Monday, June 26, 2006

Yaya, take off shirt. Get in, Yaya.

A couple of years ago I bought an EasySet Pool. It wasn't so easy. Last year I gave it to DD and her hubby. They set it up, and played in it most of the summer. It's about 4'x15', roughly. Big enough for several people to mess around and get wet and cool off. So I stopped over there today after my class. Their neices are visiting, and they all decided to get wet. Jack told me to take off my shirt and get it (hence the title). I opted out...for a while. Finally, it just looked too good, so I just got in. What the heck, after such a hot, sweaty day, all my clothes needed laundering anyway, so I might as well get them wet.

It was fun! And it felt so good! Our temps are in the 90s this week. Although my class was in an air-conditioned building, and the car is air-conditioned, it was a long, long day, and the water helped ease off some stress. Today's class was on how the brain works. Guess what? The brain is a miracle! I really enjoyed the class today; the teacher was excellent, the class members all teachers. They served a continental breakfast and tacos for lunch, ice cream in the afternoon break, and had bottles of water on ice all day. If I have to spend a week in class, this is sure the way to do it. I can't quite figure out if the class is being offered by the union (WA Education Assn) or the Educational Service District (it's in the union headquarters building), but it doesn't matter. It's being paid for by my local, and it is very very good. I'm even looking forward to tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow. our new pastor arrives tomorrow late afternoon/early evening. I should just get back from the class and have to head over to the parsonage to help unload their u-haul. Her husband is also a pastor, assigned to a nearby church, and we have a brand new parsonage, less than a year old, for them to live in. A lot of United Methodist churches are getting away from parsonages. Anyway, a small crew from both churches will be on hand to unload and move them in, and we have our first administrative meeting with Pastor Bonnie Wed night.

The next couple of days will be a little busy, as my class is 9-4 and is about 30 miles away. Traffic wasn't bad at all today. It was slow all the way home, but it moved steadily. I got directions from Mapquest to get up there this morning, and they had it all messed up. By 8:30 I was at the Chamber of Commerce in the small city, and it was another 45 minutes of driving all over bleeping Weyerhauser (the lumber people), trying to find this place. I wasn't the only one. And what really ticks me off is that the freeway goes within 1/2 mile of the place, and Mapquest had me driving all over the state of Washington...

On Sunday, the 2nd, I will be in tropical Houston, TX, delighting in my three precious grands. I can hardly wait. Maybe when I get back I will have some good stories to tell. For tonight, though, I'm signing off. Later, gator.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

No, wait...

It's two pounds a month, which means 50 months... oooh. I liked it better when I didn't know. I'm going to forget I figured that out. That's just plain old self defeating. I'm eating healthier and moving more. Maybe I could start taking short walks.


Ok, Hannelie sent me directions a chimp could follow, and when I finished editing my links, they were gone, and so were/are my previous posts. I am not touching it again. No. I will not destroy my little blog any further.

What a lazy day. I read and dozed all morning. Finally stirred myself enough to get dressed about 3pm, and have been hard at it ever since. Well...for me, that is. I am very overweight. I'm fat. By choice, I guess, since I am the person who controls my exercise and food intake. So three months ago I made a committment to change my eating habits, and I have lost six pounds. I know, big whoop. But my doctor was pleased, and I am delighted. Yes, I'd love to be instantly thin, but thin and me is never going to happen, and that isn't my goal. Healthy is my goal. Living to watch my grands grow up is my goal. So it took three months to lose six pounds. I'm doing something right. After all, It took thirty years to gain 100 pounds. Oooh...let me think...if three months equals six pounds, then 100 pounds should take...seventeen months? is that right?

So, as I was saying, I really worked today. I cleaned out two dog kennels. I haven't had a dog since January. When I gave up my little Phoebe, I hauled the kennels out to the deck and left them. Today they are sparkling and ready for someone to use. I cleaned my little guy's high chair. He outgrew it a year ago. I found oyster crackers under the pad. The high chair has been on the deck for months. I cleaned the deck furniture, empty window boxes, tossed out dead hanging plant skeletons, cardboard boxes, styrofoam packing might get the idea my deck has been a catchall. Walking is hard on me because my back hurts so much. My back hurts because I have arthritis. And I am 100 pounds overweight. I have to sit down a lot while I'm doing things. So working hard, for me, means doing something, rest, doing something more, rest, etc. It took about five hours to get it all down. When I finished, I hauled my little guy's walker-thingy out to the van so I can give it to DD's neighbor with the six week old baby. He's a little young for it...

