Sunday, September 21, 2008

How You Doing?

How is everyone today? I've been so caught up in what is going on here, I've neglected to ask about my good friends' needs. I truly believe we can concentrate too, too much on US and forget YOU. I have accepted that my life is going to be full and crazy and a little overwhelming, so now I need to get over myself and check on you all. Last week's pity party was useless and self-serving; my world will look rosy IF I choose for it to . I do.

Well, Mrs. H, how is 30 looking from where you sit? I look back on it with dim memories, as I am almost twice that. Geez. Janelle, you are the picture of what 30 should look like; wife, mother and 1/2, professional, friend. You should be proud of accomplishing all of this and only being 30 years old. And being an excellent wife, mother, professional and friend, BTW. It makes me smile to be your friend, you are so much the person I hoped to be as I was growing up, a shy and nerdy child.

Angela, how are the kids this week? Any updates? Is Abby still doing her work with the horses? I hope so. My sister had horses as a child and finally as an adult. She loved them and only gave them up when life became too busy for her to really spend the time with them she wanted. She is the same with dogs and cats...devoted. I am like our mother; animals are for people who live outside far away from me. Mom would freak if Deb let a cat or dog inside. Sometimes she would get up and bring one to bed after our parents were asleep. She would threaten to have them attack me if I told. I DID NOT. Mom didn't know until we were grown.

Is everyone high and dry this week, no trees, wet basements or missing roof? We had no power from Sunday til Wednesday night. But feel blessed when looking at other areas. Along the Ohio river, just a county south they still have no power and haven't returned to school. It is Cindy Cain's school. I can't imagine ISTEP results after this mess. Our kids were so stressed we postponed Monday's tests but continued on Tuesday. I had GQE 504 kids, writing porn for the writing prompts or sleeping through the math section. My 7th graders were great on Friday after those yahoos. I don't think I enjoy high schoolers at all.

Are all the crops out of the fields up there? Hope your families get back to normal soon. I picture all those gigantic flat fields picked clean by Charlie on his monster machines, Elaine. By the way, how are the house renovations going? Or should I ask? Nothing like depending upon a husband for home improvements, is there? Steve has always been the world's worst at working at home. Anyplace else and he is a master carpenter, but... Anyway maybe this winter Charlie will hit it hard at home.

Jill, what's going on with you and yours? Thanks for thinking of me with the party invite. We will have to celebrate everyone's fall birthdays next visit. Our fall break is the week I'll be in Chicago at the Ophelia Conference. I'd like the kids to join me on Friday, but only Shawn seems interested in that trip. The guys don't care for the Windy City. Maybe it will be Ladies Only and we'll shop 24/7. When is fall break in the north?

Wow, I just saw a hummingbird on the feeder, they are moving south in droves this week. I'm cooking for the kids today. Haven't had them all for awhile, it is so much easier when they come in individual families. But I love it when they are all here. Loud, noisy though it is. Our pretty boy Caleb got a buzz cut, oh my. He says now he and Maddie look alike! No hair. Mackenzie and I went to Bloomington to see "Anne Frank" yesterday. She hadn't been to a live performance in a small theater before, she loved it. I'm glad we have something we do that is just ours. I try to do something special with each of them, but Kenz is so much like me it is easier to think of things to do. Shayla is here today helping me cook for tonight, she is a whiz at the grocery shopping and at prepping too. We are having Mexican chicken casserole, corn (Papaw froze it by himself), salad and Texas sheet cake. I made a new bean salad that Court and I had in a cafe in Louisville. Red, black and white beans with green peppers, onion and a light vinagrette. I hope it is good, I just guessed at the ingredients.

I better get back to the kitchen. Wishing you all a blessed week. Hedy

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wanted: stronger rose-colored glasses!!!

Good Saturday to everyone,

The blog really worked this week, loved hearing from so many geese. Jill, you will never be out of the loop, you are the loop, Girl. Hope you found some good info on Freshman, Anna. Did you contact Terra? I'd love to start that here, but feel overwhelmed by all that is needed to prepare for it. I'm starting the middle school "New Image" girls' group after ISTEP and that is so time consuming. We try to have a different activity each week which will be an esteem/confidence builder for girls. I bought the coolest, or kookiest book called "How To Be A Lady" for this. OMG, not quite Miss Manners, but almost. Even I think some entries are over the top. I think the girls will get a hoot from it and maybe learn a little, too.

