Sunday, December 30, 2007

Onward and Upward

Golly! Time has sped by. I have to take Prof and Kiddo to the train station tomorrow morning. We have had a blast while they were here. I so hate to see them leave, but I know that they have to go back to MT. It will be a long stretch until I travel there. Probably in June. But thanks to email and Ma Bell, we will keep in touch.
We've laughed, cried, watch numerous movies both on TV and in the theater, and have eaten until I don't think I can hold any more.
2008 has to be better. I am looking forward to some good times with friends, Lil Bro and Sistah, doing some traveling, and of course singing. Because of the innumerable bills left by Tilly's death, I am being forced to take a second job to makes ends meet, but I will survive that, too. Besides, it will give me something to do to shorten the evenings. That will be good. Too much time alone is NOT a good thing for me.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Peace and joy...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Under the guise of Honesty

Some people feel that they have to say what is on their minds, no matter what. People like this really piss me off. My former mother-in-law is one of these people. She has always been the type of person that says what she thinks, under the guise of " I'm just being honest." Well, on Christmas she went too far. She attacked one of my children. She really lambasted said child for being rude. First of all, said child is a mature adult. Secondly, said child was not being rude. Well, I came "unglued" lost my cool and told my former, and I mean former, MIL off. She was being hurtful, and typically a real bitch. Then I left. I said that I did not need to be there, and left. I WILL NOT go back. If she shows up at my door, which is typical of the woman, I will either not answer the door, or I will tell her she can come in , only if she keeps her snide remarks and hurtful comments to herself. If she cannot agree to this compromise, she can go to hell! She treated her only child like shit for 59 years, and she got by with it, but she will not hurt me anymore. I have had enough hurt this year.
Gee, I feel better!



Friday, December 21, 2007



Prof and Kiddo called and are arriving two days earlier than I expected. I am excited. I have a kazillion things that I need to do, one of which certainly isn't wasting time blogging, but "what can I say!" I planned on cleaning and readying the house so Prof wouldn't think either #1. Dad can't take care of himself, or #2. Dad is a slob! So, I am hustling my buns off to get some things done. They are arriving tomorrow evening and I can hardly wait. I still have to buy groceries, and Prof warned me that Kiddo is a "hearty" eater, so I guess a supply of food is in order. None, no wait, I have one present wrapped. Oh, gosh! Well, shit, I guess everything will work out. Gotta run!

Peace and Joy,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Deck the Halls

Only two more days and school will be out!!!!! I know I shouldn't be so excited, but the thought of having two weeks off and not having to deal with prepubescent teenager's attitudes sounds glorious to me right now. So much so, that I even went out tonight and bought some more lights. Really, WalMart had a sale, so I stocked up for next year. I came home and when I pulled in the garage I spied another tree up on a shelf. I decided that I knew just where it would look the nicest, so I took it in the house, put a string of my new lights on it and fit it into just the right place.
I put a grapevine tree on my porch that I made years ago and has been in the cellar for years. The other night I noticed that it wasn't burning, the perimeter lights were out and the ceiling fan, which I keep running 24/7/365 to keep the porch dry, wasn't running. I reset the breaker, but about 10 minutes later, out again. So I started unplugging stuff and discovered that the plug on the fan was shot and kept tripping the breaker. So, now the fan is off and everything else is staying on.
I decided tonight that I was done Christmas shopping. Everyone I buy for has enough except Lil Bro. I have bought him some neat stuff, but all necessary. I want to get him something cool that he wouldn't expect. But I don't know what. He buys everything he needs/wants and hasn't given me a list. So, either cash or a gift card seems like a good idea.
I have stuff to stuff socks with. I have gift wrap, ribbon tape and scissors. I hate to wrap, but I like to see the finished product, so I will get at it later on in the week. Tomorrow night I have been invited to dine at the local Elks Lodge, and stay for their Christmas Party. A group I used to sing with is entertaining, and they want me to come back and sing with them just for this gig. The assured me that we would be singing stuff I already knew, so I agreed. I know they want me to rejoin the group, but I am just not ready to do that yet.
Today, I was sorta offered a part-time job working from 4 to 6 every afternoon Mon thru Fri. No weekends. With the glut of bills from Tilly's illness and so on, I could use the extra cash. I will know more in a couple of weeks. It wouldn't start until after the first of the year. Might be good to have that to do. We'll see.
So, I am about ready. The halls are decked. I will probably not quit decking until the very last minute. Prof said she was going to cook me some good stuff while she was home.. and I have a couple of recipes that I am going to try out while she and Kiddo are here. We plan to meet friends, eat, drink and be merry. I have another Christmas party to go to after Christmas. So it looks like things will be busy around here.

Peace and joy!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas will be Different This Year

It wasn't possible for the gang to gather to decorate for Christmas this year. With Prof and Kiddo 1300 miles away, Lil Bro and Sistah working, and of course a dear one missing, it just wasn't in the cards. So, I did what needed to be done. Sorta!

I did put up a tree. It wasn't the huge family tree with all the memories and nostalgia attached. My heart just wasn't there. But I did put up the 7 ft. chrystal and white tree. It is beautiful. I also put out some of the nativity collection, the Father Christmas collection, and some of the water globes. I have carolers on the piano, wreaths on the doors and some greenery swagged around my front door.

As a special tribute to Tilly, I did put up her favorite tree. It is a 3 ft. blue spruce that goes in our bedroom. It has pink lights on it, and is decorated in its entirity in a music motif. It's beautiful. It seems even more beautiful this year. It seems to have an aura! I wonder why! One interesting thing about this tree this year is that Friday afternoon when I got home from school, I went into the bedroom to change out of the sweater into a sweatshirt and plugged in the "music tree." Later that evening, when I got ready for bed, I noticed that it wasn't on. I checked the lights, they wouldn't come back on, I switched them to another plug-in. Still nothing. So, on Saturday, I searched for new pink lights. I found a string, took them home, took every decoration off the tree, restrung the new lights on, and redecorated the entire tree again. It has a new aura. I think it is even more beautiful than before.

As far as cooking, I don't know how to make all the kid's favorite dishes that their mum used to make. I don't know how to make the fancy hot dogs in pineapple, the sour cream coffee cake, the bacon and egg cassarole, or the mulled cider. So Christmas will be different.

Prof and Kiddo are coming home. But, they won't arrive until about 9:30 Christmas Eve. That is the night we always go to Tilly's parents, so that will have to be rescheduled. But that's okay. If I had my way, I would not go there. Too painful memory wise this year. But they want the grands there, and are gracious enough to include me, so we will go sometime. We will just have to decide when.

Little Bro has to work until 6 pm on Christmas Day, so if everything goes as planned, Prof Kiddo and I are going to the movies that afternoon. If Sistah doesn't have plans, she will go along, I hope. After all, I don't want to interfer with her plans with her side of the family.

I guess, with all the changes, I am just glad that we will all be together. It will be wonderful to see Prof and Kiddo. It will be wonderful having all my "chicks" come home to roost. I know the time will go fast. I know it will be strange, but we will keep it light, not too sentimental, and we will survive.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stole this from Professor.
110. My middle name is: It's either Richard or Alfred. I get called both. I'll never tell!
109. I was born: in a barn in Area 52, Indiana, or at least that what my dad always thought.
108. I am really: a young guy in an old body.
107. My phone is: ablack, Durabrand with huge numerals and large print caller ID.
106. My eye color : green
105. My favorite colors are: red and black
104. My ring size is: 10
103. My height is: 5 foot 9
102. I am allergic to: Some medicines,milk, and hard work.
101. I was born on: Mother's Day, 1945!
100. I am annoyed by: Almost everything teenagers say and do, today. Not everyday.
99. Last book you read?Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka
98. My bed is: A brand new Serta Perfect Sleeper Twin Size. I love it!
97. One thing you hate about yourself: Low self-esteem.
96. My favorite holiday is: Used to be Christmas, but now I'm not sure.
95. The perfect kiss is: Non-existant.
94. The last CD I bought was: Building a Bridge by Signature Sound
93. Are you living at home? Yepper, but thinking of selling out.
92. Are your parents divorced? No they were married happily for over 27 years when Dad died.
91. What did you do yesterday? Went to work, attended a Special Ed. meeting, went to two cemeteries to decorate graves for Christmas, ate out, came home and watched "Must Love Dogs." Went to bed.
Do you believe in…
90. Love at first sight?Yepper. It happened to me.
89. Luck? Nope. Mine has been all bad, so I don't believe in it anymore.
88. Fate? Nope: Fate is a cruel taskmaster.
87. Yourself?Not any more. I've let too many people down.
86. Aliens?Maybe.
85. Heaven? Yep
84. Hell? Yes, and I believe that we make our own hell on earth with our actions.
83. Ghosts?Nope.
82. Horoscopes? Oh come on. Do people really believe that shit?
81. Soulmates?Phooey!
Which is Better?
80. Hugs or Kisses?Hugs.
79. Drunk or High? Drunk
78. Phone or Online?online
77. Red heads or Black hair?Black
76. Blondes or Brunettes?brunettes
75. Hot or cold?cold
74. Summer or winter?winter
73. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate, hands down.
72. Night or Day?Day, nights are too long and lonely!
71. Oranges or Apples?Apples made into pie.
70. Curly or Straight hair?Bald
Here’s What I Think About
69. Abortion: I am pro-choice, but I don't think it should be used as a form of birth control.
68. Backstabbers: I often wonder why they are what they are.
67. Parents: I miss mine. It's the hardest and most rewarding job a person ever has.
When did you last
66. Hug someone? Sunday at church
65. Kiss someone? Been too damn long!
64. See someone? See someone? I see people all day long.
63. Cry in front of someone? Today

