Home Educating and Working Full-Time

Published October 9, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am employed, full-time, outside the home.  I am also a home educator for my daughter. This post is to show working parents you can work (if need be) but still provide a quality education to your child(ren).

Home education, in general, is time consuming and hard work.  In addition to reviewing curriculum, reviewing coursework, grades (if you’re required by your state) and teaching your child.  Throw a full-time job into the mix and it’s downright tiring.

learning

Yet, I wouldn’t change our educational journey for the world.  It’s time that I get to spend with my daughter.  Granted, she’d rather be watching BTS or whatever music group has caught her attention, but it’s precious to me.

So, how do we make it work?  When she was younger, I would send work with her that could be done independently, while at a sitter’s house.  Now that she’s older, we go over “homework” that she will do while I’m at work.  She also has daily chores and she has to clean whatever mess she makes in the kitchen.

In addition to the basics such as history, English, math and science, Bible, she practices her guitar.  Some nights we dance to YouTube videos, she practices skateboarding or uses the Xbox for physical education.  We read books aloud and discuss them.  Once I, or her father arrives home, she is allowed to get the laptop out and log in to do her Spanish lessons.

A typical Wednesday goes like this:

  • I work
  • She calls me to check in (and clarifies any homework problems)
  • She practices guitar (daily)
  • I leave work early to pick her up for guitar lessons
  • Thirty minutes later we head home to prepare dinner
  • Depending on what dinner is, we may have time to read a chapter or two from our current literature selection
  • She helps prepare dinner and/or sets the table
  • We eat as a family and then we clean up the kitchen
  • Education resumes – time to review the day
  • I look at each assignment.  If there were problems (say with math) they are addressed
  • We cover new assignments
  • Discuss her day

While this may seem like a lot, it’s not too bad.  No two days are the same.  We adjust as the schedule as life plays out.  When I had to have surgery, she brought her books to the hospital and yup, her education continued.  Flexibility is something you have when home educating.

While cooking dinner we discuss the food we are preparing.  Since my daughter has a huge cancer risk (my side of the family is riddled with various forms), knowing what foods offer and how a our bodies process varies nutrients is always forefront in our home.  I am on a special diet, so she learns what different herbs, spices and vegetables have to offer.

Above all, education is more than books.   I will not say it’s easy.  I will not say there are days I want to give up.  There are days my daughter is less than cooperative.  When all is said and done it boils down to learning how to have life skills, learning to communicate effectively and knowing the quality time is irreplaceable.

 

 

Sitting in Judgement

Published October 4, 2018 by lynn k scott

I reactivated my old Facebook account.  I knew better…but, I did it anyway.

I have a very hard time with Pinktober.  It has nothing to do with raising awareness for breast cancer.  It has to do with a large number of organizations and companies cashing in on cancer.  Losing my middle sister to breast cancer and knowing my younger sister is fighting the same strain has made me more vocal.  To some, I’m jaded.

People need to understand there is not equal medical treatment, insurance or affordability nationwide.  That being said, I DO NOT agree to universal health care.  I am merely pointing out what I know as fact in California.

I will not tolerate “breast cancer awareness cookies”.  Making cookies in the shapes of obnoxious looking boobs or making them looked squished (like a mammogram would do) is not ok in my book.

Now, I worked full-time through my chemo treatments.  I was out of work a total of two weeks and that was to have the tumor removed.  I still worked, every day; from the hospital and at home.  I could not afford to live on disability.  Reluctantly, I had to start a gofundme account to pay for chemo.  I couldn’t afford it on my own.  I deleted the account after my last chemo payment was made.  Oh wait…most people don’t know my husband was out of work for two months last winter; and was taken by ambulance and hospitalized.  Nothing like more financial strain….

As you know, I recently had to purchase another vehicle.  I chose a sports car.  I was upside down on my trade, I had horrible credit.  The fact I was financed was nothing more than a miracle.  My car looks nice, but in reality, it’s the same price as a Honda.  I figure, I’ve lost so much to such a horrible disease, have been through hell this last year, it’s time to live.  At this point, I do not know if I live to finish making the car payments.  That’s MY reality.

Yet, someone still felt the need to sit in judgement of me.  Saying my car is too nice.  Those mods I’ve done are expensive.  Well, my husband has a challenger five years older than mine.  He did a lot of the work and had spare parts.  He’s also been doing show cars for over 25 years and has a lot of industry friends.  We don’t pay full price for anything.  I also work two jobs.  That’s right.  I have had cancer for a year, been off chemo for six months and picked up my second job three months after finishing chemo.

I was basically called a scam artist for having two separate parts of my life judged as the same; chemo payments and car payments.  What gives anyone the right?!

Am I jaded about the medical industry – DAMN RIGHT I AM!  I also have good reason.  I have not been shy about what I have gone through.  I do not have great care.  I am not a good patient and have been punished for that.  I have been punished for demanding that doctors and their staff allow me to be in control of my body and treatment.

