Well, I survived the day—but just barely! I had to go to Walmart again this morning, and had many things to do around the house before time for my yarn kids to arrive. I was more than a little nervous because today was the first time I wouldn’t have any help.

The first hour was not too bad because I only had three girls, one of whom just needed occasional guidance. The second hour I had nine kids, most of whom needed help. Fortunately they were very well behaved and patient as I helped one after another. I hate leaving them with unfinished projects, but I really need to get going on my semester planning and I have very little time to do it. I will try to make it to the park from time to time to help kids who want help.

This is shaping up to be my most intense school year ever with teaching more classes than usual and taking on tutoring students also. And leading the writers’ group. And keeping up with the book club. But tomorrow, I get to see Mercy and Daniel!


Today got off to a disappointing start, as Jasper woke up in a lot of pain and really feeling terrible. So he did not make it to work today.

I scurried around getting ready for my tutoring student and my note taking class. I had thought my tutoring student was staying for the class, but that ended up not being the case. So he left just as other students were arriving.

Once a year I teach this one-day workshop where we go over seven different note taking systems. This year I had seven students taking the class. Although it is a tiring day for me, the nice thing is that my students always seem to find a system that works for them—and I usually get quite a bit of knitting done during the video instruction times.

It was a hot muggy day, but I still made the kids go outside for recess. I let them eat their lunch in the house though. At the very end, I always ask my students which system they think they’ll use the most, and I’m always so interested to hear their answers.

After the class ended, I treated myself to a well-deserved mug of tea, and their might even have been some brief accidental napping. Then I pulled myself together to go walking in the gym. Yesterday I was so happy to be walking again. Today I didn’t want to walk at all—but I still got my two miles in.

Tomorrow—my last yarn class of the summer. I can feel the school year breathing down my neck as I rush to finish my summer commitments!

The End of Story Quest

I am a little bit panicky about the rest of this week. I’m sure I’ll survive it, but I might be a little frazzled by the end. Wait—who am I kidding? I’m already frazzled!

Today was my last day with my Story Quest kids. They are such a rowdy bunch that I am exhausted by the time class is over. Some of them I think learned a lot and others I think just came to the class because their mothers made them!

As soon as they left I took off for Walmart to pick up a few things so I could come back and put my feet up and have tea.

Then, of course, I had to start working on tomorrow’s all-day note taking class. I had an extra student join at the last minute so I had to print up an extra set of everything this evening.

I also went walking in the gym for the first time in two weeks. The gym has been closed for the last two weeks, as it is every year at this time so they can refinish all the floors before the students come back. I have missed my daily walks so I was glad to get back on the track and get my two miles in this evening.

I took a break from class prep to knit a few rows, and was so distracted that I knit the same row twice! I had to rip out the repeat row and start over.

Tomorrow I’ve got my tutoring student coming in for an hour before the note taking class, and then he’ll stay for the class. What a fun day he’s going to have!

O Jesus, I Have Promised

O Jesus, I Have Promised

by John E. Bode

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.

O let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heaven receive me, my Savior and my Friend.

Falling Behind

Another Saturday, another failure to do all the things I had on my list. I did a lot of housework and organizing. SO MUCH to do before the school year starts for me in just 16 days!

When I needed a break from the other stuff I was doing, I would sit down and knit a few rows.

Meanwhile, Jasper was in a lot of pain this morning and ended up going back to bed instead of to work with Walter. He perked up by about lunchtime, just in time for our power outage. I made his lunch on the stove and then of course the power came back on! He ended up feeling well enough to go to his regular game night.

A Disgusting Discovery & A Delightful Discussion

I finally got to go grocery shopping on my “normal” day! I made it through Aldi without incident, but upon returning to the car to unload my cart, I saw something that gave me pause. I was parked next to a lightpost, and on the concrete base of the post was sitting an Aquafina bottle. It contained several inches of yellow liquid, and the cap was screwed on. I’m pretty sure the liquid was urine. It certainly wasn’t Aquafina water! I can imagine several scenarios which could result in needing to dispose of a bottle of urine, but I don’t understand why whoever it was couldn’t have walked another fifty feet to throw it away in an actual trash can. So gross.

This afternoon my friend Darlene came over for tea. I have been trying to get together with her for months! So it was good to have a chance to catch up. I pulled out my UK road atlas and showed her the planned itinerary for my trip. It’s hard to believe it’s coming up next month. . . .

After she left, I had to make a run to Walmart and then come home and make two kinds of pizza—the regular kind for Walter, and a low-carb version for Jasper. He was able to work six hours again today and is hoping to be up to working with Walter tomorrow. He still has a fair amount of pain, but like the rest of us he has a high pain tolerance and a disdain for taking pain meds. He does get tired much more quickly than is normal for him though.

I talked my husband into letting us have a movie dinner in the living room—a very rare occurrence around here, but one which I enjoy. I finished the first half of my knitting project and hope to start on the second half tomorrow. (For you knitters out there, it starts with a provisional cast on so you knit one half from the cast on, then pull it out and knit the other half in the other direction.)

And once again, my to-do list for tomorrow is longer than is humanly possible. If only my time turner necklace actually worked!

Back to Work

First, the good news—Jasper felt well enough to go to work this morning! He worked for six hours, until lunchtime, but then he was done. Still, it’s a big improvement.