62. Who is the ditsiest person you know? Twin girls that I had as students. They are seniors now. HELP!
61. Who makes you laugh the most?: I don't laugh much right now. But probably Lauri G.
60. The last movie you saw in theaters?Damn, I really don’t remember.
59. What I don’t understand is: why bad things happen to good people.
58. The most unsatisfactory answer I’ve ever received is: I ain't doin' this shit! ( Student meant homework)
57. Something I really miss about my home: The lake our house was build on.
56. The thing that I’m looking forward to the most: Christmas break.
55. The thing that I’m not looking forward to is: Spending a lot of time alone.
54. Tomorrow: I will get up and face another day.
53. Today:I have choir and quartet practice.
52. Next Summer:I might take a trip to Montana to visit Prof and Kiddo.
51. This Weekend:…a chance to visit old friends.
50. People call me: to check up on my state of being!
49. The most difficult thing to do is…exist from day to day right now.
48. I have gotten a speeding ticket…not yet!
47. The first person I talked to today was…Red, at work
46. First time I had a crush: Rita who taught me to rollerskate. She was 12, I was 11.
45. The one person from whom I can’t hide things: Noone, I am too transparent.
44. Last time someone said what you were thinking:Yesterday in the Special Ed meeting.
43. Right now I am talking to: this infernal computer I have on loan from a friend.
42. What is your dream job?Teaching English to a bunch of students who actually "get it."
41. First job? Mower of yards.
40. I want most: security
39. I wish: I could relive part of my life over again.
38. The worst sound in the world is: sometimes, no sound at all.
37. The person that makes me cry the most: myself.
36. Best sound in the world: Sincere laughter
35. Person[s] who makes you happy: Prof, Kiddo, Lil Bro, Sistah, GBQ
34. Cats or dogs? Neither, but if someone offered me a free, spayed, housebroken Kees, I would probably cave.
33. Didn’t want to be…Alone this early in life.
32. Which Golden Girl would you be?Dorothy: I'm a classic smartass at heart.
31. MySpace or Facebook:Just give me a book.
30. Mexican food or Chinese?Mexican
29. My favorite piece of clothing: An old, black National Wildlife Federation sweatshirt with a wolf on it.
28. My favorite color(s): Didn’t I already answer this? They’re still red and black..
27. Last time I cried: Did this one already too!
26. My friends are…precious gifts that I cherish.
25. My computer is…a piece of shit!
24. Last person at whom I got mad:I don't get mad. It wastes to much time and energy. I do get peeved sometimes.
23. Person on whom I secretly crush: Angie Harmon
22. Favorite Song:Right now? "What a Savior" by Signature Sound
21. Paper or plastic?Paper
20. The all-time best movie(s) I’ve seen? Dances With Wolves, An American President, Murphy's Romance, When Harry Met Sally.
19. The all-time best feeling in the world: A chocolate high boosted with Killian's Red.
18. Favorite scent: New mown hay, and/or cinnamon candles.
17. What color is your hairbrush? I'm bald, what the hell do I need with a hairbrush.
16. Favorite shoes: newest brown loafers.
15. I lose all respect for: people who…don’t try
14. Color of your room?white, but I just bought new "sand beige" paint for it.
13. TV channels you watch: CBS, TLC, Food Network, and(ouch!) QVC
12. Best feature: my smile
11. Worst habit: whistling under my breath.
10. The worst pain I was ever in was: heartbreaking, gut-wrenching sorrow.
9. Best memory: Our vacations to Ludington, MI
8. Favorite TV show: Jeopardy and/or Numb3rs.
7. My favorite celebrity couple is: Liz and Dick. Now there was a "celebrity couple."
6. Favorite stuffed animal: My old brown saw dust stuffed teddy bear. I was a post WW2 baby. That's all they had.
5. My weakness is: Sweaters
4. What I like about the opposite sex is: Just about everything (esp. Boobs and Butts, sorry kids).
3. Who broke your heart? my 1st grade teacher, when she married someone else.
2. One thing that makes me feel great is: being able to get up in the morning.
1. One person that you wish you could see right now? All of my children.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My "A" List

After a previous blog, and in my own defense from you "readaholics," I decided that I needed to make an "A" list of my favorite books. When I sat down and tried to create that list, I see that I have really weird taste in reading material. I like all kinds. Remember that when you read this list, that as a former English teacher, (short lived as that career choice was) and an Language Arts scholar and literature lover, that my list may not be up to the standards of some of you more choosy readers. This list is different from a former list of "meaningful" books in a earlier blog. A book doesn't have to be a favorite to be meaningful. At least not to me

1. The Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour

2. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

3. The Mammoth Hunters by Jean Auel

4. The Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel

5. The Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel

6. Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

7. Fine Things by Danielle Steele

8. Christy by Katherine Marshall

9. A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark

10. The Complete Works of Robert Frost


Everything written by James Patterson

The Alphabet series by Sue Grafton A thru S

The "Bennie Harper" series by Earlene Fowler

The "Spencer" and "Jesse Stone" series by Robert Parker

Stuart Woods is a terrific author but has a real "holier than thou" attitude. But I read his stuff anyway!

The "Caulder" series by Janet Dailey

The "J.P. Beaumont" and "Joanna Brady" series by J.A. Jance

Most of John Grisham's stuff. Some is just to graphic for me.

I could go on and on. Face it, I just like to read. When I graduated from college, I vowed that I didn't want to read for knowledge any more. I still read educational material and some scientific journals, tho not very often since I am out of the labs of industry now. I try to keep up on current events and what is going on in the education field, but I especially like to read for fun.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bitch Session

I had to buy a new hot water heater right before Christmas. I haven't gotten the bill yet, but it will be sizeable, I'm sure. I also had to buy two new tires for my car. Where does it stop. When do I get to have some good luck?
Last night I actually resorted to a 6 pack of Killian's Irish Red. And some "Beer Nuts." That was for supper. By six o'clock I was out on the couch. I missed Jeopardy. There was nothing on TV except watching Marie Osmond and her cheesy smile as she romped around on that dancing show. I won't watch the finale tonight. I don't give a shit.
I woke up at 2:37 AM and couldn't go back to sleep. So I finally got up and messed around on the computer. I played Solitare until my eyes became glazed over.
I spent the day in the company of idiots! I swear that at our school, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. And then there are the kids. I have a new student who just got out of reform school, is big enough to beat a bear with a switch, and can't find his way out of a paper bag. Today was his second day at our school, and he slept in and made it to 4th period. He is on probation, and also a behavior plan. Scary!
Tonight I did the laundry and ate a peanut butter sandwich. Cooking for one sucks! I hate doing dishes, the dishwasher is full of clean ones that need to be put away, and I also hate doing that.
On a more positive note, (fancy that) I do have my Christmas decorations up, and the house cleaned. Looks damn good! So all is not lost. I had friends in on Sunday evening, and we had such a good time, they said they wanted to come back!
I have received 2 Christmas cards. Both from single females. ("Pa, the pickers are here!") NOT INTERESTED! But I suppose I should be happy that they cared enough to "send the very best."
Okay, so life goes on. I will make it. Quit bitchin' and get on with it! Some days I hate my attitude.



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Always a lover of reading, I found this to be interesting and somewhat amazing. It's always interesting to see what other people read. I ganked this from Professor who stole it from Tense Teacher. Prof. is probably ashamed to see what her "ol man" reads, or doesn't read!

Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren't interested in.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)-I cannot stand his writing style!
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)-I"ve read all of hers!
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible-well not all of it in order, but most of it.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)-this was the hardest book I ever tried to read
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I guess I don't read the "good stuff" according to Tense Teacher. But I like what I read, even if it doesn't make Oprah's book list. I will take reading for enjoyment, be it romance or murder and suspense over some of the above mentioned list. To each his own.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Late Breaking News!

Flash!!! I have to have a new hot water heater. It is being installed as we speak. Drat. Merry Christmas to me.

If you haven't seen "Hairspray" and "Freedom Writers," this weekend is a good time to RUSH to your local video store and rent them. They are both fabulous movies. Be prepared to both laugh your buns off at one and cry through parts of the other.

It snowed last night. The pile of leaves along my tree lawn had a skift of snow on them this morning.

