Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unreal -- A rant!

We went to the library tonight to get Anne Frank. We picked up about six other books on the topic, but not Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.


Our library does not have Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

I cannot believe this! I lectured the poor librarian. I said every library in America should have this book on their shelves. This is unbelievable.

She was very polite and offered to submit an ILL request. I took her up on her offer.

Our main librarian just gave notice and will be leaving the end of the month. He came on board about four years ago. First thing he did was pull about a quarter of the books from the shelves and sell them. I stocked up big time at that sale. The library shelves are bare. Then he pulled many shelves out, including the music shelves and replaced them with cheap fiber-board crap. He then put in several couches. All over the library.

He was really into aesthetics and creating a social scene. He put in a fake fireplace, too.

Bob and I jumped for joy when we heard he put in notice. I hope we get a librarian that actually likes BOOKS.

Oh, did I mention how supportive he is of homeschoolers? Every spring he has a homeschool day where he drives up to the capital and takes the homeschoolers to meet our lawmakers. The only problem is he only tells one family. The same family has gone in the library van up there with him every year. No one but that family. The mom recently told me about this and wondered why more homeschoolers didn't go. Uh, well, maybe if he would actually tell the homeschoolers about it, more would participate.

Bottom line: It is unbelievable that my library does not have Anne Frank's diary. Good grief!

Rant over.

Questions, Questions, Questions

Today we started school late. I overslept. Thomas will oversleep every day if I let him. I made my coffee, got him breakfast, and we both tried to wake up.

Thomas decided to work on his nonfiction reading book first. He loves this and will be finishing it very soon. He really learns a lot of things from this book. The other day he read about Koko the kitten-loving, signing gorilla. When he finished, we had to pause in our routine to google Koko. And let me just say, that was an experience. We first went to YouTube to search for videos. We clicked on one and realized it was a spoof. I shut it off because there was a woman talking to the fake gorilla and repeating what it was telling her in sign language. It was about nipples.

We then Googled, and found that there was a lawsuit filed by two former employees who stated that Penny Patterson, the president of the foundation that owns Koko, had requested that the women bare their breasts to Koko because Koko has a fascination with nipples. The suit was settled, but terms were not disclosed.

We then saw a photo of some man who modified a special transportation vehicle for Koko. Koko had her hand down the man's shirt, apparently fondling his nipples.

Okay, so you don't get that kind of education in public school.


Kind of took deflated our tires a bit. We were just hoping to see photos or clips of Koko with his live kittens.

So today Thomas is reading about Anne Frank. We don't have her book, but I do have some books on Anne Frank. Thomas and I spent some time last year at the official website, and he has looked at my Europe photo albums with tons of pictures and postcards from the Anne Frank Haus.

And then he started. He does this on occasion. It drives me nuts. A million questions. Rapid fire. I answer, boom, there's another. Question after question after question. And he doesn't ask easy questions, either. "Mom, I heard that Hitler's mother was Jewish. Is that true?" I don't know, I've heard that, but never confirmed it. Go look it up. "Mom, why did people join up with Hitler?" We discussed that in a lot of detail.

I don't know the answers to some of his questions! I don't know good answers. I think I know the answers, but I really started doubting myself.

Then he started asking questions about concentration camps. Then back to Hitler. Then about the country of Holland. Then about Anne Frank. Then about Germany. "Is Germany a good country today?"

"Why did the people not think for themselves and allow this to happen? Why did they not stand up and protest?" "What mental illness did Hitler have?"

This went on for an hour. He just doesn't stop. Curiosity.

It drives me crazy! I made him laugh because toward the end, I started banging my head on the table. He thought that was funny.

When he was done with his "session", I was worried about our schedule and all the things we were supposed to learn this morning. Then I voiced that concern. Then I started laughing and told him to heck with the schedule, aren't you glad you are in an environment that you are allowed to ask questions? To think for yourself? To form your own opinions?

So to heck with our scheduled history this week and next, we're going off on a tangent. It's off to the library tonight to get Anne Frank for him to read, and for me to search for age-appropriate books on the topic.

