Whittle it down

Last week was murder.  Friday night was the annual Awards Banquet with dinner for 200.  I limped out of school at 11:00 p.m. and barely had enough energy to make it to my car.  I don’t think I sat down for more than 30 minutes during the 16 hour workday.  I was so tired during the cleanup that I didn’t think I could make it upstairs to my room so I just kept telling ROTC cadets to carry stuff upstairs and “put it around my desk area”.  Can’t wait to see what kind of mess is waiting for me when I get to work this morning.

Saturday was a day of rest.  I didn’t even get dressed.  Just sat around and watched TV with my ankle elevated and a heating pad on it.  It was kind of nice, actually.  I couldn’t walk because of the pain and swelling and everyone catered to me all day.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  The NHS Induction ceremony is behind me.  The ROTC Banquet is behind me.  The list of things I have to do is being whittled down, bit by bit. 

The ROTC presented me with flowers.  Not the bunch of flowers you pick up at Kroger as you’re standing in the checkout lane, but a real arrangement done by a florist.  It meant a lot to me and the flowers are proudly displayed in the living room.

I just have to get through the next four days and then it’s off to Florida for spring break.  DGS’s, Andrew and Steven, have decided not to go with us so that opens the door to a possible personal day on Friday which gives me a short week and an extra day at the beach.  I’ll find out today if I can get Friday off.

My computer is still messed up and I’m typing on this crappy little mini computer that belongs to grandson Steven.  The tiny keyboard is making me crazy so I’m going to keep this short.  Have a good one, Chickies!




Just a quick note. Our router is down and I haven’t been able to connect from home all week. Sorry, gals, I just can’t type all that well on a damn i-Phone and I can’t ever find time at work to do anything other than just working. Just wanted to let everyone know I’m still out here.



Okay, Sarah has begun a list of 100 things that make her happy.  Wow!  100!  I started a new category called 100 Smiles and I’ll add to it as I go along.  Time is short this morning so I’ll just touch on a couple of them.

I enjoy sitting out on the patio on a sunny morning working the daily crossword puzzle.  Strange thing is…I haven’t done it for ages.  I mean really.  I don’t think I did it even once last summer.  Don’t know why it popped in my head.  Maybe because we had a pretty day yesterday and we’re supposed to be sunny and in the 70s today so I was thinking how nice it would be if I didn’t have to go to work.  I’d love to just sit out on the patio and work the crossword puzzle.  I like reading the clues, pausing to watch the birds in the birdfeeders and houses and then filling in the blanks.  I can sit out there by the flower gardens and watch the bees and dragonflies do their thing while I soak up the sun.  Guess that’s going to be my first three smiles:

  1. The daily crossword
  2. Bird Feeders
  3. Flower Gardens
  4. Walking out of the building on the last day before spring/summer/Christmas break
  5. Finishing a MAJOR project at work
  6. daffodils
  7. Sitting in the spa with my morning coffee and looking at the stars
  8. Walking through a parking lot and realizing that I’m kind of swishing around in my jeans because they’re a little bit loose and they’re not glued to me
  9. Meeting a mini goal that I wasn’t sure I could meet
  10. Totally ripe watermelon – deliciously sweet and low calorie
  11. a crystal clear pool on a hundred degree day
  12. Riding the waves at the beach
  13. sitting on a balcony sipping a glass of wine with warm ocean breezes stirring the palm trees
  1. Daily Crossword
  2. Bird Feeders
  3. Flower Gardens
  4. Walking out of the building on the last day before spring/summer/Christmas break
  5. Finishing a MAJOR project at work
  6. daffodils
  7. 3FC friends who read my rants and give me hugs
  8. skinny dipping in the pool at midnight
  9. a glass of wine in the spa
  10. traveling
  11. palm trees on a beach
  12. Edy’s fruit bars


Do It Right!

  I grabbed a few minutes to read Joy’s post and the comments from Brandi and Sarah and it got the old brain cells agitated.  I started thinking about my own philosophy about things and realized I’m a member of the “Do it Right” group.  I can’t do things halfway.  It’s all or nothing.

My father is largely responsible for my attitude.  I can still hear him saying, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”  And he’d be angry.  Or disappointed.  That statement could really burn when it came from my Dad because it left me feeling inadequate and worthless.  He didn’t lavish praise on any of us kids.  It was difficult to get his admiration.  Not that he was mean and nasty.  He wasn’t.  He was just very gruff and self-contained.    And he’d usually shoo me away and do whatever task I was supposed to be doing himself.  It would be done to his specifications because he wouldn’t settle for anything less.

