Have you missed me?

I've missed myself.

It's been a bizarre week or two around here.

I taught preschool for the very first time last week (2 times) and ended up having a great time entertaining 6 three to four year old children. We danced around a lot and made little quilts on paper with 4 inch squares and spray adhesive and paper plate tambourines.

I was fairly panicked about this because the other ladies that I preschool with all have di-cut cut things with intricacy beyond me; peek-a-boo ghosts with my child's face behind it, little pumpkins that they can color on and stick on a fence to show how they feel, etc.. It just went on and on and I was getting a little overwhelmed because I don't scrap-book or have a Cricut to cut all of these things and how on earth was I ever going to be that cute. It's so not me.

Then I went to lunch with Charette. (I can't get enough of her.) And I was pouring out this particular woe on her shoulder and she, thankfully, was on my side on the "I just don't do that kine of stuff." She thought for a moment and then she said something like, "You should do bread. You're really good at that. They could make their own individual loaves and knead it and everything." That seemed like a good idea. I actually didn't do that (although I think it's on the agenda for Christmas) but having her say that to me totally got me thinking along the lines of "What is Eowyn good at?" instead of "I can't do what they do!".

My letter was I and my topic was water. I'm good at music, books, quilts, and eating Ice Cream. (Convenient, don't you think?). So, on Tuesday we looked at quilts and made our own. We pretended to be a drop of water that went from the clouds down to the mountain, down a river and into a lake, and then we jumped up to get the sun again and became a cloud and then we did it all over again. We had snacks. I let them play by themselves. I read them Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can you? We had a great time with that one because they could make noise, but when I said "sh" they had to stop and they loved that.

Thursday I showed them the various instruments in our house and then we made tambourines and then I played some jigs on my violin while they danced around. (We had to do a triple staple job on the tambourines because the beans kept flying out.) We talked about what we do with water. I let them play and then all the moms came over and we ate Ice Cream.

It was so great. Focusing on what I could do enabled me to relax and have fun and because I was relaxed the kids were able to have fun. Thanks Charette for the fabulous advice.

Also on Thursday Kendra got two teeth pulled. She's still feeling that one.

The rest of the time, or so it seemed (which it really wasn't because I did manage to read at least three books) I played with grapes.

And more grapes.

And more grapes.

I currently have 19 quarts of juice (there would be 20 but we drank one--yum). I also have an insane number of pints of jam. I think I'm over 30 and I still have two batches to go. I have many grape and many grape/berry combo.

I look at the table and think "Really? That's it for all the work I put in?". It took forever. Because I use the pulp for jam we don't just dump the grapes in the juicer. We de-stem everything and wash it. It's a time consuming process. Two batches done by myself of juice only probably took 5 or more hours. The jam is another couple of hours beyond that because I had to stick everything through the de-seeder and then make it into jam. I'm proud of myself, and yet I still am amazed at how little there is for the amount of work we put in. I have to do jam tonight.

Do you know what else I have? Almost 3 gallons of fresh squeezed apple cider. Non pasteurized. Filtered. So fresh that if I don't get it into the freezer soon, I'm going to have a drink that I don't drink. For all that may or may not be coming to my house this week, you have some good stuff to look forward to.

I'm being cruel, aren't I. I'll stop.

I read three books this week.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. This is not one of my favorites of hers. Ella Enchanted holds the top spot for me. Ironically, Kendra likes the princesses best. (I think she was ruined by seeing the movie of EE before she read the book. The movie was a travesty in my opinion. The book, a gem.)

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. These are books that you don't put down and that will stay with you whether you like it or not. They are not easy reads, and at this point in the trilogy, I'm not necessarily finding them enjoyable. Intriguing? Yes. Well written? Yes. The kind of books that I'm dying to add to my library? No.

I actually liken my feelings about The Hunger Games to my feelings about 1984 by George Orwell, although to a much lesser extent. 1984 completely freaked me out. Most books I could put down if I wanted to, but with 1984 I had to finish it or I was going to go nuts. I had to know how it ended. And how it ended did not help. It took me hours to fall asleep. It was a very powerful experience, but not a pleasant one. The Hunger Games was the same, although to a lesser extent. I read it in about 5 hours. And I was glad to be done.

