27thDecember

Ahoy, Chickies!

Photo Op!  Here’s the pier in Cozumel, a picture of Cozumel, and a picture of Little Sister and the twins.

7:30 am - I’m sitting here in the semi-darkness waiting for SIL to wake up and FIX ME SOME COFFEE cause I can’t find the coffee maker!  Little brother left for work quite a while ago and everyone is still asleep.  Hold on…I’m going to look for that coffeemaker again…

7:50 - Found the coffeemaker but the coffee is locked up…My nephew has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder and one of the symptoms is a strong and uncontrollable food preoccupation.  We think we have it rough, chickies, but this little one truly can’t stop eating and all the cabinets and fridge have to be locked at bedtime to keep him from getting up in the middle of the night and eating everything.  He’s such a sweetheart…found the coffee maker for me but told me he doesn’t have the combination to the lock on the cabinet so we have to wait until Mommy gets up.

I hope all you girls had a wonderful Christmas and got to spend time with all your loved ones.  Things have been pretty crazy lately.  I did a little blogging on the ship but not much.  Too busy with other things.  Then, when we were due to come back to Mobile on Christmas day, they encountered HEAVY fog.  We were supposed to arrive and start debarking at 7:00 am but the fog was so dense, we didn’t get to dock until 7:30 pm.  So, instead of spending Christmas Day at my brother’s in New Orleans, we spent it partying on the ship.  We didn’t get to New Orleans until almost 11:00.  We visited a few minutes and then went to the hotel.  Since we didn’t get to spend any time together on Christmas, we decided to stay an extra day to have a chance to visit.  It’s only a four hour drive from here to our place in Florida so we’ll head out in a couple hours.

As I said, I didn’t blog much on the cruise but here’s what I did write:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

 

It’s 7:00 and I’m the only one up so far.  We brought our little 4 cup coffeemaker and it’s sitting on the counter perking away.  I’m trying to be real quiet so I won’t wake anyone up.  We should be arriving in Cozumel in a couple of hours.  The last time I was here was about 18 years ago.  It’s going to be interesting to see the changes.

 

Yesterday, I had one of those days of total happiness and contentment.  Increasingly difficult to find these days.  We went to Progreso and spent the day.  They told us to save all of our shopping for Cozumel because the prices and selection are much, much better.  In fact, our “Holiday shopping expert” laughed and called Progreso “an aspiring fishing village”.  Maybe that’s just what I needed…an aspiring fishing village.  It was a sunny 82 degrees with a perfect tropical breeze blowing and we were strolling among the vendors and it occurred to me that I would have been happy to keep the moment forever.  We’d already spent three hours or so at the beach, DH and I had full body massages under a hokey thatched roof on the beach, and we felt relaxed and limber and sun kissed.  Forty-five minute full-body massages -  1 person $20.00 or 2 people $30.00.  Vendors were strolling the beach and one of them brought us a couple of Coronas with lime for $2.00.

I bought two unique little handmade kites for $3.00 each and a bunch of bright colorful fruit at 3 for $1.00.  I love those bright Mexican colors!  I have a huge bag full of beautiful fruit for my kitchen table. I bought a swing chair hammock for $20.00 to throw up on porch of the cabin in Florida and four hand painted maracas for $4.00 for the little grandkiddies.  I didn’t buy anything else.  Just strolled and enjoyed the music floating in the air and the vendors hawking their wares.  Walked along the beach and watched the pelicans diving for fish.  A beautiful little Mexican girl around five or six years old smiled at me from the doorway of a shop and called out, “Merry Christmas!”  As we walked to the plaza to catch the shuttle back to the ship, I realized how much I was enjoying myself and I didn’t want to leave.

 

We left port and headed out to sea and encountered some pretty rough water.  The ship is swaying from side to side.  I’m surprised that the waves are affecting a ship of this size but they are.  They tell me that people are suffering from seasickness all over the ship.  I don’t know…it’s never bothered me.  In fact, I kind of enjoy lurching down the hallways.  Little sister and I went out yesterday evening for drinks and we were walking down the aisle looking for a window booth to watch the sunset and the ship gave a deep roll and her chips went flying through the air as if she’d thrown them like confetti.  We just giggled and plowed on down the walkway.  I was shocked when we went to dinner last night.  The dining room was practically empty and the few people who were there were talking about how many people were seasick.  I noticed that the crew had placed seasick bags at various locations throughout the ship.  We went to bed last night and rocked all night long.

 

While I’ve been writing this, I’ve felt the ship turning and the engine has changed so I assume we’re coming into port in Cozumel.  Later girls!

 

Next Day…

Steven is in love…with Cozumel.  The minute we left the ship, he couldn’t get over how beautiful it was.

 

I did a lot of shopping today.  DH bought me a beautiful Tanzanite pendant on a silver chain and a ring with fire opals.  I bought some gorgeous hand painted Marguerita glasses, a hand-painted parrot on a perch for DIL, etc. etc.  It wasn’t quite as relaxing in Cozumel because it seemed like everyone wanted to go someplace different and we didn’t have a lot of time.  That’s the problem with cruises…you only get to stay in port for a few hours.  Right now, I’m heading to dinner.

 

20thDecember

Up Before the Sun

I’m an early riser.  Woke up coughing and hacking about 5:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep.  The bed was super comfy which is unusual for a hotel room.  Doubled sheeted with a down comforter between the sheets.  I snuggled down for a few minutes but finally gave it up.  Made one of those teeny pots of coffee and sorted the lugguage.  Decided that the Florida clothes don’t need to go on the cruise.  I bagged them up and put them in the trunk so we have more room in the luggage.

DH and Steven are still asleep but Andrew got up a few minutes ago.  Wonder if I can con him into going to the lobby to get a couple BIG cups of coffee?  I read a book on the way down yesterday.  First one I’ve had time to read since Thanksgiving.  Don’t want to start another until we’re on the ship so I guess I’ll check up on some blogs.

19thDecember

Bama or Bust!

It’s 5:30 - obviously, we’re not going to be hitting the road at 4:00.  DH is still packing.  Me?  I’m ready!  Will write this evening from the hotel in Mobile, Alabama!  Have a good one, chickies!

