I’m still not sleeping well, waking up in the middle of the night with long and urgent-feeling to-do lists in my mind and failing to fall back to sleep.

Get up and work or lie in bed trying to sleep until it’s time to get up? Tough choice.

Yesterday my husband came home with a list of words from his English class. They’d been studying negative feelings, apparently. He had a long list of things like “I hate it, I can’t stand it, I’m sick of it, I’m fed up…” He also had a list of words related to fear.

“Hobby” was one of them. I disagreed. A hobby is like my quilting or knitting, I told him. His dictionary agreed, but his teacher had given him a different definition. It was, he said, like a baby in a box, in a little space looking up as though something were going to fall on its head.

He demonstrated this for me.

Then he tried to get his dictionary to provide the correct English word, something like “hobby’ but not quite. It offered him “Ho baby.”

This, he felt, was just right.

He acted out the baby in a small small room bit again, this time with the help of the kitchen door to show me the small space in which the Ho baby lived.

“We don’t have that in America,” I said firmly.

We moved on to the next fearsome word: “fobias.” After further exploration, it hit me that the word in question might be “phobias.” His English teacher is apparently from Turkey. She relies heavily on Google for spelling, but for some reason Google didn’t help her out with the spelling of this word.

Once I understood that he was in an English class with someone who thought phobias were spelled with an F, it occurred to me that “hobbit” might be the word he had in mind when he wrote down “hobby.” Sure enough, that was it.

I don’t know what his dictionary was thinking about when it offered “Ho baby,” but it was able to clear things up with hobbit. My husband doesn’t agree with me that this is a fictional creature. Apparently they have them in his country. They keep them in boxes, maybe.

I’m wondering how much value his daily English lessons really have.

I’m studying Adwords. I got my most urgent certification done, but I have another certification which will expire on May 7th, and four more certifications which have become available since the last time I checked, so I’ve decided to add regular study to my work week. That way I won’t be in this position again next year when my recertifications come up again.

I’m trying to get #1 daughter to join me in this project. No luck so far, but you can see that the cats are into helping me. Now that Toby no longer sits at my feet helpfully throughout the workday, the cats have started joining me. Unlike Toby, the cats like to get hands-on or at least paws-on, stepping on my keyboard and investigating all my papers. Also doubtless shedding freely into my cups, which is at least an incentive to take them into the kitchen and get a clean replacement.