Friday, May 28, 2010

EYEBALLS AND ALLIGATORS

UP TO MY EYEBALLS IN ALLIGATORS ... that sums it up for me.

Both of my team mates are out on maternity leave. That leaves me holding down the fort ... and doing a fair amount of hand-holding in the process.

My mother jokingly exclaimed last night, "LOOK! You get to put your teacher leader skills to work!"

I hate it when she's right ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS IN MY ROOM

Today, we celebrated a birthday in my classroom.

Parents and grandparents find new and different ways to torture me. I'm relatively sure of it after a grandmother came in today with the world's LARGEST serving tray of frosting and glazed-covered donut holes known to man.

Add a field trip to a swimming pavilion, and you've got a recipe for me falling face first into a GIGANTIC pitcher of margaritas!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

KIICKING BUTT

I wish I could say that I am KICKING BUTT. Sadly, it is my butt that is getting kicked.

This grad school class I am taking is doing some serious butt-kicking, and I'm at the point where I am sick of thinking about it, hearing myself talk about it, or witnessing myself writing about it. I'm sooooo over it.

The last few weeks of school are kicking my butt! I'm in a constant state of feeling like I'm treading water and yet am a few seconds away from drowning.

My diet is kicking my butt! I fell off the healthy-eating wagon and was promptly run over by it ... numerous times! I know I feel better when I exercise and eat right. I just can't seem to remove myself from the quagmire that is this ugly eating and Fat Cycle.

My butt is being kicked ... it feels ragged around the edges.

I need a break!

Friday, May 21, 2010

PICTURES OF YOU

This is a video that our superintendent, Rich Crowe, had put together for our latest all-district meeting. It's a given in this day and age, everyone complains about their employers, but you know what, when push comes to shove, I think we can all agree that we at Frankfort Independent are here because of what the words in this video say ... and more importantly, for the faces you will see in the video.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0p4w83TTdA
Video was created and produced by Mark Devore and Stacy Riddle, FIS IT Techs

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CONSUMING CRAP

God bless my secret pal. He or she gave me a box of these today. I have them almost all gone. What is wrong with me? Sugar is like my crack cocaine ... my meth ... my alcohol ... my inhalants.
I need to sign up for SUGAR-HOLICS ANONYMOUS.

Monday, May 17, 2010

CRABBY MONDAY

I hate the person that invented these things:


My students are obsessed with them, and all they do is play with them WHILE I'm trying to teach ... or ... worse yet, while the TEST is underway.
I've already told all of them, if I see them come off of their wrists, the bracelets are MINE!
ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!!
Yes, it is CRABBY MONDAY!

Friday, May 14, 2010

IT'S CRUNCH TIME

Say what you will about small school districts, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working in one ... there is so much more of a family feel to it, than in a larger, monster-sized district.

Granted, my current district is not without its faults, but still ... the people all feel like part of a large, extended family -- if not slightly dysfunctional at times. One example of this family-feel is our superintendent. He's like the crazy uncle or grandpa that you think is a hoot, but you'd be slightly concerned about taking out into public for fear of the silliness that might come out of his mouth. He's got a million ridiculous sayings, and he uses them with some degree of frequency.

He personally comes around to our school, each payday, and hands us our checks. Typically, he has some sort of mini-candy bar that he hands out with the check, and there is usually some sort of corny saying he tells you as well.

One time, he handed me a Mounds Joy with my check and said, "You are such a JOY to work with."

Today, he handed me my check, a Nestle's Crunch, and said, "It's Crunch time. Hang tough!"

Such a dork! I wouldn't have it any other way ....

FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY!

Oh me! Oh my! This week has been another doozie! I am extremely happy it's Friday.

I get to look forward to dinner and a play with friends tonight, and tomorrow, I've got a ticket to the House and Garden Tour here in Frankfort. It's going to be a great day!

Yay for the weekend!

REST IN PEACE, SCOTTY!!