8:00 - Arrived in Mobile at 4:00 this afternoon.  We hit rain and wind all the way to Birmingham and then the sun came out and the temperature jumped up to 78 degrees.  Beautiful weather!  We made good time.  DH drove 2 1/2 hours, I drove 2 hours, DH did another two hours, and I finished up the last three hours.  Little Sister’s staying at a B&B just a couple miles from our hotel.  I talked to her and we’re meeting up in the morning before we embark.  I managed to pack a ton of clothes by opening up the expansion zipper on my suitcase.  So far, I seem to have everything I need.  Don’t think I forgot anything.  Don’t know when I’ll blog again.  I may sign on one day during the cruise.  If not, I’ll blog everyday and post them later. 

Have a fabulous Christmas, girls!

18thDecember

Last day!

This time tomorrow, I hope to be hitting the road.  I feel much better this morning than I did yesterday.  I suffered through the cold symptoms and didn’t take any medicine.  I may be sneezing and stopped up but I’m not lying on the floor this morning.  I have to get through this last easy day at work.  Need to leave a lesson for my sub tomorrow.  Still have some packing to do.  It’s not easy packing for two weeks and three different climates/settings in one suitcase.  I told DH that shoes don’t count.  I need a separate bag for my shoes.  He and the boys still have empty suitcases sitting in the living room looking neglected.  I guess they’ll be going nuts this evening trying to get everything ready.

Gonna try to check in with some of you guys and see what’s going on…

17thDecember

Down the rabbit hole

dizzy, vomiting, passing out…What a nice way to start the day. This cold is really getting the best of me. I was so miserable yesterday evening that I actually went to bed at 7:30. Sometimes, Dayquil can have a really bad affect on me and I took some before I went to bed. Guess I’m a pretty cheap drunk. Two dayquil and I’m falling all over the place.

Going to bed at 7:30 means I woke up at 3:30. I have to make corn casserole for the potluck at school today and I got up and came into the kitchen. Blood pressure bottomed out and, the next thing I knew, I was sitting at the table with my head between my knees trying not to slide out of the chair and under the table. At that point, the nausea hit and I was so dizzy I could barely make it to the bathroom. Nice “good morning” for DH who comes into the bathroom to find me sitting on the floor, hugging the bowl, and dry heaving. He’s never had his blood pressure bottom out and it scares him when it happens to me. Of course, I know I’ll be fine as soon as it passes but he keeps trying to get me to stand up and I’m too dizzy to move. I’m sweaty and pale as a ghost and I just want to hang onto the commode to keep the room from spinning. Then the poor man actually thinks he’s going to carry me. Are you kidding? Lifting from the floor, no less. Why does he have a problem with me sitting on the floor hanging over the commode? I don’t know…maybe he had to pee. Anyway, long story short, I’m okay now. A couple cups of coffee and a couple cigarettes and my blood pressure is up again. Still a little shaky but that’s what cold medicine does to me. Anyone else have this problem?

Been up a couple of hours, fried up 2 pounds of bacon, diced 4 onions and sauteed them, and added ten cans of corn and two cartons of sour cream. I have enough corn casserole for an army. All I have to do now is put it in a crock pot and get ready for work. Today is definitely going to be a comfort day. Scrunched hair, block heeled boots, brown cords, knit top, and a brown denim jacket. Gotta be low maintenance today.

Btw…called Little Sister last night to make sure she got into Mobile and she’s still at home. She decided to wait until today when the weather is better.

4:00 - Home at 4:00 again! Actually, I was home at 3:00. Can you believe it? Dropped the boys off, went to the pharmacy and picked up hormone refills and blood pressure refill, went by the produce market and picked up lots of Satsuma mandarins, comice pears, Sonya apples, Indian River red grapefruit, and fruit gems. Filled four gift bags with fruit, papershell pecans, and fruit gems for friends at work. Did all that and it’s still only 4:00!

Still feel like crap in the cold department but I’m NOT taking anymore cold medicine. Instead, I’m going to start packing. I think warm tropical breezes are just what the doctor ordered. Guess I’ll call little Sister in a while and see if she’s in better weather. Hopefully, she’s almost to Mobile by now.

Making a list, checking it twice, gotta have clothes for naughty and nice…

2 bathing suits
one pair of jammies (suitable for exposure to grandson’s in tiny cabin and brother in New Orleans)
one pair of yellow walking shorts - 1 pair of orange capris - 1 orange and yellow jacket
12 pair of undies
4 bras
2 old pair of jeans, 2 tank tops, 2 old tee shirts for cutting grass in Florida
5 pair of sandals/flip flops, 2 pair of athletic shoes, 2 pair of Barbie’s (red and purple), 1 pair of black heels
1 dressy black pant suit
1 dressy pair of trousers, red blouse, black and red jacket
2 pair of shorts
2 pair of capris
plum jacket
and a partridge in a pear tree.

My suitcase is getting full and I still need some more blouses and tops.  I need another bag for shoes.  Called little sister…she’s spending the night in Montgomery, Alabama.  She’s only 2 1/2 hours from Mobile and didn’t want to push herself so she’s snuggled up in a hotel room.  Says it’s 77 degrees.

16thDecember

Slipping and sliding

4:30 am - Possibility of a snow day today. Of course, I couldn’t sleep. Turned on the TV to see what was going on, made sure we’re open, and then (knowing I’ll never get back to sleep) decided to go ahead and get up. Big difference between yesterday morning and this morning. It started sleeting late yesterday afternoon and the temps have dropped to the low 20s. We have a little ice and we’re pretty much surrounded by snow but Louisville is in a little hole in the storm so we just got a little sleet and rain. Hopefully, we’ll stay clear. We already have to make up a full week of school and I don’t want to make up anymore.

Since I was going to get a manicure and pedicure yesterday evening, I put on a pair of flip flops and a 3/4 sleeve sweater and ran up to Walmart. When I got out, the wind was blowing hard and we were being blasted by sleet and freezing rain. Got a few funny looks sliding around the parking lot in my flip flops and sweater but it was worth it. Didn’t mess up my tootsies.

