beach bag? I usually have… spare clothes for Daniel/me, Coppertone Waterbabies sunscreen, my Epi-Pen (I’m allergic to bee stings and most beaches here have a yellowjacket problem), my inhaler/spacer, children’s Benadryl (in case I get stung, it’s easier to get Benadryl down in liquid form), towels, talcum powder (yes… the Johnson & Johnson stuff that they think causes ovarian cancer — I don’t use it in my pelvic region and it’s one of the few things that gets sand off quickly which is important when you have sensory issues like mine and Daniel’s), a book, and sand toys for the kid.

— 5 —

Why don’t you homeschool Daniel? This is kind of an interesting one to get asked this week because Kelly wrote about sending Teddy and Fulton to public school!

Short answer: Because I have absolutely no desire to so!

Long answer: Kiddo needs someone to school him who understands how to reach him and help him learn in ways that I am not trained to do. All of his primary teachers have Master’s degrees in Education specializing in special education (and rare conditions, in the case of one of them) and have done their teaching hours with kiddos on the spectrum. Additionally, he gets speech/occupational/physical therapy at school and has the chance to be around other kids… which would totally NOT happen if I was homeschooling him because I’m so incredibly introverted and up until recently, kiddo couldn’t sit through a library program or well… anything except maybe AYSO VIP soccer (and I am not soccer mom material). It’s honestly a better fit for him and I’m a happier mama when I get that time to myself while he is in school.

— 6 —

How do you do school and take care of Daniel? I’m lucky enough that I can fit my classes “on the ground” into the hours when Daniel is at school. There have been a handful of times when he’s been sick or on school vacations when my mom hasn’t been able to watch him so I’ll usually just get notes from a classmate on those days. (Thankfully, I didn’t have to miss any quiz days in Accounting this year because those are quizzes I can’t make up, though she drops our three lowest scores so I’d be able to toss a couple of the ones I’d miss.)

As far as homework goes, kiddo LOVES his tablet so I would usually work on things either during his school day or in the evenings when he would be on his tablet or asleep. I plan online tests around his school schedule and when he’s asleep. On weekends, he has the ability to play independently so I’ll usually curl up with my laptop and any appropriate books while I keep an ear out for him.

— 7 —

What recommendations do you have for teaching kids about the church year? This is not my strength so I recommend you check out Jessica Snell’s list of resources, Kendra @ Jenna’s book, The Lazy Liturgical. Given that I run with bloggers who do this legitimately well, I can’t think of anyone else that would be recommended more highly than these three. (Oh yes, Jessica actually edited a series of books on this as well.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 4, 2017

For Today… July 4, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the mid to high 70’s here. It’s 10bdegrees warmer in San Jose and 20 degrees warmer in Claremont, making me thankful that I’m not in either place!

I am thinking… about my class that starts tomorrow. I just printed out my syllabus and the due dates page.

I am thankful… that my favorite farm shop had a couple apple pies for today and that the owner’s daughter set one aside for me. I normally hate pie but their pies are AMAZING.

One of my favorite things… A/C. It’s actually nice out but my room is on the second floor so I’d be pretty hot without it.

I am wearing… an Old Navy flag shirt and black capris from Kohl’s.

I am creating… this blog post. 🙂

I am listening to… classical music coming up from the family room downstairs.

I am hoping… I can get through outlining the Business English book this summer. I really want to challenge the class!

I am learning… about aspects of interpersonal communication.

In my kitchen… hot dogs and salad for dinner tonight with apple pie for dessert.

In the school room… Daniel has one more week until extended school year (ESY) starts.

Post Script… this is painful but worth reading.

Shared Quote… “You don’t always have a complete set of options.” I don’t remember why she said it or what the issue was but I’ve parroted these words from my wise friend Eileen a bunch of times.

A moment from my day… Many of my friends have shared this image on Facebook today…

Treason Day

Closing Notes: Here are the rules for displaying the flag today.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: State of the Jen Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been wanting to do something a little different for a few weeks, especially as I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging again after giving it up for Lent. I probably would have blogged more upon my return but I had a crazy quarter — it’s amazing how having two classes “on the ground” (translation: in person instead of online) can kill one’s posting schedule!

So…

— 1 —

I have a new ministry. My priest has asked me to help out the Spanish-speaking congregation that shares our building with some bookkeeping. It should be interesting givem that I don’t speak Spanish but accounting tends to be the same in every language — assets = liabilities + owner’s equity.

— 2 —

I start a new quarter next week. I’ll be officially taking Interpersonal Communication which is described thusly:

Uses theory and practice to develop self-awareness, confidence, and skill in communicating effectively, building healthy relationships with others, and managing conflict. Explores the impact of self-concept, perception, language, emotions, and nonverbal behavior on communication.