Then I sat in the wicker rocker and I rocked. I watched the trees. I talked to the cat. I thought about a shower. I rocked. I rocked and let my mind drift... and I thought about how good it felt to get the deck cleaned up and relax, and how much I would like to sit out there with my stitching or a good book. What a nice day this has been.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Win Some, Lose Some

At some point this week, after experimenting with the settings on my blog, I managed to delete all of my links. So I tried - REALLY HARD - to put my links back. I wanted to add Seeker. Ok, so the title of her blog is there: The First Hundred. But when I clicked on it, it took me straight to Blogger Help: How do I edit my links? Dang. Now I have to beg DD to fix it for me, and she doesn't have a lot of extra time. >sigh<

But, because Hannelie is such a sweetie, I really have paragraphs, and that means as much to me as my links.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Thanks to Hannelie, if I have followed her directions correctly I should be able to have actual paragraphs in my postings.

It has been a constant frustration to this former English teacher that I could write in paragraphs, but my published posts always came out as a big lump.

This should be enough to show whether I am successful or need to go back to the blogging board.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where I'm From

I am from bare, leafless, winter trees, from Ford and tires and automatic transmission.

I am from the yellow brick house on Sugarbush Road, warm, cozy, filled with the smell of home-made bread.

I am from the elm, the lilac, the bales of straw, from the maple, the african violet, the woolen yarn.

I am from no elbows on the table and laughter, from Ed and Gladys, Russell and Catherine, and others I'll never know.

I am from feelings that are easily hurt and the fear of never being good enough.

From people who are all the same except for how they look, and from always treat people as I would be treated.

I am from teetotalers and Women's Christian Temperance Union, from Bible-thumpers and deep spiritual grace, from forgiveness, from baptism.

I'm from Michigan and Serbia and England, from sailing ships and immigrants, from farmers, cabbage, and chicken noodle soup.

From the old swamp cedar for a Christmas tree and the house that burned down, from the box factory in Chicago, and the childbirth death of a grandmother.

I am from World War II, from cigar boxes of anonymous photos, from men who proudly served and women who anxiously waited. I am part of the unbroken thread, one beating heart, one pair of hands, passing love and laughter and a hope to make a better place for my grandchildren. This is the legacy passed to me, and which I pass on.

Where I'm From -

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Made it. Summer break. Nine weeks of lazy bliss. My first class starts a week from tomorrow, up north, so it will be a daily drive (not all that far, I'm going for the element of drama here) for five days. It's called Special Education for All. I'll learn more about writing IEPs, BIPs, SLPs...more about the WACs and the federal regulations that govern special ed. Anyway, shortly after that I'll head to tropical Houston so I can play jungle gym for the grands for a few days. I have some other classes coming up later in the summer, before it's time, in August, to go back for training days and start preparing for the start of school. Spent today and yesterday just putting things away. Threw out a week's worth of unread newspapers (no time lately), unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, put away the shoes (a plethora of shoes), the birdcage with the peanut in it, the small deck table, Jack's bucket, broom, pushtoy, garden tools, art supplies, books, laundry... Now, if someone would dust and vacuum, this place would be almost ready for company. I'm already planning the menu for when I have the girls over for lunch. And my buddy and I are going to have art classes and teach each other what we learned at the Letters of Joy conference in May. I'm doing some drawing and cartooning, stitching, knitting, and now that my flower bed is cleaned out, I need to get some plants to fill it in. Busy days!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...

