Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ask and ye shall receive...

The STQ family put up the outdoor Christmas lights yesterday. As usual, there was much bickering about WHERE they go, IF they go where, WHICH ones go where...but ultimately, I got my way, as usual... :)

Once everyone came to realize the brilliance of my plan, we realized we had a problem. We have a roof rise that needed lights but was high enough that divine hubby had to get on the roof to put them up. Our 6-ft ladder just isn't high enough to get to the roof. Hmmmm. So, I went to our beloved Vikings-loving neighbors to borrow their ugly purple-and-gold ladder...not home. I then went down to Frank's house, where he was out in the driveway contemplating his own Christmas light placement.

Me: Hey Frank, do you have a biiiig ladder?

Frank: Yep - 6 footer.

Me: Nope. Need a biiiig ladder to get on the roof.

Frank doesn't have a biiiig ladder. Hmmmm.

Me: (musing out loud with Frank, mind you) Wonder who might have a biiiig ladder I could borrow?

Camera pans to SUV slowly driving by Frank's house with a big COX cable sign on it and a (wouldn'tyaknowit) biiig ladder strapped to the roof. Seriously, right.as.I.said.it. It was kinda freaky...

Me: (jokingly) Like that one. I wonder if that guy would loan me his ladder?

Camera pans back to SUV as the brake lights come on and he backs up to Frank's house.

Frank: Oh yeah, I forgot COX cable is coming out here to do some work today. Huh.

Me: Huh.
















The COX guy was more than happy to loan us his biiiig ladder and my boys got on the roof to string the Christmas lights. Needless to say, Chase was thrilled to be up on the roof and has already asked when he can get back up there again.

Now, I hate to trivialize God, and I DO know that He's got bigger issues facing Him and His time than my needing a biiiig ladder, but I sure do appreciate His divine intervention in sending me just the right ladder when I needed it! And our lights look beautiful!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad Mommy

So, my son's friend (with whom he spent a great deal of the past three days) has come down with H1N1. 103.8 fever, vomiting, coughing, burning eye sockets, and all the weird symptoms that come with it. My sweet boy has been absolutely perfect...until 6am this morning. He woke up all grumpy, coughing (kind of), flushed and hangdog. My initial thought was...riiiiiight. BUT, the schools are all paranoid and sending kids home for sneezing twice, and if I sent him, my thought is that he would be sent home by 10. So, I made him take a shower, dried his hair, gave him some medicine, clean warm pj's and sent him back to bed.

NOW.

Since he was four, my child has NEVER taken a nap. Not when he was up at a sleepover all night, not when he was sick with a huge fever, not when I demanded it, not NEVER. At 6:30 this morning, I put him back in bed and told him he needed to try to sleep, but could read if he couldn't sleep. I took the DS so there were no electronic options. Five minutes later, I checked on him. Sleeping. It's been nearly two hours and he's still asleep.

SO.

I have decided I am now a bad mommy for doubting my cherub. Honestly, I shouldn't doubt him - he's a lot of things, but a liar, he ain't. And I didn't actually think he was lying, I just thought that EVERYONE thinks they have the Swine flu at 6am on a chilly Monday morning, and he needed to just go to school and shake it off. But, if he is still asleep at 10, I may just call the doctor.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Autumn in Vegas and other random thoughts

My mom has accused me of abandoning blogging for Facebooking. I think she's right. I am certainly addicted to crackbook! I occasionally think of deleting FB from my computer, but then how would I know my friend Bevin is headed to the dentist or my friend Amy is tired this morning, or that Julie's family is driving her crazy? I mean, really! These are important things to know on a Tuesday morning when I can't find a job. Plus, I have a poll on my FB right now about whether or not I should get a Kindle...go comment if you have an opinion!

Living in Vegas has its drawbacks. The landscape is fairly pornographic, gambling is in every grocery store, bar and gas station, not just the Strip, it NEVER rains and the summers are absolutely brutal. HOWEVER, October and November are stunning. We haven't had our A/C on since the end of September and our electric bills are down to under $100 a month. The skies are crystal clear and brilliantly blue every single day (did I mention it doesn't rain? well, there really aren't clouds either...), the humidity is single-digit (and on the low end of the single-digit scale) and it's just lovely. We have roses in our backyard, and they are blooming beautifully. There is just nothing you can complain about in the autumn here in Sin City.

We went Trick-or-Treating over Halloween and had a strange experience. We have friends who have friends who live in a VERY swank neighborhood. So, we tailgated with those friends into said neighborhood to beg candy from the rich. It was enlightening! At one house, they told the kids that they were out of candy. The mom was coming up the walk and heard the dad say that. Her comment was, "That will teach me to only spend $500 on candy this year. Hate it when we run out!" Um. Excuse me? I haven't spent $500 on Halloween candy over my whole LIFE! I was sorry we missed that candy, cause I figure it must have been Godiva!!! Then there was the Rolls Royce. Yep, I said Rolls Royce. There was a little kid trick-or-treating by himself. His father (and the father's driver, apparently) were following along in the Rolls. Cracked me up, but made me sad for that poor little boy. I mean, ya can't walk with the little guy? And the dad is a local celebrity so I happen to know he's NOT in a wheelchair or something.

Our college-aged daughter is planning to come to Vegas for Thanksgiving this year - we are looking forward to it! I have never ever cooked a Thanksgiving meal. We always go to some relative's house or something, where I have helped cook, but never done it all by my lonesome. I'm excited!! There will only be 4 of us, but I'm planning a HUGE spread, just because that is what Thanksgiving is all about. So, if you read my blog and are in the Vegas area, drop by. We'll have leftovers. :) Oh and if you have your grandmother's recipe for amazing stuffing, I'll take that too...I'm recipe shopping at the moment.

What else...I'm still subbing and working for my non-profit literacy group, and hanging out with my family and friends. We are still leading Financial Peace University at our church, still working on our debt-snowball while keeping our daughter in her out-of-state college and our son in his private school. I got a new computer, which is great now that it's all set up (thanks, Lefty!!) and am reading every book I can get my hands on. Life is good!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Are you still out there??

The beginning of the school year has kicked my booty! I've been busy, tired, lazy and just plain didn't wanna blog. But, I'm over it.

Some funny things have happened lately and I have been dying to tell you about them:

1. I subbed today in a 6th grade math class (heaven help me) and there were two funny things.
a. The teacher had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Barack Obama standing in the corner. So, I had our esteemed commander-in-chief smiling over my shoulder all day. The funny thing is that I kept catching sight of a man standing in the corner and it surprised me all day. I kept thinking, "Who is that man in the corner." It was funny how often it surprised me when I caught a glimpse of him!!!
b. During my third period class, I was taking roll and while many of the kids had hyphenated last names, one in particular was funny. His name was Anthony Rodriguez-Rodriguez. Yep, sportsfans, his parents went to all of the trouble to hyphenate his name when they both had the same last name (even spelled the same!!). HILARIOUS!!

2. September 22 was my (ahem) 41st birthday. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you heard that once or twice...For my birthday, my parents flew me to SC to attend my niece's second birthday party. It was quite the soiree, I'll tell ya! It rained nearly the entire weekend, but mercifully the rain stopped during the actual party. Because the kids were all two-ish, the party was planned to be outdoors, and thankfully, the rain stopped long enough that the party was able to be held outdoors. There was a playscape (wet), swings (soaked), a big, beautiful backyard (drenched) and about 12 giant balls scattered around the big beautiful backyard for playing with. I will tell ya that I've never seen quite so many little girls in smocked dresses quite so wet, muddy and happy! The party was an absolute hit and I give total kudos to my sister-in-law and her mom for planning it!

3. After the party, I had to hop on a plane and head back to Vegas. I had to fly a commuter plane into Atlanta and it was delayed time and time again. We finally got on the plane and headed to Atlanta. As we were landing in Atlanta, it was flooding. The plane was silent as lightning crashed and crackled all around the plane for the last 15 minutes we were in the air. It was an eerie sight and I wondered how often lightning strikes planes...

Basically, over the past month Chase has had roughly 87 projects at school, I am juggling my two part-time jobs, we are in the middle of flag football season (5-0 baby - GO CRUSADERS!!!) and generally life is crazy. I am hoping to blog more often...no, I am planning to blog more often. There have been some other things that have happened recently that I deemed blog-worthy, but I can't come up with them all now...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yeah yeah...

We're knee-deep in meetings, subbing, projects (4 due next week, thanks SO MUCH teachers...), football, karate, Financial Peace University, fundraising galas and oh yeah, eating and sleeping and that extra stuff.

I got no time to blog. I'm exhausted.

I'll blog tomorrow. I promise.

Good night! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just call me Perry Mason

Ok, so Perry Mason was a lawyer and I was anything BUT yesterday, but as witnesses don't usually have NAMES in movies and TV shows, ya gotta cut me some slack.

On August 22, 2008, I was driving along Charleston Blvd and decided to go left on Decatur. I was behind one car with VERY dark windows in the left turn lane. The light turned green, and there was no movement of said car. I gave it a couple of polite seconds then tapped my horn lightly. Still no movement. I then honked louder. Nothin. Meanwhile, everyone is honking behind me and trying to change lanes, glaring at me as they scream past, etc. So, I put my blinker on and try, in vain, to change lanes. No one will let me. I sit WITH MY BLINKER ON through three changes of the light before some nice person let me into his lane and I got around the stopped car. As I drove by, I looked in and saw that the driver was slumped over the wheel.

Huh.

My first (admittedly, jaded) thought was that he was drunk and passed out. Then I realized that he actually could be DEAD! So, I called 911 and reported it. After reporting the incident, I decided I wanted to know if he was dead or not (did I mention I'm the nosy sort?), so I came back around and parked in a parking lot across the street to watch. The police showed up and tried, in vain, to rouse the guy. Finally, just as they were about to break into his car, he woke up, got out of the car and tried to stagger away. Did I mention that his car was STILL IN THE ROAD?? Well, it was.

Anyway, once I saw the guy was alive, I left the scene and didn't really ever think of it again. That was August, 2008, about two months after we moved here.

