Speeches in Your Underwear, Jars of Million-Leggers on an Airplane, and Slavering Dobermans are Nothin’ Compared to THIS.

Oh, heaven help me!  Save me from this horrible doom!  Where’s my padded room and straight jacket, because I’m on my way to the loony bin!

I homeschool in the dreaded State of Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania is one of the most irritating and vexing states in which to homeschool.

The bitter and twisted individuals in the state legislature hate homeschooling so they came up with a savage and malicious plan to dissuade it’s citizenry from homeschooling.

Every year, they have decreed by law, that each homeschooler is compelled to create A Portfolio.  This Portfolio must include descriptions and examples of what the child learned that year.

Ok.  So what?  That doesn’t sound so bad.

Right.  It doesn’t until you begin creating The Portfolio.  Because that’s when the ghastly truth dawns:  The Portfolio is really one big resume wrapped up in a scrapbook.

Nooooooooooo!  Not that!  Anything but that!

Show of hands, who would rather give a speech in front of Congress in his or her underwear than have to write a resume?   Yes.  I see—all of us.

And who would rather have dental work done on an airplane in a thunderstorm that’s transporting a pack of loosely-tied Dobermans, an overflowing vat of snakes, and a big, breakable jar of million-leggers, than to make a scrapbook?  Yes—all of us with our sanity still intact.  Anyone who actually wants to do a scrapbook is no longer sane.  (Sorry Becky.)

And this is dragging out f o r e v e r.  I haven’t gotten near as far along with the portfolio today as I’d hoped.  I’m so bored with the process that I keep getting distracted.

First was the mandatory whine on Facebook about how miserable I am.

Then I read about 20 articles on Cracked.com.  And sure enough, one of them made a reference to The Stand, which I’m still reading.  If you recall, I checked it out of the library because there are references to The Stand everywhere.  (Note: there’s a bit of language in the linked article for those of you who don’t like that, or who have kids who read this blog.)

Next, I had the happy realization that I didn’t have a picture of the day, so I simply had to stop The Portfolio to do this self-portrait that portrays exactly how I feel about this whole portfolio business.

(Aside: This is where I compose The Blog each night.  If you’re curious about any of the books in the background, send me a comment and I’ll tell you if they’re any good.)

I warned you about the purple eyes.

The self-portrait thing wasted a good half hour, since the sun was going down and the room was getting dark, dark, dark.  And how do you focus the camera on yourself, when you’re not in the picture yet, but are behind the camera trying to focus it?  I propped up an old skinny table on the chair, focused on it, hit the timer and ran over and moved the skinny table and sat in its place.  I guess I could have made the aperture narrower, but it was too dark for that.

Even with the aperture fully open, the shutter speed was at, like 15 seconds, so I ended up trying to use Jim’s old flash I found in his camera bag.  Gerhard told me something about how the flash wouldn’t do the metering correctly, but all I heard was, “Wah wah wah flash, wah wah metering…”.  I sort of understand metering and sort of don’t, so I slapped the flash on there and let it do its thing and it’s probably all wrong, but what do I know?

Then I had to listen to Darling Husband rant about his socks.  We have the ugliest and most threadbare socks in North America.  They’re bum socks.  And we keep losing them.  Actually I don’t think they’re getting lost.  I think they’re hitching rides on cattle cars on trains and joining the circus out west.  Darling Husband now has 5 socks that are all different from each other without mates.  No mates!  Such heartbreak in the sock drawer.

One of these days, I’ll toss all of our ugly bum socks and buy us all new lush and thick and fluffy socks.  But not anytime soon, because we spent all our money on Alex.

I’ve started keeping an ongoing list of what I’m denying myself in order to offset Alex’s costs.  First, there was the cost of Alex himself.  Second, Alex is just like a kid and he needs food, housing, clothing, and an education.  (A new battery, a camera bag, lenses, and a how-to book.)

Here’s the list of “Things I Was Going to Buy, But Didn’t, To Offset Alex:”


Flowers and dirt for the 8 window boxes on the back deck: $60

Rosebush I’ve been wanting for two years: $25

Spatula:  $2


Kid’s pack of popcorn and soda at movie: $5.50


Li’s Buffet to comfort me after for having to do this resume/scrapbook $40

I’ve saved $132.50 so far.  Only $679.64 left to pay for Alex himself.

I even have a couple of little day jobs lined up in the next couple of months.  I’ll write about that another time.

P.S.  Speaking of Million Leggers there was a HUGE one on the closet door yesterday.  Fortunately I was speaking with Gerhard on the phone when I spotted it and was able to keep my panic tamped down while Darling Husband wrestled it to the ground and dispatched it with his samurai sword.  It was pretty grisly.


5 thoughts on “Speeches in Your Underwear, Jars of Million-Leggers on an Airplane, and Slavering Dobermans are Nothin’ Compared to THIS.

  1. You did good with the flash.
    What a scowl, and those eyes.
    Liz Taylor had purple eyes,
    but they weren’t scary.
    You look like you could shoot death beams with them.

  2. Hmmm, at times I’ve questioned my sanity but I have never connected it to my love of scrapbooking. 😉 In fact, the opposite is true: I often think I am feeling insane because I haven’t had the chance to scrapbook in months. I think that has everything to do with the fact that scrapbooking is SO relaxing to me and almost everything else is stressful. Weird, huh?
    P.S. I’d rather write the resume.
    P.P.S. That airplane ride sounds pretty freaky. You may want to rethink that one.

    • So, do you love creating the portfolio? I mean, I exaggerate (a little bit) in the blog, but really, this feels like a scrapbook or craft project. I would imagine that people who like crafts or scrapbooking don’t mind this portfolio. I have a visceral, violent reaction to scrapbooking and crafting. I can feel my blood pressure rising. I have to stop and force myself to breathe slowly. Did you SEE all the new grey in my hair in that picture?? It happened yesterday. Sort of like how Palpatine turned all wrinkled and creepy from that one battle with Mace Windu.

      • The truth is, once I get started on the portfolios, I don’t really mind it at all. The years I hated it were the years we didn’t keep a notebook full of work throughout the year- because I HATE trying to find papers under pressure. Now, I just sit with the kids’ notebooks & pull out what I want to include in their portfolios- no pressure because it is already gathered. Sometimes, I will have the kids create “scrapbook pages” about field trips- with journaling & pictures & ticket stubs or whatever.
        P.S. No clue about Palpatine or Mace Windu. I never watch movies. I’d rather scrapbook if I have free time to myself. Which is rare.

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