Friday bullets, May 11, 2018

Life has been pretty calm around here, which is extremely nice. One of the loveliest things about homeschooling is the lack of May craziness. I like a nice, calm May.

  • I realized I forgot to share something last Friday. Look who's back!

Yes, it's Gomez. M. was moving studio supplies to our crawlspace, and since Gomez has been living in M.'s studio, he had to come to. This is why I went grocery shopping with a skeleton buckled into a van seat last week. Gomez is now happily residing in our crawlspace since some children are not amused by his presence. 
  • We received our property tax bills in the mail recently. Now, if you have been reading here for any length of time, you know that property taxes were a HUGE issue when we lived in the Big Ugly House, and a very large reason behind us deciding to move. So, it was with no little trepidation when I saw the envelope and realized I should open it. Sometimes in our old house, we would just let the unopened envelope sit there for as long as possible since neither of us really could bring ourselves to face the ridiculously huge numbers it contained. But I was a grown-up and opened the tax bill. There were tears all right, but this time the tears were of a very different variety than they had been for the past ten years of so. This was the first time I cried tears of joy at a tax bill. A tax bill that was LESS than I was expecting. A tax bill that we can actually pay. It still seems more than a little unbelievable to me.
  • Since we are comparing the financial aspects of our move, let me show you a picture I took when J. and I went out to dinner last week. (Yes, I made him walk around to the front of the parking garage just so I could take a picture of this sign.) 

Now, if you don't live in Chicago or Evanston, this sign might not seem odd to you. It stopped me and J. in our tracks for a moment, though. Look at that! It's a whole $2 to park for the day. But not only that, the parking is free, FREE!, on evenings and weekends. Who knew such a thing was possible? And the city still seems to function.
  • L. still refuses to sit on the seat cushions I bought for the dining room.
  • Not much is new in the land of chickens and ducks. This weekend, though, is the three week mark for them living in the coop, so I think we are going to begin to slowly introduce them to the larger world. Since a chicken escaped from the pen today, I think they are ready for bigger adventures.
  • We must be settling in to our new community. Someone said to me today, "Oh, are you the one with all the kids?" 
  • Spring was so late arriving this year that it took some time for us to get our spring picture books out. Actually I thought I was getting out our spring/summer books, so wasn't in a terrible rush, thinking that we had all summer to read them. Well, I had forgotten that I had resorted them into two different categories when I was packing last year, because there were just too many of them to fit nicely on our shelves. So, I guess we'll have these books out briefly before moving on to summer.
  • As I was in the process of getting out the next set of picture books, I realized that it might not be too long before we are through with this season of life. Children were interested, but far fewer than in the past, and there was far less overall enthusiasm upon seeing and remembering the books being taken out. This makes me a little bit sad. OK, this actually makes me a lot sad.
  • I am getting much closer to finally being done weeding and neatening the long flower bed along the drive. What I didn't realize was that my efforts were actually creating a popular play place for children and small plastic toys. Here is what was repeated many times this week.

My only rule is that they must stay on the rocks and pavers and not actually walk through the beds. I've also discovered that it is rare that they find all the carefully camouflaged toys, so the flower bed seems to be perpetually decorated with Playmobile and army men.
  • Shitake mushrooms, when sliced, make excellent mustaches.
  • We've all been spending so much time outside the past week or so, that the inside of the house is... well... let's just say, not pristine. That sounds better than messy and kind of gross, doesn't it? But at least there are no chickens.
Enjoy your weekend and a Happy Mother's Day. M. and B. will be coming out, so I'll have everyone home. 


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