This past May, I get a call on my cell phone and the guy says he is a LV City Attorney. I immediately flush and my pulse increases. What did I do? I wonder. He asks if I remember the incident on August 22 of 2008. Um. Kinda. Can you elaborate on what incident? So, he elaborated and I recalled what happened. Well, the lawyer wanted to know if he could subpoena me to testify against this guy when it came to trial on September 1. So, I agreed.

Ok, long setup to tell you that I went to court yesterday to testify against said sleepy drunk. I didn't get to testify at all because he copped a plea (love the courtroom jargon), but several really funny things happened while I was at the courthouse.

1. When I first got there, I asked and was pointed to courtroom 5C. I took the elevator up and stood outside the gigantic wooden doors of courtroom 5C. Hmmm, was I supposed to go in? So, I did. Inside the gigantic wooden doors of justice, were some glass doors through which I could see the judge and lawyers doing their thing. And on the door, there was a sign that said: WITNESSES WAIT TO BE CALLED BEFORE ENTERING.
So, I went back out the gigantic wooden doors of justice and sat down on a metal bench. I sat there a few minutes, then looked at the guy next to me and asked him if we are supposed to check in with someone. The guy shrugged and said he didn't know. Later, I discovered that guy was the guy I was there to testify against... oops!

2. So, I decide to go into the courtroom and talk to the city attorney who tells me to cool my heels on a bench in the back of the room. As I am the nosy sort, and as I am a BIG FAN of courtroom TV dramas, I am giddy with excitement at the thought of watching the drama in real life. The first guy is called up (not my guy) and he is a young man (20's) who is accompanied by his dad. The guy is accused of domestic violence and theft. As they stand up to talk to the judge, I have a perfect view of the dude's back. The dude is wearing a dark suit. I see something on the back of his jacket and I strain to identify it...it's the security tag from the store. So, this rocket-scientist is in court for THEFT and he STOLE THE SUIT that he wore to court. Hi-freakin-larious! I had to stifle the desperate urge to laugh out loud, it was so funny!

3. Next, they call another guy's name. The bailiff goes through a door and comes in with the guy. He's in an ORANGE JUMPSUIT and SHACKLES! I mean, he is shuffling in because his feet are in leg irons and he can't raise his hands because his hands are handcuffed to CHAINS around his waist! I sit up a little straighter in my chair. THIS is gonna be good. This guy must be in here for something exciting like murder or something cool like that. Nope. He had a marijuana pipe in his car when he was stopped for DUI. Aw man! I was hoping for something really cool.

All of that made for an interesting hour in court - as I said, I never got to testify which was disappointing, but it really was an entertaining and educational hour or so. The judge was a tough cookie - he was about to let my DUI guy off with probation until he noticed that this was not his first DUI. After that, the judge got mad. He hollered at the guy awhile, showed him a poster with horrific bloody pictures of victims of DUI accidents, then said," You know what, sir? Your sentence will be suspended all except for the first 10 days. Those first 10 days you will serve in jail. Starting now. Bailiff, take this man away please." And they hauled him off in cuffs! I can't imagine what he would have said to the first guy if he'd known he was sportin' a hot suit!!!

Just another routine day in Vegas, my friends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ain't no way...

So, the news is we're all going to get the H1N1 flu bug this season. Well, ok, at least half of us will. And of that half, like a gazillion of us will die from it. (Aren't you glad you clicked over to read this cheery-ness and joy this morning??)

My doctor "highly recommends" two things:
1. Get a pneumonia shot.
2. Get an H1N1 shot.

His reasoning is that most people don't actually die of the flu. When they get a particularly nasty strain of the flu, they often develop a secondary infection which kills them. That secondary infection is often pneumonia.

The pneumonia shot has been around, oh, forever.

I got a pneumonia shot.

H1N1 vaccine, ON THE OTHER HAND, has been around like 10 minutes. My doctor's statement was that "we're basically experimenting on the Europeans because they are all getting it months before the US does. We'll see how they do with it."

Um.

Idon'tthinksothankyouverymuch.

NOW. Do NOT place me among the folks who refuse all vaccines and/or innoculations. I am personally full of needle holes where I have gotten flu shots, vaccines, tetanus, etc. And my poor kid might spring a leak from all of the shots he's gotten in his nearly 12 years on this big blue marble.

BUT. I cannot get past the fact that doctors used to think thalidomide was a good idea. And Phen-Fen. And leeches, for heaven's sake. And whatever drug-du-jour came along that everybody just had to have. I figure my odds are pretty good. If people will be standing in line for hours to get the H1N1 shot, then lots of people around me won't get it. Statistically, that cuts my odds of getting it some. AND we're healthy, in general. That greatly lessens my odds of the worst happening, even if I do get it. My plan, if I sneeze twice in a row this winter, is to check myself into the hospital and put myself on a drip of some kind while eating bon bons and generally enjoying the solitude an iron lung affords you.

There's my soap box. If all of the poor experimented-on Europeans (and those of you who are braver than I) survive the vaccine, I may get the shot next year. But I don't like being anybody's guinea pig and with my general lack of confidence in the US government these days, I'm gonna get the regular flu shot, eat 12 oranges every day, pop lots of zinc, hold my breath around people who are coughing and hope for the best.

You can smugly refuse to feel sorry for me if I get the swine flu...I give you my permission now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's hard to be a mom

My baby just started MIDDLE SCHOOL TODAY!!

I hardly slept at all last night.
He fell asleep at 8pm and slept like a rock.

I ran around this morning making sure we could get all of his school supplies in one trip.
He informed me that he did NOT need to take them all, I could NOT help him take them in and he would NOT need to call and ask me to bring them to him. (There may have been an eye-roll or two during this conversation, I'm sad to report.)

I made him take a shower this morning, insisted on drying his hair for him, ironed his clothes and fretted over which backpack he should bring.
He kept playing his DS and insisting that he WAS ready for school, he KNEW I loved him and NO, it did not matter which backpack he brought today.

School has been in for nearly 30 minutes and I still haven't eaten a bite.
He ate 2 breakfast tacos (2 eggs, sausage and cheese in each, thankyouverymuch) a banana and a waffle.

Bottom line.

I am worried.
He is not.

I should remember all of the other times I have underestimated him. It's funny. I'm his biggest fan. I know he's brilliant and wonderful and a good friend and will do fine, but when it comes down to it, I guess I really think he needs me to pave the way for him!!! When will I ever learn that he doesn't?? We're at the point where he doesn't actually NEED me around for much. I guess I'm at the point where I hope he WANTS me around...

It's a funny balance, this raising kids thing. On one hand, I want Chase to be fiercely independent. We have raised him to do chores, take care of himself, be able to cook, clean, and generally be independent of us. On the other hand, I want him to depend on me for things. Even though I don't. And he doesn't, really. It's such a hard thing to make sure he is confident, competent and able to take care of himself while I want to keep taking care of him. He's my baby, yet he's almost as tall as I am and regularly beats me at Scrabble!

I guess the fact that he kissed me goodbye in the car before he got out and told me he loved me, all while telling me that he could handle all of this without me says that we're handling the balance ok...

(sniff)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Growing up is scary!

So, Chase is going into the 6th grade. He's nearly TWELVE!

One of the things of being a "tween" is that you are just too darn old to go to Vacation Bible School anymore. That is sad - Chase has loved VBS everywhere we have lived. He loves the skits, he loves the stories, he loves the macaroni art projects and he LOVES the singing and dancing. Even at the more conservative churches we have gone to, if you give a big group of children loud, happy music, they dance.

This year, Chase is going to VBS again, but in a different role. He's going to be a helper instead of a participant. He is at church this morning getting his marching orders and getting all set up for the first day of VBS tomorrow. I left him this morning looking very unsure and a little scared, with a group of middle schoolers who were enthusiastically hanging banners and creating skits. I'm going to go pick him up in about 45 minutes and hope to pick up a very different Chase. I hope he has gotten plugged in, met some kids and feels more connected. He likes to be in charge, so I'm hoping he will enjoy being in charge of the younger kids and have fun with his new role this week.

Chase has been very reluctant to talk about school, and for the first time, he is NOT looking forward to school starting this year. I finally got him to tell me he is really nervous about going to middle school. And, when you look at it from his point of view, it is pretty scary. A great big new school (6th-12th grades), changing classes, lockers, bunches of new kids, and starting without his good friend Bobby who is a year younger. I've tried to talk Bobby's mom into letting him skip a grade, but alas, she doesn't think it's a good idea.

So, no VBS, new class in church where he is the youngest and doesn't really know anyone (and they don't play games as much...), a new school with lots of new kids and new experiences. I'm a little nervous for him, just thinking about all of the changes.

I am absolutely certain he will be fine as soon as he gets into things, but for the next 13 days, we're all going to be a little nervous, I think!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the road again...

No, no, no, we're not moving again (don't even think it!). We're headed back East to visit some friends! Funny that when you live ALMOST on the West coast, back East is pretty much anywhere but California. So, Chase and I are headed to Colorado for a week-long visit. We are looking forward to many things on this trip:

1. Cooler temps (and by cooler, I mean under 100. I'm not so picky...)
2. Visiting good friends
3. Girls' Night Out! If you are in the Denver area, are a girl and want to go, let me know! :)
4. Visiting with family
5. A birthday party

We have missed our Colorado friends and look forward to catching up with all of them! We were also hoping to get to Green Bay this summer, but as it requires a plane ticket, the cost of the car repairs have made that impossible. (sigh) We miss our GB friends!! We also hoped to get to Austin, but see earlier excuse about the car...

One of the benefits of constantly relocating is that you have free places to stay with fabulous people everywhere you go!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's hot here, man

So, I'm in Vegas for my second summer. Doesn't it just seem like yesterday when I was whining about my FIRST summer in Vegas? It doesn't seem possible that we have lived here for over a year now.

And it's hot.

Not as hot as Phoenix, apparently...

But it's really hot.

We have enjoyed going to the pool in our neighborhood - there is always a good group of boys hurling themselves off of the diving board and Chase is happy to join in. It's great at the pool because, did I mention, it's hot.

