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Random Wanderings in the Realm of Exhaustion

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So, I've discovered another reason why I abandoned blogging in favor of Facebook.  Facebook is easier to do when you're sick and exhausted. It's been more than a week since I can string enough words together to blog.

The whatever-it-was we picked up across the border has left us all feeling... exhausted. We're not contagious anymore, just enervated. There's this desire to flop about on couches and not move, even though spring is here and the weather is gorgeous. It's so bad that I can't even bring myself to walk around the corner to the currently-going-on 40 hours devotion. I've been moving a load of laundry here or making a pot of tea here, and collapsing.  And I'm actually resting, because a little over a month ago I bullied a friend with a similar ailment into resting, and if I don't rest she'll come after me.

But things are just so hard when you're exhausted. Books don't really make sense, so my "Lewis for Lent" projec…

Mostly Through Lent--And A thought on the Blogging Experiment

So, we're a good chunk of the way through Lent, and the attempt to resurrect the Catholic blogosphere seems to have gone kaput.

Initially, I'd thought we lost the blog-world because of branding, monetization, and pressure to perform.  But now, seeing how this attempt is failing to take hold, I'm wondering if maybe it's just preferred forms of social media change as technology changes.

Back in high school (I graduated in 1995 and went to a STEM school, so we had internet access early) social media was usenet groups, BBS servers, MUSES, MUDS, and ... I guess we can throw AOL IM in there too.

Those were mostly supplanted by blogs, though I think Reddit maintains some of the Usenet feel.

Now, Facebook sort of combines blogs, groups, and IM all in one platform, and we can share photo and video easily too. And now that I finally have a smartphone, I appreciate how well the apps work.

Facebook actually is a nicer way to have discussions and share lives than blogs. As long as we d…

Nobody Likes a Cheerleader... Except when they do

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I tend to be a pretty upbeat and optimistic person. And, for much of my life, this was viewed as a handicap.

"Stop being so enthusiastic, it makes you sound dumb."

"Why can't you be more critical?"

"If you like what most people like, it means you're shallow." (See: Grand Canyon, Rome, Sleepless in Seattle, Snowcrash, etc.)

"You're not very introspective, are you?"

"NOBODY LIKES A CHEERLEADER."

Now, mind you, I've never been one to tell people just to cheer up and look on the bright side, or that everything will be fine and to put on a happy face when it's clear that no, they are probably about to die or at least suffer serious pain.  But I do tend to default to "most people are trying to do what's right" and "most people underestimate their strengths and overestimate their weakness."

And, as I was told repeatedly, smart people should be hypercritical and not ever like popular things, and no o…

7 Quick Takes about Books

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I sort of fell out of the Lenten Blogging habit over the Toronto Trip (I need to post pictures but first I need to FIND the pictures!), but Friday is a good day to start again, I think. So, here goes. 7 quick takes about books, because.... I am feeling random.


1. A Bucket List Item Checked Off.  So, way back when, when I worked at Powell's in Hyde Park and spend lovely Saturday mornings laughing with coworkers and regular customers, a discussion came up about a new used book store opening somewhere in the world, and how they were going to have a used book vending machine that gave you a random book in exchange for a token. And there was back and forth, and jokes, and the general consensus was "Sounds kind of neat, but not a good fit for us. We'll see how it turns out."

Well, in Toronto, our friends took us to the Monkey's Paw and we tried out the Bibliomat -- the same machine I'd discussed with friends on that morning long ago. It's basically a slot machin…

Toronto Adventures!

I haven't blogged in a week because we were off visiting the amazing Kyra Matsui in Toronto, and spent the week with her, her kids, and her various friends and relations.  We took 3 of the 7 kids and left the rest home with Grandma.  Kyra is the artist behind Iron Lace Design, and is awesome in every way. (No, single male friends, I will not introduce you)


Kyra and her friends took us to see the St. Lawrence Market, UT, some great playgrounds, Adonis supermarket (seriously exciting), through all sorts of interesting neighborhoods, to a great restaurant, to a friend's work where they make lights, to meet Alice Sharp, to the Monkey's Paw, home of the world's only used book vending machine, and to the Toronto Research Library and the Sherlock Holmes room.  And in between we had lots of food and conversation and nerf fights with children and a genuinely wonderful week.  The kids who went are deeply disappointed that Toronto isn't closer.

We went to Church in Kyra's…

Ask the Middle-Aged Homeschooling Mom!

Yesterday, a friend made a joke about how there should be an "Ask Deirdre" advice column. Because I always have advice, and sometimes it's not terrible.  So here we go -- What I've learned in 15ish years of being a mom and homeschooling.

1. You're never going to know what you're doing. Your kids keep changing, your life keeps changing, you'll always be trying to keep your footing atop an ice-slicked sidewalk of life.  So - learn to fall well, get up, and try again. It's the best you can do. I don't know what I'm doing either. I'm just cheerful about my ignorance now.

2. Your kids are going to be who they are. The best you can do is give them a veneer of manners and social skills, and encourage them to be kind. You can't mold them into anything in particular. If you try, you're more likely to deform them than form them.

3. You are not in charge of your kids' relationship with God. It's between Him and them. You can introduce t…