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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

Just another cancer – related update

Published July 17, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have been steadily changing my diet over the last couple weeks.  I will have to say, I actually feel a lot better.  To some, the dietary changes may be extreme.  I believe it’s easier for me, from all the other attempts at dietary changes, because my life literally depends on me being successful.

There have been two times I have “cheated”.  They have been small cheats such as eating soy sauce (has gluten) and I forgot the other cheat.  Anyway, since my body has been eating healthier, it really didn’t care for my choice to upset its new-found balance.  I have done those cheats before, but this time the reaction was stronger.  I have dedicated myself to not doing that again.  I really don’t like the reactions I had and repeat performances won’t be necessary.

I am using my new juicer at least every other day.  I am loving the combinations.  I am using less fruit and even added a few new vegetables.  I’m not really a spinach fan, but am finding it’s pretty good mixed with carrots and ginger, among other vegetables.

I am trying new food combinations.  For example, made lentils for the first time the other day.  Yesterday, I made lentil tacos (no cheese or sour cream) and they were really good.  The more I go without dairy, the more I don’t miss it.

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I have been able to lend support to a friend who’s mother is Stage IV in her cancer battle.  It feels nice to be able to give back to a fellow cancer warrior.

I have also decided, I’m not putting off purchases because of “what ifs”.  I am taking back what the cancer tried to steal from me.  It will not be successful in making me second guess my life and its longevity.  As I have stated before, I have handed this over to God and he is in complete control.  He has brought such peace, that I can’t possibly fully describe the feeling.

I recently made a vehicle purchase.  It wasn’t the right time (credit wise), however, my other vehicle chose to push the envelope, so good-bye pickup, hello challenger.

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It’s almost been a year since I heard those horrible words, “you have cancer”.  Gone from sadness to anger to acceptance to fighting.  I will be successful.  I have cancer but it doesn’t have me!

Cancer Hope

Published July 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am part of an online Christian homeschool group.  I have been blessed to part of this group.  They offer support and encouragement in homeschooling and every day living.

I had posted a difficult post asking for some recommendations.  In addition to the information I had asked for, I was given the name of a person to contact.  As it turns out, this person had a very similar diagnosis to mine.

We exchanged messages yesterday and she was the blessing I needed to receive.  After almost a year since diagnosis, I had finally connected to someone I could relate to.  Like I have, she had turned her care over to God after her surgery.  She changed her diet and is now cancer-free.

I am currently in the process of changing my diet.  While science and doctors would admonish my decision to omit their “expert” advice, what I have received so far from them has been less than productive in my battle with cancer.

While I can’t speak for what others should do, I find her story to be extremely encouraging and it has given me new hope; hope I was struggling with.

 

hear me lord

Cancer Journey: Part 16

Published July 2, 2018 by lynn k scott

I believe this will be the last cancer update for some time.

I met my new oncologist this past Friday.  While she seemed genuine and sincere, it was an effort in futility.   I had a complete breakdown when she asked why I was there.  I clearly stated it was because she was my last option for a doctor; based on what the insurance carrier would permit.   She didn’t didn’t take offense; esp. after I explained what I meant.

She wanted to order a PET scan.  Awesome…I can’t stay still, flat on my back for 30-minutes.  She asked if a particular drug would help relax me.  I have no idea as I haven’t had it in almost 30 years.  She said she could order a CT scan, but that might be inconclusive and it’s not as complete as a PET scan.  I still might need a PET scan after the CT scan.  That pretty much sums up the CT scan is not the way to go.  Each of these scans would cost me a $350 copay.  Let’s not even mention having to add an IV to do them.  My veins have been oh-so-cooperative (NOT).

She mentions how I didn’t receive enough chemo.  Gotta love my previous doctors  (I need a “NOT” button).  She went over another option, that wasn’t clearly explained to me by my first oncologist.  So there goes adequate informed consent.

Then, she had the “brilliant” idea of telling me I should see a counselor about my grief for 3/5 of my family being dead (mostly due to cancer).  How about addressing the issue of NO SUPPORT for cancer patients that are still alive and breathing?!  How about offering legitimate financial support.  People are struggling to pay their every day bills.  Add a 20% copay to all their medications (even if each one caps out at $200), that’s still a huge increase every few weeks.  Let’s not mention, the patient probably wouldn’t be working full-time either, so now there’s a loss of income but increase in expenses.  The working person falls through healthcare crack which is the size of the Grand Canyon.

