Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Good Morning Girls, 
       I know everyone is having a good break and enjoying her family, right? Our time off has been fun, family and food; no surprise there! I've enjoyed lots of down time too, resting and reading. Trying not to interfere with Stephen King's routine, he's such an old lady about his schedule, Girls! 
      Mackenzie and I saw "Avatar" last night; I have to recommend it to you, very good. It is like nothing I've seen before; fantasy, technology, love story, fun, tragic, all the things that make a great movie. I'm not a movie buff at all, but this one was worth seeing. Now today I'm taking the Littles to see "Chipmunks, The Squeekual", maybe not quite the same quality, but just as entertaining. Maddie and Caleb are a hoot at the movies. Madd gets totally immersed into the screen. I love watching them watch.
       Right now I'm waiting for a phone call from Jill, she is at the hotel with her dad and we are meeting for coffee. Can't wait to see her. She improves my spirits every time. I cannot imagine driving down here as often as they do, but then again, I live here and don't gamble! I told Jill to just write me a check and not bother with throwing her money away at the casino, but no such luck. Maybe she will be lucky this visit, hope so. I haven't been back in the casino since you all were here in July. Not much of a supporter, sorry.
      Orange County is undertaking a new health program with life style changes, weight loss programs, fitness workshops and smoking cessation classes offered in each town several times a week. My niece, Stori, is an organizer and I think I'll get involved somehow. The exercise much begin soon or else!!! My muscles continue to deteriorate and joints hurt almost constantly. I think a walking and swimming program are my choices. The eating component is pretty much controlled already. Now I need to move.  Our school pool adjoins my office, so I have no excuse not to swim a few laps after school. My doc says as long as it is a gradual introduction, I'll be fine. So... Orange County W.O.W. here we go.
        My Mom is having a pretty good winter, short-term memory is bad, but she is functioning so much better with the new meds. We make sure she has a good lunch or dinner, she forgets to eat otherwise. My sister, Debbie, is a wonder with Mom. Patient and there everyday. We are so blessed she can and does do this for us and Mom. Christmas was a challenge, Mom kept wanting to give everyone money whenever she was with them. She wasn't up to shopping so we got gift cards for her to passout. But she kept forgetting she had done it after the first time. You have to keep laughing or else you cry. Bless her heart, Mom still wants to do for us all. 
     Christmas without Courtney was different, a big hole in our party. She and Ken spent the day with his son and his family then traveled to his mother's for the weekend. The pictures show blue skies, green grass, flowers and a pet kangaroo! Not your typical Hoosier Christmas. We are learning to be independent parents (ha) and know she is enjoying the life she wants and we are happy for her. 
      Jill just called, cashed in $200 and wants to celebrate. Going to meet her for a Coke! I'll be back. Ok, that was fun, Jill looks terrific and I laughed my head off at her tall tales! Your dad is a sweetie, Jill. So nice getting together for a quick catch-up. I wish the rest of you were addicted to gambling and came to see me sometime. Just kidding, Tucker stopped when she saw me coming. :-)
   Stephen King and I had a nice afternoon together; drove down to Jasper, had the oil changed in his truck, went to Rural King for hinges for the lambing pen, ate cheap Chinese. I tell you, Ladies, life cannot get much more romantic than this. Bet you all can't wait to grow old like us. Nothing says love like sitting in the Penzoil waiting room together.
     Is it cold up North? It has been a beautiful day here after several gray gloomies, but the 2 week forecast is for highs in the 20s!!! My office will be frigid. I was gifted 2 new shawls for Christmas, I'll need both of the everyday. One for my head, the cold air blows down right on it as I sit at my computer. Wish I'd gotten gloves, too. Oh, I got 4 new candles, I suppose I can light them all at once for a bonfire.
     2010, I can hardly imagine such a date. I thought the 1900s would last forever and the 2000s were science fiction. Little did I know how quickly time passes as one grows older. I've said before my live is a series of 6AMs, happening one after the other. Days whiz by, the hours flying, months race at superspeed, how can I be over 60 years old? Where has the time gone? Those grown people cannot be my children already, aren't they only babies? What did I do with all those years? Enjoy the days, my Girls, everyone of them. Hold onto those  precious times with your kiddos, write their sweet words on your hearts. How I would love a few hours with my young boys again to fish or play h-o-r-s-e or build another tree house. And just a few hours with my daughter, sitting in the porch swing talking as we break beans or have a girlie day shopping at antique stores, sipping coffee and desserts. But that has passed, as your times will; passed much too fast. Almost without notice. 
    But we have lots of time left for new memories with kids and grandkids. More road trips and get-to-gethers, more 6 AMs and Sundays. I'll just have to learn to treasure each moment more from now on.
May you all be blessed with peace and love in 2010, my friends. Love you all. Hedy

Monday, December 21, 2009


Hello Ladies, 
  Does your Holy Week feel Holy? Or rushed, hassled, stressful? Why do we let ourselves do this every year? I have been following a wonderful blog called down-to-earth for over a year and do believe it may be the answer everyone seeks. This lady, Rhonda, and her husband are a retired couple who are nearly self-sufficient. They live such a peaceful, purposeful life with chickens and dogs and honeybees. I realize this life is much easier for a retired couple than for you with young families, but hope you look for her at www.down-to-earth.blogspot.com when you have a minute. She is starting a "living simply" month in January which should be informative and fun to read. They live outside of Brisbane Australia on a little patch of land behind the gates. Courtney lives in Brisbane and although they will never meet, I feel closer to Courtney when I read this blog. Stephen King and I move closer to this peaceful living as I contemplate retirement. He loves his garden, I'd love to quilt daily. 
Our gifts are bought and stacked in the back room waiting to be wrapped in shiny, red foil and placed under the tree. Which will probably be completed 10 minutes before the grandkids tear them open. I'd rather fool around on here than stand, bent over the dining table, wrapping gifts. Sorry. Once again, Grandma has overdone the spending, buying much too much for kiddos who do not need anything. This is the last time, I promise, again. But I love doing it, finding those cute sweatshirts for my boys, the rough n tough little hoodies and jeans. The toys they just have to have, Transformers the size of end tables. And for my big girls, the clothes and boots and bags and coats, where do I stop? And my Madeleine? The quilted coat in Blossom with the heather gray leggings and zebra tunic. And the brother and sister life size dolls, Katie and Kyle. With real hair and kissing sounds? How could I not? I know...my name is Grandma and its been 3 days since I've shopped.  I won't even talk about the daughters-in-law. Every year, it is the same.
I spent today at Mom's with my sister making candy and cookies or trying to. Mostly we laughed and talked and hugged because we never get to spend a whole day together and Mom was having a good day. Aging is so bittersweet; wisdom and peace come with age, but so do pain and confusion. It breaks my heart to watch the light go out of Mom's eyes as she slips from us. Not all the time, not even daily now, but it is there, waiting. That place where we cannot follow her, where she is alone and scared. The new meds are working for now and that is all we can ask. NOW. Tomorrow will come and we will deal with it then. For today, it was good. She was Mom.
My niece, Stori and her husband Jamey are hosting our Christmas Eve gathering again this year. Yes, they are the couple who have the new babies. They are amazing and loving and want the family at their house. So we will cook and carry and gather round their beautiful new kitchen and celebrate the birthday of our Lord. And celebrate these new members of our family, Chad and Ian. And celebrate another year of being family. 
I hope each of you have that family gathering each year to celebrate being together. Keep that connection as long as you can, it is so important that the young ones know where they come from, who they are, what they are a part of.   I am the oldest of my grandparents' grandchildren on both sides and we have lost that connection for the most part. The cousins still keep in touch but our children and grandchildren don't know their distant cousins or great aunts and uncles. It makes me feel sad and guilty for not working harder at planning reunions and birthdays and Christmas together. I suppose that is the way it is in all families...the drifting a part when the number of people becomes too big to manage. I have a difficult time working our Christmas dinner in with only two sets of in-laws to juggle. No wonder I can't coordinate over 200.
I love all the picture cards this year, Ladies. Next year, we will have a Baby Mac to add to it. I wish you all Blessings for the New Year and Happy, Peaceful Hearts for Christmas. Talk to me. Love, Hedy

