And Vanish’d Summer Glory

School begins on Monday.

I would leave it at that but I think a title ought not to be longer than the post itself.
Brain-wise, I am ready for school, looking forward to learning new things and having an excuse to go to the zoo and stare in at the bats for an hour without moving. [We went to the zoo today again with Grandma and Grandpa Vegas, and it’s really another story, but anyway there was this terrible woman who came up to look at the bats as I was leaving them, and she was all, “Eww! They’re so big! They’re so gross! EWWWW!” And I was rather offended. People are so… grr. Speaking of Grr the lion was growling, which it never does, so we ran over but then it got all quiet, and Grandpa goes, “See, he saw me come over here and he shut his mouth ‘cuz he knows I can kick his @#%.”] I’m ready for working in notebooks and using highlighters and writing essays. I’m even ready to study up on math. (JUST KIDDING!! I know you nearly had a heart attack there.) But physically all my stuff is disorganized; my room is a wreck, my school basket has a pile of random crap next to it that I must clear away; I do not have my writing area set up yet. I do need a permanent writing area. And a designated writing time. Otherwise this book will never be done! And I’ll be a cat lady! A cat lady who works in a cubicle! And I can’t handle cubicles, do you hear me!!!


The good thing about homeschool is I will still be able to enjoy the beautiful days we are having… perfect weather….. ahhhhh.

And when summer does fade, well, as the poem says, “Thou shalt not heed the raving blast.”
Lewis Carroll always makes me feel better. Even in math! Cause Dodgson was a mathematician and all. Yaddayadda. I have a lot more to say, as always, but you know, I am being summoned to unwelcome bed and all that.

Poetry-reference puns. that only I get. It makes me quite a melancholy maiden… There! See! I did it again! Quick, I must abscond lest I continue… I have been waiting to use abscond for such a long time…

[Speaking of big words. I have a watch that you wear on a necklace that I just got from an antique shop in Lakewood (Oooooh, hoity-toity land, not) and today I called it a timepiece, because that sounds better than “necklace watch thingy”. Mom found it amusing anyway.]

Yours till the bean poles,

I Just Wanna Drive

So Monday started my first driver’s ed class. Completely overwhelming just to sit there for four hours, watch cheesy dead-people movies, and take notes from an overhead projector. It was like being back in regular school! Horrible! And, as Dad said, “That teacher’s a birdbrain.” Which she is. One minute she’s talking about driving at night and the next thing you know she’s saying something about how much it costs to get a deer’s whole body taxidermied and, if the deer flies through your windshield, you might get “dilapidated.”
It took incredible self-control not to say, “I’m not an old building! It’s decapitated!” And also to not mention the incorrect use of apostrophes everywhere, and when she says things like “more braver.”
I digress. 

Luckily, after the first day, it wasn’t so overwhelming and I now just want to get it over with. Halfway there, thank goodness. Ironically, I was talking to someone about driver’s ed and they were saying why they didn’t want to take it. Reason number one was because the driving place near them is taught by a retired clown. (Yes, I am being completely serious.) Reason number two (getting to the irony here): “You also find out you live close to a bunch of weirdos”. Well, howdy do! Some kid got kicked out of class for messing up the textbook and suspected smoking in the bathroom. Then he and his mom had it out with the teacher while the rest of us pretended to watch a movie that was clearly made in the 80’s (the legwarmers and the dinner-plate glasses were dead giveaways).

I guess I forgot what it’s like to sit and take notes all day. It takes quite a toll on my normally more active body (after the first day my legs were quite sore) and it makes me tired and just want to stay home all day doing nothing. Bleh. I just want it over with. That one part of “Scenic Route” keeps playing through my head… “I just wanna driiiiiiiive, yeah, I just wanna driiive.” I don’t want to do schooly stuff. The plus side is this is another sign that is telling me, “Pen, get your driver’s license and your GED and then you won’t have to do this school stuff any more!” Yep. Just a few more hoops to jump through and then I’ll be free. I don’t need no education. (Though I must say, they really ought to have used “any”; using double negative like that just proves that they do, actually, need an education. Though of course education isn’t the same thing as school. Eh, whatever. All in all it’s just another brick in the wall. ;) )

Yours till the steering wheels,

it’s a wonderful life

That’s what I said this morning, along with a nostalgic sigh, when I finished reading a book I have been waiting two years for. This book was… My Yearbook!!! From my last year at schoolschool (as in, the last year at school before I was homeschooled)!!! Why did it take so long for me to get it, you ask? Well, it’s a long story that is pretty dumb anyway so I’m not going to tell it. Too bad.