Me?  I think I brought some of that baggage with me.  I want everything done to my specifications.  I didn’t bring the gruff part along.  I make it a point to let my family know that I love them but my praise comes too easily.  I tell them I appreciate what they do even when it’s only done half-ass.  The result is that I’ve come to rely on myself to “Do It Right.”

Where am I going with all this?  I’m trying (while getting the boys through breakfast and showers and rushing around here getting ready for work) to think about why I have so much going on all the time and why I can’t seem to just take those small steps that help keep us healthy and happy.  Is it because I really feel like it’s not worth doing at all if I can’t go charging ahead at full speed?  And why do I always have to do so much?  Is it because people know I’ll do it right?  They know I’m going to make sure everything is taken care of and no one else has to worry about anything.  Give it to Pat and it’ll get done.

I have to think about this today.  It’s really striking a chord.  I’m thinking about how little my husband and family will be doing today and how much I’m going to be doing and the scales are waaayyy out of balance.

Gotta run.  More later.

8:47 – It’s like the calm before the storm.  Today is a relatively stress free day.  I have to get ready for Saturday School this week but that’s about all that’s hanging over my head for today. 

Back to what I was thinking about earlier…I got to school and tracked down the custodian to let me in the old Home Ec room that’s equipped with stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers.  I have three big tablecloths that belong to the school that I need to wash because I used them for the NHS Induction Ceremony Tuesday night.  I walked in and it was like looking at my laundry room at home.  There was a huge pile of tablecloths on a table.  The dryer was packed with cold, crumpled up tablecloths.  The washer was full of tablecloths that had run the cycle and been abandoned.  Since it’s early morning and school just started 15 minutes ago, they obviously have been there for a while.  I emptied the dryer and added to the pile on the table.  Then I took the tablecloths in the washer and put them in the dryer.  Finally, I was able to start washing the ones I used Tuesday evening. 

Now…get this….ROTC has fifty tablecloths that are used for the Annual Banquet dinner that’s being held next Friday.  Last year, one of the parents and I shared in the overwhelming task of getting the tablecloths washed and ironed for the banquet.  I told Sarge and Major I WOULD NOT do it again this year.  I told them they needed to get the cadets to take care of it.  They have 150 students and they should be able to get 50 tablecloths washed and ironed.

So I’m staring at all these tablecloths and I find myself wanting to fold them, for cryin out loud.  It’s like “Why can’t anyone do anything like they’re supposed to????”  Why bother to wash them at all if you’re just going to pile them up in a heap and let them get all wrinkled? 

I went down to the ROTC classroom and Sarge and Major are sitting on their butts chatting.  It’s their planning period and they don’t have any students.  I needed to pick up a list of items they need for the banquet and I brought the tablecloths to their attention.

Major:  “Can you believe these kids???  They’re so lazy it’s pitiful!  I told them to take care of the tablecloths.  If they want to have them all wrinkled up, that’s the way it’s going to be.  I’m not their mama.  I’m not going to run along behind them making sure they do things the way they’re supposed to.  If the general shows up and speakers from all over the state and the tablecloths look like sh&t, maybe they’ll learn a lesson.  If they’re humiliated with the way the place looks, that’s on them.”

Me: “That’s all fine and good but it’s our school and it’s our reputation.  We can’t provide a banquet for 200 people and have the tables all looking like crap.  You’re going to have to make sure they take care of the tablecloths.  I don’t want to explain to the principal that everything looked like sh*t because the kids didn’t take care of it.  I need you to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.”

Sarge: “I’m with major.  If they can’t do it right, they deserve whatever happens.  If they’re embarassed, that’s just too bad.”

Me:  “I’m not talking about them.  I’m talking about our school, our principal, ME.  I don’t want to be embarassed.  I don’t want to be associated with something that comes across as a disaster.  And I really believe they’ll do a good job if you just make sure they understand what they have to do.”

At this point, I started looking over the list they gave me:
crepe paper
30 pats of butter
30 packets of salt and pepper
100 forks
50 knives

“What’s with this list?  It doesn’t make any sense at all.  Why would we need butter?  David will take care of all of that and I don’t know why we’d need 30 pats even if we did have to buy it?  30 packets of salt and pepper?  What’s that about?  We have 50 shaker sets.  Why would we need packets?  Why do we need 100 forks but just 50 knives?  This entire list doesn’t make any sense.”

Major:  “Sh&t!!!  You see what I mean?  These kids can’t do anything right!  They were supposed to go through the storage room and look at what we have and what we need to pick up.  I don’t have any idea where they came up with this crap!”

