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Natsunekko's Journal

10th July, 2012. 6:14 pm.

A couple years ago, I headed back to school, and that's taken a lot of time. Last year, Husband's pain got so bad that he couldn't work, and we still don't know what's wrong--he's had diagnosis of non-cancerous growths, nerve damage, or just TMJ. Not working for the Army meant not living on base, and we decided that if we were going to move, we were going to move the heck out of Arizona and go somewhere cooler!

We're in Utah now. The boys are doing fantastic at their school, a charter school aimed at science and the arts. I teach special education at a local Montessori school, and am still working on my degree. We bought a wonderful fixer-upper home in the "historic district" in Ogden. So, there hasn't been time for art, and probably won't be any new paintings for another two years or so. I still sketch, though not nearly as much as I used to. I probably won't be updating here. I can be found at
http://wenchworks.deviantart.com/
or
http://www.facebook.com/kat.lowe.14

Admittedly, I don't really update anywhere much right now. I've kinda withdrawn into a privacy-trench.

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3rd January, 2010. 12:14 pm.


I still read LJ every day (more or less) but really have little desire to post. I guess I always though of this as mostly an art thing.

I have, quite literally, done no painting since August. Call it burnt out or lazy, I'm just "not feeling it." I believe I will actually take the art supplies out of the family room and move them into storage, so that they will stop mocking me.

I made costumes for a local Shakespere play (Much Ado About Nothing), which was a wonderful experience--though I did not do as well as I'd hoped, the costumes looked good but had disintigrated by the last performance. Admittedly, I took a lot of shortcuts, thinking that since the costumes were only going to be used six nights, surely I didn't need to line things and double-stitch seams. I would very much like to do more of that sort of thing! It was a lot of fun to design things, I was given a bag of fabric and vague directions like, "it's for the wedding scene."  

I have had a lot of time to read, which has been very pleasant.

All of my parents visited, including my father's new wife, who I've met, but my family had not. Both visits were a bit stressful, but went shockingly well, with no ugly scenes or awkwardness.

We had the Worst Month Ever in November, in which our beloved family dog, Molly, only eight years old, died over the course of three weeks--cause still largely unknown: her immune system attacked her red blood cells. Her last two weeks were as good as we could have hoped--she even seemed to be improving, at the end, we thought she was recovering. She was so weak that she couldn't walk more than a few steps and wouldn't eat, so the boys and I fed her one bite at a time over the course of each day. She got a lot of love all the way until the end. It was very, very hard on the kids. Molly came home from the pound when she was only six months old, and was the replacement for the baby I was supposed to have--and she fit that hole in the family surprisingly well. She was our first dog (Husband is allergic to cats, so she was really our first real pet).

At literally the same time as Molly was dying, my husband had to have his wisdom teeth removed from his jawbone. He missed about two weeks of work, his recovery was very slow. 

We burnt though my entire student loan with vet bills and medical bills, which was very frustrating, because it was supposed to pay for my not having a job so that I could go to school full time.

Tuesday through Friday, I drive the 45 mins to the high school where Oldest Son goes, and volunteer. It's ironic, I'm working on a Masters in Education, and quit my much-hated job as a cook to volunteer at the school, but the job the school has me to do (as a volunteer) is to help with breakfast every morning. Oh well! 

Oldest Son has left home school and started as a freshman at the local high school. The experience hasn't been all postive, but overall it's been VERY good for him. He turns fifteen today. For Christmas, Oldest Son and I started playing World of Warcraft again (Doomhammer, alliance characters Hegmelga and Annekka).

Youngest Son continues to play baritone in the school band, and would spend his entire day on the computer if he was allowed to. He competed in the state-wide Lego Robotics competition, on his school team. (Didn't win, but we were very proud of him anyway).

My dear niece started Kindergarten, and so has not been staying with me. I miss her a lot, but it has been much easier doing schoolwork with no kids in the house!

Speaking of school, it's going fine. I finished my first semester, passed all my finals without much trouble.
 


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25th August, 2009. 7:21 am.

Has it really been two months since I last posted? Not much going on here, finally!

School started, and both boys are doing very well. They almost completely mainstreamed Kyle, he has only one special ed class. I was very much against this, but he seems to be doing well. He does the usual amount of complaining before school, but does not seem unhappy. Tad is continuing in band, playing the baratone. He wanted to get a computer programming class, but didn't register for it in time. Maybe next year. He has been learning scripting with the "Game Maker 7.0" software.

