The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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Thinking About Homeschooling…


So, I’ve been considering homeschooling the kids…

Before having kids, I was determined that that was the way I was going to teach my kids. At the time, I was still in the public school system and hated every single minute of it. I hated that I couldn’t ask these big abstract questions that I had at that age, because teachers were concerned that it would upset other children in the class. I couldn’t learn what I wanted to learn, because it wasn’t part of the curriculum. Back then, the internet wasn’t readily available in every single home. I mean, this was back in the dial up days, when you couldn’t be on the phone and the internet at the same time. My parents were basically oblivious to what the internet was and AskJeeves was considered to be better than Google (at least from the schools perspective). I wasn’t learning what I wanted to learn, I wasn’t being taught by people who were given free range to teach me, and I always wanted my kids to have it differently.

By the time Kaeidyn was school-aged though, Alfie was entirely against the homeschooling idea. He thought it would be too much work, that we wouldn’t be smart enough to teach the kids and that we wouldn’t be able to teach them anything of value. As far as he was concerned, that was not what he wanted for his kids. And it wasn’t an informed decision. It was a decision much like that of circumcision  Well, I did it, so should they… (Although none of our boys are circumcised.)

Generally speaking, while with Alfie, I lost a lot of my opinions about what a parent should and could be to their kids and about what I wanted my kids’ life to be like. To me, it felt like it wasn’t worth the fight with him and I went to public school, why couldn’t they… But as time has gone on, as the kids get older and all of them are starting to be in public school, as I’ve had all this time to have a man support almost every parenting decision I’ve ever made, I’ve begun questioning why I ever put them in public school in the first place and if it’s really the best thing for them as well as if it’s the best thing for me.

Everyone keeps telling me about all the time it would take up, all the effort I would have to put in. I look at those two things and on one hand, I’m terrified. On the other hand, it excites me. As it stands right now, I really have no reason to wake up in the morning, no reason to structure my life more, no reason to do anything other than what I’m doing right now… No, I’m not saying homeschooling is the answer to any of these issues, but at least it’s a reason to wake up – other than, because I really should.

I also like the idea of being my kids’ teacher. I enjoy the concept of sitting down with them at a set time every day and doing actual school work. I like the idea of them being able to learn more than just what they’re supposed to know at the end of Grade 3 or Grade 1, but learning what their brother’s and sister are learning. I like the idea of them thinking I’m just as smart as they’re current teachers and I like the idea of being able to teach them more than just math, science and social studies. I like the idea of keeping them home, away from the bullies and the kids that are growing up way too fast. Since we’ve come to this school, I’ve heard the word rape in the context of a story about school used more than once. And if Kaeidyn didn’t feel as comfortable with me as she does, I would’ve never known and would’ve never had the chance to explain to her what rape means and why it’s not a nice word to use…

At first, the homeschooling idea that spurred this little rant was The Boyfriend’s idea. He had said, more in passing than in actual conversation, that we should homeschool the kids. Ever since, it’s been on the top of my mind. It’s all I’ve really been able to think about for the past 3 days. It’s like I’m evaluating myself to see if I think I could even do it – even though, I really have no idea what it’s going to take for sure. I’ve asked a friend of mine (who homeschools her kid) to give me some information, though so far, I’m not sure if it’s helping or not. She also lives in BC, not Alberta, so I’m still searching for resources on homeschooling here in Alberta and how you go about it.

It’s definitely on my mind though…


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Thoughts from the Last 72 Hours


Well, last night’s storm (the first real storm of the season) ended up being absolutely perfect for the first one of the year. It wasn’t so bad that I was freaking out all night about it (though I did stay up about 2 1/2 hours later than everyone else watching the storm) and I was able to keep myself and whichever kid happened to be woken up by the thunder, relatively calm. All in all, I was very impressed with myself.

The only urge that I had all night was to watch those clouds and make sure they didn’t turn into anything horrible. The Weather Network had been posting for a day or two that they were expecting this storm to come in and were getting everyone ready for tornado weather, so I had gone into this storm already paranoid. Luckily, after the first two really big cracks of thunder, the storm was relatively a small one. Lots of lightning, a couple of rumbles of thunder and tons of rain, but the wind wasn’t nearly as bad as they had called for.

