As I'd feared, there hasn't been much school to speak of this week. Thank goodness we plan on schooling through the summer! I've been kept extremely busy running from one doctor's appointment to another, but I think I'm finally finished with all of that (I hope!). The doctors have diagnosed me with pseudotumor cerebri (PST) or "false brain tumor," which was the best possible news, even though it isn't exactly great. Essentially PST causes headaches and vision changes (due to an excess of cerebrospinal fluid which builds up pressure) and can lead to vision loss if left unchecked. I had severe hemorraghing behind my right eye and swelling in both eyes, but I'm still waiting to see if there's been any vision loss. For now, they've started me on Diamox and gave me the Spinal Tap on Wednesday. When I had the Spinal Tap I was told that a "high normal" pressure level is 20 - mine was nearly at 40 (which certainly explains the intense headaches I've been having!). So that's done and now I'm left with an atrocious backache, but no dreaded spinal headache, thank goodness! Actually, I have no headache at all, which is truly a blessing...also my neck pain (which has remained constant, despite surgery) is gone!

In the midst of the above craziness, I've got one child down with the flu, two with sore throats and a cold and one covered head-to-toe in poison ivy (again!) and hives. Good grief! It seems we just can't win sometimes. And the weather has been utterly crazy! In the past twenty-four hours we've had temperatures in the 70's, followed by rain and a tornado watch, followed by snow! Today it's warm again, LOL. Now here's a little of what we have managed to accomplish this week...Tuesday the twins spent the night at a friend's house and ended up exploring a nearly dry creek bed. This resulted in some unexpected discoveries and an impromptu geology lesson! Among the treasures they dragged home (two very heavy backpacks full!) - two huge rocks that they thought were granite:

A rock with crystal formations...we thought this was calcite, but hydrochloric acid yielded no bubbles:

Some very cool quartz-like crystals that proved softer than quartz (we haven't managed to identify these yet):

An unusual specimen chosen for it's streaked appearance (it looks like a fork was dragged across it!):

And more quartz-like crystal formations on the edge of a very normal-looking rock (they also found these crystals inside rocks that they broke open):

The crystals don't appear to be salt, so we're honestly not sure what they are - despite checking online and in our rocks and minerals books. So, we're mystified, but they're still pretty cool and I love that they were sufficiently inspired by our recent geology study to bring some specimens home to me.

We planted our living Easter basket (a bit late, as usual!). Here are the seeds, before a top layer of dirt was added:

The basket includes lots of wheat (for wheat grass), orange and gold nasturtiums and violas in a range of blues with golden centers for contrast (plus all are edible). We read some stories for the second day of our Nowruz/Ten Days of Spring Celebration, which the kids are thoroughly enjoying.

We also tried out the tie-dyed Easter eggs. Yesterday our kit from Mahar Drygoods arrived and I promptly headed to Goodwill to find a glass or enamel pan (because of course I neglected to see that on the required supply list!). Three thrift stores later, I finally found both a tiny glass pan and a large enamel pan, in addition to a large supply of silk neckties to supplement our kit. While taking apart the neckties was a bit tedious, the end results were so worthwhile - the kids loved this project (as did I!)! I'm almost tempted to run out and buy more ties today, not that we need them! Each tie can easily color 4 eggs and while the silk can be re-used, the results are less stunning the second time around. The narrowest parts of the ties can also be sewn together to form a large enough piece to cover an egg. I think I also want to try using an old stocking to keep the silk in place. Yesterday we wrapped the eggs rather quickly and where the silk bunches, no dye transfers. For anyone without a kit, a complete tutorial can be found here. It's super easy and so much fun, I highly recommend it!

Here's the pile of ties we started with, thirteen in all:

Some close-ups:

Many of the finished eggs (I just realized I forgot to rub them with vegetable oil!):

Today we've still got our psyanky to try, which I've been procrastinating on because I'm completely intimidated, this Braided Easter Egg Bread, and whatever other last minute projects I come up with. Next week we'll be back to school as usual, I promise!


  1. Kim said...
    Those eggs are gorgeous! Hope you all feel better soon.
    Lori C., Texas said...
    The eggs are beautiful!
    Ami said...
    Incredible eggs!

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