soap My new soap mold has a very elaborate embossed design, very pretty, and well-nigh invisible in an all-white soap. This bar will be for household use. It’s scented with Lily-of-the-Valley, and will be a pleasure to use even if it doesn’t show off the design well.

That was the end of the day, though.

The beginning of the day, after the emails and blogs, was a dental appointment for #2 son. It started as a routine cleaning and ended with $500 of dental work needed, as these things so often do. Sigh.

Next came haircuts, which went without incident. Maybe there are people who go into the hairdresser’s for a trim and come out with $500 worth of desperately-needed primping, but it doesn’t happen to us.

The boys struck a deal with me: if I’d drop them off before heading out on the rest of my errands, they’d clean the house, and then I could bring burgers home for lunch. To celebrate. Not sure what we were celebrating, but I’d do a lot to get my house cleaned, even slightly. I dropped them off and headed back out. The bank, the post office to mail a hostess packet, a stop at a civilized little dress shop to pick up a top for today’s workshop, the grocery store, and then I drove through the burger place.

People who know me are being amazed. I’d had to go to two appointments and do several other errands and I went to a clothing store? I know it’s amazing. I’m amazed. I just want to look well-dressed this afternoon. My new Hawaiian shirt won’t do, and a wool suit is not appealing in triple digit heat.

It is a small shop, not in a mall, and it is visually unalarming. I can’t really explain that. It’s just that stores often are disorienting for me, because of my little mental disorder. They make me feel that I need to escape as fast as possible. This one isn’t like that. No loud music, either. There was a nice, useful woman there. I threw myself on her mercy. I left with a top in dark teal. I also have a new haircut.

Why, you may wonder, do I suddenly care what I look like? I go do workshops all the time without any particular regard for what I’m wearing or how I look.

But this is a group of schoolteachers. They will pounce on me asking about the store, and what happened, and what am I doing now, and isn’t it sad, and where are they supposed to go now to get their borders.

I drove through Backyard Burgers and was at the window when The Computer Guy called.

Surprising right there. I’ve called him a couple of times without advance notice — “I’m passing your office… Are you there for me to drop off a file?” or “I’m in a meeting… Can you take on another client and if so when can they get onto your calendar?” He had emailed me, but I hadn’t been home. Still, the call was surprising.

He sounded alarmed. Actually, he sounded young. The principal had called with a whole bunch of changes to the workshop. We were supposed to tie everything up to the frameworks.

Sure. I’d done that. Remember all those PDF sheets? Did she want me to put the numbers on all the activities, because I could do that.

No, not that. It was something else. She’d sent him to a website. He’d sent me the website.

Okay, I’m not at my computer but I will be in about three minutes. This shouldn’t be a problem. Even if the school has something specific, it’ll go with the state frameworks.

It’s a refrigerator curriculum.

Ah, yes. That just means a sheet the kids are supposed to take home and post on their refrigerators for the family to support.

He can’t believe this.

No, really. You might think there’d need to be some more cogent reason behind that name, but that’s what it is.

He continues to be skeptical. The principal also said they’re not doing social studies this year, so she doesn’t want any social studies connection, and she can’t see why there would be one, anyway.

That’s okay, I say soothingly. It’s not her job to see those connections. We’ll do that for her. I also explain how, because of NCLB, schools sometimes decide not to teach anything much. I’m in my driveway. I hand off the burgers to the boys and get over to my computer, continuing to speak soothingly. He’s going to like working with the schools, really, but part of the territory is sometimes feeling like you’re in a surreal world.

Okay. We are both looking at the refrigerator curriculum PDFs. Shapes, fractions, everybody is doing shapes or fractions. We’re good with that lesson, right? The modeling a house one… most grades have some kind of geometry, and measuring…  okay, can it be modeling a pioneer cabin? Then we can pull in “recognize changes in communities over time” and we’ll have everybody. I’ll make new lesson plan sheets with truncated lesson plans and lists for each grade of the relevant lines from the refrigerator curriculum.

The Computer Guy is calmer. However, the principal has also told him that there’s not enough time to do anything like creative exploration. Everything has to be very step by step and laid out ahead of time. We shouldn’t try to discuss how to adapt the activities for the different grade levels. Just focus on second and third grades. They’ll have been working on GPS all morning and they’ll be tired.

Ah, I say. She basically told you not to have any fun with this.

Yeah. That was the message.

I’ll have the new plans out right away, I assure him. We can do this. Is there any conflict with what he had planned to do? I can monitor and adjust on my part. It’s a good thing she told us this the day before.

The Computer Guy feels that she should have told him this two months before.

I see his point. I hit the Toggle. One hour and twelve minutes later, all is well. We’re back to emails. I go eat my cold burger.

Now that I have another team member to be responsible for, I can’t abandon my cookware business, so I have planned some time to work on that. I get my website back up, order a small sample package since I didn’t earn the new things in June, when I was busy having a major life change and crisis, send out an email to my customers who probably thought I had died, and set up a couple of kitchen shows. My bookstore client calls. I race on down. She has books for me, and reports on how things worked out from yesterday. We do a little additional plotting, and I’m back to the computer.

I have these three websites to work on, but by that time I had very little time before my Wednesday afternoon marathon began, so I returned calls to my daughters and then worked on my own website — one of the three, and the easiest one to put in a little time on. I didn’t even Toggl. In the midst of that I remembered a writing job my mother had sent an announcement for, and did the application for that.

Off to class. Then a discussion of worship, and the place of scripture in it. Then choir practice. Then home for a slapped-together dinner. I did not have any produce at all yesterday, unless you count the lettuce and tomato on the burger. Also no gym time.

I asked #1 son to do the kitchen. He refused. We had a bit of a discussion about it, which he ended by saying, “I know you work hard, and you work a lot. And I know I don’t do anything. I’m just saying you don’t do as much housework as you think you do.”

At which I went and finished the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and made a couple of bars of soap since I was in the right set of rooms for it and needed some wind-down time anyway.

So that gets us back to the soap.

Today I have the workshop in the afternoon, and then I am meeting this week’s soloist for some coaching. My plan for the morning is to do a Pilates/yoga class DVD, get something done on those web sites, and make sure I’m completely au fait with the refrigerator curriculum. I want to be very supportive to The Computer Guy. He has done plenty of corporate training, but I don’t think he’s ever been put into a roomful of women with instructions not to have fun.