I am crashing today just doing what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it. I have some more decorating that I want to do, but I am not in the mood to tackle it today. I might even take a nap.




I had an unusual Thanksgiving Day. The first one alone (without Tilly) which made it unususal. Then there is the fact that I jumped in the shower and had only "warm" water. I showered quickly, got dressed in old jeans and a sweat shirt and headed down into the dungeon (better known as the cellar) to check out the hot water heater. The pilot light had gone out. To get to the mechanics of the HWH, one has to climb over the furnace cold air return intake hose, crawl on hands and knees under duct work through cob webs and damp whatever, around a corner, and practically stand on ones head to view the burner and pilot light area. I did all that, which gets harder every time I have to do it. I relit the pilot light. Oh, I forgot to mention that I tromped down the steps in boots and then discovered I had forgotten a flashlight. The "trouble light" I keep down there had a blown bulb, but, being the pioneer I am, I scrounged around through the crap that is down there and found an old lamp which still had a bulb in it. It worked so I was in business. When I finally got the pilot light relit, the HWH wouldn't come on. Upon further inspection, I discovered moisture in the burner. I have no idea how to dry out a gas burner, so I thought "to heck with it" and came back up stairs and called the repair man. I got his wife, who is not a nice person, ask anyone (but her) and I explained my trouble. I also said that I could get by until Friday as I didn't want Phil to have to get out on Thanksgiving. That made her a little happier. I heated a tea kettle (yes I do know how to boil water) and heated enough water to shave. I sliced my bread, put the cheese spread in a pretty bowl, spread the sliced bread around it in an attractive array, covered it with foil and left for the day.
I had a great time visiting with cousins and eating a vast amount of food. I don't think I have ever seen such a vast array of desserts on one table, either. But I did use SOME restraint there. I had a piece of pecan pie and a piece of pumpkin roll. We had the typical dinner, but thank goodness, no green bean cassarole. Yeah rah!! After the dinner, I watched NFL until I fell asleep sitting up in an antique reed bottomed chair. My cousin and I did get a good visit in while others played "Balderdash."
Outside, the wind blew and the snow swirled. The horses in the barnyard frolicked like they were still colts. It was a typical Area 52 Thanksgiving.
I came home close to dark, and decided to put up a Christmas tree. I dug out a small tree, and the decorations to go on it. I was putting on the last of the ornaments when Lil Bro and Sistah stopped by. They stayed for a couple of hours. We visited. When they left, I fell asleep watching a movie on DVD that I had rented, so today I am going to rewatch it. I can't shower until I have hot water. So I am in my flannel pants, oversized sweatshirt and am going to drink coffee and watch the movie and veg out. Then, when I have hot water, I have scads of laundry and some dishes to do.
Ah, life is not so bad!

Everyone have a safe and fun weekend!



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

I was in a dither about what I should take to my cousin's house on Thanksgiving Day. I don't do fancy, so I considered baking a pan of brownies from a mix. But Professor said that there would probably be enough sweets, and besides I have severely cut back on sweets, and especially chocolate. She suggested that I take "green bean casarole." my response: BLECH! So after much forethought, I baked a loaf of my world famous beer bread. It is cooling on the baking rack as I speak. I also mixed up a cheese spread to put on it. Now, the big decision is what to serve it on. Tilly had all kinds of fancy stuff like plates and bowls, so I just have to pick one that is appropriate. This getting ready for Thanksgiving is hard work.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Having a Brother

Y'know, having a brother like mine is a privilege. For a guy who used to boss me around, torment the hell out of me, straight punch me on the shoulder, and defend me to the end, he turned out to be one hell of a nice guy. Bro was just here for 5 days. When my friends found out he was coming, they asked me what the heck we were going to do, I said,"we're going to scratch where it itches, belch, fart, drink a lot of beer, and watch dirty movies." Well, we did the first four, but NO dirty movies. But we did visit. A lot! We had a chance to really have some good discussions about memories from home. We got out Mom's detailed notebook about the family tree, along with a geneology study by a cousin of ours. We discussed Dad, who has been gone almost 40 years now, and recalled fond memories. Even some not-so-fond memories.
Bro listened to me whine about living alone. He offered some sage advice, (after all he is older than me) and basically was a good listener and a shoulder to cry on. He was amazed by my cooking ability (so was I) and if it was horrible, managed to keep a straight face, and didn't gag!
We laughed a lot. We cried some. We ate a lot, visited old friends, and just spent lots of quality time together. It was wonderful. I hated to see him go home. I can hardly wait until spring break from school, because I plan on going to Texas for a visit. He's going to retire! Amazing! It seems like only yesterday that he was bossing me around, straight punching me in the shoulder. But he is still defending me. He told me he was so proud of me. That made all the difference! I am proud of him, too. He is my rock! You go, big guy!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I"ve Come to Realize:

I'm having a hard time blogging every day so I ganked this from Professor again:

I've Come to realize.

1. I've come to realize my late wife was one in a million. I probably didn’t tell her often enough.

2. I've come to realize I talk: to much, about the stupidist stuff, with my hands and my heart.

3. I've come to realize I love: My home.It’s my haven.

4. I've come to realize I have: No appreciable cooking skills. Cooking for one SUCKS!

5. I've come to realize I lost: The best friend I ever had.

6. I've come to realize I hate it when: people pretend to be your friends for 30 years and then suddenly ignore you.

7. I've come to realize marriage: isn't for me, anymore, ever!

8. I've come to realize that, somewhere, someone is thinking: “now why don’t he write!”

9. I've come to realize I'll always be: chubby, bald, older and always refusing to grow up completely.

10. I've come to realize I have a crush on: the person who invented microfibre sheets. Wow!

11. I've come to realize that the last time I truly cried was: Smelling “Wind Song” perfume.

12. I've come to realize my cell phone is a waste of good money. Getting rid of it when the min. run out.

13. I've come to realize that when I wake up in the morning: Oh my God, it’s morning! Thank you.

14. I've come to realize that before I go to sleep at night: I need to sleep more, read less.

15. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking about: How much I have to do before my brother gets here.

16. I've come to realize that babies are: Grandchildren that grow up way too fast.

.17. I've come to realize I get on other people's nerves sometimes.

18. I've come to realize that today: Is the first day of the rest of my life.

19: I've come to realize that tonight: I have a shit load of cleaning and laundry to do.

20. I've come to realize that tomorrow: I will still have a shit load of cleaning and laundry to do.

21. I've come to realize I really want: Prof and Kiddo and Bro and Sistah here for Christmas.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


OOPS! I was suppose to tag people in my last blog. Since I know that Prof tagged a good deal of people, I will only tag Sistah! If you don't blog anymore, here's a chance to begin anew.



Book Lovers...Unite!

Hey y'all, I didn't get home from out-of-state in time for a Saturday blog. Here's my Sunday blog, thanks to a tag from the Prof.

The Protocol: Answer 5 questions. Tag 5 book lovers.The Questions:
1.How many books do you own?
2. What was the last book you read?
3. What was the last book you purchased?
4. What five books are most meaningful to you?
5. What is your most obscure favorite book?

1. How many books do you own? Though I am an avid reader (166+ books this year so far) and I love books as much as Prof and Sistah, I am not a book saver. At this date, probably 100 or so. I give my books to either Prof, Sistah, or take them to our local senior center.

2. What was the last book you read? The last book I read was "Follow the River" by James A. Thom. Historical biography...not the greatest, but very interesting.

3. What was the last book you purchased? Tilly always bought our books. We were probably's best customer. I think the last one she bought was "Tumbling Blocks" by Earlene Fowler. Great mystery read! I guess I will have to start buying my own. Though a friend is leaving for Florida in a week for the winter, and gave me and mine her $340.00 credit at a used book store nearby, and told us to "enjoy and spend as much as we want." Eat your hearts out, y'all. I actually bought a craft book the other day on cardmaking. Does that count?

4. What 5 books are the most meaningful to you? I loved "Message in a Bottle." It was just romantic, tho tragic. "Gathering Blue", a novella I just read for school, touched my heart and soul. "Saving Grace" by Barbara Delinsky was a book that told about saving the sanity of an aged mother. It was touching and very much in keeping with the problems faced by the children of aging parents. "Fine Things" by Danielle Steele, touched my very being. It's the best one Steele ever wrote. In fact, I won't even read her any more. She has gotten so "dark." I still hold "The Bears of Blue River" close to my heart. It was an early teen book I read in 6th grade. I found my copy recently and I want to reread it, then I want my kids (my own) to read it. It's just GOOD.

5. What is your most obscure favorite book? " The Last of the Breed" by Louis L'Amour is a great read. It's a modern-day account of an Air Force pilot downed in Russia and his attempted escape. If a book can keep the reader "on the edge of his seat" this one should be at the top of any reader's action and suspense list.

My advice to y'all is to!



Friday, November 09, 2007

What is there about "Dances With Wolves?"

Earlier I was talking via phone to the Professor, and I said that I was having a hard time blogging every day. She mentioned blogging about a favorite movie. So here is mine.