One difference between my whining about the heat last summer and my whining about the heat this summer is that I have now experienced all four seasons here in Sin City. I remember when we moved here, I was always asking people why in the name of all that's holy would anyone LIKE living here. I got lots of strange answers, but often people said ya just can't beat the weather. WHAAAAAT?? I thought as I nodded politely, silently thinking that their brains must be baked from all of the heat.

Who in the name of Jehozaphat would like this weather??

Well, in July and August? Nobody likes this weather. It's a dry heat, but that only takes ya so far when it's 115. Walking out of my front door is like walking into a blast furnace. I often channel Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as I'm slogging through the flames in my front yard...

But I gotta say. It is dangerously nice here the other 10 months of the year. Even June isn't too hot - and the Fall is downright glorious. I even broke down and wore a coat a few times this year...I swore my Midwestern blood was too thick and I'd never be one of those thin-blooded Las Vegans...but alas. And don'tcha love that I consider myself "Midwestern?" I lived there all of 11 months. :)

So anyway, I'm in Vegas for another summer. Did I mention that it's hot here? Not sure I did...
But this summer is sooo much better than last summer. Last summer, we had no friends. Last summer, we had no church. Last summer, we had no community. Last summer lasted for 10 years. Last summer I probably could have used some serious anti-depressants. This summer, we have lots of friends. This summer, we are very involved at our church and attend regularly. This summer, we have book clubs, Bible studies, free movies, karate classes and lots of community. This summer is flying by - and we are having a blast!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wildlife in Vegas

So Paul-the-pond-guy called yesterday afternoon and said he's got some fish for us. I'm thinkin, wahoo! Salmon for dinner! No, no, no, not that kind of fish...it's koi...for our pond.

Paul-the-pond-guy (yes, I think that is his real name), keeps promising that once it really gets hot the algae will die. But, I'm a little concerned because he also keeps smiling lovingly at the algae and calling it an "ecosystem." Yeah, so is kudzu, but ya don't want that around, now do ya?? Not all ecosystems are to be cultivated, am I right? We bought a net and are scooping the algae out every day. Good times.

It's been 100+ every day this week. Not a cloud in the sky. Sun beating down on said pond. Algae seems healthy and is certainly growing. Am wondering just how hot REALLY HOT is?

But I digress...

So he brought us new fish. Four to be exact. Two of them are frankly enormous. I feel like we have whales in our little pond. But, it is fun to have fish - Chase and I spent as much time as we could stand in the heat watching the fish swim and eat. Guess what Koi eat? ALGAE!! Eat, little guys, eat!

We also have finally mastered the art of the hummingbird feeder. After about three beautiful blown-glass purchases (that leaked sugar water all over my patio thankyouverymuch) and one lovely terra-cotta feeder I found in a cabinet at the house (that leaked sugar water all over my $%#@ patio, thankyouverymuch), we have a very unattractive plastic one. That hangs from a metal hook on our patio. It does NOT leak and the hummingbirds love it!

So the moral of this story is: beautiful is not always functional. And at my house, algae seems to grow in the heat. Who knew?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Night terrors

Not sure if I have shared this with all of my cyber-buddies out there, but I suffer from night terrors. I have suffered from this all of my life, but mostly they have been intermittent. Over the past couple of months, they have been occurring almost every night, and often several times a night.

The major cause of night terrors seems to be stress.

Om nama jama (that's me meditating)

The main treatment for night terrors is drugging myself up to my eyeballs every night.

Hmmmmm.

Om nama shlama (more meditating)

There are many different ways night terrors are manifested. Mine go like this:

Sleeping...maybe 30-45 minutes after going to sleep... when suddenly

BUGS CRAWLING ON WALLS, SMALL RODENTS INVADING BEDROOM, FLYING SPIDERS DRAGGING THEIR NASTY LEGS IN MY FACE, LARGE MEN ENTERING BEDROOM, SNAKES UNDER BED

I awake, freaking out about whatever flavor of night terror has graced me with its presence that night. The night terror continues until I turn on the light and/or wake up divine hubby with my screaming and freaking out.

Divine hubby just LOVES them, I'll tell ya. He has often said he has a letter with a lawyer somewhere so when the police find him dead in bed of a heart attack, they will know I've been trying to kill him for years.

So, the question is, do I drug myself to my eyeballs and enjoy marital bliss (albeit slightly dulled by the narcotics), or do I continue freaking out every night, several times a night, and possibly wake up one day and find that divine hubby has packed his toothbrush and moved on to quieter pastures?

At this point, divine hubby is considering duct tape...

I'm considering Yoga...

I have an appointment on Wednesday with a neurologist for a possible sleep study. It will be the only night I will wish for a night terror to happen! Of course, that night, I'll sleep like the dead...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Marathon bike rides, and why you shouldn't attempt them.

Chase and I are trying to get some exercise every day this summer. Just to keep our girlish figures, don'tcha know. On Wednesday, we decided to take a bike ride. Harmless enough, right? Harrumph.

So, we set out of the neighborhood and headed down the road.

In case you haven't visited our fair city, Vegas is in a valley.
Surrounded by mountains.
The Strip (which is NOT where I live, thankyouverymuch) is pretty much the low point, geographically-speaking.

So, we're basically headed downhill.

NOW. Maybe I haven't actually informed you that I, sir, am no athlete. I can pedal a bike, and usually keep from falling off, but athletic? Nope. Not me.

I am very much enjoying our little downhill ride. Wind in the hair, bugs in the teeth, and all of that. It's 80-ish, with a lovely little breeze.

I do keep glancing over my shoulder at the way back, but think to myself..."Self? It ain't that much of a hill, and just think of how good your butt will look after you get home."

So, we keep going.

Eventually, we decide that unless we are going to gamble our lunch hour away at the Bellagio, we should probably turn around and. ride. back.

K, so it's not that much of an incline. But, it's a continuous incline. For miles. And now, the lovely breeze has gone away. And the bank clock says it's 95 degrees.

Our lovely bike ride has become quite the ordeal.

But we press on for awhile. Huffing and puffing but making it. For maybe an hour. At which time little miss Lance Armstrong (that would be me) starts to feel kinda hot and dizzy. Images of me passing out, falling off of my bike into the street and having cars run over my head in front of my 11-yr-old son start to plague me.

So, it's a long, sad story, but I finally admitted defeat, called my friend Debi to come pick us up and we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying Debi's backyard pool.

Divine Hubby had a brilliant idea for our NEXT bike ride. Head UPHILL first, then when you've had enough, you can enjoy the lovely downhill ride home.

Huh. Brilliant.

That's why I married him! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Man, for a woman of leisure...

...I sure don't get around to blogging very often! :(

Chase is back from his big trip to see his grandparents and to Space Camp. It was his first experience at "sleepaway" camp, and I have to deem it a big success. It was an odd feeling for me, though. My parents took him to camp, which was about 6 hours away from where they live (and they live 2000 miles from me). So, for the first time, really ever, he was sleeping away from home and he was not in the care of people who love him. I couldn't shake the feeling that that was odd.

Now, I know the current trend is that kids just don't spend the night at people's houses anymore. At least here in Vegas, it seems more the norm that a 10-yr-old kid has never had a sleepover. Chase has been sleeping over at friends' houses since he was 2. (I have good friends here who honestly question my parenting decisions when they hear that.) My good friend Kale and I had a babysitting co-op, and it quickly became obvious that it was just plain disruptive to everyone to pick the kid up at midnight. It made more sense to just let him spend the night and pick him up in the morning. So, Chase is one of the rare kiddos who absolutely NEVER has called in the middle of the night asking me to pick him up. He loves nothing better than a sleepover, and has never, to my knowledge, been homesick in any way. Which is good...except it does kinda beg the question - does he miss me at all when he's away?

Frankly, history has taught me that no, he does not.

Doesn't make the mama's heart happy.

BUT, sportsfans, we had a little development at Space Camp. HE MISSED US!!! :) He had the opportunity to call every night, and he never ever missed a call. He had a wonderful time with his grandparents (didn't miss us a bit, per usual), and loved Space Camp to pieces, but after 7 days away, he confessed to missing his dad and me. And not even "just a little" but he said he got pretty homesick the first day or so of camp. Awwwwwww (sniff). Does a mama's heart good.

But, he did not call and cry or beg me to come get him - even though he was homesick, he still participated, made new friends, told us great stories of his adventures on the phone every night and generally enjoyed himself very much. He didn't even admit to being homesick until he...WAS HOME!

So, the moral of this story is...it's wonderful to have a confident, independent child who can manage to happily exist outside of his mama's loving embrace.

Except when it's not.

If you're a mama, you understood that sentence completely. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Melancholy

My baby boy (who yes, is nearly 12 and almost as tall as I am and regularly beats me at Scrabble, so I shouldn't really call him a baby, huh??) is leaving tomorrow. (sniff) I finally found someone who would adopt him, so he's out, baby. NOOOOO, just kidding. He's headed to my parents' house in SC for 6 days and then to SPACE CAMP at NASA.

Can I tell you how excited he is?
Very.

His mama?
Not so much.

I'm not too worried about his trip to see my parents since he's done that for the past three summers, but he's never gone to a sleep-away camp before. And ya know, I'm no geography whiz, but I don't think Nevada is REAL close to Alabama. I could be wrong, but since the flight is nearly 4 hours long, I think it might be kinda far away. He's going to be gone for eleven days. ELEVEN.

One day for every year he's been around.

I've never been away from him for so long before, and I'm feeling kinda melancholy. On one hand, I am excited for him and VERY proud of him for being so brave. He isn't worried about camp in the least. We found out there is going to be another kid with his exact name at camp at the same time. He's pretty excited about that.

I'm gonna miss him like crazy, that's all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm back!!!

Hey, howzitgoin? I've been out of touch for the past week or so because of our move. Yes, sportsfans, this constantly relocating chica relocated again. Thankfully, this time, it was only 8 miles away. No new schools, no new book clubs, no new doctors, no new jobs. Just a new zip code and a new house. After relocating approximately 8,435 times in the past five years, I thought this little jaunt across town would be a piece of cake. I was WRONG!!!