And then I…..like I always do……found myself shaking my head in disgust and saying the same damn thing that I always say:

“Forget it.  I’ll just do it myself.  I’ll get David to come out here tomorrow and do an inventory and he and I will figure out what we need.  It’s got to be done and I need that list.”

So what’s it all about?  Why do I do these things?  Why do I let myself get so involved with so many different things that there’s no time left for the things that really matter?  My health is important.  Exercise is important.  Cooking healthy meals is important but I don’t have time for all that because I’m too busy doing all the stuff everyone else isn’t doing.

I really need to see a shrink….

That’s what it feels like.  Get past one blow and brace for the next.  Yesterday damn near killed me.  The NHS Induction went well.  I was proud to have been instrumental in pulling it all together but I was totally exhausted when I finally dragged myself in the door at 8:30 last night.  It was a nice ceremony and we had around 200 show up but I went off and left dirty punch bowls, tablecloths, floral arrangements, and a host of other debris last night that I’ll have to deal with today.  I was so tired I just piled everything on a couple of carts and wheeled it into my room.  I dread cleanup.  I have a ton of cake left.  When we did the Junior NHS Induction, we weren’t prepared for so many guests and one sheet cake wasn’t enough.  Toward the end, we were serving slices of cake in tiny little squares that would barely qualify as a spoonful.  This time, I ordered two sheet cakes, we had around 200 guests again, and we barely consumed a third of a cake.  Who knows?  I can’t figure it out but I guess our staff is going to be eating cake today. 

I got home last night, kicked off my shoes and my ankles and calves looked like balloons!  Ackkk!  What the Hell is that about????  I got to thinking about it and realized I barely sat down all day yesterday.  Almost 14 hours of standing and running the halls in dress shoes.  I went to bed at 10:30 but I was too jacked up to sleep.  I was still tossing and turning and staring at the alarm clock at 12:30.  Now, 5:00 a.m. seems awfully early.

Next hurdle, ESS after school today.  An extra hour and a half working with kids who are failing math.  I met with them for the first time last Wednesday and, I have to say, I really enjoyed working with them.  They were well behaved and energetic and seemed eager to please.  Hmmmm….maybe I should save them some cake.

I have to work Saturday school this weekend and then, next Friday is the killer banquet for ROTC.  A full dinner for around 200.  Seems like 200 is the magic number.

I need to get ready for work.  Today is definitely a day for jeans and a comfy top.  Bring it on!

You made me smile, Lady!  Like you said, just making it through another day is something to write about.  And I did make it through.  Today will be a real test.  Work all day followed by 3 1/2 hours of conferencing and then the NHS Induction begins at 6:30.  I’ll be glad to get that one behind me.  Yeah, Brandi, the boss lady thought having it after Conference Day would be a good thing for a lot of parents because they could come to the school and have conferences and then just stick around for the induction while they were there.  I hope it turns out nice.  We’ve worked hard to pull it together.  I have a feeling I’ll be half dead when I get home.

We’ve decided to go to our place in Florida over spring break and then head down to St. George Island for a couple of days.  I need to make reservations.  Spring break is just 2 1/2 weeks away.  I hope the time goes fast.  I know today will fly because I have so much to do.  Tomorrow ought to go fast, too, because I have another busy day.  Saturday, I’ll teach Saturday school and then, next week, I have the dreaded ROTC Annual Banquet.  DS is catering it again this year.  All in all, I’m hoping things keep moving as fast as they have been and I’ll wake up and it’ll be spring break!  I have to admit, I get up, go to work, don’t have time for anything and then hit the bed at night.  I can’t believe we’re more than halfway through March!

Crap!  It just dawned on me that I meant to write my speech for the NHS Induction when I got home last night and I forgot.  Guess I’ll just wing it…

Every morning I wonder if I should post but then I realize there’s nothing new to say.  Same old, same old, same old….I could just copy and paste the same thing every day.  “worked, watched TV, slept.”  The work might change a little bit but it’s always too much and too long.  The TV shows might change a bit from day to day and I might get a bit more or less of sleep but that’s about the only variety these days.

Today is Parent Conference Day.  We split the day this year and will be working an extra 3 1/2 hours today and an extra 3 1/2 hours tomorrow.  The scheduled day was messed up because of snow days.  That means I’m at work from 7:00 to 7:00 today and tomorrow.  On top of that, the National Honor Society Induction is tomorrow after conferences so that will add another hour on the day.

Off to the shower.

