Friday, October 31, 2008

Haiku Friday --- Ode to Trick or Treaters Past

The following haiku is from memories of Halloweens past. I won't be treating anyone at the house this year. Hubby and I won't be home. We have another engagement --- The big Fall Festival/Carnival hosted by our church for all the kids in town. It is big doings that requires lots of hands. And it is fun for all. But in years past I've ooooed and ahhhhed over lots of little boys and girls in costumes both store bought and home made. It was always fun when the girls were young and they went out first with hubby or me with them and then when older with a group of friends in the neighborhood. Always coming by the house for a treat from mom and dad with lots of giggles.
Ode to Trick or Treaters Past

Ding dong -- door bell rings.
What's this standing at my door
One pretty princess.

"Trick or treat," she says.
Candy goes into her bag.
Sweet voice says, "Thank you."

Batman and cute friends
Arrive and leave with, "Thank yous"
Candy served to all.

Settled back in my chair
Again I hear the bell chime
I rise to the call.

Three non-costumed boys
Stand at my door all staring
Thrusting sacks forward.

I stood there waiting.
There is a phrase they must say
To get their reward.

Finally one spoke.
"Trick or treat," he snarled at me.
Reluctanly paid.

No thanks, they just leave.
As they step into the street
My porch light clicks off.

The hour has grown late.
Cute goblins are now tucked in bed.
I've no good treats left.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #17 -- Since We Were Last Together

Thirteen things I've done since the last Thursday Thirteen.

1. On Friday I went shopping with #1 daughter who was down for the Women of Faith Conference in Houston. Found some really nice jean slacks and a couple of new tops. I love shopping.

2. When we go home I hemmed said slacks and washed them so I could take the to the conference. I love having new clothes for trips.

3. We travel with a group of about 15 women to Houston where we enjoy the music and speaking of several of the converence team. Then spent the night in the Marriot Hotel close to the Toyota Center.

4. Saturday I enjoyed a picnic lunch with the women in our group on Saturday at a park across from the Toyota Center. It was a beautiful fall day with perfect weather for a break from the conference.

5. I sat up Saturday evening after arriving back home and visited with #1 daughter for a while. Laughed at her silly cats who didn't seem to understand that they didn't have free range of my house. Doors to certain rooms were kept shut.

6. I attended early church service (because Robert is an usher this month at said service) and Bible study.

7. I revealed in a peaceful afternoon watching/listening to football and being on the computer.

8. After evening church services we went to supper with a group of friends. This is a "tradition" that has developed in the past year or so that has fostered some strong friendships.

9. Of course I worked Monday, and while there found out I have to be fingerprinted for my job at the school. Seems that all teachers/school personnel now have to be printed and there is quite the hoopla about how it is to be done. I really don't understand it all, but I went on line and did the required registration.

10. On Tuesday I worked. It was pretty much the average day with no surprises. I left early because of a strange schedule that had my student unavailable the last hour -- no need to hang around.

11. I went to the court house when I got home and cast my vote. Even though it was early voting there was a line. It seemed to be pretty steady. I was about the third one from the door when I got there and and as someone moved in it seemed others arrived. The line consitantly was three out the door.

12. Here it is Wednesday. Again I worked, but again got to leave early. I could get used to this.

13. I had a hair appointment at 6:00pm to get my hair trimmed. It is always nice to be neatened up a bit. After that was choir practice. It lasted long tonight. Seems the new choir director is beginning to work for perfection --- good for how the choir sounds but hard for some of us with less than perfect voices. He is patient though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday --- My Civic Duty Done

Join the silence at Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

And He Slept - Nevermore

The theme this week for head or tails is a scary story. I know this scared my hubby into believing in ghost.
A True Ghost Story

About nine years ago we lived in the little town of Canadian, Texas, in a charming (equivalent of little) house built in the early 1940s. This house came with a basement. Old, steep wooden stairs cut the basement into two sections. At the bottom of the stairs was a landing and you had to turn right to go two more steps into the basement. It was always dark and damp down there no matter what we did to lighten and dry it.

The first time my #2 daughter came to visit, a couple of months after we had moved in, she ventured into the basement for a look around. She returned very quickly and stated matter-of-factly that we had a ghost down there. I was unaware of her having any ability to detect the paranormal so the hubby and I just laughed it off. She was adamant, however, and refused to ever go back down those stairs.

