30thMay

Loose ends

Just spent the morning tying up some loose ends for school.  I didn’t get the newsletter out but it wasn’t my fault.  The principal came up with some fairly substantial last minute items she wanted added to it.  Obviously, she’s never written a newsletter because everything has to be fitted perfectly into nice little boxes and corners.  Last minute changes require changing the size of fonts, pictures, and moving or rewriting articles to make everything fit and look right.  So…I redid a ton of it this morning to incorporate the things she wanted.  Anyway, it’s done now and will be distributed Monday.

I actually had a pretty good day yesterday.  I had planned on finishing, copying and distributing the newsletters but, after I found out about all the changes, I just decided to do it this morning when I could work in solitude and concentrate.  That left yesterday fairly free and I was able to get some things cleared from my desk and actually took my wild class outside to join the ROTC field day.  I had to lay it all out ahead of time.  Told them they were to line up and walk silently through the hall to the door.  They were to continue walking with me until we got out to the softball field area.  I told them they could shoot baskets at the hoop area, sit on the bleachers or dance (as long as they kept the dancing appropriate).  Told them they were not to eat any food or take any drinks unless I allowed it after I determined if ROTC had any extra and they were not to nag me about it.  Warned them that any infractions would be written up as referrals and this was their last chance to show me that they could behave themselves.  Made me feel like I was babysitting a bunch of four year olds.  I swear, I’m not used to middle schoolers.  I’m used to dealing with upper level classes in high school.  Anyway, I have to give them credit….they did a great job.  ROTC had lots of chips, hotdogs, cookies and soft drinks left over and my kids were polite and thanked them.  My kids took the basketball I brought and all the boys shot hoops and behaved themselves and the girls sat in the shade of a big tree and cheered them on.  Two of the girls wanted to do my nails and I let them although I’m not sure I would have chosen blue nail polish.  They lined up and followed me back in the building when it was time to go and I was totally pleased with them.  They even thanked me for taking them outside and asked me if I was proud of them and I assured them that I was.  Of course, part of the reason they were so good is that the two worst of the bunch are currently suspended so I didn’t have to deal with them.

Psycho DIL asked if I could watch the boys for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and I told her I would but I had a headache and I was tired and I didn’t want to watch them all evening.  She told me she just had to run to the tanning booth and get a manicure and pedicure and she’d be back in two hours at the most.  DS picked them up after five hours when he got off work at 9:00 last night.  He’d been trying to call her and she’d turned her phone off.  He said she came in at midnight last night and tried to pick a fight with him because she wanted to go to an all day concert with her friends today and he has to work so there wasn’t anyone to watch the boys.  He told her she might have been able to get me to watch them if she hadn’t pulled a disappearing act and she wanted him to call me and try to get me to watch the kids today.  He refused and went to bed.  He woke up this morning and she was gone and she’s not answering her cell.  So…she got her way.  He had to bring the boys over to me and doesn’t know where she is.  I do. I’m sure she’s at an all-day concert with her friends.  I told DS I’m not going to let her use me again this summer and just run off whenever she feels like it because she knows I’ll watch the boys.  He promised to talk to a couple of neighbors where he lives and line up emergency babysitting so, hopefully, he’ll have some alternatives lined up the next time she wants to be a party-girl.

Time for me to get moving.  I’ve been sitting here working on the newsletter all morning and now I need to do some outside work.  We want to get the pool cleaned today and ready to go and I have to crawl under the house and try to figure out why the air-conditioning isn’t blowing right in our bedroom.  Our bedroom is usually a lot colder than the rest of the house and that’s good because we like to sleep in a cold room.  This year, however, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting any air out of the vents and DH thinks the venting may have come loose.  What joy!  I get to crawl on my belly forty feet to get to the area under our bedroom and check things out.  Ughhh.  I hate to think about it.  I do have four men living here but DH and DS are too big to get through the crawl space and Andrew and Steven have a diffcult time understanding problem solving and probably wouldn’t be able to figure out what was wrong or how to fix it.

6:30 - Got the pool opened and the kids are mad because they can’t get in.  “Sorry, guys, it’s too cold.”  Got the  grass cut and fixed the vent under the house.  Turned out that the shaft(?), venting(?), whatever you call the long silver thingie that conducts the air from the main input area out to the individual air vents had come off.  Easy enough to fix.  I just lifted it up and seated it correctly and drove a couple of nails through the metal sheeting to keep it from falling off again.  A lot easier to fix than it was to get to.  I forgot that the crawl space is a gravel bed.  Kind of nice that I wasn’t slithering in the dirt but pretty rough on the body.  I had to pull two old sleeping bags along.  Lie on one and throw the other one up ahead.  Crawl off the first one and scoot to the second one and then repeat the process.  Isn’t someone supposed to get paid big bucks to do this stuff?

Of course, youngest DS showed up just as I finished and said, “Mom!  I would have done that for you!” and he would have.  Wish I’d thought of that.  Anyway, I had a long talk with him and told him, in no uncertain terms, that I’m not condoning or supporting him enabling DIL.  I told him not to call me tomorrow and not to bring the kids over.  Find a BABYSITTER!  For the last four years straight, DIL has run off within two or three days of the end of the school year.  I warned him that she’ll probably do it again this year and that I will not be there to clean up the mess.  He agrees with me.  He says he’ll be ready.  We’ll see.

Now, the pool may be cold but the spa is HOT!  Later, girls….

29thMay

Fore!

Only four more days and today is a Friday.  I can do that.

I did binge last night BUT I binged on broccoli so I did okay.  Kept myself busy until 8:30 and then watched So You Think You Can Dance.  Never watched it before but I turned on the TV and got caught up in it.  Some wonderful dancers but that female judge, Mary, gets irritating.  Her laugh is annoying and something about her face is weird.  She only seemed to have one expression.  Weird.  Too much botox?  Anyway, I sat there for a few minutes, microwaved the leftover broccoli and by the time I finished it, I was ready for bed.

Today  is ROTC’s field day.  They have the air force setting up a climbing wall at the school, volleyball, and other activities going on all day.  I asked them if they needed anything last week and they said they had everything taken care of but then Sarge called me yesterday evening and said they needed 100 hot dog buns, 100 hamburger buns, potato chips for 100 and soft drinks.  Made a run to Kroger after Andrew got home and picked it all up.  Hopefully, I can get away for a few minutes today and join them but I still have to do a few things to the newsletter (last minute articles that the submitters haven’t given me) and I’ve still got all those laptops to deal with.  I’m going to miss “T”s help on that.

Did it again. Did a great job all day and then binged last night around 8:00. What’s that about? I’ve done that the last three days. I will NOT do it tonight. Gotta get a plan in place for this evening.