Additionally, I will be outlining the Business English book to prepare to challenge both quarters of it in the fall and winter. (I have to challenge it in a quarter in which it is offered.) It’s basic grammar so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

— 3 —

AMA. Given my newfound Reddit addiction, I’m up for doing an AMA (ask me anything) next week for my Quick Takes. Leave questions in the comments or email me or Facebook me.

— 4 —

The divorce. I’ve been asked by some long-time readers about where I am in the divorce. The answer: it is not final yet and that’s all I’m saying.

Next topic!

— 5 —

My dating life. I’ve been asked if I’m dating anyone. Hahahahahahahaha… people think I talk about my private life on here?!?!?

Next topic!

— 6 —

I’m apparently apolitical. I haven’t talked much about politics lately… mostly because I avoid consuming media that depresses me and everything involving 45 and his minions is extremely depressing. We actually *HAD* international goodwill under Obama and now the entire world is pointing at us and laughing because 45 throws tantrums over Twitter, shoves other world leaders out of the way so he’s at the front of the pack (this happened at the NATO meeting), is being sued by members of Congress for his fraudulent business dealings, and loses every court case with which he is involved.

Seriously, all my Republican friends are depressed as hell at what has become of their party, especially when Republican Congressional leaders are acting so incredibly unethically.

— 7 —

On my hook. Current crocheting projects include a pair of socks, a pussy hat (I’m apparently now the hatmaker for the Resistance!), a prayer shawl, a temperature afghan, and a baby blanket. I don’t have a lot of time to crochet these days so I’m aiming to finish the pussyhat and the baby blanket before the end of the year.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 28, 2017

For Today… June 28, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It’s late at night and I’m blogging out my brain. It’s supposed to be in the low 70’s today.

I am thinking… about things in one of my relationships.

I am thankful… Daniel’s fever is (likely) gone and the trip to Urgent Care wasn’t bad.

One of my favorite things… sleep. I’m probably out of luck tonight though.

I am wearing… black fitted tee from Old Navy and navy blue/white striped pajama bottoms from Target.

I am creating… this post.

I am listening to… one of my favorite piano pieces.

I am hoping… to get to sleep soon after I post this.

I am learning… balance. I’m in a static situation at the moment though there is a great deal of fluctuation within that situation. It’s a weird paradox.

In my kitchen… figuring out what to cook for myself. I’m thinking something from The Lemon Bowl? We made a couple of her recipes for Father’s Day and they’re worth repeating.

Post Script… something for the cat lovers.

Shared Quote… From CarouselConductor, a poster in one of the subreddits I frequent:

Loss. Whether a death, estrangement, or any other kind.
Losing someone leaves a hole. This hole is in the shape of the person who is gone. It has ragged, bleeding edges that hurt with every movement. It’s hard to even consider this void, because even looking at it brings pain. All you can do is hope that something fills it in, because it’s too wide. Too deep. Too open.
And then time passes. You remember the person, talk about them, the good times, the bad. The bleeding edges are still painful, but somehow, you can approach them a little closer. It’s tender, but the bleeding has been slowed. The void is keenly felt, and you wonder what it will take for it to just go away.
More time passes. It’s not so bad, when you look at the hole, now. You might be wondering when it will fill in. If you get too close, you can still see the echo of the person who left the hole. Peering into it might still be too much, and nothing moves the same way anymore. But the bleeding has stopped and the pain isn’t there every time you move.
As even more time goes by, you start to realize that things feel different, but that raging pain is more of a distant ache, now. If you look at the hole, you find that the edges are scarred over. The void is still there. The shape of what made it is still recognizable. And then you realize that the hole is there, and it will always be there.
The topography of what makes you, you, has changed.
The ragged edges have healed over and you find that in that thing you thought was a bottomless pit of pain, there is now a well of memories. It’s up to you if you visit for a time, or simply walk on by.
Give yourself time for the hole to heal. And it will heal, regardless of abstracts like forgiveness, regrets, blame, or anger. Even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Please seek help when dealing with the trauma of loss. No one should go through grief alone.

Closing Notes: My kickboxing class was cancelled for the fall and they emailed me today to let me know that I have priority enrollment for a yoga class they are adding.

*facepalm*

My mom laughed at me when I told her, commenting that it’s another form of stress management. I looked at her and replied that I have a deep need to punch and kick things and they just took away my ability to do this!!!!