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hi Gals, for some reason, I cannot figure out, my blog has changed. I will work on designing a new one over break. Too much pink, maybe? This is our last week, we get out on Friday the 18th, Praise God for His mercy. Neighboring school go til the 23rd, I don't know or care why, I'm just thrilled we don't.
All my shopping is done, nothing wrapped or decorated, that waits for next week along with the baking and candy making.
I am much better, still a little lingering asthma, but I'm perking right along this weekend. We went to Gavin's pre-school program tonight, So sweet. He left his shirt on this year, didn't play air guitar or cry. All high points of last year's performance. He had a speaking part this year, a surprise for us, and did an excellent job. What a difference a year makes when you are five.
Shay turned 21 today, we celebrated last night with an Italian dinner. She is such a sweet young woman, just awhile ago she was a laughing little girl, how fast time goes. Girls, hold those days close to your hearts, don't hurry your kids to grow up, it happens in a flash of light. Treasure your time together.
Tomorrow night is our big Board meeting. He doesn't have the support of enough of the Board to defeat them, but he will not resign, they will have to fire him. My heart breaks at that, but we will be with him, standing strong for our friend. Education should not be political, it is not the place for favors and back-scratching, everyone looses when it becomes political. The chief penis is still not talking to me, but that's OK. I'll make him speak eventually, if only to fire me!!! Alison, I think this must be what you felt when you resigned from counseling. Such a heavy heart, filled with frustration, weighing me down. We all need this 2 week separation, maybe we can return with better spirits.
I'm in the classroom tomorrow with 8th graders, discussing their IDEAS results. Maybe I can encourage them all to be education warriors, fighting acceptance of injustice. Fighting for excellence and high expectations of everyone; students, teachers and administrators. Wouldn't that be nice?
Or maybe pioneers, finding a new future for education and humanity... Or how to say, "want fries with that?"
You all have a good week and I'll talk to you later. Love you all. Hedy

Sunday, November 29, 2009


IT'S SUNDAY NIGHT LADIES. Of course, it is. I only seem to settle down at the computer on Sunday evening, wishing I could talk to you all in person. Everyone's Thanksgiving has been put away in the memory box, leftovers fed to the dog, and maybe the Christmas tree put up already. Not here, but maybe at your house. Our Turkey day was wonderful; everyone was here and in good humor, the food was all edible and the Grinch won't show up till Christmas. I chose to eat early this year. Shawn's sister was in from Michigan and they had to eat with her family, too. But I got to choose what time. I decided eating early would ensure everyone would be hungry and I was right. They ate and ate, then crashed on the couch, beds and recliner. Caleb even took a nap!!! I love having sleeping kids in my house, it feels so cozy and safe to have them resting. Stephen King and I may have been the only ones with our eyes still open by 5:00. The daughters-in-law helped me straighten up before they left which made me happy:-)
The kids had no more than cleared the drive when I started coughing and haven't stopped yet! Sinus infection, I suppose. So I've been confined to the house all weekend. Hope to go to work tomorrow, as I need to decorate the office and lobby. And all the other reasons I should be there, of course.
Our football coach has been "asked" to resign by the Super and AD and I'm about to get myself into a twit over it, I think. He is a great teacher and a wonderful man, a true role model for the students, but hasn't had a winning season for awhile. And Valley being Valley, some want him gone. I am this man's friend, but more than that I know our school would be losing more than a coach if he left. Our mission statement is all about turning out productive citizens ready for the real world and doing everything for the "good of our students". Forcing him to resign flies in the face of our mission. We must teach our students that winning isn't everything, how you play IS important, being men of strong morals, caring, and honest is important also. This man represents all these characteristics and is homegrown and has a family in our town, kids in our school, a wife employed by our school. He doesn't want to leave. Small schools don't have great teams very often, this is not our time. Our other sports teams are not successful right now either, but our Band took 3rd at state! It was their time. Our time in football may come again, 20 years ago we went to state finals. In the meantime, we stand to lose two wonderful teachers, two talented individuals we cannot afford to lose. I am taking a stand for my friend by calling Board members, organizing student support and encouraging attendance at the deciding meeting. People are scared to step forward and are warning me to drop it. I cannot do that. Our kids, our school need to see caring people stand up and be heard, not just roll over. Am I doing the right thing here, Girls? Or getting ready to get my ass kicked?
I have almost all my Christmas gifts bought already!!! Yay for online shopping. Still haven't figured out how to beat the high costs of shipping to Australia, but I'm working on a solution. Now if I can wrap it all before 12/24, I'll be set. I hope to decorate a little more this year, too. Some years lately the tree was a last minute addition. I miss those days of being home all the time and getting everything done; decorating, cooking, shopping, wrapping and loving every minute of it. Another life.
Well, this is the life I'm living now and I'd better get myself to bed so I can continue tomorrow. Our fall gagglefest was terrific, Ladies. I was so happy to spend good time together. I hope everyone can make the Winterfest! Take care and talk to me, Love.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hello Ladies,
What a great week! Our weather is "outstanding" to quote Stefan. You just cannot imagine the blue in the sky overhead. It was already 65 when I got up today. We are having a pitch-in at Nina's for Stephen King's birthday today and Trent's tomorrow. The kiddos will be playing outside and all G-ma's chicks will be together. Happy, happy. :-) Courtney's been home for a couple of weeks, going back to Oz the 16th. It's been great to have her home, but her heart is Down Under. She isn't coming to Indy with us because my niece, Stori, is coming back from Africa with her new babies on Saturday. Those two boys are so precious, little brothers only 10 months apart, 8 and 18 months old. Chad, the oldest, speaks French but is catching on to English fast. The whole town is involved in this adventure because of Stori's blog and FB. I hope some of you have looked at "ourstoribook". It is a leap of faith for the family.
I'm excited about our gagglefest next week. Kirstie's baby bump should be obvious by then! I loved your comment on "Mrs. Mac taught us", Kirstie, great to know they are listening and learning! Hope you are feeling better, Jill. And the rest of you, STAY WELL. Gotta go fix myself for the party. Talk to me, Ladies. Hedy

Friday, October 16, 2009


It is definitely fall in Southern Indiana: rainy and only 43 degrees, dark, gloomy skies, but IT IS FALL BREAK. Four days to be lazy, or not, to sleep-in or not, whatever, it is our choice. No bus duty, no meetings, no lunch duty, no parents, no kids, no teachers. Life is good. :-)
I'm not quite ready for such cool weather, but I love the chance to wear sweaters and jackets again. And since my office is a constant 58 degrees with winds out of the north, I have been choosing some bright, colorful new toppers for my basic black look. I find it amazing what a good cover-up can, well..cover! No one needs to know what chunkiness lies beneath my new bronze brocade jacket with tiny ruffled trim. Or that the little patchwork number is disguising 3 rolls of excess insulation. And the navy swing cardigan, oh my, how well it flows over all the extras and makes me look taller and leaner. We all know tall and lean aren't words usually used to describe me, but this navy job is almost a miracle worker. If only it came in other colors. I even bought some new jean trousers, dark indigo, long, lean legs which transform my fat little stubs into legs to my chin. I am so happy with my new things or with the cataract on my right eye which is distorting my vision enough for me to think I'm seeing all these things... yeah, I guess it is the cataract, girls. I'll still be the same ole' dumpy goose when we get together in Indy in a few weeks. No surprises.
My mom is on meds now for the memory loss, she has good days and bad. Depression has been a big issue lately, for the first time in her 80 years, she doesn't have anyone to serve. My nieces have gone to school and aren't there much. Mom has had these girls since birth al days everyday, while their parents work. My brother and his wife would eat at her house many nights when they came to pick up the girls. And now she doesn't have anything to do, to look forward to and she's sad. My sister spends several hours each day with her and I do weekends, but it isn't the same for her. Mom is the oldest of 13 kids and started caring for her younger sibs as a toddler. She babied my dad and us kids, waited on us hand and foot, until we married and beyond. Her life has changed and for her this means it is over. She just doesn't know how to relax and enjoy life. It breaks my heart. I pray you all will never know this for your parents, it is such a feeling of loss. Right, Jill? They are here, but not here, with you, but not really. Loosing my dad was much easier than watching Mom go through this.
I have my annual laryngitis again. No voice and coughing fits every few minutes. Fun, Fun. No fever, just no talkee :-). Fall allergies in the Ohio River Valley, I guess.
I hope everyone is doing great, no snow storms yet, no impossible school issues, no family emergencies. I can't wait to sit down with you all and catch up. After a few days of wallowing in self-pity, I've put away my violin and face each day anew and make the best of it. I do everything I'm capable of to make our school a safe environment for our kids and leave it in my office at night. I always find it waiting the next morning, no one has solved the problems, but at least I didn't take them home to Stephen King. I wasn't being fair to him or myself. Every once in a while I have to see I'm not in control, we all answer to God and He has the Plan. Not me. Rather humbling sometimes.
Courtney is coming home on the 24th for a few weeks, yay! Be wonderful to see her again. The computer has helped with emails, Facebook and Skype, but I need to see and touch my daughter again. At least for awhile.
I'm planning to take my girlies to B-ton for an overnight on Sunday. They have plans for tonight and tomorrow, so they won't be free til after church, but we can go shopping and they can swim. Even Caleb is going, I think. He says he is on Fall break, too and wants to go swimming. Pray for me and my chicklets!
Love to all. Talk to me. Hedy

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Hello Everyone,
Saturday night, my kiddos just left and I'm tired. I didn't think I would get through this past week alive. The weather change has everyone wired, we are doing Aquity Testing, and it is Pumpkin Festival week in the Valley. Chaos rules the land and all young brains turn to mush. I do believe this place could qualify as a research habitat if some enterprising university would look closely. Suddenly an 8th grade Honors Student finds fractions much too difficult to comprehend. A 6th grader challenges ME to a duel. And sadly, a bright, beautiful girl decides to quit eating. My heart breaks and I'm laughing my head off during the same lunch period. Do I look like I can DUEL? And why oh why are bright, beautiful girls in such need to control something in their lives? What is going on that they can't just be young and carefree and healthy? A former student showed up at the end of the day and cried that her babies were taken from her. ..and her husband just got out of jail. ..and she's just been released from rehab... and she has no money and no where to live...can I help her? The last time we saw each other, I gave her $500 to take her babies and go to her mother's up north. She bought pills instead, got busted and lost her kids. Oh, yes, she's pregnant again. Looking at her, I see my last 20 years go up in smoke. Why did I think I could help anyone? The world is way too big and bad to defeat.
Jill, you are right, we can't do this anymore. Let's retire and run away.

