A glass of wine, a clawfoot tub and a warm, moonless night.

I’m up.  Relaxing with my coffee and looking out the window at Walmart, Greek Guru, Francia’s Beauty Salon, and Baskin Robbins.  Thanks, Baskin Robbins, for the free wifi!

I’ve got to do a little housecleaning and then we can hit the road.  The difference with RV house cleaning is that it only takes about 30 minutes and everything is done!  The weather seems to be the same no matter what city I look up.  It’s raining here with a forecast of thunderstorms and 65 degrees.  Same forecast for Atlanta with a high of 67 and the same thing for our place in Madison with a high of 77.  Hmmm…think I’ll take Madison.

27thMarch

Uncle!

I give up.  I’m saying “Uncle!”  I’ve decided to talk to the 7th grade counselor today and see if I can get a couple of the wild ones taken out of my class.  Yesterday was a total fiasco and I came home totally exhausted and stressed out.  This is the first time in my career that I’ve had to call it quits with a class and try to get kids taken out of it.  I’m getting some consolation from the fact that I had seven kids added to my class more than two weeks after the trimester started because their other teachers couldn’t deal with them.  Still, it has the taste of defeat.  I spent the entire period yesterday dealing with one act of stupidity after another.  To top it off, I had decided to just let them make posters about internet safety.  I mean, really, how bad can it get when all they have to do is sit at the table and draw on posterboard?

“Keep your hands to yourself, don’t touch her!”
“DO NOT break all the crayons!”
“Get OFF the floor and out from under the table!”

It was a constant stream of:

“He took my pencil!”
She called me a fag!”
“He tore my poster!”
“He STINKS!  I don’t want to sit by him!”
“She called me a “HO”!
“Why do we have to do this?”
“Oh GROSS!  He FARTED!”

By the time they left, I felt like I’d been run over by a herd of cattle.  Write it down.  March 27th, 2009, Mrs. R gives up.  I want some of these ankle biters removed from my class.  Now. Today!

On a lighter note, I just have to make it one more day.  DH is in bed.  He called in sick.  I suspect he’s not sick after all but just wanting to get things in order today because the twins announced that they want to go with us and we had already decided not to take the RV so he probably needs to get it ready.  I’ll probably be calling him all day to tell him to get stuff because I was so whipped yesterday evening I didn’t do a thing to get packed.

4:20 - Whoo Hooo!  I am so outa here!  The school was totally out of control today.  More fights than I’ve ever seen.  It was so bad they made an announcement that we were not to let kids out of class for any reason.  Surprisingly, my students were good today.  Of course, J and Brassy were both absent today and they’re the worst of the bunch.  Without them, the rest of the group were pretty good.  Even so, I’m ready for a break.

Thanks for all the good wishes, chickies!  I’m off to Florida to ride the lawnmower with an MP3 glued to my head.  Can’t get the internet down in the boonies but I’ll probably go uptown and log in at least a couple of times.  Have a WONDERFUL week!  I know I will!

10:30 - Pulled over for the night in a Walmart parking lot just a few miles before Chattanooga.  We’re right next to a Greek restaurant.  DH walked over and got me a cup of strong Greek coffee and a piece of baklava.  Heaven!

It was a pretty drive through the mountains.  Lots of waterfalls, red buds, and magnolias.  We saw some yellow magnolias in bloom that were breathtaking.  I’ve gotta get one of those!  The boys are having fun in Wally World and DH has raised the satellite and is watching the U of L game.  I picked up a wireless signal from a nearby Panera.  Really…we’re so spoiled!

The end is in sight!  Today and tomorrow and then I can rest.  Yesterday became a nightmare of running, stress, and high blood pressure.  I was going a hundred miles an hour all day long.

I HAD to go to the bank yesterday.  Major gave me the money from the awards banquet Monday morning and it contained $800.00 cash.  School is not a good place to have a bunch of cash but the bank the Booster Club uses closes at 4:00 and I haven’t been able to get there.  I had a few minutes yesterday and asked if I could run to the bank and make a deposit.  Got there and it took forever.  I was really getting stressed.  Looking at the clock in the bank and telling the cashier I had a class full of kids due in twelve minutes.  She seemed to take forever and then I raced back to school with my heart pounding and got back one minute before the kids.  They were absolutely WILD yesterday. The closer it gets to spring break, the more they’re bouncing off the walls.  I finally got so angry I gave them some worksheets, told them I didn’t want to hear ONE word and I wanted the worksheets on my desk by the time the bell rang.

