Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Life in the Cornfields

I'm not going to start out by saying, "I'm ba-a-a-ck!" or "Sorry it's been so long since I've posted" or even "Dude, I've missed you!" (Even though I have.) (And the dude thing? I have teenagers.) (Male teenagers).

Have you ever seen a blog post that read
"I'm Ba-a-a-ck"? It's a funny thing. You see, when I'm reading a blog, I don't pay any attention to the dates. If I read 6 posts in a row, I have no idea if they were written over 6 days' time or 6 months' time, unless of course there are chronological references built into them. So the "I'm Ba-a-a-ck" thing, while obviously a shout-out to the blog's regular readers, only serves to take up valuable time and space.

Kinda like that last paragraph.

I just wanted you to know that I respect your time. And space. If we were close enough that it'd matter.

What's new in the cornfields....

We attended the
Unschoolers Winter Waterpark Gathering in Ohio - five days of unschooling and waterpark fun. I met up with unschooling friends old and new and we had ourselves a grand old time. I even got asked by Debra (thanks Debra!) to speak on her panel for the workshop "Redefining Education." And even though it makes me sweat in that funny nervous sort of way, speaking is fun and a great way to meet people. Here I am right before the workshop - barefoot and mendhi'd to the hilt.

(I love a conference where I can speak barefoot and mendhi'd to the hilt.)

I'd show more pictures of UWWG, but you know - the whole swimsuit thing. I have a rather deep aversion to parading around in my swimsuit. Public pools? Urgh. Public waterparks? *shiver* But I managed. By keeping my camera in its case at all times.

The day after returning from the conference I left for Madison, WI to catch up with my women's circle - some of my favorite women in the whole wide world - who were mid-retreat. We collaged and walked and cooked and ate and laughed and cried and it was oh-so-good, as always, to be together. Here are the retreaters, minus 3 who were unable to come.

*wistful sigh*

The boys have been busy as well. Jonathan has turned into quite the fitness fanatic. He and his dad vowed to exercise every day during the month of January, inspired by the Iron Gym Jonathan got for Christmas from his grandma. And they did. Every day. I know! He's also neck-deep in football books, another passion. Oh and GeoChallenge. GeoChallenge! Have you played GeoChallenge on Facebook? Jonathan got a FB page for the sole purpose of playing that game. He absolutely *kills* at it. For reference - my score is around 3300. His score upwards of 46,000.

The booger.

He now studies maps in his spare time.

Brady's been busy with his new rock band which means every weekend my house is filled with long-legged, big-haired, especially-hungry teenaged boys.... and their gear.

Strange sounds erupt from my basement (they play screamo) and sleeping bags cover all available floor space. It's been a ton of fun.

I'm buying lots of bacon.

Brady is also polishing his recording skills...

and since he's teaching two workshops on video game creation at the InHome Conference this weekend, he practiced on our local homeschooling group.

Other big news... Rob bought into his agency so he's now a business owner! He's part-owner, which so far equals more responsibility as well as more debt. But that's ok - we love debt! It's the American way, isn't it?
He bought me pink roses for Valentine's Day.

I love pink roses.

I've been painting. If we're friends on Facebook (and if not, why not?) you may already know that I fired myself from ever picking out paint colors ever again. Ever. I was so sure I liked my color choices, but then I got to painting and realized I hated the blue. Hated it. Loathed it. It looked like I'd spread toothpaste on my walls. (Crest Regular, if you need specifics like my mom and sister did.) But the crazy thing? I kept painting. I wasn't sure about it, I was liking it less and less, and yet there I went - paint paint paint, brush brush brush, roll roll roll - across three walls and into the bathroom sink area, all the while my heart pounding harder and harder.

Really, I'm obviously a half-brick short of a load.

I was hoping it'd grow on me. I was worrying that I'd already spent all that money. And I didn't trust myself to choose another color when I'd screwed up the first choice so fully and royally.

But then I went to Sherwin Williams and laid out my tale of painting-woe to the designer there. And she knew just where I'd gone wrong. The blue looks terrible against my woodwork, said she, and even though I'd already grabbed some replacement possibilities of sage-y greens, she marched straight to the earthy tones, chose two, and said, "These."

Not trusting myself at all by this point, I immediately donned the submissive role and bought samples of those two colors. I took them home. I eagerly slapped them onto my walls.

I hated them.

Redemption is mine!

I returned to the original store the following day, spent a good portion of my day holding up paint samples against a sage green curtain I liked, bought three, brought them home, painted squares on 3 walls, and voila - I like two of the three!

I'm rehired! Getting fired was really hard on the ego.

The purple is good.
And the rest of my walls - including the boys' bathroom downstairs - look like this:

I will resume painting next week. I've waited 12 years to get color on my walls, what's another few days? Besides, I'm tired, it's cold, and the dog pooped on my rug this morning.

And no, I haven't yet painted the boys' bathroom. But seeing as I painted 4 different colors on the bathroom wall - so I could see my new choices on a blank palette - I'd say it's just about to get done. Right on schedule!



debra said...

Hey Laura
We had a blast at Kalahari. And we've been mendhi-ing here as well.
Hannah is becoming quite adept.
We're looking at sage for the living room. I don't mind the yellow but I hate the blue woodwork. I expect to see pink cotton candy next to it.
Good to see you back :-)

Beachbum said...

I'm the best at that "I'm back" stuff and manage to fill more than one paragraph with the 'cause' part!

I am anxious for next Feb when we can see you at Kalahari! Yeah for the speaking!!!

I like the purple. The blue really does look like toothpaste and I have a friend who's walls are still painted in squares to see which color she likes better - it's been something like 2 years. Almost as long as that sentence!

Can't wait to read on Saturday!!!

Beverly said...

Paint is hard. No doubt.
That conference sounds great. I love waterparks. My kids will be grown before I could get to something like that. Maybe I need to host one, eh?

Mandy aka Mandaroo said...

Great to see a post! I was on hiatus a bit too... I love those FB games, I like the Word Challenge and Pet Society. How do you get a 46,000???!!! Wow! The purple is nice (my fave color), I always suck at picking out wall colors. Loving the mendhi & the beautiful pink roses! So pretty...

Snavleys said...

I seem to do the "I'm baacck" thing every month. I go through phases where I just don't like to blog. And the painting..........I wish we lived in the same town and I would be painting like a maniac with you. I have hired and fired myself many times, painted and re-painted several rooms, but I love to paint! I have to say, the purple looks very nice.

Stephanie said...

I painted my livingroom three times.

First a sage that I thought would be a pretty contrast to the cherrywood, and would compliment the burgandy.
I still shudder when I think about it.
It made things look like a purple nightmare!!

Then... something else, what was it??? and then finally my faux-finish straw color.

Glad that's over.

Colleen said...

I want the scoop on this women's circle. It seems like you guys are always doing really cool things together. How did it start? How often do you meet? Who plans it all? Must. Have. Details.

piscesgrrl said...

debra - I miss mendhi!

beachbum - Wait - you'll be at Kalahari next year? WooHOO!

Beverley - If you host one, I will come! Why can't you come to Kalahari or one of the others?

Mandy - you get 46,000 by being very, very competitive.

Snavleys - Get your yoga butt down here and we'll have a painting party.

stephanie - thanks, I feel better now. :)

Colleen - I've considered writing about our women's circle. It's tricky, what with the whole "what happens in circle, stays in circle" thing, you know? I'll share sometime, promise.

Jen said...

Hi Laura!

You painting the rooms in your home is great! Purple is one of my favorite colors! Keep up the good work!