The other side of the coin is my family, my friends, my co-workers and most of the kids in my school. I love them for being normal and gentle and supportive and sweet and non-threatening and excited about life and the future. I am so blessed to have everyone of you in my life. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the others. I'm sorry I let that happen.

Our weather is turning cool and the sky is absolutely magnificent at times. The clear blue is contrasted by the bright white of big, puffy clouds floating through it. The trees are just beginning to turn; each day brings more color. The humidity which seems to blur the air for the entire summer has gone, leaving a clarity that was forgotten. Everyone is struck by it, no one seems to remember it being this bright, this clear last year or ever before. I recall hearing this every fall of my life. It makes me happy that people still notice small things like the weather. We aren't quite so caught up in the rat race that we aren't aware of God's blessings...yet.
I've always felt safe and sheltered in our hills of Southern Indiana. How can the flats of your Northlands offer protection from Nature itself? I suppose the trade off is wide open spaces for hillls and hollows. I wonder if I could have survived in Kansas or Nebraska where the Plains roll on for days without a break in the horizon. I think not. I find comfort in small rooms, small houses, small towns.
I am so excited that most of us are planning to be in Indy on the 13th. Angela, I hope it will work out for you to be with us. Staci, Carrie how about you? I can get a third room, no problem.
Courtney is coming home for a visit on the 24th, we pick her up in Chicago. I hope she stays till after Thanksgiving, but don't know her plans yet. My niece, Stori, adopted 2 Congolese boys and they will be here Nov. 7. Courtney will stay with Stori and her family to help with them for a week or two, I'm sure. They are 6 and 16 months old, Jamey and Stori have an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old daughter. We all are over the moon over getting these babies home. What a wonderful, selfless thing for this family to do. We are so proud of them.
Our family is well, no N1H1, just coughs and sniffles. The boys are growing like weeds and are beautiful. Maddie is as long legged and thin as a colt, doing real well in 4th grade. Mackenzie was inducted into National Honor Society last Sunday in a beautifully quiet ceremony. We were excited and proud that she made it in as a sophomore. Shayla is sporting a new hair style today. Clipped short and spikey, very edgy. She looks much more her age than usual. She will be 21 in December. Such a sweet heart, I worry about her future when Nina and Trent are gone.
Thank you, my girls for letting me bend your ears tonight. I needed to talk. Looking forward to tomorrow. Stephen King and I may go for a long drive. Good night, Gaggle.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009





Sunday, September 13, 2009

Next Gagglefest????

Another Sunday night, my girls, the world keeps spinning around to Sunday night. Someone needs to get the next Gagglefest going. I'm the least busy, I know, but don't have a clue when you all could take a break in Indy. I'll just throw out some dates; Nov. 6-7. Friday night and Saturday? F-ball shouldbe over and B-ball not started. I'm not sure about dance or little kids . What does anyone think, can we do this? If not post some other dates. I'll get a couple of rooms on the North side or downtown??? What do you prefer?
We are all terrific, the weather is superb in the south, you all should try it! Jill, have you run off with the office supply man? I'm beginning to worry, Lady. Speak up...soon.
Back to the ZOO tomorrow, for us all. Smile and enjoy it, we could be working for IPS. Now that would hurt. Or DOE, anyone scared by Bennett? He and Your Man Mitch are quite the dynamic duo, what?
Stephen King is headed to New Mexico with the sisters on Wednesday, if you are down this way, stop in and we'll go to the casino or at least to a nice restaurant for dinner. I'm off to bed now to watch Design Star, finale. I thought they were all bad designers this year. But I've watched this far might as well see it through.
Good night, Ladies. Have a wonderful week. Talk to me, Hedy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bright Skies Overhead and In My Head!!!

Hello Ladies,

I am posting again to counteract the last gloomy post. Things are looking better for everyone this week. Both our boys are back in school and doing as well as can be expected. Our friend is home from Mayo and is patiently awaiting her body's acceptance of the new meds. We are having amazing late summer weather down here with early fog giving way to bright blue skies and moderate temps... night time brings that cool crisp air of early fall.
My nephew Joe and his sweetie Bonner married on Sunday after an 8 year courtship. It was a beautiful, simple, elegant ceremony at Historic Locust Grove in Louisville, Ky. This is the home of George Rogers Clark and has been kept in pristine condition with lovely gardens. The couple was married on the big front porch while the guests looked on from the lawn. I haven't figured out how to post a picture yet, but maybe later.
Our niece Stori and her husband Jamey are adopting 2 babies from the Congo and were to leave this month to bring them home. The paperwork has been delayed and it looks like another month before our family increases by 2. The boys are brothers, 10 months apart. Ian is 5 months old and Chad is 15. Such cuties. They are living with a foster family that was able to get them out of the orphanage for Jamey and Stori. The orphanages are primitive at best and the boys have both suffered from malaria and others diseases. They are thriving in the foster home. Parker and Liv, the big brother and sister are so anxious to have their new siblings home. Liv is 10 and Park 8 and they have to be the sweetest, most kind-hearted kids around. They know the boys coming means a big lifestyle change for them, but they aren't complaining at all and have helped get the house ready for babies. Liv and Parker picked out the babies' names. Chad is the name of 2 family friends and Ian was chosen because they liked it! Our whole family is counting the days til we can hold these new blessings. No babes since Gavin and he will soon be 5.
I had lunch with Caleb yesterday in his classroom for Grandparents' Day. He is a totally different boy in school; polite and calm, but still the cutest kid in the room!!! Those big brown eyes are killers, I tell you. Friday we eat with Madeleine. next year Gav will be in K, so we will have 3 days at school! Cannot wait. The kids puff up when they introduce their grandparents to their classmates. My heart breaks for those kids who have no visitors. Most young g-parents are working.
Mom is doing better this week, she was at lunch with Rob's little girl, Kylee, who is in Cabe's room. She calls me and Debbie grandma, too, so introductions were somewhat confusing! Caleb kept saying "is not your g-ma" and "G-ma Helen is mine too" to Kylee. Quietly though.

Anna, I hope you are feeling better, Swine Flu? Hope not. Good thoughts and prayers to Angela and the kids with the doctor appointment this week. They are the busiest family I know. Elaine, how is the new job? Kids OK? I've been thinking about little Annie, how's she doing? Kirstie, still feeling good? Staci, it was good to hear from you and thanks for the support. I hope everyone else has settled in to the year without too much difficulty. I am still pleased with how we are doing here. Some bumps in the road, but mostly smooth sailing. We have had substitutes out the wazoo in the middle school, but they've been great. Progress reports go out Friday, then my real work starts; interventions for all the struggling students. Nothing like a mailing from school to get a parent's attention. We are hip deep in the new RTI work and I am not getting much cooperation from my teachers. I don't know how they will handle IEPs for everyone, which is what I see coming down the road. I hope to be out by then. Angry teachers are scary!
I'm home this morning to take Mom to Accountant appointment, she is sure she's bleeding money, but I think she's OK. Our own investments have improved lately. Thank Goodness. Stephen King was afraid he would have to look for a real job! He loves retirement and is busy all the time. Canning, freezing, taking old guys to the doctor, helping nephew rebuild the old homeplace. Loving every minute of it. He is even learning to clean up after himself in the kitchen, a true miracle, I believe.
My family is great, health wise and everyone is busy, busy. Like all the rest of you I imagine. Take good care and talk to me whenever you have a moment. Love to all, Hedy

Friday, September 4, 2009

Where Is A Good Counselor When I Need One?

I'm writing this from my desk at school, which is something I never do. When I'm at work, I am at work. But this has been a very trying week for us and I'm taking my lunch time to reach out to my friends.

We have another student at Riley with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He is the 14 year old son of one of our 6th grade teachers and one of our maintenance guys. This is the same class that lost a boy the first day of summer break. We also have a 6th grade teacher in Mayo Clinic, she hasn't worked this year at all due to numbness spreading over her body. I am so grateful for the upcoming 3 day weekend; everyone needs a break from the stress.

This boy is such a sweetheart, an All American boy next door. He is a class leader; all the kids admire him for his character, athletic ability and academic strength. He and his older brother a polite, compassionate, and friendly young men. The parents are close friends of everyone on the staff, they are both from local families and have worked here for years. Good People. He had his first chemo yesterday and was very ill afterwards. Today and tomorrow hold more of the same for him.

