Thursday, December 31, 2009

How quickly the conversation changes

Not that long ago, whenIMG_7996 we had *those* conversations with the kids about “IF you are drinking or with someone who is drinking, please don’t drive… Just call us… We won’t judge…” we were met with eye rolls and proclamations that they nor their friends drank.

Today, I went into my usual spiel with my college boy since tonight is notoriously amateur drunk driving night.  His response?

Don’t worry mom.  I’m spending the night there.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Got a lot of nothing here

I love vacation time because I’m able to stay awake long enough to watch the lame awesome television shows that come on after 9 p.m. so late.  Last night, we watched Hoardersa show about people who can’t part with their stuff (including trash)There is often a lot of crying and near break-down moments.  Can I just say, I love shows about people who make me look so boring non-psychotic normal.  Still, I feel sorry for the kids growing up in that environment.

Today, I cleaned out a couple of drawers just to prove that I. am. not. a. hoarder.  I’m not! I need all those random notes and lists.  Don’t even think about throwing out the recipes!  And how could we even begin to think about throwing out something the kids made/wrote? because I’ve had some extra time on my hands.  I found some old journals from back in the day when I hand wrote all my thoughts down you know, back when the Earth’s core was still cooling

1/1/01 Today is the beginning of a new year…. blah… blah… blah  and my resolutions are to:

*Start running

*Write more

*Wear more green

… NEXT ENTRY …

9/17/01  Blah, diggity blah….

So, let’s see how I did.  First, I DID start running.  On May 2nd.  Two thousand nine.  Eight and half years later.  Sadly, I struggle to remember my anniversary (I know it is in June… shouldn’t that count for something?) but the day I started running is engraved in my mind.

Second, after declaring my intent to write more NINE MONTHS passes before I write again.  How good am I?  I could have conceived and birthed a child in that time frame.

And the last one about wearing more green has been on my resolution list since the late 80s when my boss told me I should wear more green because it really brought out the color in my eyes.  This advice I took from a man with a serious comb-over.

While the rest of you may be thinking of ways to better yourself by making resolutions, I think I am going to work up a list of things I want more of.  Like eating more peanut butter.  And Stoned Wheat Thin Crackers (because the visual of crackers smoking something funny makes them that much more tasty to me). 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Growing up… no matter how many years it takes

It was two days after Christmas when my mother woke us up that fateful morning thirty years ago.  My sister and I had started sleeping in the same room again.  There was no discussion about it.  We just needed the comfort another person can provide.  I was twelve, my sister eleven.

I remember the look on my mother’s face.  Her eyes were swollen.  Her lips pursed.

“I have good news and bad news.  The good news is your father is no longer suffering.  The bad news is he is gone.”

The rest of the day felt like a dream.  We’d just spent Christmas Eve at his house and he had been smiling and laughing.  He didn’t look like a man who was about to die.  How could he just be gone?

A few days later, I sat nestled in between my aunt and my uncle in the front of the church during the funeral.  My mother was relegated to the back of the church since she was the ex-wife.  At that point, I couldn’t cry.  As the preacher’s voice resonated in the chapel, petals from the blanket of flowers lying on the casket began to fall off.  For some reason, all I could do was laugh though I did disguise my laughter into sobbing.  Several months would go by before I could really cry about what had happened.

My father had brain cancer.  He was 36 years old when he died.  Despite all the chemo and radiation, he quickly lost his fight with this disease.  At the reading of the will, my father left my sister and I almost nothing but chose instead to leave most everything to my step-mother.

As I grew up and became a mother, I then became hurt about how little my father had left us.  How do you not take care of your children - especially when you know you are dying?  It left me feeling confused and at times, angry.  I loved my children so much that I couldn’t imagine not being sure they were taken care of.

I watched my sister grow bitter.  My father’s family quit calling soon after the funeral.  We reached out several times but it felt awkward and forced.  It was just easier to stay away.  And to remain angry.

Over the years, I’ve never quit missing my father.  A couple of months ago, my father’s sister sent some pictures to me that she’d found when cleaning out my recently deceased aunt’s house.  There were pictures of my parents together in a time before I had a memory.  And there were pictures of that last Christmas.  They took my breath away.  In those pictures, my father looked swollen, pale, sickly.  Not at all like the picture in my memory.

For me, time has healed a lot of wounds.  Unfortunately, for my sister, her bitterness has festered and grown.  Now, I think I understand why he didn’t leave us much in his will.

He didn’t plan on dying.

And for that, I can easily forgive him.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It all depends on the viewpoint

IMG_7579 I’m not going to lie to you.  Christmas can be a tough time of the year for me.  Thirty years ago, my father died the day after Christmas.  It is impossible to think of Christmas without remembering that loss.  His death forever changed the landscape of my childhood.
Still, I revel in the joy that can be found in the season.  I am easily moved to tears when I hear of random acts of kindness.
One of my little students, Mr. Hero, has leukemia.  He has been responding well to treatment and we even anticipate his return to school sometime in January.  One of his friends, who also has leukemia, attends a neighboring school and is not doing very well.  In fact, the family is preparing to bring her home for her final days. 
My loss pales in comparison to what these parents must be feeling. 
Still, this little 9 year old girl has hopes and dreams.  One of her final wishes is to receive cards from all over the world.  I know this is a clich├ęd wish – but it is what this child wants.  If you are in a position to mail a card to this child, please indicate so in a comment or email and I will send the child’s name and address to you.
Remember to treasure your loved ones, today and every day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Forget her energy, I want some of her wonder

clip_december001_LLittle Miss Loves Life is a frequent flier in my office.  She isn’t a *bad* child but she does have a lot of energy.  And by a lot of energy, she often jumps up and down while in conversation.  Sometimes the teacher just needs a break.

Little Miss Loves Life: “Do you know what is for lunch today?”

Me: “I don’t.  But we can check the calendar…”

Little Miss Loves Life (interrupting excitedly and beginning to jump up and down): “It is my favorite!  Toasted cheese sandwich!  I love how the cheese and the bread stick together…..”

How can you not love that?  She can make the most ordinary thing extraordinary.  I when Little Miss Loves Life visits the office (and for the record, she isn’t in trouble… we have a deal that the teacher sends her to us to do some work when she is feeling stressed with the flea-like antics).

As we have gotten closer to Christmas, Little Miss Loves Life has ramped up her energy level.  Yesterday, we got to spend some quality time together.