We agreed to start off with more bloodwork after I told her I guess there was nothing she could do for me.  I asked the nurse who was going to talk to the lab about how I’m a hard stick.  She told me I could let them know.  Gee….that’s worked really well in the past…again…NOT!  They make no offer to warm my veins to see if that would help.  They do nothing different than a person who is able to give blood easily.  I drink tepid water already (which was her suggestion).  First, I’m not new to blood draws.  Second, it’s obvious she had no intention of doing anything additional for patient care.

I’m supposed to go back in six months.  The nurse really thought she was going to schedule that after my appointment.  I think not.  IF I were to go back, I would call in.  six months is in December.  I have my daughter’s birthday to deal with.  It would be January at the earliest that I would even consider going back in.

I walked out no further along than I have been these last few months.  I am officially done, at least for the immediate future, with doctors, blood draws, scans and anything else related to this effin diagnosis.

My survival is solely in God’s hands.  I am changing my diet and will be trying CBD oil for cancer patients.  While I will not go gently into that good night, I no longer have any faith in the medical world and their attempts to treat me.

Being the realist that I am, I am now officially putting my affairs in order (just in case).  I will be drawing up a living trust and making my husband add his information because he won’t do it on his own.  We don’t have may assets, but the few we do have need to go to my youngest (as most of it belongs to her dad).

I ask for continued prayers for my health and for the strength to prepare my daughter for the worst case scenario.

The past continues to haunt me

Published June 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

I recently found out my son was getting married.  He is the last of my sons to get married.  I found out, because his older brother mentioned it to me. Back to that in a moment.

I haven’t spoke much about my past (on this topic), but I was married before.  I married at 18-years old and married a VERY abusive man.  I was young and naive.  I don’t regret having four children in my first marriage, but I do regret that he is their father.

I had to literally escape from my ex-husband, in the early morning hours, with only my mother to see off on the Greyhound bus that left NY for CA.  It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but after two attempts on my life, the joke of legal assistance by NY police and courts, I wasn’t safe.  If I had stayed, my children would have been visiting my grave versus having the option of passing judgement on my decisions and harboring anger toward me.

Long story short, my ex-husband eventually beat a woman he knew, in the face with a brick, over a dispute over $50.00.  The cops failed to do their job.  News staff contaminated the crime scene.  He went to prison on an E-felony instead of a higher charge, which would have kept him behind bars for a longer time.

Needless to say, even 3,000 miles away, I lived my life in fear.  I did attend group counseling for battered women.  At one point, before leaving for CA, I was diagnosed with battered women’s syndrome.  My ex-husband will always be a threat to me.  There is no doubt in my mind.  I haven’t seen him in 21 years and I have no plans to do so.  We only spoke to each other through various court appearances (me appearing by phone).  My children will never know or understand the terror I survived.  While, I have told them I was abused by their father, they don’t have many details or know the extent.  Yet, they still choose him over me.  Simple reason:  I left.

Back to my son getting married.  This son is the one who wants nothing to do with me.  I have been allowed back into my other (adult) children’s lives, in various stages.  I messaged my son and asked for his address to send him a wedding present.  He told me it wasn’t necessary.  I responded that it’s something I wanted to do and I had done the same for his other brothers.

Yesterday, on the anniversary of my sister’s death (one of hardest days of the year) he chose to tell me he didn’t trust me enough with address.  I could give it to his oldest brother to deliver it to him, if I insisted on sending him a gift.

To say I was upset, was an understatement.  Not trust me?  I messaged his brother.  I was expecting some support.  I thought my oldest and I had made a lot of progress.  I was severely mistaken.  He told me he doesn’t accept the choices I made but was trying to understand them.  Then, he felt like twisting the knife that he just lunged into my back, by saying I was lucky any of my kids wanted to have anything to do with me.

WOW!  I had to shut the conversation down.  All the progress I foolishly thought we had made just flew out the window.  At least now I know where I stand; with those two sons.  I also know where I stand with my daughter.

Part of the reason I had my youngest child was 1) my second husband had no children 2) I needed to prove to myself I wasn’t a horrible parent.  I have done everything in my power to be a good mom.

I can’t change the past and I have been trying to make amends for what I felt was the only decision that could be made.  I find it ironic, a convicted, violent felon, who was the reason I left, is more welcomed in their life than I am.

I can only pray one day they will see the light of how serious my situation was at the time.  That my older children will want a relationship with their youngest sibling.  For now, I am done.  The ball in is in their court.  If they choose to end the game, that’s their decision.

 

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