Staci, Carrie just needs to log on to Gagglespeak, as you did. There are no controls on who can enter. I left it open for all. How's she doing with 2 little guys? You and Mellissa sound like too much fun with your Bunko nights. I miss Mellissa, I believe she was my first connection at ISU that long ago spring.

Kirstie, I love you and Pat for your heads up, smiles on attitude about our jobs. You are a fresh breeze blowing on all of us, thanks. What lucky kiddos will be born to your family one of these days; having the coolest Momma and Daddy around.

What a week. I think the European scientists messing with the Big Bang theory have done something to the wildlife in the U.S., meaning our middle school students. Goofy, goofy, goofy and ISTEP coming up next week. I shudder to think what the results will be, and our sophomores are not the most likely to succeed on the GQE this year. Have you all had the Article 7 training? Who is going to do all this extra monitoring and recording and reporting? Counselors??? My classroom teachers are up in arms and will just quit referring. Then where will these kids be? Oh, and how was your week? Sorry, I had to vent and lost control.

AND this week was our "Complaint Free World" kick-off. Most of the staff have red wrists from all the rubber band snapping :-). We have started a Monday morning prayer group for staff. It feels good to at least be postitive in the beginning of the week. We have another on Wednesday after school and by then we need it. It is heart warming to see so many teachers wanting this, I've been surprised by the attendance. Males and females coming together for strength.

It is a gloriously hot day here in OC. Where is fall? I want to cook some fall food, but won't heat up the kitchen. I need to hold on to this for real winter weather which will be here, I know. I guess I'm just worn out with summer. The heat saps my energy, although at school my office is a brisk 24 degrees all year round. I kid you not, my nose drips icicles, visitors request blankets, and my aides wear winter coats. Even the flowers I cut from our garden last 2 weeks, just as if they were in a florist fridge! Our thermostat is controlled by a computer in Houston, no telling what Ike will do for us.

Courtney is bringing her kids over later, we are taking Brianna shopping. She couldn't wear any of the B-day clothes I got her, so she will try on before I buy more. They grow unbelievably fast, no? Bri is a gorgeous blue-eyed blond with a strong mind of her own. She and stepmom tangle often. It is interesting to watch my daughter deal with these additions to her life. They are all learning to love each other.

Hope everyone liked the pix, it is easy to add them. I'd love to see some from you all. My brother is against putting his girls' pix online like this, but I'm not concerned. Crazies are everywhere, but you cannot get paranoid about it.

Are you all keeping up with the presidential race? I'm not a gung ho politico, but Sarah Palin is not ready for much of anything, I don't think. After viewing the Charlie Gibson interview, I don't think she is too smart or world-savvy. Having the balls to stand up and give a speech at the RNC doesn't mean one is qualified to run our country. She scares me. Her views are so narrow-minded. I have always thought John McCain was a good man, but what was he thinking? I'm not totally convinced this is Obama's time either, but the other side scares me. I want a better America for my grandkids than we have right now. This will require real soul searching for all of us in November. Some think it can't get worse than Bush, but I am afraid it can and will, as much as I dislike and distrust him. Gee, I hate being old and crusty. Bah.

Still haven't started a new quilt, gotten out patterns, fabrics, looked, studied, put everything back, again. Where is my inspiration? Help me, Girls. What should I do? Any ideas? I need a goal, a purpose for creating a quilt. A theme, a color plan, a deadline....

I'm also putting off my fall cleaning; too hot, too busy, too tired, need new windows, need a new kitchen, need a new back door. We have a new backdoor in the garage, aiting to be hung, but Steve appears to be as uninspired as I am. The blue funk hangs over our little bungalow, alas.

Everyone have a terrific weekend.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Beautiful Day

Another week behind us makes me wonder what are we rushing to reach. Having a four day week was sweet, but felt so chaotic; everyone was wacky around here. I long for normal, but seem to have forgotten how normal looks. Probably like this week. Our resident wiseguy emailed "tomorrow is just a mirror of today" on our first day back. I threatened to take him out if I ever heard that again. I want a fresh start everyday, a new chance to get it right.

It was great to hear Abby's good report, Angela. What a thrill. Hope the doc has more good things to share at that appointment. What is her summer Starbucks treat? Having that tradition is great; we do TGIFridays after every Rileys visit with our girls. Who are doing great, BTW. Mackenzie has lost nearly 50 pounds this summer, the meds are being cut back and her body is relishing it. She looks so cute, still so short about 4'9" but so cute. And Maddie is blossoming, too. Loves being back in school with her friends and hasn't lost ALL her hair for several weeks now. It holds on to about 1/2 inch of red fuzz. Sweet. Oh, the blessings of healthy children.