The Sista Pat clan definitely helped the school image yesterday.  DGS, Andrew, spent the day at a district level competition for Skills USA.  It has to do with school to work programs.  He’s been taking classes in printing for the last four years and has become pretty good at working with desktop publishing and running a print machine.  He did a presentation using PowerPoint support and won a gold metal in his category.  Yay, Andrew!!

I went to a School Technology Coordinator meeting yesterday evening and won a trophy, framed certificate and laser printer for submitting some work my students have done to help with the upkeep and repairs on the i-Books.  Wouldn’t have submitted but for the nagging and encouragement of my good friend, Sista Jana.

So we finish out the week raining glory on the school.  DH doesn’t quite understand how you win a printer but it has to go to the school.  He thinks Andrew and I should get a day off or something.


Back in Favorites

3FC is back in my favorites.  It’s been a few days.  My computer got a vicious virus and it pretty well wiped it out.  I was backing stuff up and trying to save/salvage as much as I could and I finally had to turn it in on Monday and got it reimaged yesterday.  Now I’m back on line and trying to reinstall programs, find favorites, and load all my files back on it.

I missed you guys!  I’ve been working like crazy and missed being able to post and wrap my thoughts around the upcoming day.  It’s my time to kind of get a grip on what I have to do each day. 

Now, I’m off to see what you’ve been up to.


Under the covers

I really didn’t want to get up this morning.  This post will be short because I stayed in bed as long as possible.  It was warm and cozy and I just wanted to keep on sleeping.

ROTC meeting went well last night.  Finalizing plans for the big Dining Out Awards March 26. On paper, everything looks good but I need to get on the phone and see if we can get more parents to help out.

SIL, Kim, hasn’t been doing well at all. She’s been delusional for almost a month.  Thinks she had thirteen children and they were stolen from her and sold. Keeps reliving a rape while physically screaming and thrashing and trying to get away.  I kept praying that she’d come out of it but I saw on Facebook this morning that that they’re moving her to a facility in Indiana.  My brother says the doctor’s think she has some major issues in her past that she’s going to have to deal with that are keeping her from getting better.  Was she raped?  I don’t know.  I know that she never had 13 children that were taken from her and sold.  It’s heartbreaking for both Kim and my brother.  He doesn’t know if these events are real or not but Kim thinks they’re real and it’s breaking his heart that he can’t do anything to help her.  They’ve only been together about ten years or so and she’s not very close to her family so there’s probably a lot of pain in her past that he isn’t aware of.  Everytime he, (or any other man) walks into her room, it sets off a screaming and kicking match and it’s obvious that she’s terrified of something.  I hate that they’re going through this.


No Snow!

I always check the weather forecast when I get up.  This is the first time in what seems like forever that there’s been no snow in the five day forecast.  None.  Nada.  Not so much as a flurry.  It’s still pretty cold but we’re making progress.

Andrew went for his interview but it wasn’t what he was expecting.  He was one of about fifty who had gotten past the on-line interview and been called in to fill out an actual paper application.  He didn’t get to talk to anyone and he’s not sure if his resume was given to anyone.  He just filled out the application with everyone else and they told them all they’d call them if and when they had openings.  Big let-down for him but, at least, he got to stage 2.  We’ll keep hoping.

Fixed Lime Grilled Chicken with Cuban Salsa for dinner last night along with broccoli and yellow rice.  It really hit the spot.  Of course, anything with lime and cilantro is a hit with me.

Long day today…lunch meeting with the National Honor Society kids and then an ROTC Booster Club meeting this evening at 6:00.  Didn’t we just have one of those?

I must have missed it.  I worked seven hours at school Saturday without pay.  Decided it would be easier to work there and, before I knew it, it was 4:30. 

I got a call while I was at school from a friend.  It was her birthday and she wanted me to go to the casino with her.  So I did.  Lost $37.00 but got comped a free buffet dinner.  Actually, we skipped the dinner because the line was horrendous.

Yesterday, DS was here with the boys all day and now it’s time to go back to work.  Andrew isn’t going to school today.  He has that interview with UPS at noon.  He was planning on going to school but then I thought about how ridiculous that would be.  We’d only be there a couple of hours and then DS would have to drive all the way across town to pick him up and then drive all the way back to this end of town for his interview.  He’s so enthusiastic.  Has fresh resumes printed up and he’s ready to go.  I really hope he gets this job.  It would help so much with tuition after he graduates in May.  Cross your fingers for him, girls.  Don’t know about where you are but jobs are pretty hard to come by around here.