This adorable little guy passed away this week, the result of colic. He was a precious little guy -- I got the chance to see him last summer and was amazed, once again, at our animal kingdom.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

THE HEALING POWERS OF CHOCOLATE

I am self-medicating with mini-chocolate bars, and I don't even care that Dr. R told me on Tuesday that I'm getting "more mature [insert "YOU'RE OLD!" here] and that when you're more mature [insert "YOU'RE OLD!" here], your body's metabolism doesn't get the jump start you once received when you were in your twenties [insert "YOU'RE OLD!" here]. Therefore, you really have to make caloric-burning exercises a MUST in your life."

Yep. I don't even care.

Nope ... not one bit. I don't care one bit that my teammate Stephanie just came in, saw my pile of mini-chocolate bar wrappers, and then witnessed my chair dropped 5 inches from its original setting, making it that much closer to complete disintegration due to the shear magnitude of my weight.

Nope ... I don't care.

Ahhhh .... glorious sugar high!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

4TH GRADE GLAM CREW -- ELEMENTARY EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY

I'm always interested in seeing how a particular class' dynamics play out in my room each year. This year was no exception, and as the year has progressed, it's become very obvious that my little crew is definitely ALL ABOUT THE FASHION.

As a group, the kiddos have commented on the colors that work best with my skin tone. Currently, the hot pinks I wear are Murray's M&Ms' favs.

They've critiqued my jewelry choices, and it would seem the dangly, the blingy, the showier the pieces are, the better. Toe polish, shoe choices, bracelets, belts ... none of it goes unnoticed.

They've designed numerous outfits for me over the course of the year, two of which are hanging on my bulletin board above my computer as I type this ... complete with embroidery and crystal embellishments.

Murray's kiddos love them some fashion and glamour!

Today, our principal, Mr. Harley, stepped into our room to gather some kids for our standardized testing. He was wearing a brand new shirt in a really nice blue-green color.

G greeted Mr. Harley with the following comment: "Ooohhh! Mr. Harley, I like that shirt."

Mr. Harley didn't hear him, but rather looked at me, "Do you have any absent today?"

I was too busy chuckling to answer.

"What, Murray?"

"G, why don't you give your compliment to Mr. Harley again." I said while laughing.

"I really like that shirt, Mr. Harley."

With a smile, "Thanks."

"Is it new?"

"Ummmm ...."

"What do you call that color? Is it teal?" G continued.

Now it's Mr. Harley's turn to chuckle. "Ummmmm ... I'm not sure."

"We're a fashion conscious group around here," I said as I stifle of full-blown laugh.

Aren't they the cutest ... my little Elementary Eyes for the Straight Guy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS

I remember, growing up, my mother did not hide her distress ONE LITTLE BIT when there was the least little bit of deviation from a normal routine for us kids. Her philosophy was that kids NEED structure. Things went to H.E. Double Hockey Sticks awfully quickly when structure went out the window.

Fast-forward to RIGHT NOW .... testing + Spring picture day + rainy day + NOTHING going as planned = squirrely kids and harried teacher.

THE MAKING OF A SLUG

I used to be soooo on top of things.

I never used to sit in front of the TV, falling asleep like some old lady in need of a walker.

I used to have energy.

I used to live in a clean, organized house.

What has happened to me? Why can't I seem to break free from the slime of my slug-like life?

Currently, my sink is FULL of dirty dishes ... my bed is unmade (for the fourth day in a row) ... clothes are stacked on a chair rather than in their rightful places in closets and drawers ... my upstairs hallway is lined with boxes of crap that need to go somewhere other than my hallway ... piles of papers have yet to be filed or shredded.

Good grief! If I didn't know better, I'd say I was half way to the A&E show HOARDERS. Except, I'm not hoarding stuff -- I'm just not cleaning it up. I need to get control, and quickly!

Monday, May 10, 2010

WEEKEND RECAP AND OTHER VIEWS ON LIFE

I'm officially out of shape and flabby. Or so that's what the back of my legs are telling me after a total of four hours of weeding, digging, planting and general gardening. Is it too much to ask for my thighs to suddenly firm up and be all Bo Derek-like in say, a day's time?

Oh shut up! A girl can dream!

The good news is that my community garden plot is now planted, and I'm crossing my fingers that something grows considering I saw the earth move while weeding ... daggone moles!