To date, I have watched "Dances With Wolves" 23 times. I love this movie. I know, it's good, but 23 times? Thats something like 69 hours and 5 minutes, if I did the math correctly, which is questionable itself. But I LIKE it!

First, it has a fabulous cast. Costner is at his best ever. Mary McDonnell as "Stands With a Fist" is wonderful, if you can only get past the fact that she never combed her hair. Robert Pastorelli of "Murphy Brown" fame is great as the crude, belching and farting muleskinner "Timmons." His line, "now why don't he write" is priceless. I think the casting of the Lakota was done with forethought and revealed a wealth of Native American talent. Graham Greene is fantastic as "Kicking Bird" as is Rodney Grant as "Wind in His Hair." Tantoo Cardinal and Floyd Crow Westerman round out the superb cast.

Secondly, the music is wonderful. Being a musician of sorts, I am always interested in the music scores of movies. The music in "Dances" is a thing of beauty. It is haunting, as well as memorable. Maybe that is what makes it so haunting. I have learned to play the "theme" song on the piano, and it moves with a great deal of grace.

I love the scenery. I have always wanted to go to the west. I know that Prof lives relatively near to where some of this movie was shot, and I will get the chance to see that kind of territory.

Mostly, I like the story. I am a history buff, especially the opening of the west. I abhor the way the white man took the land from the Native Americans and I think those people really got the shaft. That is fodder for a whole other blog sometime. This movie shows the gentleness of the Indians, how they lived and loved. They had a close bond of family within their villages. This impresses me. Their struggle just to maintain their way of life was a hard one and the scrifices they made were inumerable. It also showed that they fought among themselves, tribe vs. tribe, for land, and their way of life. Just like the Civil War happening in the East at the same time. Though I appreciate the use of the authentic Lakota language throughout the movie, I tired of the subtitles at first. Now, of course I understand the language by reading the "subs" enough times, that they don't bother me anymore. (I didn't like the subtitles in Tora! Tora! Tora!, either.

Probably my favorite part of the movie is the buffalo hunt. It was so intriguing. How they made it all happen is a wonder in itself. They had "man made" buffalo, called articulated buffalo (made of wire and fake fur) on tracks and runners depicting the buffalo that were shot. They even had trained buffalo that were brought in for the close-ups. No animals were hurt. Amazing! I have read the whole book about the making of the movie, as well as watched all the special effect clips and outtakes. It was a work of art!

All in all, this movie has about everything. It has history, love, hate, war, excitement, and a good story to tie it all together. Even as I write this, I am watching it once again for the 24th time. There are probably better ways to spend 181 minutes, but for me, this is good.



Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today's Boring Blog

Well, today was the pits of heck! I didn't want to get up in the first place. Of course, I never want to get up so this morning was no exception. But of course, if I want to keep my job, I have to show up. So, I went to work anyway. All went as usual until lunch. I eat lunch alone in the teacher's lounge because we have staggered lunch and no one else eats then. While I was sitting there eating, I just had a grief attack. It hit me like a ton of brick. I sniffed and snotted around for a while, got over the worst part and went back to work. The rest of the day progressed slowly, and I left. I picked up my friend Curley and we went to WalMart. She told me she was going to get me out of my funk, and we laughed as we shopped. Her hubby, a good guy, was deer hunting and didn't want to go to WalMart. He was literally deer hunting. He hit one last night, but it took off. It was so close to dark that he tracked it until he lost the light, so he went back out tonight after work to see if he could find it.
One of the fellows at work who I am close to brought me home made cinnamon rolls that his wife had baked just this morning. I thought that was pretty cool. This is the same guy who brought me chicken and noodles one Saturday afternoon. He and his wife are my kids age, but they are watching out for me. He checks on me about every day and is so kind. It's nice to know that there are people out there that really care.
Now that I write this all down, and have whined, I have to admit that all in all, it really wasn't as bad a day as I thought it was. I had time to spend with a friend, had someone show they cared about me, and just now as I was typing this, Lil Bro and Sistah called and want me to go to eat Asian with them. What more can a fellow ask for?


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Wednesday Blog

It's Wednesday already. Hump day is almost over. Only two more days until the weekend. I am going out of state to visit friends, so it ought to be fun.
In order to blog, I have some random thoughts to share.

  • Why do toilets in the Northern Hemisphere swirl clockwise when flushed, when my friend from "down under" says theirs swirls counter-clockwise?
  • Have you ever noticed that the elsatic always goes out of the legs on skivvies before the waist goes?
  • Middle school age girls have a lot of attitude!
  • Even though fall and cold is here, the grass still grows. Damn it!
  • In Area 52 we pay property taxes. They always come due when one needs the money for Christmas shopping.
  • Flannel sheets and flannel pajamas are not compatible.
  • There isn't a color that goes well with mauve. What is "mauve" exactly?
  • Just because a teacher has taught for almost 3 decades, does that give he or she the license to never change teaching methods?
  • Sometimes it is just better to keep my mouth shut.
  • I heard the other day that e mails are out of style. Every one is texting now. Just what is texting. Is that what is causing us to be a nation of non-spellers?
  • Sometimes you find out that your friends, really aren't your friends, and that hurts, even at my age.

Well, this was an effort in futility, but I at least got in a blog today. I will do better tomorrow.

Grace to all


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

National Blogger Month???? Blog Every Day???

Are you people nuckin' futs? Up until recently I thought I led a reasonably interesting life, but even then, I would not have enough to blog about every day.
But, since we are, according to the Professor, suppose to blog every day, I can tell you that I HATE IT GETTING DARK SO DAMN EARLY!!! As if living alone isn't bad enough, now that we have ended Daylight Savings Time here in Area 52, the nights are really L O N G! Hell, at 8:30 last night, I thought it was time to go to bed. This, combined with the fact that TV this season SUCKS, makes ol' JE quite pissed. My friends at school tell me that I need to "get a life." I am not ready for a "life" like they're talking about. No where in the near or distant future will I be. And one can only walk around WalMart and Kroger's so much before the wait-help start getting suspicious!
So, I guess I will read a book, do some laundry and clean another room.
Oh, one highlight: my bro from TX is coming to Area 52 on business next week, and he is going to spend the biggest share of 4 days with me. That will be a blast! We can act like we used to when we were still kids and no one will be the wiser. We can belch and fart without wives making crass remarks, stay up and drink beer and watch stupid movies on the telly. Sounds like fun to me.

Grace to all!


Sunday, November 04, 2007

All Saints Day

In the United Methodist Church, as in a lot of other church denominations, the first Sunday in November is the time when we remember with reverence all of the members of our church who have passed away in the last year. That was such this morning.
At an appropriate time in our service, the lay leader of our congregation stepped forward and as he read from the list of names, one at a time, another member of our church rang a bell. As the names were read, family, friends, and any other person there who felt that the named person had somehow touched their lives, was asked to stand during the tolling of the bell, then they sat down before the next name was read. When my wife's name was read, I stood, but so did the rest of the congregation. What an honor to her. I was so deeply moved by this act of caring and love, that I just wanted to share it with you all. Not to be morbid, but rather, to be joyful!

Grace to you all!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movies, meme, and more

It’s been years since I have been to a theater to see a movie. It was just too hard for Tilly to get in and out. The last time we went, she took her scooter and we sat in the handicap section. I sat in the seat right next to her, we held hands and shared buttery popcorn. I can’t tell you what movie we saw, but we had a great time.

I got tagged by the Prof, or I wouldn’t be doing this. But you young readers can always use an old fart’s opinion.

Popcorn or Candy? I like both. If I am going to spend the big bucks to get into a theater, I want the whole enchalada. Junior Mints, JuJu’s and Popcorn, with a Large drink.

Name a movie you’ve been meaning to see forever. I sometimes want to see all the James Bond movies.

Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Rhett Butler had a real flair for the clothes. Of course Cheech and Chong did too.

Your favorite film franchise is…I liked the Rambo movies. Indiana Jones movies were good, too.

Invite five movie characters over for dinner. Who are they? Why’d you invite them? What do you feed them?
1. Maggie the Cat (on a Hot Tin Roof) the original. Liz was so hot in that movie. Lots of boob and her voice was so sexy.
2. Rhett Butler just cause he had class.
3. Shemanitutonka Owashi because he was who he was and why he was.
4. Rambo. Table manners probably weren’t for shit,but he was my hero.
5. Melanie Wilkes. She was a lady, had a lot of class, and would keep Rambo from drinking out of the finger bowls. Oh, and I would serve grilled salmon with mango salsa, brown rice, and asparagus. And a light raisin tart with a brandy sauce (on the side.)

What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater? Met outside the theater by the irate rest of the crowd and made to run a gauntlet of stomping on their text messaging fingers. Then destroy their cell phones.

Choose a female bodyguard: Bridget Nielson. Have you ever seen the bicepts on that ugly broad?

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in a movie? Silence of the Lambs totally freaked me out.

