I returned to handling the science and English classes for my daughters back in January, and much has changed since the last time I taught them. However, one thing has remained constant. In teaching them, I learn, and relearn, lessons as well.
C.L. and I, with feedback we received from the girls, decided to go a bit more old school with their lessons a couple years ago. Neither girl felt they were absorbing the digital lessons, and we agreed. So aside from math, for which Khan Academy has been amazing for us all, we stick to textbooks and paper these days. This means C.L. and I have to spend considerably more time preparing for each class. However, it also means the girls have us to explain the material in however many ways they need us to explain it for their understanding.
I might not have had a lot of time to really dig into any creative projects or make much progress on the ones I'd already started over the past couple of years. But this doesn't mean I forgot about them.
Sad as it sounds, I kind of coped with this desire to create and little to no time to do so via Pinterest. I might not have had time to make something, but I could usually scroll through Pinterest for about five to ten minutes each night and pin some things I thought I'd find useful once I had a bit of time again.
I have boards full to bursting with prompts and pretty stitches or psychology articles and infographics. I have pins of various mythological creatures and stories, all types of herbs, medical knowledge, funny geeky things, and all sorts of other things. Whole sheets of words pinned when I was just starting to have issues with aphasia after decades of not noticing the "spells" due to a lack of speaking in general.
It's an odd mix mash for those who find my public boards, but I have found them a source of useful information and an endless source of inspiration. I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to talk about today, so I started looking through. And I found this image.
I wish I could say returning to writing after almost a year and a half of barely writing at all, aside from business correspondence, has been a breeze. Well, I suppose I could, technically speaking, but it would be a lie.
Truth be told, returning to writing and soaping has been difficult and rather frustrating. It isn't for lack of trying or a lack of desire to begin creating again. I'm just horribly rusty, so it's a bit like returning to a sport after sitting on the sidelines for a season or two.
Creativity, much like any other mental skill, has been compared to a muscle so much it has become a bit cliche. The thing about cliches though is they come to be because they contain an element of truth. "Use it or lose it" applies to mental skills the same way it applies to physical dexterity and strength.
Today's post will be a short one. I just wanted to let you all in on a change coming to Flash Fiction Fridays for the foreseeable future.
I know this is when most people are talking about their resolutions for the new year. However, resolutions have never worked for me. I get overwhelmed with the thought of trying to make all those changes at one time, and I never make it past week four.
For me, starting slow with some easy things, making those habits, and then adding to them works far better. So I found where I wanted to be at the end of 2020, and then I broke down the steps I would need to take in order to get there into workable goals.
It takes me a fairly long time to establish something as part of my routine, so I have made these quarterly goals. I will come back at the end of each quarter, tell you how I did and list my new goals.
Welcome back, dear readers.
It has been well over a year since I last posted anything here, but don’t worry. I’m not about to make a bunch of excuses for why posting fell off abruptly in late 2018. I’m not going to make promises about being better in the future despite planning to try and improve. I’m just here to sum up the year and state my goals for heading into the new year and new decade.
I had the opportunity to return to a favorite company in late 2018, one I loved working for before and to which I was excited to return. Although I returned to the same position I’d had thirteen years prior, the job was very different, as one would expect after so long of a time. The company had undergone some restructuring, and my old position had been merged with the old receptionist's position.
Not long after my last post, things got turned on their head for our family. The contract C. L. was working ended earlier than expected, so we found ourselves scrambling to find steady work with which to support ourselves. We had already purchased three more gallons of paint before said contract ended. So our time was split between applying to several different postings every day and working our way through as much of the home redo as we could with the supplies we already had between assessments and interviews.
It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I would drop by to let you all know what has kept me so distracted.
After years of lamenting how much we didn't like the colors in our house and a recent upturn in our financial situation thanks to a new job on C. L.'s part, we decided to spend a few months and a little bit on a very budget makeover of our home. Of course, budget means DIY, so I've been rather busy spending what time I have outside of homeschooling the girls and running the soap business to work on the house little by little.
Here are a couple progress photos on the master bath. The one on the left is the latest, when we're close to finishing the frame on the mirror. We were just waiting to borrow a router saw to cut out enough of a divot in the frame piece to allow it to be glued over the clips holding it to the wall.
Believe it or not, all we did was paint, change the hardware and artwork, and get a few new accessories. The countertop paint kit's protective topcoat does take a full two weeks to cure, and the cabinet paint needs at least three full days. So it was a time consuming process, but the whole thing cost about what it would have cost us to just change the countertops out for both bathrooms. And we have enough paint left over to paint the counters in the girls' bathroom as well as the cabinets in both the other bathroom and kitchen.
I'm also in the middle of designing and making all the new soaps for Contented Comfort this year since Con Kasterborous is in a matter of weeks. If you're interested in that, make sure to stop by the Contented Comfort blog every Wednesday between now and June 9 to see the fragrance introductions.
I have a lot more work to do throughout the house with a goal date to finish of July 31. Updates here may be spotty at best until then.
All this winter, there's been one thing that's caught my eye every time I take Lily out for a walk. Trees bare of their summer leaves stand out in stark contrast with the clear blue of winter skies. The appearance of one covered root to crown in ivy is even more striking, but there's been something "off" in the appearance of the tree in our backyard.
What might be wrong with it has been bugging me for months, and I got the answer the other day.
C. L. and I have been talking about making some big changes to our home for years now. We were dreaming of things we never expected to really be able to do with me just writing and soaping part time while I schooled the kids and him working as a teacher. But then last year happened, and he came out of it with a much better job.
We began thinking about actually making steps toward our dream happen. The only issue was having to wait a year or two for C. L. to have enough time on the job to get a loan for such a thing, based on everything we'd heard in the past. We said as much to his grandmother on a call last week, and she encouraged us to go ahead and try before we write off the possibility for a year or more. She's a rather savvy woman when it comes to such things, so we took her advice.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
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77384 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Series Book 2
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Yekara Series Book 4