I have to admit, however, that I was stressed to the absolute limit last night. I was ready to scream. Andrew had that meeting after school from 3:00 to 5:00 about the summer internship program. He really wants to do this and it’s a great opportunity. I had all his paperwork together and the application was complete. After school, we had to take a number and, because the meeting was in the library where I happen to live, we were number one. There were four tables set up and the process was to start at table one and, if you made it past there, you moved on to the next one. Any problem stopped the process. We didn’t get past table one. The woman said, “Let me see your social security card.” Andrew said, “I don’t have it. I brought my birth certificate.” The woman said, “I have to have both.” I pointed out, “It says right here, bring a picture ID and your social security card or birth certificate. He doesn’t have his social security card.” She said, “I have to have both of them.” Andrew said, “Well, can I just send it in?” She said, “No, you have to show it to me in order to move on. I’ll just mark your folder that you don’t have your social security card and you can meet with us tomorrow at Central High School.” Andrew said, “I don’t have my social security card. My mother took it to my doctor and she lost it.” The woman said, “I’m sorry. I can’t help you.” I was getting aggravated. I said, “Look, it says right here, bring your social security card OR birth certificate. He has his birth certificate and it will take weeks for him to get another social security card. If he had to have it, why does it say social security card OR birth certificate?” She said, “I don’t know why the application says that. We require BOTH. I can take a photo copy of the social security card if you can get one from his doctor or the school but if he can’t provide it today or tomorrow, he’s ineligible for the program.”

Damn! I was so pissed off! We were turned away and I went to the office to check his school records. No photo copy of his social security card. I started calling DIL repeatedly and she wasn’t answering. Called DS and he said he’d run up to where she works. I waited and waited and DS finally called me back about 30 minutes later and said she told him she lost it but she’ll order him another one. That’ll take weeks! I figured if she took it to show to his doctor, the doctor should have a copy. DS called his doctor and they said they didn’t have one. I was really ticked off but we had no choice but to leave.

I talked to DIL and she said she’d take Andrew to Frankfort today (the state capitol) and try to get something done in person. That means he has to miss school and he has a final exam today. Since he just turned 18, she can’t get it for him so he has to go with her. I was so uptight yesterday evening I felt like I was going to explode. Very few things get to me the way red tape does. They give you the wrong information and then sit there totally inflexible and say, “I don’t know why it says OR, I have to have BOTH.” I wonder if they train them to sit there with that poker face while people go crazy around them.

Getting angry again just writing about it. I’d better hit the shower…

2:44 - I cut school. Told the principal I had to take Steven home and then go to another high school and be there by 3:00. She said, “Go!” but I always have a hard time getting out of the building. Had Steven sent to my class at 1:45 and Phyllisann promised to watch my wild bunch until the end of school at 2:20. I was ready to head out the door when “T” showed up. He said bad AP was talking about him in the lunch room and he overheard him. He got mad and had a few choice things to say. Bad AP told him he wasn’t passing any of his classes anyway so he didn’t want to see him back in the building this year. Suspended him for the rest of the year. He asked if he could come to my class for the last half hour of school and showed up just as I was walking out the door. I really hated to leave him so abruptly. I’d planned on having a long talk with him before school ended and giving him gift certificates for Pizza Hut and iTunes for helping me out this year. Instead, I had to settle for a BIG hug and quick goodbye. I think the hug surprised him and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Don’t think the kid gets too many hugs and I never knew how he would react to that kind of physical contact so I never gave him one before. Wish I had. I really had to run but I asked him to call me tomorrow or Monday and he said he would. I want to see him again and give him his gifts.

Anyway, DIL took Andrew to Frankfort today and they told her it would take weeks to get him a new social security card but they gave him a certified letter confirming his identity and social security number. I don’t know if that’ll work but they told DIL it’s even better than a card because it’s certified. (Ha! Try telling that to the fed lady) So, I raced home and DS said he’d take Andrew to the other high school. They were walking out when I pulled in the drive and I let them go. Figured DS could take care of it just as easy as I could. Now I’m having second thoughts. Isn’t that awful? That I don’t trust his parents to do anything? All I can do is sit her with my fingers crossed and hope everything goes okay with the process. Don’t know if I shared all the details but this is a federally funded program that takes promising juniors and gives them job training over the summer. They can choose two preferences from GIS, Networking, Web Design, Help Desk, Microsoft Office applications, Computer Repair and a couple others. If selected, Andrew will work 30 hours a week and be paid $7.25 per hour while he’s training. When school starts again in the fall, he’ll co-op during his senior year and continue training and being paid $7.25 per hour. After he graduates, if he continues with the program, they’ll give him $4,000 per year toward college and allow him to work part-time with a raise compensatory with his skills. Andrew chose Help Desk and Computer Repair as his two choices.

Really hope that old biddy accepts the letter…

Okay, moving on… I will NOT binge tonight. Taking your advice, Brandie. If I have to, I’ll go to bed and hide under the covers. Still, I’ve got a plan…I’ve got chicken breast marinating in a lemon pepper citrus marinade and we’ll throw them on the grill. I’m fixing a bunch of the broccoli DS got from his friend with the farm and some beautiful new potatoes she sent us. Gotta be careful with those little devils. I love new potatoes. Fixing a big salad to go with it.

After dinner, I’m going to work my butt off. I want to get the last issue of the newsletter out tomorrow afternoon so I’m going to work on that. I tried to get it done today but things were just too hectic. Thought I could get “C”, my little helper, to inventoy computers while I worked on the newsletter but he wouldn’t leave me alone:

“Look at this one, Mrs. R, the space bar is gone. See? Look at it. Mrs. R..look at the space bar.”

“I see it, “C”. I’ll fix it later. Just enter the serial number into the database for now.”

“Why do you think people tear things us like this, Mrs. R? I think we’re lucky to have all these laptops. Don’t you wish people would take care of them?”

“Yeah, “C”, I wish they’d take better care of them. Now, I’ve got a lot of stuff I have to do. I need to concentrate so I need for you to be quiet. Just enter the numbers into the database. Okay? I can’t talk right now. I have to work.”

“Mrs. R, look at this one. The screen’s broken! Look! Mrs. R, what do you want me to do with it?”

“Just enter the number into the database. I’ll deal with repairs later. I just want to get them all checked in right now. Let me do my work, C. I really want to get this done.”

“You won’t believe this one, Mrs. R! There are seven keys missing! Can you believe that?! Mrs. R….look at this one…. What do you want to do about this broken one? Look here, Mrs. R. Can you believe this? I can’t understand why people tear things up. Doesn’t that make you mad, Mrs. R? This one has a broken screen! What do you want to do about this one with the broken screen? Do you want me to put it in the database? Look! This one doesn’t have an airport card! Someone just took the whole card. Why would someone steal the airport card? Look, Mrs. R!”

I finally got so irritated I said, “Chris! Stop!  Time out!  I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I appreciate your help on this but I really need for you to stop talking and let me do what I need to do. I can’t concentrate when you keep talking and showing me things. It’s making me CRAZY! Just enter the serial number into the database and stop talking! I HAVE TO GET THIS DONE! Really! Be quiet! Take the laptop, enter the serial number, place the laptop back in the cart and move on to the next one. Don’t tell me about everything that’s wrong. Right now, I really don’t care. I just want to get my work done. OKAY???!!!!!”

