Friday, September 01, 2006

Still At Home

We were supposed to leave for Indiana between 11:00 and noon this morning to go see my large and wonderful family at the farm there.

We did not.

Things got dicey last night on one of my work projects. This has been a Very Good Project for me and in order to ensure Balance in the Universe--I knew I had to produce a certain amount of work over the weekend. It wasn't going to work to do that work AND drive 22 hours this weekend. I was not in a great place to make decisions yesterday, but I called my sister AND my aunt and racked up some serious minutes on the cell phone gathering good advice.

So here I am, still at home.

It may have been the right decision for completely unrelated reasons. Hurricane Ernesto is pushing large volumes of rain this way and we discovered two nights ago that there is a leak in the roof that is dropping water through Max's ceiling and into his carpet.

Again, I say ewwww to the carpet.

So with my calendar semi-cleared for the weekend, I bit the anxiety-bullet and stopped avoiding going into my own attic.

It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. There was just as much good news as bad. It was raining while I was up there and no serious leaks revealed themselves. The attic is small, but not hard to move around in. The insulation was relatively recently replaced or supplemented. A previous repair is holding up very well. It is clear to me that once I do have a new roof up there--it'll be a perfectly nice place to store a few things.

In the meantime Chris went and bought me some plastic sheeting to put down and a big battery the better to see what I'm doing with. We're supposed to get about five inches of rain over the next 24 hours. The neighbors have a beautiful roof but are worried their basement will flood.

It's always something.

At any rate. Max and I put down the sheeting and are checking it faithfully to watch for water so we know where to put buckets.

I had started a huge batch of spaghetti sauce, so since I was staying home I pulled that out and finished boiling it down. I used my "new" pressure canner today (bought at a flea market, I replaced all the gaskets and rubber parts). Taking no chances I told the boys solomnly that the thing wasn't perfectly safe and although it was unlikely that anything horrible would happen with it, there was a small possibility that it could blow up and kill them. So they should stay out of the kitchen.

They have stayed out of the kitchen.

Earlier today we went back to the eye doctor. There we learned that the twins are still mildly far-sighted, but nothing deserving glasses. We also learned that Max does indeed have some visual processing issues that are in fact related to learning to spell properly.

On the one hand, I was alarmed because she uncovered more issues than I expected her to. She wants the school to agree to not give him essay tests because it would not reveal what he really knows about something. I just wanted the school to agree to continue a phonics-based spelling program with him because he's not ready for a strictly vocabulary-based program like the one they have.

On the other hand, I've had no small amount of guilt that I could be so successful in teaching Max everything under the sun verbally and have "failed" him in writing. In truth--he isn't horribly behind in writing. But when you consider that he's ahead in everything else--the writing seems a big deficit. And his spelling is atrocious.

So it is comforting to me to have something I can take the school district . I was right. This wasn't about having the wrong spelling curriculum or not spending enough time on it. In fact, I think I had the right spelling curriculum and I'm hoping I can talk them into using it. (The charter school has a very close relationship with the education department at Penn State. They have many young, enthusiastic teaching students as volunteers.)

Now, for me? Back to work.


Writing and Living said...

I'm so sorry your trip didn't work out. That's hard. It's so not fun being a grown up. I hope you have a wonderful, productive weekend anyway.

That's interesting about the visual issues with Max (I mean, I'm sorry, but it's good you know).

Thanks to my grandma and her admonitions to stay out of the kitchen while she was using the pressure cooker, I have a genuine pressure-cooker phobia.

Wishing you much work progress and miraculous roof-repair.


The Queen said...

Yeah, it's not my intent to instill a pressure-cooker phobia in my kids, but apparently my step-mother's aunt died of burn-related injuries sustained when her pressure cooker blew up. So . . . until I've used the thing a few times and am feeling more confident about it . . .

It does have an acutal pressure gauge on it (which I replaced, so it's brand new) which is why I'm okay with using it at all.

I did find TWO leaks this morning. Not where I expected them at all, but I put plastic under them and a bucket.

And Max--I go back and forth between "oh, good. We can do something here." and feelings of worry and guilt and other generally unhelpful emotions.

"We must have waffles and think!" That is my mantra for today ;)