Monday, May 31, 2010

151 / 365: If at first you don't succeed.....

Learned a few lessons from last year's garden massacre:
-Need lots more sun than I thought.
-Spread the plants out a little more.
-Don't hold your breath waiting for anything to grow.

Well, we're trying again. We have eggplant, peppers, string beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Maybe I should have a betting pool to see which will survive the season.

Until next time....grow away!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

150 / 365: Relaxing?

Dad plays in a tournament all day.
Boys go to the movies and the pool.
Mom? Tried to finish painting the bathroom.

Something's wrong with this picture......

Until next time....relax away?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

149 / 365: Grocery shopping...A Haiku

Grocery shopping
Kroger, Costco and Martins
Tired of shopping now!

Friday, May 28, 2010

148 / 365: LinoIt

Another trip to Geekdom!

This is an online "bulletin board", complete with multi-colored sticky notes. It reminds me of the sticky notes in Windows 7, but I love the online feature, as I can access it from different machines.

I know...get a life! But this is FUN!! Yet another way to get organized, hopefully!

Until next time...lino away!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

147 / 365: Prezi....

A Web 2.0 presentation tool. Very free flowing!

Can't wait to delve deeper into this!

Until next time....prezi away!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

146 / 365: Thar they blow...

Gotta love allergy season! Every morning, the house sounds like the QEII getting ready to sail the high seas.

Until next time....blow away!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

145 / 365: So much to do.....

....on so many levels!! I need to split my brain up to store all the to-do lists...
To wit:
Finish downstairs bathroom.
Touch up paint.
Fix trimmer.
Trim around the house.
Prepare training.
Grocery shopping.
Help SRR with book report.
And so on....
Calgon, take me away!

Until next away!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

144 / 365: Dentist..and more.

SRR and I had dentist appointments today. Since they were smack dab in the middle of the day, he and I took the entire day off.

We had a nice mix of work and fun. He helped me with chores around the house and errands before and after the dentist visit. I helped him make Play Doh food (I know you are shocked he made food) and set up an Italian buffet complete with hot dogs (don't ask...). We also read and watched a movie together.

Oh, and we both had good reports from the dentist.

(I'll just remember this as a nice "SRR and Mommy" day!)

Until next time....brush away!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

143 / 365: Stupidity....a Haiku

Loathe stupidity.
Common sense does not exist.
Monday through Friday.

Until next time...think away!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

142 / 365: Found!!

It's been an emotional wait....but it's over!

Tonight I spoke to my long lost brother, JEN, for the first time in over four years!! I was so happy to hear his voice and know that he's doing well. He's had to overcome many hurdles the past few years. I am proud of his strength and determination.

JOR beamed from ear to ear as he spoke to his uncle. He remembers him vividly. SOR was excited 'cause we were excited. They were so cute! LIG!

Until next time...reunite away!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

141 / 365: Dancing Fools

The bucks of the ball....
Our local YMCA offered a kids' line dancing class tonight. While it was fun, a wave of melancholy came over me. I miss teaching kids how to move!

My music lessons consistently had a movement component to them. Whether it was dancing, sign language, body percussion, the kids were active. I felt (and still feel) that this is an optimum way to for students to learn. My PE buddy and I used to spend an entire month working on dances. One highlight was watching two 4th grade classes gracefully dance the minuet. It was priceless!!

It took a great deal of self-control not to run the class tonight. The 2 ladies who taught the class were great, but this is habit for me. I found myself dancing in the back of the room, giving visual cues as the kids faced the back of the room during the Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, Macarena, and the Cha Cha Slide. It was a blast!! And my boys could really shake their dupas!

Until next away!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

140 / 365: Flaco's Tacos

Mama's Cocina was open for business! Tonight's special: Flaco's Tacos! (That's SRR's nickname: skinny.)
I put on a sombrero, played Mexicana music on FIOS, and served tacos with a smile...literally!

When the boys walked in, I began to dance crazily. So did they because we had company!! Their Fairy Godmother walked in behind them!! Luckily she knows how crazy I can get when the mood strikes!

Until next time....fiesta away!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

139 / 365: Mindless.....

Needed to shut down.... LOVE this channel. A little Cosby and Raymond will help me clear my head.

Until next time....clear away!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

138 / 365: All in a day's work...

Needed two PC's to render movies 'cause my laptop is ready to go.
Laptop is a glorified mailbox.

Highlight of my day: playing with my support school's new Promethean board. Now I have to make sure I know what I'm doing before I show the staff. Have to learn it between classroom integrations, training Central Office staff, meetings and keyboard assessments. All in a day's work.