I finally did some art, but haven't scanned it in yet. School is going very well. The first three classes were very easy, and I sped through them--I have a final exam in health class on Tuesday, and then I'll have 6 credits finished. Yay! At this school, you take the classes one at a time, rather than taking all six at once. At this rate, I'll have finished this semester by November. The school runs the same way that Kyle's homeschool did. I have guided lessons that I teach myself, mostly reading and then answering questions about the reading. There is a teacher for each class, to whom I submit essays and can ask questions. I have quizzes online, graded by the computer. There are classes available, via a blackboard program and telephone conference call, but I only attended one and found it to be a waste of time. Er, it was taught well and all that, but it went over exactly the same thing as the guided lesson. I miss the discussion available in a real classroom--particularly right now, in my sociology class, where I don't agree with everything the textbook is saying--but if I had to wait for a classroom to go back to school, I'd be waiting at least five more years--that's the soonest we can move to a Real City with a Real College. 

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12th June, 2009. 3:22 pm. Back from Utah


Well.... the Utah trip didn't turn out quite as expected. Four days of driving for three days of visiting, of which two were monopolized by the convention setup/takedown. On our one day to visit with family, we took the kids to a place called "Toadies" where they rode race cars and played lazer tag, and then they went shooting with Eric's brother while I helped my  mom shear alpacas. Much to my frustration, I didn't get to see Laurel, or my brother & his wife & kids, or my sister Tina's place. We're going to try this all again in July, but this time we'll leave the husband at home (he can't get time off) and stay for two weeks.

I did get to stop by Theresa Mather's studio on the way home, and that was really neat. It was great to meet her, and I hope that next time I won't be in such a hurry to get back on the road.

The convention was... well... not disapointing, but not great either. The market is bad. I brought five original paintings, priced to sell, and still only sold one. I was pretty shocked, I expected to at least unload the 9x12s that I asked only $35 for, if not the 16x20 for $199! Oh well. The show looked nice, and it was good to see what my "competetors" were doing.

Big wall 'o art: (the originals are the ones in frames. Matted things are prints)


My personal life continues to be slightly crazy. :) Poor sis is back in the hospital. I'm watching her kids for the summer, plus the 7-year old son of a family in our church. The kid has some special needs, and there's only one day care on base and it's not great for kids with any sort of social disorder.

My boys, even Mr. Aspergers, have joined a base bowling league and a swimming club. I'm trying very hard not to be a mother hen (or mother bear?), and let Oldest Son go out by himself to the activities.  I'm terribly nervous today, because he went with the Youth Center teens to a water park. Intelectually, I know he'll be totally ok. The adult leaders will watch out for him, and he's really grown up a lot lately anyway. Still, I can't help but worry. In the past, I've always gone along on trips like this.

I'm taking most of the summer off work at the restaurant (though I'm still on call for when my co-workers need time off).  As I think I've mentioned before (I hope?) I'm going back to school. In three years, I hope to have my masters in special ed. With luck, I can be teaching in a year, and can quit the restaurant. Class starts for me on July 1. It's mostly home-based work, so I am expecting that I'll be able to do it while watching all these kids. :)

It'll be a crazy summer, but fun in it's own way.

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13th May, 2009. 8:06 am. The Flu.

We have The Flu. Anna and Kyle had a temperature of 101 yesterday, and were sleepy and cross. Today Tad is added to the list, and I'm not feeling so hot either. Susan and her kids got it on Sunday. Luckily, our workaholic husbands seem to have been spared. (Probably because they're never home!)

BUT IT'S JUST A FLU! Sheesh people. All this media panic over swine flu, and it doesn't even make you puke. I've had COLDS worse than this flu. The kids are sleeping and fighting more, but their appetites are good and they feel well enough to play.

Susan took her kids to the hospital (fevers hit 105), where it was verified that, yes, they have The Flu. No, there is nothing to do about it. Take Tylonol and go watch some TV. I'm going to be skipping the expensive hospital bill, and going strait for Tylonol and TV.

Current mood: annoyed.

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29th April, 2009. 7:53 am. Conduit in May


I'm heading up to Utah in May for Conduit (and to visit my family there). I'm hoping to have this painting, "1001 Celtic Nights," done by then. It's big--16 x 20--and is acrylic on Masonite. Her face is really bugging me. I've re-painted it three times now. I think I'm going to stop messing with it and move on, and then revisit her stupid face once the rest of the painting is done.

Anyone else going to Conduit? I hope to see Theresa Mather there--finally meet in person!! I will try very hard not to get all dorky-fan-girl on you.

I've enrolled in Western Governers' University, to get a BA (a Masters, eventually) in special education. I'm hoping it'll only take me two years, since I did most of the general education classes eons ago when I was getting an art degree. I passed the entrance exam, so the last thing I need to do to make this happen is secure a grant to pay for it. Ugh. Paperwork hell!