We did find out several weeks later that the original owner of the house, who suffered from bouts of deep depression, had committed suicide in the basement.

Fast forward about 3 months. I had gone on an overnight trip leaving hubby at home. Now hubby can sometimes snore with the best of them. He has been known to loosen ceiling plaster when he gets into it, and on this paticular night he must have been going like a buzz saw in a lumber mill --- that is until he felt a hand on his shoulder and a voice exclaim, "Hey, Bud, you're keeping us awake."

He said he was instantly awake and saw a figure fade away as his eyes flew open. He also says he didn't snore anymore that night because he didn't sleep anymore -- that night.

We never had any other encounter with our "ghost". I have no idea if he/they left or we just never bothered them anymore. But the fact that hubby was visited has made a firm believer of him that ghost do exist and that they don't like someone snoring any better than the rest us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Laughed, I Cried, I Enjoyed

I had a wonderful time at the Women of Faith Conference Friday evening and Saturday. We heard some wonderful uplifting performances by Sandi Patty, Mandisa, Sheila Welch and Nicole C. Mullins. Each one of these women have a powerful voice and a powerful testimony for the Lord.

The speakers were motivational and inspiring. They shared personal stories as well as scriptures. They had us laughing and crying and all wanted to be better, do better. Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, and Luci Swindoll are marvelous women for God.

Allison Allen is a dramatist. I enjoyed her skits. She too had us laughing, crying and realizing how we are all alike in our differences.

I could spend much time and space reliving each moment of the weekend, but I won't. I'll just say that if you ever get the chance to go to one of these meeting, jump on it. I know you'll be glad you did.

This is something I came across at Hootin Anni's that looking interesting and fun. What would you reply to each of these words? Click here to join the fun.

1.Contemplate :: Consider

2.In the house :: here

3. Classical :: Music

4. Quest :: Adventure

5. Best friend :: Husband

6. 1991 :: Nothing outstanding

7. Never will :: Won't

8. Fool :: Hearty

9. Unhappy :: Sad

10. Best man :: Robert (my husband)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Haiku Friday --- Women of Faith Conference

At the Toyota Center
The Women of Faith Conference
Praise be to the Lord.

My life has been blessed
I'm a chosen child of God
His lives in my heart

Walking with the Lord
I desire to feel Him close
Worship and praising

I seek to learn more
Sing His praise; to call His name
He is Yahweh Sabaoth.

So I shall attend
With daughter and many more
A weekend of praise

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #16 --- Things I Said More Than Once Today

Anyone who has read my blog more than once knows I'm a tutor at an elementary school. I work with third, fourth and fifth graders in math and reading, hoping to somehow get some at-risk-of-not-passing students over the hump so they can pass the TAKS test give in the spring of the year. All of these students have been identified by their previous test and teacher observation. My Thursday Thirteen is things I said today MORE THAN ONCE.

1. Those in my group quietly line to go to my cubby hole. (I don't really have a room. We work in a small area closed off from a larger room. No one came up with a good name like Achieve Lab or Mastery Lab, which were already taken so ...)

2. Please, put your pencils under your chairs.

3. Sit up, you don't need your head on your desk.

4. We are going to be practicing borrowing across zeros today. I need everyone's eyes ups here, please. (I demonstrate with a problem such as 708 - 345 =.)

5. Anytime there is a zero in the number you are subtracting from you will have to borrow.

6. Yes, we are going to write on the slates.

7. Ok, look at what you just did. Can you take 8 (or whatever number) from 0? Think.

8. Good job lining your numbers up. Doesn't that make it easier?

9. You guys are doing better, here's a hard one. (at this point I give a problem just like all the others we have been working on)

10. Now let's try this one. (give a subtraction problem with no zeros in it -- you'd be surprised -- suddenly this is hard)

11. Now let's try this one. Two thousand eight minus one thousand nine hundred forty-nine. (2008 - 1949 =)

12. Way to go, you now know how old I am. (this always gets a laugh and a discussion of how old their parents and grandparents are)

13. We're late. Get your pencils off the floor and line up. Good job today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grammar 101 or a Pet Peeve

Do you have a pet peeve? Something that gets your hackles up every time it happens? Something that probably shouldn't bother you but does anyway?

