Wednesday, June 30, 2010

181 / 365: Music Music Everywhere....

Practice for 5:30 Mass Sat. at St. Augustine....check. Accompanying the cantor.

Select and practice music for the 11am Service at Bermuda Hundred United Methodist Church....check. Have to play and direct.

Wow! What an adrenaline rush!

Until next time....practice away!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

180 / 365: Wonder Woman....

OK, so I can only DREAM of looking like Lynda Carter, but I know I've been Wonder Woman. To wit...
-Mom x 2 (or 3 if you count spouse/eldest)
-CCPS employee
-Small business owner
-Choir director
-Substitute pianist (This Sunday I get to direct and play! WooHoo!)
-House cleaner
-Washer woman
-Social director

If I can do all of this at the ripe old age of 44, I'm OK. My hope is that in a day or two I can get off of some of these duties and enjoy a well deserved vacation.

Until next time....wonder away!

Monday, June 28, 2010

179 / 365: 2 out of 3.....

I had 2/3 of my posse here to celebrate my birthday. MGR is away on a school trip, so the boys are mine....sort of.

Sadly, I have to work two more days. Meanwhile, angels LA, AAC, CC, TC and CL are watching (or should I say spoiling) the boys while I work. Just knowing they are in great hands is a comfort to me. I am blessed!

The clock continues to tick. Two more days and MGR is home and I'm on vacation. That's when the boys will sing their "I'm bored" duet. Heaven help us!

Until next time....spoil away!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

178 / 365: HOT!!!

I can't take much more of this heat! This is the third or fourth day this week we've hit 3 digits!

My issue is that I get very lethargic when it's extrememly hot aside. I don't know if it's from the heat or the going from A/C to heat, back to A/C. It's almost like having a case of narcolepsy.

Until next away...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

177 / 365: Hoarders....

Addicted to "Hoarders: Buried Alive", I feel like I'm watching a train wreck. These poor people, most mentally unstable, are trying to declutter their homes and lives. Some are forced into it by their spouse or children, others hit "rock bottom" and are begging for help. The help comes in the forms of professional organizers, clinical psychologists and social workers.

Most of me aches for these people, as they are unstable and need help. But there is a warped side of me that is filled with gratitude that my house is not like this. Much gratitude to FLY Lady for helping me keep things in check.

Until next time...declutter away!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

176 / 365: Training Camp....

One of my nightmares is coming JOR is going to play football this fall!

In an effort to prevent injury and humiliation, MGR has been working with him on specific skills: catching, throwing, running, etc. Being that I had a day off today, I got to witness the "football regimen" that they've been doing daily since school let out.

I was impressed with what I saw. No, JOR is not going pro, but he is determined. He wants to play ball. While it pains me to think about what will happen in the fall, at least I know he's getting exercise and having fun. I guess I need to keep my fingers crossed and pray.

Until next time....train away!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

175 / 365: Vocabulary confusion....

Differentiated Instruction
21st Century Skills
Digital Literacy

I could go on and on.....

Mulling over this week's conference, I became confused, even angry. What right do we have as educators to talk about the above catch phrases when we can't even practice what we preach? The conference was about the arts and how they can (and do) raise student acheivement. How can it be done when the arts teachers in our schools are busy making copies, doing remediation in the classroom, and pulling extra duties? These teachers, obviously creative enough to teach in the arts, practice the abovementioned concepts daily! Don't believe me? Observe a music or art class. You'll see at least one, if not more, of these beliefs being practiced.

Sadly, these teachers are definitely not utilized to their fullest potential. Shame on you public schools! You are doing a disservice to our students.....again.

Until next time....collaborate away.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

174 / 365: Nook!

Surprise birthday present! Short post tonight! ;-)

Until next time....nook away!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

173 / 365: The Corrugated Fountain

Part of today's conference activities included a "field trip" to the Taubman Museum in downtown / uptown Roanoke. We were treated to a free tour followed by a wine and cheese reception.

One of the highlights of the exhibit was "The Corrugated Fountain" by James Grashow. The entire work is made of cardboard. When finished on the exhibit circuit, he will reassemble the entire piece outside and document how the cardboard will disintergrate. He believes a work of art not only has a birth, but a death as well.

Should be interesting.

Until next time....view away!

Monday, June 21, 2010

172 / 365: Nice...A Haiku

Conference on the Arts
Beautiful mountains in view
Want to go outside!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

171 / 365: We're here....

We're in Roanoke. I forgot how much I love the mountains. Can't do pics til the wireless kicks in tomorrow. Fun times.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

170 / 365: Getting closer....

12 more days....

Yes, while my family begins their summer vacation, I'm still in work mode. Calendars, e-mails, to-do lists, and meetings are filling my brain as much as video games are filling theirs.

Luckily, the next 3 days will be spent at a conference in Roanoke. I'm looking forward to spending some time with music teacher peeps in a relaxing mountain setting. The conference, "Creativity in the Classroom", will hopefully affirm my thoughts about modern pedagogy.