He gives me that big old smile of his and says, “That’s why I like helping you, Mrs. R. You’re so funny! You’re always joking and kidding around!”

…..and that’s why I have plenty of work to keep me busy this evening….

7:00 - Not that I would ever do it but I do understand why people go postal. 

They wouldn’t accept the certified letter.

No way, no how.  Arggghhhh!  The fed lady told DS there’s one more chance.  If Andrew has ever held a job (and he did work part-time for Micky D’s a couple of summers ago) his employer can write a letter that must be on company letterhead and must be notarized stating that he held a job and they used this social security number for him.  Then he can go downtown to the Youth Opportunity Unlimited center and try again on June 2nd from 1 to 4 or June 4th from 2 to 6.  She did warn, however, that on those days it’ll be opened up to the state and the lines will probably be very long.  Crap! If he goes on June 2nd, he probably won’t have to wait as long because school is still in session and most responsible kids will be sitting at their desks taking finals BUT he’ll have to miss another day of school and another final exam.  If he waits until June 4th, school will be out for the entire state and he’ll be lucky to get within a ten miles of the place. 

……smoke coming out of my ears and blistering profanity screaming to be released from my vocal cords…..

I did great up until about 9:00 p.m. yesterday and then I started EATING! Don’t know why. Dinner was really good. I had some soup and a fresh salad and I was eating and thinking how nice it was to eat something light and fresh. Got hungry a little while later and I ate some more soup and salad. A little while later, Steven brings some colby cheese, crispini crackers, and deli roast beef in the living room and I went nuts on it. Gotta be more careful tonight. If he brings out the snacks, I’ll just go to bed.

We have a two hour meeting after school today, 3:00 to 5:00, about the program Andrew’s interested in. They’re offering it to 150 kids out of the district. Twenty of them will be chosen from our school. All the paperwork is filled out and I guess we’ll learn more this afternoon.

Gotta run. I want to spend some time in a nice warm shower this morning and then coat my belly with calamine.

6:30 - Okay, I’m dressed and ready for the day.  Gotta wait another half hour for the boys to finish getting ready.  I’ve noticed that a lot of teachers are really looking casual since we finished testing last week.  I’m not sure but I think that probably contributes to the kids acting up.  There’s a casual “the year is over” attitude going around.  Noticed a lot of teachers wearing jeans, baggy tee shirts and tennis shoes or flip flops.  Our contract allows us to do that but it’s frowned on.  I wear jeans sometimes but I try to wear a nice jacket and blouse with them to dress em up.  I decided to go the other way today.  Wearing a nice pair of white pants with black embroidery at the hemline, a white blouse, and a gorgeous emerald green jacket.  I may regret it but I’m going to wear some green Barbie shoes, too.  Send a message…”Gimme some respect!”  Maybe the kids will be better behaved.  I feel more professional anyway.

26thMay

s.e.v.e.n….

Seems like these last few days with students are really stretching out. Still seven more days. The rest of this week and Monday through Wednesday of next week. Then I’ve got to work Thursday and Friday.

I’ve done nothing all weekend but be a total slouch. Eat, sleep, eat, gamble, read, eat, sleep, read, gamble….I won $75.00 at the casino and DH lost $75.00 so we came out even. It was relaxing anyway. We parked the RV so that it faced the golf course and we’d go in the casino for a while and then go back to the RV. I kept winning and DH kept losing. I read a book and it’s been ages since I had enough time to do that. In fact, I have about five books that I’ve gotten about halfway through and then had to put them aside and have forgotten what I read so I’ll have to start over at some point. We came home and I washed my car and the RV and that’s about all I did all weekend.

Now, let’s see if I can shave one more day off that seven….

6:30 - Feeling really bad about the last five days. All I did was eat and eat and eat and eat. I don’t want to weigh myself but my waistband is tight and uncomfortable. Going for a perfect day. Eating well and working out. Checked in with 2008 Patty and she was lying around with a cold and a broken toe but, even so, she was eating better than me!

4:00 - Running on a perfect day with diet even though the stress level was through the roof at school. We had seven fights today. My wild bunch was wild and I left school to find that someone wrote on all the cars in the administrator’s parking lot. At least they stuck to the windows so I can wash it off. My car says “Be Proud, 09! U know!” on the rear window and “09!” on both side windows. Have to give them credit. It comes off easily and they kept it on the glass. I began to inventory and fix computers in classroom carts today. Got through one cart and it took me all day. Only 56 more carts to go. Each cart holds 30 laptops and one teacher laptop. Thought I might be able to set up an assembly line and get my wild bunch to help me last period but that was a disaster. Won’t try that again.

Feeling good about having a perfect day so far. I ate yogurt for breakfast and a Smart Ones entree for lunch. I’m planning on making leek, cabbage, potato soup and a salad for dinner. DS went over to see a friend that has a farm yesterday and came home with lots of leeks, cabbage, and broccoli. I was trying to figure out what to do with it and decided to saute leeks, onions, and cabbage with Pam, add potatoes and chicken broth, salt and pepper and stir in some milk towards the end. Will let you know how it turns out and how many calories.

I don’t want to work out. In reaction to the stress, I’ve broken out with hives all over my torso. It started about nine this morning and came on quick. I look fine on the outside but, if I pull up my shirt, I’m covered with itchy, burning hives on my back and stomach. I’ve had this happen a few times over the years. Stress will bring it on. It’ll go away in a few days but the last thing I need to do is get overheated and sweaty. In fact, I can’t wait to get out of my clothes and into some soft pajamas. Don’t know why I got it. I’m pretty good at hiding the stress on the outside but it gets to me nonetheless. After the relaxing weekend, you’d think I’d be pretty calm, cool, and collected.

Oh, BTW, “T” was at school today. Yay! Good AP intervened and talked Bad AP into giving him after school detention for three days. He was able to help me out for a couple of hours today.

23rdMay

Ketchup

Time to play catch up.

Little Sister is really struggling after her latest and greatest foot and ankle surgery. I feel so bad for her. Talked to her for a while this morning. Because of a car wreck a few years ago, she had a massive hernia and has to be really careful about lifting anything. She’s torn it up a few times and what was bad to begin with has become massive. Last surgery she had, she was told that she can never lift anything over five pounds again. Now comes the latest foot and ankle surgery and her foot must be totally nonweight bearing for months. Okay…so how is she supposed to do anything? She can’t use crutches because of her hernia and she can’t pull herself up to get out of the chair, out of bed, or off the commode (I know, TMI). On top of that, she’s having a lot of pain. The visiting nurse wanted them to put her in a nursing home for a couple of months but her insurance wouldn’t approve it. So…she’s suffering. After struggling for a week or so, they did get approval for some major modifications at her house. She got a hospital bed so she can raise and lower it to help her out of bed and they mounted one of those trapeze things above it to help her but then told her not to pull on it too much because of the hernia. She lives by herself but her son has moved home to help her out. Still, he works all day and can only run home at lunch and be there in the evenings. Poor baby. I feel bad for her. The entire family is in town, except youngest brother (New Orleans) and me but Mom certainly can’t help her, and the other two brothers work all day.