Looking through the Weather Network today, it looks like a total of 4 tornadoes did touch down here in Alberta, but only in the south and no one was injured. Looking into the future around the site and their Summer Outlook, it looks like we’re not exactly in for the best season here. It sounds like it’s going to be a lot more of these storms and I can only hope that I deal with them as well as I did last night. We’re still under a severe thunderstorm watch, so we’ll see what happens!

It’s hard to believe that another school year is almost done. In September, we have another kid starting school, only one more to go after that. Kenzie goes to full days, which will be beautiful. Plus, he can walk with Kaeidyn, instead of having to walk with adults. Though, we’ll still be doing the half days with Keirnan…

I’ve been calling around for houses and landed myself a job interview for Monday. The houses part of that sentence is not going as well as one would hope at all. We went to apply for Community Housing, which I was stressing out about way more than was necessary, but because of the amount of kids we have and their guidelines regarding the number of bedrooms we need, they currently have nothing available. I have to call today to find out if their other assistance program will work for us. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep calling all these places that I know we won’t be able to get, for whatever reason. Today, a whole bunch of places a lot like the one I currently live in (but cheaper) came online, so I’ve already called about them.

I’m excited about my interview and cannot wait to go to it. It makes me nervous that it’s still 5 days away, but I figure it gives me more time to prepare. And if I go in there prepared, with the way my resume looks right now, I’m confident that I’ll walk out with something. If not a job, at least a sense of accomplishment (as opposed to failure). Until I get a job though, things are going to be so financially strapped it’s ridiculous. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that we had just gotten everything back on track and it seemed like it was all going to be great…

I need to go see a doctor eventually too. Especially if The Weather Network is right. First of all, I’ve been getting a lot of pain in my legs again. My knees seem to only really be bad at night, but my calves and ankles are always feeling like muscles are being stretched too hard or torn, when I’m not even doing anything. Then, I’ve been getting this horrible nagging pain right at the bottom of my rib cage, sort of where you would imagine the spleen, liver, pancreas, etc. I’ve had pain like this in the past, when I was pregnant with Kaeidyn, but instead of the nagging type of pain it was sudden and sharp. It landed me in the hospital for 4 days, plus every couple of months after that.

The doctor’s at the time had thought that it was a gallstone, but then when I was pregnant with Kenzie and was having the same problem, the doctor wanted to get an ultrasound of my liver, which I never went for. So now, I’m worried that it’s something I should be worried about. Especially being that it’s been happening for so long now. It’s been this dull and nagging constant pain in my upper stomach for over a month now. So it’s probably about time I get it checked.

I’m also seriously considering asking about getting some anti-anxiety meds for these storms. I was talking with The Boyfriend yesterday about my fears about it and the reasons why I am so hesitant to take them. It’s not that I haven’t taken anti-anxiety meds in the past, I have. I know what to expect going into it and that’s kind of the part that has me stressing the most. I just don’t want to be running into my bathroom at the first sight of every storm this summer. I want to be able to be calm in front of the kids, so that they stay calm, and I want to be able to keep myself calm so that if anything were to happen, I could be prepared for it, instead of frazzled and crying.

Well, that’s the things that have been on my mind over the past 48 – 72 hours. Have you been getting any storms where you live? What are your reactions to storms? Do you freak out or do you take them in stride? Are you able to sleep through them or are you like me, constantly checking on it? Leave your comments and let’s share our thoughts on storms!!


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My Day Zero Project – Someday: Back to BC


Ever since moving to Red Deer almost eight years ago (holy man, I can’t believe it’s been that long), I have desperately longed to go back to BC, where I was born and mostly raised.

In my life, I’ve lived in many different places, many different towns and cities and two different provinces. My favorite places were always the ones in BC. The weather is nicer, the grass is greener and the mountains are bigger. The water is less murky, the summer lasts longer and the winter’s are shorter. It’s where I long to call home.