Teachers have been asking me into their classrooms to speak with his classmates this week; looking at their hurt faces, listening to their questioning pleas is almost as difficult as knowing what the family is going through. I reassure them his doctors are very optimistic and he will be fine after treatment, we discuss all the possible side effects of the chemo, talk about how to support each other and encourage them to pray, if that is their belief. Still in the back of my mind, the depth of my heart, I'm questioning too. Why is this happening? Why do children have to suffer? When do we learn to accept and trust? Life is difficult no matter who you are, did you know that?

The teacher in Mayo is afraid she may have some progressive disease which will completely change her life. She, too, has been a part of our community all her life. She has 2 sons and fears that they will have to watch her lose her battle with this illness.

I wasn't able to finish the post yesterday, too many interuptions, but we got some good news after school. The results from Mayo were that she has the lesser of the two conditions, chronic, but treatable. Answered prayers.

On the home front, Mom is now being treated for early onset of Alzheimers. Her short term memory comes and goes. She was great last night when Stephen King and I dropped her off from dinner. Two hours later she calls my sister in a panic over her meds; Deb got there to see pills all over the counter and Mom not remembering what she had taken. My nephew is getting married in L-ville tomorrow and Deb's day is full today. My brother and I will keep check on Mom till Deb picks her up for rehearsal dinner this evening. I keep reminding Debbie to BREATHE, but she is excitable. I've thought of you, Jill, all week and your momma. Bless you both. I think this is a long, long road we are starting down.
Our kids are great; Caleb and Gavin are less than impressed with school, but continue to attend. We may be looking at homeschool for those two characters!. Mack is loving sophomore year without PE. And Madeleine is becoming a stronger 4th grader everyday. She loves school and being with all her buddies. Stephen King is busy all the time, helping the nephew restore the old home place. And as he always says, "happiest SOB in the world". What a way with words he has!
Courtney is planning a visit home in late October and we are all excited. She will return to Oz after a couple of weeks, I'm sure. She has found her home and is very happy in it. She and Ken are an oddly matched couple, but seem to care deeply for each other and that makes her parents happy. She can apply for residency next year and then be allowed to work in any field she chooses. She makes the most of her temporary retirement by cooking from scratch, knitting and of course reading books by the dozen. They have a small sailboat and take long weekends sailing the many islands in a nearby bay. The pix from her are amazing; the wildlife, ocean and land formations are wild.
It is Saturday noon and I must check out the wedding duds for the man and myself. I'm hoping everything is still fitting, I didn't shop for new and the closest mall is 60 miles away. Don't want to shame the family by wearing our camo or anything tacky. I'm saving that for our Anna's wedding, hehehe.
I hope all of you are healthy and enjoying this good, long weekend with your loved ones. Miss you all and hope we can plan a gagglefest soon. Talk to me, Ladies. Hedy

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Congratulations Kirstie and Pat

What terrific news from the McClamrocks! How exciting to have another gosling on the way. Gee, wonder what gender it will be? All those girls on one side, all those boys on the other? Maybe twins are the answer! You could have knocked me over last night when I got that text, I have been wondering about K's silence lately. I thought she was like the rest of us COVERED up with work, didn't suspect this might be going on. Silly me. I'm happy that you haven't been too uncomfortable yet, Kirstie. Pregnancy can be a joyous time. Mine weren't but that's another story. I'm sure other women have experienced lovely months of morning sickness, heartburn, weight gain, hemorrhoids and all the other special things you have to look forward to in the coming months. Really, it isn't too bad, is it Ladies? Sorry, I just couldn't resist being mean. I know you'll be fine and I know how cute you will look in the new maternity clothes. My daughters-in-law were thrilled they didn't have those ugly things that women wore in my day. Talk about BAD, we looked like pumpkins on stilts. Skinny pants or skirts and tent tops. OK, let's get the name game going for this babe. I say something simple and classic to go with the lengthy Scottish surname. Something like CLAIRE. OK, who is next to suggest their favorite?

Allison says she is finally in the groove, I guess I am too. Our 6th graders are too, too young to be in middle school, but aren't they always? Our new principal is turning out to be a dream come true...supportive, high expectations, no excuses and funny. If I'm dreaming, do not wake me! Really, no kids in the hall, no tardy passes, no nurse passes unless there is blood or broken bones, no gum, no phones, no sticking paper clips in electric outlets. Well the other guy didn't allow that either, but the new one suspends X 2 days for that. And it happened today, in my building, of course. By accident, of course, any one can accidently straighten out a big ole paper clip and accidently stick it into the outlet, of course. Did you know the plastic coating melts when you do that? Yeah, it does and the clip gets all black and fire shoots out. Freaky accident. But,,,I was able to laugh it off to childish pranks, while thanking God he didn't get electrocuted. And Mom has no working phone or emergency number listed. And then there's the girl who showered after PE with her clothes on so she wouldn't be late to class. Yep, in my building. Today. I cannot wait till tomorrow. :-)

The mood in our school is a total 180 from the last 2 years, so much improved. How one person can make such a difference is amazing to me. I feel excited as we plan the next few years. We are being encouraged to use the middle school concept as we have wanted from the start in our new building. I may even have time for counseling! Not that I CAN, but maybe. It feels great to be excited about work again. This is why I started down this road, to feel excited about helping in the educating of young minds, shaping young lives. I'm glad I can do that again before I retire. Administration is not my cup of tea.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, the weather is supposed to be great here in the southland. Finally, a break in the humidity. Stephen King and I may have to do something fun. Talk to me, Girls. Love

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WOF and Alien Invasion

Hi girls,
Has everyone experienced the thrill of returning to work yet? I start my 3rd week tomorrow. Believe me...the thrill is gone. Having the kids show up will be anti-climatic for me. New principal, new student management program, and I'm going back as a 6o year old. Not the makings of a fun year. However, I am determined to be optimist and look for all the positives I can find. Same as last year and the ones before. Who knows maybe this time everything will be alright.
My sister and I went to Women of Faith in Indy again this weekend. It is a wonderful way to prepare for the school year, or any other challenge. Just Deb and me and 12,000 of our best friends gathering at Conseco and sharing moments with a few of the most talented Christian women around. Sheila Walsh is my favorite. She shares such personal, painful stories; I admire her courage so much. Her singing is powerful and hopeful, it just makes you feel better. This year Mandisa was a big part of the gathering. She is one terrific lady, talented, beautiful and strong. And she wears the best. big girl clothing I've ever seen. Steven Curtis Chapman shared his music on Friday evening, his boys play in his band and his wife and girls were there, too. Such a message his Cinderella CD carries. This is something for you all to consider attending. The timing makes it difficult for those of us in schools, but it is worth giving up a half day to attend the Friday night and Saturday sessions. Google Women of Faith and see for yourself.
I have contracted some kind of rash in the last few weeks that is keeping me hot and bothered. It started around my neck like hives, moved up to my cheeks and scalp, now it is crawling down my body like some alien being making me red, swollen and itchy. Plus it looks ugly. Nice image, I know. Sorry, but what are friends for if not to share all life's little joys, bumps and bruises? And red, scaly, swollen, alien beings? I'm sure it will go away soon, as it is down to my knees today. I keep hoping it will crawl away when it gets to my feet. Gotta stay positive :-) I'll talk more later, right now I need to slather on another bottle of Benedryl ointment. Love you all. Hedy