I do. And today I got a note from a friend and yes, it had the thing written that bothers me a lot. I don't know why this grammar mistake is the one that gets my goat or makes me see red. But whenever I see this particular mistake I just want to scream, "WEREN'T YOU LISTENING IN FOURTH GRADE WENT YOUR TEACHER TAUGHT YOU THIS? COME ON IT ISN'T THAT HARD! IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!"

Now I'm sure you are very curious about what can make me react this way. It is the correct use of an 's. An 's is used to make a singular noun possessive. It is never, let me repeat that, IT IS NEVER, used to make a noun plural.

To make a noun plural you simply add the suffix -s, or -es or you have to change the spelling of the word and there are few words that keep the same word for both singular and plural. I could give you a list of singular nouns and you would whip through them in a heart beat spelling the plural of each and every one of them correctly.

Why then did I just give you that fourth grade grammar lesson you ask? Remember that note I got today signed by a friend who was wanting to include the whole family? She signed it, "With thanks, The Smith's". (name changed to protect the guilty). The Smiths don't own anything here. They aren't possessive. They are plural --- so just make the proper noun plural the same way you would a common noun. The Smiths -- that is all. If your last name happens to be Jones and you have to make it plural then you become the Joneses. (It looks funny I know, but it wouldn't if everyone did it correctly.) You can say but ... all you want, but it won't change a thing. That's the rule pure and simple. Bob Smith's new car will hold all eight Smiths. Tom Jones's family reunion was attended by only Joneses.

This Christmas when you are signing those Christmas cards just remember this simple lesson. If you want to include the whole gang either list their names individually or make the family plural without that pesky apostrophe.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"I'd Like Chocolate with my Whine, Thank You!"

Can you catch things over the internet? I know several of you haven't been well lately. I don't feel good. I've got a low grade temp., my ears feel funny (they don't hurt they just don't feel right), my throat hurts, and my chest feels tight.

I really don't think I caught this from any of y'all, but I am going to blame those little urchins I call students who sneezed, wheezed and coughed on me last week. Or it could just be allergies since everyone seems to be having trouble with something causing them to act up.

I've taken meds, and will be fine in a day or two, but right now I'm going to just whine because I don't feel good. I'm the best whiner around when I'm sick. Everyone likes it better when I'm not sick. I make sure of that.

And I want some chocolate --- there is none in the house because of the diet. Bummer.

To make matter worse. I didn't get paid today. Not really a problem, but it's no fun not getting a paycheck when everyone else is getting theirs. Mine was probably mailed. When I'm just subbing and not working full time that is what the pay clerk does -- she mails it. I'm sure she just hasn't realized yet that I'm now working as a long term sub. Strange title, but it is what it is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Recommended --- Results Shaky at Best

Why do I not believe this???? Could it be because there is no way this thing is accurate. And I don't recommend this unless you are willing to go through a lot of questions about what you like or dislike by checking NO to a lot of ads. It took forever to get to the IQ after the test.

Hi, Patsy.

Thank you for taking the Instant IQ Test.

You scored: 135

Your IQ Range is 130 - 140 and you are GIFTED.

Congratulations on completing our IQ test! Based on your answers to the test questions, your IQ is between 130 and 140. IQ scores are based on a scale where a score of 100 is the average score. By scoring higher than 100, you have shown that you have a higher than average intelligence level. Your score range of 130 to 139 indicates that you are gifted, so again, congratulations are in order! Your intelligence level can say a lot about how you approach life. By having a high score, you are someone who can face their challenges and often overcome them easily. You look at the world and are able to make sense of it by fitting together the pieces of the puzzle. Thank you for taking our fun IQ test!
LeaderDirect53 Prospect Park
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Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ramblings from While You're Up -- One Year Old Today

Did you notice? Today is my Blogoversary. I have been doing this for 1 year today. I have gone from just two or three people reading my blog to maybe six or seven true followers and as many as thirty visitors who leave comments. Thank you all for thinking that I might have something worthwhile to say or share. I know I usually don't, but I enjoy just sharing my thoughts.

I have realized that blogging is more than just what I put in my blog. It is visiting others and commenting to them. I tend to blog more in comments to others than I do on my on site many times. As I visit the different meme that I enjoy I find the things posted by my fellow memers (is that a word?) very interesting and sometimes leave long comments about the topic -- much like a conversation. I hope that is alright with those who receive such dissertations.