I’m very realistic though and believe that there’s a good chance that Red Deer is where we’ll stay living for the rest of our lives and I’m okay with that. Both The Boyfriend and Alfie were born here in Red Deer and spent the better majority of their lives here. We’ve even been to see all the places The Boyfriend has lived his entire life…

While we did live in Red Deer when I was kid, it was for a year or two tops and I don’t have any super fond memories of Red Deer from when I was kid, except for taking my doll Jasmine to Value Village and playing on the old witch’s hat at Rotary Park – which doesn’t even exist anymore!

I want to take The Boyfriend through Prince George and show him where I went to my first punk show and where I lost my virginity. I want to take the kids to Herald’s Park and Margaret Falls in the Shuswap area.  I want us all to go to Canoe Beach and I want to remember what it was like when I was a kid. I want to make The Boyfriend drive the windy roads up to Williams Lake.

I also want to experience some of the things in BC that I never got to experience. Like visiting Vancouver and going to Stanley Park, or going to Penticton for the Peach Festival – not that I’m particularly fond of peaches, but I’ve only ever heard great things about it.

I want to see people that live in BC that I knew when I was a kid. My ex-boyfriends, my family that still lives there, friends I went to school with. I’d love to see my Grade 7 teacher again and see all my sister’s friends from BC. I want to see what’s changed and what is still the same. And I want to take my family a long with me!

Of course, these are someday things. Not things that I’m going to be working towards any time soon. But one day, someday, I’d like to show The Boyfriend and the kids where I grew up. The places that shaped me. Check out the rest of my Day Zero Project.


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I do not look THAT pregnant!!


Well today wasn’t AS successful as I had hoped it would be, but I did go and get my ID. So two weeks time and I will officially have picture ID, which I plan to be much smarter about when it comes to knowing where it is, so that I don’t have to do this again for awhile…

I got a good majority of my online work done yesterday, so I felt mighty good about that until I started looking back at all the work I had done yesterday, and how much work still needed to be done. And not that it absolutely needs to get done, it’s just that I have a vision and I’m not getting close enough to that vision yet.

I started thinking I need a blogging/website buddy. Someone who can check out the things that I’m working on and give me feedback when I need it and gets my sometimes scattered thinking. Kind of like what I do with The Boyfriend’s blog idea, just a little less involved. Because with him, not only do I give him ideas and edit all of his writing, I also customize the blog and the newsletter. NOTE: All this stuff is still in the works and we’re still not ready to release anything, I was just writing that as an example.

It’s been a mostly lazy day today, which I really have to stop having so many of. But it’s been pretty hot all day today and I don’t have any summer type clothes, so I’ve been sitting in front of my fan for most of the day, except when I went to Mom’s earlier, where I was sitting in front of her fan…

The kids were all relatively good, though thanks to the recent clumsiness and Mama T’s cat, they are all scratched and dinged up. Kenzie has scratches all along his back from falling out of or onto (not really sure…) a tree or maybe from sliding down the ladder off the top bunk of his bed. He also has a bump on his head from the day that he decided to spin around in Kaeidyn’s small room – albeit it was very clean – hit the playhouse and stumbled knocking his head on Kaeidyn’s metal bed frame (Ouch!).

Carter has cat scratches all over his body. From his forehead, to his stomach and his legs, he is so rough with Mama T’s cat, so she gets him really good. The worst part is, I think he likes it. I’ve never heard him cry from a cat scratch, he seems to egg it on and seeks it out, and Nat (that’s the cat’s name), was the first REAL word he said and now says with ease. He’s also added Mom, but he’ll only say that when he’s telling on one of the other kids, Mama – for Grandma –  and Dad, but this is only when he really wants a bottle or something else that he can point at…

Kaeidyn and Keirnan are the least wounded, but theirs seems to be more serious. Kaeidyn had a few mosquito bites (few is a little bit of understatement), so her legs are completely scabbed up. Her knee is still scabbing over, which she scratches off, causing it to scab over again, but it’s looking really good. Keirnan tripped over his own feet today and scraped up his knee rather nicely. So it was a really good thing that the last time we went shopping, I picked up band-aids.

