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Posts posted by LoveMyBeautifulGift

  1. The garage. I swear every time I clear it out something comes along to take up all that lovely space (a sibling broke up and needed somewhere to stash her stuff, a project that got sidelined because of rain, big toys the little outgrows but it takes us a while to donate...). 

  2. 8 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

    I don't think my family would go for something like this https://www.mikesupick.com/ 


    We might go for this (as in the farm stand with the U pick closed) http://www.swantonberryfarm.com/upick

    "Davenport, CA 95017

    Farm Stand COVID-19 Update

    Hi All - We are still open for TO GO! We have our farm made bakery treats (Strawberry Shortcake, Berry Cobblers, Pies, Scones, Chocolate Dipped Berries, Truffles, and more), Vegan Soups, Fresh Strawberries and Artichokes. Please wear a mask and wash your hands before you enter! We have a hand washing station right by the door. Remember to respect the 6+ feet rule. Please be patient and ask our staff if you need any assistance.

    Organic Strawberry U-PIck

    Due to COVID-19 we will not open our U-Pick Locations until our public health officials tell us it is safe! Thanks for you understanding."


    Yes-we will absolutely go to the stands that are open but aren't doing u-pick. I'm hoping these will be a good alternative to the farmers market (which I only tried once since they opened this year bc there was zero social distancing happening).

  3. I wonder if libraries could start using those uv light sterilizers? Ours already heat treats for bedbugs. I could see them easing in with hold pickups only. I doubt story time or many of the community activities will continue, as those do draw large groups. And the community use rooms would probably have even stricter limits on how many people could be in them. The poor librarians will probably spend large chunks of time wiping down tables and computers. I would have no problem reserving/picking up books. We could always leave them sitting in the garage like we do packages right now. 

    • Like 2
  4. There was a lot of grumbling out here on the east bay...from the start everyone is being pushed to support local business by ordering takeout and shopping from local businesses first. The last week or so I noticed more comolaints about what people are missing out on. Earlier this week, one mom in our hs group was posting on her FB about constitutional rights, a couple of posts on a local FB group about empty hospitals and lots of complaining about a possible delay to the start of the school year.

    But now, people are flipping their lids at the announcement that u-pick season will begin as normal. Lots of protesting about outsiders coming in, lack of bathrooms/washing facilities, crowding at local parks, etc. Suddenly supporting local business/opening up is a terrible idea.

    Our family already decided we won't be going to any u-picks (not even their pre-picked stands since they get fruit from the same area as the u-pick area), just based on how often we see people eating while picking (you're not supposed to but it happens all the time and no one ever really enforces it, or not that we've seen in the dozens of years we've been going) and the crowds they draw. I honestly don't see how they could run u-pick season as usual. Some of the parking lots get jam packed and there aren't handwashing stations...are they going to make everyone use hand sanitizer on entry? Limit entrance? Follow people to make sure they don't sample? 

    Anyway, was a bit like whiplash to get on after checking out for a couple days to see the tide so suddenly changed.

  5. 23 hours ago, Arcadia said:

    California https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Coronavirus-live-updates-news-bay-area-15192855.php

    “7:09 p.m. California has cleared its pending backlog of coronavirus tests: The California Department of Public Health said Thursday that all 482,097 coronavirus tests that have been conducted in the state have reported results. It is the first time since the department began sharing daily testing figures in mid-March that it has reported no testing backlog. At its worst, California had nearly 60,000 pending tests because of a backlog at labs processing the tests. As of yesterday, there were 7,200 pending tests. The agency did not immediately respond to a question about how it was able to clear the backlog. But there is often a lag time between when labs process tests and when they report them to the state. Labs have been steadily increasing their capacity, and testing supplies have become more available in recent days.”


    Wonder if this is why we're finally getting drive through testing in Contra Costa County. If anyone is interested in charts, we've got lots of numbers over here. I only wish they would indicate how many are recovered. They recently added this dashboard , too, which I think might be more informative than any of the other stats in terms of monitoring how hard its hitting in our area. There are two sites being set up as covid hospitals (a pavillion, the county fairgrounds) and possibly a third? (a county clinic that used to be a hospital). They set up sanitation stations near homeless camps, masks are now required in public stores/work/etc. Cleaning supplies/tp are still hard to find in stores (as in, you must be there in line at opening if you hope to get some), but the grocery stores seem to be fully stocked (except for yeast). It feels like we're taking a deep breath between one wave and the next. Particularly because I'm starting to see posts on local groups about the "empty" hospitals and people complaining about a possible delay to the start of the school year-our end of the county starts in July, and takes a break in October, December and Spring. People don't want to give up that fall break (where are they planning on going?) or keep their kids home until September. 