“Mrs. R., can you show me how to do this?”
“No!  You weren’t interested when I was trying to explain it and I’m DONE.
“Would you come over here and help us?”
“No!  What part of I don’t want to hear a single word don’t you understand?
” We don’t know what we’re supposed to do.  Please…”
“Close your mouths and do your work!  I told you I’m done!  You can figure it out for yourself!”

You could hear a pin drop the rest of the period.  I was ready to beat them with a stick and they knew it!   After class ended, I had to stay after school to work with  fourteen kids who are failing math.  They were wired, too, but it didn’t get in the way of what we had to do.

I raced home, phone ringing on the way, and DH saying, “Rick and Pam are on their way over so we can go out to dinner.  How much longer are you going to be?”  I walked in the door and they were sitting at the kitchen table.  Phone rang again and it was my dear friend, Elsie, who’s working with a home-schooled kid (recovering from surgery) and she can’t get his computer to connect to the internet so I’m trying to talk her through it but couldn’t make it work.  I finally told her I’d get with her today to figure out what was wrong.  We went to dinner (healthy vegetarian restaurant with no alcoholic beverages) and I really could have used a drink.

I finally got back home at almost 8:00, watched American Idol, and hit the bed.

Light….light….I see a light…..

9:20 - “T” is back!

25thMarch

Never enough time

Today: work, teach ESS after school until 4:30, meet friends for dinner.  Looks like there isn’t going to be a whole lot of extra time today.  I’ll be running from 6:30 to 7:00 or 8:00. the next 15 or 20 minutes is probably going to be all the down time I have.  I know I should look at dinner with friends as a relaxation but even that seems like it’s too demanding.  I can’t wait until Friday when I can get away for a few days.

On the school front:  the training didn’t go well yesterday.  I don’t know why but we only had around twenty teachers show up.  That’s really unusual.  Seems like everyone is just so busy.  As a result, I have 1 1/2 cakes here that I need to get rid of.  Guess I’ll take them to school and treat my students.  Speaking of my students, I haven’t seen T for a week and a half.  He was suspended for six days for fighting and the AP told me they were going to send him to an “alternative” school for kids with major discipline problems.  I hope not.  I hope he comes back.  His suspension should have been up Monday but he didn’t come back to school.  I tried to call him but got a disconnect on the phone.  I’m going to ask around today and see if I can come up with another phone number or find out if he’s been transferred.

As for my wild and crazy class, they’re beginning to settle down a bit.  I’ve developed a rapport with almost all of them except Brassy.  She’s still loud and disruptive.  She keeps trying to play me and then gets mad when I won’t let her do what she wants.  Yesterday, she was all smiles and told me my hair was “sooooo cute” and then asked if she could go to her locker.  I told her no and she got mad and kept baiting me and bothering the rest of the class the entire period.  Surprisingly, when I said, “Okay, that’s it.  Let’s call home and talk to Mom.” she promised to behave and did a much better job.  Guess I’m going to have to keep in touch with Mom.  That may be the answer.

Now all my free time is used up and I have to hit the shower and start running the race.  Later…

More hoops to jump through today.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes.  Let’s just take care of today.

I baked a cinnamon brown sugar coffee cake and two yellow cakes that I’ll doctor up for the training session today.  I lightened up one of them quite a bit.  Used a reduced sugar yellow cake mix and substituted applesauce for the oil.  I’m going to glaze it with thinned down sugar free strawberry jam.  The final topping on each slice will be a hefty spoonful of mashed strawberries, fat-free sour cream, and cool whip with a slice of strawberry on top.  Should be pretty good stuff with very few calories.  I didn’t figure up how many but I know from past experience that it’s not too many.

Guess I could have bitten the bullet and lightened up the punch but I didn’t think of it when I bought the ginger ale and sherbet.  Even if I’d gotten sugar free ginger ale, there’s not a lot you can do to lighten up sherbet.  You get what you get.

Okay, Chickies, I’m off to the showers!

23rdMarch

Fifty four degrees

Nice to wake up and find it 54 degrees. I went outside to get the paper and felt like I should just keep walking. Pajamas and all.

I’ve got to keep on doing what I do for another five days and then I get a break. I know we’re planning to do a lot of work down in Florida but just getting a change for a few days will be nice. Getting to sleep in and spend some time with DH. The boys are flip flopping on the trip. We don’t want to go. We do want to go. We’re not going but we might change our minds…. I don’t care either way but it might be nice for DH and I to have the place to ourselves. Even though the boys are not much trouble, we still have to consider their needs. If it’s just DH and I, it’s a lot more relaxing and I don’t have to worry about what they’ll eat, making up beds for them, or picking up after them.