DH and I hadn’t planned on taking Manny on vacation.  We figured it would be easier to run down in the car but I got to thinking about the drive and the hotel rooms and we kicked around the idea of taking the RV.  Called the port in Mobile and found out that the parking fee is $30.00 per day for an RV.  Don’t think so.  It’s $15.00 per day for a car so I guess we’ll just take my car.  If we took Manny and pulled my car, the parking would be $45 per day.  We also took into account the time of year and the possibility of snow and ice wherever we go.  Driving a car in ice is bad enough but I don’t want to be faced with getting hit by a winter storm and having to drive a 37′ RV in it.  Little Sister heads out today and I don’t like it that she’s going to be driving through some snow and ice.  Hope she gets there okay.

Gonna look hot today, girls!  Wearing a plum and grey striped blouse, grey trousers, a plum colored brocade jacket, and my new plum and black heels.  Guess I could also wear my grey boots but they have a pretty high heel.  Don’t think that’s the way to go on icy walkways.  In fact, I guess I ought to wear a pair of ucky boots until I get in the building.

15thDecember

Pitter Patter

5:00 am - Not the sound of little feet…the rain on the roof. Funky weather: almost 60 degrees outside and raining. I can deal with that. We actually had the same thing yesterday without the rain.

I can’t believe I’m not sitting here racking my brain about how I’m going to deal with what I have to do today because I don’t have anything monumental that has to be done! The current issue of the newsletter is behind me, the craft fair is behind me, the staff party is behind me. I don’t think I’m even scheduled in any classes (except my own) today. That means I can relax and try to deal with the massive stacks of paperwork on my desk. Maybe I can even get a few computers fixed and delivered to teachers. I am soooo glad I’m not involved with the two day potluck that goes on for all staff this week. It’s an annual tradition. Half the staff brings food on Wednesday and we all eat. The other half brings it on Thursday and we all eat and then Friday is leftover day. I’m not worried about that because I won’t be there Friday. I’m taking a personal day and we’ll be on our way to Mobile.

4:00 pm - OMG!  I’m home, it’s only 4:00 and I stopped and bought two pair of shoes before I came home.  I got out the door at 2:30!  Had to run by the bank and deposit the money from the ROTC fundraiser after school and the bank was right next door to Carnival Shoes so I decided to go in and look for some warmer shoes.  I wear pretty dressy shoes but it’s getting pretty cold for Barbies.  Still, I’m not sure I did much better…I bought a pair of plum and black heels with a cutout toe so I wouldn’t really count them as warm.  I also bought a beautiful pair of silver grey boots.  Gorgeous to look at but they have a 3 or 4 inch heel so I don’t know how comfy they’ll be.  Still…I walked around the store for a good 15 minutes in them and they felt okay.  Now - because I’m home so early - I’m going to go get a manicure and pedicure.  I just feel so girlie today!

14thDecember

October Sky

I woke up at 6:00 and went out to the spa. The weather’s weird. It’s a full moon, and the sky is weird. Although it’s cold, it’s not terrible and there was a pretty hefty breeze stirring everything up. I floated around in the spa and watched the black limbs of the trees against a full moon with those stringy clouds racing across the sky. The neighbors had some tree damage from Ike in September and they must have pocketed the insurance money instead of fixing the tree. It has several broken branches way up high and they were creaking and groaning in the breeze. It felt like an October night instead of December. You know the kind. Sat out there until the sky became streaked with vivid oranges and purples and then decided I’d better come in before I gave the neighbors a different kind of full moon.

I’ve had a lot of pressure on me lately. My regular job, plus the staff Christmas party, plus the newsletter, plus the craft fair for ROTC. Now that all that’s behind me, I feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted. I only have one more obligation for school. The booster club asked me to pick up a Christmas present for Sarge and Major. I don’t have a clue what to get them. I said I’d get a sweater but the prez said, “Don’t get that! We usually get them something like a nice pen set or a desk set.” I said I’d look for one and he said, “No, you can’t get that because they already have nice ones that we bought them from before.” (sigh) Anyway, I have NO pressing obligations for school and feel like I can relax a little bit, take care of Christmas for my family, and pack for the cruise.

Christmas shopping…We always get premium triple A memberships for both DS’s. I usually throw in a couple of token gifts as well. Sounds kind of cheesy, I know, but those memberships are not cheap and they use the heck out of them. Grandkids…Of course, the twins gift is the cruise but we’ll have to throw in some spending money. Jake and Scout are getting a Wii for Christmas so we’re getting them a couple of games for it. Holly is always difficult to shop for. She loves clothes but she’s hard to fit and, when I buy her nice things, I never see them again. I don’t know what happens to them. Still, I guess that’s the route to go for her. Ughh…I don’t want to think about it anymore. Maybe I’ll make a list later on today.

Little Sister called yesterday. She’s leaving for Mobile on Tuesday. I don’t like her driving down by herself so soon after her surgery but she says that’s why she wants to go so early. She has a reservation at a Bed and Breakfast just 11 blocks from the pier from Wednesday through Friday. I still wish she’d wait and leave with us on Friday so we could help her with the driving. Our plan is to drive to Mobile on Friday (9 hrs.) and spend the night in a motel. Saturday morning, we drive to the pier and embark. We’ll be on the cruise five days and will arrive back in Mobile Christmas morning. At that point we’ll leave and drive a couple of hours to New Orleans to spend Christmas day with my brother and his family. We’ll leave New Orleans on the 26th and drive to our place in Florida where we’ll spend a week and then head home. Little Sister is going to spend three days in Mobile, go on the cruise, go to New Orleans with us and spend another week or so there before driving home.

Sunday paper is finally here. Let’s see what’s on sale!

5:30 - Baking Challah bread and simmering soup for dinner.  Little Sister told me that she doesn’t want to go  to the formal dining on the cruise.  I’m a little disappointed in that but I can live with it.  DH doesn’t like to dress up when we’re on vacation and has no desire to get in formal dress for dinner when there’s a fantastic buffet where he doesn’t have to worry about what kind of wine to order or what kind of fork to use.  Ditto for the twins.  I figured Little Sister and I would be the only ones sitting at the captain’s table but she says she doesn’t have a formal dress or cocktail dress that fits at the moment and doesn’t want to buy one.  So…I guess I won’t wear (or even take) my new slinkly midnight blue dress with the silver banding on the empire waist and the little bolero jacket that goes with it.  No high heels or sequined shiny brown velvet dress either.  (sigh…)  Probably just as well.  It makes it easier to pack but I can’t help wondering if I’m ever going to get to wear either of these beautiful dresses.

