Home | Posts RSS | Comments RSS | Login

Wear your pj's to school day?

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Neither did I: but when I got there to subsitute teach as the para-pro. in the Kindergarten classroom, the teacher and most of the kids were wearing flannel or thermal pajamas. I wish I had known... it would have saved me a lot of time getting dressed before I left the house, running late, with my shirt-tail flapping.

That teacher was absoultely fearless: she turned twenty kids loose with little tubs of icing and popsicle sticks with instructions to cover half-pint milk cartons with the icing so they could attach squares of graham crackers and all manner of marshmallows, candy, peppermint candy canes, to make them look like gingerbread houses. I am still wondering what her day would have been like if I had not showed up to clean up the remarkable mess they made: they were literally wearing that icing. I dont' think they actually consumed much - it just did not occur to them to lick their fingers! But they did get it all over their hands, in their hair, smeared on tables and chairs... really amazing...

While they were watching 'The Polar Express' movie after the lunch they did not eat, the teachers were bagging up a pile of goodies parents had sent, so each child went home with about two pounds of cookies, candy, popcorn, etc., leaving me very thankful they had not had a 'party' and consumed that two pounds of sugar before they left school - in addition to some remarkably sticky 'gingerbread houses' that we put in gallon zipper bags to send home for future consumption.

I've already got a couple of subsituting days lined up for January... since my work schedule at Publix has tapered down to nearly nothing, I'll be figuring out some other ways to keep myself occupied.

how was your week - Dec 24th

I worked more at Publix this week than any week since probably back in February. And probably won't be on the schedule for more than an occasional day until Valentine's Day comes around again. All day on Tuesday, and thought it would be a full day on Wednesday, but when I got there, and they decided business was really slow, was sent home by mid-morning, with the request that I would come back early on Thursday.

I'd had intentions to go to Valdosta when I got off work the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday, was packed and ready to travel to go to visit the shut-in Auntie. So I got in the road much earlier than expected, and was there by early afternoon. We went to the cemetery in Quitman to put out red silk poinsettia plants on graves, and did a slow drive through town, out Court Street. Had soup for supper and went to be early, since I had to get up and return to Columbus for an unexpected day on the Publix schedule.

She seems to be getting stronger, regaining stamina, but certainly not at the speed she would like. Very frustrated by the slowness of recovery, and apparently still unwilling to concede that the cumulative effects of six surgeries in less than three years would take a heavy toll on anybody's body. Gradually moving faster, but so fearful of falling, she does not do the exercises and therapy that is obviously required to improve/recover from yet another traumatic health event.

Dec. 24th

Not expecting any body to come and entertain us here on Christmas day... that will be a major non-event. I can't remember when there has been No excitement, No 'crack of dawn' activity in my life: people with ants in their pants at 5:00 (or earlier) on Christmas morning. The hysteria will be limited to seeing how long the batteries I bought at the Just-a-Buck store will last in the electric/remote controlled train set we will be putting together in the morning. Pretty low key anti-excitement to my way of thinking. We need bicycles! roller skates! go-carts! to create chaos!

My early memories of Christmas mornings include having such warm weather that kids were swarming the streets in shorts and T-shirts showing off their new 'wheels'. It was always overcast, usually damp, but invariably warm enough for chasing around the neighborhood without heavy winter wear to hamper activities.

If I was not so tired from getting about four hours of sleep last night (due to irresponsible chocolate consumption, most likely - it was not so fantastically, remarkably, astoundingly good as to be worth lying in bed for several hours with eyes refusing to stay shut, and brain whirring at a gazillion miles an hour.. I'd have rather had the sleep because it's barely dark and I feel exhausted, ready for bed at 8:00!) I'd stay up until late, with the hopes of sleeping past 6:00 a.m. tomorrow: that would be a real novelty.

Since Santa is not coming down my chimney, it would be a real treat to be lazy slug-a-bed - but I guess there is too much 'Choppy' in me for that! So feel free to call, or stop by at 6:30 for a cup of instant, decaf and visit - I'll be up wandering around in my p.j.'s, puttering in the kitchen or emailing...

Dec. 25th

No one here for celebrating, only 'just us chickens', but looking forward to folks coming in the first of the week.I'm cooking, and planning cooking, and waiting, and trying not to eat while I wait. Maybe I should put all my clothes on, every single piece, and go for a walk... don't you burn more calories in cold weather just trying to keep your body temp. adjusted?

