Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday again, such short weekends. Home alone, Steve and Stephen are camping this weekend with their fellow muzzleloading friends. Shooting targets, cooking over fire and dressing like settlers. Whatever turns you on, I guess. I prefer a nice hotel, a good dinner and a cozy bookstore. And yet, we love to travel together. Needless to say, we see some strange combinations of points of interest along the way. Historical markers are always noted and read, antique stores are visited, funky restaurants are ventured into. And so far, we have avoided sleeping in the wild.

I visited our neighborhood nursery yesterday for my front porch flower selection...I went with pink for the two big pots on the porch steps. I'm having an open-house for my daughter-in-law's new business venture on Thursday evening and needed something pretty. I haven't decided what to do with the back porch or the garden area. I try to be more cottagey back there. This is the year to expand and experiment more with my flowers, no school, no ISU and Steve will be here doing the digging and lifting. I've gotten some hot pink day lilies and gladiolas for one area, I loved the combination on paper, hope it works out in real life. We need more boxwood along the front of our porch, too. We have never done a formal entry there and it needs year round color; the front porch is such a dominate part of our house. We have been invaded by a strange mint plant for years; it covers every cultivated area. All the flower and vegetable beds get smothered under it if we don't diligently pull it out. I wouldn't mind it as a ground cover if it were not so tall, it gets 8-10 inches and doesn't look neat in a bed. Is anyone gardening big this summer? I always had massive vegetable gardens when our kids were home. It was such a chore. Only Trent has followed our tradition of gardening, he and Nina plant everything. Courtney had a small garden last year, but they are moving to a Bloomington apartment this spring. And Stephen is moving to a big farm house, but probably won't have time to garden. They have so many things going on.

Shawn is selling Silpada jewelry; a pricey new line. I hope the poor economy doesn't hurt her chances of success. She is a natural salesperson. So cute and bubbly, she makes everything look irresistible. Mackenzie has to has some sinus surgery done soon; she has polyps. Her specialist is concerned with the risks of surgery, but feels the risk of harboring infection is greater in those sinuses. She is freaking out about it all, in a comedic way. Between the move and the surgery, she claims the world is against her and goes all drama-queen on us. Truthfully, the move is more challenging, she does not accept change well and sees the farm as a threat. I know she will adapt and enjoy the new place, it even has a library, her favorite place in the world. Madeleine and Caleb love the wide-open feel of the farm; I see them getting lost regularly for awhile. They know no boundaries.

Shay graduates this year; oh, my. Prom was last night, she looked so pretty and had a great time, won an iPod Shuffle, stayed til 3:00 AM. The Lifeskills teacher always stays with those kids at AfterProm and they love it. I pray Shayla has a safe group of friends after high school. She is involved with the Special Olympics groups and knows so many good people. But she is so naive and can be taken advantage of, too. But she is such a sunny woman-child, everyone loves her.

School goes on as usual; more challenges daily. Jill, your friend is suffering from bloodclots and will be having surgery soon. He gets spacier by the day, a dear person, but... I will be surprised if he doesn't retire. We were just told we will be 1.5 teachers short next year and will have to revise the schedule once again. I do believe this is a test; for what purpose, I don't know but it cannot be real. We have 3 positions on the Board being challenged in the May election. It will be interesting to see the fallout from this. The ads are getting very inflammatory. Fun stuff. And we just get to Triage the mess. Good thing Safety Academy offered that workshop on Interrogation this spring, except we cannot speak with our Board members.

Obviously, we all made the wrong career choice, but what are you going to do? I love my job, if I could just leave the adults out of it...administration and parents.

It was good to hear from the posters this week. I understand how busy everyone gets as spring comes. Kiristie, we miss your jokes, have you turned serious in your old-age? I haven't heard a pirate joke in weeks. Anna, still looking to move to Lafayette? I hope you find the perfect home for you and the General. Is he staying in the military? Are you staying at NM? Only a few more weeks, Elaine and you can be back home with everyone for the summer. Angela, LimitedToo has the cutest tanks with sparkly horses on them. What size does Abbie wear?

We've rented another Beach house for June. This one is on Dauphin Island in Alabama. The kids are so excited, it has its own pool. We cannot wait; being away with all of them is such a wonderful time. We can visit without the distractions of life. I think I would have loved being one of those old-fashioned families like the Waltons, who all shared a big house. Of course, the menfolk would protest that. Too many loud kids and bossy women!!! I'm sure. The area offeres enough variety for everyone, history, nature and just relaxation.

Gotta go, Gaggle. The family is coming for supper and cakes need to be frosted, hams need to be baked and potatoes peeled. Have a good week, Everyone. Love

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finding our joy.

