Monday, March 26, 2007

I should be in bed, but....

Oh my gosh it's been a week since I posted!

Not much has changed. We've made progress on the house, especially since Kenny is back. But he's leaving again (I'm really crying this time) on Friday, so who knows what'll happen. We're down to major decision making time. What to do with the we sand, or not? Are they good as they are? And the kitchen floor.....ceramic tile or linoleum....of course we like ceramic tile MUCH more, but HELLO the price! So when we get the estimates we'll decide. The painting is almost done, and then the only thing left that we'll do after we move in is the hallway bathroom. Everything else will be SO DONE! Kenny's dad is actually painting the kitchen for us, so that is really a load off. I think he wants us out of his house YESTERDAY. That's why he's doing it. We're working all day and then the house is our second occupation right now, and since he's retired, why not? And plus, it gets him out of Kenny's mom's hair for the day. So it all works out.

We found out what happened to our blue toilet. If you need a refresher on the incident, go here and then come back and here's what really happened. We were talking to a neighbor today, and we told him what happened, how we came over one day to the new house and we both looked at each other in disbelief that someone had stolen our blue toilet FROM OFF THE FRONT PORCH. The neighbor started laughing and told us that he put it in the trash for us. We had told him we were getting rid of it and then he saw it sitting on the front porch for 2 weeks (we missed trash day 2 weeks in a row) so he hauled it to the curb in front of his house for us. We were relieved that it hadn't been stolen!

My students are off the hook right now. They need their spring break just as badly as I do. I'm telling ya, there are 9 days until that vacation starts (including the weekend) and it's just not getting here fast enough. This has been one heck of a L O N G span of time with no breaks. This year, my spring break WILL NOT consist of a sinus infection. That was what happened last year. I got sick the last day of school before break, got the wrong antibiotics, and it got worse, and I spend the WHOLE WEEK being miserable. WON'T HAPPEN THIS YEAR!

Thanks for the advice on the window treatments. I will show you what I've done soon!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Painting Questions!!

Yay! Monday is over! Yesterday wasn't a fun day. And today for some reason our library time was canceled, so that one hour a week where I can just sit and zone out (other than the prep times I get where I run around like a mad woman) won't be coming to me......what to do what to do??

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I'm S L O W L Y finishing up the painting in our three bedrooms, and I need some input please!! In each bedroom, we have one wall of color. The one wall of color in the office is a burnt orange, the guest room has a wall of deep blue, and our bedroom has a wall of dark red. My question is, besides the horizontal blinds, what kind of window treatments will do? I KNOW you want pictures.....I just can't produce them yet. My camera is still MIA and Kenny is out of town with his, so for right now, visualize the rooms. The other walls in all three rooms are "bay oyster" which is a creamy white, not bright white, if it even matters. Do I use valences? Or do I find (or make) my own curtains, maybe sheers that match the colors? I need help!! I've already bought and returned a million times, so I need guidance from those of you who have found something they like that compliments colors. Any ideas are welcomed! And the good thing about Kenny being out of town is that he left me his credit card.......I know what's his is mine and all that jazz, but it's still easier to spend his money, and more fun too!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Can't really be Monday yet....

I can't believe it's Monday morning already and I'm sitting at my computer in my classroom. This is a precious time of day for me. I have my coffee, a computer (yay!) and peace and quiet. Ahhhh, at last.
My poor Kenny is still very sick, and may not be leaving for work for 8 days as planned because of it, so I am planning on taking care of him along with trying to finish up painting this week. My plate is full as usual, but it seems as though everything else is finally settling down. With all the deaths around our family lately, it really makes me slow down and appreciate smaller things....a sunset, the smell of rain, being with my mom and dad, a phone conversation with my brother, holding Kenny's hand....I've said it so many times before on this blog that we take things for granted all the time. And I always try to NOT do that, to really appreciate what I have and who I have, and keep in mind that life is short and there are too many things that get in the way of having a good day. I'll type it here on the blog, I'll say it to someone, and then I forget, and get caught up in "getting things done" or "hurrying up" through my day. So I'll say it again....I'm going to slow down today, and enjoy my students, and really watch them learn today. I am going to not think of all the things that I need to get done after work, but instead, focus on getting Kenny better and only doing what I can, and also, on helping my mom through this tough time she is having.
I'm pretty sappy for a Monday morning, eh? Oh well. I'm not embarrassed. I have really missed blogging every day! It's such a good feeling to hit the publish button and know I have an instant connection with my blogging friends. Since I don't have access to my own pictures right now (sniff, sniff), I'll upload a picture I found online of something to appreciate.
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I hope to be able to catch up on everyone's blogs this week. I miss you all!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"No Left Turns"
This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Well worth reading, and a few good laughs are guaranteed.

