#2 daughter was laid off yesterday — no notice, but a little bit of severance pay in lieu of it. This happened to me not so long ago, and that has worked out pretty well, and she was working in a cave where they yelled and swore at each other all the time (I know you’re envisioning trolls; me too), so it will all turn out well in the end.

Even so. Not great.

My husband’s response to this was not good. I walked in from coping with Client #3’s crisis to be greeted with, “Your daughter got fired.” He then entertained us with his speech on why he too would soon be laid off. Then he gave #1 son a speech about how he ought to get a job (very true, by the way) which ended with #1 son saying he’d move out and my husband saying he should do it soon and not come back.

I still owed my Philadelphian 20 minutes for the week, but for some reason was unable to get that last blog post finished in the midst of all the drama. I also began last night what Rampaige calls Special Lady Days, which is no big deal except that day after tomorrow is eight hours of driving with an interview in the middle of it, so not perhaps the absolute best timing.

Spicer the dog has a wound on her back, we don’t know whence it came, and will have to go to the vet, where they charge vast sums of money and don’t accept insurance.

#2 son has the ACT this morning, and left his calculator in a friend’s car. The friend was out on an “anniversary” date with his girlfriend, so #2 son wouldn’t call him to ask for the return of the calculator. I suggested that #2 son’s scholarships might be more important than the possibility of embarrassment, but #2 son didn’t agree.

Right up to that point, things were going well.10

My favorite giant tea cup (it’s in the picture of me up there on the left) cracked and now leaks, and I’d been having to drink tea in small cups, so I ordered these pink polka dot cups, which are nice and big. They’re only available in October, only online, and only from Pampered Chef, with whom I am about to end my relationship, so I needed to get them — if at all — while I still had that relationship. I also stocked up on their seasoning mixes. I don’t know that I exactly needed pink polka dot dishes, but as you can see, I had lots of excuses for buying them.

They arrived while I was blogging for the Philadelphian. I do his posts by the dozen, which is much faster than the usual way. When I’m writing the kind of post that is supposed to rank well at Google and draw traffic for years, I find that it takes about two hours. But when you do a dozen at a time, you get ideas from one and see resources for another as you go along. I end up averaging two posts an hour for him. Then he sticks them into his blog whenever he needs them. I’d been to the gym and was having quite a good time, writing one post after another on subjects like reluctant learners, teaching science with a Biblical worldview, and loneliness among homeschoolers

Then I went to visit the lady I’m writing my encyclopedia entry about. She’s in a nursing home. I called her niece for permission, announced myself to a nurse and was told I could just go right to her room, went in to speak with her, and was asked by another nurse to leave.

I went to the nursing station, wending my way through clots of people in wheelchairs and down halls of people crying and wailing, and waited for quite a long time for someone to be free to talk with me. I told her my whole story and she was quite nice about it, and brought my lady into a little salon so we didn’t have to talk in her bedroom.

This lady is 82, and I was expecting her to be sort of like my mother, who is about a decade younger than that. My mother doesn’t live in a nursing home. This lady would be telling me about her experiences as a young black woman working against segregation in the churches in the 1950s, and then she’d say, “Some days the water just streams down the windows here.”

“Rain?” I’d say, and she’d agree. Then we’d talk about her book, though she couldn’t remember if she’d written any more than the one I’d found, and about her travels, and about her namesake who wants to be an astronaut.

Then she’d say, “Sometimes when I come in here the young lady asks me about these pictures and says, ‘I guess you’ve seen these before’ and I say, ‘Yes, I have.'”

The second time she talked about water, I went and got a cup of water for her.

I wasn’t able to get all the information I needed, and there isn’t much published about this lady. Her niece came to visit, along with her great-niece and her great-great-niece, and I left. I asked whether I could come to see her again, and she said no. “I won’t entirely close you out,” she said, “but sometimes I get too much attention.” I can’t actually tell from that whether I can go back to see her or not. I may need to go to census records for the names and dates I couldn’t get, but I do have some great quotes.

Then I moved on to Client #3’s workplace, where we tracked down the problem of the lady from Paragould, went over the method of adding items to the catalog, and came up with a solution which we think will work if The Computer Guy can do it.

Driving home, I thought about stopping off to do the grocery shopping, but decided that it was the kind of day that called for pizza delivery. This always makes my husband angry, and I know that it isn’t the best choice nutritionally, but I made that decision anyway, and told the kids to call for it as soon as I got in the door, before my husband came to tell me the news of the day.

And that’s where this post began.