Your favorite genre (excluding “comedy” and “drama” ): I like screwball comedies like Cheech and Chong, Raising Arizona and Animal House or Porky’s. I also like Dances With Wolves, An American President, Witness, Sleepless in Seatle, and Field of Dreams. So you can see I really don’t have a favorite genre. I also liked Coyote Ugly. So if has “tits and ass” it’s not all bad.

You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. I like movies that make you think a little, (ignore what I said about Cheech and Chong) but are still entertaining. I like some romance but not where the couples are sucking the faces off each other. I like suggestion of sex, but close the door, or at least turn the lights off. I want to see Kevin Costner and Julia Roberts together in a romantic comedy with a happy ending. I want to see Michael Douglas and Anne Archer together again. I long for the days of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, who, even tho their personal lives were a mess, really lit up the silver screen with their talent. If you have never seen “The Sandpipers” rent it some time. Good flix and a fantastically sexy music score.

Bonnie or Clyde? I thought this movie sucked. Those two were really insane It’s hard to believe that the sick f--ks really existed..

Well there it is . My 2 cents worth of trivia. For what it’s worth. But it was fun.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Leave the Driving to Them!!! Are You Kidding???

Recently I had the misfortune or privilege to travel by Greyhound from Dallas TX to Area 52, which is located somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line and south of Detroit. Bear in mind that I have never traveled by bus before, but because of circumstances of low financial resources at the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Well, I arrived at the Dallas Greyhound bus station an hour before departure as instructed. I expected that my luggage would be scanned or something since it seemed so important to be there early. WRONG! They weighed my suitcase. That's all. Then I was told to go stand in line at gate 1. So off we went. Oh, did I mention that my brother was standing beside me all this time? We got in a line, that wasn't marked, but after asking someone ahead of us who could actually see what gate it was, we determined that we were in the right line at the right gate.

When they called my bus, big brother and I slowly progressed towards gate 1. Then across the tarmac to where the big blue and white chariot was parked. After a few hugs and well wishes, and tears, I must admit, I boarded the bus. No assigned seats! After all this wasn't American Airways, so I progressed down the aisle looking for an empty seat. Finally, about midway back, I found an empty one. I asked the guy in the seat by the window if "this seat was taken." He said,"it is now." So I sat. Soon we started rolling. The first thing I noticed was that the seats on a bus are "one size fits most." The thing was just as wide as I was. No wiggle room. The armrest between passengers cut into my left side, but it was lightly padded, so I could live with that if I didn't put the armrest towards the aisle in place. Well, I settled in and tried to relax. It was interesting to look around and see the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people on board. No small children except for the cute little girl (whom I found out later was only 2) and a great deal of women traveling alone. There didn't seem to be many people traveling together. I tried talking to the guy next to me, but got a lot of "yeps" and "nopes" so I finally gave up. He spent most of his time on the bus talking on his cell phone.

We stopped in every little berg and town in the northern part of Texas. Sometimes we weren't allowed to get off, sometimes we were. I didn't move out of my seat until we made a 45 minute stop at a convenience store/gas station. I had to use the facilities, and from what I had heard about the bathroom on the bus, I opted to go inside the station. That wasn't too much better, but I had to go!

At one stop, this young gal, about 7 months pregnant and toting the little gal mentioned above, got on . Now this gal had all their worldly goods in Target bags. No luggage to stash under the bus. My heart went out to her, traveling alone, but she had everything she seemed to need to make their trip comfortable. I only heard that little gal cry one time clear to Memphis. I commented to the mom on how well behaved the little one was. That's when I learned she was only 2.

Memphis! Bright lights, bars and lots of ads for Graceland. We pulled in on time. Were told to collect a boarding pass as we got off the bus so we could retain our seats. We had a 30 minute stop there. I made my way into the station and headed for the head. Then I bought a candy bar and found a seat near the right gate for reentry. I didn't want to get left behind. Here, let me let you in on a secret. Greyhound buses are kept pretty clean. This is surprising seeing how every bus I was on was filled to the total capacity of 57 passengers. BUT, the bus stations in every location are in the seediest, most run down parts of town. They are filthy, and their restrooms are the dirtiest I have ever been in. Men definately have the advantage of standing up. We were called back to board, and then we waited, and waited, and waited. The gal with the 2 year old finally got back on the bus, and griped and complained about how she was treated by the new driver when she tried to board. Then we waited and waited some more. After about 35 minutes, a gentleman in a shirt and tie boarded and asked the gal and her 2 year old to bring their belongings and come with him. They did as asked, and we never saw them again. The new driver, a little gal, I swear I wonder how she saw over the steering wheel, got on with another Greyhound employee. I think he was her bodyguard!! Monique was our new driver. She announced that since we were about 40 minutes behind schedule, that our trip from Memphis to Nashville would be "expressed" and there would be no stops. That gal really put the pedal to the metal and we booked it right down the Interstate. Only thing wrong was that Monique and her bodyguard (who turned out to be a luggage handler riding home to Nashville) never shut up. They carried on about the gal who got put off the bus. It seems that, from what I could gather from the conversation, that she had gotten hold of a boarding pass and had no ticket and had "freeloaded" from somewhere in Texas to Memphis. When she tried to get back on in Memphis, the driver, Monique asked to see her ticket. She said she lost it. Then proceded to cuss and rant and rave at the driver. The driver refused to let her board, and when she called for help, gal slipped by and boarded anyway. What a mess. But, did we have to hear a replay for 4 friggin' hours? By this time, the guy beside me had gotten off, and another guy was sitting there. He happened to be going the same way I was, so we sorta teamed up and became friends. His name was Pete, and he was headed to Area 52 to visit his daughters, who lived there with an ex wife. He had never traveled Greyhound either, and was a bit nervous about transfers and so on. I assured him that we could make it if we worked at it together, so he relaxed and we visited some. He said that the express trip to Nashville was the fastest that we had traveled all day. He had been on there all day, too. We arrived in Nashville 4 minutes ahead of schedule, thanks to Monique's heavy but safe foot on the gas.

In Nashville, another seedy station like in Memphis, (who designs these things, anyway). This time we had to transfer to another bus. So, we disembarked and grabbed our luggage as it was set out of the bowels of the underbus. At least, I did. Pete's suitcase was nowhere to be found. We looked all over, but it wasn't there. He seemed to take it in stride, said it would surely show up eventually, so we reboarded, this time after all the other people who had already been on this bus had boarded. New seats. Two rows from the back. Right outside the restroom door. How convenient! Now I could be privvy to the privvy. The seats we were in previously had lots of leg room because we were in the middle of the bus right across the aisle from the emergency door. Just for the record, if you can sit there, there's lots of leg room. Otherwise, just hope that the person in front of you is careful when lowering his seat back, or you will have no kneecaps left. Next stop: Louisville, KY. There were some truckers across the aisle from me who were riding to pick up new "rigs" and they talked non stop for hours. Loudly! Not really being rude, but to be heard over the tire noise and exhaust of the bus. Pete and I had now been in transit for about 16 hours and were trying to get some sleep. Not going to happen!

Louisville is another seedy station in another seedy part of town. Do you see a theme erupting here? A 45 minute layover and then off again. Nothing of any consequence happened there, but I was really tired and still wishing that the motor mouths across the aisle would just "shut the f--k up." Only 3 hours to Area 52 and then I would board another bus for the last 50 miles home. We arrived at the next seedy station at 6:45 am, only 23 hours since boarding in Dallas. I staggered into the station, luggage in tow, only to find that I had a 2 and 3/4 hour layover. I coffeed up, grabbed a seat in front of a big screen t.v. tuned to "Hour of Power." How fitting, after all it was Sunday morning.

Finally, they called our bus and Pete and I once again boarded the dreaded beast. We had our pick of seats, there were only 20 people going our way. It was a beautiful morning and watching the sun rise in the east was great. I was almost home. Do you know that it takes over 2 hours for Greyhound to travel 55 miles? Of course, we had to stop in another town before my stop, and the passengers had 15 minutes to smoke. No rest rooms, but a place to smoke outside the bus.