I have made new friends. Cyber friends with faces that are pictures and whose voices are written words. But these are people whom I feel I know in a special way and treasure. There is a different mask that people wear when they are blogging than when they are visiting face to face. I'm aware of that mask, I wear one also. Some things are more guarded while other things are revealed quite easily.

The hardest part of blogging for me is to capture the emotion of the words. What could be a quick quip, a bit of sarcasm, or a joke might not always sound that way to the reader when there is no facial expression to go with it, no dropping of tone or voice to indicate that is an aside to be taken lightly. And because of that I worry at time that I might offend.

Yes, a year of blogging has taken me to new place. I now visit with people in Australia, Belgium, Canda, Africa, and I even have a friend in France who always replies in French. I don't claim to know these people well, but I enjoy them. What they share, the world they live in has enriched me.

I think this is a habit I'll continue with. Hopefully I'll continue to grow and learn. Hopefully I can get to know some of you better and maybe someday our paths will cross and we can share a beverage together (I was going to say a cup of coffee, but I don't drink coffee).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photo Hunt -- Family and a Melancholy Moment

My choice for this week's theme is simply my kitchen cupboard --- dishes to serve twelve --- enough to feed a family.

This week's theme FAMILY ended up making me a bit melancholy.

Oh, not because I can't find pictures to fit the theme. I have hundreds of pictures of family. Years of times we were together to celebrate or to mourn.

There are family reunions from hubby side and from my side. There are pictures of us with our children and grandchildren in almost nice, almost neat rows with almost everyone smiling for the camera. There are pictures of people gathered around the table serving themselves huge helpings of food, or playing games, or watching games on TV. I have lots of pictures of family.

What has made me depressed is that I haven't seen any of this family since July, and three months is a long time to go with getting hugs from grandchildren or listening to the laughter of adult children as they relive their youth. It's hard for us all to get together and browsing through all those pictures has made me miss my family so much. That is why this weeks theme has sadden my spirit.

But I rallied and came up with some photo ideas that I could possibly take that would fit the theme, but not necessarily be of people. I thought about a family of animals, or a bunch of shoes at the front door, or several bikes of various sizes but alas, I don't have any of those things here at my home for two on a very quiet street with neighbors that are newly wed without children, single, or like me and beyond children at home. :sigh: That's when I glanced over and saw what I needed to have for my photo hunt picture. What I saw is what you just saw.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Haiku Friday --- With Autumn Comes Parades

This week's haiku is dedicated to my husband who has spend the past month along with several other tens of men getting ready for the annual Bay City Lions Club Rice Festival. This celebration of the rice grown in this area was started back in 1941 and has been on going since. The men work hard and do much good with the money raised each year. Hubby is in charge of the parade -- and we pray that this Saturday is doesn't *rain on his parade* -- neither figuratively nor literally. So here's to you Lions.

(Pictures are from the 2007 Rice Festival Parade)

with autumn's cool breezes
comes the Rice Festival fun
our Lions' Club affair

rice dishes are made
eager judges taste samples
and eye how each looks

a parade floats by
carrying our Queen and court
who reign for a year

for both young and old
bingo, games and carny rides
swirl in sights and sound

autumn is special
in so many different ways
celebrate the time

Thursday Thirteen #15 -- The Easy Burgers

This week I'm sharing thirteen differnt ways to make hamburgers. That is my husband's favorite meal. He would eat a hamburger every evening just plain meat, cooked on our *forman* grill (I call it a forman, but right now we own a different brand of grill, but it's the same idea). All of these could be cooked outside or even on a griddle. I occassionally like to do something a little different and have done these things more for me than for him. I always make 3 patties from a pound of meat, but you could make 4.

1. Basic Burger. 1 lb ground beef, 1 half onion grated or finely chopped, a little pepper, course ground is better, a little salt

2. Barbecue Burger. Add your favorite barbecue sauce a couple of minutes before the basic burger is done.

3. Cheesy Burger. Using the basic burger make 8 thin patties. In the center of 4 of the patties put about tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with a second patty and seal the edges together.