I planned to start a quilt this morning, but just haven't made the move. Nina has the house all clean and I opened all the windows this morning. I just hate to mess it up with fabric scraps and flying threads. I've just kinda sat and looked outside, observing the sights and sounds so far today. Peaceful. I said "no" to every offer I've had today; no shopping, no festival, no going to lunch, just chilling here alone...ahhhh. Steve, Stephen and Caleb have gone to Elnora for the Antique Tractor Festival, Courtney took Shay and Kenz to Jasper for haircuts and lunch, Mom's gone shopping, but I stood firm, feeling I needed to be still for a day.

Angela, I'm going back to Chicago for the Ophelia Conference instead of ISCA. I really enjoy that group of presenters and think they are on target with most of our school's issues. I want to take the CyberBullying Workshop, but it cost so much more to add and extra day. I wish some of you would come to it. My sister is going with me again. It is such a nice few days for us. She loves window shopping during the day, scoping out places for us to visit in the evening. Her son, Joe, and his fiancee, Bonner, will join us one night. They live on the lake and work downtown. Joe is in financing and Bonner in marketing, she has been in some commercials but mostly works behind the scenes. They are a typical professional couple, I guess, but we look at their lives as rushed. Deb keeps hoping they will move back when they decide to have kids, but I doubt that. Orange county, or even Louisville cannot compare to Chicago.

It was interesting to talk to Jim again, he is at ISU working on his doctorate. Draper is gone, of course, in fact Dr. Boyer is the only full fledged professor in the counseling program. They have combined it with some other program just to keep it going. I am not clear on what, but something in the School of Ed. Tonya is in charge, but the cohort is full of complaints and concern; according to Jim. I don't understand how something so acclaimed can go to pot in such a short time. I guess Peggy was all that held it together. She hasn't been back since that time with us, apparently. Draper is in Utah, surprise, and those guys (Cindy, Jim, Shelley and Brownyn) are still in awe of him. Maybe there was more to him than I could see. I thought he just basked in the glory of their adoration a little too much. I might be wrong.

Has anyone heard from Staci or Carrie lately? I heard Carrie is pregnant again. Staci emailed for awhile, but not this term. I miss her craziness. What a role model she is for the girls at her school; strong, self-assured, pretty, and a fashion diva. I missed most of those boats.

Hope you have managed to get together at Anna's new place and met her new man. Nice that she and Kirstie can socialize together with their boys. Just like a storybook or movie script. Our waterpark is on track for fall, hope you all can visit down here. It looks so cool, towering over the town with its glass walls and watershutes projecting out into space. Someone is building an indoor racetrack, too. They've torn up a hillside right below the waterpark, which hasn't set well with some locals, but progress is an ugly business. We appear to be building new instead of saving the old buildings around. Downtown stands empty while next door new towers and landscapes spring up. Makes me sad, I wish we had the $$$$ to invest in restoring an old building and creating a shop or restaurant of some kind. Our son-in-law is an excellent chef and would love a place of his own, but that involves more risk than we can take. He created a shrimp pasta with white wine cream sauce for the place he is working now and it is wonderful, smooth, light and tasty. YUM. His desserts are terrific, too. We have him make treats for Shawn's jewelry parties and all our birthday celebrations.

How are you feeling, Janelle? No problems, I hope. I keep thinking about your cute home, it has such a cozy loving feeling in it. I'd love to have a living room that size, I'd be rearranging furniture constantly. What fun. Of course, Brian's big screen TV would have to go. I can never get them to work in MY designs. Hehehe. Steve doesn't like that about me, either. He eventually, will be caste off to the basement with his TV, deer heads, guns and bows. Or maybe not.

Jill, I don't think our friend will last out the semester here. He has become a target for abuse. if he supports something, it is cancelled, or blackballed. It is rough on him. We all are rallying around, but this week was real bad. Lots of loud yelling and public put downs. I hate it for him and have encouraged him to walk if he wants to. Life is too short for such bull. Hope all is going well with mom and dad in Gosport. Are you all getting closer to a decision? You are in my heart, Girl.

Miss you all and pray your lives are good. Love