At long last, we arrived at my stop. When we stopped, I shook hands with Pete, wished him well, and grabbed my carry-on and began to head down the steps of the bus. I was looking to see if Lil Bro and Sistah were there to pick me up and low and behold, I missed the last step of the bus and dumped my ass onto the tarmac. My carry-on went flying, I went ass over appetite, and skinned my left knee, wrenched my shoulder, and severely bruised my ego. Not one soul came to my rescue, not even the driver of the bus. I grabbed my luggage, and hobbled to a picnic table where I proceded to pick the stones out of my knee cap and salve my ego a bit. In about 5 minutes, my kids arrived. I hugged them both, threw my suitcases in the trunk of their car and we booked it out of there. They treated me to a meal at Cracker Barrel on the way home. What a treat. Good food, good company. At last, my feet on Area 52 soil! Next time, I come!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The decorating saga continues

Well, the living room is painted. Lil Bro and Sistah came over yesterday morning, we all worked our butts off and in 5 hours we were done. Today, I hung the curtains back up after laundering them, and now am readying the rest of the house to move the living room furniture into other rooms to get ready for the carpet layers. That is taking place on Wednesday. On Wed or Thurs evening then we will move all the furniture back into place. Sistah says she is taking step by step pictures, and every time I turned around yesterday, there she was snapping away on her digital. It was a lot of work but it was fun, and boy does it look nice.
Tonight I must get the laundry put away and my room straightened up. It's a mess and my suitcases from Texas trip are still half packed. The dirty clothes are all washed, tho, I just need to put them away. Tomorrow is another school day, and it's back to the grind. New grading period starts tomorrow and grade cards come out on Wednesday. That always calls for lots of drama and pathos.
I went to church this morning for the first time since Tilly passed away. That wasn't easy, but I was surrounded by the love of my church family and Lil Bro and Sistah were there with me. We made it through. These firsts are the hardest.
Well, gotta get on that laundry.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Making Changes

This gets really complicated, so hang on.
While my brother and sister-in-law were home for Tilly's funeral and etc, they noticed the dire state of my livingroom carpeting. We had a dog. Dog was not well trained. I wasn't home much, working two jobs, and Tilly, of course, who wanted the dumb dog in the first place, wasn't always able to catch the dog in time, so of course, Dog would pee on the carpet. Then when we did find a wet spot, I would try to clean it up. Well, you get the picture. Soooo, being the generous people they are, my big brother said they would take me to the carpet store and let me pick new and would pay for new carpeting. Of course, this called for carpeting up the open stairs, too, so that is going to happen as well.
Now, son Lil Bro and Sistah decide that, since Dad is getting new carpeting, he needs to have the living room painted. So they took me to the paint store, carpet samples in hand, and helped me pick new paint for my living room. Besides that, they are coming and putting it on the walls for me. I got up early this morning and started cutting in the wood trim and ceiling. Then, I decided to stop and wait. Son does painting for other people part time, and has all kinds of equipment, so maybe he will have a tool to make edging easier than a brush.
I took down the curtains at 1 am this morning and washed them all. I ran the sweeper over the woodwork and dusted the ledges of the windows. I have pulled all the furniture away from the walls that I can move by myself, and I have made coffee. I am ready!
Oh, and did I mention that since all the furniture is in country blues, mauves, and ivory, that the ugly GREEN chair which was a gift from my in-laws is on it's way out. Why did they pick green, anyhow? Anyway, I gave it to the first band of gypsys that came by, (not really, I just love that expression), I really gave it to a friend who was here and really liked the chair. It's a nice recliner, but it is too green, too big and besides it hurts my back if I sit in it too long.
Oh, and I had to pick some material to have new cushions made for my "orthopedic" rocker. The old ones were red, and just didn't cut it in the "new" living room.
This decorating business is hard work. I know what I like, and I think I am headed in the right direction. Now, if the kids would just get here! I am getting anxious to get started.
More later, when it's all done. Aren't families wonderful?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Go Greyhound??? What was I thinking?

When the dust clears, and I have a chance to get back on line at home instead of taking precious school time, I will blog about my "exciting" bus trip back to Area 52 from Texas. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, but what a ride. Stay tuned. Should be back on line by the end of the week, if I am lucky.
Otherwise, I am well, well rested, and well fed. I am making some minor changes in the house arrangement to make it more "mine." I will survive!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Right now I feel like all I am doing is surviving day to day. I am now what is called the "surviving spouse." Well, that is right. I survived. I was able to get up the next day after Tilly's death, draw a breath, and go on. Is that fair? I wasn't the one who was sick. I wasn't the one who was on total life support. Why was she gone and me still here? As I ask myself that question, I realize that one of us had to go first. Only, this wasn't in the time frame either of us had in mind. We were going to grow old together, wear purple, and be an old, fun couple.

Now, I won't have the chance to know what Tilly would have looked like at 80, with beautiful silver hair. I know she would have still worn her favorite color, red, and lots of bangled jewelry. These are the things I think about as I sit here in Texas at my brother's house. They offered to bring me here for a week to rest and recoup, so I took them up on it. I go back to Area 52 on Saturday. That house is going to seem so large and empty. My computer is on the "blink" thanks to an inept cable guy, who, quite frankly, doesn't know his internet from a hair net, so I wont have that connection to you all. After a couple days handling the legal death stuff, which I left there waiting, I will go back to the classroom.

My family has taken me under their wing, like a wounded bird. Prof calls me from MT daily, and Little Bro has called me from Area 52 every day, both just to say 'hi' and chat me up about whatever comes to mind. What wonderful kids I have!!

I have a lot of friends. I found that out last week, and they are still calling me, even here in TX. I know that they will be what sustains me in the time to come. My school family has been fantastic, and it is with all these people's help that I will survive. It is with these people, both family and friends, that I will find reason to get up tomorrow after tomorrow, and survive.


Monday, October 01, 2007

My World Has Stopped

Yes, my world has stopped. It's too painful to go into right now, but I have lost the wonderful spouse of 38 years. Tilly passed away. When the pain lessens, and I can once again feel some way besides numb, I will blog about the entire experience. Until then, remember me and mine in your thoughts. I will return!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Special Friend

I have a special friend that I would like to tell you about. He's special in a way that makes him unique. He is blind. Mark and I met last spring. He is a local d.j. at our "oldies" station. He lives in the next county, so each day their transit company brings him to the county line, and we pick him up there and take him on to work. In the afternoon, we reverse the procedure. It works well for him, and fortunately, it has blessed me with a very good friend.
Mark was born blind. He attended a boarding school for the blind from kindergarten thru his senior year. He is proficient at writing braille, so he writes out his commercial ads and other highlights for his 5 hour daily radio program. He also sings duet with a gal from his town and they do programs all around the community. I attended one of their concerts this summer. Wow! Can Mark ever sing. He sang, "I Can Only Imagine," and I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd. I couldn't help but think that it is true of Mark. He can only imagine what colors are, what people look like, even his own two boys.
Mark also plays drums in a band. He owns his own recording business, and his voice is heard all over the U.S. on commercial ads he records. He is adept at wiring a 16 station sound board, too, all without sight.
But the thing that has made us friends is his sense of humor and the ability to rise up above his handicap and just be real. He laughs at himself, and isn't afraid to ask for assistance if he needs it, which is rare. He is more self sufficient than a lot of sighted people I know. When I pick him up in the evening to take him home, he is interested in my day, laughs at the antics of my school pupils and is also interested if I caught his show and what I thought of it. He plays favorites of mine on the air, never hesitating to mention his friend, the "bus driver." He's fun to be around, and has taught me a lot. When I feel sorry for myself, I just think of Mark and how he makes it through life, how he handles what God has dealt him. I don't have it so bad.
Life is good. With friends like Mark, it can't be any other way.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fall is in the Air

Today was definitely a day you could just sense Fall in the air. It was in the upper 70's, the sun was shining, and the humidity was low. Since it was the beginning of a 3 day weekend, I decided to go ahead and build the ramp to our porch that Tilly has been needing for a long time. I made a rush trip to a nearby Lowe's last night and purchased everything I would need for the project. I had stewed and fretted about it all week long, since my carpentry skills are not what they once were, but I drew up a plan and IT WORKED! Little Brother agreed to come over and spend the day helping me, which not only made the job easier, it made it more fun. I don't get to spend much time with my son since he works two jobs, so it was great to have him around for most of the day. After much laughing about how out of shape the old man was, and two trips to the local hardware store, we succeeded in finishing up a ramp which will make getting up and down the steps much easier. Tilly made a trial run after it was finished and pronounced it a success!
The worst part about the whole thing was the clean up. I think I had out every tool I owned, whether I needed it or not. So I brought around the wheel barrow and loaded it full for a trip back to the garage and shop. I actually put everything away where it went, for a change, and even hung up my saw horses. Then, I did what every other red-blooded American Senior Citizen does on Saturday afternoon, I went in, changed into some non-sweaty clothes, and took a nap. That was my reward!
Yesterday, I turned in my resignation from driving the transit bus. After 4 years of going to the terminal everyday after school, picking up my schedule, and a bus, and driving for 3 or 4 hours, I am giving it up. I will miss it. I told several of my riders that I was quitting and those I told said that they would miss me. I will also miss the people I work with. My boss is a terrific guy, a good friend, and excellent at his job. Our dispatcher, though not one of my favorite people, is efficient and has an excellent voice for the job. He is computer savvy and has been a real asset to the team. The drivers are all safe, courteous, and understand routes, and the people on them. All in all, we have an excellent team and I am proud to say that I have been a member of that team. But, I will also cherish the time I am going to have to do some of the things that need doing, things I want to do, but haven't had the time for, and also being able to spend more time with Tilly. At my age, one never knows just how much time we have left, so I intend to live each day to the fullest. We also intend to take a trip to Montana when school is out. That will be a real treat for both of us. I think the last trip we took was in 1997.
Onward and upward for the rest of the weekend. Have a great one, everyone.