Someone out there should be super impressed ... I did 80 crunches this morning and could well have done 80 more if it weren't for the fact that I was running seriously late on time to "get beautiful" for the day -- okay, yes, I laid in bed for half hour this morning. Don't judge! I'm not looking to get six-pack abs ... but a two-pack might be nice to work toward, you know what I mean?

In other news, it was Mother's Day weekend, and in honor of my mother, I ate a small Blizzard from Dairy Queen. For better or worse (and right now, it's definitely worse), my body is rejecting the fat, sugar, and calories. It doesn't like it one bit ... in fact, it doesn't like the abuse I put it through this whole weekend. It's staging a coupe!

Not everyone had a Happy Mother's Day. My good buddy Carrie's husband is still new in the "spoil the mother of my children" game. The poor, misguided schlub let the kiddos run in and wake mommy up at 7:30 a.m. He has much to learn and needs to spend some time reading the I MARRIED A WOMAN, NOW WHAT handbook. Why he hasn't up to this point is beyond me, but seriously, someone pass the man the guidebook!

I received my first grade on a paper in my latest grad class, and let's just say that this woman needs to find a hobby. I was thoroughly disgusted and am not at all looking forward to handing in the next paper.

Week 2 of testing begins today! There's a part of me that would rather have the other half of her thyroid removed than deal with testing. That's just how much fun it is.

And so begins a new week, with, I hope, a lack of flood waters rising.

Friday, May 07, 2010

T.G.IS IT ALMOST OVER WITH????

It's a good thing it's Friday. I need the break! This week has been crazy, and not just because of the normal craziness that surrounds my life with teaching and graduate school. No, this week had its own brand of crazy that went beyond the normal stuff.

I'm calling it FLOOD FEVER.

There isn't any medicine you can take for it. No special tonic.

You must just wait for the waters to recede ... riding out the storm with your nails firmly gripping the steering wheel, as you careen out of control.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

IT'S BEEN A WEEK!

Well, where do I begin on this week's recap? I mean, the information to pass on to my readers is vast and varied.

I suppose I should start with last week, when I woke up to/with the STOMACH BUG -- I put it in all caps because it swept through our school like the bubonic plague, and I was one of its lucky recipients ... or maybe I should start when it became very evident, very quickly that we, the residents of Frankfort, should go about building arks. The sad part of it is, I'm horrible at conversions, and I, personally, found it difficult to transpose cubits to standard units of measure. So, I abandoned the whole BUILDING AN ARK idea and hoped for the best. Yeah, let's just start at the flood. The STOMACH BUG is just too gross to relive.

By Sunday, the flood warnings had turned to flash flood watches, and the waters were a'ragin'. I've since discovered the true meaning behind the phrase "Lord willing and if the creek don't rise..." cuz, well, the creeks rise pretty quickly when you get 10 bajillion gallons of water dumped on a place that has very little underground soaking up ability to begin with. I mean, what are we all resting upon, any way? Solid rock?

Monday morning shown bright and beautiful, after what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights of rain, and the brilliant sun shed light upon the flooded world around us, and what a flood it was! I'd never laid eyes upon anything so apocalyptic. Granted, I tend to be rather melodramatic, so apocalyptic might be a bit of a stretch, but by Monday afternoon, where ever you drove around town near the river, you saw moving vans backed up to houses ... well, it seemed apocalyptic.

Monday also began our testing window at school ... week one of a three-week stroll down stomach-churning, headache-provoking, alcoholic-induced comas of monumental proportions. It's fun. You should try it.

The struggle became focusing our students on the test when all they really wanted to do was watch hot tubs and park benches and washing machines speed down the river ... that is if they weren't completely stressed out about the fact that their house might flood and wash away. To say that they were squarely is to use the understatement of the century, and we had no idea how lovely it would be to allow them to run around on the playground ... no idea. We're not allowed to let them run around on the playground currently, what with the standing half-foot of sewage currently festering in the back half at this moment.