4. Grilled Onion Burger. Leave the onions out of the basic burger recipe. While the burgers are cooking sautee onion rings (sliced onion broken into rings) in a little oil. Serve over the burger that has had swiss cheese melted on it.

5. Mushroom Melt Burger. Make the Barbecue Burger. While they are cooking make the mushroom melt by melting some Cheeze Whiz and adding canned mushrooms to it.

6. Tropical Burger. Mix some crushed pineapple, shredded cheese, and soy sauce into l lb. of hamburger meat with an egg and a handful of bread crumbs.

7. Bacon Burger. Two ways just cook the basic burger and add bacon on top (much like all the fast food places do) or chop the two or three pieces of pre-cooked bacon you have and add to the mix. The flavor is there.

8. The Reuben Burger. (This was not a hit with hubby) Top the basic burger with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Put under the broiler to melt cheese before serving.

9. Green Chile Burger. To the basic burger add chopped green chile (one small can) to the mix, or do like the cheesy burger and put a little in between two patties.

10. Mexican Burger. To the basic burger add 1 tbs chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp. garlic and onion powder.

These next ones I haven't tried, but the sound like they would be good. Maybe next week. :)

11. Zesty Outdoor Burger. (I think you could cook it however you wanted.)
1 to 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef, 1/4 cup onion, chopped,2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped, 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish,
1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons prepared mustard, 1 dash pepper

12. Lemon Burger. This would be different. 1 pound ground chuck or lean ground beef,
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice,2 tablespoons melted butter,2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or thyme

13. Italian Style Burger. To the basic burger add 1 heaping teaspoon Italian seasoning, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Make into 8 thin patties. Put mozzarella cheese in the center of 4 patties and top each with one of the remain patties. Seal edges and grill.

See a burger doesn't have to be boring or hard to dress up. Just use a little imagination and whatever you have on hand to create an exciting burger. Of course you can't be as lazy as I am. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Please, Use Your Inside Voice

I am not a quiet person. I have to constantly remind myself of that when I'm sitting in my little room with my 5 students gathered around me. I try to remember I don't have to use my *outside* voice, and most of the time manage to regulate the volume to a very acceptable level. If I don't though, the next thing you know, I'm teaching the students on the other side of the wall the lesson and the students sitting close to me resemble a cartoon with their hair blasted back because of the volume of my voice.

I like to blame this phenomenon on the fact that I come from a loud family. I don't know if that is the reason I'm loud or not, but my sisters (three of them) and even my mother to a lesser degree are also loud. We all have the kind of voices that carries well and we talk on top of each other so often more than one voice at a time can be heard making for even more volume. We all can all follow more than one conversation at a time and have input into all of them. I forget at times that in the *real world* this is considered impolite so I've tried to correct it with only mild success.

Any family gathering is a time when everyone is talking, comparing and enjoying each other. We talk and we talk and we talk loudly. When we get excited about a conversation or feel passion about something, yep, we get louder! Some days when I'm home alone I miss that loud conversation and the competition (and I do think we were competing with each other both to be heard and to have attention). I look forward to the holidays -- to using my *big* voice and not having to worry about it -- and for me, that's a good thing.

What about you? Do you speak in a small voice that can bearly be heard, or do you speak up so other can hear? Can you follow more than one conversation at a time and enjoy lively conversation where everyone is putting ideas in at the same time? Or do you want polite converstion? Just wondering.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I love a little self-indulgence on occasion and today was a good day for that. At about 5:00 I had to go to good ol' Walmart to pick up a couple of things and as I walked in the door I had to go right past the nail salon. It called out to me, so I made a right turn walked in and asked if they could get to me soon for a pedicure. I love it when the answer is, "Yes, just take a seat in the middle chair, Ann will be right with you."

Ann was right with me and gave me a wonderful, relaxing pedicure. She removed the old polish, trimmed the over grown nails and soaked, scrubbed, cleaned, oiled and rubbed each foot, only causing me to reflex jerk once. I have had Ann before and she remembered that I'm very ticklish on the bottoms of my feet and this time she was careful not to tickle me but work with firm pressure. She then messaged the calf of each leg --- easing away the stress of being on them way too much today.

If you have never had a pedicure, then you are missing out on one of the best relaxation therapies in the world. The chair is a message chair that kneads, rubs, pounds and vibrates up and down the spine in the most heavenly manner. It is almost as good as the real thing.