13thDecember

Once upon a December

I was driving home yesterday and snow flurries were swirling all around me. That song by Anastasia “Once upon a December” popped into my head and it’s been there ever since. Love that line, “Horses prance through a silver storm”. I want to prance on out of here and set sail for Mexico. This time next week, we’ll be getting ready to board. I’m going to spend the weekend getting packed because we’re heading for Mobile, Alabama early next Friday morning and I know time will get away from me once Monday morning rolls around. I’m going to get four big suitcases out today and we each get ONE. Another for toiletries and odds and ends. That’s it. The twins wear weird stuff and this will give me a chance to monitor their packing. By “weird stuff” I mean that they don’t really get into clothes. They change clothes at least three times a day but they don’t wear anything except their school clothes (navy shirts, white shirts, light blue shirts, gray shirts, taupe pants, black pants, and navy pants). In fact, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to even get them to wear shorts or jeans. At seventeen years old, you’d think they’d be all over the latest trends but they could care less. If I don’t keep an eye on the packing, they’ll each have 15 pairs of long khaki pants, 15 polos, and 20 pairs of underwear.

Bad news for the graphics department. Yesterday was their deadline for getting the newsletter out and they weren’t able to do it. Not even close. Our principal was NOT happy. They said they needed 7 working days (which is actually pretty ridiculous) and then, after 9 working days, they had to tell her they weren’t going to be able to get it out. Seems like a piece of equipment broke down but she wasn’t very sympathetic because it broke down on the 8th day and it was a piece of equipment that’s involved very early in the printing process so that part should have been done last week. We wound up taking plain white ledger paper, lining up all four sheets on the copy machine, getting a master and then running 2,000 copies. Of course, it looked like we’d taken all four pages, lined them up, and run them through a copier. Not the way we want to showcase our graphics department to the community. At any rate, the newsletters went out yesterday afternoon even though they weren’t what she wanted. It’s really frustrating…why did I write the thing on my own time over the long Thanksgiving weekend? Because I wanted to make sure they got their full 7 days to get it printed. I could have written it on school time and just made copies since that’s what we wound up doing. Principal says we’re going to do something different next time. They’ve had two opportunities to publish the newsletter and have failed miserably both times. Glad my part was done correctly and on time. Wouldn’t want to be in the graphics department.

Mindless rambling this morning….DS made (believe it or not) half a kitchen trash bag full of reindeer poop yesterday evening and I need to bag it all up in sandwich bags, put each sandwich bag in a cute little Christmas bag, and attach a tag. Guess I ought to get busy. I said I’d be at the craft fair at 9:00 to help out and it’s already 7:00.

3:00 - Got to the craft fair at 8:30 and got stuck there until 2:00.  The woman who was supposed to show up at 12:00 to relieve me got there and I was busy.  I was upstairs heating up a bunch of meatballs and, when I came back down about 15 minutes later, the kids told me she left.  What???  They told me her son said he was bored and didn’t want to stay and she said okay and they left.  What is wrong with people?  I swear!  Granted, there were about 5 or 6 kids minding the booth but someone has to supervise them.   So, I stayed till the next parent came in at 2:00.  These are good kids and they’ll pretty much do what you tell them but you have to tell them and watch them.

So, anyway, around 11:00, we’re all getting hungry and we discover that there’s no food at the craft fair.  Oh, there’s homemade fudge, cotton candy, reindeer poop, and homemade cookies but there’s no food.  So I get the bright idea of running around the corner from the school and picking up a couple bags of meatballs at GFS.  170 in a bag for $6.99 and a can of barbecue sauce so we can sell something resembling food.  I run to my room and give the kids a crock pot to set up and then I start heating meatballs and sauce in my microwave.  After I’d heated up about 50 of them, I sent them back to the craft fair and the kids popped them in the crock pot.  I told them to sell them for $.25 each or 5 meatballs for a dollar.  They’re selling faster than I can get them microwaved and then I find out that one of the kiddos misunderstood me and she’s selling them for $.25 each or nine for a dollar!  That’s what I mean about having to keep an eye on them.  Anyway, that’s what I was doing when the other mom showed up for her shift.  I ran to my room to heat up some meatballs, came back about 15 minutes later, and she had left.  Now that I’ve done the craft fair, I know what to expect next year.  I was surprised at how many booths there were and how many people showed up.  You couldn’t find a parking spot in our entire parking lot.  I’ll probably still be working with the ROTC next year and I’m going to suggest we sell food.  Everyone who had a booth was leaving and coming back with McDonalds.  If we could sell plate lunches of a sandwich, chips, and a pickle, we could make a killing.  Hot food would go over even better.  Something to remember for next year.

12thDecember

Hack! Hack!

Feel like a cat with a hair ball this morning. Still, I’m fairly well rested and ready to go earn a couple more dollars.

DGS made a huge bag of Reindeer Poop yesterday evening so I’m taking it to work and they can send some ROTC cadets up to bag it and get it ready for the fundraiser tomorrow. I deliberately tried to avoid saying I’d do everything for this fundraiser and, as a result, no one is quite sure what anyone is doing. I keep getting emails and I just keep saying “I don’t know. My job is to make and bag up Reindeer Poop and make customized clock faces. I’m supposed to be there from 9:00 to 12:00.  Other than that, I don’t know who’s doing what.”