Tuesday was, by far, the worst day as the novelty of the flood wore off, and we began hearing more and more stories of staff and students suffering through the flood-ravaged banks. The peak of this flood was 42.84 feet. FORTY-TWO point EIGHTY-FOUR FEET ... as in SUPER HIGH IN THE AIR. That's amazing, and it just goes to show how powerful our natural disasters can be. We can prepare ... we can educate ourselves, but when push comes to shove, man! Nature sure knows how to bite back.

The good news is that the waters are receding. I had a more difficult time seeing the boats moored at the docks across the river above the flood wall this morning. Yes! I could see ALL OF THE BOATS above the flood wall on Tuesday! Scary!

The city worker currently manning the flood wall house thingy in our parking lot told me this morning that the water was going down and was measured at 38.8 feet early this morning. Now, begins the clean up. They are recommending tetanus shots for all that will be volunteering to help with the clean-up. I had wanted to help, but I had a bad allergic reaction to the tetanus shot I received 10 years ago, and I was told not to get another one. So, I'm not sure what I will do.

In the mean time, life is slowly returning to normal ...

I think I've hit my quota for excitement for a while.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

RIVER VIEW PARK -- IT CERTAINLY HAS A RIVER VIEW NOW!

Spectators on the train trestle, watching the water. You can see the KSP cruiser there in the background. Taylor Avenue was closed, I think.


A great shot of the train trestle ... to get an idea of how close the water was to the bottom of it. You can also see the portion of the river walk not yet submerged at that point. I'm guessing it's submerged this morning.

This is looking out toward the now completely submerged river walk that goes under the bridge and toward the River View Park boat launch, also submerged. The white thing floating in the water in the middle of the photograph? That is garbage that has escaped a garbage receptacle now underwater as well.

VIEWS FROM THE SINGING BRIDGE

This is a shot I took from the Singing Bridge looking down toward the "marina." My guess is that this morning, this dock is now underwater. News reports say that the water is at 41 feet -- 10 feet over normal.

This is a shot from the bridge looking over toward my school, Second Street School. You can see, that the water had managed to get to the flood wall at that far left portion. Again, my guess is that at this point, the water is, in fact, at all of the flood wall.


A wide shot of the school from the bridge.

This is a shot at the one end of the Singing Bridge, looking down into a parking lot, now completely submerged in water.

PAUL SAWYIER PUBLIC LIBRARY

I was standing in the parking lot of the Paul Sawyier Public Library looking into the section of the parking lot that curves around the old library building. That portion of the parking lot was completely submerged, and this morning, I saw coverage on the news that showed the water, at some point last night, was up to the DO NOT part of the sign. In the background, you can see the Singing Bridge and a portion of the boat docks.


Just to give you perspective ... I'm looking at the parking lot of the library. I imagine, this morning, more of the parking lot is submerged.



This is another section of that same parking lot ... actually behind where I was standing in the other photos. To the right of the photo (out of the shot), I could see the back of a house from the next street over, already starting to flood. The poor residents had a moving truck backed up to the house and were desperately trying to pack what they could inside of it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

JIM'S SEAFOOD




This place is a seafood restaurant in town. As myself and many other Frankfortonians gathered to watch the river, Jim and his crew were attempting to get all of their supplies out of their supply shed before the flood waters washed it away. Just so you know, the water is NEVER at the foundation of the restaurant, but usually 50 some feet below it (I may be off on my measurements here, but you get the point). Oh! And there's a dam out in the river there ... out in the middle ... somewhere ... underneath all that water!

FLOODING ON OLD LAWRENCEBURG ROAD AND BOAT LAUNCH -- EGADS!!!

This "pond" is actually where the steep boat launch went into the river. The launch itself is undetectable.


I took this photo (a blurry one, I know) in my truck, looking out over the Old Lawrenceburg Road boat launch. The "bush" in the middle of the photograph is actually the top of a tree that normally is at the bottom of the steep launch -- currently covered in water. The Kentucky River is flowing on beyond the tree.

FLOODING IN FRANKFORT







So, for those of you that have been watching the national news, we've had ourselves some rain around here! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWEEEEEHHHEEEEEEEE have we ever had some rain!
These were taken from a river view window in the bandroom during one of my planning periods. Crazy, is it not? And the dang thing hasn't even crested yet. 38.1 feet (yes, I said feet) is the anticipated cresting point.