Little Miss Loves Life (vibrating, I swear she vibrates): “We bought you a Christmas present and I’m not supposed to tell you but we did and we bought it from Sams!”

Me: “You are so sweet.  Now let’s take a look at this math problem…”

Little Miss Loves Life: “My mom told me not to tell you and I told her I wouldn’t because I CAN keep a secret even if she says I can’t.  I CAN.  I really can!”

Me: “I know you can.  Can you read this word problem to me…”

Little Miss Loves Life (interrupting herself while reading a math word problem): “Miss Beth?  Do you love coffee mugs?”

Me: “I do!”

As a matter of fact, I do love coffee mugs.  Almost as much as I love her zest for life.  She amazes me and keeps me smiling.

And her secret will be safe with me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Up for a downer

This past weekend, I worked as if I were a slave for free for my husband on several different catering gigs.  It was actually a lot of fun since when you are feeding people, they are usually happy.  We even got to meet the real-life version of Lorraine Swanson (a character on Mad TV). 

lorraine She was just lovely… and by lovely I mean it took everything ounce of patience not to push her out to the lake and hold her head under water.  I probably missed my chance to be a hero.  It must suck to be old and crotchety.

In between catering jobs, my mother and I went to see a movie and she picked Precious.  It was a great movie; however, I despise leaving a theatre with a red, snotty nose it was so sad!  I’ll never look at quiet, withdrawn students in the same way.tissues

To counteract the sadness I felt at the theatre, I came home and watched a movie from Netflix that has been sitting on my TV for 3 months.  Why did I not know Ordinary People was so glum?

And what is it with the crappy sucky mean mothers in both these movies?  Come to think of it, Lorraine Swanson kind of looks like the witch cow mother in Ordinary People.

I knew I should have held her head under water. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gullible

When I used to work in the business world, I once worked with a secretary who was… ahem… very blonde.  She believed everything anyone told her.  Everything.

One day, some of the guys I worked with convinced her that ‘gullible’ was not a word.  She hesitated because she had been made the fool so many times.  Finally, she looked it up in the dictionary where she should have found her picture.

Sometimes, I think about Secretary McFluffy when dealing with certain children. 

In the past, I convinced my students that the first of each month was that month’s Fool’s Day.  You know… January Fool’s Day… October Fool’s Day.  I told them that for some reason only April Fool’s Day was the one that stuck and became popular.  We played jokes on each other at the first of every month for the entire school year.  When it was April 1st, I told them the truth.  It was the ultimate April Fool’s Day joke. 

Those students were extremely gullible.

Apparently, so am I.

The other day, one of the secretaries came running into my office in a panic about some man on the phone who was insisting he get directions to the school so he could deliver the 100 pounds of shrimp we had ordered.

I picked up on line one while stammering and stuttering to him that no one had ordered any shrimp.  He insisted he had 100 pounds of shrimp to deliver and he’d need to pick up a check.

Turns out he was the husband of one of the secretaries.  I should have known they were up to something.

Does it surprise you to know that I am blonde?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And then there was hope

IMG_5464

As I cleaned out my hopeless chest the other day, I found a poem Mr. Strong had sent me when all was not well in our world.  It took me right back to that dark time when my heart ached and hope had faded.  Back to the time when I wasn’t sure that Mr. Strong was able to be my Mr. Strong.

I mourn my loss, an opportunity wasted, a relationship passes, a lesson learned

Lonely again, an empty heart

Next time I will live for me, I will show my love, I will share my love, I will watch it closely.

I want to cry in your arms, not alone in my bed.

I learned to love from you if only I showed you how well and how much.

The creased paper reminded me that what we had had was real.  And almost lost.

Thank God for second chances.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Them’s fightin’ words

shopping My mother is someone who lives to shop a big believer in all the hoopla that is known as Black Friday. Despite my need for rest after cooking, cleaning, and serving for three days, I agreed to, once again, go shopping with my mother at an ungodly hour. Because I am trying to get nominated for mother of the year, I dragged my two boys along, too.

After picking us up at 4 a.m., we soon found ourselves standing in the long line at Kohl’s just waiting to pay for our purchases and it was exciting because with a line like that, I just knew there had to be a ride at the end. When I noticed the red light blinking on my crackberry Blackberry, I looked to see what message I had. I didn’t recognize the number who’d sent me the text – and I was shocked when I read the message.

“You act all fly when you wit them hoes.”

Wha?! Immediately I knew I had to defend my mother’s honor. Frantically, I typed back.

“Don’t you be calling my momma a hoe.”

How rude! I can not believe someone would call my mother a garden instrument. She hates being outside (unless by outside you mean waiting in line to get in a store) and she does not do gardens even though she is an upstanding garden club member. But her secret is safe with me.

A couple of hours later, my phone rang – it was the number from the offensive text sender.

Me (irritated): “Hello.”

Offensive Text Sender: “Uh… hello?”

Me (even more irritated): “Yeah. Hello.”

Offensive Text Sender: “I think I’ve got the wrong number.”

So, there. I told him.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is just how we roll

Mr. Strong: “Now, tell me again.  How many people are coming to our house for Thanksgiving?”

Me: “Are you serious!  I’ve already told you 52 times! We are having 21 people.”

Mr. Strong: “And just for me, let’s go over the menu again.”

Me (sighing loudly because we’ve gone over the menu a bazillion times): “I think I just want to kill myself.  We are having turkey, brunswick stew, dressing, sweet potato crunch, green beans, broccoli casserole, squash casserole… key lime cake, pumpkin cheesecake…”

Mr. Strong (beginning to sharpen a knife): “I just need to know that we have enough food.”

Me: “All you are responsible for is the turkey.  That is all.  Don’t worry about the rest.  Just do the turkey.”

Mr. Strong: “But with 21 people, do you think we have enough food?

Me (through gritted teeth): “You are starting to sound like your mother.”

Mr. Strong (handing me the knife with a big smile): “Here you go.  Just in case.  You know with that suicide business.”

     ****************************************

Thanksgiving was a hit.  We have leftovers enough to feed an army.  E-mail me and I’ll send directions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The post where I get to make fun of a friend

While taking a break from the Law and Order marathon Thanksgiving baking, I went to retrieve the mail. In the pile were sale circulars, magazines, bills, and one card.

Oh, goodie! A card! I love getting mail.

It was a card from one of our close friends who is trying her darnedest to keep the US Post Office AND Hallmark in business.




Awww. What a lovely card. I didn't even know they made Thanksgiving cards.

Holy turkey feathers! What is that she wrote?