We had 200 shiny silver alarm clocks donated from some company but they don’t have any faces because this company makes customized faces with photos and stuff on them and they discontinued doing it.  You have to take the plastic face off and make the face with the numbers, insert the face, attach the hands over the picture of the numbers, and then reattach the plastic face. Now they’re asking if I can cut all the faces out and attach them. Nope. Sorry! I think making all the damn faces on the computer and printing them all out on photo paper, making 5 gallons of Reindeer Poop, and working the fair from 9 to 12 is more than enough. Still, I guess it’s in my nature to worry about things like this. It’s very difficult for me to step back and make someone else organize everything. I feel like I should say, “Send me ten kids, they can assemble the clocks. I’ll be there at 7:30 to set everything up. I’ll go to the bank and get change and I’ll cover the booth from 9:00 to 4:00.” I’ve gotten about 8 to 10 emails since yesterday asking how things are going to be done and who’s doing what.  I’m not going to fall for it. I’ve done more than my share and someone else can do the rest.  Kind of proud of myself actually… ;-)

11thDecember

Ugghh!

7:15 - I feel like crap. Started feeling bad yesterday. Coughing and sneezing. Aching. My arm is still hurting. I’m supposed to be at an all day training today so I had to make arrangements for my students. Got home around 6:30 yesterday evening and just plain crashed. DS made and brought me dinner and I just took some cold medicine, curled up in bed and slept. I did a lot of coughing and tossing and turning and I rolled over once and let out a shriek from the arm. That clinched it. I woke up this morning and decided that I have to go to the doctor. My students are taken care of, I wasn’t planning on being in the building today anyway, and I’d better take advantage of it and see what’s wrong with my arm. DS got the twins off to school and I just woke up. Now that I’ve decided to go, I wish the doctor’s office would hurry up and open but they don’t get there till 9:00.

8:58 - Okay, so I sat here and slurped enough coffee to get rid of the Nyquil hangover. I just tried the doctor’s office and the recording is still on. At least, I got to catch up with some of you chickies in the last couple of hours.

Thank you for calling our office. Our office is located at….our office hours are…..we will be offering a flu shot clinic on ….if you are a physician, please press 1, if you want to speak to billing, please press 2, if you are a pharmacy, please press 3, for directions to the office, please press 4, to schedule surgery, please press 5, to make an appointment, please press 6…If you are a patient of doctor A, press 1, if you are a patient of doctor B, press 2, if you are a patient of doctor C, press 3, if you are a patient of doctor D, press 4. To speak with Dr. D’s nurse, please press 1, to make an appointment with Dr. D, please press 2. We are currently assisting other patients at this time. Please stay on the line and we will be with you shortly….”jingle bells, jungle bells, jingle all the way”…Thank you for holding, please stay on the line and we will be with you shortly…..”Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ay!” Thank you for holding, please stay on the line and we will be with you shortly…”jingle bells, jingle bells”….ring, ring, “Hi, you have reached Wendy, Dr. D’s receptionist. I’m not at my desk at this time but you may leave a voice message and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you!

Crap! Now I remember why I put this off so long…

2:15 - Home again. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. The doctor’s office called me back around 10:30 and told me to come in at 12:45. I was in by 1:00 and out by 1:30. Not bad. The cold is just that…a cold. He did a throat culture but says it doesn’t look that bad. Recommended rest and fluids and gave me a prescription for cough syrup which will most likely hit the round file. The arm was my main concern and I’m happy with the news. He says it’s a strain. As I understand it, the difference between a strain and a sprain is that there is no injury to the ligaments with a strain, just the muscle itself. He says it should heal pretty quickly if I STOP LIFTING STUFF! Heat, over the counter pain reliever, and rest should take care of it within a week or so. I told him I’m leaving on vacation in eight days and he says it should be fine by then. I PROMISE not to lift or carry anything on my right arm for the next week.

Now…I’m tired and I’m going back to bed for a while.  Btw…they made me weigh in.  168…It’s slowly creeping up…Cover my ears and sing “la, la,la,la,la”.  Not now…after the holidays…

10thDecember

Next on the agenda

Okay, the party’s done.  Now I can deal with the next crisis.  Gotta be in classes all day today.  Not only that, but I’m supposed to be at a photo shoot at 10:00 presenting a check to the Brain Injury Foundation from our ROTC.  We know there will be a photographer but there may also be a TV news crew.  I hope not.  Anyway, I’d better dress and look nice.  I’m hoping to be able to get out of school around 1:00 so I can go to the doctor.  Don’t know if I can work that out or not.  I’m mulling over the schedule.  7:40 to 8:40 Mr. Crume’s class, 8:45 to 9:50 and 9:55 to 10:55 my own classes (gotta get someone to cover them for the press thing.  Hope it doesn’t take long) 11:00 to 2:20 back in Crume’s class.  Hopefully, after I’ve done the lesson with this kids a couple of times, he can do the last session by himself so I can get to the doctor.

I’ve got to be out of the building all day tomorrow for a training session so I know I can’t get anything done at school tomorrow.

The next BIG crisis is this Saturday when I have to do a booth at the Craft Fair for ROTC.  We’re selling clocks and reindeer poop and having a bake sale.  Far as I know, no one has done much of anything to get ready and I have to get on it or we won’t have anything to sell.

Another day…here we go - Run, Run, Patty!  (to the tune of Run, Run Rudolph)

Run, run Patty!
Santa’s got to make it to town!
Santa make her hurry
Tell her she can take the freeway down!
Run. run Patty!
‘Cause I’m reelin’ like a merry go round.

You Cruise in 11 Days!
Pat,
We can’t wait to welcome you aboard your “Fun Ship”:
HOLIDAY
WESTERN CARIBBEAN 12/20/2008

and the weather in Cozumel?

High today of 84 and a low tonight of 75. I’m lovin it.

That’s the good news. The bad news is reflected in the headlines of today’s paper:

Jefferson County School’s Budget Crunch: Commissioner: “4% cut may devastate schools” I don’t know how they can cut much more. Guess that’s why the principal is trying to give a holiday celebration for 175 people with $400.00. Looks like lots of jobs will be cut in our school system. The paper says they’re going to ban private microwaves, refrigerators, and personal computers and electronics. Well, Hey!, Why not do away with the whole damn lunch break. It’s only 20 minutes anyway. tsk tsk…don’t get me started.

Anyway, it’s going to be a busy day for me. I’ve got to get through today and then I’ll probably take a sick day tomorrow. My arm is really hurting. I’m going to make an appointment for tomorrow. Probably nothing they can do anyway. Just have to wait it out. Right now, I’m headed to the showers.