There is something nice about a real move and a real deadline. Because we were "just" moving across town, we didn't really have to pack, right? So, we basically didn't. What that meant was that Saturday and Sunday, we had to go through each room inch by inch and throw everything that wasn't nailed down into a box which we didn't label or seal, we simply threw in the U-Haul and hauled. Can I tell you? That's not the FDA recommended way to move.

Saturday: up at 6:00am, drop Chase at a friend's house
Move move move move move move, then the movers come for the big stuff.
Lunch.
Movers leave after lugging piano, beds, dressers, desks, etc.
Move move move move move move
Chase is invited to spend the night with said friend.
Move move move move move move
Dinner at 9pm.
Fall into bed exhausted at new house completely surrounded by boxes and junque.

Sunday: up at 6:30am (hey, we slept in!!)
Move move move move move move
Move move move move move move
Last Financial Peace University class at church
Last swim at backyard pool in old house (sniff)
Unpack unpack unpack unpack
Fall into bed exhausted at new house less surrounded by boxes but still crowded.

Monday: up at 5:26am
Divine Hubby goes to work and Chase goes to school
STQ goes to the old house and cleans like a madwoman.
Carpet cleaners show up, clean carpet and tile because I have to get the keys to the management company by noon or we will be charged for another day. More cleaning like madwoman.
Have to leave before I finished cleaning because carpet cleaners are in route to new house.
Swept quickly and left giant pile of dirt in kitchen and cleaning stuff in sink.
Carpet cleaners come to new house and clean carpet.
I drive 45 minutes in traffic to management company only to realize I left one house key and mailbox key in the house.
I go into the management company to beg and plead for them to let me mail it.
They say no.
I beg and plead to be able to bring it in tomorrow.
They say no.
I sniffle a little and then resign myself to spending roughly three more hours in the car driving back to the house, then back to the management company, then back to the house.
I go to the car and realize that yes, Virginia, there is a God...the house/mailbox key is in the car!
I tear back to the old house to finish cleaning, only to find a car with Ohio license plates in the driveway.
Thinking of the state in which I left the house, I. Freak. Out.
Luckily, it is a couple who saw it was vacant and snuck in the dog door to look around.
I ask them not to tell the management company I was there and sneak in said dog door to finish cleaning.
Three hours of feverish cleaning later, I sneak back out the dog door, am late picking up Chase from school and collapse in exhaustion at our new house.

And, did you know that there is not much need for substitute teachers during the last week of school? Huh. So, I'm basically unemployed for the summer. Which sounds good, but I was sure hoping to make a couple of hundred extra smackolas before becoming a woman of leisure again...oh well.

This woman of leisure has been unpacking all day, and honestly, it doesn't look like it! How much junque can one family have? Well, this family has a LOT.

So, think of us as you are living your leisurely, non-constantly-relocating lives. Personally, I'm hoping never to see a cardboard box again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm kinda surprised at myself

Ok, so anyone who knows me knows I LOOOOOOVE nothing better than to find something random to stress about. I wake up at night and can always find something to worry about that will keep me up for a good few hours. Fun stuff.

We are moving (sigh) again. No, not to a new city, just to a new house in Las Vegas. We bit off a smidge more than we could chew with our mega casa here. At least with a daughter in college ($$$), a son in private school ($$$) and me working semi-part-time as a Sub (many fewer $$ than the previous two categories). So, we are leaving the pool (wahh) and the hot tub (double wahhh) and moving closer to school to a much smaller house with no pool (did I mention wahhh) that is substantially lower in cost.

I have been excited about the move - really looking forward to getting back on budget and having a little more disposable income around here. Until this weekend, that is. We started moving into the new house on Saturday, and I started to freak out. I'm really surprised (and kinda ashamed) at my reaction. The house is a lot smaller than any of our past few houses, and a lot more modest than our current one, for sure. We're going to have to sell some stuff that won't fit into the house.

I've always considered myself a fairly non-materialistic gal. I mean, I like nice stuff, but I'm not one to be jealous over a friend's fabulous, gorgeous, gigantic casa. I like warm, cozy and easy-to clean better. Or at least that's what I've always thought. I'm really taking this move hard. Could it be that I'm more of a material girl than I thought??? :( I hope not.

Anyway, I've been surprised this past week how kinda sad I feel about the whole thing. Maybe it's just a matter of NOT wanting to move EVER again...but I'm anxious about our family and friends' reaction to our new house when they come visit.

I'm going to have to chant my mantra: "We are living like no one else so that later we can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!!" Dave Ramsey, don'tcha know.

So, if you're coming to visit me, don't comment on how small our house is. Instead use words like "cozy" "warm" "charming." 'Kay??

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thyroids, laryngitis, meningitis and goiters

I had weird health issues this week:

Saturday night: massive headache
Sunday: Headache continued, kept me in bed most of the afternoon and finally settled into my neck. No amount of medicine gave me any relief at all.
Monday: Headache gone. Now I have laryngitis and a VERY sore throat.
Tuesday: Laryngitis continues, but add drippy nose and phlegmy cough.
Wednesday: Headache back. Plus laryngitis, nose and cough.

Wednesday, I had had enough and I went to the doctor. I was afraid of what horrible new symptom would show up next! I mean, really!! So, the doctor told me that no, I didn't have meningitis (thanks for that thought, SIL), Swine flu (gaaaaaahhhh) or the plague. I have an upper-respiratory infection and a headache. SO glad I paid good money for that special diagnosis!

BUT. It was a good thing that I went. As I have whined about to you before, my doctor has tested me 9,432 times for hypothyroidism. He seems to think that draining my entire body of blood, one vial at a time, will cure it. (sigh) So, we talked about it yesterday when I went in to be diagnosed with Typhoid fever. I had recently found out that my sweet mommi takes thyroid meds for hypothyroidism. Never knew that before, and when my doc heard that I have a family history, he called off all of the blood-drawing (thank goodness) and wrote me a prescription for Synthroid. So, I now will take a thyroid pill for the rest of my life.

BUT, that isn't even the good part. The really SUPER part of my little jaunt to the doc is that he said I'm getting a goiter. A GOITER! Oh. My. Gosh. So, I have to have an ultrasound of my thyroid next Friday to see this lovely goiter of mine and make sure that's really all it is. sigh.

Now, just in case you don't know what a GOITER is, I really would like to provide you with a visual aid, but frankly, it's too disgusting to put on my blog. So, if you're dying to see one, google it. And don't do it during lunch. It's a giant, softball-sized blob (or four) on your neck. That, my friends, is what happens if you DON'T deal with hypothyroidism. I filled my prescription about 10 seconds after seeing that lovely image. As long as you treat the condition, it won't grow like those disgusting images, but he said I have one starting.

So, the good news (because Divine Hubby gets all nervous when my blog isn't cheery): thyroid meds will help me lose weight (yay), will give me more energy (I'd do a cheer but I'm too freakin' tired) and stop the goiter (good grief) from growing. Also, I'm not dying of a rare and exotic disease...I have a cold. Yippee! The other good news is that he gave me a shot (in my buttocks, I might add) and it made me feel like 10,000% better. Still kinda phlegmy, and still singin' Bass, but my downhill slide has stopped.

And THAT, my friends, is something to celebrate!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Can you hear me now?

Trust me, even if I had Verizon, you couldn't hear me now. I have laryngitis. (sigh) Yep, the one who never met someone she couldn't talk to now hasn't a thing to say. Hard to imagine, I know...

So, when I last left you faithful readers, I was frustrated. If I were being honest, I'd have to tell you that I still am frustrated, but things are improving. Things went significantly downhill for awhile, but seem to be on the upswing now. I hope so, anyway.

So anyway...I have had a weird combination of symptoms over the past 24 hours. Saturday night, we went to dinner with friends. I was feeling fine until I had the first sip of red wine. And then my head started to hurt a little. By the end of dinner, my head was pounding like a brass band. When we went home, I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.

Sunday morning, I awoke with a headache, and that spacy feeling I get when I take Nyquil (I had not taken Nyquil). Also, my voice was kinda scratchy and my throat was a little sore. I took more ibuprofen and we went to church. Throughout church, I started "sinking" and feeling worse. My head felt like it might break in two at any moment. And our church has a rock band, which didn't help matters much...

Anyway, I spent the remainder of Sunday in bed and by evening, the headache had settled into my neck. The ibuprofen never touched the pain all day long. This morning, my head feels fine, my neck is a little sore, but not much, but I now have laryngitis and a very deep, phlegmy cough. (That's what you kept reading for, isn't it. The word phlegm!! It's just not a blog without it.)

So, I think that is a weird combination of symptoms. I had to cancel my subbing job today, because who wants a sub with laryngitis? I'm waiting until about 2 to decide whether or not I can go tomorrow...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frustration

I'm frustrated.

I'm frustrated because of things that are out of my control.

And that, in itself, is very frustrating.

My stomach is in knots. I'm grouchy and not nice to be around. I felt like this nearly every single day for 10+ years. I had really hoped never to feel like this ever ever again. I have gone out of my way the past few years to make sure I never have this feeling again. And here it is.

It's partly anger, a lot of disappointment with a smidge of resignation thrown in for good measure. The resignation is from years and years of this same old stuff. Same old stuff. No matter what we do, the result is the same. Nothing we ever do is ever enough. And I really mean ever. I really had hoped that by now things would be different. But, they're not.

Anyway, it's a big sigh. This has been a really good day - I met with a woman who works for a company I am very interested in working for, we had a very nice conversation and I can really see myself getting involved with this organization! Karate was fun, I got to talk to my friends Jay and Danielle, I worked out and we have a good weekend planned.

And, as I always do, I'll shake this off. It will come and go and we will again be branded not good enough and things will go on as usual. But every time this happens, it hurts a little bit more. I'm not asking for engraved thank you notes for everything we've done. Just maybe NOT being called the same old names again and again. When we beat our heads against the wall giving what we're asked to give. Only to turn around and hear "that's not enough" again. Then we increase what we give to meet the requested criteria. "Still not enough." Is what we hear.

