Oops! Wrong Day!

Okay, so my daughter came in this morning as I was posting a new message. She was so excited..."Mom! It's April Fool's Day! What should we do??"

We devised all of these horrid schemes and played them out...only to have our Swedish exchange student, at one point in the chaotic morning say, "Wait. Today isn't April 1st, is it?"

ARRRGGGHHH! We are such dorks! We'd taken my husband's beloved truck out and parked it by the highway with a sign in the window that said, "For Sale. $6000. Excellent price. Wife hates my gas-guzzler!" We even put his actual cell phone number on it. The truck is worth about $20,000 at this point.

We are such dorks.


Today I'd planned on taking a carload of kids to the new IMax theater in McMinnville, out at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Alas, it's opening has been delayed and it's not ready for viewing. So, instead, I'm loading them up and we're driving up to the Pearl District in Portland, one of my most favorite walking/shopping/eating areas in Oregon! We'll have lunch at The Cameo (my favorite restaurant...especially for breakfast, as they make a knock-out coconut waffle!) and then roam the streets where all of the cool folks are. Hopefully, the kids won't think it's boring, but, then again, I pretty much think they think everything I suggest is boring...However, there's the coolest of cool shops there. It's called "Three Monkeys." They have all of the most amazing doo0dads, antiques, junk, jewelry, and more, including old records,..

Wait! Today is April Fool's Day! My daughter just came in and we're going to hide hubby's truck...make it look like someone stole it!


A very nice day...

Hubby and I decided to go for a drive in the fast car. We sped up to Spirit Mountain Casino...thanks to Carnivorous Hippy for reminding me that it's fun to just do something like this...
In less than 20 minutes, Hubby had earned himself $85.36, so we left! We drove into Lincoln City, hit the Outlet Mall, bought new bedding for our incoming exchange student's room, bought a ton of clothes (definitely spent more than he'd won) and heading home the long way, through Newport!
Wow! Amazing storms! We watched the ocean churn and dance! I took some cool pics of the sights! Unfortunately, because our computer really is a piece, I can't get them to load. Oh well, we're going to buy a new computer tomorrow...


Behavior Modification for Dummies...

I usually never have this amount of time to dabble away. I'm having so much fun reading blogs and posting blogs...ugh. Spring Vacation is a good thing, especially when the weather is crappy like today. If it were sunny, I'd be out working in the gardens. You should hear about all of the great ideas hubby and I have for some new "garden rooms" on the side yard. Don't even get me started on my new vegetable extravaganza going in front of the shop/garden room area! It's going to be complete with some really cool chickens that will make Mr. Cirello madder than the barking dogs we used to keep in there.
By the way, when we bought the house in 2001, we spent about $1600 on materials and hired a young, strapping college fellow to help build this amazing dog enclosure for our stupid dogs (whom we love with a passion, mind you). Anyway, Jim Dandy, Dood, and Holmes (who's now dead and buried in the garden) barked at everything when we were not home...however, because we were not home, we didn't know this). Anyway, Mr. Cirello and a few other neighbors, without our knowing it, got together and came up with this ABSOLUTELY stupid plan. They went on-line and bought an anti-barking mechanism that would emit a horrendous high-pitch screech whenever a dog barked. Then, one night while we were hosting a dinner party on our back deck, Mr. C came over with the frickin' device. I'd had a few beers, so I listened to his little speech about how he was tired of our dogs barking at him whenever he came out to mow his lawn, blah, blah, blah...and how he and some others thought it would be good for us to try to device. I stepped into the house to compose myself...which I usually do not do, planned my words carefully, and said, "You have to be kidding! You fool! This device works when there is only 1 dog barking! If there are 3 dogs, don't you realize how STUPID this is!!??" He looked at me with the obvious look of, "what the heck are you talking about..." and I said, "If you were to think scientifically about behavior modification, which is what this stupid device is designed to do, you'd realize that it's designed to "punish" a barking dog by emitting the sound whenever there is a bark. Then, the dog would slowly begin to understand that whenever he barks, he will experience pain. But, if one dog is barking and the other 2 are just sitting there, scratching their butts, they'll hear the sound and think that it happens whenever they scratch their butts! Then, they'll stop scratching...and their butts will itch...and they will be too scared to scratch! That's cruel!"
He left. I don't care if I blew his mind away with my ultra-amazing scientific mind...but, all of this could have been solved by him simply coming over one day to let us know that our dogs barked a lot when we weren't home. I would have said, "Oh, goodness. Thanks for letting us know. I'll either put them in the garage when we're gone for short trips, or I'll move them to the backyard to give you some peace."
We moved the dogs into our backyard, where they have proceeded to turn our oasis into their memorial pooping grounds. But, I did put up a behavior modification device on the fence between our house and Mr. Cirellos. Whenever he acts like a stupid ass, it makes a barking sound.