I can’t stop anyone from judging me, but I’ll be damned if I am to keep quiet on the medical world’s shortcomings or the scams of Pinktober.  Just because it’s pink or coming from a charity, does not mean their intentions are good or the true patients are receiving anywhere near what is being collected.

If you are God, you may judge me.  If not…a little empathy and allowing me to vent won’t kill you.  But by hell or high water, you are not entitled to judge me (or anyone else; for that matter)!

Regroup – Refocus

Published October 1, 2018 by lynn k scott

Last week was challenging for me in almost every aspect.  I chose to believe a little cheat on my diet wouldn’t do too much harm.  Add dealing with my mom’s (Heavenly) birthday, dealing with meeting a new PCP (primary care physician) just to get a referral (which is BS in general), exhaustion, choosing to try takeout instead of making food and had a couple alcoholic drinks, I was a mess.

Needless to say, I felt even worse for my stray to my old ways.  My mind, working overtime, took my better judgement and drop-kicked out of the window.  I managed to gluten myself, eat food I knew better to consume or just plain didn’t eat.

Being gluten-free and (mostly) vegan, it’s not easy to just grab a snack.  I need to carefully plan my meals and snacks.  I tried to pretend I didn’t need to.  I know better than to think like that.

Yesterday, we got out of town, for the day, and went to Roseville.  It’s a city past Sacramento and where we eventually want to move to.  We chose to let Yelp choose where we would eat lunch.

I found this little gastropub, called The Brickyard.  It offered a bit of everything.  However, I was super excited to see they offered Beyond the Meat (vegan) and had gluten-free buns.  I could have sworn a light from above was shining on me and I heard the angels singing.  I have yet to find a restaurant where I don’t have to modify the food or just stick to a salad.

After a bit of confusion on malt vs balsamic vinegar for my salad (had to explain why I couldn’t have the malt vinegar) one of the staff and I were talking.  She was a complete stranger who completely validated my health concerns, eating a vegan diet and homeopathic care as she personally had experience in this are.

She is controlling her own illness through diet.  It was what I needed; understanding when most people aren’t.   I wasn’t a “problem customer” to her.  She was  someone who hasn’t seen me struggle or was taking pity on me.

My husband, at one point said, “you’ve cheated before, just eat the dressing”.  I had to remind him how sick I was last week and I can’t continue that behavior.  He goes along with my eating habits for the most part.  Although, I will eat eggs now because he was worried about my protein levels.  It wasn’t worth the nutritional argument.  It was his way of showing concern.  A couple eggs won’t hurt my diet.

We went shopping last night.  I bought food to prepare and more veggies.  Prepped all my meals today.  I even broke out the juicer and made some (mostly) carrot and pineapple juice.  I drank several cups.  It was if my body was saying, “ahhhh….that’s the stuff!”

Needless to say, I’ve regrouped and now am refocused.  We all fall.  We all have challenges.  We can let them break us or we can get fortify our mind, bodies and souls.  We can use that fortitude to help others when they stumble.

 

Sutter Health – 9/25/18

Published September 25, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s a sad reality when I have to document every phone call and issue because Sutter Health and its providers are fine with denying care to (cancer) patients.  If necessary, this will be a play by play for a lawyer.  I’m also throwing it out there, any lawyer who reads this has my permission to contact me.

  • Current oncologist knew they would not be under contract as of 9/1/18 – failed to notify patient in order to process a referral
    • Now have to see PCP and establish care just to get my referral
  • Try to establish care and the office sends a message and doesn’t make an appointment.
  • Call to follow-up and rude medical assistant claimed she made the call (she didn’t) and then said I swore at her (I didn’t) and disconnected my call.
  • Manage to make an appointment with another doctor in the office.
  • Received call to say appointment was cancelled because “the doctor reviewed your file and won’t see you)
  • Received a call this morning to reschedule with the doctor listed on my medical card.  *Note:  Insurance will let you see any doctor within the practice; this is a point of harassment by the PCP’s office
  • Site Supervisor calls me to tell me I cannot use an “unprofessional tone” with staff.  The tone he is referring to is a frustrated one of being harassed by his staff.
    • Surprisingly….he backed his staff
    • Accused me of being unprofessional with him; oh wait – I was frustrated at this nonsense
  • Threatened my appointment would be cut short if I was not 100% professional with his staff
  • I ended the call telling him my responses would be “yes” and “no”, said, “Good day, Sir” and hung up.

I have no rights.  Sutter Health and its providers should be embarrassed, ashamed and liable for what they are putting me (and no doubt other patients) through.  This is not acceptable and we have no recourse.  They can write anything they want in the chart.  Any complaints to the state, that’s supposed to govern them, only reads the chart and does not contact the patient for details and/or clarification.

I simply ask that people share this.  Silence is their success in being allowed to continue to mistreat, deny care and abuse patients.  Patients are allowed to say “no” and do what is in their best interest; not what’s easiest for the physician’s office.

 

Cancer Update: September

Published September 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

Not a whole lot to report. I am experiencing issues of anemia again.  The same symptoms when I was diagnosed (almost exactly a year ago).