Remember its a USA holiday only

So, not only is this a card, it is a history lesson. Apparently, I need to quit drooling and to act my age not my shoe size when she comes over.

I wonder if Hallmark sells a Thanksgiving apology card.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A trip down memory lane… or make that a moment when I remember how much of a glutton for punishment I am

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that our school system takes the entire week off. A whole week of not going to school, not getting crazy mad phone calls from parents, not correcting kids for breaking the rules, and not being sleep deprived.

As usual, whenever I get a day off, I decided to clean. And by clean I mean I began to tackle chaos known as the picture cabinet.

That was where I found a picture of Queen.*

One year when I was teaching, Queen came to me around Valentine’s Day with ratty hair sticking out all over and dresses that were a little too short. Especially when she rolled around on the ground.

And she liked rolling around on the floor a lot. She refused to talk. She refused to make eye contact. She refused to even grunt when I asked her a question. Yet, she would scream and yell every time she was in the hallway.

I had to have a meeting with her grandmother to ask her to dress Queen in pants because there is a limit to the number of times one should be allowed to see someone’s underwear. The principal wanted Queen moved to a *special* school and I begged him to let us have more time with her.

He gave us until the end of the school year.

Queen ruined the calm routine that had been established in my classroom. My bad boys didn’t know what to do with Queen and her horrible communication skills.

Time passed. Queen began to trust. And I began to find a girl who had a great sense of humor. A girl who loved to draw. A girl who wrote rap songs.

She screamed less. She talked more. In class, she became a really likeable student.

Since we had to have success outside of just my classroom, we set a behavioral goal for Queen. For her reward, she wanted to go to the movies (a big reward for a big change in her behavior).

Just before the school year ended, Queen met her goal and I called her grandmother to set up our date. Since Queen had never been to the movies before, she insisted upon sitting on the front row. In a dress. Where no one else could see her panties when she rolled around on the floor for a few minutes.

I wonder where Queen is today. And I wonder if she still wears dresses.

*Not her real name

Thursday, November 19, 2009

While it might look like I’m being all friendly…

3163295800_9a6ded2e0d_o[1]

It’s that time of the year - the time when parents have decided their annoyingly spoiled precious off-spring would fare better in a different teacher’s classroom.

Because the problem is never with their child.   And it is possible that Jesus wasn’t the only one who could walk on water.

And when they make legal threats and my boss tells me to move their child, I’ll do it because I am the picture of compliance.  Really.  But don’t expect me to be understanding when your little pain in the rumpus child continues to have problems in their new classroom because obviously the new teacher made the child throw a fit and break a glass treat jar on purpose.  Why would we ever want children to be responsible for their behavior?  Such a ridiculous idea!

And just because I was all nice and smiling and you couldn’t see or hear what I was thinking about the whole situation doesn’t mean I want to be on your e-mail forward list.  Take me the heck off! 

You really don’t want to make a bad situation badder worse.  After all, I do get to decide what class your precious angel will be in next year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blow

Dear Kindergarten Mom,

I really don't know how to gently lead into this one... so, just smile.

Today, there was a commotion in the cafeteria, and one of my teacher assistants went to check out what was going on and to settle our darlings down...when your son turned and looked at her with what looked like dried blood coming out of his nose. Before you panic, I want you to think, "what did I put in his lunch today?"

Yep, your precious boy shoved some raisins up his nostrils...both sides...about three each. He was encouraged him to blow them the hell out get them out and finally, after blowing hard, the intruders were dislodged. No harm, no foul. Your son and I spoke about the dangers of shoving things up noses and why this is not a smart thing to do.

I probably shouldn't add this, but it made us giggle all day...when the teacher assistant came back to get the raisins in a napkin to throw away, they were gone. Yep, you are probably guessing right on that one too.

This is just one of the reasons why I love kindergarten. You may want to reinforce the no sticking things up noses conversation.  Please remember to laugh becauseSchoolCenter Picture it will all pass too quickly and he will be grown.  But this will be a great story to revive at his wedding.

Have a great evening!

Beth

Friday, November 13, 2009

Broken

broken heart As I drove home from school thoughts of you were rolling through my head. 

How is it that you can be only 5 years old and yet so indifferent about school?

You show no fear.  No remorse.  You even say you don’t want to learn.

Still, I see a lost look in your eyes.  A look of despair. 

And like a sucker punch to the gut, I gasped for breath.  Suddenly, I knew what to do.

No more reactions.  No more consequences.  Only encouragement and praise.  And time to heal.

We’ll believe in you while you don’t.  We’ll love you since you don’t.  We’ll build you back up to the little girl you were meant to be.  Even when you behave like you don’t deserve it.  

Because you do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just a word of advice

Dear Pushy Company Rep,

The next time you want to provide lunch for my faculty so you can peddle hand out your information, please bring more than 6 pizzas for my faculty of 85.  And when I point out that you don’t have enough food, it would behoove you to act like you care because it really wasn’t my responsibility to go buy more food

pizza And don’t have the pizza place cut the slices and then cut each slice in half again.  That makes you look cheap and it is insulting to us because, hello!, we can tell you are a real jerk.

There is a big difference between lunch and appetizers.

We do, however, appreciate your boss who understood our point of view.  And we will try not to rub salt in the wound when you come back by on Friday with your tail tucked delivering breakfast for everyone.  And by everyone, that means 85 hungry people.

Still craving pizza,

Beth

P.S. I don’t think this helped you land any sales.  Just sayin’.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Really, all I wanted to do was make a difference

DSCN0252 As I drove to the Georgia coast for an elementary school principal conference, I reminisced about why I ever went into administration. The answer is simple.

I wanted to make a difference.

It is hard to feel like you are making a difference when you phone a parent to let her know her Kindergartener loudly took the Lord’s name in vain because he wasn’t getting his snack fast enough and all she was concerned about was whether or not he got the snack. Apparently, God didn’t want her child to be hungry. Don’t mind the swear. I’m guessing he is only a product of his environment.

And when you call the parent of the child who had a tantrum and crumbled and threw his peanut crackers in the classroom when asked to eat his snack in the hallway in an effort protect the child who has severe peanut allergies, it won’t be his fault because he is impulsive. What the hell?! The student could have died! A grand excuse that I intend to borrow.