Gotta love Stefi Graff!

I saw this and realized that we all take life a bit too seriously!
All women would benefit from asking this question!


Too much...not enough...

OK, here it is, Spring Break, when my mind is supposed to be freeing up and relaxing. Instead, because I've forgotten to take my brain-meds for the past 2 nights (idiot!) I woke up having a complete anxiety attack. You see, I have those. I completely lose my mind for a bit, actually feeling like I a going to die...and then worrying that my own children won't care. I lie in bed, trying to breathe my way throught the attack, as my heart pounds, my eyes tear up, and my husband lies there snoring, completely unaware of my misery. I went ahead and got up, even though it was 5 a.m., made some coffee, and went out to get the paper. My garden is ALIVE, now that it is almost spring, and I stopped in the driveway to absorb a little of its life. There was this frickin' bird...it was actually calling me "Dumb Shit," because I was so oblivious to the fact that life is good. However, that bird has a memory span of less than 3 minutes, in terms of cognition, so I told it to get the *&^%*&^ away from me so that I could breathe in the scents as I suffered. The best part? The newspaper wasn't there!

Once, when I was a little kid, I asked my mom to tell me the story of the night my real father died. She said, "No." No one ever told me the real story until I was about 15. I was with my Ma-maw. She was my father's mother...the greatest woman to ever live. I asked her to tell me. She said, "But I've told you before." At the age of 15, I stopped dead in my tracks and started crying. We were standing in a Ben Franklin's Five-and-Dime, for god's sake...and I'm a zit-faced teenager, crying. My Ma-maw wrapped her arms around me and took me out to her car. We sat in there and I cried and cried and cried. I couldn't stop. It was like, for the first time, everything poured out. She was so wise. She didn't say anything. She just held onto me. Then, I said, "Ma-maw, no one has told me that story. You just think you told me, but you never did." She was shocked...and said, "I guess that I've been dreaming for 14 years that you and I talk about the story. I must be losing my mind."

You see, even the wisest woman on Earth loses her mind once in awhile. I guess it's OK for me to lose mine this morning...and hope that no one knocks on the door unexpectedly.



On Thursday, our assistant superintendent informed me that I was the new Literacy Coach for a local, very LDS-dominated school. I'm actually excited about that! I've been in a situation for the past 12 years where I am consumed with children who are absolutely amazing...but come with HUGE baggage, including abuse, poverty, etc. Now, I'll get a year to just deal with some things that are "normal," and get myself back into shape, as I won't be so comsumed with solving all of the world's problems for children.

I'll admit, this year I have a kid in my class whose mom is a drug addict. I've had the kid many times over the years. I absolutely ADORE him and want to take him home to be surrounded by folks who would love him continuously and would give him food and clothing whenever he wanted. However, there's this package included with working with him...this drugged-out woman who's made me question my "bleeding heart liberal" status. I have developed sort of a "hate" toward her...which is another reason why it's good to be moving on...

I'll be doing the 0.5 FTE as a Literacy Coach, implementing the district's new "Core Reading Program" and managing the NCLB/Oregon State Standards testing for grades K-5. The other 0.5 looks as though I'll be the ESL teacher at the same school! Wow!!! How amazing is that!!?? I completed my endorsement over the past 2 years, along with getting my ELD certification from the Dept. of Ed.

Now, if only there was an increase in pay...


Sports, Sports, Sports

Today I'm heading over to Lebanon to watch my teenager (yes, the one mentioned earlier) run in both the 1500m and the 3000m. For those of you who don't get it, the 3000m is basically running 8 laps around a track...at full get-go. This gal has it! She starts and ends at the same pace, doesn't break a sweat, and can turn right around and chat with friends and reporters.

Then, this evening, we're going to see "Thing 1," Carnivorous Hippy's son and my daughter's boyfriend, get bashed about in a rugby match. I hope to see some of the blood and barfing CH has mentioned and described. I also have to wonder...do rugby players wear those striped rugby shirts and matching striped socks that I wore in the 8th grade...with gauchos, no doubt?