Found out yesterday that Andrew has an opportunity to work with a program called Kentuckiana Works, a federal summer job program, that would have him work 30 hours each week at $7.25 an hour over the summer and then he’d intern half a day all next year after attending half a day of school. If he’s accepted, they’ll continue to employ him part time and give him $4,000 per year for college after he graduates. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity but I wonder if he could do it. He works so hard on his studies to overcome his learning disabilities. Gotta think long and hard on that one. To be quite honest, I didn’t think he’d be able to be successful in college and was thinking about some kind of vocational training but I’ve learned that he’s a pretty determined young man and I’m beginning to think he can do a lot more than I originally thought. Being one of only twelve students in the school who made the National Honor Society says a lot. He has an “I can do it!” attitude and I don’t want to discourage that but I don’t want to put him into an overwhelming positon either. This one’s going to require a lot of thought and reflection.

“T”s in trouble. He was late to his last period class yesterday and the teacher wouldn’t let him in. Told him to go to the office. The office was raging yesterday with all the security staff calling in sick and they must have had twenty kids in there mouthing off and being butts. “T” started getting into it with one of them and, to his credit, he walked out. Came across the hall to the library and told me what was going on. He was HOT. His face was red and I could see the rage in him. I told him he did the right thing by walking away from a bad situation and that I would take care of things. Called the office and told them I had “T” and would keep him with me to avoid a confrontation in the office. After a couple of minutes, he calmed down and Bill, the AP that cares about T almost as much as I do, came over.

He pulled me aside and told me that T was not going to pass most of his classes and asked me if I would be willing to keep him with me during those class times and use him to help me inventory all the laptop carts as they get checked in for the year. Bill said, “He’s not a bad kid, Pat. You know he isn’t and he loves you. He really does.” I said I loved him, too, and he never gives me any trouble. Does what I ask him to do and is totally respectful. I was really happy with the idea of letting him stay with me most of the day and asked T if that was something he’d like to do. T was more than happy and I was elated that he’d be able to help me sort through 1,500 laptops and get them ready for summer storage. A few minutes later, I sent him to pick up a cart of laptops from a teacher at the far end of the school. After about ten minutes or so, I see him and another boy being escorted down the hall by the AP that can’t stand him (and the one I had a run in with earlier this year). I stepped to the door and asked what was going on and the AP tells me T slipped out the back door and was taking a smoke. Crap! I didn’t even know he smoked. In the meantime, T is apologizing to me for doing something while he was under my watch. He told me his friend was right out the door smoking and he stepped out and took “one drag!” off the guy’s cigarette and then the AP stepped around the corner and saw them. I was pretty disappointed that he would let me down but he looked so miserable I didn’t need to say anything. I could tell he was disappointed in himself. At any rate, I told the AP that I would keep him with me until the bell rang in fifteen minutes or so and the jerk said I didn’t need to. He was going to suspend him and hopefully, he wouldn’t be coming back this year. “T” said, “You can’t suspend me for 7 days for taking a drag off a cigarette!” and the AP starts ranting about how he’s sick of dealing with him and is going to do everything in his power to make sure he doesn’t have to see his face for the rest of the year. Damn! I can’t do anything to defend T because he’s guilty. I know he’s guilty and he knows he’s guilty but I don’t understand why this jerk feels the need to be as nasty as possible with every kid he encounters. He would have done a lot better to tell T that he was really disappointed in his behavior and let the kid wallow in his own misery instead of berating him and talking to him like he’s dirt. I really don’t understand some people in the field of education. It’s like they’re just bullies and they relish holding something over a kid’s head and berating them. You know they wouldn’t talk to another adult that way because they’d get the crap beat out of them but they think it’s okay to do it to a kid.

10:00 - And so it begins…the love/hate relationshop with the garden hose. First time this year that I’ve had to water and it took forever and got me cussin. Of course, it was all tangled up. So, I spent forever getting it untangled. Started pulling it out to the far corner of the yard and it caught on a lawn chair. Put it down and went to move the lawn chair and then waded back out to the front end of it and watered the moonflower seedlings. Moved to a hanging planter and the weight of the water brought the planter crashing down. Turned off the water and spent 15 minutes trying to salvage the planter and redo the flowers in it. Went back to the faucet and turned the water back on and moved to the other side of the yard but the hose hung up on a stepping stone so I went back and pulled it over the stone. Watered another flower bed and went to water behind the spa but the hose wouldn’t reach because I had pulled it around a tree. Had to walk back around the tree and pull the hose around the other side of it but it hung up on a root so I had to drop it and go pull it off the tree roots. I could go on but you get the picture. I’ve got this thing about hoses and cords. They make me crazy. Wish I had the money to put a sprinkler system in. And what’s the deal with electrical cords anyway? You mean to tell me in this day and age no one can figure out how to have wireless electricity?

1:45 - Okay.  I’m done.  DH and I are going incommunicato for a couple of days and heading up to Belterra in the RV.  Have a fantastic weekend, Chicklets!

22ndMay

TGIF

Who’s up for a long weekend? Me! Me, me, me! Pick me!

Didn’t get home until almost 9:00 last night. The Summer Literacy Event went well but attendance was low. Instead of giving details, think I’ll take these ten minutes or so that I have to catch a couple posts.

11:00 - Well this is a pain in the butt!  We’ve got all kinds of people out sick today and everyone who doesn’t have a room full of kids is being pulled to do something else.  Me?  I got grabbed to do the damn Book Fair.  It was scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week and I’m surrounded by all kinds of book shelves with overpriced books and outrageously expensive pencils, erasers, and decals.  I have to sit here all day and try to make sure things don’t walk away and keep track of the money.  I haven’t been able to even get away long enough to go to the bathroom.  Right now, there are only two kids wandering around and I know both of them so I don’t have to watch them like a hawk. 

“Halt!  Stop!  What’s that pink feather sticking out of your pocket?  Is that one of the Book Fair pens with purple ink and a half dozen pink feathers upping the price to $4.99?”

“Yes, you’re looking at it correctly.  That crappy little book with the pictures of My Kitty and silver sparkles is $14.99″

“Yes, I can take change but nineteen dollars worth?  Come on, Sweetie… There are 14 people in line behind you.” 

I figured I’d take work home with me because I’m not going to be able to do anything today.  Then, I thought about putting in a 14 hour day yesterday and getting paid for 7.  And I thought about how I’m sitting here minding the Book Fair so Phyllisann can cover ISAP so the ISAP person can help with security because all three of our security guards called in sick today and I happen to know that two of them just want to extend the weekend so they can go out of town and I’ve decided I’m not taking anything home with me except my purse and my coffee cup.  So there!