Until next away!

Monday, May 17, 2010

137 / 365: Dynamic Duo

Tonight I listened to the "Dynamic Duo" of medicine: Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen. These two medicine men / media moguls have really made an impact on health in America and, more importantly, at the Ranch. This evening's webcast just affirmed that we're trying to do the right thing.

The webcast's topic was "Diet and Weight Loss". The doctors answered as many questions as possible in the 45 min. session. The two things that stuck in my head were:
-focus on a reason to become (and stay) healthy.
-think of how much better you feel.

I can honestly say that the three critters who live in my house are my reason to stay healthy. Do you blame me for worrying? ;-) Seriously, they are my life and the reason I'm trying to be healthier. Unlike my parents, I want to be around to see the younger critters become something in this world. I want to be around to annoy my husband. I want to be around for my grandchildren.

There's something else: I feel better!! Since 2007, I have lost 38 pounds. Yes, some people can lose that in a year or six months. Not me. I have almost accepted that. But I feel better now than when I started my weight loss journey. I have more energy and stamina, can think a little clearer, and I feel better about me.

I'm hoping for lots of affirmations as I try to lose the remaining weight.

Until next time....affirm away!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

136 / 365: Lists....a Haiku

I have to make lists
For Worker, Mom, Wife and Me
Many jobs, no time!

Until next time....write away!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

135 / 365: Accentuate the positive.....

The day didn't turned out as planned, so here I go:
-I left the yard sale with more money and less stuff. (Not as much as I had hoped for, but it could've rained and we'd have nothing.)
-Bills are paid. (OK, so we have to eat beans for the next two weeks. A little fiber won't hurt us.)
-The boys were boys at the concert! (Trying to keep them calm as the band played "Star Wars" was like herding cats. But they enjoyed it.)
-The kitchen floor and bathrooms are clean. (Had to. The EPA called.)
-Get to go to the grocery store tomorrow. (Just how long will it take to buy beans!)
-Caught this on video tonight.

Until next time....accentuate away!

Friday, May 14, 2010

134 / 365: We want entertainment.....

I turned soft.

Tonight after a rare dinner out (pizza), the fam sat around the living room, semi-comatose. We had mixed cries of "What do we do?", "I'm tired!", "I'm bored!", "Can we go somewhere?", ad nauseum.

Earlier this week, I did some research on Netflix. For a mere $8.99 a month, you can get as many DVDs as you want (one at a time), plus movies online, PLUS streaming through the Wii. To prevent domestic upheaval, I signed up for the one month free trial. (Maybe a certain husband, a movie fanatic, will get this for Father's Day....) I'm hoping this will curb the desire to spend a mortgage payment at the movie theatre this summer.

The selection is overwhelming! So much so that by the time we decided on a movie, the boys were ready for bed. That didn't stop Hubby and I from finding one of our favorite BritComs, "The Vicar of Dibley". We're on Episode 2 and loving every minute of it!

Until next away!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

133 / 365: RAT


I try not to be angry. Useless and energy consuming. However, I reached a low point today. I ask your indulgence as I vent:

-Homebuilders and the BOS caused the demise of our county. Ship them out!
-Go ahead and homeschool your kids. That'll leave more for my kids!
-Parents who take their kids out of school, or go to the midnight movie, to see "Iron Man 2" weeks before SOL tests, need to homeschool their kids. Obviously, you don't appreciate everything your kids are getting at CCPS. Keep them out and watch movies all day. Again, more for my kids.
-People who assign standardized tests without accommodations for special education students need to get their heads out of the sand!
-Administrators who bow to parents need to be principals of homeschools.
-Dear Mr. Lifeguard on the Stairmaster: What part of 30 minute time limit did you not understand an hour ago?
-Hey lady, wipe down that machine!
-Elementary schools in Clay County, FL will no longer have music classes. Pitiful.
-Is Glenn Beck naturally ignorant or is it an OD of chalk dust?
-Why do newscasters talk to hear their heads roar?
-Why do I let stupid people get me angry?

Luckily, I calmed down after an hour of hard cardio. However, I'm still sort of ticked that these thoughts took some of brain cells away. I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Until next time....vent away!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

132 / 365: Reading

SRR read me a story. Music to my ears!
JOR read a chapter book. Way above his years!
MGR read a comic book. Oh, what a shock!
I can't wait to read my book. I hope by 10 o'clock.

Until next away!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

131 / 365: What a pair!

We had a diversion at the Ranch tonight (Oh shock!).

Back in high school, we watched a Laurel and Hardy movie called "The Music Box". This short film depicts the escapades of two piano movers as they attempt to make an extremely difficult delivery. I found it online and showed it to the boys.

