Archive for January, 2010

Call me Spud.

So, two days ago, I peeled myself.

Yep. You heard me. I freekin’ PEELED myself.

I was in the kitchen, peeling potatoes for dinner, and the potato in my hand was somewhat small and unruly, and I was leaning over the trash can just working away at it, and next thing you know,

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

That wasn’t the potato!

Immediately upon my hollering, everyone else started hollering.The girls were all: MOM!!!! ARE YOU OKAY????? and RegularDad was all: WHAT HAPPENED?????? Even the puppy started barking. (The cats, snoozing under a bed, were all: wha?… did someone say something?… no?… good… zzzzz…..)

And I’m already at the sink, cursing a bit, with my index finger under some cold water, yelling back: I’M ALL RIGHT!!! Because if they came in and saw me like that, they’d FREAK. Moms with bleeding hands are downright scary.

The thing is, it wasn’t all that bad. I could tell pretty much right away that it wouldn’t need stitches or anything. You know how you JUST KNOW? Yeah… it was like that. I just KNEW. It wasn’t too bad.

But there was a… well… a flap, if you know what I mean. And that’s just GROSS. Any way you slice it. (Ha ha ha… slice it… get it… yeah, okay. I’ll stop.) RegularDad came in and asked to see the injury. I already had it wrapped in a paper towel and I was all: no thanks. I’m fine. It’s fine. And he was all: why don’t you want me to see it? And I was all, well there’s a bit of a flap. And he was all: we really need to get under that and disinfect it, and I was all NO WAY DUDE. GET AWAY FROM ME WITH THOSE TWEEZERS.

I laced a BandAid with Neosporin ointment and wrapped it around my flap, and went on with my evening.

Yesterday afternoon, I figured I’d refresh the BandAid, maybe put some more Neosporin on it. No big deal, right? But when I took off the bandage, it looked a little gross. So when RegularDad got home I asked him to look at it, and he did, and at first he was all: I dunno. Maybe you should go in. And I was all: I really don’t think it’s necessary. So, he cleaned it all up (even under the flap) and sprayed everything down with Bactine and then we did another Neosporin-laced bandage, and that was that.

Except I obsessed all night long over it. Because of my neighbor.

My neighbor spent all last spring and most of last summer at home on disability because he got a splinter. That’s all. Just a splinter. He works construction. He got this splinter and then didn’t clean it out completely, and ended up hospitalized with a shunt in his neck so he could have super-strength antibiotic cocktails infused right into his cartoid artery. Because of a FREEKIN SPLINTER.

So, all last night, I sat around thinking: what if there’s an infection brewing right now? What if I wake up tomorrow and see red lines creeping up my arm, and I go in to the doctor and he says: “You really should have come in the day this happened.”

Or, what if I make an appointment and I go in there and the doctor says: “You know, this really isn’t anything to worry about at all. Just keep on using the Neosporin and some BandAids, and you’ll be fine.”  Then he turns and scrawls “RAGING HYPOCHONDRIAC” on my file, and no one takes me seriously ever again.

Either way: I’m looking pretty foolish.

So, last night, I went to check in with some of my posse online, and they assured me that I was okay. That I could just do my own self-care and all would be well.

And I feel much better now. Although I haven’t looked underneath the bandage yet today. I can’t quite face it yet.

But still: Dudes…. I freekin’ PEELED myself.

It’s upsetting.

We’ll be eating potatoes with the skins on from now on. Hell, it’s healthier anyway.

And the beat goes on.

Came across this gem of an article on Yahoo tonight:  Texas Debates the Way History Will Be Taught and thought the rest of you might want to give it a glance, if you haven’t seen it yet.

Basically, Texas is embroiled in a bit of an argument about what topics and which prominent people should be included in the public K-12 social studies program. It’s the usual fight: the Left versus the Right. The Left generally wants to make sure that No One Is Excluded at the expense of their religion, race, creed, gender, politics, belief in marsupial afterlife or odd persistence in drinking caffeine-free diet sodas. If you honestly believe in it, whatever it is, they’ll find a way for it to be included in the national curriculum. The Right generally wants everything to be very Christian all the time. Except for Santa. Santa can suck it, as far as they’re concerned. I’m pretty sure you can find that in the Bible somewhere, written in code maybe. So sayeth the Lord and all that.  Or maybe I’m thinking of Nostradamus. Dan Brown? Jerry B. Jenkins? I dunno. Somewhere, at least.