8:00 - Know how long it’s been since I sat out in the spa with a glass of iced tea and smelled the honeysuckle?  About ten minutes.  Felt pretty good.  I was totally exhausted.  Sometimes I think it’s psychological.  The last six weeks of school totally kill me.  I didn’t get out of the building until after 4:00 today.  The start of a long weekend and everyone was out early.  Except me.  No one relieved me all day at the Book Fair and I finally closed it up ten minutes before my last period class.  No way I can handle the wild bunch and do Book Fair.  Any other group, I could have given them their laptops and told them to work on free rice the entire period.  I knew better with these guys.  No way I can watch a continual parade of kids, keep tabs on the merchandise, collect all the money, and take care of the wild ones.  Of course, after the bell rang, I had to pack up all the Book Fair kiosks, take care of the laptops that came in today (at least 400) and stagger out the door to the last car in the parking lot.  My poor car.  Sitting way out there in the north forty all by herself.

Came home and DH took pity on me.  Tells me we’re taking Manny and going to Belterra Casino and Resort tomorrow.  He actually tried to make reservations but they were full.  I usually prefer staying in the RV  anyway because I know who’s been sleeping in my bed but Belterra is so luxurious it’s hard to imagine anything remotely gross going on in those sparkling rooms.

Yesterday was a bummer. Long day at work with lots of stuff I had to get done. I didn’t finish up until almost 4:00 and then went out to find that my car had a flat tire. Called AAA and then had to wait forever for them to get there. Stopped by Subway on the way home and picked up subs for dinner.

My wild kids were a pain yesterday. I guess I should rephrase that…most of them were really good but I had trouble from three or four of them. Got ready to go outside like I promised them and “A” stands whining. She has a headache. She doesn’t want to go outside. It’s hot outside. Why does she have to go? I had to go over the rules for how we walk down the hall. Stay beside me, no talking, we’re going straight down the hall to the end of the building and then out the doors to the courtyard. Didn’t get much further than halfway when “P” loudly announces that “D” can suck his……..They start argueing and making all kinds of racket and I have to stop and intervene. In the meantime, half the class has gone out the wrong door and I have to call them back in. Got out to the courtyard and “A” says the sun is too bright and it’s making her headache worse. I told her to sit on a bench in the shade and she said she didn’t want to. She wanted to go back inside. Why did she have to come? Why can’t she just stay in the room by herself? Informs me that this whole school is stupid! “P” says he needs to go to the restroom and I tell him he has to wait. He gets an attitude and starts getting belligerent and mouthing off about how he hates this effing school. I tell him to needs to shut his mouth and sit down. He just keeps on. I tell him I’m writing a referral and calling his Mom and he tells me what I can do with my referral and informs me that his Mom’s cell phone is disconnected so I can call all I want. Then he wants to know why “J” got to go to the restroom when he can’t. I look around and discover that “J” is missing. She wandered around the corner and left. When she finally gets back, I jump her case and she tells me she had to peeeee! So, I finally get them all back in before the bell rings and I’ve got three referrals and two phone calls to make.

nine more days………..

I have to teach a parent training session this evening. We have a bunch of money left in an account designated for parents and we have to use it or lose it. Phyllisann, Mike and I put together a workshop on helping kids keep sharp over the summer. Sent out flyers to three elementary feeder schools that will be sending us 6th graders next year and distributed one to all of our 1,700 students. There will be a catered meal and each parent will receive a flash drive with a bunch of resources on it. It was RSVP and we only got 40 reservations. The money can be used for parents (hence: free dinner and free flashdrives and drawing for prizes) but it can’t be used for us so the three of us will be working without pay all evening.

nine more days….

DS wants to know what’s wrong with my face. “It’s all puffy. You look terrible. Are you sick?” I don’t know what he’s talking about. I think I look the same as I always do. DGS comes downstairs and wants to know what’s wrong with my face. “It doesn’t look right.”

nine more days…………………

8:30 - I’m at work and Sharon, Paul, and Barbara want to know what’s wrong with my face. I think I should be allowed to go home and sit in a chaise lounge on the patio with cucumber slices over my eyes.

3:40 - Raced home from school to drop the boys off.  I want to freshen up my makeup and change clothes before I head back.  Phyllisann says she’s wearing a dress and heels.  Crap!

20thMay

Andrew Rocks!

We went to the National Honor Society induction last night for DGS, Andrew. Turns out, he was one of only twelve kids who made the final cut. Twelve kids out of the entire school. I’m so daggone proud of him. For an ECE kid with a lot of handicaps in his way, he’s climbed to the top 4% of his class. Just goes to show you what dedication and hard work can do. He’s gone from self-contained ECE classes in middle school to full time regular classes with no accommodations and he’s excelled. It really did my heart good to see him beaming with pride. Didn’t do my heart much good when neither his mother or father attended. I told both of them about how important it was and made sure they knew the date and time. Andrew, however, didn’t seem to notice. To his way of thinking, I’m in the mama role and DH is the daddy. And I guess that’s okay.

On the school front, I promised the wild bunch (my 7th graders) I’d take them outside today. They’ve been begging and I told them if they could behave Monday and Tuesday, I’d take them outside. They’ve been really good so I’m going to give it a try. They’ll grab their laptops and we’ll go out in the courtyard and I hope they can enjoy class without acting like a bunch of idiots. I manage to keep them under control but I’ve learned that I have to be on them every minute. If I turn my back on them, someone’s going to act up. If I try to do anything other than give them my full attention, things will fall apart. As long as I keep them busy and keep a tight reign, we can get through each day. I hope they can show me that they can behave if I lighten up a little. It would be nice to do something fun with them these last few days.

Strange situation yesterday. I’m sitting there working and “T” starts talking and really opening up. He starts telling me how his dad wants him to go to a different school next year and that starts a conversation about why he’s not finding success in this school and that leads to an honest discussion about reading and math and special ed. I’m really listening and thinking about everything he says and I don’t notice Vicki Jo walking up beside me. She touched me on the shoulder and I turned and saw her smiling face and went berserk. Vicki Jo! Vicki Jo! Mi Amiga, Vicki Jo!

