Just in case you were wondering why y'all weren't invited to the funeral, I'm still alive and kicking. Here's a quick update:
I've pretty much recovered from surgery. Yay!! And I'd almost gotten over that dirty rotten awful virus I picked up at the beginning of the year when the Banshees decided to bring a new one into the house. Ye cats, life with children is not fair. This one is far worse than the last batch; it starts with fevers and aches and evolves into a full-on head cold that evidently makes MB feel like he's drowning. MB and LB have it and I rather suspect EB and I are not far behind. DBS never catches these things...I'd say that's unfair, but that leaves one person who can go get children's Tylenol when we run out. He came back with Dr. Pepper too. Can you blame me for falling in love with this man?
I spent today making three different batches of broth: veggie, beef, and chicken. And since there are a lot of us I dragged out the big pots and made BIG batches. When I looked up at the end of it all I'd spent nearly all of an 8 hour day cutting veggies and adjusting simmers, all while cleaning the kitchen in preparation for the upcoming storm and directing Banshees in various stages of health into chores suitable for those various stages. DBS thought I was pushing myself into a worse illness than I'd have if I just sat down and let it wash over me, but I pointed out that while this is not my first rodeo, it will be the first one I can remember that would be fully stocked so I don't have to cook while dying. I made bread today. I made lots of bread. Between that and the soup stock and the presliced veggies and the pounds of loose tea that I've stockpiled, we are so ready for this. (I did, however, forget to request the pallet of ultra-soft tissue we're going to need. Nobody's perfect.)
The ironic part is that I'm expecting a shipment of essential and fragrance oils tomorrow, part of which is supposed to go into sample batches this weekend. That's a hard task to take up when you don't have an olfactory system that works right! I either dose by recommended weight or I delay until I can actually smell what I'm doing. Gah. On the bright side, the lip balm mix that eases chapped lips also soothes chapped noses. All of the Banshees have their own supply now. They're happy about that but I think they'd trade it all and maybe even me for half a week if they could get a good night's sleep.
All of this drama is jump-starting my dormant soap-interests -- and yes, Marti, I blame you entirely :)) -- so my Etsy shop will probably be up and running again in a couple of weeks. A few lip balms, one or two (dozen) sample-sized soaps, some soap sculptures...I just love this stuff. I just wish I could get more people to buy it so I could keep my saponification habit going.
I need to get into California's guide to what children should know at various ages, just to see where we stack up. I'd say woefully behind, especially LB who at 6 1/2 isn't reading as fluently as her siblings were at that age. I wish I could say I'm not panicking about that, but the world is what it is and my psyche is what IT is and I can't help it. She's bright and curious and she lives in a library, so I doubt very much if she's going to hit the double-digit age bracket still functionally illiterate...but I worry. It's part of the job description. On the bright side, the older Banshees are teaching themselves multiplication and they aren't kvetching about it like they normally would. Yayyyy! They're also learning, sort of without knowing they're learning it, that certain patterns just have to be memorized and sometimes there's no getting around the drudgery of it. In this case the drudgery is the multiplication tables, but they're figuring out for themselves that having that sort of knowledge memorized makes the rest of the work a lot easier. Oh really, yayyyyy! The part I love is that they don't have the beaten down look of quietly suffering incomprehension that I had at that age. I didn't understand a lot of math until I was a lot older and had my own private aha moments; I just knew I had to jump through these hoops to make the adults around me happy. EB is beginning to think of math as fun and she actually understands it. Oh, hip hip hoooooray. I'm so proud of all of them.