Arrgghhhh! Teenagers!

I had absolutely no idea, back in the early 90's, when I decided to have a kid, that this kid could make things so...messed up! I mean, heck, remember back in the good ol'days when you could wake up at 6 a.m., have 2 strong cups of coffee while reading the paper, go for a walk, watch a little TV, dink around for the entire day, and go to bed at night with no weird issues looming in your head?
OK...that never ever really happened in my life, either, but, well, if I wanted to, I could do that, if it weren't for the fact that I have a teenaged daughter!
I know that her frontal lobe isn't fully developed.
I know that she is amazing, beautiful, and well-liked by everyeone 100% of the time.
I know that, as she claims, I am the ONLY person she has conflict with in her entire life.
I know that, someday, she'll be out on her own, earning tons of money, travling the universe.
But, today...she just plain ol' pisses me off!

I worked in my classroom yesterday from 7:15 a.m. to 9:04 p.m. I know, I know...stupid. But, there was a very good reason. I'm going to be out of my classroom for 3 days (including today) in order to: 1. Go to a big doctor appointment with the teenager. 2. Attend a 2-day "Dual-Language Summit," which I am being forced to attend, at the district office. So, planning for 3 days worth of sub time in MY classroom requires feats of strength (if you ever want to come and observe, you will find evidence of absolute INSANITY in the room. I have a kid who poops his pants in class, for goodness sakes! Another threw a rock on the playground yesterday and hit a car driving by!)

Anyway, today I got up early, dressed, downed some coffee, and drove up to the clinic for the appoinment, planning on meeting "the teen" there. THE CHECK-IN PERSON LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT! She said, I"m sorry, but your daughter doesn't have an appoinment today." I said, "Yes, she does...here's the appointment reminder card to prove it." So, the gal does some searching and says, "Well, it appears she called in and changed the date and time."
arrrrgggghhhhh! TEENAGERS!


A Big Interview...for me, at least...

Went before an interview committee today. After 21 years in the classroom, teaching every possible grade/combination classroom, I'm ready for a new twist. I applied for a new position our district is opening...and I really do believe I'm overqualified.
One thing caught my attention...the interviews were scheduled to be conducted all day today. Classroom teachers, however, teach all day. I had to make some pretty interesting decisions in order to have time to "squeeze" in the interview during my "LUNCH Half-Hour." I made it. Dropped the class off in the cafeteria, ran to my car, sped across town to the district office (good thing I have a new, red, quick car), interviewed, the sped back to my room. A friend covered the class for the 10 minutes I was late. I've never done that before. I almost felt like I was in control of my life...

I really feel sorry for interviewees that must perform before a large interview committee. If I was younger and less experienced...and, if I didn't know the folks interviewing me today, I could have been quite intimidated by the panel of 8 professionals that were grilling me for information.

Think good thoughts.


Beaver Baseball...Hit or Miss?

It's sooooooooo obvious! Watching the Beavs hit that ball, run those bases, and field those balls...seeing a Beaver Baseball game is well-worth the $10 admission price. Plus, those guys look pretty darned beautimous in their uniforms, something this mid-40's woman appreciates! One thing was missing, however...music. After seeing 25+ years' worth of Beaver basketball and football, the "quietness" of a baseball game made me feel a little antsy. However, going to the game with a couple of good friends made the event more fun. The plan? More baseball!

Now, the issue of beer, or lack of, and baseball. Sitting out on a warm Spring day in Oregon is such a treat. This particular game was on Friday, after a long day at work...and beer just really seemed the best route, especially with the relaxed mood of the ballgame. Somehow, I knew none would be available at the game, so I went over to Russ' Day and Night Market (that's what it was called when I was a student at OSU...I have no idea what it is now. But, there were 3 folks from South Korea manning the check-out...and only 1 spoke English, which was interesting, as the first gal at the till charged me $8.99 for my $5.99 six-pack of Henry's) and bought some out of the cooler. When I got in the car, I immediately stashed 2 bottles in the middle zippered section of my purse, which I rarely carry, except for times like this, and went to meet up with my hubby and our friends. Sure enough, no beer for sale at the game. So, after sitting down, I showed my friend, Carnivorous Hippy, my stash. I thought she'd say something like, "Ooo....gimme, gimme." Instead, she said, "You're going to get us in trouble!" What a nerd, wink, wink. The Beavs were in such good form that the entire crowd was focused on the game as I sipped that sweet Hefeweizen down during play action.