So, it’s really not surprising that the two sides of the Texas school board can’t seem to find a middle-ground on this issue. Nothing new there. And I don’t even live in Texas, so why should I even care, right? And I wouldn’t really, except for this:

The curriculum it chooses will set the guideposts for teaching history and social studies to some 4.8 million K-12 students for 10 years. The standards will be used to develop state tests and by textbook publishers who develop material for the nation based on Texas, one of the largest markets. (emphasis is mine)

So, basically, most of the nation will end up with whatever Texas decides. And frankly, if I weren’t homeschooling already, I’d be watching this one Very Closely, and carefully considering my options. Because if you haven’t read it yet, you really need to read this article: A Textbook Example of What’s Wrong With Education by Tamim Ansary, and see the politics behind how American public school textbooks are written and published. For example:

If you’re creating a new textbook, therefore, you start by scrutinizing “Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills” (TEKS). This document is drawn up by a group of curriculum experts, teachers, and political insiders appointed by the 15 members of the Texas Board of Education, currently five Democrats and ten Republicans, about half of whom have a background in education. TEKS describes what Texas wants and what the entire nation will therefore get.

Texas is truly the tail that wags the dog. There is, however, a tail that wags this mighty tail. Every adoption state allows private citizens to review textbooks and raise objections. Publishers must respond to these objections at open hearings.

In the late ’60s, a Texas couple, Mel and Norma Gabler, figured out how to use their state’s adoption hearings to put pressure on textbook publishers. The Gablers had no academic credentials or teaching background, but they knew what they wanted taught — phonics, sexual abstinence, free enterprise, creationism, and the primacy of Judeo-Christian values — and considered themselves in a battle against a “politically correct degradation of academics.”

Phonics sounds good. So does free enterprise. But the rest of it… not our cuppa, so to speak. And before you all freak out on me for bashing on the Texas fundies, here’s what California likes to do with their textbooks:

Concern in California is normally of the politically correct sort — objections, for example, to such perceived gaffes as using the word Indian instead of “Native American.” To make the list in California, books must be scrupulously stereotype free: No textbook can show African Americans playing sports, Asians using computers, or women taking care of children. Anyone who stays in textbook publishing long enough develops radar for what will and won’t get past the blanding process of both the conservative and liberal watchdogs.

It’s not so bad as the conservative push in Texas, but it’s still over the top for me. The idea of never showing women taking care of children doesn’t sit well with me. There’s such a thing as Too Politically Correct, if you ask me. They’re shooting themselves in the foot at the expense of the children they’re trying to teach. And the result is social paralysis and an uneducated American public.

It’s really an eye-opening experience, revisiting this article. The kind that makes me grateful for even the most difficult day around here, when we’re just slogging through the material in the middle of an endless cold-snap and the holiday break is over and we’re all grousing and grumbling at each other and waiting for spring. Because at least I’ve got the freedom to choose what we study and to present the material in a meaningful way.

Yeah, we homeschool. Thank God.

Obligatory laundry photo.

GailV, this one’s for you:

Your comment from yesterday had me laughing so hard, I just had to post this for you. 🙂

I’d write more, but you see what I’m up against – a complete and utter lack of clean socks. 

Dudes… I’m going in. If I don’t make it back in a day or so, send reinforcements and extra Tide.

In which I resolve to find a way to blog more regularly.

Ah, a new year. Time to clear my head and really sit down and say to myself: what do I want to accomplish this year? How can I simplify my life so that I’ll have time to do the things that never seem to get done around here. Like blogging. And laundry.

Hmmm…

Well, I can tell you what wouldn’t simplify my life. One of these:

Yep. I can definitely say for sure that adding one of these into my household is definitely not a good way to simplify. Definitely not.

Definitely.

I assure you all, I do not have time for that.

Nope. Definitely not.

Definitely.

Dudes… there’s a puppy at my feet right now.

Life is good.


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