I called the oncologist’s office to find out what’s going on with my CT scan.  Well, it’s on hold because of their inadequate scan coordinator.  The facility, that’s in my city, can do the scan, but refuses to administer lidocaine to numb my arm for the IV.  I have collapsing and rolling veins.  Most IVs take two or three attempts (not to mention hurting like hell on each attempt).  They don’t do that on a “clinical level”.

Seems the scan coordinator is inept at calling the patient to update them or having someone else follow-up.   It would seem, the scan coordinator isn’t able to search other hospitals to see if they might be able to accommodate a very reasonable request.  Nah – let’s not do anything…we’re only talking cancer, right?

The receptionist was gracious enough to let me know that following up wasn’t in her job description.  She agrees someone should have called but couldn’t answer who would do that.  Let’s chalk that up to “no help”, shall we?  Then she told me to feel free to call back to check on the status.  I let her know I have been symptomatic.  Gave her all the symptoms.  Anyone with half a brain, working in a hematology office knows what anemia sounds like and should make sure the patient is called back.  Yea…not this office.

I almost passed out yesterday.  I was able to stay awake for 1.5 hours after work.  I slept after work and was in bed at 9:00 and went to sleep for the evening.  Their inept attitude is robbing me of my quality of life.

Am I demanding?  Yes.  I give them an opportunity to do their job and then I take off the “kid-gloves” and let them have it.  I will not apologize for being my own advocate; esp. when patient advocacy and the online help feature have also failed me.

I submitted a referral request for a doctor, who’s an hour away.  I asked for confirmation they received the fax and confirmation when it was processed.  The fax was sent over five hours ago.  Did the doctor’s office call:  Nope!  Now I have to follow-up with them; again.

There is no excuse I am receiving such horrendous treatment.  If I end up in the emergency room, I will not be paying a bill that could have been prevented by the doctor’s office simply doing their job.

Part of the blog is to show how (cancer) patients are being treated while facing a life-threatening illness as well as documenting issues should a lawsuit be necessary.

Sutter Health Plus, based out of Sacramento, California, should be ashamed at its inability to provide healthcare based on the needs of the patients.  I shouldn’t be forced to go to a subpar facility, even if they deem it ok.

Apparently, I have Schrodinger’s Cancer:  I either have it or I don’t.  Guess we’ll never know because my health isn’t a priority to anyone but myself.

 

ribbon

Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts

Published September 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

In my goal to be a good, ok, better vegan, I am trying vegetables and foods I never thought I would eat.  On the list of intimidating foods I don’t typically eat are brussel sprouts.

I made them a couple weeks ago in the oven.  They were ok.  Nothing to write home (or on a blog) about.

When I was at church this past week, someone mentioned making them in the air fryer.  Now why didn’t I think of that?  I use the air fryer for almost everything!

As it would happen, I purchased another bag of brussel sprouts a few days ago.  Their health benefits outweigh my desire to forego eating them.  I decided to give it a go in my air fryer.

I quartered the large pieces and halved the tiny ones.  I used a tiny bit of olive oil (maybe two teaspoons – max).  A sprinkle of salt, pepper and a dash of paprika.  I put them in a single layer in the air fryer.  Set the temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and cooked them for 8-10 minutes.

They turned out perfectly!  Nice and crispy.  I did drizzle about a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on them after they were done cooking.

I highly recommend using the air fryer for these little cabbage-like veggies.  You can’t go wrong if you do.

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Living History – A 9/11 Remembrance

Published September 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

As a native New Yorker, I take September 11th very seriously.  Not only was our country attacked, but my home state was attacked.  My daughter is on the cusp of being a teenager (just a few months from now).  This year, I exposed her to what 9/11 really means.

I did my personal remembrance at work.  I posted my favorite songs, shared stories, said more prayers and felt blessed.  I had friends share their memories of the day.  I printed out pictures for the project I would have my daughter complete for her history lesson.

Out of my five children, she wasn’t born when 9/11 took place.  For her, it was a history lesson.  For me, and many others, it was the day the world stood still as we watched in horror as our country was attacked.

When I got home, we opened the laptop, I had her read the memories of family and my friends.  She saw pictures.  Her mouth was opened and she covered her mouth with her hand.  She was being exposed to what evil looked like.  She was exposed to death and terrorism.  Yet, she was also exposed to heroes.  She was exposed to the faith, kindness, love of strangers and to patriotism.

She saw her mother lose composure.  A tear escaped when we were watching images put to Alan Jackson’s, “Where We You When The World Stopped Turning”.  She saw me, got up, gave me a hug and we watched the rest of the video.  She shed a few tears.  It was emotional.  However, my reality was her history.  I, and others, are living history.  I believe it’s important to impart our knowledge with the the next and future generations.

With a few projects under her belt, we brainstormed how to complete her project.  She cut out paper, wrote bits and pieces of what she took away from her “lesson”.  She arranged, glued and taped her project into existence.  I am proud of her work.  I am honored to share such an important day with her.

I am blessed to be able to home educate.  Knowledge doesn’t always have to come from books.  Use the resources around you to live, learn and thrive.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

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