12:52 - I am soooo busy I can’t even find time to go to the bathroom and yet, here I am, babysitting another teacher’s classroom while she’s being interviewed by the scholastic audit team. I got pulled at the last minute and didn’t have time to grab the stuff I was working on so I’m sitting here on the computer while her kids are doing math problems. It’s a quiz, too, so I can’t even help them with it. Another 15 minutes or so and I should be able to go. It’s frustrating to be so busy and then get grabbed for something like this. The party is in a couple of hours and I have a lot to do to finish getting ready. I know the kids come first but I don’t think anyone realizes how much work is involved it putting together a celebration for a couple hundred staff members. It may not seem important but the principal wants everything just right and I’ll be one of the culprits if it isn’t. (sigh) (twiddling my thumbs and resting my buns….)

7:00 pm - Whew! Party’s over. Everything was crazy (crazier than I expected) but we got it done. I wound up being stuck in another teacher’s classroom until 1:15 and the party started at 2:30. Ran upstairs in panic mode and found that DS had things pretty much under control but he needed to leave to go pick up the chicken wings. I think he did pretty well with the budget he had. He prepared 500 finger sandwiches (if you consider a finger sandwich to be on a 3 x 3 bun) of ham and turkey. Had two large cheese platters with american slices, cheddar, pepper jack, swiss, and cojack. There were 400 meatballs in sweet and savory sauce. We had 400 chicken wings and sauces to go with them. There were two large veggie platters with dip, brownies, cake, peanut butter cookies, lemon squares, magic cookie bars, and six punch bowls full of punch. Oh yeah, coffee, too. That’s what ya get for $400.00 for almost 200 people.

Anyway, DS left to get the chicken wings and Phyllisann and I were running around trying to set up. She realizes that she didn’t get tablecloths.(sp?) Someone was supposed to bring white linen tableclothes and the communication got mixed up and we didn’t have any. I had six of those big white plastic disposable clothes so we used them. Then Phyllisann runs across the hall and puts on her elf costume, complete with ugly little elf boots made of felt, runs back to the library, stubs her little toe and breaks it. Sharon ran to the office for surgical tape and we got her to sit down (she was crying, partly in pain but mostly because she’s been training for a big run that’s coming up) and I shoved her toe back the best that I could and taped it. It looked just like mine did when I broke it last spring. Sticking right out the side at a 90 degree angle. Ouch! So…Poor little Phyllisann is making the best of it hobbling around and I’m trying to take up the slack and get everything going. DS gets back with the wings and I go down to the cafeteria to get the sherbet for the punch and find it all locked up. Not a huge disaster but it took a few minutes (that we didn’t have) to find a custodian and get the cafeteria open. By now, the bell is ringing and we’re trying to mush up frozen sherbet with a plastic utensil and it’s frozen like a brick. We manage to get one bowl of punch made, take it out to the main room and I’m shocked to see tons of people dishing up and socializing. One tray of chicken wings was already empty and I grabbed it and went back to where DS was and refilled it. Ran back out with it and they asked if we had any more punch because the entire punchbowl is already empty. DS is trying to chip away at the damn sherbet and I’m pouring ginger ale and crushed pineapple over it and we got another bowl made and I ran it out. By then, we needed refills on meatballs and another tray of sandwiches. I’m running like crazy and one of the APs is ready to read my poem. Of course, we put together a little skit to go with the poem and I’m trying to gather all my little grinches (12 of them) and get them out in the hall for our grand entrance. We all have grinch hats and strange attire. I had a red long sleeved Christmas tee shirt with garland all over it, white capris with silver bands on the hemline, red and white striped socks that have Christmas trees on the ankles that are sound activated and light up and blink, and black Mary Janes. Of course, I also had my grinch hat. We run in the library acting up and butt butting each other and causing all kinds of mischief until the poem is over. Santa runs in and people are laughing and socializing and sitting on Santa’s lap and having a grand old time. We had a fun version of musical chairs, a grinch quiz, karaoke, and Christmas speed wrap. Everything was just a blur to me. I was running empty platters to the back, filling them up and bringing more out. Spent a lot of time chipping away at sherbet and judging games and picking up as we went along. I never did get to sit down and eat or socialize. Things wound down around 4:00 and we’re looking around the library and going , “Oh, Sh*t! The middle school has open house at 6:00!” Essentially, Phyllisann (broken toe and all), DS, and I were left to clean up after everyone. I didn’t wash all the platters and dishes. Rinsed them all out and stacked them on the counter in the back room. There are about 20 dirty platters, 6 punchbowls, serving ware out the wha hoo, 3 cruddy uddy crock pots, and a huge stack of serving bowls waiting for me in the morning. At least, we got everything picked up and restored some semblance of order to the library before we left just before 5:30. I had to run DS home because his car is acting up so I said I would take him home. I finally got home just a few minutes ago. Phyllisann called and said she just left the immediate care center and the doctor said I did a good job taping up her toe. Guess my experience last spring came in handy.

I’m exhausted. All I want to do is crawl up on the couch and watch some mindless TV. Ahhhh…ten more days and someone is going to be taking care of ME!

Owwww!  My arm hurts!  I slept with an ace bandage and heating pad on it and it still hurts.  What I’d give to be able to call in sick today.  Can’t though…Way too much going on.  The party is tomorrow and I’ve got a million things to do.  Gotta get my grinches today and make sure they understand their roles, have to find tablecloths and dishes and get decorations in order.  Oh yeah, gotta teach a few kids a thing or two.

One thing’s for sure.  I’m dressing for comfort.  Tennies, jeans, and a denim jacket.  I’d wear my jammies if I could.

Can’t go to bed until I get a quick play of my favorite Christmas video of all time.  It’s an oldie but a goodie.  If you haven’t seen it, check out White Christmas at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooc5eJc5SHA

I found this one today and I’d love to do this…It would be really easy but I don’t think I have time to pull it together this year.  Maybe one of you party girls can do it.  Me?  Guess I’ll have to wait till next year cause our party is Tuesday afternoon and I don’t have time to put it together and rehearse.  Still…I love this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68f52LVwvHQ

7thDecember

Yucky Sunday!