I left Walmart a few dollars poor, but with a much better spirit than when I entered. And now I have pretty orange toenails. And to quote Martha Stewart *That's a good thing.*

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Positive Meme

In Lou's blog today he posted this meme and tagged all who wanted to play. Below are the rules according to Lou in his words.

The rules are to write five positive things about yourself. I don’t care how goofy or weird those things are; I simply want them to be things you think are rad and that you absolutely believe with your whole heart. Like don’t hand me any “I’m a great mom!!” stuff if you actually think you’re only a pretty good mom. See what I mean? After you write your list, (tag five other people) tag anyone who wants to do it to compose a list. Maybe we can fight this blogfluitis, (five) however many bloggers at a time. Words inside parenthesis were marked out.

1. I'm a good teacher of small groups. I've always liked teaching and since I've begun working with small groups and actually seeing success I've decided I really am good at it. If you sit in the group with me you are going to learn because I won't accept anything less. I'll cheer you on, I'll help you all I can, and you will learn!

2. I'm a great cheerleader. I can usually talk people out of a funk, help them put a better spin on what is happening so it doesn't seem so dire. I've only began to realize that ability in the past couple of years after a couple of new friends told me that they loved how I always found the good in every situation. I didn't realize I do until it was pointed out -- I do know that I don't like to be around sour-pusses. If I do have to criticise then I try to do it in a way that is encouraging and not distructive.

3. If I do something wrong I'll admit it. I'll step up to the plate, say I'm sorry and try to make it right. I hate doing it, but heck, when you are wrong you are wrong. It isn't McDonald's fault that I'm overweight, or the cops fault that I was speeding, or the principals fault when I didn't get my reports in on time. Most mistakes can be fixed and forgiven if owned up to. I do not blame others for my mistakes.

4. I make adorable bears. Each one is different and by the time I finish one it has taken on its own personality. I play with them and they talk to me (and no, I'm not crazy). Each bear has a special meaning and when I'm making it, it seems to know who it will be for even if Idon't. Many of them have been sold in craft shows, but all of them were special and went to someone who really wanted that paticular bear. One woman even commented to me as she was buying that the bear because it seemed to call her over to buy it. She had had no intention of buying one when she did, but for some reason just couldn't resist.

5. I am a well rounded individual. I enjoy a variety of activities all with equal enthusiasm. I love to go to the theater, to the ballet or to the symphony as much as I love going to a football game, basketball game or other sporting event. I honestly will read anything handed to me or watch any movie you want to see. I'm open to new ideas, but have opinions of my own. I will sample food even if I'm a little leery of it. Technology scares me a little because I don't understand the magic (and it must be magic because that is the only thing that makes sense), but I'm willing to try to use new things.

So there you have it five positive things about me. How about you???? If you do this comment here and link back so I can see what is postive about you.

YEAH, the Texans finally won a game. Barely, but they won!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo Hunt -- Lazy

This week at the theme is LAZY. This took some thought. I finally decided -- what is lazier than to be laying in the sun -- not a care in the world while at home grass is needing mowed, flowerbeds are needing tended, and paper at work needs shuffled. Nothing! That is why my photo hunt picture this week is hubby -- chilling in a lounge chair on the deck of a cruise ship.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Haiku Friday --- A Haiku on Nothing

Haiku thoughts not here
I just couldn't do it right
Nothing seemed to fit

Some topics were tried
Inspiration would not come
Nothing made a spark.

Finally I thought
I would just write on nothing
But even that flopped.

So here you have it
A rambling pointless haiku
One that wasted time.

Sorry guys, I just couldn't get inspired today. Between a thousand things going on last night, not getting home until 10:30 pm and having to be at school early this morning with a cooked roast and some onion soup I just couldn't get inspired to write even my usual weak haiku. I tried several topic out --- even roast and onion soup ---- wouldn't work.
If you are curious the roast and onion soup were for the birthday celebration the teacher and staff have twice a year. The theme was *Medival Banquet* --- It was fun to visit with everyone at one time. For this hour and half the kids are watched by parents and the teachers get to just be with each other. It doesn't happen often in a social setting.

Thursday Thirteen #14 Things That Bring A Smile

Thirteen things that make me smile.