  6. Far East San Francisco Bay Area here. Went out Thursday to find TP. Only went to Target. Still lines forming at the door hours before opening. Costco is apparently worse. They've started putting up one of those line things like at the bank at the front of the door for about 10 feet. Employee said it helps the employees not get rushed at the door by people coming in from the parking lot right at opening trying to skip the line. They've also started putting up a board with with whats in stock for hot items. Rest of the store looked pretty well stocked, though I just grabbed what was on my list and got out. There were maybe 3 people beside myself wearing masks, but that will change next week (mandated masks in our county starting Wednesday). Local Facebook group posts indicate baking goods (flour, baking powder, yeast) are hard to find, but otherwise it seems things are refilling at the grocery store (at least, I don't see people asking where to get eggs, meat, baby items or milk anymore). 

  7. 18 hours ago, square_25 said:

    which means that the last few weeks of not going out haven't brought out the best in me. 


    This in particular may be why its been weighing on my mind so much recently. We'd moved onto nice sunny weather and were out of the house almost every morning to the park or the library. We do have a large backyard, where we're starting a small garden and have plenty to play with, but its nowhere near the same as her getting to play with other kids and exploring new places.

    16 hours ago, Critterfixer said:

    Even tempered anything for me involves first taking care of myself. I find if I give myself space, prioritize my creativity, make sure I get the sleep I need, the exercise I need, the time-away I need, and permission to react when I need to react (ideally in a safe place) and be myself, my temper becomes much more even, and I can even take a stab at sweet. 

    In that same line of thinking, it has helped me to reach a place where I realize everyone in my family also needs those things too. And they need grace, the same as I do, when they aren't getting those things, and so, get cranky. Right now, very few people are getting what all they need. 


    Graciousness seems a much better ideal than sweet. And I'm sensing a repeating theme of self care. Perhaps I should take some time to figuring out how to give myself some time and space in our current situation. 

    @txk thank you for all your wonderful ideas! 


    • Like 2

    22 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

    I don't know, I've got kids turning 21 and 11, so I'm no spring chicken. After a lot of years of wondering why I was never quite as even tempered as I wanted to be, we finally ran genetics. Turned out I had a TPH2 defect and VDR (vitamin D receptor) defect. Well vitamin D stabilizes mood and TPH2 converts tryptophan to 5HTP which then converts to serotonin and melatonin, also stabilizing mood. So basically I was able to be the more calm person I had wanted to be once I dealt with the actual problem. It's not always a spiritual problem or personal problem or whatever. We need our vitamin D, adequate sleep, things that take care of us. It's hard to be the person you want to be when your body isn't cooperating and a lot easier when it is. 


    Funny you mention Vitamin D. In November I switched GPs and my new one did a full work up. Turns out I was extremely Vitamin D and B deficient. I was blaming the fatigue, poor sleeping and general fogginess on "mom brain"/having a little one so late/far after the older one (none between the two, 12 years apart). Lucky me, I now get Vitamin B shots monthly and get to take daily vitamin B and D pills, and I also have a sleeping pill prescription for when I'm feeling like I'm not sleeping well. It helped tremendously. I think I'll start taking the sleeping pill again, see if that helps (I took it for a couple days when this all started up and I was staying up all night worrying and thinking, but I stopped after a few days-I wonder if I'm not sleeping as deeply as I should though, which was a problem before). 

  9. I fell down a rabbit hole recently. It started with me trying to figure out if A Year of Playing Skillfully would be worth the price for DD3. The idea of intentionally working on character traits caught my attention, and I soon found Laying Down the Rails. Looking at reviews of that (trying to decide which of the books would be best to start with) I found a review that mentioned the "Top Three Habits for a Homeschool Mom" post on Simply Charlotte Mason.  The third habit-the sweet, even temper bit, really spoke to me. I have been struggling with this one, hard. I find myself being short/impatient/irritated with DD3 and DD15 far too often lately. For example, DD3 accidentally knocked over her juice yesterday, and rather than saying "whoops, accidents happen" and having her help me clean, I made her go sit on a chair across the room while I cleaned it up (not a time out, just a get over there and stay out of the way), and I was annoyed that she made the mess (she asked "are you mad?" which made me realize I was being cranky). The other day, DD15 came into the kitchen while I was cooking to tell me about something exciting that had just happened with a story she's reading and I was just annoyed that she was bothering me while I was busy. I keep having these moments where I catch myself in the moment or where I look back at the end of the day and don't like what I see (I use Daylio and the Three Good Things apps every night to track habits and do daily gratitude/reflection on my day). 