We barely made it. Our wet eyes and soiled underwear were evidence of what a wonderful movie this is!

One particular scene struck me: Laurel and Hardy were trying to clean up a room after a series of disasters. While one picked up trash and put it in a pile, the other picked it up from the pile and put it back in the original place. In other words, they were going around in circles to a medley of patriotic music.

It looked all too familiar!

Until next time...howl away!

Monday, May 10, 2010

130 / 365: Catching Up: A Haiku

Reading the e-mails.
Spending time sifting through them.
Quickly deleting!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

129 / 365: Matka....

(That's Polish for "Mother".)

This picture was probably the last one we took together. It was about 1998. We were near the Kennedy Space Center watching the space shuttle take off. A remarkable sight.

This Mother's Day has been a particularly melancholy one. I miss her more and more. If I had the chance to see her again, my first question would be, "How did you do it?"

Mom was a Polish immigrant who came to the US shores in 1949. World War II had just ended and her family had been released from the Nazi work camps. They spent their first months here in an Arkansas refugee camp. From there, people in New York sponsored them, allowing them to start their new lives on Long Island.

The acclamation had begun: Mom became a US citizen, learned the English language, went to a local high school and got her diploma. Shortly after that, she met my dad and the rest was history.

After struggling to become a part of this country, she had to quickly take on the role as wife and mother. A wife of an alcoholic and the working mother of four kids. I really don't know how she did it. She and my dad struggled financially, but there was always food (good food, as she was an excellent cook), and they did their best to provide for us. We knew we weren't rich, but they taught us the value of working hard for your paycheck. She would sometimes work extra jobs when money was needed. We would learn how to count money by counting the tips she made waitressing. This was after putting in a day wrapping meat in the supermarket.

Mom struggled with a great deal emotionally. It wasn't "proper" to discuss alcoholism, or your unruly kids, or finances outside the home. Everything was kept inside: the house, and sadly, her. Unfortunately, she harbored many grudges and didn't have the ability to let go of them. Demons got the best of her, especially after my father died. What we thought would be a time of liberation, selling the family home and relocating to Florida, became a time of hatred, loathing and martyrdom. That would be the beginning of her demise.

Her ill health and ill soul got the best of her. She died in 1999 (almost 10 years exactly after my dad passed) without anyone knowing. It was a very sad ending to a life that was lived for her children, and not for herself. This was a big lesson for me to learn: that I need to take care of myself so I can take care of my kids. Kind of like the oxygen mask on an airplane. They tell you to put yours on first before you put one on your kid. Makes sense to me, but obviously not to her.

Like I said earlier, I miss Mom. I find myself saying "Mom-isms" that I swore I wouldn't say:
"Sorry didn't do it, you did!"
"Don't know the answer? Look it up."
....and lots of other gems.

Mom, I hope you're finally at peace. While I miss you, I know you're better off. You don't have to struggle anymore. And since you're not too busy, can you please send me some of your recipes? I really miss your cooking.....

Until next time....cook away!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

128 / 365: Celebrating lives.....

Today, I was honored to be a part of two celebrations of life. Definitely an upper on so many levels!!

This morning a group of us participated in the annual "Race for the Cure". This 5K raises money for and awareness of breast cancer detection and treatment. It was the fifth year of "Rose's Buds", a team I had started to honor one of our co-workers.

RW is a night custodian at my former school. She and I become close friends due to her schedule and my long hours. We sat together as she told me about losing her mother to breast cancer, then we prayed together as she herself was diagnosed with the disease, and finally we cried together as her sister fought, then sadly lost, the battle with breast cancer. RW is a strong woman, dealing with her sister's illness as she quietly braved her own treatments. Her strength and determination inspired me to create the team.

It was a feeling of overwhelming joy to watch her pose for the survivors' picture again, to walk the survivors' walk again, and to hear the cheers of "Rose's Buds" again. I hope that RW knows how much we love her and what an inspiration she is to many people, especially me!

After the race, I had another dubious honor: to keep my buddy KSBJ occupied until it was time for her SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!! Boy, was I stressed!! I kept calm and cool til we finally got to her house and heard, "Surprise!". Then I just wanted to pee in my pants! I was so glad we pulled it off. Like I've said in prior blog posts, this woman means a great deal to many people. She deserves to have her life celebrated by the people who love her.

