Saturday, August 30, 2008

Long Weekend...much needed

Happy Saturday morning, Gaggle. Can everyone say...aaahh? I vote for a long weekend every month, can I get an Amen? Has it only been 3 weeks since school started? Isn't it odd that a whole summer can disappear as if it never happened? Or is that just me? There is no history of Alzheimers in our family, but there has been alot of just plain crazy. Maybe I've got it?
I hope everyone has a terrific weekend going on! Steve is camping w/Stephen, Shawn and their kids are in Michigan visiting her sis, Trent and Nina are vacationing in Ky., and Courtney and I went to B-ton's 4th Street Festival yesterday. Where so many people get all their creativity is beyond me. Walking from booth to booth, seeing all that amazing talent humbles me. Nowhere in my flesh and bones hides an ounce of artistic ability. I can't even conjure up an idea of this stuff, much less execute it. Wonderful works. I bought a sweet journal for one of my students; she's all into recycling and is a very good writer, so I chose a journal covered in a patchwork of recycled fabrics. It even has cutout letters "Recycled" on it. I also picked up a beautifully simple vase for flowers. Low and squatty, it is unglazed in the colors of the ocean. I love it. Like I need more stuff in our house. I could and should have a shopping day, open my doors to the public and let them buy from the shelves, tabletops and walls. I have always been a collector, though in this house I've left most things in storage boxes in the basement. This older woman can't breathe in cluttered spaces. Let me know if you are looking for anything in particular, I'm sure I have at least one of anything! I'd love to share.
Everyone's kids settled into the routine of school and work? What great kids!!! Bright, bubbly, creative imaginations, I could just see their minds working that day at Janelle's. The Gaggle sure has a beautiful crop of goslings, Ladies. Wish we would start posting pix on here. I must have someone teach me how. Other blogs have such beautiful music and lovely pictures, it inspires and frustrates me that all I have done is print and post. Again, that pesky no talent problem. Well I'll keep trying, in the meantime, you are all techno wizards and can show us bits and pieces of your lives.
I have to go into work today; I have 2 grant applications to finish by Tuesday. I've given up SADD, but promised to help with the AfterProm fundraising, so am applying for funds from our Community Foundation. I've taken on more and more admin duties this year, our principal is on his way out and would rather I just do it and not ask his OK. No one else seems to care, so we have made several changes in middle school and are focusing on real middle school issues, not corporation designs. It is working so far. I'm not crazy about the state's idea for 6th grade career and diploma track guidance. I wish 11 and 12 year olds could be kids and fine tune their basic education skills, not be overwhelmed with these decisions so early. We have a 9 week rotation of careers in the 8th grade as well as the mandated freshman careers class. I just don't see what advantage the new plans give the kids. Again, so many do not have the basics they will need to graduate, much less the concept of a career. Oh, well, your man Mitch rocks on.
Jill, a tattoo? Where? What? OMG, you are a wild woman for sure. I think buying a red coat is too wild for me or coloring my hair; I'd be struck by lightening for a tatto, I'm sure. Go girl, for all the fainthearted among us!!!
Anna, settled in? Love life on? I miss our talk sessions and I never watch the Iron Chef, since you and Kirstie aren't with me. You girls made that such a nice time in my life. Thanks for letting me be part of it. Even though I may never be a REAL school counselor, I wouldn't trade my grad school experience for all that time back. My Gaggle is Great. Everyone enjoy the rest of the weeken. Love

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Real life

This week has certainly given us a taste of real life, Ladies. Seeing Alan with Elana, hearing the story of Lane's birth, meeting Elana's family and witnessing the love and joy she brought to so many lives in her short time was an amazing experience for me. The family was so strong; greeting hundreds of friends and strangers with pleasant words and hugs or handshakes, sharing little memories of Elana, all while little Lane lay in Chicago University Hospital attempting to grow and develop outside his Mama's warmth. He seems to be doing well, but at 1lb. 12 oz. has a long fight ahead. The saving grace is that he was not ill. The pulmonary hypertension effected only Elana, came on suddenly and forced his emergency delivery. He will be flown to Riley in Indy as soon as it is medically safe for him. Hallie was home with friends and is unaware of what has happened to her Mama. Poor Alan, by the middle of the evening was beyond speaking. I don't think we can imagine what he must be feeling.
Cindy and I drove up to B-ton together, met Jim, Shelley, Stefan, and Bronwyn and ate at Nic's. It was interesting to catch up with them. Cindy is so happy in Crawford County and they are considering moving there soon. Jim has done a 180; cleaned up his act, teaching, studying, quit smoking and is training for a triathalon. Shelley is back at her old position in Anderson, looking to be placed as a counselor as soon as some internal politics are cleaned up. Stefan is "investigating" all sorts of possibilities, working for Wayne township, still, but not as a counselor. He has an enterprize called HiStep, of which I know little; seems to do some teaching, preaching, inspirational speaking on the West side. Who knows? Bronwyn is divorced, liing with Mom and daughters in a house down the street from ex, working at a school outside of Indy and dating a weirdo from the last school. She's gained weight, but apparently can't afford bigger clothing, smokes and curses like a sailor. Not a pleasant dinner partner. I wish we had been more open to Cindy at ISU, she was used and abused but the Desperate Housewives in that last year. She is a sweet girl and a wonderful counselor.
The girls, Shayla, Mackenzie and Dakota, my brother's 13 year old, are going to B-ton this afternoon for shopping and supper. That will be just what I need after this week. We will hit Border's, the mall and Target before eating at a "grown-up place". They like to ssume the college girl image when they are in town. :-)
Everyone enjoy the weekend with your loved ones; be conscious and in every moment, it goes so quickly. Love to all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Same ole