So it’s Monday. Guess I’ll do my best to get through the day and then come home and bake a few big coffee cakes for my teacher training tomorrow. I present monthly trainings called Coffee Cake Sessions where I bake some coffee cake, make a pot of coffee, and invite teachers to come up to the library during their planning period or lunch period to learn about some kind of technology thingie. This month, I’m presenting PD360 for them and showing how it works. It’s an online Professional Development site that our district purchased rights to and has all kinds of training segments from classroom management to increasing the rigor in classroom lessons. Great site. Hope they enjoy taking a tour of it. My coffee cake sessions are usually pretty popular and I’ll have 60 or 70 teachers come. You know my motto: Feed them and they will come.

5:30 - Home again.  Meatloaf in the oven, green beans and potatoes boiling.  Looks like it’s gonna be one of those “down home” dinners that DH loves.  As soon as we eat and I can get the kitchen cleaned up, I’ll start baking coffee cakes.

I think I’m recovering today. At least, I can function halfway normally. Yesterday, I spent the entire day in my pjs eating aspirin and lying on the couch watching a marathon session of What Not to Wear, Snapped, and finally sending DS to rent Twilight.

I tend to think through the coming week on Sunday. Take stock and figure out what I’ve got coming up. If I look too far ahead, it’s overwhelming. One week, one hurdle at a time:

Monday: work, come home and bake coffee cakes
Tuesday: Coffee Cake training session for teachers all day, faculty meeting after work
Wednesday: Work, after school ESS until 4:30, dinner date with friends (rescheduled from yesterday)
Thursday: work, come home and pack RV
Friday: work, come home and jump in the RV and hit the road for Florida for spring break

I’m thinking about what we have to do in Florida. I need to buy some kind of paint sprayer. I want to get the upstairs of the cabin painted and there’s a whole lot of ceiling up there. I also need to make up my mind on what color I want. Do I take advantage of the big open windows that provide a view of the woods and pick a color that flows right into the view such as a light tan or green or do I bring attention to the view by painting a totally contrasting color like a vibrant gold or terra cotta. hmmm…decisions, decisions… Think I’ll try to find some pictures.

1:30 - ARRRRGGGHHH! Having one of those days! The heating element went out in the spa. We’ll have to drain it, remove the old one, order a new one, and then replace it and refill. Looks like the spa is out of commission for at least a week. Oh wait, we’re leaving for Florida Friday. Guess it’ll be out of commission for at least two weeks.

The twins DGS’s say they don’t want to go to Florida with us for spring break. I suspect that means they’ve heard us discussing how much work we have to do and have decided to play it safe and just stick around here. That’s fine but that means it’s pretty senseless for DH and I to take the RV to Florida. If it’s just the two of us, it seems like a lot of wasted effort to take the RV and pull the car. We can just drive the car down and get a hotel room on the way down Friday night. Of course, that means we’ll be roughing it in Florida when I tile the downstairs and we can’t walk on the tile for 24 hours and when we disconnect the toilets to redo the composting unit. This particular toilet system works really well for a cabin in the woods but it’s designed to be installed in a unit that has a crawl space. The cabin is on a concrete slab so we had to dig the composting unit in and elevate the downstairs toilet. Good enough for a temporary fix but it’s time to do it right.

Decided to steam clean the couch in the family room and move it to the living room to replace the crappy, cheap couch we bought for the living room last year that’s now sagging in the middle. Of course, the hose to the steam cleaner has developed a hole in it. Sent DH to the store to rent a Rug Doctor.

4:00 pm. - My house is a disaster.  The Rug Doctor that DH rented has a serious leak in the hose that leads to the upholstery cleaning attachment.  I got so aggravated I just decided to use it anyway.  Of course, that was a sloppy ass, irritating experience.  On top of everything else, I thought I got the couch halfway clean and had DH and the twins move the couch in the living room downstairs and out the back door and move the one in the family room upstairs to the living room.  That was a major job because the couch that was in the family room is a huge, heavy piece of furniture.  As soon as they set it down and breathed huge sighs of relief, I realized it wasn’t going to work.  It looks like total crap!  As soon as the light from the big picture windows in the living room hit it, it showed how filthy the damn thing really is.  I couldn’t very well say, “I changed my mind.  Take it back downstairs.”  They may do that on sit coms but it’s much more dangerous in real life.  So…I tried to cover it with a king-size sheet and it’s too big.  I’ll probably go out and buy a couch cover when I get a chance.  It looks totally gross.  That’s what happens when you finally get all the birds out of the nest and spend a hunk of money on a beautiful, good quality, cream colored couch.  I didn’t count on all the grandkids moving in with us and starting over.