It was kind of sad to look at, though. There are a lot of people and feelings that I greatly miss. There was also a lot that got my blood boiling in anger when I went there, and a lot of things that I am SO THANKFUL I no longer have to put up with. Cough, cough. Not mentioning specifics but…. They know who they are. Grrrrrr. (“I AM THE MCGILL!!! LOOK UPON ME AND TREMBLE!!!”)

Ah. But there were some pictures that I was like, “sigh…” There were a bunch that both Amanda and I were in. I miss Amanda so so sososososososososooooooo badly!!!! Plus I feel like a terrible friend because we already had plans so I couldn’t go to dinner with her for her birthday. D: Oh, Amanda! I’m sorry! So of course, right after reading the yearbook I zipped over to Facebook  and sent Amanda a message. I have a plan. We may not be able to see each other every day, but we could certainly get together more often than we do now! We only live 15 minutes away from each other, for goodness’ sake! So I have devised a plan. I will see if it can work when she replies to the message. Also, I wanted to do something together over Christmas vacation. Allie will be in town until New Years, so the Lemon Sistas can reunite!!

Amanda and I were completely inseperable since becoming friends at school. We were this close for 6 years!!! We are still best friends, but we hardly talk so much anymore. Mom laughs at me when I say, “I talked to Amanda on the phone”  because it’s actually like shetalkssuperfastsothatshesaysalotinlikefiveminutes and then I get a few words in butifshe’sexcitedthere’snowwaytogetawordinedgewise and so when you hear only my end of the conversation, it seems like there IS no my side of the conversation, except for when I laugh becuase she’s so Amanda. I miss that.

I miss Father Hoban, too. And Allie! And Bednar, and butterum muffins, and ice/snow, and bats in the early morning, and encrichment class in the other building (ohmygosh the way that room smelled!…). I mean, I have a lot of good memories. But I also look back and think, I am glad that I left when I did. While the good memories I have were untarnished still. I was ready to move on. There were pictures of the 50’s&60’s show we did, and I thought of how we had to sing “Hello Goodbye”. The song says, “Every time I say goodbye you say hello.” I think it’s very true. Every time I said goodbye to something, God showed me that there was also a great “Hello”. I left my old-old-school after first grade, and I was so upset about leaving. But if I hadn’t, I would never have even met Allie or Amanda, or anyone else. I wouldn’t have done a lot of the cool things I did, or been happy in quite the same way. And in the same way, when I said goodbye to schoolschool, I said hello to the entire world, it seems. I said hello to time to write, to writers’ group, to being so mcuh closer to my family. I said hello to Botany and Literature, field trips, and a lot of freedom!

It really is a wonderful life! And there are so many times when I just think, I am so thankful. Incredibly, incredibly thankful.


PS:I guess the whole “Hello/Goodbye” thing is probably not what the Beatles were thinking of when they wrote the song, but whatever.  
PPS:I know I said I would continue on with yesterday’s topic, but I wasn’t expecting the yearbook to come. Some other time, I will further discuss the previous topic. Yeah. I procrastinate, what can I say?

Sorry ’bout that

Okay. I’m back and a little calmer. My dad is not very good at making me feel better because he is a marsh-wiggle himself, and besides that a guy, and so the combination equals not so good at making me feel better when I’m really angry or stressed. But when I’m sad he’s very nice to me. I’m such a daddy’s girl. ;)

Aaaanyway, back to what I was saying… So we started school like a week and a half ago. I was sad to see summer go, and yet I am really enjoying this school year so far, better than last year. We are much more organized now and I really like my new math book (a real shocker). It had a picutre of Alice and the Red Queen right on page one of chapter one, so I was like, “I think I’m gonna like this book”. And I do. Plus I am really enjoying Botany…

Botany, yes! I have been collecting botanical specimens all summer long, pressing them and saving them. Now I have a cool botany textbook to learn from, books about trees and herbs, and also I am creating my own botany scrapbook, using all my specimens!! Which reminds me, I was supposed to take a picture of the Northern Pin Oak at my DHFs’ house… oh well. Mayhap they will take one for me and send it in the mail or something. I’ve been going back to using the ol’ fashioned system of mailing letters. It’s kind of cool becuase it’s like being in Victorian times or something. E.B. (one of my DHFs) and I sometimes write ‘ship logs’ to each other, like we are on a ship and we’re documenting everything that’s going on. It’s fun, actually. She’s Captain Hornblower and I’m First Lieutenant Curly.  

