Yesterday, the house sighed a deep breath. Best of all, even the calendar was whispering instead of giving strident orders: Piano lessons at 1 then Soccer practice at 6:30, then Enrichment at 7. In between, long hours of that rarest of all commodities: blank space on the calendar. I filled it with rest, piano practice and a little shopping with Sara. Sam and Evan went to the zoo with my sister and Johnathan had classes at HCC.
We checked out Loehman's, a new store which I would describe as an upscale Ross or Marshalls. It sells name brand and designer clothes, shoes and bags at discounted prices. I thought it was much more expensive than Ross or Marshalls. There were a few bargains when compared with department store prices like $99 suits and some $40 dresses, but I felt like I could do better for the same brands on the clearance rack at Macy's. I did not buy anything but Sara found some jeans and I did sign up for their Insider Card, which gave me 10% off yesterday, plus then I'll get emails with other specials and hopefully coupons. It will be interesting to see if they have good clearances and sales as time goes on. The good news is that Sara liked their offerings and I liked that their "contemporary sportswear" was a little more sophisticated than some of the junior shops at the mall.
We also went to Borders, where I deliberated for over an hour on what to buy with my birthday gift card. What luxury! I started in literature and went all the way around the store to Young Adult and Children's, skipping a few sections along the way. I wanted to get something that would remind me of the people who gave it to me. I made a big stack of beloved re-reads, new finds and beautiful editions of favorites. I finally settled on a boxed set of Jane Austen's complete works. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect. Each book has a lovely green cover and creamy ivory paper. They are not scholarly editions, having no introduction or appendices, but they are lovely books-as-objects. This is something permanent that I will not ever be inclined to give away or sell. It is a lovely memory distilled into something that can sit on my shelf and it will make me happy to see it there. But wait! There's more! Since I had a coupon, I got 25% off of that and was able to also get a fun little book about reading called "Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading" by Maureen Corrigan, the woman who does book reviews for Fresh Air on NPR. With some other birthday money, I got Little Woman on DVD and a book by an author who I greatly respect: Susan Wise Bauer. It is called "The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had" and is a review of classic literature, philosophy and knowledge. Her book "The Well-Trained Mind" was my bible when I was homeschooling Johnathan. I highly reccommend it to all parents interested in classical thought and education, even if you are not homeschooling.
After that was Enrichment which was fun and valuable. We had a lesson on stretching our budgets and a lesson on food storage. Both were practical, based in real life experience and taught by excellent women. I got a ride with a friend, so the enjoyment of the evening was extended both before and after as we chatted about everything and nothing as we drove.
My lesson/activity this morning went well, with lots of participation and enthusiasm. Treats always help with that, as does getting them out of their seats. Today was the culmination of the paper airplane object lesson. I was happy with how things went.
Today I have two private lessons this afternoon at the shop along with a case of pinkeye. Yay. Actually, it might not be pinkeye. Sometimes my dry eyes go haywire and get like this trying to stay moist. I am going to put some drops in and see if that helps. Which I should go do now, because I can no longer see the screen.