On top of that, the washer quit working and ducks are swimming and crapping in the pool.

I did make a decision about the cabin paint, however.  Having dealt with stress all day, I’ve come to realize how much I count on the serenity of my little cabin in the woods in Florida and have decided to go with light tans and greens for the paint.  I want everything soft and serene.  Not the kind of colors I usually go with.  Usually, I love bright, vibrant color.  My family room is bright gold and the window treatments, tile, and accessories are all orange or terra cotta.  My kitchen is trimmed in bold blues and the wall behind the sink is done in blue tiles.  The living room is sage green and my bedroom is done in burgundy and navy.  A little softness and serenity may be in order…

21stMarch

Owwww!

I hurt. Every bone in my body, every muscle, every square inch of flesh. Damn. I can’t do these sixteen hour days anymore. I got to work at 7:00 yesterday morning and didn’t get out of there until 11:00. Just about killed me. We’ve GOT to get more parents involved in the Booster Club. The Booster Club: president, a nice hardworking guy, me (treasurer), the do nothing secretary, and one overworked parent who doesn’t have a lot of time to help but still manages to show up for every meeting. Bless her heart. One hundred and fifty cadets and the Booster Club is one dad, one mom, and one grandma.  Where’s everybody else???  I worked like a dog to pull everything together and don’t ever want to do this again. It was a killer night and I’m feeling the pain today. The Awards Banquet went well (for all outward appearances) and only those of us behind the scenes really knew how difficult it was to pull it all together. Two hundred guests were fed and the affair lasted from 6:00 to 9:00. It took another two hours to get the school cafeteria back in order and all the tables taken back to classrooms, the decorations taken down and everything cleaned up.

Dinner went well. DS came through with flying colors. He brought everything into the school kitchen and prepared salad, baked ziti, chicken primavera, vegetable lasagna, warm bread, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, and cake. Tables were placed in the adjacent meeting room and it was decorated and looked great. No one saw all the chaos taking place behind the kitchen doors. I couldn’t help getting angry when I had been working like a dog and then the secretary of the Booster Club showed up for the first time this year, dressed in a nice white suit and heels, sat down and waited to be served, and left the minute the banquet ended. And yet…she went up to the stage and was recognized for serving on the Booster Club for the year. Boooo! When they called us up, I was almost too beat to drag my poor body up front. Felt like saying, “Can you just bring it to me so I don’t have to get up because I don’t think I have enough energy to walk up there.” Maybe I should call her and say, “Uh, Mrs. Do Nothing, could you bring your $30.00 gift certificate to Red Lobster up to the school and drop it off to me since I did your job all year?” Every single month, I’d take the minutes, type them up, and email them to all the parents after the meeting. Wouldn’t you think she’d feel bad to receive the minutes (secretary’s job…right?) every single month knowing that she was supposed to be doing it? Doesn’t matter. She didn’t mess up her white suit and I walked up front in my pointy toed black patent leather heels and looked just as good (if not better) in spite of having stood on concrete floors and working like a dog the previous fourteen hours. So there! I washed, dried, and ironed tablecloths, blew up balloons, climbed on ladders and hung them up, strung crepe paper, sliced and buttered 18 loaves of bread and wrapped them in foil, set up salad dressings, wrapped forks, knives, and spoons in napkins and tied them with ribbon, made ten gallons of lemonade and twelve gallons of iced tea, washed serving bowls and sliced and served cake, managed and supervised the entire dinner and helped clean up all the mess when it was over. And I still didn’t limp when I walked up to the podium. Take that, woman!

Okay…come on, Patty, rise above it.

We were supposed to meet friends for dinner tonight but we cancelled. I’m too tired and sore. I’m going to take a pain pill and wear my pjs all day. I feel really, really old today….

