Thursday, March 29, 2012

SPRING BREAK TO DO LIST

Well, I got a late start on my SPRING BREAK productivity.  However, as of today, Thursday, March 29th, I feel like I've gotten a big, ole dent in the thing.  Just for the purposes of education, I thought I would share with my readers the TO DO LIST in all of its glory.
  1. Finish laundry (it was OUT OF CONTROL)
  2. Put away all of the clothes
  3. Organize closets
  4. Vacuum
  5. Dust
  6. Swiffer floors
  7. Mop bathroom and kitchen floors
  8. Do taxes
  9. Work on graduate school portfolio
  10. Work on project paper
  11. Work on my budget
  12. Organize and clean office
  13. Darn socks
  14. Call A1 Concrete
  15. Go through old magazines and save or recycle
  16. Clean the shower
  17. Caulk the shower
  18. Weed
  19. Mow Lawn
  20. Treat the wicker rocker
  21. Spray weeds
  22. Clean out gutters
Here is where I am at on my TO DO LIST.

  1. Finish laundry (it was OUT OF CONTROL)
  2. Put away all of the clothes
  3. Organize closets
  4. Vacuum
  5. Dust
  6. Swiffer floors
  7. Mop bathroom and kitchen floors
  8. Do taxes
  9. Work on graduate school portfolio
  10. Work on project paper
  11. Work on my budget
  12. Organize and clean office
  13. Darn socks
  14. Call A1 Concrete
  15. Go through old magazines and save or recycle
  16. Clean the shower
  17. Caulk the shower
  18. Weed
  19. Mow Lawn
  20. Treat the wicker rocker
  21. Spray weeds
  22. Clean out gutters
10 out 22 ... by my calculations that is about a 45% achievement rating on my to do list.  And, honestly, when you add into the fact that I spent the first week of the break sick, and the fact that this is actually only the second week of break, and that I've had three doctor's appointments with one more "test" left to take care of before the end of break, I'd say I am doing rather well. 

Today, I plan to get a good ways on my budget, and then spend some time just reading for fun.  I just LOVE Spring Break!

Monday, March 26, 2012

IN DENIAL AND NOT JUST WADING IN A FAMOUS RIVER IN EYGPT

Last Monday at 2:30:01 p.m., you could have pushed me off of a very tall building, and I doubt I would have cared.  I had officially started SPRING BREAK!  That gloriously decadent three week span of time where I foolishly talk myself into all the amazing stuff I can manage when allowed to dream about the endless hours ahead of me. 

And then THE GIANT GERM hit.  I was in complete denial, of course.  It was just allergies, I kept telling myself.  Even as I hacked and coughed at the doctor's office, and he asked about "the nasty cough," I just passed it off as "allergies."  I walked through a large cloud of pollen walking my little "dears" to their reward on Monday.  I'm just coughing up the after-effects, I explained.  I was sure of it.  I was tired the rest of the day, and I even napped, but seriously.  I've been running at break-neck speed since January ... trying to accomplish massive amounts of work.  Anyone would be tired, right?

Wednesday rolled around, and I knew the inevitable was to occur ... the FIRST MOWING OF THE SEASON, and I didn't relish the thought of doing that with an audience.  So, at 11:30 a.m., I drug my hacky, coughing, and runny-nosed self out and spent the next hour and 45 minutes dragging my tired hind end around my corner lot.  It's such a lovely thing, having a corner lot, until one must get their rear in gear to actually mow it.  Then, not so lovely. 

I barely got the yard mowed without completely passing out, which I thought was very odd in light of all the added exercise/conditioning I had been getting for the last three months.  I was stymied.

I barely got myself together after the torturous mowing, before I collapsed on the sofa and napped NUMEROUS times that day.  Even the achy joints I was suffering with did nothing to convince me that I was doing anything other than fighting allergies.

Fast-forward to Thursday when, at last I decided to be proactive ... and by proactive, I mean, I was curious to see if I had a fever, seeing as it was 80 some degrees out, and I was sitting on the sofa shivering. 

Yep.  Fever.

