In continuance with WordPress’s daily prompt – just a few days late – I’d like to talk about the word cloaked. Many on WP wrote some funny, weird and um, interesting blogs. I haven’t participated in a month so I’m going to write how I operate. Sarcastic. Authentic. Because that’s what I do.

Not cloaked. Green_Hooded_Cloak_unlockable_icon

Webster’s definition of cloak is:

1 – a loose outer garment
2 – something likened to an outer garment: such as
  •       something that envelops or conceals 
    •      a cloak of secrecy
  •       a distinctive character or role

Me cloaked. Unless you ticked me off. If I’m cloaked, quiet, you can bet, I’m steaming. Cloaked – not my m.o. modus operandi. 

Have you ever met someone, known them for awhile and then some odd thing happens? A vulnerability. A job change. A hurt. An elevated position. The cloak either comes off or the cloak goes on.

Like the saying “the gloves come off”. The real person appears. The facade – gone. Unplugged. No hint of proverbial makeup to cover up the ugly.


The cloak goes on. Cover up. Go within. Walls up. All the secret covered by the concealers, lipstick and blush we call defense mechanisms. (I would list all of these, but I only play a counselor in online school right now)


Or ME:

usually say what’s on my mind. (not always appropriately)

laughs obnoxiously (usually because of some absurdity)

the over-thinker in me has applied some scenario that no one in the room is aware of

no poker face (no really, I’ve tried. I rented one once and it didn’t fit. I don’t think they make my size.)

Cloaks? NOPE?

Want to get to know someone? Find their cloak.


It wasn’t even quite summer solstice when the drama began. The Tall Kid who lives in my basement hits a tree: Cringe. Whiplash: Cringe. Totaled car: Cringe. He was lucky or as we called it: blessed.

2017-06-14 15.08.14

WriterGirl, in a separate, non-vehicular accident, broke her tibia, fibula, ankle, and tore her ACL: Cringe. I’ve given her a new hashtag: #bummersummer. Emergency-Room-Left-Sign-K-8904-L

In the midst of all this drama, the garden was being ignored: CRINGE! This was to be the BEST GARDEN EVER! This was the prayed over, cultivated, researched companion garden. It was to be the bounty of the fall table. It became the “Oh, can you please go turn on the hose,  I forgot.” garden. Many times it was the “I should go weed the garden” garden.

But this garden was not planted on rocky soil. It was not planted in the sandy soil. It was planted in the soil of sweat, tears, poo, prayers, compost. All the nutrients God supplied.


Cucumbers, peas and Mammoth Sunflowers

And behold, in the midst of my perceived chaos, God was doing a work.

He blessed and he multiplied.

I watered, He created.








He even planted beauty of his own in the sweet wildflowers. Extra special. Bright and cheery. 20170628_085527

Unexpected grace and favor.

Outside the garden even.

Not inhibited by the original plan.

The Master Gardener confounding the amateur.

No cringing. Just AWE!



Let the harvest begin.  20170628_085609

His bounty.

His beauty.

His plan.

His timing.

Me: a steward

Me: observing

Me: not cringing.



Many Hats

Horse track. Gas station. Emergency room. Pants factory. Ready-to-assemble furniture factory. Electronics part store. The government. A nuclear test sight. 3 Telecommunications companies. Credit card start up. Editor. Writer.

I’ve flipped burgers. I’ve taken insurance cards. I’ve sweat sewing zippers. I’ve walked through cabinet installations. I’ve counted parts. And counted more parts. I’ve strung cables. I’ve mapped, programmed and tested. Slashed words. Written words.

BUT, none has compared to this hat. Homeschool Hat

Some I’ve heard say “I could never homeschool.” Ummm… THEN DON’T!”

Others “I don’t have the patience. “My response is “You haven’t killed them yet.”

The best: “What about socialization?” Let me ask you “Where did you kid hear his first F’word?” I have a whole treatise about this one, too, if you really want the answer.

“I’m not smart enough.” My answer(s):

Okay, you don’t want to know my answer to this one… Let’s just leave it out there. It’s not the point.

As I retire this hat, I can look back and see that we’ve grown as a family because of homeschooling. I’ve grown as a mom, a teacher, a Christian, a human because of homeschooling. Through the struggles and the high-fives, through the tears and the giggles, through rivers, maps, cultures and wars, through nouns, grammar and reading woes, we developed a rhythm to home and homeschool.