20thMarch

Feeding the masses

6:30 am - Busy day coming up.  The ROTC Banquet is tonight.  I have lots to do.  No matter if everyone is saying we’re ready, I know better.  (Like the twelve tablecloths I was ironing until 10:00 last night.)  There’s always something that makes everything get crazy.  I have one bonus, however.  DH walked in a few minutes ago and said they had too many staff today and were asking if anyone wanted to take off.  He took them up on their offer.  That means he can help DS get everything together.  DS had already asked me if I could pick up the cakes and bread from the bakery for tonight so DH can take that little burden off my shoulders.

It’s Friday and I’m rebelling on the clothing issue.  Fridays are a lot more relaxed at work but I have to dress up for tonight and I won’t be coming home.  The thought of wearing heels and dress pants for 14 hours is not appealing.  Instead, I’m wearing pastel yellow jeans and flats.  I’ll take my dress pants and heels to work but I may not even change for the banquet.  I’m wearing a black and yellow blouse and yellow jacket so I may just go with it all day.  It looks fairly decent.  We’ll see.  Anyway, I’m off chickies.  Won’t be home until after 9:00 tonight.

19thMarch

Suck in that gut!

I bought a gorgeous blouse a few weeks ago and haven’t worn it yet. It’s a black knit with ruching down the center and a pattern of blue, green and white rectangles all over it. I decided to wear it today with black dress pants, black heels, and a green jacket. Took a look in the mirror and it looks fantastic as long as I suck in my gut. If I recall, I didn’t have to suck in my gut when I bought it. Take heed, Patricia! Didn’t I have a goal of getting back down to 170 by April 1st?

Got an email from Sharon, my coworker who works in the library where I meet with my students.  She said “B” got mad at one of the girls yesterday when I was out and threw all her books and folders all the way across the library.  At least I know it’s not just me who has trouble with these new students.  “B” is a big boy.  Stands almost 6 feet and has to weigh at least 200 pounds.  Sharon didn’t say who the girl was but I’d be willing to bet it was the same obnoxious, brassy brat that instigated a confrontation last week.

4:15 - Twelve white tablecloths.  10 feet long by 5 feet wide.  That’s what I have to iron tonight.  The ROTC Awards Banquet is tomorrow night and Sarge and Major called me downstairs today to show me the tablecloths we’ll be using.  They told me this was all taken care of.  I guess it is, in their opinion.  To my way of thinking, you don’t serve a catered banquet for 200 people on tablecloths that were washed last year, folded (kinda) and stuffed in a box for a year.  I just about freaked out.  DS is catering the event with salad, chicken primavera, vegetable lasagna, or baked ziti, fresh baked bread, and cake for dessert.  The ROTC Booster Club president couldn’t make it last month and hasn’t done much of anything to get ready for this event.  Today, when they showed me the tablecloths, I couldn’t believe it.  I took 12 to wash, dry and iron and told each of them to take six.  Their wives will be at the banquet tomorrow so they can help out.  If not, they can iron tablecloths themselves.  This is a big event to the kids.  They’re all dressed up in their uniforms and parents are told to dress appropriately for the occasion.  Don’t think they’d appreciate wrinkled, wadded up tablecloths.

While the tablecloths are washing and drying, I have a dinner date with Sistah Pam.  We’re going to http://www.myhavanarumba.com/  for cuban tonight.  How am I supposed to stick with a diet when I have dinner plans tonight, a banquet tomorrow night, and dinner with friends Saturday night???

 

18thMarch

My butt’s broken

Okay, I have to admit, I’ve had haircuts that were more embarrassing and uncomfortable than the test I had done this morning.  In all honesty, the ladies I saw this morning have turned disgusting butt exams into an art.  I was treated great and everything was arranged so that modesty and comfort came before anything else.  I’ve only had one other time in my life when I was treated so well by a medical staff that I felt compelled to write a letter thanking them and that was when I had an MRI about nine years ago.  Even so, now that all the tests are complete, can we please fix my butt???  I’m way too young to be having this kind of problem.

Since I was downtown anyway, I went by my friend Pam’s gallery and had a visit  with her.  It was nice.  We haven’t gotten together for months.  We went to lunch at a Thai restaurant a few doors down and it was delicious.  Made plans for the four of us, DH’s included, to go out to a vegetarian restaurant this coming Saturday.

Driving home, I took a route that goes through the Highlands, a campy area of art galleries and upscale restaurants sandwiched between vintage clothing stores and bicycle shops.  Everyone was out on the sidewalks dining at outdoor tables and enjoying the 78 degree weather.  The sun was bright and I rolled my windows down and cranked my stereo up.  Felt like summer.  Daffodils and forsythia are blooming all over the place and the tulip trees are loaded down with heavy pink flowers.  I didn’t want to go home so I drove around for a while and did a little shopping at a new Burlington’s that opened this week before I had to go pick up the twins from school.