But I was still convinced that I was nothing more than run down from allergies.  In fact, that is the way I motored through the rest of the week ... until Saturday, when Better Judgement finally got a hold of me, shook me violently, and convinced me to get to urgent care, wherein, I was prescribed 500 mg of some antibiotic or another in attempt to kill the OUT OF CONTROL sinus infection that had some how managed to take up residence in my sinus cavities.

My stomach doesn't like me now, but I am on the mend.  Although, I suspect it will be well into June before these sinuses finally give up the last vestiges of "ick" that currently hang out there. 

Let this be a lesson to you, my dear reading public.  I am not invincible, and despite my soon-to-be-acquired advanced degree, I am somewhat, how should I put this?  DIM-WITTED when it comes to my physical health. 

Why else would I live with Ned (as well as ted) Nodule(s) on my thyroid for two months before I finally decided that it was, perhaps, beneficial for a doctor to, perhaps, feel around on them ... just to see ... maybe ... you know, check to see if it was anything serious?

My dad might be right.  I might, in fact, need a keeper ... someone that can talk some sense into my obstinate, thick-headed skull.

Monday, March 19, 2012

ON BECOMING A REDHEAD

I get my hair cut every four weeks.  I am pretty anal retentive about it too, all because of a girl I knew once that never got her hair cut.  The split ends, oh the split ends!!!  Plus, my mom was pretty insistent that we not run around looking like something the cat drug in ... something she had to fight against with me most of my elementary school days.  Thankfully, I've discovered GLAMOUR Magazine .... and personal hygiene and stuff these days.

During my last few visits to the salon, I had begun to get bored with my hair.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my short, spunky hair.  But I wanted something different ... something not so me.  Susan, my stylist talked me into a "coppery color," but my only insistence was having some blonde chunks right in the front.

Fast-forward to Thursday, and you have ME ... as a redhead! 


I am having a lot of fun with this new color and the reactions I am getting from folks that are used to seeing me as a blonde.  However, the most befuddling, albeit expected, response was from my fourth graders.  While I received lots of approvals, there were a few in the crowd that didn't, at all, appreciate the lack of notice I gave (read: NONE) on the sudden change in hair color.  As one child put it, "I much prefer a blonde teacher.  This color you've got now, well, it just doesn't match."

I am not sure what it is suppose to match, but it doesn't, according to her.

Oh well!  I am having fun as a redhead ... and I may just keep it this way for a while.  We shall see!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SPRINGTIME HAS SPRUNG!

On my drive to work this morning, I saw TONS of early flowering trees ... witnessed my daffodils bouncing happily in the early morning breeze ... heard the birds singing loudly ... yep, SPRING has SPRUNG. 

My kids are INSANELY crazy.  They are goofy and whiny and tired and hyped and all those things rolled into one gigantic mess of stinky fourth graderness.  Yep, SPRING has SPRUNG.

Other signs that the season is upon us ... our school custodian was out mowing our school lawn.  That made me think about my lawn, and the fact that, honestly, it could use a mow ... in MARCH!  I am a Michigan girl; we've never mowed  ANYTHING in March. We've snow-blown a whole lotta stuff, but I can't remember ever getting a lawn mower out before ... gosh ...  May???   Really!   

And yet, here I sit, contemplating whether or not I should go to the gas station and buy some gas for my lawn mower ... which, now that I'm thinking about it, could probably use some new oil and fresh spark plugs (who knows how to change those!).  Yep, SPRING has SPRUNG!

Of course, we can't have a lawn mower discussion without a subsequent discussion about my shirtless neighbor, who has already wowed us all with his winter fur, while it was still yet cold out.  The minute I pull out that lawn mower, I will be bombarded by the budinskis' incessant staring, and they've added a new house guest.  Even more eyes to watch me unglamourously [is this even a word??] sweat my way up one stretch of lawn and down the next. 