I'm fortunate to be attending with some dear friends, so I can't wait to play "catch up" with their lives. The boost of estrogen won't hurt either.

Until next time...pack away!

Friday, June 18, 2010

169 / 365: Oh Boy!

Can you see the misery in their faces? They were so sad today was the last day of school. Dad said they were kicking in screaming in Game Stop: "Oh no Father, we wish to go back to school and work on our math problems and word sorts!" Then they were sickened by the fact that they had to eat at Cracker Barrel. They had to be dragged outside so that they could play with the neighbors til dark. The icing on the cake was that we made them play with their DSi's. Life is so hard!

Sarcasm abounds.

Until next time....suffer away!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

168 / 365: The Power of Music

It's been a rough week, but today reaffirmed my faith in humans.

This morning I had the honor of accompanying fifth graders as they performed "We Are the World" at their graduation ceremony. I remember many of those students being in MGR's class two years ago, so it was nice to see them all dolled up, smiling nicely and singing beautifully! Bravo to them for a job well done (and for making my job easy!).

Tonight, I had the privilege of working with a church choir. I forgot how much I missed the podium! We had a wonderful time taking one piece and morphing it from an unknown unison spiritual to an SATB a cappella powerhouse. It was magical and fun!

Now I truly remember why I became involved in music. It can reach into your soul deeper than anything or anyone else. It has the power to transform your thoughts, your mood, your life! Just what the doctor ordered!

I think that's why I love this song so much!

Until next time....sing away!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

167 / 365: GIT

My shining stars!

I'm leaving for a conference on Sunday. Since I'm not returning until Wednesday, I am "breaking in" the GIT (Gardeners in Training). Their responsibilities will be to water the flowers in the front of the house and the veggies in the back.

Well, they:
-couldn't turn the spigot on.
-couldn't turn on the release valve.
-had no control over the sprayer whatsover.
-spilled more water on the driveway than on the flowers.
-were hoping the fence would grow, based on the amount of water they put on it.
-took mini-showers while watering.

But, they also:
-worked together.
-did not fight.
-tried REALLY hard.
-had fun getting wet.
-laughed out loud.

Thanks boys! Mommy REALLY needed that this week!!

Until next time....water away!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

166 / 365: Oh the places I'll go......

To Target and Wal-Mart and maybe a tea
Anything to help get me through this frenzy
Of shopping and gifts for this and for that,
And avoid the homestead where it's been tit-for-tat.

To Barnes & Noble and maybe Kohl's,
I might take the boys, bless their poor souls.
It may be good to get them out of the home,
And allow them to smile, allow them to roam.

Bath & Body Works is a fun place to smell
To have a good time in spite of our hell
Of dealing with something I can't understand.
We just might as well be pounding sand.

Until next time...pound away!

Monday, June 14, 2010

165 / 365: Escape

Got rough at the ranch tonight, so the boys and I escaped to the Chester library.

While this one is not the closest, it is the nicest. I have fond memories of watching it being built while we lived in the apartments next door. When it opened, it was always a pleasure to push the stroller over there to get some fresh air and best sellers.

Times and circumstances have changed. Tonight, the boys walked me across the parking lot. Best sellers gave way to Mark Twain (for me) and Beatles and army books (for the boys). But it was still a pleasure. And for ninety minutes, we forgot why we escaped. Then we got back in the van.

Until next time....escape!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

164 / 365: Here we go again....

If this keeps up, it's going to be an awfully long summer.

Until next time....dive away!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

163 / 365: Blank slate

I can't. My mind is mush today. Synapsis refuse to fire.

Until next time....think away!

Friday, June 11, 2010

162 / 365: Hard reset

My phone has been acting up lately: not sending or receiving work e-mails, not updating my Outlook calendar, slow on opening the web browser, etc. I tried typing in old and new settings, reading Omnia and Verizon Wireless blogs, and talking with people at work. Nada. I had no other alternative.

Hard reset.

Those words strike fear in many a cel phone owner. I, too, was shaking in my shoes when I had to do this.

Guess what happened? Surprisingly, nothing! That is, nothing bad happened. I got my work e-mails, my calendar is up to date and while I was at it, I changed some of my settings for the better.

I'm thinking that maybe it's time for me to get a hard reset. Maybe then I won't seem so sluggish and hard to handle.

Until next time...reset away!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

161 / 365: Why I do what I do?


Good 'nuf reason for me!

Until next away!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

160 / 365: Suffering....

My newfound friend, Bud, shed a new light on suffering. This very young, very intelligent writer of "A Boundless World" seems to think that, despite our efforts to find and keep happiness in our lives, suffering is good for us.

I can't agree more!