Today was the “freest” day I’ve had in a while. I have plenty of projects to work on around the house, and I also took a couple of bags of clothes up to the thrift store.

While picking up a couple of things at Walmart, I got an exasperating phone call from the medical imaging center. They said they were supposed to set up a CT scan for Jasper. I explained that he already had the scan on Monday, and the woman argued with me, claiming that he had not had the scan and she had no record of his visit. I told her I had a very vivid memory of our visit and of paying them $400, for which I have a receipt. I suppose tomorrow I will have to call and straighten it out.

In between the various housework-related projects, I did get several rows knitted on my new project and I think I am really going to like it. I will show it to you when I finish it.

I was supposed to have a friend come over today, but she had to cancel, which is why I had so much time to work in the house. Hoping it will work out tomorrow.

More Yarn

Can you believe July is already over? I am not ready for August and the beginning of the school year!

Today was a little different for me. Since I didn’t have a morning class to teach, I drove to fetch my friend Angela this morning, and on the way back here we stopped at my favorite bookstore so she could check it out. I had hoped to also buy her some tea (not to mention some for myself!) but the barista was running late so we ended up leaving before she arrived. I was happy to find a couple of books I could give as a gift.

When we got back to my house, I made Angela an omelet for lunch and then we visited while waiting for the yarn crafting class to start. I finished binding off a project I’ve been working on all summer! That was a good feeling.

Only two girls showed up for the first hour, so Angela worked with one and I worked with the other. That was almost relaxing! But it did nothing to prepare us for the twelve kids who showed up for the second hour, most of them needing help! That was rather intense. But most of the kids are definitely getting the hang of knitting now.

After everyone left, I had a cup of tea before heading to Walmart to pick up Jasper’s prescription at last, but by the time I returned home, he had gone to youth group with a friend.

I got my chicken in the oven, then wrapped up the books I bought this morning and set off for the hospital. A neighbor girl who is also a past student of mine was in the hospital with pneumonia—on her 16th birthday! So I went to the hospital to give her a gift and some flowers, and happened to walk in on joyous preparations to leave, as she had finally been given permission to go home.

I returned home in time to finish cooking supper before Walter got here. And this evening I started a new knitting project using a provisional cast-on that I haven’t tried before.


Earlier this year, our home insurance company sent someone to inspect our house, and the results were rather dismaying, to say the least. If we want our home insurance to be renewed, he said, we would have to remove all the ivy from the north side of the house.

We love our ivy. Over the years we’ve lived here, the ivy has grown more and more luxuriantly until it completely covered the north wall of our house. This is what the wall looked like earlier this month (remember?):

The entire wall of the house was covered. The two windows in Lucy’s room were covered with ivy. In fact sometimes it grew into the room! But the insurance inspector said the ivy could damage the wall of the house, and he’s technically right—but it wouldn’t happen for several generations!

So, my husband had to do the sad, sad deed. This is what the north side of our house looks like now:

Naked! I don’t like it.

Meanwhile, on the health front—Jasper had a rough day today. He was in a lot of pain. And he felt very sorry for himself because I have put him on a low carb diet for the time being. Almost anything that could be causing his colon troubles is either exacerbated or fed by sugar and other simple carbs. So he is taking probiotics and learning to live without sugar. Lucky for him he has a mother who is an expert in low carb cuisine!

He is supposed to be taking antibiotics also, but the clinic did not call the prescription in last night like they said they would. When I went to pick it up at Walmart this morning, they knew nothing about it. I called Walmart again in the middle of the afternoon and they still didn’t have it. So I had to call the clinic AGAIN and remind them to do their job. (They have failed to follow through on virtually everything they said they’d do—until I call and pester them.) So, maybe tomorrow he’ll finally be able to start the meds.

A Partial Answer

Today was a busy day despite the fact that I didn’t have to teach a morning class. After getting up this morning, I remembered I needed to make a snack for my students, so I made a batch of gluten-free cupcakes. Then I worked on my grading until time to wake Jasper up to go to the imaging place. All we had to do was pick up two bottles of vanilla “smoothie” for him to drink on the way back home. The first few swallows weren’t too bad, but he was struggling by the end!

I got a couple more papers graded while we waited at home, then took my grading with me when we went back to the imaging place. Jasper was ushered back for his scan and I stayed in the waiting room grading papers. We were there about an hour.

When we returned home, I had an hour or so to grade more papers and get ready for class. I realized that my cupcakes needed to be iced and lemonade needed to be made.

Only one of my thirteen students was missing today. We talked about story endings and several of the kids read their stories to the rest of us. Only one more class next Monday!

After class Jasper and I drove to the credit union to deal with some transaction questions, then on to the clinic to drop off some lab samples. Afterward, I took him to a coffee shop he had never been to and he got a cup of coffee. I was happy to wait until we got home and I could make my own tea.

We waited and waited and waited to hear back from the clinic. They finally called after 8:00 this evening. As I expected, his appendix is fine. Although the pain is in roughly the right place, I thought that if it was appendicitis it would have escalated dramatically by now. His colon is inflamed, and that is what is causing the pain—but there was no way to tell what was causing the inflammation. So he will be taking another round of antibiotics in case it is a bacterial infection. He is going to try to go to work tomorrow but he may not be there for long—strenuous activity tends to exacerbate his symptoms.