But then there is the bad boy who knows how to push his teacher’s buttons. How I love those bad boys! This boy dreams of becoming a professional football player and I hope he makes that dream come true. In some shape or form. In the meantime, I’ll keep encouraging him and I’ll keep a desk in my office for those moments when he is driving his teacher mad because I believe in him. And he knows it. And when he is raking in the millions, he’ll probably remember some high school jerk coach who helped him. Not me. Still, my goal is to be his manager.

And then, there is the little girl who should be in the movies because she is beyond adorable. Too bad it isn’t acceptable to call adults “doo doo head” her behavior isn’t always as pretty as she looks. But I appreciate that her mother is working with us because in my office are some u-g-l-y clothes for this little girl to wear anytime she is misbehaving. Since she loves to be the center of attention cute, she has made HUGE strides in her behavior so that she won’t have to wear the despicable clothing. She will probably grow up and land some great modeling gig. Or become the next Lindsay Lohan.

While this isn’t the Hollywood ending I envisioned, I guess all hope isn’t lost. Still, I wish I could save them all.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

All the cool kids are doing it…

Getting sick, that is.  I was supposed to run my first 10K this morning.  Instead, I’m snuffling and sneezing on the sofa.

I can feel the roots of my teeth when I walk.

Still, this is not going to stop me from going out with two of my best friends from high school this evening.  It has been a long time since I’ve had a girl’s night out.

They make Bendadryl martinis, right?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

She sells herself short

IMG_3946

She was nine years old when I met her and instantly, I was in love.  She has always been my favorite niece even if she is my only niece.  That doesn’t matter!  Because if I could have picked out a niece, I would have picked someone just like her!.  I’ll never forget how desperately she wanted my oldest son to be born on her birthday.  When he came a day earlier than her big day, she shrugged it off and said, “That’s okay.  He can have his day and I’ll still have mine.”

She has always had an amazing outlook on life.

When my ex-husband and I were divorcing, she was sad and said she felt like I wouldn’t be her aunt anymore.  Marriage may have made her my niece but there was no way I could have let her go.  She’ll always be my favorite niece.  While we may not really be related, we have a bond that has stood the test of time.

Life hasn’t always been kind to her.  And life doesn’t always wrap up with a nice ending; however, the story is her story to tell.  I hope one day, she will.

Her mother used to accuse me of wanting her for my own daughter.  On one hand, she was wrong.  I never felt the urge to be her mother.  Besides, being her aunt was more fun.  On the other hand, she was right.  I would have loved to have had the chance for her to know stability.  And love without condition.

Despite the miles between us, she remains a big part of our lives.  I love to chat with her on the phone.  She often apologizes for doing most of the talking but what she doesn’t know is that I could listen to her all day.  Most of the time, she is upbeat and excited.  Sometimes she is sad.

She questions her abilities.  Her education.  Her experiences.  Her memory.  Her background.  Her worth.

I pray that one day, she’ll know, like we know, how completely wonderful she is. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

If it walks like a duck…

IMG_4697 Over the years, I’ve had several testy conversations with a local quack child psychologist.  This quack doctor does a lot of school-bashing and loves to tell us all the things she thinks we are doing wrong.  All this she does without us asking ever having set foot in our building.

Let’s get this straight.  We don’t tell her how to treat her patients though I have some ideas.  She doesn’t need to tell us how to educate children especially when she makes ridiculous suggestions like for us to have beads strung across the base of the desk for a particular student to rub his feet on when ever he wants.  Because that wouldn’t be distracting at all.  And it would be oh, so sanitary.

Today, a parent came to see me because she wanted my help with her daughter who has been seeing this quack doctor.  I wanted to tell her to run like hell but I found I didn’t have to.  This quack doctor had sent the mother a letter stating that the daughter had been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and there were some problems.  Apparently, after a mere two weeks in therapy, this quack doctor had determined the child was “resistant to treatment” through her program and was being dismissed.

This quack doctor rejected an oppositional child from her program for being… well… oppositional.

Am I being Punk’d?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love, Grandparent-Style

IMG_6854 After spending a weekend with my extended family for a wedding, I couldn’t help but notice just how feeble my grandparents have become.  Still, I can only hope to be as strong as they have been in character and determination.

It was 1944 when my grandmother was busy working in her garden on the little farm my grandparents had purchased.  Their first baby, my mother, was due that summer and my grandfather had just come home from the war for leave until the baby came.  For extra money, my grandfather, a pilot, taught flying lessons.  It seemed like a great idea until one of his students flew the plane into the ground.

My grandmother’s whole world crashed around her.  How did she have the strength at 20 years of age to handle being a widow while expecting a baby?

My mother came along, right on schedule.  Since my grandparents had already agreed to name a boy Junior, my mother was saddled with her father’s name (which is a whole different story). 

Right after the accident, the grandfather I know arrived on the scene.  He loved my grandmother and wanted to take care of her.  Two years later, they were married – despite the protests from his family (this wasn’t the time or age where men married widows and took care of children not fathered by them).  They went on to have two more children, another girl and a boy. 

Next month will mark their sixty-third anniversary.

We should be so lucky to be loved as they have loved each other. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Black is the new, well, um… black

For the wedding I am attending this weekend, I’ll be wearing my little black dress.

black dress Not my dress.  But you get the idea.

Along with my fabulous sparkly black high heeled shoes.

IMG_6503

And for fun, I’ll be sporting a new black accessory.

black eye This is a fairly accurate depiction of how my eye looks.

For the record, I blame the Yankees.

***************************************************

Before anyone gets all excited and calls 1-800-Poor Gal, I need to explain how this happened.  Mr. Strong got all excited about the Yankees scoring some runs and excitedly rolled over to tell me.  In the process, his elbow connected with my eye.  Apparently, my eye is allergic to his elbow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Randomness Mess

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that Miss Poopy is the pack leader a demanding little yapper our precious dog who had back surgery almost two years ago when she became paralyzed after a disc ruptured in her spine.  She was only three years old at the time of her surgery and our whole house changed as a result into a doggy yellowy pee-y river and pile o’ poop abode

The miracle is that we let her live she can walk now albeit a bit like slinky dog!

The other day, I found something just for Miss Poopy!

IMG_6305

A diaper!  Obviously, Miss Poopy hates loves it!  Please disregard her tail drooping and the fact that she is hiding her head in shame.  Miss Poopy lasted almost 5 minutes in her diaper before she peed it up we decided to remove it. 

For Hanukkah, I’m thinking of getting Miss Poopy a special gift since she has been such a needy good dog.