    So, how do you cultivate a sweet, even temper? Do you have some resources/readings you can recommend? Any BTDT advice? 

  10. I've never been able to wing it with shopping. Always have a list. My parents used to wing it, and they usually started in the meat aisle then went to the boxed/canned items to pick up things to go with the meat, then fruits/veg and dairy/frozen. 

    I spent part of today making a hopeful menu of dinners to make when the current planned meals run out. Then I made a list of what we would need for that menu to happen. I now have 3 lists. 1 post it with non food things to get if I see them. 1 post it with the fruits/veg we need at farmers market for next week and a couple things to pick up at the store for next week if I do decide to go. And one bigger list with items to grab if I see them over the next couple weeks. The harder part will be the meat. Based on what people are saying, meat aisles have been pretty wiped by noon every day, and I am not interested in lining up with everyone at opening. I forsee more vegetarian dinners in our future. 

    • Like 3
  11. We are in one of the counties under quarantine in CA. This morning there were a bunch of posts on FB showing people lined up around the buildings at Costco and Winco. Lots of people looking for meat and eggs posting too. Much as I'm tempted to go Thursday night, I'll try to hold out til the farmers market Saturday and wait til at least next week to go in to a store. 

    • Like 1
  12. 2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:


    Aaaaaand this is why my teen thinks I'm a horrible mom. "Those OTHER moms think this is NBD, why can't I sleepover at Xs house?" Maybe B/C her parents are idiots who think this is NBD! Who knows where they've been! My DDs 15yo best friend in Italy is now very sick and coughing up bloody sputum. This is not a joke.

    Same. Particularly hard for DD15 because the friends who want to hang out rn are her public school friends that "couldn't" (sorry, I've grown a bit bitter about these particular so called friends of hers this year, not that I let her see it) find any time to hang out with her all year.  One of the families is well known for sending their sick kids to other peoples' homes, always with the excuse that its "just allergies". The HS families around here (at least the ones in our hs group) are all staying home.

    • Like 5
  13. After this weekend I have a deeper appreciation of my grandparent's food insecurities (I cleaned out both my maternal grandparent's homes after they passed, lots of expired items bought in bulk that we had to toss, tiny little containers of leftovers stashed in the freezer, etc). I already understood on an intellectual level, but now I get it on a gut/emotional level better than I did before. It was surreal walking through the store Saturday morning trying to get milk and bread and seeing empty shelves and harried workers and shoppers desperately trying to figure out what to buy of what little is left; and then seeing people posting pics all weekend of still empty shelves and trying to track down things their families need.

    I am a monthly meal prepper/shopper so I have the meat/non perishable items needed for the next couple of weeks worth of dinners (breakfast and lunch tend to rely heavily on fresh/perishable items and aren't really planned, but that will probably have to change) that I bought a couple weeks ago. I even bought some canned soups, boxed mac and cheese and pudding cups the week before last (in case anyone gets sick) as we started seeing things ramping up around here. My weekly shop is usually not that bad (usually just fruit/veg and dairy products for the week) but if I were to try to do a monthly shop anytime soon, I'm sure it would look like hoarding to others. And I'm not sure I would able to get what I wanted all at once. So I'm making up the next month's dinner menu this week and I will be picking up items when I do my weekly shopping, a little at a time. I usually don't have extra canned/non perishable items on hand, but I will pick up an extra can of soup or bottle of juice here and there. I will buy bigger bags of rice and sugar than I normally would. I will buy earlier than I normally would when things (toilet paper for example) start to run low. Of course, this plan depends on stores around here being able to restock. Also, I say I, but the current plan is to have the adults who have to go in to work do the shopping (I won't be shopping unless limits reach a point where we need more than one person shopping to be able to buy what we need). 