YEP, SPRING HAS DEFINITELY SPRUNG!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

GOSSIP

I am trying hard to do just a little reading before I lay down for bed ... seems it's the only time I can do such things these days.  Last night was no exception -- I cuddled under the covers to read a bit of my GLAMOUR magazine (I said read, not try to solve world peace).  There was an article about gossip, which seems counter-intuitive, considering it's GLAMOUR.  However, the article really hit me ...

The woman writing described her 20s and 30s, how those years were laced with gossip-mongering, but, how when she entered her 40s, she suddenly saw the destructive nature of the gossip, and too, she realized that the very things she was gossiping about in others were things that were very ugly in her own life.

Boy!  Can I ever relate!? 

Three years ago, I was convicted of my role in gossip.  There have been times I've been knee-deep (or deeper) in it.  Other times, I have just been on the periphery.  Three years ago, after being accused of saying something I really didn't, I stepped back and said, "Really?  Number one, why do I care?  Number two, what is it benefiting me to spread the ugliness?" It is, after all, ugliness.

There are people in my life, both professional and personal, that seem to have their entire beings wrapped up in gossip.  It's as if their very breath would stop if they didn't have the opportunity to spread the latest and juiciest. 

You know the type.  You all hear something juicy ... not necessarily true.  Just juicy.  And before you can say BOO!, the gossiper is on his or her phone, texting or calling the news onward and upward.  Witnessing enough of that, I began to realize that the very things that I disliked about the gossipers as people were the very things they were gossiping about. 

The point of this article was that we as women should be about the business of edifying each other ... making each other the best we can be.  Yet, most times, we spend our time attempting to tear each other down.  For me, personally, it's frustrating. 

To end the jagged circle of gossip, she suggests choosing one or two very close friends that you can go to and vent, but that the stories end with that one or those two people.  NO.  FURTHER.   So, I am taking the words of this author, in the GLAMOUR magazine, of all places, and I am going to practice this particular brand of preaching.

I want to be about the business of POSITIVE.  No more negative.  Gossip is ugly, and I want no part of it anymore.



Saturday, March 10, 2012

West Liberty, Kentucky

It's been a week and one day.

That's it.

Just one measly week and a day since many among us here in the Bluegrass State suffered a devastating loss. As one individual put it, "it took 60 some years to build this life and just about 45 seconds to wipe it away."

And wipe away, it did.

I had the opportunity to travel with a dear friend today, back to her hometown of West Liberty.  She needed to go home ... to be with her family ... to see for herself the destruction.  I was there to support her ... talk with her ... just be there. 


I had seen the photos and news coverage.  I had spent last Saturday looking at countless hours of still images and video.  I wasn't prepared to see it in person. 

The sheer magnitude  ... the force of the storm ... there are parts of this town where there is nothing left ... wiped out.  I wasn't prepared for that.


Hometowns are special places, you see.  It may not be the best place on Earth ... in fact, it might be pretty darned depressing, but it's your hometown.  Around just about every corner is a memory weaved into the fabric of the town, and to see it flattened ... well, it's beyond painful.


I said over and over again today ... tonight ... "there are no words .... no words to describe what I witnessed today.  I've spent my entire professional life attempting to teach children how to write with descriptive language, and I have none to paint a photo of what I took in ... what I am struggling to process.  None.



 No.  That's a lie.  I do have words.

Resilience.

Pride.

Strength.

Determination.




There were so many people working to clean up ... power lines were going up all over the place.  Sandwiches and drinks were being passed out.  Water was being passed around.  Gloved volunteers milled about cleaning up piles of debris that were twisted beyond recognition.  Uhauls and pick-up trucks and trailers and cars .... all lined up ready to take whatever people could salvage from their former lives as they began the task of rebuilding.



With all the physical causalities of this town, I was struck by the human resilience ... the pure strength that I saw on the faces of the survivors as they dug in and pulled pieces and parts of their lives from the rumble.  There was a sense of hope.

HOPE ... such a small word, but such a big promise.  Will everything go back exactly the way it was?  Probably not.  But the hope wrapped up in the promise of a new beginning?  It was evident on the faces of many that I saw today ... there is hope of a new tomorrow.  And that is the beauty of human resilience ...