S-snuggie-for-dogs

A Snuggie for dogs!  How awesome is that?!  Are there any other suggestions for gifts that can shame for my sweet doggie?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thoughts while running

It’s cold. Hope the cheap gloves are warm enough. Wow. It really warmed up. Let’s toss the gloves into this driveway. Hasn’t it been 5 minutes yet? Ugh. I’m not sure I can do this for an hour. Yay! I made it 5 minutes. Only 55 to go. Focus. On something besides running.

Spanish mission architecture. Colonial homes. God, I love the south. Blue skies. Magnolias. Big oaks. Spanish moss. Crap. Did the Spanish Moss touch me? I hope I didn’t get any chiggers. Note to self: Get clear fingernail polish to get rid of chigger infestation. Also, need to get manicure. And pedicure.

Sprinkler system. Magnolia leaves. Slippery as owl crap. Almost fell. Sidewalk uneven. Grass is, too. Puddle. Jump. Almost made it. Squish. I don’t know if I can make it. I’m just pretending to be a runner. Think about something. Anything. Good song. Don’t Let Me Down. Love the Beatles. Still. Remember when Mr. Happy was one? And knew the names of the Beatles? And he liked the word rhododendrons. Rhododendrons. Cool word. Better than azalea.

How much longer? Halfway? I can do this. I think I can. Donut shop. Closed today. Lunch? Maybe a salad. Or soup. And grilled cheese. With ketchup. Wrong to think about food while running. No wonder I don’t lose weight. Pink ribbons. Signs. Save the tatas. Funny. C in high school. B after having babies. A after running. Not fair. No one saved my tatas. Wish it were my rump that shrunk.

How much longer? Did the timer mess up? 15 more minutes? Think about something. Passed someone. With a Mountain Dew. Thirsty. Cars. Refocus. The cars. Not me. Cemetery. Old one. Thoughts of my father. Remember when he went through the health phase? With the bicycles? Sister still can’t ride a bike. She’s been talking to me more lately. Maybe things are better. Looking forward to Thanksgiving. Pumpkin cheesecake. Cranberry bars. Stop it. Quit thinking about food.

Uh oh. Dog. Mangy. Barking. Heart racing. Chasing. Screaming. Need pepper spray. What good are leash laws? Wish I could take Miss Poopy for a run. Poor, gimpy dog. How much longer? I hate the voice in my iPod. She is mean. She taunts. She can’t tell time. Slow. Backwards. I. Don’t. Think. I. Can. Do. This.

Five more minutes? I can do this. I can make it. Dyin’ To Get Home. Perfect song. Really. Just around the block. Blue skies. Cool breeze.

I did it!

So. When will I feel like a real runner?

IMG_6358

What I love about Sunday morning

My mother would tell you there is something wrong with my wiring.  I can’t sleep late.  I have vivid memories of my mother showing me what the clock had to look like before I woke her on the weekends.  My husband has had the same conversation with me. 

Most Sunday mornings, I run my long run for the week.  Today, I decided to savor the morning and run later in the day. Besides, it is COLD outside!

IMG_6387

As I fixed my first cup of coffee, I noticed the message on the Splenda packet.

Be sweet.  Pass it on.

Just as I was sitting down to warm my hands and my soul with some some strong coffee, Miss Poopy sounded out from her crib in the bedroom.  As we stepped out into the cool morning air, the sky was beginning to light up – much like someone turning up the dimmer switch.

IMG_6384

A harsh, “Shhh.  No barking!” warning was given to Miss Poopy.  The birds were singing as we headed back in to snuggle on the sofa.  There is something calming about how needed I am to this little dog.  Her sighs, the way she conforms her body to mine, tucking her nose under the blanket give me a sense of things being right with the world.  Breathing in her sweet dogginess and relishing this time I have alone, it dawned on me.  Sunday morning is my favorite time of the week.

IMG_6375

Friday, October 16, 2009

When a joke backfires

Yesterday was our last day of school before getting out for two days of Fall Break and a furlough day.  We were giddy with excitement which may or may not have accounted for some of our poor judgment

Coincidentally, my assistant principal and academic coach were gone to a training.  Somehow, the idea to do something to their offices was hatched.  My secretaries and I made a pact to blame the ghost that inhabits our school.

This school year, we have a western theme going on and as a joke earlier in the year, I hung up two buffalo right outside my academic coach’s office.  She has commented on them several times.  We decided to wad up brown paper to make buffalo patties on the floor.  In an effort to make it look more realistic, we sprinkled in some grass.  Then we made a sign “While you are gone, you never know where the buffalo will roam.” 

For my assistant principal, we went to one of my new favorite websites (www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com) to print up some pictures to replace in her 18 picture frames cluttering scattered all over her office.

bridaled

Seriously, this is a much better picture than the one she had of her daughter getting married.

Click on the picture to visit Awkward Family Photos. You won’t be sorry.

We were pleased with our efforts especially since it had been a very busy day.  

Last night, as I was slothing on the sofa, my cell phone rang.  It was one of my secretaries.  She was almost crying because she had just checked her email and our academic coach had sent a message about how disappointed she was and that she didn’t appreciate our BULL and we should GROW UP.  Being the concerned responsible principal I am, I called her.  And when I heard her laughing, I knew the BEST joke had been played on us!

Still, because obviously I’m immature I can’t wait to see my assistant principal’s face next Wednesday morning when she sees her office.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sometimes we all need a little perspective

IMG_6213

Today was Monday.  All day long.  I’m really not trying to be a Master of the Obvious.

The fire alarm was set off twice by the AC repair guy soldering wires in the electrical room.  The good news is that we get to count this as our monthly practice fire drill.  The bad news, we had to evacuate the building in the rain.  Even though the teachers fussed, I had to laugh when the kids cheered about the fire trucks arriving on the scene.

The aforementioned air conditioner is still not working in our Media Center.  This can’t be good for the books all of us during the freak heat wave.  The good news is that we are getting a totally new AC unit for the Media Center.  The bad news is that they think this will be up and running by freaking Thursday.  I wonder if they’d work faster if we all wore our bathing suits.  Then again, they might just pour bleach into their eyes.

Just when we thought things might slow down in the clinic because how many kids can puke at school on one day, little Mr. Why Walk When I Can Run ran into the fence and cut his eye and forehead.  The good news is that it WILL be better before he gets married even if he thinks getting married is yucky.  The bad news is that he needed 8 stitches. 