*goes off to sulk and find a local kickboxing class*

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Lazy Summer Night Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Memories. All of the memories and pictures of me putting my bedroom furniture together are coming up in my “On This Day” feature on Facebook. When I shared one of the pictures, I commented that my mom had to hide te flame thrower for a couple days because IKEA does not drill holes correctly and I managed to hammer a nail into my fingers… TWICE. (This was about the time my mom created a list of errands for me to do BY MYSELF because I think she was afraid of the words I might teach Daniel. (Little does she know that Daniel has heard ALL of those words before while driving with me in Sacramento traffic.

— 2 —

Molly Bears. Someone on one of my favorite subreddits talked about Molly Bears and how they’ve helped her heal. Could y’all please go check them out and maybe make a donation? Thanks.

— 3 —

Nice kitty… Because the world needs more cat stories and cat memes.

— 4 —

We all scream for ice cream! I really want to try this ice cream recipe. It seems pretty simple and something I could do with the kid.

— 5 —

Mystery recommendation. Someone recommended this author to me and I’m passing it on in case any of you are mystery lovers.

— 6 —

Prerequisite faith link. Just so you know, I don’t want a celebration of life when I die. Instead, I want a burial service.

— 7 —

Summer “schedules”. Kelly has some help for you. She’s cool that way.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Dark and Stormy Night Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

It was a dark and stormy night… Technically, it’s not dark yet but it’s been a very windy night. We’ve had gale warnings and there’s a small craft advisory out on the Sound right now. The rain seems to have passed but it was a good day to be inside!

— 2 —

Tea for two… or seven. My priest invited me and some of her other mom friends to a “mothers’ survival tea” today and it was wonderful. There’s a tea room on the second floor of a granary in the downtown area and it was a nice and intimate location for lunch. I had a lovely Caesar salad for my first course while others had a zucchini-pear soup or a casoulet. The tea sandwiches were excellent and the chocolate zucchini bread was excellent. I was bummed to have to leave early to go to a therapy appointment!

— 3 —

Grades are in. I have a solid 4.0 (all A’s, no A- at all) for the third straight quarter! I’m applying to be a tutor next year in my department because I loved working with my classmates in various subjects.

— 4 —

I never thought I’d have to post this… However, we had a mass shooting at the local mall and a police shooting in December. (The injured policeman lived though he’s now blind.) So… here’s how to help a shooting victim before EMS arrives.

And for my troll, friends of mine who teach gun safety (including a few LEO’s) are quick to point out that people with concealed weapons are not helpful in this kind of situation because they add to the chaos and end up getting shot themselves.

— 5 —

Bad behavior. I’ve seen two instances of bad behavior in the 36 hours since the shooting in Alexandria. One was Newt Gingrich being interviewed and ranting about the radicalization of the far left. Yeah… the ones who have been fighting for gun control? Nice try.

The second instance of bad behavior was someone commenting that the Republicans deserved for this to happen because of what they’ve been doing to this country. Ummm… no. *NOBODY* deserves to be shot or to be in a place where someone opens fire.

One of the students from my entering class at UCSC was Gabby Giffords’ director of community outreach Gabe Zimmerman and was killed at that event where she was shot by Jared Lee Loughner. He was in a different residential college than I was so we’re not sure if I had any classes with him but he was friends with some of my friends. When Congressman Scalise was shot, Gabby was one of the first to speak out and her statement was powerful. Let’s follow her example and come together over this.

— 6 —

To infinity and beyond! I’m excited to see these 5 new female astronauts.

— 7 —

Some more levity. Because there are *TOTALLY* first world cat problems!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 14, 2017

For Today… June 14, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… cloudy. We had a little bit of sun but it got cold again.

I am thinking… about how I will structure my classwork this summer. I have an online class on interpersonal communications

I am thankful… that the Warriors annihilated the Cavs in the NBA championships. I’m a Bay Area native and I hate all Cleveland sports teams so I’m positively gleeful. This also means that my boys have avenged their loss in the championships last year. 🙂

One of my favorite things… clean sheets. I just made my bed with fresh sheets and am loving it. (It’s laundry day for Daniel and me.)

I am wearing… a long-sleeved berry colored shirt from Old Navy and jeans from Kohl’s.

I am creating… this entry. I turned my last PowerPoint presentation in last night and am DONE with everything for the quarter.

I am reading… Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke.

I am hoping… for a calm and quiet evening tonight.

In my kitchen… not sure what I’ll do for dinner tonight.

In the school room… Daniel finishes school for the year on Friday.

Post Script… this is from March but it’s still amazing.

Shared Quote… “I’m not going to light myself on fire to keep you warm.” — something from a page on dealing with people who have narcissistic personality disorder like this blog’s troll does.

A moment from my day… my favorite hymn from Sunday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.