Lastly, in the General Update, I have been reading the Temeraire books by Naomi Novik.  Wonderful, wonderful books! Imagine the Patrick O'Brian Master & Commander books, but with dragons added. The books are set in the middle of Napoleon -vs- Nelson, and center on a ship's captain who becomes campanion to a dragon.

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20th April, 2009. 11:42 am. Mood Upswing

Finally. I seem to be coming out of the DOWN and into the UP mood. After having spent the better part of a month moping in bed (or wishing I was in bed), I now find that I cannot sleep, and my head is buzzing with ideas. I woke up at 2am and started cleaning, fantasizing about how I could better arrange the living room furnature. I will sit down and PAINT for the first time in three weeks, as soon as I'm done making lunch.

Times like this make it so very clear that my moods are a medical problem. Things are not going very well, bad news after bad news, it seems, but I am feeling really quite cheerful today. I had planned to quit the nasty cooking job in May and start doing the teacher's aide thing again, but the state decided to recind all emergency teaching certificates. Now you cannot teach in AZ unless you have an actual teaching degree. So, I'm going to have to spend the next two years working at the stupid bowling alley and going to school to turn an art degree into a teaching degree. We also invested nearly a thousand dollars in sending Eric to job interviews out of state, none of which panned out. Oh well. At least my sister lives here in AZ, so I'm not entirely cut off from the real world. And the kids are happy here.

It's a little over 90 degrees, and only eleven in the morning. The base swimming pool openned this weekend, and there was much rejoicing.

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1st March, 2009. 3:06 pm. Post-Cleaning Depression

We live on-base, in what is military housing for another month, at which time, the military has turned over the base housing to a private firm. We're not pleased as punch about this, but right at this very moment, my biggest 'beef' with the housing privatization is the big inspection tomorrow. I am a terrible housewife. Terrible. So I've had to spend the last two days doing deep cleaning (we got notice on Friday about the inspection Monday). Up till today, it's been the exhausting-but-satisfying sort of cleaning. Yeah, I hate to clean, but it sure does give you a nice feeling when you're done and look back on a shiney clean kitchen, bathroom, etc.

Today, however, has mostly been about purging possessions. We hit the part of cleaning where the things that don't have a place in the house have to be thrown out. The most painful purge was my anime/manga stuff. I put two bookcases worth of manga into storage (to sell on ebay, when I have time), and threw out several large trashbags full of translations and small-press magazines and APAs. Sigh. That all used to be a huge part of my life. It isn't any more. My youngest kid was astounded to find out that I could read Japanese.

Current mood: depressed.

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23rd February, 2009. 12:29 pm.

I've wanted an Asian ball joint doll since... um... some time in the 90's? They cost too much for me to spend on a foolish hobby, particularly now.

So here are my first two! They're 43cm tall, made of resin, fully jointed. The joints aren't very good, probably because my girls are both the less expensive Chinese variety. They're terribly cute, their little faces have so much personality! And they're just the right size to sew for. Large enough that I can get some good detail in the costumes, small enough that I can make whole dresses out of my scraps boxes.
 

 

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22nd February, 2009. 9:32 pm. Very Out of Touch

I log into LJ nearly every day to read my friends' pages, but I have little to say, so I don't post much. Or, at least, I'm stuck in that "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" mode. Not that things are all bad here, but I'm generally feeling run down and exausted and worried about the future.

So let's see... some "say something good" news...

I have two lovely "Asian Ball Joint Doll" fairies living with me now. I will eventually post pictures, but can't find the cable to connect the computer to my camera right now. I have spent entirely too much time sewing clothes for them.

I've finished several paintings, and have switched almost entirely away from paper to wood boards, and away from watercolors to acrylics. One major down side to working on wood, however, is that I can't really scan it the way I could with paper. There are low-resolution pictures of several new paintings over at wenchworks.deviantart.com

Our oldest son has decided that he wants to attend high school in a building next year. I'm scared to death about it, I feel rather like I'm feeding him to the wolves, what a terrible attitude! My husband keeps reminding me that "Kyle is NOT you. Kyle's experience in school will NOT be like your's." A very selfish voice in my head is really looking forward to getting a "real job" (I've applied to be a spec ed aide again)and not homeschooling any more.

I didn't participate in the Ren Faire this year. I couldn't really afford the vendor booth fee, and then my poor sister had to go back to the hospital for a while, and so I had all five kids again, and there was no way I could run a faire booth with a bunch of little kids! So I skipped the faire this year and had lots and lots of fun with the kids. Kyle was in Video Game Heaven because my brother in law has a Wii (Kyle, Tad & I just stayed at their house this time, instead of trying to drive kids to school and all that from my house).

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