Monday, May 31, 2010


Everyone should be fortunate enough to have a brother and sister-in-law like mine. They came to my house from Texas last Thursday. Since then, they have treated me and mine to two meals out, visits to the ice cream shoppe, and what's more, they have helped me trim trees and bushes all over my yard. Bro is a whiz with a pair of lopping shears, and my SIL is a master gardener, and knows all about flowers, bushes and trees. So she not only pruned and trimmed, she supervised the trimming of the trees. Then we all lugged the trash to the street for city pickup. SIL has cooked wonderful meals while she has been here.
I guess they are heading for home tomorrow, and I will miss them. I had the chance to ride back with them, but I have some singing obligations ahead of me, plus I just need time to decompress after school is out. They are coming back for a family thingy on the other side of the family in July plus to visit their son in Wisconsin, and I might go home with them then, and fly back when I get good and ready.
They are both such fine people. They mean a lot to me and have really been my salvation since my loss. I thank God every day for a brother like mine. And the gal he married, who is more that a sister-in-law; she's a sister.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm a Grandpa Again!

Thursday about 10:09 AM, my new grandson Mr. R., arrived into this world. He was a stout 8lbs. 3 ozs. packed into a 20" body. He has a whole head of jet black hair and the chubbiest cheeks you have ever seen. What a sweet little guy.
After school, we gathered in the room for a welcome, and I got to hold him. Prof, of course, had her digital camera, so we got pictures. I especially liked the 3 generation pics she took. What an honor to be father and grandfather to such fine boys!
Only one more school day until retirement. And am I ever ready. Wow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

What I Read #38

Worse Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge: When I should have been out working in my yard, I stayed inside in the air conditioning and spent the day reading this new Mike Bennett cop novel. An easy read by the ever prolific writer Patterson and his cohort in this series, this novel is about the kidnapping and murder of children of the affluent. What is behind these murders and why' is the center of this exciting whodunit.because of the high profiles of the kidnapped victims families, the mayor is putting on the pressure to law enforcement to get this crime solved.
Of course, it's always fun to read about Mike and his 10 kids he has at home.

Happy Reading,


Saturday, May 22, 2010

What I Read #37

The Color of Law by Mark Gimenez: This is a first novel by Gimenez dated 2005. I know now that he has written more. This author is fantastic.
Big time lawyer A. Scott Fenney works for a big-time law firm in Dallas. He has it all: Mansion in the posh Highland Park, a beautiful wife, lovely daughter, a membership in several ritzy clubs, a 6 figure salary, and many other perks. He risks it all to prove a South Dallas hooker/ drug addict is innocent of murder. Does he get the job done. Go to your nearest bookseller or library and find out. I want to read more by this up and coming author.
Happy reading,

Friday, May 21, 2010

News Flash!!!

Heard from my son a while ago. New baby could be making his debut any time now, according to the OB doc they saw earlier today. So, this weekend, I don't intend to stray too far for too long. I am going to be Grandpa again.

Six More...but who's counting!

Only six more days to go. I am feeling the thrill already. I have decided that I have to quit making so many plans and just slow down and think about what I am going to do next. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she said that she thinks that I have adjusted to the "retirement idea," but I haven't considered that I will have "retirement time." We go at such a hectic pace all the time, that we don't think about life in the slow lane, or can we imagine it, either. I found my mind racing the other night at 3:30 AM about what all I am going to do and where I am going to go. I could feel God telling me to just slow down and take each day as it comes, set priorities, and relax. So that is what I intend to do. Isn't it funny how God works in our lives. Sometimes I wish He could pick better hours to talk to me that 3:30AM. But maybe that's when He knows He can get my attention. Ya think?

What I Read #36

The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro: Another fine story by two great story tellers. I have read all of the Women's Murder Club mysteries. These are four of the ballsiest females you would ever read about. They stick together, feed off of each other and finally win out in the end. Lindsay Boxer, a cop is undaunted in her search for the murderer of a high profile San Fransisco beauty, who happens to be the wife if a famous screen actor. Another classic, fast paced whodunit by one of fiction's leading writing teams.
Happy Reading,

What I Read #35

Wormwood by Susan Wittig Albert: Like I said before, Ms Albert had fallen off my reading radar, so I decided to go back and catch up. Though I enjoyed this novel, it wasn't one of my favorites. It was an interesting history of People of the Shaker Faith, and Ms Albert made it interesting as she wove that history into her story about a Shaker settlement where a murder took place. I guess what I didn't like about the novel was the switching back and forth from a century ago until now. I found it rather confusing. But, again, if you like mysteries, and are a Albert fan, I suggest you read this one, too.
Happy Reading,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eight Days...but who's counting!

Only eight more school days until retirement! I can hardly wait. I am really having a hard time concentrating on the things I need to be concentrating on, but I am trying. I have this attitude of "I don't care." Now, don't get me wrong. I do care about the kids. I really do, but the drama and the minor infractions, well, I just don't care. I am turning a blind eye to the ipods, cell phones, mp3 players and all the other stuff the kids are not supposed to have in the classroom. I don't care! I feel that I have to pick my battles, and those are some I don't want to fight any more. Now, the administrator in our building has said no food, water bottles, or pop cans in any other area of the school but the cafeteria. I don't care. What if they have a sore throat, or allergies? Maybe they need water. So, what is the big friggin' deal? We have mops in the building if there is a spill. It is just pissing the kids off more and making discipline worse. Now, the disrespect in the classroom, the disrespect for other teachers, myself or the kids either in the class or in the hall is something I still care about. That is where I will draw the line up until I walk out of the building for the last time. I won't allow it in my class room and I cannot tolerate it in other areas of the school. I have one teacher that I work with one period of the day that tolerates disrespect of him, the students and me. It makes my blood boil almost everyday. I even went so far as to tell one girl in class to sit down. She was standing up in class stretching her legs by doing pseudo karate kicks in the aisle. She sassed me back, and I told her she was just annoying, then I picked up my books and walked out. What they gonna do, fire me?
It's time to go. I am running low on patience. Like I said, only 8 more school days to go.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What I Read #34