All in all, a pretty nice day!

17thMarch

Pink Shampoo

It’s 11:00 pm. and I finally got a few minutes of peace and quiet.  Of course, it’s bedtime now so this will be brief.  I colored my hair yesterday evening and I just now shampooed it.  Must be a lot of red in there.  It sure made a pretty pink head of lather.

I had another hectic day that had me stressed out and ready to scream.  The principal said I could leave for a couple of hours tomorrow for my doctor’s appointment but today was so wild I couldn’t get anything to go right.  At the end of the day, I couldn’t find anyone to cover one of my classes for a measly twenty minutes so I’m going to have to take a sick day after all.  In fact, there’s a huge field trip tomorrow for all the kids who made honor roll this grading period and it seems like half the staff is going with them and the other half is doubling up to cover all the kids who don’t get to go.  I couldn’t find anyone to cover for me.  In fact, one of the APs told me he needed me to cover another teacher’s classes tomorrow and I told him I was trying to find someone to take care of my own kids from 9:00 to 9:20 so I could go for an appointment at 9:30.  I told him I’d planned on being back by 10:30 but I just couldn’t work it out so I’d have to take a sick day and have a sub all day.  He asked if I planned on coming in at all tomorrow and I said I wanted to come in but couldn’t work out the coverage so I’d just take the whole day.  Then (can you believe this?) he said if I was going to finish up at the doctors at 10:30, would there be any way I could come in after my appointment and cover some classes.  Are you kidding me???  Am I hearing this right????  I’m taking a full sick day and you’ll have a sub all day who will only be covering my classes two periods and be available for whatever for the rest of the day and you’re asking me if I’m planning on coming in to help cover someone else’s classes???  Not likely!  I said, “If I have to take a sick day, I won’t be coming to school tomorrow.  Even if I’m finished at the doctor’s at 10:00, I still won’t be coming in.”  I kept wondering if I understood him correctly.

Alright, my hair is dry and I’m going to bed.

Goodnight, chickies…

The weather’s was cool this weekend.  Saturday was downright uncomfortable.  Temps in the 40s and a cold, drizzly rain.  Yesterday was overcast but the temp got up to 60 and it wasn’t raining so I can’t complain.  The next two or three days will be a real treat.  Today will be a repeat of yesterday and then it’s going into the low seventies on Tuesday and Wednesday with lots of sunshine. 

I have to talk to the principal about taking off Wednesday.  I have an appointment for some tests at 9:30 and I really don’t want to take a sick day.  I have too much to do.  Wonder if she’ll let me leave for a couple of hours and then come back?  Probably not but I’m going to ask anyway.  She’s pretty firm about sticking to the rules.

Yeah, I’ve got another one of those embarrassing tests scheduled.  This is the last one.  Then I have to decide if I want surgery for my “problem”.  It slays me that I waited almost three months for an appointment with a particular female physician and then she goes to London on sabbatical for a year.  Now I’m seeing one of her male colleagues anyway.

Oh, listen!  A steamy hot shower is calling me…

15thMarch

Sunday work day

 

Eryn wants to see bathing suit photos.  This is me on the beach last year.  Haven’t gone to the beach this year but I’ll probably have to wear the same suit.

I’ve got to work today.  I’m trying to plan my lessons for the week and keep my heathen class occupied from the minute they walk in the door until the minute the bell rings.  My usual curriculum is NOT going to work with these kids.  At least, not until I’ve had time to get some measure of control over them.  A big part of the problem is that they were sent to me two weeks into the current trimester so they weren’t there at the beginning when I worked to get my students to understand and respect my classroom rules and expectations.  Someone (Brandie?) commented that it was just 45 minutes and I could hang in there until the bell rang but we’re on block scheduling so I have them for 80 minutes.  I WISH they were only with me for 45.  I do a lot of stuff with kids working in groups and working independently on projects.  That’s not going to work with these guys.  Guess I’ll spend a good part of the day setting up lesson plans for the week that won’t give them time to get in trouble.  I’m also going to have to start calling parents and letting them know that their little darlings are a pain in the butt.  Of course, most of the kids who can be so obnoxious are that way because they get away with it at home anyway. 