I hope....If you wonder why I am suddenly having this flood of communicating with the world - Yes, You Out There: it is due to the fact that I have all-hours access to my computer. The houseguests are in Florida for a week, so I do not have to arrange my typing around the schedule of someone who sleeps late. Guess I need to be making hay while the sunshines? Speaking of which: I have a report of a white Christmas in Tennessee - you will have to check her Stinky Sweet blog for photos, since I am not amongst the techno. advantaged with a fine camera and ability to put pix. in a wee-tiny little hole in the computer.

Holiday luv 2 U.

tech support...

Paula here - providing tech support for my sweet mother - or as much as I can without knowing much about Blogger.

She accidently created herself another blog and cute as it might be - it is going to be impossible for her to figure out what is going on so I am basically going to copy and paste her entries from the other blog in her.

You are about to have about 6 new blog entries to read - enjoy!

plugging away on 'day labor' work...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Since I knew I would be 'stuck' here this week, with no transportation, due to the fact that my car is in the shop for several days getting a new bumper and hood for Christmas - I thought this would be a good time to try to get some substitute teaching jobs. Which I did, and have done.

Both days have been as a para-pro in Kindergarten classrooms, and fairly amusing. I really do not want to be the only person in a room with a twenty or more kids I do not know well enough to call them by name (pretty much the only way you have any control over their behavior whatsover is by knowing them well enough to single out the mis-behaving on a personal basis.) So I have concluded I would much rather be in a pre-K, Kindergarten or first grade class where there is always another person.

I went to great, aggravating lengths to get my certification renewed to be able to increase the pay rate when I do get a job as a sub., but it only applies if I am replacing the actual teacher in the classroom - and most of the calls that occur every morning at 6: 02, and in the evenings during the window between six and nine when the computer calls, are all for para-pro/aide assignments. But I guess that is better than sitting at home and not making anything, so I generally take the para. jobs: which is where I have been twice already this week, and looking for a couple more.

All of which will come to a screeching halt on Friday, when the schools are closing for the year.

All this 'job shopping' has caused me to take several assignments for January, but I suspect that the closer it gets to those days I agreed to work, the less enthusiasm I will have for being confined up in a classroom with a mob of 9 or 10 year olds who are snotty (literally), ornery and generally disagreeable. (I really do not want to bring germs home, so try very hard not to touch anything or anybody - difficult to do when so many of those kids are starving for affection/attention.)

the week that was...

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Spent several days this week in Quitman. Though it does not 'appear' that any progress was made, I know how many big garbage cans we filled up, so feel like we did make some headway. But as is true with lots of things, and accurately documented in some sub-set of Murphy's Law: the more you do the more there is that needs doing.

One of the things I really wanted to accomplish was to get rid of a pile of old nasty, water-filled tires that had been left in the backyard years ago, and hopefully find some place to haul them away and deposit while there was a pickup truck available to load them in. So I went by a shop that sells tires to ask: If I am willing to pay a small disposal fee, will you let me bring you these old tires to add to the pile that you will have a recycling company haul off and turn into asphalt? The answer: we will take them off your hands for $8 each. I think I had 12 tires, so that seemed to be pretty outrageous to me. We started calling around and found that the city would not pick them up (I pretty much knew that), and the local landfill would not accept them. So called the trash contracting service in Valdosta who said they could not take them because that landfill would not allow them either. We finally contacted the landfill in Thomas County, and found that they would take them for about $1 each... I did not want to drive the dry-rotted crappy old bald tires to Thomasville, but could not in good conscience just roll them off the back of the truck into the creek. So we hauled them off to the Thomas County landfill and paid $11 to unload them there: with a flock of buzzards sitting on the bare branches of a dead tree as witnesses, like something out of a very bad movie...

We borrowed/heisted a Thomas Utilities garbage can on the way back to Brooks County, that nearly filled the back of the truck, and was immediately loaded full of more bags of trash when we got it back to the house.... so yes, though you would open closets and cupboards and not feel like anything had disappeared, we really did make some Cleaning-Out progress. Thanks to you, FS! ;)

There is some sort of electrical crisis: some of the lights do not work, both in the kitchen and outside. Will have to get the electrician (who also drives a county school bus, and will work me in around the pick-up/delivery hours) to come and figure it out, and hope it is nothing overly complicate/involved/expensive to remedy, but fear the worst in a house where most of the wiring is nearly 60 years old.

if you were wondering what to give...