Saturday, August 25, 2007

9 Down: 171 to Go

Yep, the first 9 days of school are over. The schedule is still screwed up, but the powers that be tell us that by Tuesday next, we should have a schedule that is, at least, workable. We have so many special needs kids, and large classes, that there aren't enough aides to go around to every class that needs one. They assured the us that they won't be hiring another aide, due to budget, so right now we are working in the "pissing on forest fires" mode. We added 28 new students in our three grades, most of which have special needs, so that has caused part of the problem, and administration decided to institute a new reading program this year which encompasses two period blocks, which, in turn, ties up two of the four aides for two hours at a time. One of these reading blocks has 33 students and 17 of them are learning disabled. The two of us who are left are busy as beavers from start of school until the final bell rings. I wonder how effective any of us are being if we are so torn.
I have a real aversion to these kids who are wearing the baggy jeans well below the equator! No one wants to look at a guy's boxers. What is so damn cool about that, anyhow? Yesterday, my coworker told one of the boys to pull up his jeans or else she "would pull them up for him and I don't think you would like it." He gave her a "duh" look, yanked them up, and immediately shoved them back down before he sat down. Then there's the gal in my math class who bent over in front of me to get her purse and binder off the floor and exposed about 4 inches of thong!
On someone like Christy Brinkley, I wouldn't mind, but on a 14 year old 8th grader, it was just too gross and I think I actually blushed. The math teacher, who is female, told her she would have to be more careful cause no one in class should have to look at her thong! Then there's the cleavage problem. What can I say about that? Probably the least said, the better. We do have a dress code, and the assistant principal has assured us that he will enforce it. We are not to argue with students, just sent them to the office. Parents will be called. I remain hopeful, but also doubtful! We have better things to do than police butt cracks and boobs!
Four days into our school year, our principal resigned. It is a good move for her. She received her PhD. this summer and has moved up to being a superintendant of a very large school system. Her replacement has been in our system as an assistant principal for a few years. I have heard many good things about him. He impressed me yesterday just by stopping by my room and chatting for a while. He said more to me in that few minutes than the other one had in the past two years.
As you can see, school is proceding normally! Maybe it's just me being older, and truly overworked that makes some of these moleholes seem like mountains right now. I know as the days count down, it will be better. OMG! I just remembered, we begin our County Assessment Testing on Monday! Followed in 2 weeks by State Testing! Zounds! I just thought things might even out! I"d better rest up!



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Whirlwinds are Wonderful!

If any of you read Professor's blog, you know she made a rush trip to Area 52 from middleoff--kingnowhere, Montana this week. It was wonderful to see her beautiful and smiling face once again. If only for a short while.
She pulled in about 8:30 on Tuesday evening. We had a late supper ready and had a leisurely meal and gabbed. Then we stayed up until the wee hours and gabbed some more. We heard all about trail riding, her attempts a calf roping, branding and, of course, teaching. I was the only one who had to go to work on Wednesday morning, but it was worth the lack of sleep to be able to visit with the Prof in person instead of thru "Ma Bell."
Wednesday evening we made a rush trip to "Big City" where Prof's worldly goods are stored and dug thru a plethora of boxes and repacked as many items into small boxes that we thought we could cram into the Blue Malibu POS car. After a quick bite at an Arby's (Kiddo's choice, not mine) we raced back to Area 52 and finished packing the car. Bear in mind that Prof and Kiddo had already loaded it with Kiddo's stuff [clothes, books, TV, computer, monitor, video games, board games, etc]. We managed to cram in 4 egg boxes of stuff, two winter coats, a skirt, 2 mixing bowls, books, a Paris streetscape, and a few other wall items. The POS was riding kinda low, but at about 7:30 AM this morning, Prof pulled out of the driveway and headed back to MT with Kiddo in tow, or rather riding shotgun. [Western lingo for riding in the front seat passenger side..LOL!]
Though this visit was like a whirlwind, it was wonderful. Since we had not seen her since Christmas, it was great having her here and be able to give her a hug...lots of hugs, really. She and Kiddo said they would be here for Christmas and already we are looking forward to it. Tilly actually brought up taking a trip west after school is out next spring and seeing what this state of Montana is all about.
As an aside, school started this week. Though schedules are totally f--ked, and need to be revamped, and a few kids developed some real "attitude" over the summer, and enrollment is up by 28 students in our middle school, and classes are extremely large, school is good.
Besides that, I had an excellent checkup at the Dr. My numbers were good, all tests were great, and Dr. said, "what ever you're doing, keep doing it, 'cause it's working." So life is good!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's So Damn Hot

Wow! It's so damn hot here in Area 52. I drove the transit bus for 9 1/2 hours on Monday. It was so hot that the air conditioners would not keep up. Then the engine began overheating. So when I had no clients on the bus, I had to shut off the AC. When I got home, the first thing I did was change underwear. Mine was soaked with sweat. Yesterday and today I have the days off and Tilly and I wanted to go do something for fun. But, it's just too hot to get out. We have AC at home, the AC in our own vehicle doesn't work very well after 14 years and 146,000 miles, and I am too cheap to get it fixed. So we are staying in and doing very little. I am reading an excellent book, Hunter's Moon, by Randy Wayne White. It's a real "page-turner" so I am content. I also have time to "craft." Staying in isn't so bad. I think Tilly is getting a little distressed with "cabin fever," and she isn't able to get out as readily as I, so maybe this evening, when the sun goes down, we will venture out to the local ice cream shop. A double dipped, chocolate mint chip waffle cone may be just what I need for heat relief.
School starts Monday. I can hardly wait. I miss being there, miss the kids and my coworkers. I love the job and each year is a whole new adventure in learning for the students. I love the look on their faces the first day. The seventh graders arriving on the second floor for the first time are wide-eyed and filled with awe. That is quickly replaced with looks of relief when they see familiar faces and are made to feel at ease by the faculty.
A few more weeks of driving transit, and I am going to resign. I need more time at home, and I feel that we can muddle through with me working just one job for a while. I am looking forward to that. It has been 7 years since I have only worked one job. Maybe I am feeling a little tired and entitled. We will just have to see how that all plays out.
Until it cools off, the grass can just keep growing, and so can the weeds. They will all be there when it the weather improves. Everyone stay cool, be careful.


Monday, July 30, 2007


In the midst of an otherwise "crappy" summer, yesterday was like a breath of fresh air. First, Tilly and I went to church. My quartet sang the special music, which was delightful. Immediately after church, the same quartet trekked to Big City to do a guest concert at a church picnic. The pastor of that church used to be our associate pastor, and she invited us to sing at their picnic. Other than getting my bare head sunburned, it was a total delight. The people were warm and welcoming, and so receptive to our music, that too soon our hour concert was over. I think all of us could feel the spirit of God moving in our midst.

After striking and packing up the sound equipment in Hube's SUV, Tilly and I crossed the Big City from south to northside where we met up with my college roomie and his lovely wife. Now this is a couple who we have been friends with for nigh on to 40 years. The live in the next state and Big City is about the same distance for both of us. We try to meet a few times a year to just eat and visit. Well, yesterday, we met at Cracker Barrel, ate a late lunch, then sat on the veranda for 4 hours and just got caught up on each other's goings on. We used to think we had to go to the mall or something, but this time we just sat. It was wonderful. Roomie and I lived together for almost 2 years back in the day, and we have remained close friends ever since. Our wives are like sisters. Our children are close to the same age and we both have grandchildren. The only difference is they have 7 grandkids, we only have 1.

All too soon, it was time to go home. Admid hugs and kisses and promises to get together again before the snow flies, I was struck by how lucky I am to have a friend like Roomie. How many of us have a friend that lasts a lifetime? I feel truly blessed.

Like I said, it's been a crappy summer with a plethora of problems, but once in a while, there is a glimmer of sunshine that creeps into the clouds. Yesterday was my glimmer.



Saturday, July 21, 2007

Idle Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

My brother, who is so profound, wise, and a fantastic person sent me this. It is yet another list, but some of these are really funny. Enjoy

I had amnesia once -- or twice.

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home, and when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

One nice thing about egotists ... they don't talk about other people.

My weight is perfect for my height ... which varies.

I used to be indecisive. Now, I'm not sure.

The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.

How can there be self-help groups?

If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.

Is it me, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?



Thursday, July 12, 2007

On A Day When You Just Don't Want To Be A Grownup

You’re never too old to learn something new, and sometimes the best lessons come from children. Consider: The typical five-year-old laughs out loud 400 times a day; an adult just 15. We grown-ups could definitely use some lessons in lightening up. Every kid also knows that the messier the room is, the more fun you had! So let a child’s enthusiasm for life rub off on you. Here are just a few pearls of wisdom that can bring out the "kid" in all of us.

1. Each and every birthday is a big deal. Even if you can no longer count your age on your fingers, you deserve a birthday party with friends, a cake, presents and silly games.