Ladies, I made it through another AfterProm; my 9th and last. We had about 150 kids show up and they seemed to enjoy the evening in our Wild West adventure. We had the cutest brown Ts with cowboys on them and colored Cowboy hats for everyone. A mechanical bull, the biggest draw. a mechanical calf roping horse and giant screen guitar hero, just what is the attraction there? Anyway they loved everything. We gave away iPods, laptops, TVs, dorm refridgerators, trac phones, satellite radios, Harley Davisson items and Vera Bradley bags. Plenty of pop and pizza and hot wings. No one went home hungry. I cannot express my relief in being done with this.

I'm concerned with the Gaggle. We are all much too negative this spring, myself especially. I am determined to work through this and remember each day to be glad and rejoice in what we have. I've found this difficult lately. It seems the dark stuff has overwhelmed me and I don't get my head up before something else strikes. You all know I'm a firm believer in self prophesy and see where negative thinking leads, so lets all decide to be more positive. Jill, call one of us when the mean, grouchies attack, please. I'm bad about covering up and holding everything inside when I should allow others to help me. One friend recently told me not to take her joy away by refusing her help. That really struck me; I do get so much joy from helping others, but did not realize I deprive others of that same joy. Reach out, share your needs and thank God for having friends willing to be there for you.

We have been having issues with Mom this week; needing a smaller home, unwilling to see that need, she is depressed and angry with everyone. Our daughter is making a major move that seems wrong to us, but we've been asked to "back off" and I supposed we have no other choice. But our hearts break watching the fallout and we stand around until we have to pick up the pieces, again. Anyone wanting to offer encouragement, is welcome, I accept. :-)

On a happier note, the grandkids are all well, Mackenzie has another good lab report and appears to be feeling better every month. Caleb isn't going to kindergarten this fall, they decided he isn't ready yet. He is immature for his age or big for his age and seems immature, at any rate Mom decided they were not ready. Gavin, on the other hand, is ready for college. He now wants to speak Spanish and "study" animals. He is all about his chickens and eggs; finding that whole process amazing. Like in: Why aren't eggs chicken poop? Can we eat dog poop, too? How do we answer his questions? and where does he get these ideas? Oh,, My. I love these kiddos.

Do you believe we have 2 tentative schedules for middle school and our leader has yet to decide which we will use? Our teachers are livid that I cannot tell them what they will be teaching. I've decided just to smile serenely and look wise. It works for Buddha, why not? Is everyone else finished with scheduling? Ours has not gone smoothly in HS either. We have a 5th grade orientation next week to introduce even more fun into the mix. See I am positive.

Steve has decided weight loss makes me look old, another positive in my life this week, but one than makes me laugh. Fat or old, can I have another choice??? Why not add ugly to the list?
He may be able to include mean and hateful soon.

Well Ladies, I'm setting my sails for May 23 and not looking back. Waddle on. Love

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This is a test of my determination to overcome this ratty weather. 40 freaking degrees, do you believe it? Only 48 hours ago it was 75. I hate Indiana's climate. Or lack thereof. Please, do not tell me you all have snow.
It was an incredibily busy week, I stayed home Tursday to build up strength to deal with Friday. The middle school had Midterm Madness, supposedly a reward for student achievement, actually a bizarre way to inflict self-punishment upon staff. Other than a couple of teachers ditching their posts and leaving me holding the bag, it went well. Only 1 arrest and no bloodshed. No joke, we discovered beer in a gym bag. Anyway that is behind us now.

This week brings prom, after-prom and all the prevention interventions we can cram into 5 days. Our law enforcement, judicial people and fire department come in on Friday for a mock drunk driving crash and the follow-trial. We have the helicopter and EMTs with "dead" bodies, the whole production. The kids start off impressed but as they begin to recogize townspeople and the 2 hours drag on, it turns into a festival-like atmosphere. I know this, but somehow cannot prevent it from happening. Some Prevention Specialist I am, huh? SADD also does the Grim Reaper on Friday, harvesting another dead teen every 20 minutes, painting his face white, slapping on a RIP t-shirt and sentencing him to a day of silence. Everyone wants to be chosen to die, it becomes quite the popularity contest. We also have most of our case conference scheduled for this week. We did the incoming 6th graders last week and I was taken aback at their immaturity, so small to be sent to the big school. We will have to guard them well, I think. We are getting a move-in tomorrow, 7th grader coming from totally separate classroom into our all inclusive routine. I'm concerned for him, Mom says he doesn't want to be here. Who does??? Do I sound jaded? I am not beating this weather thing, am I? On to sunnier thoughts.

My trucking connection called this morning with good news...we are getting yet another load of strawberries in today. In total that will be nearly 1000 flats of berries sold by SADD. We make $7 a flat and can now have a terrific AfterProm. I ordered 3 laptops for doorprizes and will have over $2000 for my parents to purchase other gifts to be given out that night. I telling you, if you sponsor an organization which needs funding, connect with a truck broker, have him haul in fresh strawberries from Florida and sell, sell, sell. Peolpe go nuts. I bless the day this parent offered to do this 6 years age. It is intense for 2-3 days and then it is over and you have $$$$.