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday spins round again

Sunday night once again. Time seems to be flying in my old...err, mature years. I had always been told this would happen, but thought it was a silly idea. But for the last several years, I feel as if I am continuously experiencing Sunday night. Days fly by, weeks last only hours, years melt together; do scientists know about this? It must be researched and prevented. I DO NOT CARE FOR IT!!!! I want it stopped NOW. I need to savor the summer days on my front porch, wallow in the glorius time spent with my babies on the beach, cherish the afternoons with my mom sitting at her kitchen table reliving our lives, laugh with Stephen King as we go on road trips driving 200 miles for lunch! All of these precious things are speeding past before I can grab hold and slow them down. Is it this way for everyone? I hope not. I hope others have 24 hours in each day to live in the moment; as we all did when we were children. Remember? Those summers that lasted forever, starting early each morning and going on until long after all the lightening bugs had been stuffed into coke bottle lanterns. Playing baseball with the neighbor kids all afternoon, hour after hour, hitting the ball, running the bases. Round n round. Waiting for the Ice Cream man to ring his bell on your street, calling every kid to come and get an icy popsicle, a creamy sherbet push-up or a nutty drumstick. Getting your bath and shampoo in the middle of the afternoon so you would be nice and clean for Bible school. Your mom braiding your wet hair so tight you couldn't smile for hours. And Sunday dinners at your grandmother's house; remember those long afternoons playing with the cousins in the yard, climbing trees, hiding in the wellhouse, locking the little kids in the outhouse, remember? My grandkids come for Sunday and it is over in a flash, the cooking, eating, clearing up, playing in the yard, taking walks...poof and it is Sunday night once again.
I had such a wonderful time at our Gagglefest at the waterpark, Ladies. It was great to visit with everyone, we missed Kirstie and Angela and the kids though. I think Sam and Abbie would have loved the park, hope he is much improved and feeling good again. We even had an escaped murderer close by to add more excitement. All the kiddos were so well behaved and I loved holding Annie and Baby O. Such sweeties. I'm sure you mommies will enjoy the next meeting w/o the kids, but I had a ball. My girls were tickled to meet everyone, too. They were somewhat shocked to see so many of you, they'll never keep you straight. Stephen King refers to you as; the short one, the one who sat beside me, the one with the baby, the young one, the other one with the baby!! Clueless.
I start work Friday, officially, I have a meeting with some parents tomorrow, and a court appearance one day, so really my summer is over. At least I don't have the challenge of a new school, just a new principal. How'd the interviews go, Anna? Hope you got what you wanted. Are you having any lookers at the house? Al, I forgot to ask, is the new school year-round as your other one was? I think you will love the little guys, they are still so innocent. Elaine, hope you find a wonderful office set up just like you need it to be, in both schools! Or even just one. Jill, I'm working on a Friday trip to your town. Love you all. Talk to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Where has summer gone? I have 15 days of freedom left before it starts all over again. Our board selected our new high school principal last week...the brother of our superintendent! Their father is a past principal and is currently on our school board. Odd?? You think?? Conflict of interests? More just small town politics, I think. I'm going into this year with a positive outlook, assuming everything will be great and ready to deal with...whatever. I don't want to lose track of what is important, the kids. Pray for us, please.
Our county has experienced a horrible loss this week; several families took a horseback vacation to Yellowstone and one of the teens is lost in a flooded river. They've been attempting to locate him since Tuesday, but cannot get to him because of the swift, high water. He is the only child of the family who own the county meat processing plant, everyone knows them here. They are a terrific family. Jared graduated in May from Orleans high school and is just a great kid. Our whole county is praying for a miracle for him. It appears that he was washed into a cave by the rushing water, but they cannot determine if he may still be alive. Pray for them, please.
On a happier note, I am so excited about our gagglefest '09. I do hope everyone can make it down here for a couple of days. Your rooms await you! The kiddos will love the waterpark, I know, but I do want a few hours of good old fashion visiting with my ladies so we can catch up with our lives. I miss you all. Elaine, I feel like it has been years instead of months since we've talked and Anna, I need to see the rock and hear all the details. Allison, I'm so excited about your career change, if only we all were so brave! Kirstie, we haven't had a report on the McClamrock happenings either, surely you and Pat have attended 101 weddings this summer, as usual! Or are all your family and friends married now? Mellissa, how is your sister doing with her recovery? Staci, Carrie, Jill, Janelle, Angela and I keep up on each other on Facebook, but that isn't as good as face-to-face! Cannot wait til the 21st.
Stephen King and I have spent very little time together this summer, oh, we are together each day, but we haven't done anything special yet. We keep planning roadtrips and outings, but things keep popping up to change our plans. Our nephew and brother-in-law have new beehive operations and Steve seems to be the head cowboy on the round-up crew. Everytime the bees swarm they call him to corral them. At first, he was somewhat hesitant, but now he saddles up and takes off. Being retired puts him at everyone's beck and call and he stays busy all summer! He says he doesn't know how he ever had time to have a job! He sure is enjoying his retirement and I am so happy for him. He worked hard long hours for many years to provide for our family and he deserves this.
My girls have secured our vacation house for next year already!!! and for 2 weeks instead of 1. They are getting spoiled, I believe. I've told them this probably stops when I retire, but for now we all love our summer retreats. Anyway, this house is in Florida, just east of Gulf Shores and is bigger than the one we got this year. Get this...it has an "in-law" suite on the ground floor!!! Maybe Papaw will come along, if he doesn't have to be exposed to kids 24/7!!! Maybe for a few days, but not 2 weeks.
Back to work means a redo for my office; I haven't changed the decor for 2 years and think this is the time. I'm seeing some students this summer and have been using the office and considering what needs to be done in there. Still not sure, the kids love the homey feel of my wicker furniture and the rockers, so I won't remove those. Any ideas? Usually I find enough here at home that will work there. I've exciled my round white coffee table to the basement, maybe it will move over to my conference area. I have 2 black and 2 white wicker chairs that could circle it.
I have sessions there and it serves as a "cooling off spot" several times a day. For students, staff, ME. I'd like to have plants in there, but it gets no direct sunlight. There is a big window facing the lobby, but no windows to outside. Anyone know of shade loving indoor plants? that aren't plastic? I take in cut flowers for the desks, but in winter that gets pricey. I want a warm, happy, comforting room; that just happens to be in the middle of a school building!!! Is that too much to ask? Ha.
My sister and I are attending the Women of Faith conference in Indy again this year in August. If you ever get the chance, do it. It is non-denominational and is a wonderful experience for women. Lots of stories, laughs, music, tears, support and love. The two days fly by and by the end you will be lifted up in spirit and ready to face the world with a new understanding and appreciation for your life. Debbie's chuch ladies are planning to sponsor a one day retreat facilitated by Sheila Walsh, one of the singer/speakers next summer. She lost her father to suicide as a small child and her story is heart-breaking/heart-warming. She has an amazing voice, too.
I'll see you all in a few days. Enjoy the week. Talk to me. Love,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back Home Again In Indiana....

Vacation is over and that is OK, we had a wonderful time. Everyone played and rested and tanned and ate to their hearts' content. All is good. We can last til next time. We all feel so blessed to be able to do this trip each year and hope eventually the 2 Stephens will join us. Trent comes down for the last few days and has a great time, by the time he gets here the kiddos are starved for a male and we girls get a break. This time the DILs weren't ready to leave on Saturday so they searched for and found a weekend condo that was fantastic. We lolled around the pools and beach for another 2 days. Even the 12 hour drive home was pleasant, no bloodshed, not many tears!
It was good to get home and settled in for the rest of summer, I have 4 more weeks of vacation and hope to accomplish something. I have a baby quilt to finish, another quilt cut out and ready to piece, windows to clean, porches to scrub, flowers to deadhead and on and on and on... Of course, I know it won't all get done, but I'm hopeful I'll make a dent in my list. I love marking items off my list when they are complete. I'm a major list maker, that is how I get through my day, write it down , do it, mark it off, go on to the next. If only life didn't stick its foot in my way, I'd be into the 22nd century by now!! As is is, I'm just clearing off my list from Feb. 28, 1995. hehehe.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the Gaggle in a few weeks. Someone needs to finalize our plans, Ladies. It is nearly impossible to schedule a day for 8 women and 9 kids to meet. There is a special going on at the Waterpark if you all have time for an overnight; $119 for room, waterpark tickets, breakfast. Let me know before the 3rd and I'll book it. I realize that is a major commitment for you, so remember it is just a suggestion. I'm just thrilled we all get together, meeting here is not necessary.
Came home to beans, beans, beans, we canned yesterday til 7:00. Can't just let them waste, they will be wonderful this winter. I like putting things up, just don't want to do it in the BIG way I used to. As we get older, it is sometimes easier and cheaper to eat out. Or eat cereal. Yes, Stephen King and I have become our parents.
My girls gave me a trip to the spa for my b-day last week. A manicure and pedicure felt wonderful and this time I chose color! Not taupe! Silvery champaine and rosy bronze. Of course the canning did a number on the hands yesterday, oh well I was Cinderella for a week! ;-) Now to do something with this hair.It is just long enough to pull back in a knot, but Cabe told me last week; "Grandma, no, just no". I guess that is not a look to go for.
I cannot wait to hear your story, Alison, about how you decided to quit. We've probably all been there and battled ourselves. For the first time, this year had me to that point. Politics has no place in education. Our board interviewed 3 last night for our HS principal position. Two women and the brother of our superintendent. Their dad is on our board, too. I cannot think what will happen if he is hired. One of the women is a teacher on staff and would be a good choice, but we've never had a woman administrator here. And the other is from out of town; our last principal was the first our of towner in our 50 year history and that didn't work out so well. I'm anxious to hear their decision.
Anna, have you set the date? I'm excited about hearing all that news. I'd love to meet Brett, too. How's the job hunt? Hope the rest of you are having a terrific summer. See you soon. Talk to me. Hedy