At his age, I was ahead of him in school by one year. When I was in the seventh grade, the made-for-TV movie Holocaust aired. (That's when I fell in love with Meryl Streep.) We watched it all. I was fascinated with the topic. Sickened, but fascinated. I think my fascination made me a more compassionate person.

I think it's hard to imagine such sickening cruelty and madness when you live in a fairly safe world.

A funny

This was sent to me by a friend. I thought it was funny. Add this to another reason homeschooling is good!

One of the ladies I work with retired last week. We had a going away
party for her. I ordered the cake over the phone from a nearby superstore. I told
them to write:

"Best Wishes, Suzanne"

and underneath that,

"We will miss you."

Here's what was picked up for the party. Everybody should laugh so
hard on their last day at work!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh Dear

Last night Jerry Lee was very clingy. He kept resting his head on my knee. He followed me everywhere, which isn't unusual, but when I got where I was going, he had to have physical contact. That is unusual.

I suspected something might be up.

This morning he threw up. Oh dear.

The doctor had requested I cut his Prednisone in half. I think I'll go back to the original dosage.

However, I just have a sinking feeling the end is near.

Bob's hoping it's just an isolated incident. Me too.

Yesterday Thomas was discussing Jerry Lee and hopeful he'd live to see the puppy. I explained that if he wasn't hurting and he was comfortable that was a possibility, but in reality, it probably wouldn't happen.

Gees, this just stinks.

Regarding the new puppy, the breeder asked us for names that begin with P. We sent her a list of our choices. Patsy was my first choice, as my dad's first German Shepherd was named Patsy.

We had decided on a name for a male: Charlie, after my dad. My dad got a kick out of that. However, we're on the list for a female so that probably won't happen. I'm hoping the breeder will choose Patsy. If not, that's fine, too, because we wouldn't call her by her AKC name. Sadie is topping our list. This week.

A very good friend sent me an email. She said it doesn't matter what my choice is for coloring, because the dog we get is choosing us. Meaning, in her new-age style, that we will get the dog that needs to be with us. Her exact wording was, "Me thinks the dog has chosen you." I get that. It made me feel a little better, a little more accepting of an all-black German Shepherd.

I just wish that Jerry weren't sick, though. This watching him die business is SO hard. We got that diagnosis October 1, yet he was sick a few weeks before that. He has lived longer than the vet thought he would.

Sigh....back to school now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I have been feeling bad about school this year. It just doesn't have the zip, the pow, the fun, the wow.

Well, duh. Started out okay, but then Jerry got sick. He's been sick since about the middle of September. He's still doing well considering. We watch him on a constant basis. Bob and I have discussed when to take him in, and we have our criteria down. Jerry Lee is still happy, eating well, enjoying an occasional short walk. He's not there yet.

No wonder I haven't been feeling it. There's that. There's also the fact that I never got off my big, fat you-know-what to get the school room really cleaned and really organized. We've missed watching birds at the feeder out the window.

Thomas and I cleaned the school room today. It's still not in the condition I want it, but much better. I don't know if we'll school in there tomorrow or not. At least I can vacuum the floor. (What homeschooler doesn't have piles and piles of books covering their floors?)

Things are getting messed up with our new puppy. We originally wanted one litter, then decided that Thomas might like to do agility, so talked to the breeder. She recommended a different litter. We said, "Okay, we'd like a female from that litter."

Well, lo and behold, the litter was born on Bob's birthday--that's a sign, right? But here's the thing. All the girls available are going to be solid black.

Might not be an issue to some, but -- but -- but -- it is to me. I am a person who loves color. I like lots of it. Jerry Lee has many colors in his coat: red, white, black, brown, tan, and lots of in between. I like that in a German Shepherd. Bob convinced me to go with a darker GS -- a smoky sable. It grew on me. I told him that there were two dogs that I didn't want: solid white or solid black.

I'm awful, I admit it. I just don't care for solid-colored German Shepherds. And I don't want one. Period. I love them for other people, I admire their beautiful shiny coats -- but I want a sable. (Sables can be light or dark, but they have lots of different colors.)

That's life here.

Tomorrow we start school after taking Wed, Thurs and Friday of last week off. Monday morning is going to come fast and furious.

But DUH -- I'm cutting myself some slack for our extremely unfun school year. Hopefully tomorrow we can put some zing into it.