After I get my lessons straight, I have to create the school newsletter today.  It’s due to graphics tomorrow.  I have all the articles and it’s about halfway done but I have to finish it up and fine tune it.  I also have to spend some time looking at the school website which is an absolute disaster.  The principal called me in last week and asked if I would redo it.  She’s embarrassed about it and I understand why.  It’s a mess.  I like our new principal.  She sees a problem, tries to correct it, and doesn’t hesitate to change things if she doesn’t get what she wants.  The teacher who’s supposed to do it has been told all year that she’s not happy and he hasn’t addressed the problem.  Last week, she overstaffed him (the website was just part of the problem) and she asked me to take over.  I need to come up with a plan.  Am I going to redo it over the summer, do I want to do it all next year by myself, do I want a small group of good students to do it while I supervise them?  I’m not sure.  She said she would do whatever I wanted, send me for any training I needed, or rearrange my schedule anyway I needed to get it done.  The thing is, I created the website for another school about six years ago and I worked on it for almost a year.  It’s a big job and it requires constant updating.  I have to think about how I want to do it.  Here’s a link to the website as it exists today.  http://www.jefferson.kyschools.us/Schools/High/Moore/index.html  Pretty embarrassing considering this guy has been working on it for three years.

Lots to do.  Guess I’d better get started.

12:00 - Still working on the newsletter.  I place an article, edit it, format it to fit in nicely with the page, and then visit another blog.  Working my way down the list with all you chickies.  Trying to catch up.  I don’t know why I’m feeling like I don’t have time for this these days.  My workload doesn’t seem to be much different than usual but I seem to be having a lot of deadlines and other stuff piling up.  Don’t like working on Sundays!

3:00 pm. - Don’t know where the last three hours went!  I’ve been so focused on work I didn’t realize it had been three hours until my back started hurting and I looked up and saw the clock.  Gads!  I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer screen and typing for 5 hours!  I finished the newsletter and I’m going to drag my achy breaky body out to the spa for a hot soak.

4:45 - Sat in the spa for a while and watched the cat.  There were two ducks swimming in the pool.  Not really the pool, the pool cover is sunk down a little in the middle and holds water.  Damn ducks were swimming in it and sitting on the side of the pool.  A few years ago, I thought ducks swimming in the pool was charming.  Then the weather warmed up and I had to clean all the duck poop out of the pool before we could swim.  Gross!  So the cat’s slinking around the edge of the pool trying to figure out how to get up on the rim and kill the ducks.  Good thing she couldn’t figure it out.  They probably would have had her for dinner.

Spring break is two weeks away.  I’m thinking about getting a hotel or condo on the beach for a couple of days.  We’re taking the RV but we’re pulling the car so we could leave the RV at our place in Madison and drive to the beach for a couple of days.  It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive to a decent beach.  Way too far to do it for a day but we have a lot of work planned and it would be nice to take the last couple of days to relax.  On the agenda for spring break:  lay a ceramic tile floor in the downstairs of the cabin, paint the upstairs, dig out and make a retainer for the composter unit and wall it in concrete and a gravel bed and then reinstall it.  Not much relaxation there.  Think I’ll check out condo rentals…

Thank God the weekend is here!  I had another rough day at work yesterday.  The two new kids that were the worst of the bunch did better yesterday but the class still gave me major grief and I was totally sick of them by the time the bell rang.  I’m getting better with them…  I think… but it was still enough to have me pulling my hair out.  One of the new girls was being such a pain in the butt that she actually got one of the kids I’ve had for a couple weeks into a push and shove with her.  She’s big, sassy, and annoying and she bounces off the walls the entire time.  “W” is this sweet little boy who stands about 4′10″ and couldn’t weigh over 80 pounds soaking wet.  That’s the thing with middle school.  The way they grow is so strange.  Here’s this big, brassy girl who stands at least a foot taller than “W” and outweighs him by at least 100 pounds and she’s taunting him and messing with him until he just loses it!  He’s been quiet as a little mouse the entire time I’ve had him, I sit down at a table to help another group of kids, and the next thing I know, W and Brassy Ass are yelling, cursing, shoving each other and ready to come to blows.  I actually had to get between them and restrain W to keep him from wading into her.  She probably would have knocked his lights out.  I’m learning, though.  I’m working on them.  I changed the seating arrangement yesterday to break up some of the more obnoxious groups.  It helped.  I thought the table where I assigned W and Brassy Butt would work out pretty well.  Quiet little W, two average kids, and Brassy.  Obviously, I still need to do a bit of fine tuning on the seating arrangement.  I discovered that the entire class is quiet and focused when I have them do practice a keyboarding program the first ten minutes of class.  They do this every day for ten minutes while I take attendance and deal with daily stuff.  I’m beginning to think I should just let them play the keyboarding game for the entire time.  If I could do that for the rest of the year, I might survive.  (sigh)  If anyone is interested, you can find the keyboarding game at http://www.popcap.com/games/free/typershark

I’m hoping to catch up on some blogs today.  The weekend isn’t too bad.  Not a lot going on but, right now, I’ve got to get a shower and go get my hair cut.