As for the next stage? I’ve been perusing the hat store. I have my mom, wife, gram hat and have settle nicely into those. I have a new college hat. I’ll probably have an annoying-mom-highschool-volunteer hat. I’ll definitely dust off my writer/research hat. And one day, I’m going to have my published hat. I’m keeping my never-going-to-settle hat. Anyone like to go hat shopping with me?

Homeschool Days

1,566 days. 1,914 if you count the Tall Kid who lives in my basement.

Waste water treatment facility. Dissecting squid. 3 enrichment programs. Olympic training center. Vinegar pie. German Shepard therapy dog. Laughter.  Bob Jones. Reading upside down on the red couch. Little Britches. Phonics. Mount Rushmore. Sing Spell. Car schooling. Sonlight. Garden science. Gymnastics. Tears. Glasses. Volcanos. Rush Revere. Spreadsheets. Friends. Prayers. Aquarium. Bullies. Huck Finn. Leonardo Da Vinci. Prayer. Lapbooks. Libraries. Scouts. AHG. PJ days. Moving to the country. Young AmeriTown. Curriculum fairs. Mommy kisses the principal. Hikes. Letters to Mr. Henshaw. Election parties. Garage sale school table. Basement school room. Dining room table school room. Tent school room. Deck school room. Deaths. Births. Grands. Time to volunteer. Time to withdraw. Doubt. Confirmation. Prayer. Ten cent notebooks. Substitute teacher: Nanny. Eclectic year. Rigid year. Laid back year. Natasha, Patti, Lara – what would I have done without you. Book reports. Taxonomy. Dysgraphia. Beginning Middle End. “Can I do questions?” Shorts in the snow. Red hair, orange hair, blue hair (and that’s not mine). Storms in the air, storms in our heart. Maps. Timelines. Vocabulary. Pioneer days. Chocolate with Kim and Kendrick. “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”. Magnetic goo.

Blink. It’s over.

Blink. They’re grown.

Blink. Life changes.

Blink. In an instant.

Blink. Days gone by.

Blink and Pray!

Homeschool Journals

Darned Pinterest, Facebook and other blog sites that tempt me to change up how I homeschool. Let’s admit it! We all try not to do it. comparison-trap

This year I decided to scrap the planner (even though I purchased it, just in case, you know). I gave up the last few years of printed spreadsheets for each of the kids, kept and shoved in a binder the best I could keep track. I used them in pretense I would know individual progress. NOT! Stepped on, dog eared, dog eaten, lost, and or otherwise destroyed in the war with the homeschool bucket. You know the one purchased at the beginning of the school year “to stay organized” or “to keep everything in one place”.

I turned ALL that in this year for a … wait for it…


Yep! That’s it! A spiral notebook! Ten cents! Because you know, my mom works at the Wally World. (BTW: I never shop during back-to-school days)

I recently read an article … don’t remember where… see earlier statement – darned Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter. Weapons of mass distraction, but I digress.

Women all over Organized women Desperate Women are turning to bullet journals. Articles, how-to’s and “My versions” everywhere!!! HOURS later, I dragged out ye ol’ spiral and just BEGAN!

Every day I write their lessons plans. As a matter of fact, YES, at first it sounds ineffective, no goal oriented, and overall a cop out! NOPE!

Guess what I get out of this deal? I track attendance days without counting and keeping track of ONE MORE SPREADSHEET! I get to slow down, speed up, question productivity, question understanding. I get to track History, Reading, Science, Vocabulary, Math, Timelines, Map Skills, Science, Grammar (they have to write answers right in the book – ALL ONE PAGE (or two). I get a clearer understanding DAILY where my kids are. (and practice writing sentences with dangling participles) I (they) get a transcript at the end of the year, not a scramble, not a week long gathering, no anxiety, no hair pulling.

Guess what the kids get out of this deal? No more lost spreadsheets, one stop shopping lesson plans, less mess in their said buckets, more time with mom to discuss lesson plans, history and the difference in the executive branches.

Guess what the family gets out of this deal? Healthy mommy. Less frustrated mommy. Less mess on the table, floor, in the rooms, in the office. Smaller year end audit bucket.

When and if we decide for the Z’s where each of them, how each of them will DO highschool, I feel I am better prepared this year, more than any other.

Note to parents of OCD/control freak/project oriented children: check boxes, if not properly administered, may be required for checking, filling in or otherwise mass havoc wreaking will ensue. Note to annoying parents like myself: mess with their head and instead of pretty square boxes draw Christmas trees during December… just to mess with their heads spread a little Christmas joy.

Happy Journaling.



