Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Summary 1

We've had a hectic and busy few weeks of summer so far.  I'd not say this has been a restful time for us, but at least we haven't been terribly worried about school lessons needing to be accomplished. I'm ever so thankful Amber has completed all the school hours needed for the 2016/2017 school year.

Amber has worked on a few school subjects, mostly review items, during her spare time and that's been enough for school for us. I'm not sure we're up for more than that this summer.

We did manage to finally start the botany genetics lab with the Wisconsin Fast Plants this week. That will be an ongoing project for the next 45 days or so.  Assuming we don't kill off the plants. After only one night and we already had forgotten to go down to the basement to check on them the next day. I'm happy they have a water system that needs refilling occasionally and not daily, because we are not good with plants around this house. Now that we have had cats for six years, I can blame our lack of plants on the cats. But in all honesty, we didn't have plants before then. I can't keep inside plants alive.

Amber did question my sanity with the fast plants project, knowing my aversion to leaving lights on and my unique ability to kill off  plants. I too am beginning to question if the value of the project is worth the hassle. I'll see how this goes when it's time to fill the water system and nobody remembers. Still, it has been fun to occasionally go down and photograph their progress.

Besides the minimal amount of school work, we've been busy with fun and not so fun things.
  • Amber has been attending weekly Project Write meetings. Her group has a great idea for their one-act play and has begun working on their script.
  • Amber had a flute recital on Father's Day weekend and did a fantastic job on La Flute de Pan. I so enjoy hearing her play her instrument.
  • We've continued our weighted blanket sewing days with Amber's friends. The group is making fantastic progress through the blanket materials we have. Six blankets are complete, eight more are in the final stages.

  • There have been numerous medical appointments for both Amber and me. Honestly, too many to list out. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks, but the gist is that Amber is in a good place with her treatments and is stable.

    I'm a work in progress, but have had some useful test results along with a successful set of spine injections. I finally have a probable diagnosis of my autoimmune disease, but still have follow-up appointments to do before I feel confident about this diagnosis. Then it looks like many appointments to check on the effects of treatment. It will be a long-ish and permanent road if these results hold up.
  • Amber has been playing Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PS4 with some of her free time. It's stressful for her though and she likes to have me sit with her for moral support - and to look up how to do specific tasks on the iPad while she plays. I read aloud pertinent parts of walkthroughs or show her videos, and she wanders about with Aloy (the character).  It's actually fun to work together on the game in this way. I don't have to worry about sitting still the entire time and we still spend time together that isn't school related.
  • Amber and friends from the homeschool group got together as a team at the local library for a teen trivia night. Our girls took 3rd place! They were thrilled to receive their choice of books as a prize and had a fantastic time with teens from the area. Oddly enough, they ran into other kids they know from various avenues who were participating with other teens.
We even made team shirts for the trivia night. 

Kitty Update:
Our smallest kitty, Rosetta, has gone from daily to weekly, and now on monthly injections for her arthritis. It's one of the worst cases of arthritis the vets have ever seen, and she's only four years old. She does take medication at home now too though. She has started to regress a bit from her recovery and had to have one cold laser treatment again this week. I'm hoping that's it for now.

Biscotti is still separated from the other cats because of his fear after the cat fights in January. We did determine a while back that Milori was the aggressor and have concentrated our effort on reconciling Biscotti and Rosetta. That was actually going well with both of them off leash in the same room for a period of time. However, after Rosie had her injury that alerted us to her arthritis and then needed a lot of attention, medication, vet trips, and general assistance, we fell behind on our cat re-introductions. It's time to start that back up. 

We purchased a new refrigerator in May that fits the space differently than the old one. Biscotti used to squeeze between the fridge and the wall and paw at the wall for attention. He tried it with this one and was very frustrated he couldn't get around the fridge.

The cats all still play well at the doors together, passing toys and pawing each other. They do not hiss or growl when seeing each other. They have no issue with the smell of each other because we switch around who is in which room multiple times a day. It's exhausting.  Yet because of Rosie's arthritis, she is not to be allowed to do the huge jumps and climbs she loves. Which means if we cannot be home (or awake) to watch her, she must be put in a safe room that limits her jumping ability. She and her brother Milori need to be together. Thus we spend part of each day re-arranging cats - it is time consuming and exhausting. The upside is that Biscotti is out at night now and anytime we are gone, but not when we have visitors (nobody wants to deal with his stranger anxiety).

We've also had to start putting Milori and Rosie in a "safe room" in the evenings when various critters come out and prowl around the backyard. Milori has become very upset over the critters, which is what triggered his attack on Biscotti in January. Milori has become increasingly upset with any wild life, and has taken to attacking his sister now too whenever he sees anything with four legs. We have an upcoming vet appointment to discuss this behavior. He may need anxiety medication, just like Biscotti. We're hoping this will bring some peace between our once harmonious animals. Biscotti is perfectly willing to get along with them, he's just scared. Rosetta is happy with them all. Milori is normally the sweetest cat, but has lately become rather anxious and scared of everything. His go-to action is to attack, which we do not understand. We've had him and Rosetta since they were 12 weeks old and they've never been in a situation where they needed to defend themselves. 

Homeschool Group Co-Op Update:

Our group found a new (temporary) location for our classes. I'm not sure how many semesters will equal temporary, but our fantastic leadership board found a new place. We will have roughly the same amount of space as we've always had, even if it is in a different shape. And our classes are not limited to a few hours either, which our previous location needed to do because of their new pre-school. There are many benefits to this new location and some things we will have to accustom ourselves to doing differently. But it is an answer to our prayers... and it is so much closer to our house than the first location. So, bonus for Amber and me. This was a weight lifted from our minds because Amber needs her time at co-op, although it wasn't looking good for her to spend much time at co-op with the limited space and schedule.

Father's Day at church. Wonder Woman 3-D, and my beloved Volvo has rolled 100,000 miles. 


This week is VBS at our church and Amber has volunteered as a group leader again this summer. It will be a long and difficult week for her. We have to adjust her schedule to allow for rest most afternoons with an early shower and bedtime. I decided to not volunteer this year since there is not much I can do. Even the kitchen / snack was too much work for me last year with my back. This year I'm in a better place with my back, but that amount of standing and lifting will cause a setback as well as trigger a flare with everything else. I'm also exhausted all the time, most probably from the anemia (possibly hemalytic anemia from my autoimmune). It will be a miracle if I manage to get Amber to and from VBS each morning without assistance from Fred. I just can't function that early anymore.

We will be taking almost all of July off from school, excepting for our botany genetics experiment, and any review items that come up with the Homeschool Review Crew. We're just too tired to deal with anything else and desperately need a break.

Happy Summer Weekend!

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break

1 comment:

  1. Poor confused kitty! I remember when we moved furniture around and really confused our blind dog. I do hope you all get some well deserved rest in July.
    Blessings, Dawn