Friday, June 26, 2009


We are in Gulf Shores in our rental house, a top story duplex facing the Gulf. We've had such a good time no one is ready to leave, so we've found a last minute cancelation special on a beach front condo down the street. It only has 2 bedrooms, but for 2 nights grandma can sleep on the pullout couch. The kids are on a crab hunt tonight, Trent came down on Thursday and he's in charge of treasure hunts and other night time adventures. Mackenzie and I stayed in to clean up the kitchen. She is afraid of the dark and crabs so we volunteered for KP duty.
The weather has been hot, record high hot. but not sticky Indiana humid hot. The breeze off the Gulf is wonderful and constant. All the stresses and struggles of the year seem to blow away on those breezes, and my shoulders relax and fall out of my ears. I swear if school had lasted any longer I'd be wearing my head on my back. But no shop talk this summer, we will be back to work soon enough.
Caleb and I both have had birthdays down here this week, I am 10 times older than my grandson this year. He couldn't grasp that idea and thinks I'm just old! Out of the mouths of babes. I'm sure 60 was ancient for me too, at 6. The boys have played and played this week. For the first time, they are on the same wavelink. Usually Gavin is so much younger in his development than Cabe, but this summer he's about caught up. Maddie wants to play with them and do big girl stuff with Kenz and Shay.
Oh, they just walked in; no treasure, no crabs but MADDIE FOUND A NEW BALL. That's her fav toy, a ball of any kind, any size, any color. The beach was completly covered in crabs, Gavin reports. Millions of them, kinda freaky, he says!
Everyone appears pretty red tonight, I think tomorrow may be a 50 day in sunscreen land. The mommas are anal about keeping the kiddos covered, but Mother Nature fooled them today. All five have a rosy glow! Meanwhile G-ma is pretty lily white still.
We haven't heard from Elaine in a while, is all OK in Renssalier? how do you spell that? Kirstie, you've been quiet, too, What's up this summer with you? Can everyone make it to our gagglefest? i was wrong, my appointment is the 11th of July, so anyday the next week is great with me.
I really need to go pack up for the move down the street in the morning. I hope everyone has a great weekend, Anna's headache, Sam's sicky feelings go away. Enjoy, enjoy. Talk to me. Love, Hedy

Friday, June 12, 2009

Did You Know?????

I've decided to post some probably unknown facts about myself. I've read this on so many other blogs and find it interesting. I hope you all will respond in kind and share with us.

1. I will walk a mile to avoid a spider.

2. I really dislike amusement parks.

3. I love Lily of the Valley flowers.

4. I hold a record for the most 4 leaf clovers found over the summer of 1960.

5. My first car was a show-room fresh yellow 1965 Mustang Fastback and my Dad thought I was worth it. :-) Thanks, Dad

6. My brother wrecked said car when he was 17 and turned it into a grey boy thing. Curse you, Mike.

7. I wish I had named my daughter Rowdy Jo, like I wanted.

8. I wanted to become a doctor, once upon a time. Maybe in my next life.

9. I wonder who I really am sometimes.

10. I wanted to become a nun, once upon a time. Never will happen as long as Stephen King is around.

11. If I ever have money I'll, be surprized!

13. I want to build a house large enough for all my family, so no one has to be in a nursing home.

14. I think I had a previous life as a man, which explains my resentment of the patriarchal world I live in.

15. I only cry when I'm angry.

Some of this is silly, some is troublesome, but all is true. Now talk to me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life Goes ON

June is finally here and how I love it. It has always been my favorite month; so soft and sweet, green and fresh, warm and pleasant. I do hope everyone is enjoying June; are we all out of school? Friday was supposed to be my last day, but now we have computer training scheduled for this week. I may rebel and not show, I have to go back Aug. 1 and that is just around the corner. But I'm determined to enjoy everyday to its fullest, I'm going to wring the pleasure out of each one.
Jill, our friend will not be returning to us next year; he's been removed from his position with us. A rather underhanded act of meanness. He was upset, but took it like the gentleman he is, of course. He is retiring; both kids are expecting in the fall and he's called to duty there. He loves his kiddos and grandson. I'm still concerned for his health, maybe this is for his good. The faculty is having a surprise lunch for him this week. The act was performed after the teachers were gone, but word spread and they quickly planned a tribute for him. I am so proud of them. He was not much force this year, but no one wanted him to be treated this way.
Kirstie, hope you and your school family are recovering. What a shock for his family and friends. We are still suffering here, but moving on. A couple of boys have me concerned and I will continue to keep a check on them this summer. Our community raised enough for his funeral and headstone, everyone was so generous. I love small towns.
We are both tired tonight; Stephen King and my brother, Rob, cleared some fallen trees from Mom's yard today. I trimmed shrubs, my nieces scrubbed the garage. It was our annual Mother's Day gift except my sister and other brother are in Florida and Chicago on vacation! Really, Deb does more than her share with Mom and Mike will help Steve rip out some overgrown landscaping some other weekend. The guys try to keep her place looking nice. It has always been a difficult yard to maintain; for 40 years we've held raking days, trimming days, painting days, mowing days, etc, etc, etc. I never lived there, they moved just after we married and it has never been home to me. Odd, I still think of my childhood house as home. Steve and I bought it when we married and lived there for several years. One of my best friends bought it from us, so I had a long connection to that house. We have lived in quite a few other houses over the years, but I never felt bad when we moved, I connect home with family not houses. Isn't it interesting the differences in people's feeling toward home? What is your idea of home?
Steve's garden continues to look great and we are eating lettuces, kale, cauliflower, green onions from it. The peas and green beans are blooming and we have tiny tomatoes setting on. My flower garden looks like someone administered steriods, everything is monstrous and out of control. I should have divided and moved things out this spring but didn't have time, now there is no room to get inside and do trimming. Flowering bushes are eating the shed and roses and wisteria are smothering the iron fence and one side is carpeted in kneehigh coreopsis!! Maybe next year, but probably not :-) .
The girls, kids and I leave for Gulf Shores on the 19th. We are all counting the hours. Are you planning any summer get-a-ways? I hope we can do another get-together this year. My kids spent today at the BIG SPLASH waterpark and loved it, even the little ones had a great time. You all should try it. Jill loves leaving money here, you might, too. I had lunch at the Casino last week, first time I'd been there. No gambling though, I was on the clock!!! I kept crying for a mojito, but the principal wouldn't go for it. Thought it might look bad for the drug counselor to be drinking in the casino on school time.
Elaine, are you still out there working or have you won the lottery and abandoned us? How are Charlie and the kids? Is little Anna doing OK with the muscle issue? I think about calling so often but don't want to interrupt anyone's schedule. I remember life with kids. Myself, I'm pretty much available 24/7. One parent even called my cell on the first day of spring break as I drove to the coast!!! Surprize, we cannot escape.
Anna, any job news? You'll find something that appeals to you. Would you want a principal position in French Lick? Or junior high social studies with the ability to coach football? Or more correct, a football coach who can teach junior high social studies? Or special education? We have a few openings.
Angela, Janelle, Staci and Allison, I love reading your facebook entries. It makes me feel you are close by and we can keep in touch. The pictures are great, too. I enjoy them all. Staci, what are you up to? "No noticible changes" Are you talking new workout or health?
I miss you all and hope we can have a "gaggling" soon. Talk to me. Love, Hedy

Thursday, May 28, 2009


we lost an 8th grader today...moped accident, three others involved not injured. Acting like 14 year olds and got hit by a dump truck. On the first day of summer break. Heart breaking for all of us. You talk and talk, but it's never going to happen to them, they are invincible. Only yesterday I warned them to be careful as they left school. I wonder if they even heard me.

This erases the stress of the long year, the tutoring and monitoring, the worry. We won't have another chance with him again, he is out of our hands now, in wiser, kinder hands...he will be cared for in a way we couldn't give him here. But he will be missed and grieved over.

I hope you all are out of school soon. I finish June 5. I'm really looking forward to some time away from work, time with Stephen King and the kiddos. Our principal said today in our last meeting, "I cannot lie, it's been BAD." Maybe it is bad all over, I don't know, but I do know this has been our most difficult year in a long time. Our staff is so dissatisfied with admin that a gray cloud hangs over us all. I met with my middle school teachers on Thursday and thought they were staging a mutiny. I had to remind them we were here for the kids and they pick up on our negative vibes. I think it trickles down from the top. Hopefully, a long break will help everyone recover his/her spirit.

Stephen King and I went to Portland over the weekend for our niece's wedding. It was so nice; nice hotel suite, wonderful weather, being with family from far away, walking the city, seeing the wild green mountains and rivers around Portland. Such a nice 4 days. And then we return to Houston and Continental's HELL HOLE; THREE PLANES, 6 HOURS AND SEVERAL MILES ON FOOT later we finally take off. The plane we flew in on lost a door! the first plane we boarded had mechanical issues, the second was coming in from Mexico City (swine flu) but suffered electronic problems shortly after we boarded, the third was blowing fuses and had no lights for the first 30 minutes we sat in it, but eventually took off with a load of praying passengers. We were scheduled to get home at 10:30, that became 3:00 AM. I had to be at work at 7:00. Looking like death on a cracker, I was on time. I love road trips...when you use a road. And Courtney thinks I'll fly to OZ, wrong.