Lot’s of cleaning going on today.  All the gross stuff.  Already scrubbed all the gray crud out of the sinks and tub from the water backing up.  DH had to rent a snake to clear it and found a bunch of paper towels blocking the line.  Who the Hell put paper towels down the toilet?????

While I was scrubbing, I decided to do the old “on my hands and knees with an old toothbrush” cleaning of the bathroom floor and then I decided to scrub all the walls in the hall, etc. etc.  DS is sitting on his lazy butt and had the audacity to say, “Why are you doing Christmas cleaning?  You won’t even be in the country for Christmas?”  Kind of hit me sideways because most of the scrubbing I’m doing is from him, his kids, his girlfriend, and her ratty little dog.  So…I told him to get off his butt and start washing windows and walls. 

DH is doing more car stuff today.  He had to go get some parts for his car and said he’ll probably be gone most of the day.  I don’t like being stuck here.  It’s not like I really have to go anywhere but I’m beginning to feel trapped just because I don’t have my car.  He needed it Friday, needed it Saturday, and needs it today. 

Enough of this…I have dirty carpets to clean.

9:30 pm - My windows are clean.  My walls are clean (at least most of them are clean).  The downstairs carpets are clean.  Every square inch of the bathroom is sparkling, half the kitchen is immaculate, and six loads of laundry are washed, dryed, folded, and put away.  I’m done.  I’ve hurt my arm again.  Damn!  Got that tennis elbow two or three months ago and I keep re-injuring it.  Got it all wrapped in an ace bandage and I’m hitting the bed.  I know it’s early but I’m shot.

G’night, girls!

2:30 - What have I done today? Got a haircut. That’s it. (well… and my brows and legs waxed) Word of advice, do not go out there today! It’s a madhouse! I’ve spent all day sitting in traffic.

I wanted to get a haircut yesterday afternoon but DH wanted to use my car. He bought one (finally) but it needs a few things so he confiscated my car after I got home yesterday. He’s doing some kind of brake thing on his car and has it jacked up with the tire off. So, I didn’t get my haircut yesterday. I was sweet. “No problem, Baby, I can get my hair cut tomorrow.”

First thing this morning, he says, “I know you want a haircut but I still need to use your car today. Do you think you can do it first thing?”

“Well,” I say, “I wanted to go to that school and you know I’m going to have to wait. Is that going to be a problem?”

“Nah…not a problem.”

So, I get showered and dressed and head out the door at 9:00. The school is about 8 miles or so and I get halfway there and come upon a terrible accident. Firetrucks are blocking the road, a car is completely upside down in the middle of the road, and two people are on the side of the road with a dozen rescue personnel working on them. Of course, there’s nowhere to go. We can’t go forward and the traffic behind me makes it impossible for me to back up or turn around so I’m forced to sit there watching this horrible tragedy unfold for almost 30 minutes before they clear an area where we can back up, turn around, and detour. So sad. I hope no one died but it was a terrible wreck.

Of course, once I finally got headed down the detour, it was gridlocked and it took me forever to cover the remaining four miles. I called DH and told him even though it had been more than an hour, I’d just gotten to the school and asked him if he was still okay with the time. He sounded a little iffy but said it would be fine so I went in and got a ticket. They told me the wait would be about an hour and a half so I started writing a poem to introduce the grinches at the Christmas party. After a few stanzas, I got bored and started looking at the services offered at the school. Hmmm…brow waxing $7.00, leg waxing $20.00, full body massage $45.00, rejuvenating back treatment, (half price special this month!) $15.00. I went up to the counter and asked the receptionist if I could make appointments for the leg waxing and she said they could go ahead and do it right then while I was waiting for a hair stylist to become available. Sounded good to me so I told them to go ahead. OMG! Talk about luxury. The leg waxing was gentle and thorough and accompanied by a good twenty minutes of leg and foot massage in a dim, relaxing room with soft music playing and aromatherapy. I finished up just in time for a haircut and blow dry and left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The feeling didn’t last too long, however, because there must have been another wreck and traffic was gridlocked with the road closed at a different point than the previous accident. I was only about 3 miles from home so I figured it wouldn’t be too bad but it was. DH was calling and wanting to know what was going on and I told him I was sitting in traffic and I shouldn’t be much longer. 30 minutes later, he’s calling again and I’m still sitting in traffic that’s inching along and still a mile from the turnoff for home. I finally got here and he’s aggravated and frustrated and met me at the door with his hand out for the keys. Didn’t tell him about the leg waxing and massage. Even though it didn’t interfere at all with the time, I have a feeling he won’t see it that way.

Okay: Here’s what I’ve got so far. Gotta finish this thing up but I don’t feel like writing cutesy poetry at the moment.

Twas the eve of trimester
and all through the school
the staff were all working
like nobody’s fool.

They were grading and teaching
and making phone calls
typing and filing
and watching the halls.

Run ragged they were
but they worked with a grin
for they knew, before long,
Winter Break would begin.

They smiled as they worked
and showed not a care
unaware of the mischief
that lurked in the air.

The grinches, you see,
were lying in wait:
Bitter and nasty
and mean as a snake.

One grinch, then another,
three grinches, then four,
five grinches, six grinches,
more grinches and MORE!

Those grinches brought chaos
and snickers and sneers:
No IDs, no passes,
just backtalk and leers.

They ran down the halls
with hollers and rants
no belts, shirts a flappin
and big saggy pants.

The staff were all harried,
exhausted and stressed,
Then, in came Ms. Lete
to clean up the mess.

“You grinches,” she scolded,
“will not run this school
You think you’re so cute but
I’m nobody’s fool!

“Get into my office
Get in there, I say!
You’re going to stop this
Ms. Lete don’t play!”

The head grinch stepped forward
his head in a bow,
“We’re sorry, Ms. Lete,
We’ll end it right now!”

“We’re not really bad
just kids, don’t you see
We just want a party
with laughter and glee.”

“A party?” said Lete,
“What nonsense is this?
Perhaps for my staff
but not for you kids!”

“Language arts, math, and science:
That’s what we do here!
There will be no parties!
The rules are quite clear!”

“The grinches stood silent
their heads hanging down,
and with a deep sigh,
they all turned around.”

