Monday, November 26, 2007
But we've totally become weather sissies and spending time in the frigid northland made us realize it even more. Then I could have worn my coat more often. A sweater or jacket just isn't enough when the air is below freezing. But the thing I really appreciate about visiting in the cold part of the year is that I don't have to do any more than visit. I no longer have to go out and milk the cows for two hours twice a day when the weather is like that. I no longer have to feed the chickens, or the calves, or any animal in the cold. I don't even have to be cold unless I choose it. It's a great feeling. I've embraced lizard-life. Bring on the desert.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I celebrated with my extended family and, as we went around the table, enumerating our blessings, my brother-in-law stated his thanks that our sister lived there in our home town still and was a willing hostess. Since we became orphans last year with the death of our mother, it has seemed weird and disconnected to celebrate holidays. So I, too, am grateful for my sister and her husband's big house and fun-loving spirits to invite all comers from our large family. We had a really good time and it was a small step towards maintaining family ties in the wake of the loss of our center.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
- making documents
- revising documents
- my lesson plan template w/cut & paste tool
- making and printing off labels/lists
- clip art
- report card programs
- in-house e-mail
- learning programs
- the INTERNET (and the jillions of sites to help you with ANYTHING)
Probably there are more things that could go on this list. I couldn't teach like I do without this fabulous tool. Just being able to write my own spelling tests on a template that I can easily revise each week is only one little tiny piece of the whole gamut of useful uses. I revel over computers! I rejoice for computers! I love, love, love computers for being such a workhorse in my classroom.
Plus, I really love having this blog---I'm a born blabber-mouth---this blog is the ultimate outlet.
Monday, November 19, 2007
But on parent conference day, when these students enter your room with an adult, suddenly they shrink back into a child. You and the parents sit down together and talk about their schooling, looking through the portfolio, checking the progress report and the student is suddenly outnumbered by concerned adults. It helps me get my perspective back, and forces me to put things into a dispassionate form so that we two adults can be a united front for the student. It usually happens that way--really. Sometimes it doesn't last long, but the kid knows that I've met mom or dad and they know what I know and it changes the dynamic. For a while.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We were doing an exercise using the dictionary. They were to turn to any page and look up different things: a two syllable word; a word with multiple meanings; a word with a long vowel sound, etc. I was helping two boys who can't read on grade level (or hardly at all...) and the job was to find an adjective. So I was looking at the page upside down and running my finger down the columns slowly as they looked for the little italicized "adj." when I saw one, but they didn't yet. Just as I was about to point it out, I looked at the entry word--"horny"--!!!! I quickly choked off my words and kept my finger moving down a little further. They, not being readers, didn't even notice. Whew. They would TOTALLY have known the meaning of that word, in slang, NOT the dictionary's definition "covered in a horn-like material". I don't even remember what word we settled on. But it only had one (non-sexual) connotation.
So, today I'm thankful for illiteracy, in a limited capacity.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
However, I eventually did get proficient at playing the hymns because I moved away from Mormon-land where so many people had taken lessons, just like me, to be able to play in church. Oddly I've ended up in congregations several times where I was the only one able to play AT ALL. So, it was me playing for Sacrament meeting, and then for Primary, too. The reason I became skilled at the hymn book is this: When I was first married, the ward where I lived was in charge of the church services at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot: boot camp. They asked me to help when they discovered I could play. Plus, I had no little children to mess with so I was free to go down there on Sunday mornings at 8:00 A.M. I practiced my three hymns diligently for the first meeting, and that all went well until the man conducting stood at the pulpit and asked the congregation what they'd like to sing for "singing time". My heart sank. These recruits were all headed for Viet Nam after they finished their time in San Diego and so naturally they wanted to sing "Come Come Ye Saints--4th verse especially" and "We Are All Enlisted" and "Behold a Royal Army" and "Onward Christian Soldiers". None of these were in my repetoire, so I was reduced to one-fingering most of them. To avoid this humiliation for the next week, I went to the church most afternoons on my way home from work and practiced the whole hymn book (well, the popular ones) until I could play almost all of them.