I just checked the sunrise and sunset times for the next week.  We’re averaging 3 more minutes per day. This time next week, we’ll have another twenty one minutes of daylight and I’ll take every minute.  I don’t like driving to work in the dark.

I wrote a pretty lengthy post and lost it when I tried to publish.  Hate when that happens. Now, it’s almost time to hit the shower so I have to hurry. The counselor added six new kids to my class on Tuesday and I’m really aggravated with them.  All six are major jerks.  Why would they add six new kids two weeks into the new trimester?  I assume it’s because there was a problem in their other classes.  Probably one of those situations where they were constantly being sent to the office or causing conflict so the counselor just decided to take them out of those classes and put them with another teacher.  I had my little darlings all settled down, had them figured out and they had me figured out and we were doing just fine until they sent me these jerks.  I can handle the angry, silent types like T pretty good.  I have a more difficult time with the ones who constantly disrupt class, make me tell them what to do a dozen times, and take up all my attention.  My week has been a long run of:
“Sit down, Johnny, and keep your hands to yourself.”
“No, you can’t go to your locker.  I want you to do what I asked you to do.”
“Sit down and stay in your seat.”
“DO NOT SPIT in my waste basket!”
“I’m tired of telling you to sit down.  DO IT NOW!”
“Give her back her purse and keep your hands to yourself.”
“Get back in your seat!  When I talk, you listen.  Do not interrupt me.  Sit down.  Sit DOWN. SIT DOWN!”

I spent a full week making my expectations clear to my class.  Had us to a point where I loved them and they loved me and now the entire class is a shambles.  The new kids are either distracting the others, taking up all my time and attention, or getting the others off task to where they’re starting to be problems. I’ve struggled along the last three days.  Today, I’m going to be all over them.  No more crap.

I slept like a rock last night.  Again.  I don’t know why but I’ve slept really hard all week.  I took cold medicine Monday night and that always hits me hard.  I didn’t take anything the last two days and I’m still feeling like Sleeping Beauty.  I slept away all my blog time yesterday morning and slept away half of it this morning.  The bed just feels sooooo good.

Yesterday was a totally rough day.  I had a stressful day on the job and then had to work until 4:30 because I taught ESS after school.  Stopped at the store on the way home and came in the door about to collapse.  I wore heels and my back, my knees, and my feet hurt.  As soon as I hit the door, I put on a bathing suit and slid into the spa.  I would have stayed there a lot longer than I did but a friend called with computer problems and I tried to talk her through fixing it for almost an hour.  I finally gave up and told her I’d come over today and see if we could get it taken care of.  Finally, I fixed dinner, ate, watched American Idol for an hour, and hit the bed at 10:00.

I don’t know why but I just feel like a hamster on a wheel these days.  I always seem to be going a hundred miles an hour but there’s always more that needs to be done.  Never enough time to do it all.  I haven’t really caught up on any blogs for days.  Hopefully, I can take a look at a couple today, chickies.

10thMarch

Close the window

Ugh…Remember when I said how much I enjoyed opening all the windows in the RV Saturday night and sleeping with a cool breeze coming in?  I didn’t enjoy sneezing and sniffling all day yesterday, coming home and taking cold medicine and being knocked out for the last ten or eleven hours.  Right now, I’d like nothing better than to crawl back under the covers and sleep for another ten hours or so but I guess I’d better get in the shower and try to shake it off.

6:30 am - Much better!  I’m awake and ready to go.  It’s supposed to get up to almost 80 degrees today and I’m going to do what I wanted to do about a month ago and didn’t…I’m going for the summer thing!  Dressed in a white blouse, white jeans at capri length, a pair of orange, open-toed wedges, and an orange and yellow jacket.  I’m sick of all this winter garb.  I feel better already!

Oh, the scales are showing 176 and I feel pretty good about that, too!

9thMarch

Monday Menu

Weight 177
.5/7.5

Breakfast:
Light Yogurt (80)