And there, on their shirts,
bold as could be,
Proficient! Distinguished!
Right there on their Tees!

And what happened then?
Well, the mustangs, they say
that Lete’s small heart
grew five sizes that day.

“Wait, grinches!” said Lete,
There might be a way…
We could all celebrate
at the END of the day!”

And the minute her heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
Lete whizzed through her work through the bright morning light
And she brought back the games, and the food for the feast!
And she…

…SHE HERSELF…!
Ms. Lete served the roast beast!

Okay…that’s where I stopped. I’m writing this to introduce the twelve of us who will be facilitating the party. Dishing up food, leading games and activities, and judging. I thought we’d jump up and put on our grinch hats as the sixth stanza is read. I want the principal (Ms. Lete) to scold, maybe threaten to call parents or whatever and force us to set up a holiday celebration as a penance for our foul deeds. Feel free to edit and add. As for me, I’m going to do laundry.

Oh, Wow! I just called the school to check out what was included with the rejuvenating back treatment that’s half price this month. Figured if it included a massage (which it does) that I might get one for DH. Found out that they sell gift cards for Christmas and you get 50% off anything that’s done using a gift card. So, essentially, a $50.00 gift card can be used for $100.00 worth of services. Cool! I’ve been really happy with this place and they offer facials, clinical treatments, chemical resurfacing, all kinds of massages, endermologie (whatever that is) paraffin treatments, pedicures, manicures, eye treatments, makeup application and lessons, hair cuts, perms, coloring, etc. What a great Christmas gift!

5:00 pm - Crap! DH is out there working on his car in the freezing cold (27 degrees) and snow and I know he’s miserable. I’m doing laundry and the sink, toilet, and tub just started gurgling and backing up with icky gray water. Sh*t! I’d better plan something really good for dinner. Poor baby! He is not going to be happy.

7:40 - Been running in here in between jobs and jotting down a line or two in the poem when I think of something.  Done!

5thDecember

Reindeer Poop

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Crispix cereal (I’ve had trouble finding this so I’ve used 3 cups of rice chex and 3 cups of corn chex)
2 cups powdered sugar

Microwave chocolate and oil on high 1 1/2 minutes or until melted.

Stir in peanut butter.

Pour over cereal and stir gently to coat.

Place powdered sugar in gallon sized plastic bag.

Add coated cereal and shake bag gently until all cereal is coated.

Refrigerate in air tight container.

5thDecember

19 degrees

That’s way too cold for this time of year. We’ve had a lot of cold weather for the last two or three weeks. More than usual. The chilly weather makes it difficult to roll out of bed in the mornings. At least today is Friday and that makes it a little bit easier to swallow. I’d soak in the spa but my skin is already dry and itchy and the chlorine is pretty high right now so I’d better stay in.

I was so tired last night I collapsed in bed with big old earrings on and woke up with impressions of beads on the side of my face. Can’t believe I fell asleep with those things on. Guess I’d better get ready for work. My feet are whining, “Can we wear tennies, today? Huh? Please?” I think that’s a good idea.

Just noted on the updated blogs that we have “Downloading Porn with Davo” and “Animal Porn for Free”. Get a grip! We’re trying to lose weight here, okay???? Take the porn to My Space or Tagged and leave us alone.

6:40 am - Uh Oh…I’m picturing this short, round robot with flashing red lights saying, “Warning, Will Robinson! Warning! Your jeans are too tight! Muffin top! Muffin top! Warning! Warning!”

4:30 - Just got home and ripped off those jeans. Ahhhh…sooo much better. Felt like I needed to warn everyone to stand to the side today in case a button came flying off my waistband and shot across the room. Don’t want to put anybody’s eye out.

Spent most of the day working on the staff holiday party. I made arrangements for a karaoke machine, (courtesy of one of our teachers) and got a committment from some of the more rowdy staff members to do their thing with “Santa, Baby”, “Barking dogs”, and the good old “Grandpa got run over by a Reindeer.” Bought a Santa suit (only $40.00, I couldn’t rent one for that!) and lined up the perfect person to play Santa. Phyllisann made up letters with “wish lists” where staff can choose a wish and Santa will grant it as long as they’re willing to grant a wish for someone else. Typical choices are a weekly hug, a bimonthly lunch, up to 150 copies made each week, a weekly mail pickup, etc. I thought of a game that I’ll call “Christmas Speed Wrap” where I’m going to let four teams with four members each do a gift wrapping race. They have to wrap with one arm behind their backs and work together to wrap a box full of presents. In the boxes, I’m putting a basketball, a bat, and an item with lots of sharp corners. Rules are that they have to completely cover the items, they can only have 18 inches of tape and one pair of scissors, they have to attach a gift tag with their names on it, and they have to use ribbon and make a bow. We’ll have 12 “grinches” complete with grinch hats who will facilitate the karaoke, assist Santa, and judge the speed wrap. Prizes will be Reindeer Poop, recipe above, and the poinsettia centerpieces. Guess that will teach the new principal to ask me to assist with an “elegant party with finger foods and beautiful decorations.” Guess she don’t know me, does she? Just cause I try to dress nice everyday doesn’t mean I have any class. If I had the clothes, I’d tease my hair, put on some fake eyelashes and lots of glittery green eyeshadow, stuff my bra and slip on a pair of tight black pants with red stillettos and be Santa’s “helper”. Actually, I might look around this weekend and see if that’s doable. There are a lot of other females who would probably be better at it, but they’re probably not as nervy as I am and I can’t think of anyone to ask. I’m awfully short and round to try to pull it off but that might actually be better if you’re going for laughs.

Enough…I’m tired and my brain is fried. Let me get the Reindeer Poop recipe written.


Set up my coffeepot last night but forgot to push the “auto” button. So now I have to sit here and wait for it to brew. Hurry up! I was up way too late last night and I’m paying for it this morning. Why did I stay up till 11:30? I had so much taking up space in my head, I didn’t get to sleep until around 12:30. The alarm went off at 5:00 and I hit the snooze button twice this morning. Having said that…no time to blog.

Thinking about the cruise.  See my picture with Leonardo?  I think he’s waiting for me on the bow of the “Holiday”.