Surely I can last three more days. So little time, and so much yet to do! Yesterday I filed a CPS report, and another one today. Spent half an hour talking to the nicest young police officer - same age as my DS. Tomorrow I have two end-of-year assemblies; one in the afternoon at my afternoon school, and one in the evening at my morning school. I will be presenting the President's Award for Academic Excellence, which goes to students who have maintained a B+ or better through 4th and 5th grades. Once the assemblies are over, I have two offices to strip and check out of for the summer. I suppose all school districts do this: we have to put everything away, in boxes or cupboards, so rooms can be taken care of in the summer. Carpets get cleaned, floors stripped and waxed, desks scrubbed inside and out, chalkboards recoated or whiteboards re-whatever-it-is-they-need, windows scrubbed and walls (every few years) painted. In August we go back and put it all together again. I wonder how many other industries do this type of thing? Two years ago my school closed, so we had to pack everything for moving to a new building. Not so bad for me (an office isn't that big), but a lot of work for the classroom teachers. Thursday is the last school day of the year; students will leave at 11:30 and be back on their bikes within half an hour. Friday is that last LID day. I don't mind too much. We'll be meeting at the Landmark Convention Center, they'll give us lunch and all the coffee we wnt all day. And I can draw pictures while I listen. Or I might take my knitting. If it is cool enough, I can knit, and maybe finish the shawl I'm working on.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The End Is Near

By that I mean the end of school. Students are finished at noon on Thursday. Staff must do a Learning Improvement Day on Friday. Learning Improvement Days (LID) are designed by the school district to teach us to be better teachers...regardless of the fact that the state trusts us enough to give us teaching certificates when we are fully qualified. But I digress.

I had a chance to talk to my Texas Grands today. The three conversations went something like this:

the Girl: Hi Gramma
me: Hi baby!
girl: babbledabbledibbleswabble gramma flubblerhubarbblibber two gribblejibberjaber gramma mary swibbledeflibby bye!
me: Bye, honey. I love you!

the Big Boy: Hi Gramma
me: Hi sweetheart. How are you?
Big Boy: what?
me: How are you?
Big Boy: what?
me: what did you do yesterday?
Big Boy: huh?
me: what did you do yesterday?
Big Boy: oh, we went to the...
me: to the high school? (I had already read his dad's post about this)
Big Boy: yeah! We got wet!
me: did you have fun?
Big Boy: what?
me: did you have fun?
BB: huh?
me: are you listening to me?
BB: huh?
me: I'm having a conversation with you, but I don't think you are listening.
BB: what?
me: Are you listening when I talk?
BB: huh?
me: give the phone to daddy, honey.

(dad: say hello)
Little Boy: HALLO!!!!
me: Hi honey!
(dad: tell gramma something)
Little Boy: ...
me: Hi baby.
(dad: tell gramma about playing in the sprinkler)
Little Boy: ...
me: did you play in the sprinkler?
Little Boy: ...
(dad: say bye bye)
Little Boy: BYE BYE!!!!!
me: bye honey.

So, I had a chance to talk to all three of them. They are so precious, and quite gifted. On the other hand, when DD asks Jack if he wants to talk to Yaya, he says "no." As Seeker commented recently, we are building memories. And I did get my laundry done today. I hope to vacuum before the summer ends.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Jiggedy Jig, It's Friday Again

And I don't have anything to post that anyone would want to read. Today's highlights: I made a CPS report, I counseled two first-graders who both claimed ownership of the orange pencil sharpener, I nagged a fifth grade teacher until he gave me his nominations for the President's Award for Academic Excellence, we had a chocolate dipping fountain at my afternoon school, complete with apples and strawberries and other things to dip, I counseled two first-graders who didn't know how to behave with a substitute teacher, prepared President's Award certificates, and finished the day bitc--gossping in the staff room with friends. Shortly I'll head over to DD's. I'm invited to dinner so I can watch Jack afterwards, while they go grocery shopping. She bribed me. "We've got pot roast and Tim's (local potato chips)." I'll take a book and my stitching, in case Jack slows down. Meanwhile, I have a basket of laundry to fold, 2 or 3 piles of laundry to do in my bedroom, and a carpet that is crying out for a vacuum cleaner. Maybe there will be time tomorrow. Meanwhile, I have a life...(I guess)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Something Cute

I picked up Jack from daycare today. He was so excited! He saw me through the window and I could hear him hollering "Yaya, Yaya!" and banging on the glass. Well, we had to stop and get a donut and chocolate milk when we passed the donut place on the way home...

But what was really cute was the part after we arrived home. Jack got on his bike and started rolling backwards down the driveway. About that time the twins saw him and one of them (either Robby/Bobby or Mark - no, it's still just 2 twins, not 3) saw jack and ran as fast as he could. "Jack!" he cried, as he threw his arms around Jack in a big hug. "Da Boy!" Jack answered, hugging him back.