Exploring Food Themes

I choose.

I choose not to disclose the number attached to my weight loss.

I  choose now to say:


“I’m at my fighting weight.”

I choose.

I choose not to worship the number on my new jeans.

I choose now to say:


“These are really comfortable.”

I choose.

I choose to be humble  when people who haven’t seen me in some time say “You look good”.

I choose now to say:


I chose,  March 4th, to begin a journey. My journey. Doctor appointments, counseling, medical tests, many hours of crying over the foods I could not eat, bearing witness these wonderful tasting delicacies were very well killing me. Adrenal loss, hormone loss, stress levels slowing killing me.  I chose a new way of life.

Food was not the only formidable however.

I chose.


Through the lessons in what I could and could not eat, I learned to prepare new foods, new combinations of foods, and change my thinking about food. Born in the south, food is comfort. Meetings, church functions, weddings, funerals, babies born. All centered around food. If I were to survive, I had to choose. What was good for me, what was not.


The deeper lesson, however, came to me during my quiet time. I had made those physical strides. I was learning the emotional ones. I could apply those lessons of what I can and cannot eat, food that makes me sick, however enticing, however sweet, however savory to the stress that was in my life.


Mainly the people I allowed to make me sick.



Looks good. Tastes sweet.


Company seems fun. It’s sweet to fellowship.

I had not chosen wisely, though. My extroverted self. Assuming all was well.

Healthy people know how to do this. I did not.

I choose, am choosing.

Just like my food.


Sadness, a haiku

Dines at my tabletablesetting-12

Set beautifully with fear

Borrowing trouble.


Not operating

Only longing for relief

Disinclined to live.


Appetizers launch

Plates filled with disparate, yet

Many a desire.


Banquet brimming with

Craving, longing, yearning, too

First course: “Not my way”.


Second course for sup

Loathing, fury, and rage

Chowing down on hate.


Hurt infused dessert

Loathing, a cherry on top

Season of distaste.


Sneaky evening snack

Fosters lack of sleep and health

Devouring hope.


Folded cloth napkins

To wipe away brimming stains

From sad dripping lips.


A Porter of pride

Customary occasion

Melancholy meal.



Rest Area

There’s a thing about resting. Normal tasks are out of the question. Vacuuming. Flipping the dishwasher  closed with a backward kick.


adj  conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

noun the usual, average, or typical state or condition.
Resting – NOT NORMAL! Which reminds me, that my normal 9 months ago was not running. My normal 9 months ago was multiple carafes of coffee to just manage. My normal 9 months ago was a nap in the afternoon. My normal 9 months ago was still a little crazy, a little splintered, a lot of depression, no adrenals working, no hormones balanced.
My NEW normal: running, breathing, planning, acting, not reacting, whole foods, no grains, more protein, more God, less fear, more clarity, less voices in my head, less fat, more muscle, more NO, less yes to everything.
Not necessarily in that order.
So, now I’m resting on the road. That’s okay, because the important tasks and people (a.k.a. family) are already front and center. Because I’m on the road.
I’m encouraged because I have momentum. I’m encouraged because I can encourage myself. Humbly, not prideful. Honestly giving this daughter of the King grace… to rest… in Him… on the road.

On The Road, Part 2

Compacted dirt. Loose dirt. On the road.The country road.

What would a road trip be without a rest stop? A drink. A relief. A stretch.

index Sometimes there’s a sign. Sometimes you may have even paid attention to how far to the next rest area. 2 miles ahead. 100 miles.

Then there are other times when God says “Nope!” “Right here, right NOW!”

And you stop. Because HE said so.

Anything different would just be… well.. stupid.


This road, my road, has hit an ordered rest stop. I have journeyed far… on the road. Sometimes the road is bumpy. Others not.

Rest doesn’t mean stop. It means refreshing, reprieve, replenishing. Active verbs. In rest. On the road.

Rest your feet. Rest your soul. Rest from your burdens. Rest in Him… on the road.

On The Road

I truly have a room with a view. Deer, pine trees, my garden. Not everyone gets to wake up in the country. On a country road. 20160907_181859

Some mornings it’s me, God and the cows. On the road. 20160901_082559Sometimes we have quiet moments when I just listen for His voice. Sometimes I hear…silence. Sometimes He speaks to me by revealing Himself in nature.


Then, other times, I reveal my nature… the one He already knows. I scream. I cry. I laugh. I run. Figuratively. Literally. I run. On the road. The County Road. The Road to Recovery.

On The Road.