We were a force to be reckoned with. Vicki Jo, Elsie, Rick and I. We’d worked together for years at another school and we had our hands in everything. We served on just about every committee there was, taught our classes, had lunch together, and were valued by and pleased with our principal. Rick was a young teacher and I was his supervisor during his first year of teaching. Elsie, Vicki Jo, and I were not only friends but students and were all working on a masters in educational technology. We collaborated on everything and seldom got away from school before five or six. We didn’t mind because we loved what we were doing and loved each other. Our principal was promoted to another position at the board and new principal came to the school. We couldn’t stand him. He not only failed to appreciate our dedication but heaped tons of additional work on us and we felt overworked and undervalued. The guy was a total jerk. He really wanted to attract fresh new teachers and showered them with glory in an effort to keep them while being totally unappreciative of those of us who had been dedicated to the school for years. In the long run, he didn’t manage to keep the young shooting stars and alienated most of the core group of teachers who had invested so much into making the school successful. Within three years of his arrival, more than half the staff had transferred. Rick was the first to go, Elsie and I left the next year and Vicki Jo remained one more year and then shocked us all when she announced she was retiring from teaching and moving to Cambodia to do missionary work. Not only was she moving to Cambodia, she was going to a village with no running water and going to live in a hut with dirt floors. She’d been going over there for two weeks at Christmas for several years and loved the Cambodians and felt like that was what she needed to be doing.

Imagine my shock and joy when she walked in yesterday. I saw her smile and my whole world opened up.  She’s been gone for more than two years.  No email, no letters, just the occasional update from another teacher who attends the same church as the one that sponsors Vicki Jo and her husband.  I can’t begin to tell you how happy it made me to see her.  She’s here for a month and then she’ll be going back to Cambodia to resume her work.  In the meantime, she found out where I was teaching and just showed up out of the clear blue.  I really didn’t think I’d ever see her again.

Rick is now a big shot at the board of education, Elsie is still in the classroom and I guess some people think I’m a big shot in the technolgy world because I’m one of only 12 TRTs in the state.  We all went our separate ways and followed our own paths.  Vicki Jo and I talked for about an hour and then she had to go but promises that she’ll see me a couple more times before she leaves.  I hope we can all get together for dinner before she has to go back.  I see Elsie occasionally and Rick every now and then but I’ve never found the kind of commitment and comraderie with a group of teachers like I had with them. 

 

I can do that.  Five days this week, four days next week, and three days the next.  I have two additional days after the kids are gone but days without the kiddos go pretty fast.  I guess it’s three weeks if you want to get technical about it but twelve days sounds a lot better.

I wish DS would hear something about the job today.  It would be nice to know, one way or the other.  Let’s see…what else is going on?  Tuesday evening is Andrew’s induction into the National Honor Society and Thursday afternoon and evening I have to do a three hour parent training workshop on summer activities to keep the kids learning.  Ought to be an interesting week.  I’ve told teachers I need all the laptop carts turned in no later than Friday so I’m going to be busy organizing all that and I’ve got to get a final issue of the school newsletter out by next Friday, the 29th.  The final issue will be dedicated to graduating seniors and feature articles about end of the year awards.  The year may be coming to a close but there’s still a lot of stuff to do.

Think I’m going to keep track of little victories today:

  • 6:00 a.m. weighed myself (we won’t talk about that…)
  • 6:05 - packed a Smart Ones entree for lunch and yogurt for breakfast

Got lots of yardwork going on today.  I bought one of those Topsy Turvy tomato planters.  There isn’t one square foot of my yard that gets enough sun to grow tomatoes but I do get a fair amount of sunshine on one side of the patio.  I couldn’t find the topsy turvey so I took a regular hanging planter, cut a hole in the bottom, and planted a tomato plant in it last week.  Yesterday, I found one of the topsy turvies at K-Mart so I got another couple of tomato plants and I want to hang them up on the patio.

Yesterday, DH and I ran around all day.  I went to Habitat for Humanity but the pickings were slim.  Didn’t see Habitat guy anywhere.  The plants were very picked over and the prices were posted so there wasn’t much dickering goin on.  I decided to pass (for now).  I still want to get a couple of the flower beds cleaned out today and plant my moonflower seeds.

After Habitat, we returned the gold chain DH got me for Mother’s Day (Ummmmm…did he just put the money in his wallet?) and went to sell the gold and silver junk I pulled out of my jewelry box last week.  Got $547.00 for it.  Not bad (wait a minute…did he just put that money in his wallet, too?).  Came home to find TOTAL chaos going on.  Oldest DS was asleep and DGD, Holly, was running around the house, youngest DS (David) was here along with his two kids so I had both DS’s, the twins, Holly, Jake, Scout, DH and I.  David had been in the attic and dragged out a kazillion bottles of beer.  He used to collect them when he was in his twenties and has quite a collection.  I mean, QUITE a collection.  There must be seven or eight hundred cans or bottles of beer.  He decided to sell them and was pricing things on the internet.  He has Billy Beer (if anyone remembers Billy Carter) which isn’t worth much because everyone thought it would be a collector’s item someday.  He was in beer bottle Heaven most of the afternoon as he discovered one six pack that should bring $300.00 and another that’s supposed to be worth $200.00.  Me?  I don’t get into collecting much.  You’ve got to have the right item and the right buyer to do any good and I don’t have time for it.  Jake and Scout started getting restless so he finally headed home and left half the family room filled with beer bottles (”I promise, Mom, I’ll be back over early tomorrow to get this stuff out of your way”). 

We’re still waiting to hear about his job as catering supervisor for the school district.  He had another interview Wednesday but he didn’t think he handled it as well as he could have.  One of the questions was “How would you deal with an employee who wasn’t doing his job?”  DS said, “I’d fire him.”  I think they were looking for something like “I’d meet with him to discuss the problem and put him on notice and then document his performance and meet with him again in a month or so.  Assign someone to help him if he really didn’t understand what needed to be done and then take action if significant improvement didn’t occur.”  The other question that totally floored him was, “How would you market the catering service?”  Actually the food is terrible and horribly overpriced so none of the schools use the catering service.  DS didn’t know how to respond because traditional marketing techniques don’t work in that kind of environment.  You can’t place ads in the paper, the menu and recipes are set in stone, and you can’t give away food so people can try it.  Of course, he didn’t know that recipes can be changed if the changes are approved and he didn’t know that principals get to use funding from another source if they use the district’s catering service so it doesn’t come out of their school budget.  He said he really fumbled that question and remembers saying something to the effect of “I guess I would try to find out why it wasn’t successful and then try to remedy the situation.”  He said he felt pretty good about all the other questions but was totally unprepared for the one about marketing strategies.  He was pretty disappointed that he didn’t get a call on Friday but I’m still hoping.  The old supervisor is retiring so they know they can take their time.  DS is used to a more traditional interview where you interview on one day and the next day they’re calling to ask when you can start.  I know how bad he wants this position and I’m praying he’ll get it.  If he doesn’t get the job, I hope they have the courtesy to let him know, at least.  He’s been on pins and needles for two weeks now.

12:00 - Got the house as clean as it’s going to get today.  Still no sign of DS and I’m sick of looking at beer cans and bottles.  I think we should just throw a keg party without the keg and be done with it.