As the day pulsed on giving no indication of ever slowing down, in walked Mr. Hero donning a Sponge Bob Square Pants face mask.  Mr. Hero was sent home with flu-like symptoms almost a month ago.  When he didn’t get better, the doctor ordered more tests and sent the boy to some specialists.  The end result for this 7-year old trooper was a diagnosis of Leukemia.  Mr. Hero wanted to see his friends at school before he had to go back into the hospital for another spinal tap and chemo.

As I fought back tears, I stood in awe at the strength and tenacity in this little guy.  Suddenly, I realized it had been a great day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Next time, I’m going to hang out with the kids

wedding dress

Designer wedding dress: $4000

wedding cupcakes

Specialty wedding cupcakes: $750

royal restroom

Rental of Royal Restroom with music and air conditioning: $6000

mosquito

Repellant to fight plague of mosquitoes in record heat and gill growing humidity: $150

people standing in line

People standing in line for restroom because the flower girls realized the only air conditioned spot was in the Royal Restroom:  Priceless

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Exactly what is the age of responsibility?

According to some of my parents, we can’t expect young children to bear any responsibility for their actions.

Mad Parent:  “I want to know why my son rode the bus home to my empty apartment when I told the teacher he was going to after school care!”

Me: “Ma’am.  I know you are upset and I understand.  Your son was lined up to go to after school care in the lunchroom but he chose to get into the bus line to go home.  He told us that he wanted to play with his friend at home.  He has a responsibility to go where he is told to go.”

Mad Parent: “But how could he be responsible?  He is only 5 years old!”

Me: “Ma’am.  We have to start teaching responsibility from the time children are very young.  We have children with special needs who understand that they have to go where the teacher tells them to go.  The ones with more significant needs have someone assigned to them.  But I don’t believe that is what your son needs.  He just needs a consequence in place if he doesn’t follow directions.”

Mad Parent: “He will not be held responsible for this!  And I don’t care if someone does have to be assigned to my son.  I just need a guarantee that he will never be allowed to move to a different line when leaving at the end of the day!”

Then again, according to some of my teachers, they are free from responsibility, too.

Whining Teacher (at 7:35 a.m. – school starts at 7:45 a.m.): “I need to take a sick day today because <insert any minor reason here>.”

Me: “You are supposed to call that in to the substitute finding service by 6:30 a.m.  The only exception is when there is an emergency and this doesn’t sound like an emergency.”

Whining Teacher: “Well, I didn’t know.  You haven’t told us that before.”

Me: “Actually, I’ve told you every year at the beginning of the year for the past 4 years.  In addition, it is in the Faculty Handbook in which you signed acknowledging that you’d read it.”

Whining Teacher: “How am I supposed to remember everything in that manual?  You should have reminders about this more often.  It is not my fault.”

So, any ideas on when I can expect people to be responsible?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My mother probably should have named me Helen

We (and by we I mean me and anyone who has decided to tell me that I can't hear because that won't happen twice, eh?) have known about my hearing issues since I was about two years old. Apparently, my mother had the wherewithal to realize that my chimpanzee-like speech was not going to be acceptable in society although people should be more understanding since we likely descended from apes. Back in the day, my hearing aid consisted of a box strapped to my chest with delightful wires running up to the earpieces wedged into my ears. According to my mother, I frequently pulled the plug on this sound enhancing contraption.

In first grade, I got my first behind-the-ear hearing aids and started regular sessions with a speech therapist. And for the record it is EASY to get words such as kitchen and chicken confused. But I get it now. One you eat and one you eat in. I was well on my way to becoming a normal little girl. Well, normal as it applies to me.

If only the kids hadn't noticed the ear accessories that sometimes squealed maniacally. I hated standing out. I hated not being able to hear well. I hated that my mother always insisted I sit on the front row in the classroom. I hated that my teachers couldn't remember to face the class when they taught because while they may have had eyes in the back of their head, they did NOT have lips there causing me great difficulty in reading their lips.

Enter Mrs. L, my 5th grade teacher. After breaking my leg, I was moved to the far right front row seat. There, I began to struggle to read the squiggles on the board. Surely the teacher was not using the appropriate amount of pressure on the chalk while writing on the board. I squinted and squirmed and tried to read her hieroglyphics. Mrs. L called my mother in for a meeting. Within days, I was fitted with a pair of glasses that would have made John Denver proud.

I hated my glasses. I hated having to work the stems around my hearing aids in order to find to right place for my ears to be able to support all my correction devices. Again, I stood out only now I stood out as the poor girl who couldn't hear or see.

Time passed. I learned to wear contacts. I learned to pronounce most words if only all words followed the sensible rules that make phonics work. And I learned to stand up for myself.

Truthfully, I still hate not being able to hear or see well. But I do love having the gift that this struggle has brought me. When I was teaching middle school kids with behavior disorders, they appreciated that I clearly had faults. My elementary students and parents like knowing that I was once a struggling student. I think it gives them hope "See, Ms. Beth couldn't hear a jackhammer in the next room and here she is a principal! Who would have thunk that? So, now you know you have what it takes to pull your act together.".

Still, I need someone to explain to me why it is fair that I may soon need some freaking bifocals (contacts).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wishful Thinking - with a little help from John Mayer

One day, I really do wish I could say what I want to say.  What I should have said.  There are a lot of things out there that really aren’t funny and should probably be said.  Still, I want to be able to earn my retirement.  Maybe I should look into placing advertisements on my blog.

“Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put ‘em in quotations

Say what you mean to say…”

If I were independently rich felt like my job wouldn’t be in jeopardy, I’d have a lot of things I’d like to say to my supervisors.  It speaks volumes about how out of touch you are with what is going on in the schools when you call me during dismissal time.  And let’s not even open the can of worms called “passing the buck.”  You are the boss.  That means it is in your power to make a decision and stick with it - even if there are some who don’t like it.  Just grow a spine.

“Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only ...

Say what you mean to say…”

If there could be a motto to use with my teachers, it would be, “Grow UP!”  How old do you freakin have to be to figure out that life ain’t exactly fair.  Learn to take the high road despite having ovaries.  And just because you don’t agree with a rule doesn’t mean it is your right to challenge it.  Besides, the grass will never grow in the side yard if you don’t stop parking your car there.  And, yes, I do think you need the extra exercise that you’ll get by parking in the teacher parking lot.

“Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again”

The creatively cruel manners of some parents never cease to amaze me.  There is absolutely nothing funny about using duct tape in any shape or form as a means for discipline.  And not having your kids in school on time or at all because you are too sorry to get up is educational neglect.  Try to put yourself in your kid’s shoes.  It isn’t fun being the one who is always tardy or trying to catch up on missing assignments.  It is obvious you can procreate well.  Now try to learn how to demonstrate a caring attitude.

“Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you mean to say…”

Some of my students can be so mean.  And so street smart.  How sad I feel for you and your loss of innocence.  Who treated you so cruelly that you felt it was okay to do the same to another human being?  I hope one day you’ll know that you were loved.  Even when I was disappointed or angry, you were loved.

Just don’t grow up to be one of those spineless supervisors, whining teachers, or disassociated parents.  There is only so long I can hold my tongue.  There will come that day when I really will say what I mean to say.

Monday, September 28, 2009

There is one less deranged bird in the world but please don't call me Ozzy

bat

This morning, at the track, I noticed what appeared to be a bat flying around one of the light posts because I usually go running before the butt crack of dawn.  I like bats as long as they stay the hell away from me because they eat bugs.  If there is one thing you need to know about the south, it is that we have bugs.  Lots of bugs.  Anything that eats bugs is cool in my book as long as that said thing stays away from me.

Suddenly, the stupid bat swooped at my head.  Oddly, I had just been thinking about what I’d do if the bat tried to attack me – so I was prepared.  I grabbed the bat and flung it to the ground.

Only it wasn’t a bat.  It was a bird.  Apparently a deranged bird.

I guess we could say he isn’t having a dead bird good Monday.

Hope your Monday is better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The name may be all wrong but still I like the visual

After running at recess, Mr. Argumentative flung himself into the line with the other boys and girls waiting to reenter the building.

Mr. Argumentative (snothaving worked up a sweat):  “Whew!  I ran so fast I was like a snot wad!”

Kindergarten Teacher (trying to comprehend): “Say that again.”

Mr. Argumentative (trying to enunciate better): “I just ran so fast I was like a snot wad!”

Kindergarten Teacher (leaning in closer to the student trying to understand): “How does running fast make you a snot wad?”

Mr. Argumentative (looking at the teacher as if she were the slow kid trying to explain):  “You know.  Like those fast cars guys drive.  Snot wads!”

Kindergarten Teacher (biting the insides of her cheeks to keep from laughing): “Oh.  You mean hot rods.”

Mr. Argumentative (with one eyebrow up and a look of disdain): “You can call them that but my daddy says they are snot wads.”

He just may have a point, eh?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It really wasn’t her fault

feet Despite the waning popularity of diagnosing people with ADHD, the disorder is still alive and well.   Just ask my husband.  Today, a 5th grade student was sent to school without her meds.  We can deal with her until she starts eating her class assignments but she is super emotional and just all over the place much like a goat on crack.

I had to speak with Little Miss Out of Meds this morning in the hallway as she skidded to a stop outside the bathroom.  On her knees. 

She began to cry - which was my clue to her lack of meds.  Since it was so early in the day, I decided to call her mother to see if she could run the medicine up to the school.  The mother agreed and asked for me to have the child in the office to save time.

Little Miss Out of Meds spread her stuff out over three desks sat in the office working on undoing the braids in her hair an assignment until the mother arrived.

Mother: “Well, look at you!  You look like Buckwheat!”

Little Miss Out of Meds (beginning to tear up again): “Momma.  Why do you make fun of me?  I didn’t mean to mess it all up!”

Mother: “Then quit messing with your hair.  And look at your school work.  It looks like you wrote with your foot!”

Little Miss Out of Meds (really working up a good cry): “I wish I had a different mother!  A nice mother wouldn’t make fun of my feet.” 

Apparently, her feet write neater than her mother will give them credit for.

Next time, I am totally checking that out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Should I tell them?

Mr. Funny gets tons of mail from a lot of different universities.  He has worked hard in school and having many options is his reward and my stressor because how far away from home do you want my boy?IMG_6131

As we have been perusing the applications, I’ve noticed they want lots of money for the application fees recommendations from former teachers, current teachers, and his guidance counselor.  They ask nothing about my opinion of my son’s abilities.

Therefore, I do not feel it is my responsibility to let them know that Mr. Funny may need some special assistance in some areas.  For instance, he can’t figure out when to empty the trash. 

IMG_6129

IMG_6134

He has yet to figure out how and where to put away his clothes.

IMG_6132 

Discussing the state of affairs at his desk makes me feel like going into a blackout rage a little crazy.

IMG_6133Soon enough, Mr. Funny and all his messes won’t be my problem.  I sincerely hope that there are some remediation courses in the home department as I have apparently failed to teach him in this area.

These universities have no idea what they might be getting themselves into.  For crying out loud, we occasionally have to remind him to flush the toilet.  Probably, they should leave him alone.

But that’s what they’ll get for not asking for my opinion.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some will say that grownups are just big kids. I say they are grownups and they should, therefore, grow up.

I’m tired of excusing away bad behavior on the part of grownups.  Particularly in regards to tattling.  You’d think there would be that magical moment, ideally in elementary school, when people realize that they shouldn’t tattle on others.   Is it really earth shatteringly important for me to know that Ms. So and So was 2 minutes late? 

One of my PE teachers has adopted a policy of saying, “Tattle tale time is after 4 p.m.”  4 p.m. is after all the kids have gone home.  I wonder what the teachers would think if I just didn’t listen to them and all their supposedly innocent slips of information.  “Oops.  I didn’t mean to tell you about how Ms. So and So took the kids outside to clean the animal cages during Math time.  Math time!  Can you believe it?!” 

Ironically, when I was teaching middle school, I remember being amazed that older students would still tattle on others.  And by tattle, I don’t mean they’d tell me about the class bully trying to shove their head into the toilet during break but things like, “She is looking at me.” 

In an effort to cure my middle school kids of all their tattling, I developed worksheet for them to complete if they needed to tell me about something.  Especially if we were in the middle of a lesson or group work. I worked hard to teach them the difference.

For instance, I wanted to know if Susie was making herself puke in the bathroom after lunch.  I didn’t want to know that Johnny passed a note to puking Susie.  I wanted to know if Horace had his glasses broken by Butch.  I didn’t want to know if Horace hid his glasses in his pocket during lunch though who could blame him for not wanting to look at the lunchroom food.  It boiled down to a simple rule. If life, limb and/or feelings were at stake, come tell me.

The worksheet had about 20 questions for them to complete.  Things like describe the weather, what is one thing you learned in your last class, what do you wish were on the lunch menu, and so on.  The last question was, “What did you want to tell me?” 