But that’s getting off subject. Botany… I am completely in love with it now. Fascinated by it. I collect leaves and plants wherever we go. (Also, as of late, feathers, but that’s just for fun and not for school. I found a bluejay feather this morning in the DHFs’ backyard, and it is very nice.) S.P. (another DHF) got me a ginormous leaf from when she and the others went to Kentucky, but I forgot to take it home. I’m sad now… alas!!!

So yesterday night, when we were going to get ice cream, we were singing in the car really loudly. P.B., aka the dad of the DHFs (well he is actually SP’s uncle… SP is cousin of EB, aka Eliza and her younger sister BB, aka Bug. They all live in the same house.) was getting annoyed. Of course we were listening to Jars of Clay, so there were no songs at all on the whole CD that we didn’t know. Except I think we were using PB’s iPhone and not a CD. Oh well. The reason he was getting annoyed is that for some reason we all tend to sing very high when we’re all together. I usually don’t sing high at all, but when I’m around them singing I like automatically harmonize. We call PB “Poor Bill” like in Alice in Wonderland movie when Bill the lizard is kicked out of the chimney and they all say, “Poor Bill.” So whever we feel like, ‘poor so-and-so’ we say “Poor Bill!” in an accent.
So then… we were all wearing capes, and being the Queen’s Court. SP was the Queen, I was her younger sister the Princess, Eliza was the Knight, and Bug was a Lord. I said, “Lord, you need a lady. Go get one now!”
Lord: “why?”
Me: “Becuase then she would be Lady Bug! hahahahahahahahaha!!!!”
I know. I laugh at such random and ‘ridonckulous’ things. (We’ve all seen the movie Bolt and we say Ridonckulous all the time now, like the hamster in the movie.)
Well, then the Queen and the Princess shared a large Reese’s blizzard, so it was all good. Yum! And those are huuuge. There is no way I would be able to eat one by myself.

Making the videos was fun. Eliza wore her dad’s suit jacket, tie, and American flag cap for two parts, and then we made Bug go put them away. She put the cap in the closet instead of on the bedpost, and so he knew that we’d been using his stuff while he was away at work!
The many deleted bloopers consisted of hair falling down out of hats whilst we were playing a boy character, people saying “ouch!”, lawnmowers going, the camera malfunctioning, me saying “oh, is it filming?”, Bug whispering loudly, curtains falling, coke spilling, et cetera. SP and I were stuffed into the trunk of a minivan and we whined like little kids for this one scene, and then for another it was Bug and I pretending to be little kids fighting over nothing. I ripped up our “mother’s” voting ballot at the end. :)

So all in all it was quite brilliant. I can’t wait until you see the videos themselves! I hope they post them soon!!!
Well, bye for now. In a much better mood, yours truly,
–Pen :>)

It’s a School Day

Ah, Monday. Back to school again and all. I’m taking a short break right now, though, (it’s like eleven o clock, a.m. obviously) and then it’s back up there to history. I’m currently studying the Great Depression, which actually doesn’t depress me because I always wanted to study it but we never really got around to it in regular school. So this year it’s all 20th century history for me, hurrah!! :) I can’t wait to do art because Mom got me some acrylic paints and good painting paper and there’s some things I’ve been wanting to draw/paint for a couple days now. There was this great scene on a hike my dad and I took when we were camping. We go to the same camp every year around this time, and he and I always go on this five mile hike to this airfield thingy and then we hike the whole five miles back, so really it’s like a ten mile hike. Well, since we do the hike every year I know the trail pretty well, and one of my favorite parts of it is where you come out of the woods and you walk along these grassy hills, right on top of them, on this thin little path but you’re up pretty high and it’s just cool. This time it snowed, so the grass as all bent over and the hill and the clouds and the sky and the snow and the grass just looked really cool, but of course we didn’t have our camera. That always happens. I see something pretty or cool and then either I don’t have time to stop and take a picture or I forgot my camera entirely. Alas! But I remember the scene pretty well in my head. Also on the hike we saw a coyote! That was really cool because it looked sort of like a wolf and it just stood there, pretty close to us, probably sniffing the air and going, ‘oh great, humans’. Then he turned and sort of sailed off, and I say ‘sailed’ because it wasn’t really like running but it wasn’t really like just loping along either, it was graceful and swift but not super fast. When we got to the part of the trail he’d been standing on, we followed his tracks to the point where his path and ours separated, and then we hand to cross this frozen creek becuase the bridge was down. So yeah, that hike was really good and fun and interesting and… well, cold, of course. And I tripped on some ice and was awarded with a sore rear, but aside from that it was really, really nice to be out walking in the woods with my dad.