I need a challenge.  Last spring and summer, I was driven by a desire to hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls and it gave me incentive to keep on track because I really wanted to be able to complete that killer hike.  I wish I had some burning desire to do something like that this summer.  I’ve done most of the things I want to do except hike the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coast in Kauai, Hawaii.  It’s an eleven mile hike that climbs up the mountains and then drops down over and over with views of the beautiful coastline far below.  After hiking all day, you come to a beautiful beach where you spend the night and then return on the same trail the next day.  It’s supposed to be extremely difficult to do in one day so the secluded beach accommodates those who make it and gives a night’s rest to the sound of crashing waves before heading back the next day.

I know I won’t be hiking the Na Pali coast for several reasons: 

We used to spend a month in Hawaii every other year and I could NEVER get anyone to go with me on the hike and it was way too dangerous to do on my own.

We burned out on Hawaii after vacationing there at least six times over a 12 year period and decided we weren’t going back.  Changed our minds when DH’s aunt begged us to take her to Hawaii three years ago and it was a BIG mistake.  Won’t do that again.  (That’s another story for another time)  Suffice to say it was one of the most miserable vacations of our lives and finished the total burnout for Hawaii.

Now I’m too old and I don’t think my ankles would be flexible enough to climb those narrow mountain goat trails anyway.

So….that leaves me with…what?  Where’s the challenge?  What’s my next big adventure going to be?  I wish I could find some totally fabulous hike that would drive me this summer but we’re just going to our place in northern Florida and, other than canoeing down the Suwannee (which DH is totally opposed to), I don’t know of anything I’d want to do.  Anyone got any ideas?

16thMay

Tell me a story

Scentstorie, that is….I love my scentstories machine.  Febreze came out with them a few years ago and I bought three.  They hold scented discs that rotate through the machine at half hour intervals for 2 1/2 hours.  The discs were only five bucks or so and I bought a couple each month.  Went to bed each night to the gentle white sound of my scent stories with the fragrance lulling me to sleep.  Febreze stopped carrying the discs rather quickly and I was quite put out to have all these machines and no way to get new discs.  Then, Yankee Candle Company started carrying them…at $10.00 each.  I buy one every now and then and use it until there’s barely a whiff of fragrance left.  When there’s not much left in the disc, I toss it in my nightstand drawer.  Don’t know why.  Maybe because the day frequently comes when I change one barely scented disc for another barely scented disc in hopes that I tossed one into the drawer before it was used up. 

This morning, I decided to go on e-bay and see if I could get them any cheaper.  Fat chance.  They’re a couple of bucks cheaper but then you have to pay shipping.  I did a sort to arrange them from lowest price to highest and the first item was for instructions on how to reuse the old discs.  Figured I couldn’t go wrong for $3.99 so I ordered them.  Ten minutes later, the instructions were sent to my e-mail.  I followed them and couldn’t believe how easy it was to redo the discs!  I have quite a few scented soy candles and I scooped out a dab of the wax, put it in the containers, and popped the tops back on.  Wheeeee!!!!  My discs are renewed and I can use my scentstories whenever I want!  I’ve spent the last hour gathering candles and filling my old discs.  Doesn’t take much to make me happy!

I’m getting pretty tired of testing.  Every day for two weeks.  And, I’m tired of these awful gray and navy tee shirts and jeans.  It makes me feel sloppy.  I’ve got to admit, however, that it sure makes it easy to get ready in the mornings.  “shall I wear the gray tee shirt with navy words or the navy with gray words?  decisions, decisions..”

Thanks, Joy and Brandie, for being so understanding.  I promise to keep up with things a lot better over the summer.  Don’t know about August, Brandi, because we have to be back at work on August 3rd.  Not even two months off.

Not that I’m counting.

MUCH better this morning.  I watched American Idol last night, took a Tylenol PM, and hit the bed.  Slept great and woke up feeling good!  Not much going on this morning.  Think I’ll try to catch up with a post or two before I have to get ready for work.

6:15 - I’ll be soooo glad when school is over and I can find some free time.  Keeping up with blogs is hard!  I read and comment on three or four each day but that still means I’m only touching base with my bloggie buddies every few days and I can’t keep up with everyone!  Half the time, I’m going “What??  When did that happen?”  Forgive me if I miss important stuff!  I’m not a very good blog buddy…

13thMay

Ugghhh…

That’s the only title that’s appropriate. I feel like crap this morning. Went to bed early (9:30) but tossed and turned all night. Woke up with a killer backache and ran to the bathroom with dry heaves. What a wonderful way to start the day. On the other hand, I took my coffee and went out to the spa for a few minutes. It really helped the backache. Wish I could call in sick but we’re in the middle of testing and that’s totally unthinkable.

On the homefront…little sister came through her surgery just fine (according to her son). I haven’t talked to her. Tried to call when I got home from work but she was still in recovery. Tried to call again a couple of hours later but they still hadn’t put her in a room. My nephew called around 7:00 to let me know how she was but said she was totally out of it so I didn’t talk to her. I’ll try to call her this morning.
DS has yet another interview for the position with the school system this morning. Come on! Give him the job, would ya? I so hope he gets good news.

And now…it’s off to the shower.

9:00 - School update–I’m at school and my students get 2 hours for this portion of the test.  They’ve all finished and closed their books but we’re not allowed to do anything until the time is up so I can sit here and type for a few minutes while they all sit at their desks with their heads down.  Poor kids…can’t even read a book till the time’s up.

About T…he’s been doing pretty good on attendance except when he gets suspended.  Nevertheless, I’m very fond of him and he likes to come to me during lunch and hang out.  I found that poem I wrote about ten years ago that still seems relevant and probably always will:

You Are Not My Child

If you were my child
I’d hold you in my arms
and tell you how your smile
strengthens my resolve
and guides me through my day.
I’d wrap you in my pride
and nourish you with dreams
of a future full of hope.

You are not my child.
Still
I’m loving you
the only way I can.
I am a book for you to read.
Perhaps a line or a phrase
you may recall in distant years.

You are not my child.
I will not hold you to my breast
or kiss your sleepy brow
as I tuck you into bed.
What are you to me
that I see your hungry eyes
before I drift to sleep?

Still very much true.  So many kids who don’t get what they need and we can only give them a little bit of what they so desperately want.  Speaking of desperately needing something, my wild child class has calmed down considerably.  I’ve had to accept that they will never learn to walk in, take their seats, and get to work.  I have to spend five minutes getting them into their seats and another five minutes getting them on task but they do, eventually, follow through with what I want.  Big improvement over when I first got them and the best I’m going to get.

Okay, time is almost up.  I need to collect test booklets.

4:00 - Home from work but I had to bring it with me.  I have at least two, maybe three, more hours of work to get done.  sigh… DS had his interview but still doesn’t know anything.