I'm taking a few minutes for a break before my lunch duty starts today. The first day was pretty uneventful yesterday or at least we all survived. Hope everyone else can say the same. Our staff is starting out pretty with pretty good attitudes, except for those with over 30 students and only 25 desks in their classrooms. Educated people can be so sarcastic, have you noticed? Give them a chance and they pull out the BIG words. Apparently the teachers' idea of a counselor is someone who: a) can fix anything, b) arranges your schedule to suit her mood, and c) enjoys hearing adults whine. One did bring me a cute poster of a bird balancing on two poles with the message, "Be Flexible" . Quite appropriate.

Coming back was a good experience, I found I had missed the kids and the structure of my work day. Of course, sleeping late and reading real books was nice, too. I have discovered other blogs on line that I love checking into; mostly about decorating and raising kids and attempting a peaceful life. They use lots of photos of their homes and decorating finds, talk about their husbands and kids and even offer up recipes. I get all inspired to make-over my world. I have an old book shelf I'm sanding and painting right now to hold all my vintage flower pots. Most are McCoy or American and are figures of animals from the 40s and 50s. My grandad bought my mom and all her sibs cookie jars in 1955 that are the Yarn Doll pattern, I have Mom's and love it. Our family has few inherited items so this is precious to me. I have only seen one example of these jars in antique stores and a few on Ebay. They were only $3 or $4 when he bought them but they meant the world to those 13 kids and to us grandchildren who now own them. One blogger from Australia is really good, so funny and creative. I am lucky to have the time to fritter away on the computer at night. I know most of you are too busy with your families to do this. Happily Steve is pretty low maintenance after all these years. Feed him and place him in front of a TV with the remote, works for hours.

I must face the crowd in the cafeteria now...wish me luck.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My sister and I just got back from a "Women Of Faith" weekend in Indy. We went as a group from several local churches and had a great experience. I was not aware of this group of funny, inspiring and spirited Christian ladies before this weekend. They are awesome; open and honest, talented on so many levels and blessed with the ability to share with others. I'm sure most of you have heard of them, but I seemed to have lost touch with any that wasn't connected to ISU for the last several years. My loss. Nicole C. Mullins is an amazing singer and a more amazing woman, if you haven't heard her music, listen to it asap. Sandy Patty, I knew from years ago, but had lost track of her career. Sheila Walsh has the voice of an angel, but I was tempted to dismiss her for her involvement with The 700 Club. I am so glad I didn't, her story is inspiring, too. (my liberal leanings find no virtue in the Conservative Right, I'm sorry if this offends any Goose out there). I loved the older women speakers, too. So much vitality and joy they can hardly contain themselves. Llke Tucker on steriods, imagine.
Steve had apples and green beans waiting for me, so I have both on the stove this evening; making more apple butter and cooking even more beans. ;-) Poor guy spent the weekend alone, so I have to humor him.
Tomorrow I'm back to full time; registration for 3 days, then in-service for faculty. I am going to present the "No complaints" concept to them, expecting acceptance and enthusiasm. Sort of a "self-fulfilling prophesy concept. Of course, I am praying over this, too and trying to come up with just the right method of presenting it. I want to just shout, "These kids need to be heard, shut up and listen, consider them, not yourself. Do your job because it needs doing, not because you get paid". But as a transformed counselor, I know that will not be accepted well. Can I just say, "because I said so, that's why?" No?
Going back to work isn't something I dread this year, summer has been great, I feel refreshed and ready. I have my rose colored glasses all polished up.
Gotta go check on the apples. Everyone have a great week, whatever you are doing. Honk, Hedy