Things between The Boyfriend and I are pretty much going the way the always go, so there’s not much to report on that front. We kind of stay in our own spaces, but somehow it never gets boring and it never gets annoying and it never makes me feel like I’m lonely. There’s only one area of our life that needs improving and I keep begging for it and he keeps making it sound like maybe one day… Minor details at this point.

Work has been kind of hit or miss. Some days, I love my job completely and other days it’s the last place I want to be. They’re going through sort of a transition at work as we look at moving offices, hiring on new people, and going online. I think everyone is just kind of stressed out about the whole thing, so the atmosphere has been stressed and hectic. Some days, it’s exactly what I need and it makes me feel alive. Other days, it just feels like one more thing added to my already over flowing plate.

So that’s pretty much my latest update of all the crap that’s been going on. Oh, I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but I can officially say that I’ve lost 5 pounds, so only 25 more to go before I’m completely satisfied. I got asked for a 2nd time today if I was expecting and all I have to say is, Seriously people, I do not look THAT pregnant!! Stop making assumptions!! So, how’s your week going?


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July 7, 2011 Central Alberta Storm (There’s Videos!!)


I’m hating the weather this summer so far. Have I ever told you how much I despise storms? My greatest fear in life is that I’ll be taken out by a natural disaster. It used to be lightening, then it changed to an unexplained fire, and now it is 100% a tornado.


Near Penhold, Alberta

On Thursday, we had a wicked storm and it was the first time I’ve ever been a part of a city that had a tornado warning that advised you to “take shelter immediately”. The worst part about the entire thing was that The Boyfriend had walked to the store…

So as we normally do when there’s a storm, we go out on the balcony and check out the rain, the lightening, the thunder and really I’m checking to see if I think it looks rough enough to be down in my bathroom! I walk outside and it’s still pretty light out, but I see a father and his daughter underneath of an umbrella. Then I see the Dad point to the sky and then they ran back into the house. Automatically I thought, shit a tornado is coming and I don’t know if The Boyfriend is going to be safe.

Clouds began billowing up into the sky at a speed that I’ve never seen before. The only thing at all that brought me comfort is that there was a plane following the storm and passing through the absolutely wicked clouds. It’s interesting to me how many people, when every information source is telling you to take shelter, will go outside. The street filled with people as my neighbor tells me a tornado has just touched down outside of Innisfail.


Near Penhold, Alberta

Then it starts hailing wickedly. Of course when I first learned of all the tornado warnings, I automatically read up on the internet about disaster preparedness. I knew what to do if there was a tornado, but I wanted some reassurance that I absolutely knew, just in case! Rain is usually not present during a tornado, but hail is. So that set off even more panic as I paced frantically in the living room wondering if I should wake all the kids up to go hide in the bathroom while we waited for The Boyfriend to get back.

By the time The Boyfriend got back, the hail had stopped and the sky behind our house turned a brilliant blue with light fluffy clouds. All I have to say is thank goodness for The Weather Network and @AB_EmergAlert. Because if I wouldn’t of been able to check those two things every few minutes, I’m sure a panic attack would’ve hit.


Near Sundre and Olds, Alberta

So far, no injuries have been reported even though a total of 4 (last I heard) tornadoes touched down in Central Alberta. No idea how many funnel clouds there were, I know of 2 in Red Deer alone. Though I don’t even want to know how many people, who all feel the same way about tornadoes as I do, are still worrying about it.

The last two nights has been pretty windy at night. It seems to be pretty calm during the day, just some cloudy skies. Then we get to night and the wind picks up. Falling asleep has been pretty darn hard, because being defenseless worries me. At least during the day, you can see the storm a-brewing. At night, not so much.

I hope, for my sake and for the others who are scared of storms, that this is the last bad storm of the year. I know it probably won’t happen, but I definitely don’t like when it happens and even more so, I hope that if it does happen, The Boyfriend is at least at home when it does. I also hope that this crappy weather goes away soon, so that I can get a really good nights sleep…

What natural disaster scares you the most? Or are you one of the lucky soles who isn’t really afraid of it? Have you ever witnessed a tornado or other disaster? Let’s talk storms people!