(My mom emailed this to me last night and said that it reminded her of Grandma)
My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet. "In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it." At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse." "Well," my father said, "there was that, too." So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none. My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together. My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first. But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown. It was a four- door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since m y parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car. Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to dri ve the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying once. For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps --though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work. Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in lo ve the entire time.) He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two pri ests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow." After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the eng ine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.") If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?" "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre. "No left turns," he said. "What?" I asked. "No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So our mother and I decided never again to make a left turn." "What?" I said again. "No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights." "You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count." I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing. "Loses count?" I asked. "Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again." I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked. "No," he said. "If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week." My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom-- the house had never had one. (My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.) He continued to walk daily, he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising --and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide- ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news. A few weeks earl ier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer." "You're probably right," I said. "Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated. "Because you're 102 years old," I said."Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day. That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet ." An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have." A short tim e later, he died. I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life. Or because he quit taking left turns.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day
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Last year I went out for a couple of drinks with the ladies to celebrate the Irish holiday. This year, I'm not doing squat. Kenny is leaving to go out of town for a while, and I'm at my mom's house for the weekend, neglecting many painting/redecorating tasks that need to get done.
In the last 10 days, my mom has lost two VERY good friends to cancer, both of them WAY TOO YOUNG. One with pancreatic, the other with non-hodgkins lymphoma (sp?). Also, my great uncle passed away a few days later, and my great aunt isn't expected to make it much longer. Needless to say, my mom isn't feeling especially festive today, and she hasn't been for about 10 days now. Four (almost) deaths in about two weeks? I know there's a saying about life handing us lemons and making lemonade. And I know we have our faith in the big man upstairs to get us through everything, but sometimes, at times like these, I wonder what kind of lemonade are we supposed to make when this happens?
So that's my St. Patrick's Day wrap-up. Not too exciting, more like depressing, but at least I am with my momma and trying very hard to bring some 4 leaf clovers and rainbows into her life right now. When you say your prayers today, say an extra one for the family/friends of our dearly departed ones, as well as for my momma, who needs all the extra love she can get.
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Friday, March 16, 2007

The Blue Toilet

I have a funny story you will all appreciate. I WISH I had the picture to go with it, but the picture is on my phone and I don't have a clue how to get it to the computer. So just imagine what it looks like.......
We are slowly re-doing our two bathrooms, and one of them is 1960s baby blue. We're leaving the blue tile floor and shower because it is in amazing condition, but we painted the blue walls white, and got rid of the blue toilet and sink/vanity and replaced them with white ones. Anyway, the blue toilet was sitting on the front porch of the new house because we had a few days until trash pickup, and then we ended up missing trash day because it's on Thursday and we thought it was on Friday. Anyway, the toilet sat there another week, and then Wednesday night we forgot to put it on the curb AGAIN, which meant we would have to wait another week. Oh well. We got to the new house last night to tinker around for a minute, and the toilet was gone.
And I know it was NOT the trash people that took it either. They won't come up on the porch to get ANYTHING.
We didn't care that it was gone, less for us to mess with, but who would do that?? I think it was a garbage picker because before we ripped out that toilet, we researched it online and found out that they are actually worth some money, mostly the lid part (don't ask me why!). So we kept the lid in the house, and if we had less to do this month, we probably would have sold the whole thing, but since we're always short on time, we just kept the lid and were going to chuck the rest. We were both mad at first that someone would come up on the porch...and take something. It's kind of a creepy feeling. But then again, now we don't have to mess with the blue shitter!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Playing Catch Up

This seems to be the theme in my life right now. I knew a big move would be hectic, but this is nuts! I still haven't found my camera, but I haven't had a good chunk of time to look. I do, however, have Kenny's, but I have to pry it out of his grubby little hands to use it and then I will have pictures. I can show you one before picture now. And I warn you, please grab your 1960s era sunglasses when you look, cause you're gonna need 'em.
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Can you get a load of the kitchen floor????? Scary! I can't believe that was popular! I guess considering all the drug use that was done (not that it's any less now), that floor could have made for a fun trip, eh?
The rest of the before pictures are still on my computer, still not hooked up. The cable company says there is internet service to our house right now, but it's still in the old lady's name. SHE supposedly has to shut it off, we legally can't do it. Well, hello, she has alzheimer's, and she won't be shutting it off EVER. So until her attourney takes care of it, we're out on the cable. Bummer. But it's not the end of the world. There are still MANY other things to complain about.
Today it was 70 degrees here in Michigan. 70 DEGREES. It's only March! It was nice, but come on, it'll get cold again in a couple days, and then all hell will break loose with the sicknesses, including my allergies. Can you say hello spring?
My kids (students) are kicking my butt. They are so smart and always want MORE of EVERYTHING. I think I'm more tired at the end of the day than ever now. But don't get me wrong, I LOVE them to pieces. They are the best. And the good part of the end of the year coming (besides a much needed break) is that I get the first graders again next year as second graders. Yay!
It sounds like I'm complaining, but really, I'm not. Venting. That's the word. Venting. And now I feel better. Thanks for listening (reading). I am getting better about posting. I will be back to normal real soon. I'm still posting at work, which is risky, but who cares. I don't say anything on here that's bad anyway....but I could....hmmm.....
If you haven't visited her site yet, take a stroll to Tasha's website. She's fixing to get hitched in April, and you can read about all the details of her wedding on her site, and about her famous-ness. And also, go over to Lindsay's site and wish her well. Everyone (including her computer) is sick!