I'm just tired of never being enough.

And this blog wasn't even sponsored by ye old glass of red wine!!! :(

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The perils of blogging while drinking...

Divine hubby commented that last night's blog entry was a smidge "depressing." I read it again, and ya know, he's right! I thought it was funny last night, but I'd had a couple of glasses of wine, and I guess it was a bit of a downer...

So, let's keep up the theme and liven things up a bit!

I'm looking forward to moving to our new house because it looks like there are lots of kids in the neighborhood. That will be lots of fun for Chase and will go a long way towards solving the TV problem.

The neighborhood pool we will have access to has a big slide! We love a pool with a big slide.

Chase has a plan for his project and we can easily finish it this weekend.

I have a hubby who got up at the crack of dawn, but I got to sleep in! Aaaahhhh.

My friend Shelly told me about her hairdresser who is great and NOT too spendy! No Supercut for me!

My hair actually looked pretty good yesterday. It's still too long, but it showed me it can be done.

Our new house has a really cool koi pond in the backyard with soothing water sounds to sleep by.

We are really enjoying our "Financial Peace University" class at church and are well on our way to getting out of debt!

Dave Ramsey ROCKS!

We have tons of people coming to visit as well as plans to see friends this summer. It's going to be a fun summer!

Although our new house will not have a pool, we have something this summer that we didn't have last summer...multiple friends with a pool!

My potential thyroid problem will explain my exhaustion and my weight gain, and meds will fix them! So, personally, I'm lookin' forward to a little hypo-thyroid...

I have a wonderful hubby who makes a great living for us and supports me in my desire to be available for the kiddos.

Our daughter is pulling all A's & B's at college.

Our son is pulling all A's in 5th grade.

Gotta love kids who work hard in school.

I have a great life here in Sin City. A year ago, I couldn't imagine I'd have said that, but it's true.

So, no intervention necessary for me - I was trying to be funny last night, and I guess humor mixed with a little merlot makes for a little dark humor. All is well here in the STQ household. My family still drives me batty, but I wouldn't trade 'em for the world! And I hope they would say the same about me...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Deep Thoughts

Honestly, I have no ideas on which to base this blog.

My son and hubby are watching Smackdown (sigh).

My son has a project due on Tuesday that he has not yet finished (double sigh).

My daughter has just finished her freshman year in college.

It's really hot here, and it's not even summer yet.

I subbed in a class I love today...and hated almost every second of it.

I almost had to do a "take down" of a kid today (no, that is not related to the Smackdown comment) and I am NOT allowed to do so.

I am exhausted all the time, have gained 15 pounds in less than a year and have been told that I may have a hypo-thyroid by my doctor.

My doctor keeps re-checking my thyroid. Which means every time he tells me I am borderline hypo-thyroid, he makes me an appointment for 3 months in the future to check it again. (We're currently on blood draw number 3...)

I mean, how many freakin' times do you have to check the silly thing? You're killin me, man.

I wonder who reads my blog from Marysville, Tennessee?

I pulled a muscle in my neck while WATCHING my kids do a music class at school today. I mean, what's up with that? Ok, so, I'm 40. Does EVERYTHING have to fall apart at once? Seriously.

I say "seriously" and "really " way way seriously too much. I mean, really.

I'm worried about moving into our new house. At first, I loved it. This past weekend I saw it again. I don't like it anymore and I'm worried about that.

I love our car! I did hear that the Ford Taurus tends to have transmission problems at 75K miles. And we have 62K. BUT, we have the warranty that will cover the transmission, so I've decided not to worry about that. Much.

My hair is awful - and I'm considering a Super Cut cause it fits in our budget. :(

I can't wait until summer. In general, I hate the summer. I'm worried about the inherent problems caused by the simultaneous utterance of those two statements.

My hubby is doing the dishes. Part of me feels guilty that I am drinking a glass of wine and blogging instead of helping or doing something constructive. The other part of me continues to drink the wine...

I wonder if my dog has fleas.

Divine hubby and Chase are discussing going to see the new Star Trek movie. I wonder if it makes me a bad mom to think about the nap I could take while they go see the movie.

I read a book to my kids today called The Berenstains Bears Watch Too Much TV and really identified with it. :(

I desperately love Divine Hubby but he drives me nuts.

Ditto for Chase and Meg.

I think I love the robo-dwarf hamster most of all. She's easy. As long as I feed her and clean her cage regularly, she stays alive and requires nothing more. Yep, that clinches it. She's my favorite family member.

I have a new square purple phone that I think I love more than the hamster.

I wonder if that makes me materialistic.

I wonder if it matters if I'm materialistic.

I wonder if anyone is continuing to read this silliness...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Absence, teacher appreciation, magic shows and Mother's day

Yeah yeah, I know. It's been awhile since I blogged...sorry to the three people who regularly read my blog and have been complaining!

1. I have been absent because I have been working a lot, sitting at the soccer fields, helping on ten thousand school projects, having fun with family and friends who have come to visit and so on!! No excuses, I know.

2. This week has been teacher appreciation week at Chase's school. It's a small school and we recently had a big fundraiser that took up a lot of people's time. Therefore, a small number of us actually had time to help out. So, I've been helping out with that a lot. Today, I washed the teachers' cars for about 3 hours in the hot Vegas sun...

3. We saw a great magic show when the 'rents were here last weekend! Lance Burton is one amazing dude. He can make all kinds of things (and people) disappear!!

4. It's almost Mother's Day!! I got my present today from my sweet boys. A VERY cute little purple Lotus phone from Sprint. The best part is, it came with a holder that fits on my purse strap so it is always at my fingertips. I have enjoyed playing with it today!!!

So, that's what I've been up to. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing dramatic, nothing fabulous nor horrible, just life. It's funny how busy a life can get when you're just livin' it!!

So, here's to life. To busy-ness, to slow-ness, to school, play, sports, work, family, projects and all of the other things that take up all of our time. Enjoy them all!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fish Barbeque

Yesterday, I subbed in a kind of class I haven't subbed in before. It was a mentally-challenged elementary class. I have often subbed in an emotionally-challenged class, but never mentally-challenged. I was unprepared for the differences. I guess I had never thought that the challenge for the emotionally-challenged kids is NOT their ability, it is their will to conform to your direction. Often, the emotionally-challenged kids are very bright. They simply don't want to do what you want them to do. Period. Makes it tough to get anything done, admittedly.

A mentally-challenged kid is perfectly willing to do what you want them to do, however, they often do not know how to do it. Several of the kids had Downs Syndrome, one had severe Cerebral Palsy (the always-smiling and adorable Angelica), and the others had various and sundry disorders not visible to the untrained eye.

One little boy, whose name was Logan, LOVED Star Wars. He also absolutely could not remember my name. He asked me no fewer than 9,347 times what my name was. (And, let's be clear. My name is easy. 4 letters. One syllable. Household item. Seriously.) So, finally I asked him what we could do to help him remember my name. He said he could probably remember it if I would call him Luke Skywalker when he remembered it. I thought that was brilliant. He (mostly) remembered my name for the rest of the day and said it every single time I walked by him, and then I would grin and mutter... "Hi Luke Skywalker." He would flash me the biggest smile when I did that. I promise you, he said my name 10,000 times after that, and every time, I answered him "Yes, Luke Skywalker," or "Hi Luke Skywalker," or "Good job, Luke Skywalker." He was adorable, and I hope he's up for adoption soon...

There was another little girl who had an interesting "style," shall we say. Let's call her T. T was about 10, but looked like she was 6. Her eyes were completely crossed, to the point that I'm not sure she could actually see very much. T loves pink, Hello Kitty, taking off her shoes and purses of any sort. T says very little - she mostly parrots what she hears. While many members of the class actually showed evidence of learning, T really seemed oblivious to everything going on. When T was left alone for any period of time, she would jump out of her seat and go hit someone. Just cause she wanted to.

Towards the middle of the day, T began to get out of control. She had her own aide, which helped tremendously, but even with her own aide, it was hard to control T. It was very hard to understand what she said, which by the end of the day, we were quite thankful for.

By the end of the day, T had degenerated to the point where she was sitting in the rocking chair muttering to herself and shouting two things in the teachers' general direction:

FISH

and

BARBEQUE

NOW, as I said, she has a severe speech impediment. She was ticked off because we wouldn't let her continue to run around and hit everyone like she wanted to and that we had taken her purse away due to her behavior. So, she was mad. Consequently, what she was actually saying was VERY different from Fish...and Barbeque. And actually Barbeque isn't accurate...it sounded like Barfaque. Say that out loud once (but not near your kids, please) and see if you can catch the swear word hidden in an innocuous-sounding word. I bet she said both words 500 times during the day. Mostly within the last hour of class. It was sad, because she was simply parroting what she hears. In order for that to be nearly the only thing she says, she would have to hear those two things A LOT in her life. The aide told me she lives with her grandmother because her mom is in jail. For prostitution. Again. Sounds to me like T has had it rough in her young life.

Poor little T. That's the tough part of teaching special ed. Sometimes you see the kids that simply have no chance whatsoever in life. I think T is one of those kids. I don't see her ever having a life of her own, nor having anyone who cares enough to give her any kind of life. I really wonder what will happen to T. It's really one of the things that makes subbing hard. You get thrown into these kids' lives for a short period and often you never see them again. Say a prayer for little T, Logan, Angelica and all of their friends. It's a tough world out there for them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey, I get points for tryin.

I, as a good environmentally-minded citizen, purchased those cool reusable grocery bags a year ago or so. I do, occasionally remember to actually bring them into the store, and then I pat myself on the back! Today was one such momentous day.

So, I proudly handed my cloth bags to the bagger at my grocery store to have them filled with my goodies.

I paid very little attention to the bagging process - frankly, I was wondering if the budget (or the waistline) would allow for a teeny tiny Reese's cup...