1. The Sonic commercials. I don't care which one it is --- those commercials always make me smile because they so silly, and true.
2. When my hubby does something simple and nice like offer me a coke when getting himself one or cleaning the kitchen (well putting the dishes in the dishwasher is more like it, but he calls it cleaning the kitchen and who am I to argue?) while I'm gone to choir or handbells.
3. Seeing good friends at handbells and the chatter and smiles from those I haven't seen in a week.
4. Getting that hard passage in a handbell piece correct -- more than once. :)
5. Chocolate.
6. Talking with my grandchildren on the telephone.
7. When someone asks if I've lost weight when I know I haven't. I'm thinking the walking at 5:30am is helping.
8. Unexpected hugs from the students in kindergarten and first grade when I meet them in the hall. And being told by those students that I had been there teacher.
9. Finding a pair of slacks that actually fit like I want them too. Not too long, not too short, not to tight, not to loose, legs not to skinny, legs not to wide and floppy. You know JUST RIGHT.
10. Chocolate
11. Corny jokes sent by my daddy via email even when I've seen them many times before.
12. Those perfect days when I can drive with the top down on the convertible, the traffic light and the speed -- well faster than it should probably be. I do like to drive.
13. Comments from friends and friends to make on my Thursday Thirteen post --- and all my other posts. Those are what make me smile. I get that Sally Fields feeling of "You like me, you really like me." with each one. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mrs. Bain's Magic Has Begun

For once I'm glad the Presidental Debates are on. Not because I'm all that interested in what the canidates have to say but because it gives me a chance to be at the computer reading blogs and finally posting a new one, playing games and goofing off without missing anything new on TV.

Yesterday was my first day back at school as myself. I worked on the schedule and got list of names from the teachers so I would have an idea of who I would be working with.

Today we implemented that schedule with said students. It went pretty smoothly. Everyone was excited today to be coming to Mrs. Bain's cubby hole. I don't have an actual room to work in. It is little more than a storage area --- It is on the back of another classroom that is sectioned off with a row of tall cabinets. There isn't even a door so I hung a shower rod across the opening with some curtains and I we now have privacy.

Before you go to feeling sorry for us let me interject that the kids who come to me think this is cool -- they don't think of it as being abused and stuck in a closet. I play along with them about how special it is to have a secret room the *other* kids don't get to come into. It is off limits unless you are invited in by Mrs. Bain. In their hearts they know they are there because they are low and need extra help, but we never mention that. I just tell them that behind that curtain is where the magic happens and soon they will begin to understand. I didn't bother to elaborate on what they will begin to understand. I hope it is age appropriate math or reading. (I call it my magic because one of my fellow teacher told me when I first took this tutoring job several years ago that she expected me to work magic with the student, because nothing else had seemed to work. We had good success that year. Now I try to find the magic each year.)

Each group is only five student and we are all sitting together at a large kidney shaped table it really seems quite cozy. Who care if there are boxes of mysterious stuff sitting around the walls. No group ever gets to stay more than 30 minutes either. That helps with the no nonsense aura of the room.

I worked with my third graders over in the computer lab. We use a program called Study Island. Today we worked just on how to log onto the program. They each have to type in their name and a password. For the most part these kids are from homes without computers so there is a learning curve just to get started --- things went well and of course they were very excited to be working on the computers when their classmates were having to be in the classroom just doing that *real school stuff* as one of the little girls put it.

There were glitches of course. No schedule ever works perfectly the first day. I think we have the problems all solved. It was a good enough day that I think I'll go back tomorrow. :)

Oh, and just for the record Robert and I were up at 5:35 AM and got our 2 miles in before work both days.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

100 Word Challenge --- Blend

The challenge word from Velvet Verbosity this week is BLEND.

I stood looking out the kitchen window watching the kids play. His three boys; my three girls.

Would this work? There were days when I didn’t think so. Those days always ended with me having to be the heavy, and I knew I sounded mean and bitchy to them. The boys were rougher than the girls or maybe the girls were just sissies like they said.

“Please, God, just let this work,” was my constant prayer.

I felt his arms slip around me and I leaned back with a sigh. I knew I was willing to try to blend our families, our lives into one.

Being alone wasn’t my idea of a good life.