2. Just because you have to eat things that are good for you doesn’t mean you can’t make a face when you do. Maybe that tofu-and-sprouts sandwich would actually taste better if you scowled at it for a while.

3. When you’re indecisive, rock/paper/scissors is as good a way as any to make up your mind.

4. People come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Isn’t that grand?

5. When you’re cranky and tired, a nap is just what the doctor ordered. Find a fluffy pillow and blanket, turn off the lights and rest your eyes for 20 minutes. And when you wake up, have some milk and cookies.

6. Everybody needs a time-out now and then. It’s a great chance to sit and think about what you’ve done wrong and how you can avoid doing it again.

7. It’s often better to bang on the pots and pans with a fork, spoon and knife that to cook in them. After all, that’s why they invented take-out.

8. On average, a five-year-old laughs out loud 400 times a day. An adult laughs only 15 times. Can you find 385 more things to laugh about today?

9. If you spend your life avoiding doing things that make you look silly, you’ll never have any fun. Do you really care what people think as long as you’re having a good time and aren’t hurting anyone?

10. The messier the room is, the more fun you had!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Were they "God Moments?"

Every once in a while I have these experiences that just affirm life. Today was one of those days. As you have read previously time and time again, I drive a public transit bus/van for our county. Well, this morning I received a call from dispatch to go to one of our local thrift or charity stores and pick up a rider and take him to the county line, which incidently, is as far as our bus travels. So I went to pick him up. I was confronted by a young man about 19 or 20. He was carrying one shoe and sock in his hand and hobbled across the street and climbed aboard my bus. The thrift store had given him two dollars for the fare to the county line, which he paid me. He apologized for the "one shoe off, one shoe on" but had stepped on a rusty nail and it had gone through his sneaker and jabbed his foot. He had been hitchhiking trying to get to the major city to our east. He had no backpack, no change of clothes, no money, except for 75 cents and of course the two dollars for bus fare. I asked him where he was going. He said he was trying to get to Florida where his family was. When we got to the county line, where I was picking up another regular rider, the other county's transit driver refused to haul him on into the next county without permission from their dispatcher. He got on the radio and asked if he could transport this young man. They said "how are we getting paid?" The young man had no money. I explained that to the driver, and he said that they would have to be paid. The dispatcher came back on and said that she "guessed they could transport into the town, but not to the next county line," which would have put him close to the big city. In the big city, he had a contact with a "Father Tom" at a Catholic mission who was going to help him get a bus ticket to Florida.
I thought about it for about 10 seconds, and gave the driver the young man's fare so the dispatcher would not have a hissy fit. I took one look at the young man and thought, this could be my son or daughter trying to get home. I had a coin purse in my pocket full of silver change. I suppose that there was about $4.00 worth of change in it that I use for pop and treats while I am working, but something told me to give this guy the change. I handed it to him and told him to keep it and buy himself something to eat. This 6' 2 or taller young fellow stood there with tears running down his face and all he could say was "thank you." He shook my hand, and climbed aboard the other county's bus and pulled away.
I have had this young man on my mind all day. I wonder how he is doing. I don't know if he was honest, or "fleeced" me, and I don't care. But something in my heart tells me that I did the right thing.

Later in the day, my daughter-in-law was T-Boned at one of our busiest intersections. It totalled her new car, and caused the air bags to deploy. She and her passenger were unscathed. I know a higher power was watching over them both. Tonight as I write this, I know "Sistah" is safe at home, but I wonder how safe and sound my morning rider is.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Value of a Delete Key

If any of you out there read my last post, you know how I feel about a certain subject. Well, I got some negative feedback, so I guess I offended the masses. It wasn't my intent, and when I first started blogging I warned readers that I get somewhat passionate about some subjects.
While I am not apologizing for my last blog, I am deleting it in order to keep the peace.



Sunday, June 24, 2007

As Summer Progresses

It's been raining here in Area 52. That's okay, we really needed the rain. Today it is overcast, with the sun peeking in and out. It's not too hot. This afternoon I am singing with my men's quartet at our annual "park and praise" in our church parking lot. It should be fun. It's always fun to get together with friends, and I think Lil Bro and Sistah will be there for a while. Too bay Professor won't be there to share. She has never heard this group of mine sing. Even when she lived in Area 52, she never quite managed to make it to one of my concerts. My grandson, Kiddo won't be there either. We just can't seem to make contact with him. I am not sure of the reason, but wonder if it is a resentment because his mom isn't here, or if it is a matter of just being a 14 year old. I work with 14 year olds, and I know they are very "peer oriented" and sometimes don't want to be seen in public with family. It doesn't sound like Prof wants to make it home anytime soon, I guess we will have to rethink our summer plans. It just isn't possible for us to go to her, so we will remain homesick and confused.
By cutting back on my driving transit, I have been able to accomplish a little more at home. As a home owner, there is always something that needs to be done. I have successfully trimmed trees, powerwashed the decking on our porch and the sidewalks, have done weeding and mowing. We have accomplished some heavy-duty cleaning inside, and are getting ready to have carpets cleaned.
Earlier this weekend, I walked in the "Walkathon" to raise money to fight cancer. It was an impressive journey along the walking trail lined with luminaries lit in memory of people who have perished to cancer, or in honor of cancer survivors. I walked from 11 pm to 12 am and managed to walk about 4 miles. There were hundreds of walkers at that hour. Some strolling and some walking in earnest. I was not a stroller, but I couldn't keep pace with some of the younger walkers, so I did my own thing for a good cause.
I figured it up and I have 49 more days until I have to be back in the classroom. I am so not ready. Hopefully, the days will slow down, and by the time school starts, I will be ready to don the smile and welcome students with open arms. Too bad they won't feel the same way. I love the job, tho, and look forward to it. It's my way of making a difference. At my age, one looks for ways to make a difference.
The singing gigs keep arising. My mixed quartet is going to be busy if we manage to sing everywhere we are wanted. Sometimes, in the summer we just have to say "no." Vacations, and other obligations just won't let us do all of what we could do. Both groups I sing in are contemplating cutting a CD. At every concert, we are asked if we have on available, and it looks like it is time we give it some thought. This is exciting, but also a BIG commitment. We will see how it plays out.
Summer seems to be progressing, doesn't it?


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This Quote Rocks!

Tilly has the most interesting friend, Lovelylady. She is a true friend. She comes to visit almost weekly, brings lunch for them, and bits of wisdom. I don't know her well, but I know that she is one gal to be reckoned with. She is her own person, and I think the adage, "when I grow old, I will wear purple," will fit her to a "T" when she is old.
Anyway, today she sent Tilly a card with a kind, thoughtful message, and on a hot pink note card had included this quote:
"I've just encountered public opinion and discounted it! I've ceased caring how I look to other people or what they say about me. I've stopped letting faceless groups demand my adherence to imaginary standards. They cannot be with me while I die, therefore, they have no right to set rules for me while I live."
I read this quote over and over and the more I read it, the more it rang true. If we would all live by this, and make it our mantra, wouldn't the world be a lot better place to live?
Tilly is so lucky to have Lovelylady for a friend. We should all be so blessed.



Friday, June 01, 2007

It's Summer Time and the Living Ain't Easy

Yes! It is official. School is OUT! The little beasties came back on Tuesday for a 1/2 day due to having a SNOW DAY to make up. We finished up our final exams, fed them lunch, and set them free for the next 77 days. The aides met in my room and there was much rejoicing and dancing. It's a good thing they don't allow Margaritas in the school!!
Now, I am once again driving a transit bus more or less full time. I must be nuts, but I told our manager that I would work as many hours as he wanted to give me. Wednesday I worked 6 hours, Thursday, I worked 10 hours and 56 minutes actual driving time, and today I drove for 9 hours straight. Is it any wonder why my butt is sore? I know driving sounds easy, but when you get in and out of a 14 passenger bus to help clients in and out about 35 times a day, one could say "whew." It's fun to see all the people I don't usually see and to meet some new riders, or at least new to me.
Tomorrow is Saturday, and Tilly and I are planting flower boxes and I am cutting the grass and weeding the flowerbeds. Now this is summer activity that I really enjoy. It's good to feel the earth in my fingers and even mowing, a job I usually loath, is not so bad.
I am making a life changing decision next week. It has caused some sleepless nights, but I have finally decided to sign up for my Social Security. I intend to keep on teaching, but the transit job will go, or at least will be cut way back, so I don't go over my allowed earning amount. Since I am a teaching assistant, and paid by the hour when the kids are in the building, my salary won't be a problem. I will have more time to be home, and will be able to do some of the things that need doing, and things I want to do, like working in my wood shop and maybe doing a little painting again. I haven't touched a brush to canvas for years. I will keep up the singing, though, for that is my real outlet and I love it.
So, for the next 74 days I intend to relax, enjoy being with Tilly, pet the dog, and drive the bus. When the time to resign comes, I will do it with some trepidation, but I will hold firm and get on with my life.