The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace: I have never cared for Nancy Grace on TV, but she does herself proud in her first novel.
Several years ago, Attorney Hailey Dean sends a serial killer to death row. Because of the corruption in the Georgia Supreme Court and the "good old boys" political arena, the serial killer is pardoned and set free.
Hailey has left the Georgia legal system behind, moved to New York, and is now a psychologist. Her clients start being murdered. Who is behind these killings?
Grace is a delightful addition to the plethora of excellent crime/suspense writers on the bookshelves of America. I look for more from this lady in the future.
Happy Reading,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, another year has gone by. Now I'm 65. I don't feel any older than I did yesterday. As a matter of fact, I don't feel old. I can still do most of the things I did when I was young. Only not as often and it takes me longer.
Had a wonderful evening with my children and grands. We all went to a local Asian restaurant for dinner, then back to my house for cake. Cupcakes to be exact. They are so much less mess and we don't have a whole lot of left over cake to tempt us for several tomorrows. The kids went together and bought me a new gas grill. I think they are trying to tell me something! (Like, "invite us over for a cookout, Dad.") So this weekend I will spend some time assembling the grill and getting it ready to go.
I got several nice cards from friends and family. All in all, a really nice birthday. I don't like a lot of fanfare, so this was perfect. I got a phone call from Curley, plus the perfect card which played music.
Now, I think I will retire to the bedroom, read a few chapters of my book and hit the sack.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mental Health ---mine!

I am at home today. I actually filled out a "personal day" excused absence form at school yesterday, making today a "legal" day to be gone (with pay.) We are allowed 2 personal days a year and I already took one, and by retiring in approximately 17 days, I will lose the other one if I don't use it. So, I have declared today as a "mental health" day.
I am not sure why, but the kids at school are like caged animals. I have not noticed this being so bad in years past, but this year discipline has really been an issue. Drama with the girls, and just crass behavior from the boys has become the norm this year. I don't have any explanation for it other than raging hormones and massive doses of estrogen and testosterone. Many of them are extremely rude, and if we say anything as staff, we either get static from the student, or guff from administration.
Well, I had had enough by the end of business yesterday, so I just decided I needed a breather. I have a group of 6th grade boys that I monitor all day long. They have various learning disabilities, which is why I have them, but yesterday they just got on my last nerve. I cannot put my finger on any one thing they did as a group or individually, but I just needed a "time out." Tomorrow the 6th graders are going on their annual field trip to Chicago and will be gone all day. So for today and tomorrow, I feel like it will be a mini-vacation for me.
I just needed to step back, get away from the whole "school scene" for a day. I am sure I will be ready to go back tomorrow. Do I feel guilty about this? Maybe just a little because it does put a hardship on the rest of my workmates when one of us is missing. But, I can live with that. What I don't feel I could live with was being there in the midst of chaos one more day without a break.
Retirement can't come too soon to please me!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

What I Read #33

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper: A tongue in cheek story about a Jewish family gathered to sit Shiva for their recently deceased husband and father. At times this is hilarious, sometimes serious, but mostly it just made my smile muscles hurt by the time I finished it. Four siblings, their mom, their significant others and offspring all clustered in the same house for seven days. Tempers flare, tears are shed, and in the end, none of them regret the time spent together. This was a fun read. Not my usual mystery, thriller, but fun all the same.
Happy Reading,

Saturday, May 08, 2010

What I Read #32

Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert: I love the China Bayles character in this series of books by Albert. She is smart, fresh, crafty and has a good sense of business about her. She married, has a stepson and an adopted daughter, along with a bassett hound named Howard Cossell. China and her partner in business/crime, the tall, beautiful, Ruby Wilcox go on yet another crime-solving trek. A trek filled with humor, fear, and some helpful tips about herbs. Packed in the back of her book, China (Albert) lists the recipes that are mentioned throughout the book.
I had read all of Albert's "China Bayles" novels while my wife was alive. They were some of her favorites. But, China had sort of fallen off my "reading radar" in the past couple of years. Welcome back, China!
Happy Reading,

Monday, May 03, 2010

What I Read #31

The Night Monster by James Swain: When this book cover says a "novel of suspense" it isn't kidding. Eighteen years ago, a young college coed goes missing. Jack Carpenter, then head of the Missing Persons Bureau, never gave up on the search for her, even after her disappearance became a cold case. Now, Jack, a P.I. is faced with the search of another missing coed, and his daughter's best friend.
This is suspense at it's finest. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fast moving, bone chilling suspense. Wow!
Happy Reading,

Saturday, May 01, 2010

What I Read #30

Death Will Help You Leave Him by Elizabeth Zelvin: What can I say about this book? It's slow paced, some humor, some seriousness. I had a hard time getting through it but I stuck it out just to see the ending. Luz's lover Freddie is murdered. Freddie was pond scum and two timed his wife with both Luz and Carola. He deserved to be murdered.
A trio of recovering Alcoholics turned amateur sleuths try to find out, by some really stupid moves, who killed Freddie. I think I could have told them by page 75 who did it. It was that obvious.
Please, Ms Zelvin, don't give up your day job!
Keep on Reading,