    • Like 3
  14. Gatherings over 100 people are banned as of midnight tonight in Contra Costa County. Things really ramped up here this week. Schools closing, library canceling programs, etc. Both local Winco's closed last night because they just couldn't keep up with the crowds. Never been so glad I am a monthly meal planner/prepper. Of course, I had to go get milk/etc this morning but Foodmax wasn't so bad at 6am (but busier than I'm used to that early). Will be refilling perishables mid week off hours from now on and going to the farmers market for produce. 

  15. The spending all day on one (should have been short!) writing assignment just took me back in time, lol. It was so frustrating to have a kid who could be this amazing writer if she would JUST WRITE already! She could write amazing stories and poetry, had a huge vocabulary, understood grammar and was so well spoken...but writing was such a pain. It took a lot of time and mistakes on my part to realize the biggest hurdle for us was her expecting the words to just flow perfectly onto the paper the first time she wrote. She really expected perfection of herself every time she set pen to paper, and would spend time crafting paragraphs in her head or panicking because she couldn't craft a perfect sentence on demand and so nothing got written. As frustrated as I was with the writing thing, it was nothing compared to the stress she was putting herself through over writing. I read a lot on here, and took the advice of others to let her creative writing happen or not on her own terms.

    For school, I began focusing on mapping and rough drafts and outlines. We tried 10 minute writing exercises, but those just stressed her out more so we stopped. I forced her to focus on one piece at a time. What needs to happen in the first paragraph? The next? The next? I showed her that it was okay to write something like "Opening line here-say something funny" or "Put that Neil Gaiman quote here". We would just get a very rough draft done. Next time we looked at it, we began filling in sentences...Whats the first thing that needs to be said? Write that down. What comes next? Write that down. There was a period of time when she dictated everything she wrote to me and I typed it. If she seemed to stall out, I asked her questions and wrote her answers down. I tried not to let her sit and stew on what is the exact right word or phrase to use...it often felt like our history and reading discussions, with me taking notes. Eventually I began having her type it out as we walked through it. I taught her tricks like using a placeholder when you get stuck (just type the same word or phrase every time and you can come back to it and control f to find and fill in any missing bits later) and moving on to the next part. Editing/revision never happened on the same day(s) as writing. I always choose something good in the writing to point out first-whether it was how clear her voice was or a particular turn of phrase or an excellent transition---that was what I pointed out first. I would point out any obvious editing errors and we would discuss one or two revisions that I would suggest. A couple of things I learned through trial and error-now I always ask her to point out something she's particularly proud of (saves me from picking her favorite sentence to fix) and learning to let my revision suggestions be merely suggestions (she can take or leave them as she wants-often she is willing to make a change, but occasionally she will explain that she is keeping it that way for xyz reason (usually related to personal style/authors voice). 

    It was a bit of a slog for a while, but eventually we got to a place where she can write on her own in a reasonable amount of time. Creative writing comes and goes. There have been times when zero creative writing happens, times when she draws characters in her digital art program and tells me these detailed backstories for them (that never get written down), times when she she becomes so involved in writing a story that its all she can focus on, and times when she will stop whatever she's doing to jot down a quick poem that just came to her that takes my breath away that she completely forgets about once its down on paper. The only thing I do regarding her creative writing is show an interest in it. I will listen attentively if she wants to read aloud to me (even if its 10pm and I've just come out of the shower after getting the sick baby down late because her schedule is off because she's sick and I just want to crawl in bed already). I will point out things I like. I will ask questions about the characters or the setting or ask if a particular moment was a bit of foreshadowing of things to come. I will tell her I can't wait to read more. If she shows me a character she's drawn, I will ask what their story is, or if its a character from one of her stories. If its been a while since I've heard about her writing, I might ask about a particular story or character-if she says she hasn't been writing, again, I might ask her if she's having a hard time fitting writing into her day or if she's feeling stuck on something. Often its just that something else has caught her attention, or that she needs a break from a particular piece of writing because its frustrating. She loves writing, and wants to have a career in writing. I can honestly say I don't think that would be the case if I had continued to treat creative writing as another school task. 

    • Like 2
  16. Ok, we're pretty set now: 

    Algebra-Understanding Algebra by Critical Thinking Co paired with Coconuts and Crocodiles/Chuckles the Rocket Dog by Arbor. 