So, I thank my mom, the chickens, Mrs. Cranney and the Marines that I can play well enough to help out in church wherever I live. And, thanks Mom, too, for giving me that awesome old upright grand piano you bought so long ago.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Today, I'm thankful for Cool Guy because he loves me and will be coming home tomorrow (Friday). I was looking through a container of things I brought back with me after my mother's funeral 18 months ago. A few photos, some doilies, the pages about me that I tore from her "baby book". She had a spiral notebook in which she recorded our births and vaccinations. I even have my original blessing and baptism certificates. We were going through her dresser drawers looking for some official document that we needed for the bank or Social Security or someone, and one drawer was filled with correspondence. We each took back letters, announcements, and photos that we'd sent her over the years from us and our children. But one letter I found I'd never read before.
It was written before we were married by Cool Guy to my dad, asking his permission to marry me. It is a couple of pages long and is very articulate and thoughtful and every word has come true of his prediction to my father that he would love me and support me and our future children. I've always been thankful for that and I'm still thankful.
- a card soliciting us to try another insurance company addressed to "Our Friends or Current Residents"... (in case we've had a falling-out)
- A very official postcard from the National Vehicle Headquarters (be sure to lower your voice as you say this and sound stern) SECOND NOTICE Notice: VEHICLE WARRANTY EXPIRATION, and then there's a little box checked :Immediate response required, but the boxes labeled return receipt required and signature required aren't checked (WHEW!!)
- a solicitation from an insurance company "Just for Members" of my credit union. But, it is in an envelope that has a very official type of label along the top declaring: IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED, PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS INSIDE, TIME SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS, DELIVER IMMEDIATELY and then there's an admonition to "deliver to addressee only" and it has an elaborate approval code, also. Double Whew!
- a $10 gift card !! from Shell Oil!! (mutter when you read this next part) activated only when you apply for their credit card...
- my paycheck direct deposit statement--whoeee--I often get so wound up during the day that I totally forget that payday is coming tomorrow.
- my "hometown" newspaper---having not lived in this hometown for 34 years I guess it isn't a surprise that I recognize no one from the obit column or the wedding announcements.
- a catalog from the company that imports craft crap from Asia--I bought something once and cannot get off their mailing list
- a coupon flyer from the teacher store "Learning is Expensive"
- two more catalogs from clothing places--I ALWAYS order on-line--puleez don't kill more trees sending me your catalogs
- a brochure from a plastic surgeon the cover of which is a close up color photo of the torso of a woman who used the services I guess---she's also had a Brazilian bikini wax and you can count the number of her empty hair follicles on a part of her body I'd rather not see that up-close and personal---I'm thinking that the doctor's office number printed on it keeps it from being classified "porn" so it can be mass-mailed.
So that's the mail delivery here on November 8, 2007 at our house. What did the USPS Fairy leave under your pillow?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I got into the elevator on the first floor of the two-story lobby. (I've been in this elevator many, many times--PT three times a week for four weeks.) I pushed the 2R button. The doors closed in front of me and the car rose gently to the second floor where the PT offices are. I felt the car brake, I heard the bell ding. I waited, waited, waited three more seconds for the door in front of me to open. But it didn't...
Then, I realized, the door BEHIND has opened, about 6 seconds ago, as it always does to let me off at the second floor. The door in FRONT of me is NEVER going to open on that floor because of the two-story lobby...
Doh! I rushed to go out the door and it closed on my face. DOH! Push button, open door. If anyone would have been standing there in the lobby waiting for me to get off that elevator while I contemplated the wrong door...sigh.
So, I hope there aren't security cameras because FOR SURE someone would put that one on t.v. with the little pixels over my face.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
As I came back into the kitchen, there sat Kitty Cat on the counter, licking her chops in an unsuccessful attempt at cleaning off the milk on her chin. Little drops of milk were scattered between her and my breakfast...arrghh...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
But, when pressed to find something good about the situation, most of them can write something actually quite nice. In fact many of them are really sweet and I encourage them to go home and tell their family member what they wrote.
It made me realize what I like about our family: the one Cool Guy and I gave birth to. Our children are friends with one another and enjoy getting together and doing things. I can hardly think of a more satisfying thing for parents than to have their offspring choose to stay close emotionally and socially when they no longer are close in proximity. We feel like successful parents.