Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Now that I have gotten started I figure I should introduce myself and those I live with.
I am, of course, Jenny-Fair**. Age 32 (for another month or so), divorced 11.5 years, eldest of six kids in a very blended family. I have a deep desire to be home with my kids (and to have more kids, but that’s another post…) but for the past two years have been working a succession of temporary jobs, every last one of them involving dirty men driving big trucks. I have, apparently, been typecast. I have also learned a lot! At the moment I am considering various career options, both immediate and in the future.

“The Boys” are, of course, my sons. I have two of them—Brandon, age 15 and Nathan, age 12. They are delightful and frightening people. I am very grateful that I was a tomboy as a child, because raising two boys on my own has taxed my ingenuity and patience. If I were to be abandoned anywhere on the face of the planet, I would want at least one of them with me, for they are always carrying various tools, binoculars and flashlights, and they read survival manuals like neglected housewives read trashy novels. They are never bored, and neither am I!

We also live with a parakeet, Skye, who belongs to Nate, and three cats—Zeuss, who belongs to Brandon and definitely know it, Brinn, who belongs to me, and Julia, who belongs to Brinn. Oh, and one surviving fish from the pair I stole from my last job. But I don’t think he’s going to last long.

**My given name is Jennifer, which comes from the Cornish/Welsh ‘Gwenevyre’ or some such spelling, which means ‘fair’. Years ago I had a Guatemalan friend who pronounced my name ‘Jenny-fair’ and, since that is closer to the original meaning anyway, it kind of stuck.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just WHAT do they teach teachers?

Many people wonder why on earth I homeschool my kids, and those who have heard me say it usually wonder why I feel that my kids would be better off completely uneducated (if I were unable to educate them) than they would be in a public school. http://,0,2574622.story Well, there is one of my reasons! How on earth can we expect bullying in schools to go away when the teachers ARE the bullies?! I have witnessed my share of teachers-to-be taking ridiculous classes that have little to do with teaching kids, but I never figured they were taught how to humiliate and crush the poor little kids entrusted to their care by naive parents. And if this teacher was NOT taught this nice, democratic way of bullying, how on earth did she become this thing of children's nightmares without anyone noticing? A teacher doesn't go from a kind-hearted graduate student who wants to nurture small children (let's assume that is why people become teachers) to being cold and cruel overnight or due to only one student. Could it be the public school environment that fosters this type of attitude? It would certainly explain some things.

Here's hoping this mom brings her little boy home to heal and learn the way he was made to.


I have never been a gardener. I used to help my grandmother with hers, but not in a growing way--only in a weed-pulling, brute-force, tilling soil kinda way. This year, however, my mother gave me an area in her own garden to grow my own plants. It's my very first garden ever, and it's all my own (the work and the rewards--assuming I don't kill the plants as my delightful children are already betting I'll do) but with training wheels. Should I begin to make some terrible mistake, my mom can point that out to me and save the lives of the innocent tomatoes and peppers that I bought when I tagged along to the nursery with her.

So yesterday after church, while the boys mowed, I stared baffled at the section of land that is mine for four months. It was a mess! Poor Mom was exhausted but I made her sit on the patio and tell me what to do (and also offer insults--such as, "You really don't have a farming bone in your body, do you?"). First I had to learn how to hoe--well, not hoe, really, because she gave me this funky triangle thingabob. Then I pulled out all the plants that we did not intend to grow, and some rocks, and turned in some steer & bark...or is that bark & steer? That part I am good at, as I had lots of experience at Grandma's house! Finally, I started planting the plants...and found that there was only room for half of them.

Which means, of course, that I have to go back and do it all over again! And I am already quite sore from yesterday's adventure. I know I am supposed to learn something from this. I just hope I live long enough to learn it! (and my tomatoes and peppers, too, of course!) I am definitely looking forward to ceviche and BLTs with home-grown tomatoes come August.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Welcome to my kingdom!

Welcome to my kingdom, where I will share my thoughts and experiences as a single mom, working, homeschooling, and striving for a better life. Thanks for reading and please feel free to participate (in a civil manner, of course)!