    Science-Forensic Science. using Georgia Virtual Learning course and the Great Courses series Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works

    History/SS-Queer US History, using readings from this syllabus  (and a few movies thrown in from another one) with weekly journaling (she refuses to annotate in books, so I have her make notes in a journal) and discussion about the readings/viewings. Will write one essay (probably an argument paper related to a current issue). 

    LA- "Literature for the Stage", 6 week periods focused on different types of performaces: Shakespeare (Macbeth, As You Like It); Ancient Plays (Oedipus, Antigone, possibly also read some Aristophanes); Musicals (My Fair Lady, Newsies...we are going to see Hamilton but I have been forbidden from "turning it into school" in any way, lol); Opera (Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream, Porgy and Bess); Plays (Harvey,  The Importance of Being Earnest, The Sultan's Dilemma, A Raisin in the Sun). For each, we will be reading, viewing (live whenever possible) and discussing. We will use videos and guides and other resources as they fit. We will look at original/inspirations (ex Pygmalion for My Fair Lady). She will likely read/watch additional works. There will be 2-3 lit based papers for this one. 

    Art-She will most likely be taking animation courses from The Animation Course (she is currently taking the second Drawing Courses). I will add a research paper per term, and some museum trips to round it out.

    She might pick up another elective-photography or creative writing maybe. She wants to take up guitar, but not for school, and she's starting a D&D group this month. She's dropping scouts at the end of the year-apparently she was only doing it for the social aspects and now that we've found an active homeschool group and she's found some awesome homeschool friends she feels like she doesn't want/need scouts. She's also talking about starting up a community GSA.

    • Like 2
  17. Your DD sounds very much like mine. We are doing Pre-A this year (8th) and I was worried we'd have to do it again next year. Math, especially word problems, has always been a struggle for her. Our math time was very much like you describe with your husband and daughter. We've tried several programs (LoF, BA, MM, Key to Series...). This year we used Critical Thinking Co.'s Understanding Pre-Algebra. No distractions. Minimal color. Short bite size lessons written to the student with just enough work for her to practice and feel like she understood the lesson. We also use Jousting Armadillos once or twice a week. She has made huge strides in feeling like she gets math, being able to explain her reasoning, catching her own errors, how quickly she works, just overall solidifying her math skills (finally!) and even her willingness to do and enjoyment of math. Some of it has been due to the curriculum we used this year, some of it has been the approach we took. After talking with a math teacher and our tutor over the summer, I changed my approach this year (pretty much the only thing that stayed the same is math is our first subject every day). She now sits at the table with me and reads the Understanding Pre-Algebra lesson silently to herself. If she has questions/doesn't understand what she's reading, she can ask for me to help her understand. But I don't step in preemptively. She then lets me know when she's ready to begin working, and she talks me through the first problem. I used to talk her through the first problem (or few) and we would have so many errors in the later work. If she misses something when she works through the first problem, we go back to that particular part of the lesson and review it, and if she needs, I explain (diagram, sample problem, whatever) the step. Then she keeps working/talking me through the first problem until its done. After that, if she is confident she knows what to do, she does her work at the table quietly. If she doesn't think she's ready, she does the next problem with me, with her explaining her work again, and me helping her go back to review whatever isn't catching. Once she's working independently, If I see her drifting off or staring at the page or whatever for too long, I ask her what she needs to do next. That usually nudges her along. She will either get back to work, or, if she needs help, she actually asks for it (and she doesn't always need a nudge to ask for help). I've even seen her catching herself making a mistake while she works and correcting it! That's a huge step forward for us. She reviews it before turning it in, I correct it that day and we go over mistakes together at the end of the day. With Jousting Armadillos, we really use each lesson as a discussion topic. We read it together, she gives me her ideas and explains why she thinks that, sometimes I write out the work (she doesn't write anything for this one). I am keeping the focus of Jousting Armadillos to be entirely getting her to speak the language of math. To talk to me about what she's thinking, why and where it leads her. One of the hardest things I had to do this year was allowing long silences during our discussions and when doing her work when I asked her what she thought the next step/an answer might be. She knows I'm not going to drag her through the whole lesson again, or give her the answer so we can move on; and she knows she has all the time she needs to think on it (so she's not feeling pressured to just blurt out whatever random number/thought pops into mind). This year has been so successful, I plan to use CTCs Understanding Algebra and Crocodiles and Coconuts/Chuckles the Rocket Dog in the same way next year. 

    • Like 1
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