We have been eating from the garden this week! yummy. Lettuce, cauliflower, green onions, rhubarb. Everything looks wonderful, but poor yardner weeds daily.
Ladies, I cannot be chipper any longer, gotta go cry awhile and pray for the family that lost their golden boy. Talk later, Love you all.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I so wanted to write this is a girlie pink, but it just would not show, so we have this instead.
I hope you all enjoy tomorrow as your special day; Anna and Kirstie, too. I am not too much for "days" except birthdays. Everyone should have one special day just for herself once a year. I was much better at celebrating my friends' birthdays in my other life. I made cakes, planned surprise parties, lots of cool things. Now I just attempt to remember the day. Usually I don't even send a card anymore. Where do those 24 hours in a day go??? They used to be plenty, now they don't last as long.
Twelve more days to turn our students from uneducated, feral creatures into refined, educated boys and girls. I don't think we'll make it. They have too great an advantage on us...we are outnumbered and they don't have any desire to learn. Last week the whole sixth grade tried to turn in their textbooks. The seventh graders just lost theirs. Fifty percent of the 8th grade will never be mature enough for high school and the rest of them think they're already adults. It's been a baaaaaad year. I laugh somedays and look around for the hidden camera; we have to be on a TV special. Speaking of cameras; I spend an hour after school watching ours for the theft of the day. My next career will be CSI. Is it the same for you? Please, lie and tell me it is.
We are getting our yard and gardens looking decent this week. Stephen King has mowed twice and we bought new hydrangeas for the front porch beds. I've wanted the Endless Summer variety since Kirstie and Pat's wedding. Had to buy them for my Mothers Day gift today. At least I get what I want this way. Of course he will plant them for me, he is useful for the heavy work. My Mom, sister and I shopped at a new greenhouse last week, the best flowers I've ever seen. The woman is a wonder with bedding plants. Everything was so healthy and full and the pots she had filled where beautiful, so creative. We wanted one of each, but held each other back and just got a car full! Deb's been back twice for more. I love springtime flower shopping; every plant offers such promise. I'd have lots more, but Stephen King hates mowing around pots and beds and lawn furniture. Have to keep the yardner happy.
Anna, let us know about the interview. I'll keep you in my prayers for a happy resolution. I was so glad to hear you were called back for a second one, that sounds promising. Maybe you won't have to trick Brett into supporting you, after all, Sweetie. Although you might want to rethink this career choice we've all made while you have an out. It is a tough way to earn a living. Maybe you can find an interior decorating job instead. Or landscaping. Maybe Kirstie's goodlooking dad could use an extra hand? Oh, yeah, Jill wants that job, I forgot.
I had a nice chat with Mellissa on Facebook earlier. I wish we lived closer, she is so fun. She was the first person I spoke to at ISU during those interviews, such a nice lady, she took pity and befriended me. Next get together, we must remember to ask her. I've just discovered the chat button on FB and like it so much more than the commenting thingy. Mell was so impressed with my techno savvy, don't ya know. I had to admit someone else taught me how to use it. Courtney, actually and I had to email her before I could respond. DUMB. Did any of you watch that YouTube video of Staci's? I couldn't pick her out of the dancers, but it looked like fun, she is a crackerjack.
Our vice-principal and I are working on a proposal for an alternative school, any suggestions? Do your schools have one? How does yours work, if so? We want a true educational environment, not just a holding tank for JDs. We had those. Too many of our kids are not being educated and are creating such chaos that the others are suffering, too. I think most of them could be successful if the situation were right, but $$$$ seems to stop with those kids. I'm excited about a workshop we are attending on Wednesday; the principal at one of Bloomington's alternative schools is presenting along with some online curriculum people. Let me know if you have any terrific ideas, please.
The kids and I have our summer house rented and the boys are counting down the days. Gavin has an Alabama Countdown Calendar on the fridge and he crosses off each day. We have to wait til Mackenzie gets out of drivers' ed on June 19th before we can leave. I know it will be more difficult to schedule each year as they get older and busier. Of course, they may decide to take off without Grandma one of these days, too. Our week together is a bright spot for all of us, I hope. I know the 2 Mommies love it. Nina and Shawn danced around the table when we picked the house this year. They, too are ready for a break.
I best get back to the kitchen, I'm fixing desserts for our cookout tomorrow. Our rhubarb has been so good this spring, I'm baking a big pan of rhubarb crisp and some orange/coconut cupcakes. I hope the weather stays pretty so we can be outdoors. I have to scrub my front porch and wipe down the furniture out there before they get here, too. I'll do that while the big guy digs the holes for the new plants. He likes company while he works ;0).
Everyone take care this week. Talk to me. Love, Hedy

Saturday, April 25, 2009

How Good is This Day?

Hello Everyone,
I hope the great north is as beautiful today as the deep south. Bright sun, nice breeze and 85 degrees. If only there were an ocean in sight, this woman would be soooooooo happy. Even without the ocean, it a good. I believe it is in reward for the hellish week we've had here; my car doors were frozen shut one day this week. I swear!!! Me trying to pretend it is spring in my capris and sandals, can even get in the Jeep without slpashing some of my hot coffee on the door handle. But now we've been given a day like this.
We have some plants to set out in the garden when the sun goes down some, you know the shy violet here can't have too much sun, I'll wilt. Or something. Stephen King has done a great job on the lawn and veggie garden, but I haven't ventured out there yet. What with my 15 hour days at public school. He has decided no squash, I am ruling against okra. I really just want tomatoes, green beans and corn, but I know we'll go crazy again and plant all manner of exotic vegetables. Mr. King canned and froze lots of goodies last year, we've almost exhausted our pantry. So nice to have a man that cans.
We have part of our front yard fenced for the sheep right now, how did that happen? People do get a kick out of watching them and the kids on the school bus love it. We only have 6 head here, most are at the farm, but 3 are new lambs and they are cuties. I wish we had room for more, but the neighbor doesn't want to sell and land. I'm working on chickens now, he seems not to be paying attention to my wishes, but I'll figure out something. The boys used to help me, but they are both busy with their wives wishes now!! Ha.
I do hope you are finished with your portfolios now. What a crock, any counselor doing her job doesn't have time for this. Why not reports from your supervisors? I guess Staci, Jill and I won't be bothered by such nonsense, right Girls? ISTEP is this week, of course. Staci, what does Illinois do while Indiana is chasing test scores? Do you just rely on teachers to pass the kids who are progressing and retain the others? Or are there end of course assessments? My daughter is raving about the wonders of Australian schools. They go year round, wear uniforms, are taught respect and actually have high graduation rates. I have started a push for an alternative school in Orange County. My super told me if I could figure a way to finance it, he would take it to the other supz in the county. We have too many kids who do not fit in public school. Whether this is a local phenomenon or generalized all over, I don't know, but these kids are not being served well in our schools. Bloominton has an alternative school the appears to be successful, Alan is involved somewhat in it. They have a full staff and have lots of flexiblity in the scheduling and classes offered. Now to find the $$$$$, SHOW ME THE MONEY. Any ideas? I figure I've given up SADD and AfterProm, I'll have time to build a school, right?
How was your return, Janelle? I feel for you and Olivia, you had such a sweet time together while it lasted. How did she do? The first time I left Trent he was 9 months old and I went to a wedding shower. Sitter called after 30 minutes, he was still screaming; we didn't try again til he was 3. Not the way to do it. I don't think Stephen was ever left anywhere but my mom's. And I wonder why they are such Mommas Boys? What can I say? I was young and apparently none too bright. I'm sure Lady A helped the sitter with Miss Liv. You only have a few weeks left, Mamma.
Any leads on a new place, Anna? Lots of area schools are cutting elementary counselors, too. I wish education could not be touched by this bad economy, surely kids are too important to take with risks their futures. Maybe some older counselor will retire this summer. I have a few young ladies poised like vultures over my shoulders. I'm afraid to drink the water sometimes, hehehe. How about getting pregnant and being a stay at home Mom? Brent up for that? OK, it was just a suggestion. Better you than the 2 freshmen I have this spring. Breaks my heart; I feel I didn't do enough to prevent this somehow. Guess I shoulda been there to hand out the condom.
Alison, I can't believe how fast you all went from basketball to baseball; I'd forgotten life with boys. Caleb is playing Biddy League for the first time this year. I cannot wait to see him in action. He'll be in the bleachers talking to the parents or trying to coach the other kids. He had kindergarten screening and failed the hearing test, due to an ear infection. He told us he was going to get hearing aides and have to go to the speech teacher everyday. "It's OK," he says, "it's only Holly". Holly is their neighbor, the speech and hearing therapist at school. Where the hearing aides came in, no one knows. He called me the other night to tell me Mackenzie was home alone with him and Maddie. I asked if she were being mean to them, he says, "Not Yet!". He has an answer for everything. The school has been warned in advance not to believe all he reports. I believe he will be the next Mark Twain. Or Adam Sandler!!!
How is Abbie doing, Angela? The Easter pix were so cute. The kids have grown so much this year. Do you have a busy summer planned? I love seeing your posts on Facebook. You and your sister are so funny together. My postings are always so boring. Or sometimes a little too sharp. I forget that written words can't show the smile or twinkle in the eye that face-to-face can. I figure no one pays attention anyway.
I'm going to call you, Jill, while you are in FL this weekend. Maybe we can get together with Stephen King. He isn't quite as reclusive in the spring. He can be a bear in winter. Are you OK? You've been quiet of late; makes me worry. Where's Tucker? and why isn't she talking to us? I agree about the Haute thing. If only we could all meet there for weekends and NOT have ISU involved...perfect.
How's the new addition, Kirstie? A pup is more work than a newborn, you know that, don't you? They chew, poop, pee, chew, poop, pee all day long everywhere. Good Luck. Inside? Outside? You probably couldn't tell, but I'm not an indoor pet person. I'm sure your puppy is the absolute best behaved dog ever. You will have fun this summer with him at the lake, I know.
And Elaine, our silent friend, how are you all? Work pushing right along like a freight train on your heels? Middle school is just the best, isn't it. Exiting 8th graders, entering 5 th graders, orientation for parents, 21 Century Scholars deadlines, MORP, freshman schedules. What have I forgotten? Are you doing the 6th grade Scholars oath? Our supe says I have to have 100% signed up by the end of school. Or else??? I'm not sure what that means and not willing to find out. Hope you are enjoying the new bag, it is you; bright, sleek and sophisticated.
Must check on my yard man, he is in the garden with power tools. Talk to me. Love you all, Hedy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Should I Be Worried?