Only 16 more school days for the kids. Two additional ones for me. I can see the end (barely)…way down there after two weeks of statewide testing. Dressing is easy: jeans and another CATS tee shirt. We get a new one every year so I have quite a collection now. Today’s is a dingy grey with navy blue printing. “Excel! Go MTS! I’m ready for CATS so BRING IT ON!” Testing all this week and next week followed by a long weekend for Memorial Day, return for four days, another weekend and then back with the kids for three more days. It’s always difficult to deal with them this time of year. Things are so fragmented and they get pretty antsy. Had to call two parents yesterday. Love the rationale of one of the kids: “I didn’t say ‘Your mama’s a Ho’ I said ‘Your mama’s a whore!” Oh, well then, pardon ME!

Little sister goes in for another ankle surgery today. Family curse. I REALLY hope this one works for her. Following surgery, she’ll be stuck in a wheelchair for at least six months. Been there, done that but I’ve never had to stay in a wheelchair for more than three months. Gimp and gimpier, that us. Her genetic problem was compounded by a car wreck (sixteen year old drunk driver) about fifteen years ago that crushed her foot and ankle. She’s had even more ankle surgeries than I have but none of them have done much for her. This is supposed to be the granddaddy of all with one of the leading foot and ankle surgeons in the country. He’s redoing everything. I hope it works for her.

I was going to write more yesterday but DS, DIL, and the grandkids came by. Instead, I did Mother’s Day stuff and wound up spending most of the day sorting out jewelry. I got a beautiful tanzanite necklace in Mexico last Christmas but the chain is too short. I thought it was okay but everytime I wear it, it annoys me. So I asked to have an extension put on the chain for Mother’s Day. Instead, DH bought me a new chain and I just about had a heart attack when I saw what he paid for it. Believe me, it’s getting returned today. I started looking through my jewelry to see if I already had a chain that would work and one thing led to another. I started several piles. Silver to sell, gold to sell, unknown stuff to sell, stuff to give DGD, Holly, and stuff to keep. I can’t believe how much stuff there is. I had tons of broken gold and silver chains and bracelets that I never got around to repairing and a bunch of stuff that I don’t know where it came from or what it is. Holly was in junk jewelry Heaven. I asked DH to call around today and find out where we should take it. I don’t know what to do with old chains that aren’t broken. I hate to sell them just for scrap when they’re not broken, I don’t want them, and I know Holly would lose them within a week. Remember add-a-bead necklaces? What about those sleek herringbone chains we wore in the 80s? Smooth as a ribbon until you caught them on something and then they got kinks that would never come out. I even had an old six unit dental bridge that DH had replaced twenty years ago. That’s a heavy hunk of gold!

Gotta run, didn’t do anything even remotely resembling dieting or exercise all weekend. sigh…when will I learn?

Oh, wait!  I almost forgot…Finally got my wedding rings back on after not wearing them for almost a year following removal of a cyst in my finger.  They were lying there, in my jewelry box, and I stared at them for a long, long time, tiny little rings, size 4 1/2.  I really am supposed to be little.  Small boned and petite.  My frame is NOT supposed to be carrying around 180 pounds and I really didn’t want to have my rings resized.  I’ve worn them for 40 years and it seemed like some kind of gesture to defeat to have them resized.  I took a deep breath, and forced them over my knuckle.  Surprise, surprise!  They slid right on.  Took another, deeper breath and tried to take them off and they came off just fine!  Yay!  Finally!

Yeah, I’m here, Susan.  No tornados but I almost got washed away by the downpours.  Killer day Friday and I limped in wet and miserable as a sewer rat.  The downpour let up for a few minutes and I got a beer and went out to the spa.  Of course, the heaven’s opened up and the rain came down.  An torrential downpour that had the gutters spilling water over the rims in cascading waterfalls.  I just sat there.  Letting the rain pour over me and drinking my beer.

Saturday, I worked six hours on the school newsletter and then headed out shopping for a gift for my mom.  She’s really hard to shop for.  She got a stress fracture in her back and two broken ribs a couple of weeks ago when she locked herself out and tried to climb the fence in her backyard.  Got stuck and had to wait a couple of hours until my brother got home.  We asked her why she didn’t use her med alert and she said it wasn’t an emergency.   If an 84 year old woman stuck on top of her fence isn’t an emergency, what is?  I mean, Really, Mom!  I wanted to get her a nice jacket or sweater because she gets cold all the time.  Poor thing, she has osteoporosis so bad she’s about 4 feet tall now and has a widow’s hump that makes it difficult to get anything to fit her.  I shopped forever and finally found what I wanted.  I got her a beautiful green sweater that was cut like a cape and had enough flair in it to cover her without swallowing her.

After I got the sweater wrapped, I drove for an hour to get to her house and visited for a while.

“Thank you, Honey.  I don’t know what I’ll wear it with.  I don’t have any green.”

“You don’t have to wear green with it, Mom.  You can wear yellow, black, pastels..whatever you want.  It’s a neutral.  Do you want to try it on?”

“No, no…my back hurts so bad I can hardly move.”

“Why don’t you let me just drape it around you and make sure it fits and I can take it back and get a different size if it doesn’t?”

“No, it fits.  I can tell it fits.  I don’t have anything to wear with it.”

“You can wear it with anything, Mom.  It’s just a nice little summer sweater.”

“Thank you.  It was really thoughtful of you.  I wish I had something to wear with it.”

I stayed about an hour and left.  I think she’s starting to get a little bit of dementia.  Not much…it’s just that she’s a little strange these days.

8thMay

Splish Splash

Woke up to the sound of rain. Rather nice, actually. Waking up after a full 7 hours sleep and lying there with the windows open to the rain and fresh air. Thought I’d take my coffee out to the spa but decided a spring rain just might be chilly enough to invade the peaceful aura that surrounds me this morning. Instead, I’ll just sit here and relax for a few minutes before I have to get ready for work.

The meeting went well yesterday. Still, I know being out of the building all day means I have even more work piled up. 3 1/2 weeks of school left. If we hadn’t had the windstorm from Ike in the fall and the ice storm in January, we’d be looking at 1 1/2 weeks but I’m not going to dwell on that. Instead, I’m going to count down the days until we get out. Two extra days for teachers after the kids leave. That means I have 20 more work days.

No update to share on the job situation with DS. The posting ended Wednesday. Right now, he’s in red tape purgatory with it. I hope it all pays off for him. Has to supply the board with a ton of stuff. Has to have a criminal background check, all his school records, health certificates and shot records. TB test, eight references, etc.. I’d like to think they wouldn’t put him through all this unless they were serious but who knows? It’s the same process for anyone who applies to work with the school system. I know he has a second interview scheduled but I’m not sure when it is. Still praying for him.

6:15 - Finished my shower, hair and makeup. Got the boys up. Took a look at 2008 Patty. On this day a year ago, poor Patty chaperoned a field trip on a riverboat with a bunch of seventh graders and spent the day freezing. Didn’t eat very well but she didn’t totally crash either. She was at 187 and I’m up to 182.5 this morning. I think I can take her.

Easy dress day…statewide testing starts Monday and we’re having a “Prep” Rally today to kick it off.  All teachers are supposed to wear jeans and a CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) tee shirt.  Should be fun.