When I got out to the car and unloaded the bags into my trunk, I noticed that they were full of plastic bags. The bagger had loaded all of my groceries into plastic bags, then very helpfully transferred said plastic bags full 'o groceries into my environmentally-friendly cloth bags. So I made it home with 8 environmentally-friendly bags with a total of 23 environmentally-polluting plastic bags inside them.

Sigh. But you gotta give me credit for trying, right? And I didn't get the Reese's cups! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

He loves me...

It is 9:00pm here in Sin City. I realized that I had neglected to retrieve the mail, so I went across the street to our mailbox to get said mail. Upon arrival, I noticed that there was a set of keys left in the mailbox immediately to the left of our mailbox. That keyring had a house key and a car key on it along with the mailbox key.

Now, our next-door neighbor is an elderly single man named Chuck. Whom I love dearly. And who can talk the paint off of the wall...

I figured the keys MIGHT be Chuck's. So I went to his house and knocked on his door. They weren't his keys, but he wanted to discuss whose they might be. So he invited me in for a chat.

I was in his house maybe 3 minutes.

During that time, divine hubby and Chase decided that I'd been gone entirely too long and came out looking for me. Apparently they yelled and screamed my name. I guess it's a testimony to the insulation in Chuck's house because I never heard a thing.

So, deciding I had been abducted by aliens, divine hubby called 9-1-1. And reported me missing.

Luckily, I came home before the police showed up to drag the river for my dead body...

So, if anyone asks you if divine hubby loves his little STQ, the answer is a resounding YES!!! I feel loved.

Divine hubby, on the other hand, is a little peeved at me, but he'll get over it. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

11 yr old boy free to a good home

First, please let me tell you. I am 40. I have a college degree from an excellent school. I am well-traveled and consider myself to be well-versed in many different subjects. I am pretty good at Jeopardy, excellent at Wheel of Fortune and kick butt in Scrabble.

Scene: aforementioned ADULT mother and 11-yr-old son playing Scrabble.
Chase: Mom? Is alined a word?
Mom: Yep. (I looked it up AFTER THE FACT to make sure, and alined is another way to spell aligned, just FYI. I tried to get through that loophole, but alas)
Chase: Ok. (grinning slightly)

Please take a look at the top row in this picture and observe the word alined crossed with the word EQUATOR. Observe the triple word score under the T in said word.

Now look at the score sheet. An obscure rule that we follow here in the STQ household is that if you use all 7 of your letters in one turn, you get a bonus of 35 points. Let me help you with the math. Equator netted the little darling 17 points. Times 3, that is 51. Then you add the 7 points from alined to get 58. Then you add the 35 bonus points, and we are, my friends, at 93. For. one. stinkin. word. What was the final result you ask??

You will see that one side says 201 points. That side is MY score. The other side says 253 points. That, my friends is my ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD SON'S score.
This is what a cheeky little 11-yr-old looks like when he spanks his mama at Scrabble.
Feel free to come collect him at any time. He is currently sitting on the curb with all of his worldly belongings in a trash bag. We do not tolerate such disrespect in the STQ household. :)

Da Wind! Da Wind!

I feel like Tattoo from Fantasy Island pointing out the obvious to Mr. Rourke! It's windy here in Lost Wages today, um, I mean, this week, um, I mean this month, um, well, it's just really freakin' windy here a LOT! Honestly, I'm surprised there is a single palm frond or leaf left on a tree anywhere here in Southern Nevada. And our pool pump has gotten all plugged up for the umpteen billionth time, so the handy dandy pool vacuum simply sits in one spot on the bottom, being useless. Our landlords COULD have some doodah installed so that wouldn't happen, but they refuse, so we are manually scooping plant life out of the pool on a regular basis (the horror!!).

Loved the pool last summer, but I don't think I'll miss it much when we move.

Yes, I said the M word.

Hide the children's eyes.

I guess I should have warned you that this blog had adult content today. Sorry to be so graphic in my language. My apologies if I offended anyone.

Cause MOVE is a 4-letter word, don'tcha know. At least, it is to me. Thankfully, this MOVE is simply across town. To another house that doesn't have a pool. I think we will miss the hot tub the most - with the nice cool evenings, you can often find me and Divine Hubby soaking in the tub with a glass of merlot. We have actually put "hot tub" as a budget item, in that we are saving to purchase one so hopefully by next Winter/Spring, we may actually have one of our own.

So, the point of this blog entry is just to say hi.

Howaya?

Howrthekids?

Gladtoseeya.

Nothing earth-shattering (thank goodness), no big moves or life changes (and for this, I will thank GOD) to report. We here in Las Vegas are enjoying the beautiful 75-80 degree weather, no 'midty, crystal-clear blue skies and oh, yeah, the WIND. Hold on tight Chase, we're going outside!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

So no one got arrested.

A rolicking good time was had by all and no one was arrested.

Well, maybe this one prostitute we saw, but that's a WHOLE other story!

Five of my college sorority sisters came in for the weekend and we had SO much fun! It's funny - a couple of these women I had neither seen nor talked to for nearly 20 years. But, when we all got together, it was like no time had passed at all. We sat up talking until 3am, we ate at least one meal entirely off of the appetizer and dessert menu at a swanky restaurant, we drank multiple fruity, girly martinis, we laughed and laughed, and we enjoyed being together. We told stories about people and events most of us had forgotten about, we reminisced about the good and bad times we went through together, we recited our pledge class order multiple times, we saw a TERRIBLE Vegas show that made us all deathly afraid of bunnies, and did I mention we laughed?

Friends are a very important part of any woman's life. I love my friends, and due to my constantly relocating lifestyle, I have friends scattered throughout the US. (And one in Singapore - hi Deirdre!!) The fun part is that although your lives take different paths, and even if you don't see each other for years, or even decades - when you live WITH other people and share your life with them, you take right up where you left off. That, to me, is the importance of friends. Sharing your life and your experiences with other people - notably women!

So, cheers to Valerie, Debby, Cathy, Dea and Serena. Let's make it an annual event and include even more of our sisters and friends. Thanks for coming here and making it a memorable weekend for me!! I love you guys.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Girls' weekend

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. Five of my college friends are coming in for the weekend! I had to snort a laugh when my dad asked if they were all staying at my house. Um. NO! I'm not even staying at my house! I live in Vegas, baby, so we're all staying on the Strip.

Did you know that people who live in Vegas don't live in the Strip hotels? I didn't until I moved here!!! There are actually houses here...and schools...and churches...and grocery stores! Shocking news, I am aware. Although I wouldn't mind living at the Bellagio...or the Wynn. Hmmmm. Again, I digress. (Happens a lot, have you noticed??)

So my two college roommates and three other sorority sisters (yes, I was in a sorority, and you can stop laughing and making fun of me RIGHT NOW...) are showing up between 9am and 1pm tomorrow for a weekend of fun, frivolity, martinis, buffets and lots and lots of laughs. Maybe even a Cirque show or a massage but NO kids (well, one is pregnant, so we'll have to let Cathy bring her kid, I guess), NO husbands (ex or otherwise) and NO STRESS most of all. This is going to be a no-stress, no-pressure, no-responsibility weekend.

So, my friends, I'm off until next week. If I call you, will you post my bail??? Divine hubby has already said I'm on my own if I get arrested. And the way I remember some of these wild sisters of mine, it's a distinct possibility. (Just kidding, mom...)

Monday, March 30, 2009

I guess I'm on the right track!!

So, I think I have shared our newest obsession - we are big Dave Ramsey fans and have drunk the Kool-Aid in a big way. Most of my sentences start with..."well, you know what Dave would say...". I think I'm getting annoying, but hey, it's a gift.

Anyway, we are facilitating his Financial Peace University class at our church and really enjoying it. We started with about 50 in the class, and at week 5 (a gorgeous Spring day here in Vegas, I might add), we had 40 in attendance last night. Not too bad! Dave loves nothing better than a good catch-phrase, and one of his favorites is: "If your broke friends are criticizing you, then you're on the right track."

Well, my friends, we are officially on the right track. I have had more people than I can count tell me that we are in danger of ruining our credit rating, never being able to rent a car again, will probably never again own a house, what will we do in an emergency, and on and on and on. Now, I do not know if those friends are officially BROKE, to be honest, but they are certainly in love with credit and think if I don't share that love-affair, I'm a nut.

The way I look at it is this:
1. You CAN rent a car with a debit card.
2. You CAN get your money back if a debit card is used fraudulently.
3. You CAN have a financial emergency and pay for it with savings (we now have 3 months' worth of expenses saved in the bank, which feels really good, I'll tell ya!!)
4. Your credit will NOT tank as soon as you cut up the credit card.

And as far as buying a house goes - with all of the money we have spent getting in and out of debt over the past 20 years, we could have bought a house with cash.

We are renting here in Sin City, and have decided to continue renting. We may buy a condo or something in the next few years, but not a house. We're saving for our retirement house, and barring giant financial disasters, we will be able to pay cash for said house when we retire. No, it won't be a 4-story mansion with a media room, an upstairs maid and a home gym, but we will be able to afford a nice place in one of the 4-5 areas of the country we are considering. And if the house is too big, the kids might want to come back and live with us, right???

So, as I said - we have drunk the Kool-Aid. We do not have a credit card any longer. We still have a balance...but that will be gone soon. I walk around quoting Dave and his catch phrases and will probably continue to.

"I am an American and I refuse to participate in this recession."
"I'm going to live like no one else so later I can live like no one else."
"Broke is Normal. Be Weird."
"Debt is dumb, cash is king and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice."

And my favorite one of all - and one I hope to scream into the phone on Dave's radio show soon:

"WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!"

Hey one more thing before I jump off my soapbox...if you're at all curious about Dave Ramsey, he's holding a town hall meeting that's being shown at churches around the country on April 23 at 8pm EST. Check out his website to find a location in your area - it's free and it just might change the way you think about the recession. Who knows, maybe you'll decide to join us in not participating in it!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Paranoia firmly in check once again

When I went to bed last night, my paranoia was running high. Still no jobs on the Clark County website. I was almost certain that I was right. And ready to bust some heads over the issue.