My hubby and I married 30 years ago when his three sons were ages 9, 7 and 4 while my three daughters were 8, 3 and 2. He a divorce' and I a widow. The task we accepted seemed more like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE than the BRADY BUNCH. TV made it look much easier than it was for us, but we all survived. When we are all together now those now adult kids tell stories and laugh about things that I had thought was WW III.

Photo Hunt --- Sad

The theme for this week is sad. The following picture to me invokes the feeling sad. Rain on the window and a gray sky. This picture was taken while we were in the UK this past summer. It was cool and gray and I was sad. I wanted wanted sunshine and warm.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Haiku Friday --- Salute to a First Graders

Salute to First Graders

reading, writing, math
subjects must be taught daily
little minds must learn

using context clues
choose the words that match the clues
yes you can, that's right

six red plus four green
count the answer learn the fact
next we will subtract

recess, lunch and p.e.
bodies grow stronger too
run, jump, twist and turn

your feelings got hurt
you didn't get to answer
but I really tried

your day is crammed full
preparing you for your life
thank you for that hug.

On Thursday I had the privilege to substitute in first grade. What a busy life those little lead. This is for them. They are wiggly and squirmy and full of answers, right or wrong. They talk to each other, they cry when their feeling are hurt but they all really want to please and learn. I had a great day with them. :)

Thursday Thirteen # 13 Things That Have Scared Me

In light of the scare I had earlier this week I thought I would devote this Thursday Thirteen to the things that have scared me during my life. (In very random order.)

1. The scare that inspired this list was choking on a piece of chicken while driving by myself. I was truly in a state of panic until I was able to cough and get the very small piece of chicken dislodged.

2. When my three year old grandson (who is now soon to be 17) decided to hide from us the day we were moving into a new house. Even the movers were beginning to get panicked and were looking up and down the street when I heard his faint little giggle coming from under the dinning room table which was surrounded by boxes.

3. When my #1 daughter slammed the outside door with her finger still in it then yanked it out catching the tip of it on the metal strip cutting the tip off. That was the first and only time I had to make an emergency run to the doctor's office with a lot of blood involved.

4. Thirty-one years ago when the doctors came out of surgery to tell me that they had removed my husband's kidney, but it didn't look good. It definitely was cancer and they hoped they had gotten it all. I wasn't expecting that and I felt totally unprepared because no one had bothered to even tell me what they thought might be wrong except that his kidney wasn't functioning correctly.

5. When about six years ago when I fell and broke my arm when helping Robert clear brush. Well, maybe this time I was more angry with myself than scared, but scared came when my fingers swelled to the size of sausages and I could barely move them.

6. When I had my girls with me and we were going snow skiing without Robert. I was driving on ice and did something wrong because we spun around on the highway about three times coming to a stop on the shoulder of the road looking down at Eagle Lake. After I gathered my wits we drove on to Red River and skied all day then I drove us back home.

7. The first time I had to spend the night all alone in my apartment. I was a relative newly wed and Garry had to be gone. I had never spent a night along. I was all of 18 years old from a large family --- alone --- no parents, no sisters, no hubby .

8. When I had to have my appendix out. I was nine years old. I didn't understand what being put to sleep meant. I knew that animals were sometimes put to sleep then never seen again.

9. When I was eighteen (about 5 months after getting married) I contracted Hepatitis A or infectious hepatitis. I remember being in the doctor's office with my mother and him saying to her, "We can't do anything for her, but I'll have to give you and everyone in the family a shot." I thought he meant I was dying.

10. When talking to my hubby, Robert, on the cell phone and hearing a strange sound, then hearing him moaning, and finally him saying, "I just got run over by a truck." Then him saying, "I've got to go." Silence ----

11. Hydroplaning my car with my 7 month pregnant daughter sitting in the passenger seat. I hate that totally out of control feeling and what flashed through my mind is "What will I say to David (her husband) if something happens to the baby."

12. Each time the phone rings late at night ---

13. When we got the phone call to tell us that our grandson, Preston, had been in an accident and was being airlifted to the trauma care center in Amarillo with possible head, spine and internal injuries. We are 650 miles from Amarillo. I was scared and helpless. This happened last spring. Preston is fine now. There were no spinal injuries, his collapsed lung inflated easily enough, and the head injury, although severe, has not cause serious damage. He has some short term memory problems and has lost his sense of smell.