I’ve thought about pulling that sheet out for my teachers.  Either that or posting a sign announcing, “Tattletales accepted after 4 p.m.” 

Anyone want to join me for a nice run at 3:59 p.m?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If at first you don’t succeed, failure might be an option

After the week from H-E-double hockey sticks a really rough week (thanks for being such a great ear, Movie!), I knew I had to do something to get my mind off of some of the chaos (the unbloggable chaos, that is).  I discovered a new favorite drink - the cucumber martini.  And with cucumbers in it, it counts as both a beverage AND a vegetable!  How awesome!cucumber martini 

After two servings of vegetables, Mr. Strong and I went to a funky hamburger dive.  I ordered a hamburger different from any burger I’d ever had.

peanut butter hamburgerIf you think that stuff under the bacon looks like PEANUT BUTTER, then you are super observant!  What is not to like?!  Hamburgers and peanut butter are two of my most favorite foods but it does make me wonder what the inventor of this burger was smoking.  And BACON makes everything better!  It was an awesome hamburger and I’m working hard to find it in me to forgive my oldest child for eating the half I brought home for later.  Surely, the combination of peanut butter (protein!) and hamburger (more protein!) with bacon (even more protein!) will help me improve my running skills. 

It must have been the combination of two vegetable drinks along with a freakishly delicious burger that encouraged me to go ahead and do something I’ve been trying to talk myself out of thinking about. 

I finally signed up to torture myself run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon! 

princess half marathon

Now I really need to get serious with my running because I don’t want to be the last princess to cross the finish line.  Also, I need to get focused on eating healthy.

By the way, does anyone know where they might serve Peanut Butter Burgers for breakfast in Orlando? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I need a new name for Barbie Stickers

barbie It would be safe to say Barbie Stickers  is a student who marches to the beat of a different drum.  That is the nice way of saying we work our butts off to keep her motivated. And not biting others.

This year, she is no longer interested in Barbie stickers for merely stepping out of the car.  She has moved on to bigger and better things.

Yep.  She has fallen in love with a 6 foot inflatable kangaroo that was intended to be a decoration in the media center.   She will do her work just for a nod of approval from this inflatable kangaroo.  I am wondering when Barbie Stickers is going to look at us as if we are crazy and announce that the kangaroo is in fact, not real.

Any suggestions for a name to replace Barbie Stickers?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just when you think you’ve reached your breaking point…

Today was the kind of day that, had it been legal, it would have been nice to take a swig of something strong.  Then again, I am still a little afraid to have a drink because that could be the beginning of the story that ends with, “Hello.  My name is Beth and I’m a …”

Today, there were many, many situations that wrapped their tentacles into my brain and tore away at my sanity.

You might think it is hard work to remain chipper despite the seventeen parents who sent negative emails about their child NOT watching the President’s speech but those emails pale in comparison to the phone call from the irate grandmother who WILL TALK TO AN ADMINISTRATOR.  TODAY.  At least now I know where the little guy gets some of his colorful language. 

While it seemed like a good idea to let my hair air dry this morning to allow time to respond to some of the many emails, it suddenly seemed a poor decision when the local news channel came to film how my school was handling the Obama speech to the students.  Make that BOTH OF THE LOCAL NEWS CHANNELS.  Yep!  That was me, bad hair and all, on BOTH the local news channels this evening.

A paragraph won’t do justice the situation going on with the parents of the Tsunami Twins.  Those poor kids!  I could write a book about this family and you’d question my truthfulness because nobody does this kind of ridiculous crap in real life!  Right?!.

Having a teacher make inappropriate comments about a situation really frustrated me and wreaked havoc on my patience.  Then all that patience came rushing back when Mr. Matter of Fact broke down in the hallway because he missed his father who died on the last day of school this past school year.  I couldn’t write about it then as my own emotions about losing my dad when I was a kid are still way too raw.

Even Lucifer the trainer seemed to pick up on the fact that I had had a rough day and went a little easier on me.  It may or may not have helped that he noticed me on the news with my bad hair answering stupid questions from the reporter.  Really, what principal would answer truthfully about if they did or did not think the Superintendent had made the right decision.  OF COURSE, he made the RIGHT decision.  See?  I love my job!

Nothing soothed my soul more than my own husband.  As I recounted my hell day, I once again ended the conversation with my habitual comment of “I wish I were teaching again.”  And he said, “"Why don’t you?”

I need to answer that question this year. 

Why don’t I?

IMG_5722

I’m going to bite my tongue

And I’m not going to talk about the hype surrounding the President’s speech today.  Also, I’m going to ignore the SEVENTEEN new emails I received during the night from *concerned* parents.  It sounds like today might be a good day to have the secretaries hold the phone calls.

God knows, I wouldn’t want to encourage students to work hard on their education.  Sheesh.

But Ms. Poopy might have a thing or two to say.  She really stinks doesn’t do well with keeping her opinion to herself.  In fact, she posed for this picture to let others know what she thought of some of the people who may or may not be instigators in this whole mess.

IMG_5687

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My husband started a war and now I kind of feel sorry for the refugees

I’m not sure where Mr. Strong developed such a hatred strong dislike for squirrels but if they had the right representation, he’d be accused of discrimination based on fur color breed. 

I could probably distract him from his self-imposed mission of ridding the yard of squirrels if only Ms. Poopy would quit barking at them. All. The. Time.

IMG_5693

Despite a gimpy yapping dog and a crazed man with a BB gun, the squirrels have decided to set up camp and stay.  It was when the fourth squirrel’s nest showed up that Mr. Strong declared war.  First, he went to gather some ammunition cut down a huge bamboo pole.

IMG_5730

The bamboo pole was as longer than the truck and we had to shove it through the back window so I could hang onto it.  We were styling as we drove through town hurried home so Mr. Strong could begin the battle with the squirrels.

IMG_5736

The game plan was to just mess up their nests that are strong enough to sustain hurricane force winds so that they’d move somewhere else.

IMG_5740

The bamboo pole was perfect for reaching the nests and stirring them up.IMG_5741

When ground fighting became too tiring, Mr. Strong took to the skies climbed up to the roof.

IMG_5746

One squirrel went running after the Great Tree Shake Up of 2009.  I assume the rest will come home this evening to face devastation.

IMG_5685 

I do hope the squirrels will face facts and move on and so do the neighbors so they won’t have to listen to Ms. Poopy barking at them anymore.

Would it be wrong of me to leave some bird seed out there for homeless yard rats?