I had a great self-righteous conversation with the head of sub services in the shower this morning. Full of "I did the right thing"s and "you have no right to"s and "you should be
ashamed"s and "I'm calling a press conference"s. I do some of my best work with scalding hot water cascading over my head.

Then I checked out the website when I got out of the shower. Full of boys' PE jobs, lousy with metal shop jobs at the correctional facility and rife with bratty elementary jobs. Luckily, I already had a job lined up for today, so I didn't have to choose from all of those lovely options. But that website told me that I'm not banned.

Whew.

I know, I know, no one who read my posting yesterday actually bought into anything I wrote. It was nutty, paranoid and out there, but that's how this particular blonde's brain works. When someone says they want to talk to me about something, I ALWAYS immediately figure I'm in trouble and start wondering what random sin I committed. It's funny. And pathetic, but honestly, that's my immediate response.

So, I narrowly escaped death and destruction once again, I'm pleased to say! I live to sub another day... :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cough cough wheeze and revenge

So, most of you know, I'm a substitute teacher. But do you know that I have suffered through AT LEAST 9,546 colds since October? Well, I have. And don't challenge my math. I'm a teacher. I'll put you in detention.

I'm getting another one.

You know, I take Airborne. I use hand sanitizer and wash my hands as often as possible. I take obscene quantities of vitamin C. I exercise. I (at least attempt to) eat right. I get 7 hours of good sleep every night. And STILL. I'm sneezing, sniffling, coughing and chewing gum to soothe my stupid sore throat. These little germ factories are killing me!!!

I told you all of that first because I suspect most of you are reading this because it has the word "revenge" in the title. Thought I'd whine a bit while I had your attention...

I think I am the victim of some nasty revenge from the Clark County School District. Remember the Aide I reported for being mean to the Early Childhood kids? Well, on Saturday, I got a letter that said "At my request" I was no longer able to accept jobs from that school. WHAAAAT? I have a job at that school this Wednesday, this Friday, next Tuesday and another 3 times already in April (with a different teacher - I'm not working with Miss Maggie again). I did not request any such thing. So, this morning, I called the Sub Services office and asked them to fix that. They "fixed" it.

I also noticed that there were NO jobs listed on Saturday. NO jobs listed on Sunday. NO jobs listed Sunday night. NO jobs listed this morning at 6..6:30...7...7:30 or 8. And there are NO jobs now.

Hmmmmm. Call me paranoid, but I've never ever seen a Monday morning where there weren't at least 3-4 jobs listed by 6am. So, I think there are two likely scenarios. One is that they are having trouble with their website. The other is that they have freakin' blocked me completely cause I'm a troublemaker. Now, I don't usually dispute the title of troublemaker, but as a teacher, am I not supposed to do what is in the best interest of the children? Do I not have a duty to report abuse if I see it? And it's not like I called Channel 8 and did a press conference about it on the 5:00 news. I went through the proper channels and did what I was supposed to do.

SO...if there are still NO jobs tomorrow morning, I'm going to trot my trouble-makin' booty down to Sub Services to see what the problem is. I'm not going to take this lying down and they are NOT going to squeeze me out for following directions and doing the right thing.

Say a prayer for me...I'm kinda concerned about this. As soon as I post this, I'm going to check again. Luckily, I'm already working four days this week...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If you want something you've never had...

do something you've never done.

That was one of the themes of the evening here in Lost Wages, NV. My dear friend Lora is visiting me from Texas, and she is a Director for Mary Kay (ooh, ahh). That means she has lots of bling, lots of lip gloss and (almost) has a CAR!!! While in Las Vegas, she planned to attend a weekly MK sales meeting...and she dragged me along...

In my defense, I told her up front that I wasn't interested in selling MK, and if this was a recruiting meeting, I didn't want to go. She assured me it wasn't, and although the "opportunity was presented to me," it wasn't. No pressure, no guilt and no disappointed looks when I didn't whip my checkbook out to sign up at the end of the meeting.

What was fun about the meeting is that it was completely, 100%, totally positive. EVERYONE got cheered for, hugged, praised and I think everyone left with a present (including me!!)! If you hadn't made any sales during the past week, you were praised for trying and encouraged to keep at it. If you sold $1, then "think of the contact you made in that person!" If you sold $2000, then WAHOO! Everybody's happy. It was almost uncomfortable, it was so positive.

That uncomfortable-ness made me think. And made me evaluate WHY in Heaven's name I would be uncomfortable because other people are positive, cheerful and encouraging. So, instead of feeling uncomfortable, I decided to enjoy it. Enjoy the yummy snacks (loved me a cupcake!!), the free makeup, the smiling women and the joy and celebration all around me. Enjoy the hard work and success being shared by this remarkable group of women. And enjoy that I got to enjoy it for the evening.

So thanks, Lora, for dragging me to a Mary Kay meeting. I'm still not planning to sell MK, I doubt I will return to another meeting next Tuesday night, and I really can't afford to use MK cosmetics right now, but it was a very uplifting, positive and fun evening. And Lora's a great MK lady, so if you need any makeup, call me! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It did not get better.

So, I have had numerous emails and FB entries asking if day 2 subbing with this horrible woman was any better than day 1. Um, I thought yes, but ultimately no.

I thought yes because:
-In the morning, she actually smiled at me twice.
-In the morning, she was amazingly kind to one boy who is in a wheelchair, blind and has numerous disabilities. She was fantastic with him. I was impressed.
-In the morning, she was almost nice...I think twice.

So, I decided that yesterday, maybe her husband had left her for his 20-yr-old secretary, her dog ran away and her kitchen caught on fire. Benefit of the doubt. Everyone has a bad day, right? Yep.

Then came lunch.

Now, let me explain - this is a pre-K class, so they only come half-day. So, we had one group of 8 kids from 9-11:30 and another group of 8 kids from 12:45-3:15.

So, when lunch came (even before the kids arrived...), she became silent again. One-word answers (if she bothered to answer me at all), very little information, leaving the room without saying a single word about when she would be back, scowling, etc.)

I've decided her meds must wear off at noon.

But I digress...

The afternoon was HORRIBLE. She was horrible to me, but you know what? I'm a grownup. I can handle it, and I am aware that (gasp) maybe EVERYONE doesn't like me. (I know, I know, hard to imagine, right???) So, no biggie. The problem was, she was also horrible to the kids. Now, remember. These kids are FOUR years old. These kids are VERY low-income. These kids all have IEP's (meaning some sort of significant learning disability or challenge). THESE ARE FRAGILE KIDS WITH LIFE'S DECK STACKED AGAINST THEM.

And to these children, she said (all of these were either yelled or spoken in an icy, cold, you're-an-idiot tone of voice):

"What language do you even understand??"
"In Kindergarten, no one will help you open your milk or your lunch. You will have to do it all by yourself and not be such a baby."
"Hurry up!" (yelled over and over and over and over and over...)
"Why aren't you listening?"
"Go put that in your cubby. GO. Did you hear me? Do you understand? GO PUT THAT IN YOUR CUBBY!" (again, over and over and over to children whose mental capacity is extremely low and who barely understand English.

She NEVER said please. NEVER. She ordered the kids around all day in a stern voice.

She was completely annoyed all afternoon. She treated the kids (and me) like they were stupid. She constantly shouted at the kids for not doing things quickly enough.

The bottom line. While she never laid a hand on the kids, she beat them all day with her words and her tone. She is an unkind woman (after lunch). By the end of the day, the kids looked terrified and couldn't do a single thing without looking at Maggie to see if she approved.

So, I am going to the Sub office today to tell them and ask them what the protocol is for reporting her. She needs to be taken out of this class before she does any more damage to these precious, fragile, delicate and already-damaged children. I do not like confrontation, and I am terrified that this will be one. But sometimes you have to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves. I teach that to Chase every day, and it's time for Chase's mama to practice what she preaches. This could go badly for me...but I hope clearer heads will prevail and she will be dealt with and removed from this class.

Say a prayer for me - I'm a peacemaker and this is not easy for me but she clearly hates the afternoon kids and something has to be done to protect them.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I mean, I'm a friendly gal!

Today, I subbed in an early-childhood class. There was an aide (yay!!) and we'll call her Maddie. The regular teacher was there when I arrived at school, and we chatted a minute, then she introduced me to a woman saying, "And this is your wonderful aide. Maddie is so wonderful - I just love her!! She knows all about the routine and knows the kids, and will be soooo much help to you!" I'm thrilled - never have I disliked a class when there was an aide. So, I shook Maddie's less-than-enthusiastic, limp-wristed hand, introduced myself to her down-trodden face and accompanied her slower-than-a-turtle's-pace walk to the classroom. Where she sat in her chair. So, I sat in the chair at the desk opposite her and looked at her, expecting to have a conversation about when we get the kids, how we get the kids, how many kids there are, what to watch out for, what we're studying, or ANYTHING. I saw the top of her head.

WELL.

Ain't met nobody yet I can't carry on a conversation with, so I started...

Me: So, how many kids do we have?
Her: 8
Me: How many are boys?
Her: 4
Me: What time do we go get them?
Her: 12:40 (I subbed half day today)
Me: What are we studying this week?
Her: (saying absolutely nothing as she throws a set of papers at me with the lesson plan on it)
Me: Oh, the letter P! Are we asking the kids to tell us words that start with P? I have a funny story of when my son Chase was in pre-K, they were learning the letter P and he...
Her: (completely interrupting me) No.
Me: O...K... so what do we do?
Her: (again saying nothing, but looking at me like I'm an idiot as she shook her identical packet of paper at me)
Me: O...K... (so I study the lesson plans) Do I read the book first or do circle time first?
Her: (again with the idiot look) whatever.
Me: Well, I want to do it right so the kids have their routine...
Her: There's no routine. Like I said, do what you want.