There were things that read very realistically to me. The romance portion made sense. Other times I was glad that my inner eye--the one that shows me the pictures of what I'm reading--sometimes shows me what I want to see as opposed to what's really in the book. I pictured adults, not kids, and so things that would have disturbed me had I really been visualizing kids didn't bother me because I was visualizing adults.

I've heard they are making a movie. I will not see it. I couldn't bear to be faced with the reality of this book. It would be beyond horrible to me.

In other news, I did something to my back on Saturday and I'm still trying to recover. Thank heavens I am closely related to a chiropractor who expects me to call him when these things happen. Good chap, that. Could I call him Eomer? I can't remember if I've already labeled one of my many brothers with that name, and if so, which one. Theodwyn and Eomund needed to have more children before they died so that this whole me taking on the name of Eowyn would work with my family. (Did you know those were her parent's names? See, you learned something new today!)

Today was spent figuring out my shopping list and clipping online coupons (since I currently don't take the paper). Loved getting Grasshoppers for 50 each and Cheeze-its for some absurd price like 24 cents.

Then I went shopping. I'm hoping that the pair of shoes I just purchased for Seth will last longer than 3 months. The last pair were the cheap Wal-Mart brand and they were horrible. I purchased them just before school started and they already have holes in them. That's frustrating. I'm beginning to hate that particular store.

Oh wait. I already couldn't stand the place. It just got worse.

Sorry that this isn't a cheery, happy post. I've been ornery for days. Between my back and the impending bad week (if you know what I mean) and the fact that it's going to take me days to clean out from under grapes and preschool, I am not in a very good place. I've been snapping at my kids and spending a lot of time (unjustly) angry with Faramir.

Here's hoping things will even out soon.

Friday will help. :)

Off to my last batches of jam!
10 Responses
  1. Kazzy Says:

    I love your idea about thinking on what we are good at, not all the things "they" do that we can't do.

    I haven't been to WalMart in months. This might make a good post...

  2. L.T. Elliot Says:

    Is it wrong that I'm so jealous of numerous lunches with Charrette? I so want to lunch with you two!

    I think it's wonderful that you're playing to your strengths. I think you already sound like a wonderful pre-school teacher!

  3. Emily Says:

    Those kids are lucky to get you as a preschool teacher, and you have just as many or more talents than those ladies! I am proud of you, and can we PLEASE get together this week? PLEASE!!!!

  4. Catherine Says:

    Reading this post, I wished we lived close enough to be "real" friends. Ah well...I'm glad to be a blog friend.

  5. I have been missing you! I can't believe we haven't talked since you left here. It's been crazy and there's so much to say. Next week.....

  6. You are good at many more things than I am, lady. Seriously, I've never done any kind of canning or of making my own juice. And I read about one book every six months these days. I'll bet you (and the things you love to do) are a complete hit with the kiddos!

    I'm sorry about your back and the bad week. I can totally relate to the grumpies. Hang in there, sweet lady!

  7. That Charrette is a wise woman. If we were all the same with the same talents, it would be a sad world. I am willing to bet my eye teeth that those women who have the die-cut machines that make the face behind the pumpkins feel that you are the one with the true and worthy talents. Bread! Jam! Quilting!!!! Heavens to Betsy!

  8. Who could ever get enough of Charrette? Not possible.

    You inspire me in so many ways.

    Yes: I knew who Eowyn's parents were!

  9. Kimberly Says:

    You know what I love about this post? After reading it I feel like I just spent a chatty afternoon hanging out with you. It makes me miss your more and miss you less all in one moment.

    I love that you're playing to your strengths - I need to learn that lesson too and push the feelings of inadequacy away. Of course I feel inadequate in the areas where I'm not gifted! The trick is finding the areas in which we are. Great message!

  10. I hope your back is recovered!

    I love these random posts, it makes me feel more a part of your life.

    Thanks for sharing how you found ways to be yourself. I need to do more of that and stop comparing what I don't do to what others do do. And I also need to focus more on each of my kids strengths and not their weaknesses.