I think I'm getting old, I mean showing signs of BEING old. I had a run-in with one of our students today, I know, what else is new. But this was different. I'm the original Pollyanna and see the positive side in everything, but all I could think as this was happening was, "what the Hell is wrong with these kids?" You know "kids today", "when I was a kid" all those thoughts were racing through my mind. And I was scared, scared for her, scared for my grandchildren and their grandchildren. Where are we headed as a nation, as a world? When and from where did kids learn it was OK to disrespect adults, curse teachers, dishonor parents? This tiny 12 year old looked me in the eye and said, "No one tells me what to do, especially you. You are nothing to me, I don't have to listen to you." She then proceeded to push past me and take off down the hall. She didn't get far.

The mother was called and took her home. She will return tomorrow. But what then? Will she continue to challenge us at every turn? What do we do when she calls our bluff? She knows we won't touch her, although today I did hold her arms and speak to her for awhile. Her mother threatens to send her to dad, well she wins, that is what she wants. Where did she see such behavior modeled? What was she thinking?

I was heart-sick the rest of the afternoon, even now hours later, I could cry over that small, angry child, defying the world for no purpose, other then she didn't like what she was hearing from an adult in charge. What generates that kind of anger? What stops it? This girl isn't an EH student, just an average, everyday student.

Children must learn to accept "NO", accept disappointment, deal with anger. So many do not, cannot; it is scary.

We only have 6 more weeks of school left. I've never wanted a year to end so much in all my years. I want to clean my house, fluff it up and make it more organized. I want to garden in the early mornings before the sun grows strong. I want to drink cold iced tea on my front porch with my friends. I want to take trips around Indiana with Stephen King. I want my grandkids to spend days with G-ma, picking beans and tomatoes and eating them right there in the garden. I want to spend nights with my mom and listen to her stories of life as the oldest of 13 children. I want to share meals with my sister and brothers and rediscover who they are. I want to grow strong enough to face next year.

We held our AfterProm at the WaterPark last Saturday night and it was a Blast. That place is big and offers something (many things) for everyone. You all have to come see. The kids would absolutely love it. I can see Jacob, Jordan, Trent and Abbie leading the little ones through the mazes, down the Lazy River and out the tubes. They have rafts and ropes and tubs and tubes, buckets and stairs and chutes and ladders all full of water and music and sunshine (or lights at night). Get online at http://www.valleyofthesprings.com/ and check it out. Rooms are reasonable and most have adult beds and built in bunks for kiddos. I am not a fan of amusement parks, but I was amazed by what this place offers. My kids love it. If it had a bookstore, Mackenzie would move in!

Our Easter was good, Shawn and Stephen sang specials at church, we gathered at Nina and Trent's for supper. I'd been up all night at the water park. The little ones hunted eggs and chased the new lambs and tried out the electric fence. Not one but two of them grabbed hold to see if Papaw was kidding about it being HOT. Quick lesson, long remembered, I bet. Courtney called from Oz and spoke to each of us. Her brothers cried a little, softies that they are. I love my boys. Court is having a wonderful time, adjusting well and growing stronger after her stressful few years. I love my girl, too.

Stephen King is at it again, tried to slice off his thumb with a horse hoof trimmer. Blood, stitches, bandages, He is OK. I may not be able to leave him home alone much longer, he needs a keeper. Silly thing thinks he is still 25. Just as crazy as his wife staying out with teenagers all night, what? i love my old man, too. :-)

It was good to share with all my Gaggle tonight. I miss you, Girlies. Nothing like a group of counselors to unload on. Talk to me. Love, Hedy

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reality Strikes Again

Back to the real world once again. This was a rather odd vacation; started well, we left early Friday morning and made excellent time getting to the hotel in Greenville, AL. Stacy and Jill were following us and Jessie and Kristina caught up at midnight. We four got to leave early because they don't have to find subs for us (impossible to replace the irreplaceable). Saturday was wonderful, the sky soon took on the special light of sun reflecting off of water. I always tell the grandkids to watch for the light when we head south. We zipped past the ragged pine forests and makeshift houses along 65, glad they were not our destination; even sprinkled with azaleas and dogwoods, they have a look of being worn out. Cutting off 65 onto 10 meant the land changed to swamps and canals, challenging the pavement for territory. Mobile was soon behind us as we branched off onto 163, the Dauphin Island Expressway. Little burgs huddled next to the road offering gas and fresh seafood or BBQ and beer. I would have to be starving to enter most of them...cleanliness was not part of the requirements. Some were barely standing but had the "come on in" flag out. Maybe I am a little bit picky, but my Mom wouldn't have let me go there. Soon we were seeing the Bay in all her glory and the super bridge joining Dauphin Island to Alabama mainland. Three miles long and many, many feet high, it hangs like a kid's toy over the water; way, way up...........then waaaaaaaaaaay down the other side. The island seems impossibly small and defenseless from the top of the bridge, one can see most of it end to end. Some in our party were wondering what we were in for.

Sail Fish was the house we had chosen for the week; a new build out on the west end of the island, feet from the Gulf of Mexico, and rising up 3 stories tall. What a sight. The whole south side was floor to ceiling windows and doors, decks and stairs. Inside the walls are pure white, the furniture too with bright aqua and lime accents. We knew we aren't in Indiana when we walked out the french doors and can see only water, rolling in from another world. At night the horizon is circled by the twinkling lights of the oil rigs, which we pretend are castles, not dirty environmental threats. Everyone settled in quickly, picking bedrooms to match personalities. Mine was a tranquil turquoise/lime haven facing the sunrise.

The wind would prove victorious; running us back into the shelter of the house. After 30 minutes I felt as if I'd been attcked by invisible forces, never have I experienced this unrelenting blow. Our sunbathers would crouch as low to the sand as possible to avoid being blown away. Needless to say, the bodies didn't achieve that buttery brown glow we all love. I didn't even get my usual shin burn from my perch on my deck. But all in all we loved the warm sun and sounds and smells of the coast and the time spent together. We laughed so much at each other, told tales of our childhoods, talked shop and tried to solve educations' woes, and even missed our husbands a little. The kitchen was worthy of a chef and I gave a few cooking lessons to the younger set. Simple good food. We ate out more than usual, first at the Best Little Oar House in Alabama, funky round bar and grill on the island with the slowest service in history, but excellent mahi-mahi sandwiches. Later we went off-island to the Pelican Reef for fresh shrimp and the best waitress in the south. She was from the place Forrest Gump claimed as home and shared all her hometown info with us. Although we were within minutes of Bayou P, we never made it there for our hand-embroidered Bubba Gump t-shirts. Maybe next time.

Tuesday night the tide came in rough and fast til it rolled under our decks, scaring the pants off 2 of our ladies. I made a call to the sheriff's office and they declared "no precautions necessary" so we breathed easier and went off to bed. Wednesday dawned bright and beautiful and we thought all was clear, but no, The weather bureau announced a flood warning after 9:00 pm. To keep from worrying we went shopping, we are women after all. Grammas bought too many kids' clothes, newly pregnant lady bought her first baby dresses, so sweet, and the newly wed bought a Coach patchwork bag. I know Angela, that was supposed to be yours. Majitos and burgers at Ruby Tuesdays got us ready for the trip back to the house. The sea awaited us; right beside the steps!!! Okay, this wasn't looking good. Quick packing, checking tide, stripping the beds, checking tide, washing bedding and towels, checking tide, cleaning fridge, checking tide. By 7:36 we were headed north. Running like rats off our possibly sinking ship. The hard rain started in Montgomery and pounded us till the Kentucky state line. I dropped Connie in Dubois County and by 10:00 AM was back to my real life. Spoke to Stephen King for a minute, as he was on his way to the farm to feed sheep and put up fence, then I was off to bed. World traveler that I am, I slept all afternoon, all evening, all night. At 7:00 Friday morning I regained consciousness. What a wimp.
Oddly, this hurried up, wind blown version of a vacation made me even more eager for more, more coastal travel, more rental houses, more ocean views, more time spent in peace and quiet...even with the grandkids!
Everyone buck-up for next week, only 7 more for us.
Alison, semi-state is an honor, too. Sounds like some game!
Anna, enjoy your break, have too, too much fun.
Love to all, Hedy