How is everyone this week? Did Anna find a place in Lafayette over Spring Break? It sounds like you might not want to live close to Janelle and Brian with that problem child of theirs, Anna. Or maybe you could rescue Lady Avery from those silly parents.
Jill, where have you been? We haven't heard from you lately, except for that lovely comment on Friday. Thanks, I love you, too and hope all is well with the folks. I was afraid you had lost your laptop at the casino and couldn't email. I hear that people are walking out in only their underwear down here. Hope your experience was more rewarding.
How was the week, Elaine? I cannot imagine the conflicting emotions of leaving Anna and going back. But only for a few weeks and then the whole summer with just family; no Haute, no papers, no students. Yea rah. How about some new pix of the Baby Girl? I bet she's a changed woman by now. In fact, I think you all should post photos here for Grandma Hedy to see. I do not think I'll ever get to make the trip north, something always seems to interfere. I'd love to see Miss Abbie in her colorful braces, Angela. Tell her Lila wants some, too.

Is everyone keeping her job next year? I'm torn between playing dumb and staying put or applying for another school. Two neighboring counties are advertising for middle school counselors, but who knows if I could even get an interview. I'm approaching our Board with my appeal for change in position again in May or June. All I'm asking for is a little respect, hey, I think there is a song in that. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. and a few thousand dollars. Pray for me.

Steve and the Sisters had a great time in Texas. He slept for 2 days when he got back, says he couldn't sleep without me in the same house. Gee, not in the same bed or even same room, house. We've been together soooo long. It is nice to have him home, I just feel better with him around, more complete. We have such a good routine worked out since he retired, no pressures or rush, just tranquility. Most of the time. His 'remote obsession' still gets to me sometimes. Of course, I have no such annoying habits to bother him.

Take care, Hedy

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What a gorgeous day in Southern Indiana; I hope the North is fairing as well. Can we imagine living where the climate never changes? I love the gentle change of seasons, but in our Ohio Valley change can come quick and violently. Our farm was hit by the 1974 tornadoes which struck Louisville, Ky. That was a terrifying night. Right out of the movies; except our cattle didn't fly.

Janelle, Lady Avery is 2 and that means she is training to be an entertainer, spitting juice is just the beginning of her tricks. Staci's advice was spot on, ignore what you can and a tap on the lips when you cannot. You must pick your battles, she has to win some of them or she'll make YOU suffer. My sister chose to pee in our furnace registers for attention, and Caleb takes his "winkie" out to "look around". Lady A could be worse. Gee. I'd love to see her.

Our first week back was fun, 672 flats of SADD strawberries were sold and delivered, it rained another flood; our athletic fields are rice paddies for the spring, our students refuse to choose classes for next year so we are doing it for them, our teachers are reeling from next year's schedule and the counselors are to blame. Just another week in public education. The good news is that SADD is clearing a boatload of profits to pay for AfterProm and can rent the mechanical bull and pay for T shirts. The WildWest will rock on Prom night. I swear every year is my last, and I mean it this year. Someone has to take over, I'll be 60 next year, too mature to be riding bulls. Did anyone see that listed under the duties of a middle school counselor????

Steve is vacationing on his sister's Texas ranch with all his sisters this week, San Antonio is beautiful this time of year. He and his brother-in-law are going hunting, but this is mostly family time. He is the only boy among 5 sisters and is the next youngest, they still call him "Stevie". He will be ruined by the time he gets back. They are a very close bunch, my in-laws had 6 kids in 7 years; more like a litter than a family. All very strong, good women, I've been lucky with having loving in-laws. I did miss my coffee in bed yesterday morning; it is our ritual that is a day I can sleep in, Steve brings my coffee to me. Quite a luxury and I love him for it. All those years of carrying his dinner to him finally paid off for me. He has taken over many chores since retiring, grocery shopping, banking, his laundry and bedmaking. I feel like a queen.

I'm on my way to spend the afternoon with Mom, she has recovered from her bout with the flu, but is a little shaky still. I need to check out her financial statements for this quarter and we will replace the flowers on Dad's grave with bright tulips. He loved brilliant colors and we decorate his monument according to the season with the brightest we can find. He wore pink shirts before it was acceptable and always wanted to be styling. He was a very handsome man, dark with thick black hair and the blackest eyes. Even his coworkers called him "Dark eyes". It seems impossible that he has been gone 9 years; I still expect to see him when I walk into the house. I really do not think that will change. Janelle, my thoughts are with you.

Have a great week, Gaggle. We can start marking the days till summer. Hedy