Friday, March 09, 2007

The House

Happy Friday! These weeks just seem so long lately!
I found a picture of our new house taken on the day of the inspection in January. Are you lovin' the 60s colored shudders and front door? We bought new shudders, a hunter green shade, just haven't put them on yet. And any suggestions with the bushes? Something's got to be done about that this spring. Anyway, that's the new place, and the painting is coming along nicely. Maybe another week and we'll be living there...can't wait! It's closer to work!

I am going to start the big hunt for my camera at some point on Saturday. I just can't take it anymore. And Kenny is excited to find the bag with the camera in it too, because it also contains the one box of girl scout cookies that I bought from a kid at work for him. Apparently that's the motive he needs to help me in my search!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I have a confession to make.....

The reason (one of them) that I haven't posted much OTHER than the fact that my computer isn't internet happy yet, is that my camera is MIA. Yup, you read it right, MIA. I can't even sleep at night I'm so distraught about it. During moving day, I had a backpack (the one I found while packing) with my school keys and swipe card, and my camera in it, that wasn't supposed to be put in the moving truck. It got put in there without me knowing it. So my poor baby camera is somewhere in a box in the garage, not to be found for some time. I attempted to begin the search a few times, but it's so cold here in Michigan that every time I get the ambition to search, my hard start to freeze out there. So that's my confession, and I feel bad posting without pictures, cause that's just what I do. I almost ALWAYS have a picture, and now I don't. Hopefully soon I will be able to find my precious Fugi, because to be very honest, I'm lost without it. Him. It's a him. And his name is Figi. I miss my Figi Fugi. ))))sigh((((

Aside from that camera disaster, things are moving along in the new house. We are still not living there yet, but we are painting all the rooms and bathrooms and the carpet was torn up last week. We only put new carpet back in the livingroom because the hard wood floor is beautiful....who would cover that up when people pay bookoo bucks for that? NOT US! We have one bedroom that has a red wall, one that has a burnt orange wall, and the last bedroom will have a dark blue wall. We wanted colors, but not too much. So that's why it's taking us so long to paint it all, because it's no easy task to cut in those colors! And of course we had to paint the ceilings in every room too, nothing is left unpainted! The livingroom was finished last week (in a about 3 days if you can believe it!) and the master bathroom was finished on Sunday. We had a new vanity, sink, and toilet put in along with paint. Whew! So much to do! I hope to be actually living there soon, like next week. There's no rush at this point because we are out of the apartment and staying for free at the 'rents, so it's all good.

I must say that we have been oh-so-blessed with awesome friends and family who really helped us out moving and redoing things. Kenny and I are not your typical do-it-yourselfers, so we either have to pay out to have it done or get help from those who know what they are doing. And almost everything we have done to the house has been done by a family member or friend, which is awesome. Like I said, we are blessed!

Enough rambling about that. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about the house. Blah blah blah. I miss reading/commenting on everyone's blogs every day, so I will be back doing that soon. I catch a little here and there at school but I just don't have much time when I'm at work. I also have parent teacher conferences tomorrow so I should be getting things around for that. I hope everyone is doing well! Hopefully, there will be pictures soon! I just need to find the Fugi!

Oh, and what's this about no more Thursday Thirteen? I read on Lori's blog that it's not happening any more? What's up?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

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Thirteen Things In My Car
1. Tape Measure
2. Car Charger
3. Empty Coffee Cups
4. Crow Bar (not for THAT reason)
5. Sheets (from painting)
6. School Stuff (books, tape player, artsy stuff)
7. New Curtains (yeah!)
8. Trash (I need to clean it out sooooo badly)
9. Dried Fruit (snack)
10. Empty Wendy's Cup
11. Anna Nalick and Aerosmith CDs
12. Water Bottles
13. ME!
I can't wait to get out internet hooked up and get back to daily blogging. I miss it. And all of my blogging buddies too! I really shouldn't be doing this at work......