Saturday, December 4, 2010
I told my family several years ago that I did not want any 'stuff', nothing they could go to the store and buy, nothing that has to be dusted around.

All I want from anyone on any gift-giving occasion when a person feels the urge to 'gift' is
Time. So if you are thinking about what a person like me would enjoy receiving, now you know.

If you want to make something good to eat, and call me or bring it over for us to share and laugh together, that would be great - but please not anything that I will have to find some place to 'put', and then have to pick up and dust under.

And the more I think about it: the more I have decided that Time is the best gift any of us can give to another: just your undivided attention - lunch, or a cup of hot tea, or a walk in the park together.

I've heard from a very reliable source that 'food' (of the home-made variety) is the perfect gift, because you devote your time to making something tasty/special, and then give it to someone you care about enough to want to charm their tastebuds, see their eyes light up, watch them smile and say: "Ooh, wow! Can I have more???"

There were some years when I spent hours and days in the kitchen making treats to give to people that I never got a response from when Paul had to provide gifts for business. Devoted lots of effort to planning, shopping, cooking and then cleaning for holiday parties. Thankful that era is over - but look back and remember how much of my time was spent in trying to do something different that people would really enjoy, and cannot recall hearing more than a 'thanks' when they walked out the door. So, in the future, my efforts will definitely be aimed at people who really express their delight for homebaked goodies...in a Meg Ryan way!

... so there are exceptions to the Rule of Time...

what to do with leftover 'stuff'...

Someone grew up, got married and moved away, but failed to take all her stuff.

The stuff included a big box full of Christmas ribbon, and bows she had tried to sell at the consignment store where she worked several years ago, prior to the above sentence. I would periodically, usually during the wrong season, come across that box full of Christmas ribbon, and think: too valuable to trash, but what to do?

I actually fluffed them up and took them to the craft sale at church several weeks ago, but no one even bothered to get close enough to look at them, or ask about price... not knowing I would have said: 'Free! How many do you want?!?!'

A very smart, remarkable thinker/friend suggested taking the bows to a Christmas Tree sales lot in early December and offering to sell them to go on their fresh greenery wreaths. I tried, and sold six to the man down the street (who said he did not want to buy any because his wife had gone to buy some rolls of ribbon and she was an 'experienced' bow-tie-er.) That so surprised me, to have someone buy half of the boxfull that! So: like an idiot, I came home and made more bows.

And went to other tree lots to try to peddle the new ones today. With no success. One girl said 'we make our own', and bit my tongue instead of saying, 'yes, but they are tacky'.

So I decided I would just put them out on the tree out near the street (that same tree where the Easter eggs are still hanging) and make a sign that states: Bows for sale. If I make any money, I will be happy. If someone comes by and takes all my bows, I will be slightly sad about the Grinch, but happy the bows are gone.

If you want to know my street address, so you can come and load up on 'free' bows, you can send me an email, since I do not know how to check for comments here?

south GA update....

Friday, December 3, 2010
Last Tuesday I went to Thomasville to retrieve the incapacitated auntie from the hospital to get her back home to Valdosta. I knew, and common sense would tell anyone who had just had the third back surgery in less than three years (plus two hip replacements, and elbow surgery thrown in for good measure), that you can't get up and dance out the door in less than a week. She was determined to not endure another bad inpatient rehab. experience, and insistent she was going to go home.

I'd called a friend of hers in Valdosta to inquire about someone who would come and stay to help her get mobile again. That 'someone' turned out to be: Joy - what a blessing.

Joy came over Wednesday morning to talk, and I guess kinda 'job interview', and stayed for lunch. So thankfully, blessedly, I left! I think they must be getting along well, since I have not had any reports otherwise. I am so thankful for this person who just literally fell into our laps, and feels like what she does to provide assistance and support for people and families in need is a calling. Thankful she was available, and thankful she has a very high tolerance level for strong-willed, stubborn, highly opinionated women. She said she had worked for a woman who was nearly 100, and did not want any help at all, but the family insisted, and before it was over the woman was crazy about her... I got the feeling from listening to Joy tell her story, this cantankerous woman just felt so loved and cared for she could not resist responding.

.....and I am very thankful...