Scutwork Diary, Day 4

Homeschool Consolidation was achieved. It didn’t look like what I was expecting, but then, that is one of the reasons I decided to make this whole diary happen. What I imagined was tidy shelves and all the paperwork neatly placed in clearly categorized stacks, and organized baskets of manipulatives. What I have is shelves that only contain homeschool stuff, not particularly organized, and manipulatives in baskets, but not tidily so. This is fine.

No, really, it’s close enough to serve the purpose I set out to accomplish. Everything homeschool is in one clear location, with plenty of room to hold a year’s worth of accumulated work for all the kids. That was the goal. So the fact that the neatness element wasn’t achieved merely reveals that it was a stretch goal. Those are good to have, but they aren’t essential to completing the core mission. And the deed is done, so that’s great news.

No progress on remodel design, but that’s as I expected, this weekend was pretty taxing along many vectors. I hope we can wrap that one up this week, and I think that will happen. My current concern is figuring out what to tackle next. I think it’s going to be something laundry related. We have too much of essentials like linens and underwear.

Normally I wouldn’t say anything like this so openly, but when you have two or three weeks’ worth per person, laundry gets backed up on more essential items like dresses, shirts, pants and skirts because “we have more towels/underwear/sheets, I guess laundry can wait another day”. So I think I’m going to do Laundry Spring Cleaning, but I’ll make a firm decision tomorrow. There will be many projects whose 2 or 3 or 4 days are done amidst weeks or months of other projects, and that’s also something I expected fairly early on, a mix of rolling projects and projects that were done within a few days of declaring them.

Life during a pandemic is stressful, especially when you’re trying to establish better habits so you are the person you wish to be ten years from now. Children don’t really grasp what’s going on or why food prices have skyrocketed and they really do have to eat what’s in the larder because there aren’t other options right now. It’s also strange how one takes for granted the incidental social aspect of leaving the house every day for an errand or a park trip or a hike or part-time school for the kids. Now that I don’t have to drive, *and am not allowed to*, I am far more aware of the lack of social contact, though it was not depthful most of the time.

Still, progress that is favorable is happening and I have a positive attitude about how this week will go. One of my children has a heretofore unknown but not all that unexpected gift for deriving Latin plurals without any foreknowledge of Latin’s not-exactly-intuitive structure. That’s not necessarily something that would have come up under the normal school schedule because that schedule is slower because it’s focused on early learners, since I have no middle graders. But it’s good to know and helpful in future language planning.

Project 1: Homeschool Consolidation, completed, took 3 days.

Project 2: Annual Castle Ladyhawke Remodel Design, still at day 1 of estimated 2 to complete.

Scutwork Diary, Day 3

Hit a roadblock: a different project. We ended up spending our sitter time working on the remodelling plans for Castle Ladyhawke. Some detours included whether we would really go ahead and buy 200 year old cabinetry or stick with recent, slightly cheaper cabinetry in a similar style. The decision making process is taking a long time because we’re stressed about all the Chinese virus issues and also that this is Mommy and Daddy’s space, so the choices have to be somewhat more aethestically “sharp” since we’ll be dealing with them daily. So we’ll likely wrap up the Homeschool Consolidation project tomorrow and I’ll open up Annual LadyHawke Remodel Project and say that this is the first day of that. Easier than trying to count up the work we did at the start of the year on design and materials.

There is a sense of delicate wonder to be felt when you look at old, beautifully worked furniture that sold for reasonable prices back then and remember that we as humans can do it that other way, that it doesn’t have to be cheap and chintzy or fifty thousand dollars a pop with no inbetween. That said, there is some decent work in furniture here and there, the drive isn’t entirely lost even if specific skills have died out.

It was another pleasant weather day, but it was also a bit on the slacky side, because sitting around picking out furniture and fixtures and paint colors is mentally a workout but not exactly physically vigorous. We almost decided to go with a 300 year old French antique cabinet before realizing it wouldn’t work with the vanity color, so we’re doing something au courant: open shelves. Which is pretty funny given our general aesthetic approach. But open shelving isn’t all that new, it’s merely currently trendy.

T.W.O. introduced the children to the wonders of grilling and they were quite impressed with the different between meat when it’s grilled versus cooked in the oven. We don’t grill as much as we ought to, we’re hoping to do more of that now that all the kids are potty trained and can make their own oatmeal. We also experienced some spiritual conviction, as we finally discovered where our church hymnal can be found online, including full musical accompaniement. It’s convicting because we could have gotten this information at any time before the Chinese coronavirus-19 situation to be in greater harmony with our congregation when we’re too sick to attend. And we just never thought to do it until we had to. Plagues are, as is true with so much unpleasant natural phenomena, an opportunity to remember humility and that we can’t technologize our way past having to experience adversity to overcome. We are humbled, but glad we can always have the hymns now if we can’t physically attend. It is a blessing.

And the loss of so much temporal treasure reminds sharply that our true treasure must be in Heaven. We continue to pray for the physical and economic traumas so many are suffering and continue to hope in Christ through this pandemic.

Project 1: Homeschool Consolidation, still at 2 days of estimated 3 complete.

Project 2: Annual Castle Ladyhawke Remodel Design, day 1 of estimated 2 to complete.