While I don't want to wish someone ill will, I do think suffering is good for a person. My rationale is simple: the more one suffers, the more one can appreciate life's goodness. Some people have told me that I smile too much, laugh too hard and / or that I have an uber positive attitude. Maybe it's because I've been down in the abyss of suffering, so low that I thought I would never get out. Climbing out of the hole, I realized how good life was. I appreciate lots of little things now. Life should not be taken for granted. Everything is golden if you turn it to the sun to make it sparkle.

Until next time....suffer away!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

159 / 365: A Boundless World....

I'm in love....with a blog!

"A Boundless World" journals the thoughts and feelings of one named "Bud". Adopted at birth and well traveled through his youth, he gives a perspective to life that is way beyond his years. His 20 years!!!!!

It astounds me that, at this young age, Bud has the makings of being great. He's not only intelligent, but empathetic, sensitive and emotional. Reading his posts are quite therapeutic for me. Tomorrow, my post will piggy back on one he wrote yesterday.

I encourage my "vast" readership to take a glimpse at his blog. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Until next away!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

158 / 365: Yard Therapy

Clipping the bushes: Heads had to roll today. Big presentation this morning. Do you think the family would let me leave the ranch early? NO!!! In fact, they left before me!! I guess when I'm busy tying shoes, cleaning cat poop and packing up library materials that belong to someone else, it's a wonder I made it to work on time! Let's see what happens the next time someone else has to leave early....

Trimming and edging: Trimmed the to-do list at work. The yardwork was another check. I love trimming lists. Now if I can only trim some family members....

Mowing the lawn: Visions of running over people dance in my head. Sadly, I only have a push mower.

Blowing off the driveway: I wish I could use my blower on toxic individuals! Just push them out of my way as I clear my path. My life would be SO much easier.

Watering the plants: I wish I could be taken care of the way I take care of my plants!

Spraying for bugs: 'Nuf said!

While my anger has subsided, it's still festering. I hate it! It feels like poison. Forgiving and forgetting are always an option, but at what cost? Does that tell the boys that Mom's needs aren't important? That it's OK not help her in the morning? I do not want to be a doormat, nor do I want my boys to see me in that position.

Until next time...mow away!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

157 / 365: Costco....a Haiku

I love my Costco
I get my frozen yogurt
Yummy and it's cheap!!

(I had such a craving for it today. It was hot enought to warrant spending $1.48 on a huge nonfat, swirl yogurt.)

Until next time....crave away!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

156 / 365: Ups and downs......

Scale was up, mood was down.
Temperature was up, hair was down.
Car repair bill was way up, bank account was way down.
Blood pressure up, energy down.
Boys performance tonight was an "up". After watching them sing, dance and act, there is no way I could be down!
Thank God for them!

Until next time...perform away!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

155 / 365: Wishing them well....

Tonight, the CCPS elementary music teachers honored four colleagues retiring at the end of the year. These four wonderfully talented ladies collectively racked up almost 100 years of teaching experience....and they're still smiling!!

When I reach that stage, my smile will be Xanax-induced!

Until next away!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

154 / 365: Pressure cooker.....

Hit the's gonna blow!!

Too late!

The pressure got the best of the R men tonight. MGR, fresh off his hardest SOL test, was raw. JOR and SRR, fresh off a long dress rehearsal, were raw as well. The three of them were upstairs. I'm lucky I have a roof left.

The younger two are in a spat stage. Everything is battle and every action is reported. The battled and tattled start first thing in the morning. They carry their grudges from home to school and back home. They torture their Dad in his classroom before and after school. But the worst time is right before bed.

Stupidly, we put their beds in the same room, opening up a space as a playroom. Every evening, they will be snug in their beds, 2 feet apart, grating on each other's nerves. Tonight, despite warnings from both parental units, they went too far.

They will not see their DSi's or TV for another weekend. When will they "get it"?

I'm trying to remain optimistic that this, too, shall a kidney stone!

Until next time....relax away!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

153 / 365: Crunch.....yep!

In my never-failing quest for fitness (and a few less pounds), I tried a new workout courtesy of our Netflix for Wii.

This Crunch video had the best of all worlds: a little cardio, a little toning, a little stretching, etc. As I went through the workout, I noticed something else. My knees were sounding more and more like the title! Yes, every bend sounded like a bag of potato chips and every march like a drumline, courtesy of the beginnings of arthritis. Thank you Mom and Dad for this wonderful gift. First, heart issues, now this.

Ironically, I need to exercise more and drop those last 12 pounds to make the knees tolerable for a few more years. I'm hoping by then the treatment for bad knees will be non-invasive and painless. (And that I won the lottery and can take six months off to recover.)

Until next time....crunch away!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

152 / 365: SOL Hell.....

Oh how I hate this time of year. I have a nervous nellie in my house, worried about SOL tests. Sleepless nights, holed up in his room to play video games for hours, unsocial with everyone. Sadly, it's not one of the offspring, it's my poor hubby!

2 tests down, 2 to go. I told him next year he is going to have to move out for the months of May and June. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Whoever said this testing is all about the students was DEAD wrong!

Until next time....test away! (And pronto!)