Maybe it was coincidence that as we were killing time at Barnes and Noble, she bumped into a former student. This grown up man, articulate, polite and kind, recognized her as his former elementary school PE teacher. He went on to say how much he loved her class and that he really had a feeling that she cared about her students. That's truly KSBJ's modus operandi: to care. What a way to celebrate a life, to know that people cared that she cared. She, and thousands of other teachers, need to hear that every now and then.

Well, lives have been celebrated, miles walked, food and drink consumed, and hugs given. I could not have asked for a better day!

Until next away!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

127 / 365: Anticipating Saturday

Oh tomorrow is going to long, but oh tomorrow is going to be fun!

I'm almost ready for tomorrow morning's "Race for the Cure". My team "Rose's Buds" is a very special group of ladies and I can't wait to see them and celebrate Rose with them. More on that in tomorrow night's post.

After the race, I will be spending "estrogen time" with dear KSBJ. Shopping, eating, relaxing after the race will be just what the doctor ordered.

Until next time....enjoy away!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

126 / 365: The Junkman Cometh....

Here he is....the Fred Sanford of Richmond, VA!!

My little man, SRR, believes in preserving everything ever created. Nothing can go in the trash or yard sale bin. Nothing, that is, until "M.O.M." (Mean Old Mother) forces him to dispose of it.

This baby hoarder keeps everything: parts of toys that no longer exist, pages of books long recycled, sock lint from when he was two. You name it, he saves it.

Sometimes SRR will save junk in the most inconvenient places. I often break out in hives when I go near his bed because I have no idea what's in or under it. This is after I cleaned the area the night before. The past few days have been the worst. He saved a small piece of a black oil pastel his pants. You guessed it. I've been spending all my free time (yes, that's all 3 1/2 minutes of it) cleaning out the washer and dryer, then attempting to treat and wash the victimized load of clothes. Adding insult to injury, he managed to save a another pair of pants. Tonight's 3 1/2 minutes were devoted to picking tissue fuzzies off the clothes before they went into my somewhat clean dryer.

This week will be a shocker to the little guy. The junkyard will be purged. We're having a multi-family yard sale next Saturday. Pray for him....and me!

Until next time....purge away!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

125 / 365: Just when I thought I had it bad.....

Feeling gratitude for my health, family and friends!

Until next time....thank away!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

124 / 365: Great Doctor, Great Day!

I took a personal day to spend time with Hubby and it was worth every second.

For years, I have hounded MGR to find a different doctor. I was never satisfied with his doctors' diagnosis. They always took a reactive approach to his health, not my idea of "health care". Their treatments were questionable and prescriptions many. Granted, I'm no doctor, but being around my ill father and my sister the nurse, made me understand the ins and outs of medicine (or at least how to find out the answer).

MGR finally decided to listen to my nags and saw my GP today. He thought she was wonderful. She sat down with him for a consultation, then did an initial checkup. Thankfully, MGR is in good shape, but she will see him again in June for a more thorough physical. Part of it may include a sleep study. He hasn't been sleeping very well lately, causing his ADHD to go into full throttle, and he has no energy and doesn't want to go to sleep. Dr. B. feels that he may have sleep apnea. (And none of the other doctors could figure this out because....?) It was like a weight lifted off his shoulders. It makes sense!!

We were excited about the prospect of getting to bottom of his sleep issues. We celebrated with a free lunch, (Qdoba had teacher appreciation day) and some shopping. Now to keep our fingers crossed that June comes quickly, for lots of reasons!!

Until next time....sleep away!

Monday, May 3, 2010

123 / 365: Haiku....again!

I like a Haiku.
Lazy way to post a blog.
Oh well, on to bed!

Until next time....haiku away!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

122 / 365: Skating party drama

This will be brief, as I am SO done.....

SRR attended a skating party today. This followed a very busy Saturday that included a trip to the farmers' market, Free Comic Book Day, and a sleepover with a dear friend the night before and church this morning.

I stayed with him at Skateland, knowing that he needed some "support". Funny, I don't know how to skate, but here I was walking around the rink with him. My left arm is officially longer than my right, given the fact that he was holding on to me for dear life.

There was more drama than necessary. From the time I put his skates on to the 50th fall, he was having conniptions. Everything was an issue: the skates are too tight / too loose, the kid that cut in front of him, the fact that he didn't know how to skate, ad nauseum...... Then his friends came and the drama subsided. Too bad my blood pressure didn't.

As we were leaving, he told me, "Mom, I wish you were younger so you could skate with me." I had to remind him of HOW I aged so quickly. He became silent.

Until next time....skate away!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

121 / 365: 3 Musketeers

We had a sleepover tonight.

CK came and spent the night with us. He was the only one that did not get a time out. What a great kid!!

Until next time...come again CK! :-)