So that's how the day went. Me trying my very best to be cheerful and get the kids to talk (collectively, they maybe spoke 20 words in 3 hours), to play with them while getting them to learn, etc etc etc, all of the things I have always done when subbing in an early-childhood class. If she spoke at all, it was to reprimand ME for helping the kids. "They're not babies. Quit helping them, miss!" I must have heard that a thousand times. So I started standing around watching the kids as they silently did whatever they were doing feeling useless and stupid. When the schedule said it was time for recess, I asked if it was time to start getting ready to go outside. She said, while again, giving me the idiot look, "If YOU want to take them, YOU can I'm NOT taking them. It's too windy." (20-30 mph winds do not constitute forcing 4 year olds to stay inside in MY book, so I took em while she glared at me.)

When I turned the CD player on, she yelled at me that I was pushing the tape buttons (I wasn't) and that it was a "C-D, NOT A TAPE" and again with the idiot look.

If I tied a kid's shoes so he wouldn't HURT HIMSELF, I got reprimanded.

If I attempted to help clean up a spill, I got reprimanded.

When I zipped up a kid's jacket, I got reprimanded.

At one point, she simply walked out of class. Didn't say, I'll be back in a sec, I'm on my break, I'm going to the bathroom, I'm going to go commit several felonies, NOTHING. Came back in about 10 minutes and reprimanded me that we weren't supposed to be reading books at this time. Couldn't I follow the schedule?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

By the end of the day, I was at the end of my rope. All I could get (if anything) out of her were one-syllable answers. Yes. No. And that's basically it. It's REALLY hard to have a conversation with someone who will only give you very basic information. So, we got the kids ready to go, and I said "Do all of the kids ride the same bus?" She said:

(you guessed it) No.

And we walked on to the busses.

Finally, all of the kids were gone, and I turned to say goodbye to her. She said, "See you tomorrow!" with a big smile and walked away.

...because I signed up for a two day gig (and tomorrow is ALLLLLL DAYYYYY). I'll NEVER do that again!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Adventures in subbing take...oh who knows?

I subbed in a middle school English class yesterday. Am I crazy? Um, there's a distinct possibility, but that's really a topic for another posting.

They were doing their standardized testing this week, so the kids were nuts, the schedules were equally nuts and nothing was business as usual. Since I haven't been trained in the fine art of reading directions, handing out booklets and sharpening pencils, they told me I can't proctor the test, so they had me roaming the halls and helping out by escorting kids to the bathroom, watching the class while the teacher had a bathroom break, taking notes from teachers to the administration, etc. etc. etc. It actually was a lot more interesting and exciting than I thought it would be. First of all, I got paid to walk non-stop for 2 hours. Exercise bonus, right?? Plus, as I have divulged in an earlier post, I LOVE to solve people's problems, and for two hours, I was an official problem-solver! YAY!!! Then there was a teacher whose ex-husband is apparently stalking her, so I got to run to get security, tell them what I saw and heard which was all very exciting!

So, after the testing was completed, I started to follow the lesson plans for the remainder of the day. As usual, some classes were good, some classes were awful, but nothing really exciting happened...until we heard the announcement that we were now in "Shelter-In-Place" and for the teachers to prepare the classroom appropriately. (It's basically lock-down for the school and since they didn't say drill, although I figured it probably was, I was mildly alarmed at this point...)

Luckily, I am paranoid about these drills and have been told that they love to pick on subs during these drills. So, I had already found the emergency backpack and looked through it, mentally getting ready in case a drill (or worse) should happen during my day. I hopped to, put the green card on the door saying all students were accounted for, locked the door and told the kids to calmly continue working. The Asst Principal came to my door, smiled and gave me a big thumbs-up. YAY! And yes, it was a drill. Whew!

So, then the principal came in at the end of the day and asked me if I would stop by his office before I left. I said sure and mentally went over what I could possibly have done wrong...cause that's the kind of paranoid person I am... then decided it was probably about the stalker.

I was right, but as I walked into the principal's office, he greeted me solemnly and closed the door behind me. Gulp. Cue paranoia again. Anyway, it was about the ex-stalker dude, and after I gave my statement, he thanked me and I left. On my way out, I walked right into the middle of a fight between two kids. (sigh) Thankfully, the school administration was already on it, so I merely ducked to avoid blows and ran to the sanctity of my car.

Have I mentioned that subbing is definitely an adventure? Yesterday was, in spades!!! Can't wait to see what next week brings...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

DST woes

Oh my - it's been a LOOOONG time since I posted! In my defense, I've been subbing a lot lately, and it really takes it out of me! Sorry to my loyal readers...are there any left??? Were there any to begin with?? :)

I HATE when the clocks change in the Spring. I absolutely cannot believe it is time for that horrible event again already! Seriously, I just got used to the Fall one.

DST drives me nuts because my inherent sense of what time it is is thrown all the way off. I mean, honestly. It could be 4pm or 3am. I got no idea after this Sunday. And am I alone in the opinion that the Spring one makes every day loooooonnnnnggggeeeerrrr? When you are a sub, that's the last thing you want! Maybe I could only sub in the Fall and Winter? Um, probably not.

I've read and read about what this silly DST is all about, and it seems like it's about farming. Um, universe? I ain't a farmer (ewww bugs and wormy stuff). So, can I skip it already? We live in Nevada, and that's pretty close to Arizona (especially when you live in Vegas - AZ is in our back yard!!), so I think I'll just skip it this year. This is America, right? If we can teach our kids that there's no such thing as absolute truth, that everyone should win an award or no one should and that 1+1=3 is correct if it would hurt your self esteem to say you are wrong, then I should be able to say NO. I'ts not 2pm, it's 3pm and class is over. GO HOME NOW.

Right???

I hate DST...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Birthdays

I turned (ahem) 40 this year (cough cough). It was a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but I anticipated that it might be, so I spent the last year commenting (when asked my age) "I'll be 40 in September." Seemed like I might get kinda used to it if I said it umpteen zillion times. And, honestly, I think it helped. I still write (ahem) when disclosing my age, but it doesn't really bother me.

I have a dear friend here in Las Vegas named "D" and today is her birthday. She is (ahem) 50 today. We were supposed to go out to dinner with D and her hubby tonight, but her hubby called this morning and cancelled because D is too depressed about the whole shebang. I, being the control-freak that I am, tried to convince him that going out was the perfect antidote to depression, but he held his ground and it's all cancelled.

**My control-freak tendencies run deep, and I have a deep and abiding conviction that I am always right, so this was hard for me to take. Just ask Divine Hubby!**

I then tried to convince him to let me come over and give D her birthday present to cheer her up. He kindly, but firmly said D is in bed, has been all day, and that "It's just not a good time, STQ."

Harumph.

I truly believe if D's hubby would let me come over, I could help her climb out of the pit she's in. But, you know - it's not really my decision, is it? (again, harumph) I don't like it when things are out of my control. Or when people don't take my oh-so-brilliant advice as the gospel which it obviously is. :)

Maybe STQ has just a teensy bit too high of an opinion of herself? Yeah, maybe. It's been suggested before. But, it's absolutely out of love and concern for my good friend D. If I were in a birthday-induced pit, I would want every friend I ever had to show up, bring me presents, drag me to dinner, ply me with girly martinis and convince me that 50 is the new 30 or something. (Remember that when I'm under the bed crying in a deep blue funk 10 years from now, ok?? )

Anyway, say a prayer for my friend D. She is such a loving, giving, generous, warm and wonderful woman, and I am very sad that she is taking this birthday so hard.

Monday, February 23, 2009

On not getting a job today

As most of you know, I am a substitute teacher. This job has its perks, and its drawbacks. At first, I didn't enjoy it at all. Since I've been doing it for 4-5 months, I have learned how to make it better. You take the jobs you want and NEVER EVER take the jobs you have learned you hate. Makes you life easier.

Its perks are that if your child is ill, you are ill, or something comes up, you simply don't take a job. What other position would allow that?? Um, none. Also, I get to spend the day with some amazing people and some amazing kids. I say that because I've learned where the amazing people and kids are and where they are not.

I have not been kind to our local public school district on this blog. I still believe that it is in our best interest for ME to immerse myself there so Chase does not have to be immersed there. In general. But, through subbing, I have met some truly wonderful, caring and amazing teachers. I'd like to make a little "STQ school" and hire those fantastic teachers I have met to teach Chase. Unfortunately, I couldn't really pay much, so I doubt that would work out well...

Today, the only jobs available were:

1. Teaching English at the local juvenile detention facility. (Um, I ain't doin' that under any circumstances and God bless whoever takes those jobs.)

2. A Boys' PE job. (Can't do that - cause I ain't a boy.)

3. A Severely-Emotionally-Challenged (SEC) job at a high school. (I've subbed there before, but today it started at 7am, and time-wise, I can't get Chase to school in time to teach that class. But otherwise, I'd take it.)

And that's about it. There was a specials job this morning at an elementary school, but through the magic of the internet, someone else got it before I did.

So, I'm hanging out here today. And it's ok. I'm hoping for something tomorrow, and I already have jobs lined up for Wednesday and Friday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today's post is brought to you by Kleenex...

I subbed today in a preschool autism class. What an incredible whirlwind of a day! There was screaming, crying, laughing, spinning, clapping, running, whining and spitting. And that was the first five minutes!! We had 4 autistic 3-4 year olds and 2 non-autistic kids who are in the class to model good behavior to the others. And TWO aides (you know how I love a class with an aide - two is even better!!). One boy was brand new - this was his first day ever in school. He turned three YESTERDAY. Poor baby, by the time he left school at 3:20pm, he was hoarse. He cried the entire day, well, except for the hour or so he napped. He decided I was the one he liked and he clung to me. That is unfortunate because I'm a sub. So, poor little guy, his only friend won't be there tomorrow.

That makes me sad. Makes me feel bad that I ever even held him. Honestly, it would have been better if he had no friend today than have his only friend never show up again. I was trying to help, but I think I did the wrong thing. I can imagine his little face dropping when he comes to that horrible place where he cries all day and the only person he could tolerate at all and who hugged him tight and whispered to him to calm him down isn't there. (sigh)

It was a good day - I love special ed, and the autism class is quickly becoming one of my favorite classes. But, I realized today that I can do more harm than good even when I have only the best of intentions. I'm going to say a prayer for Brian tomorrow that he will LOVE the regular teacher right off the bat.

Poor Brian.