Friday, March 31, 2006

Swimming Upstream




This day started out with the gas tank on empty, after hunting all morning for things I could not find. Left the house feeling the day might not go right. Then I drove over a bridge on the river down the road and saw two ducks swimming upstream and thought it was an omen to just get through the day. They were so calming, making ripples fan out in the water, that a slow smile came to my face and I drove on feeling this might be a good day after all, if I just retain the calm that I saw in them.
Have a great weekend.
Marilyn

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day Without End...



Guess I went in to work with too little sleep today...
First a couple of girls showed up from the high school
to job shadow. I didn't know they were coming as they left a message on voice mail that I rarely check.
The kids were all loud and required monitoring their talking. Am thinking of grouping achieving with the nonachieving students. Usually you mix them but can tell that those doing their work are irritated by the obnoxious behavior of others. So have decided it makes more sense to put those not achieving at one table (slacker table...talk about a label) and keep track of their progress and behavior to the side of working with those who want to be in the class.
Came home exhausted and decided it's time to answer the call of bills. Geez, it's only been about 20 some years that I have been chasing after them, one by one, with no system other than being at deadline and having to pay them. I am always late, even when the money is in the bank. Two things I seem to procrastinate on the most....house cleaning and bills. My mother was so organized on both. Why didn't I learn?
My new goal is to spend as much as I can on bills to get as far ahead as I can...like a game. Maybe that will spice it up a bit, like a challenge. (Gives me a game board idea!).
Hmm...wonder if that inventors show could be as bad as the first one. May watch.
Would love to get a ton of sleep tonight. The thought of bills and cleaning makes me tired.
Please God, send some ambition my way.
I do at least find myself making purchases on the basis of...will I be able to use this in retirement or will it be another thing to pitch? I put back a lavender Easter basket for our daughter on that basis but bought two inexpensive quilts. You can never have too (two!) many of those.
Into the night.
Enjoy yours.
Marilyn

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Is It Tuesday Already?

In the summer months I live the life of a retired person, forgetting which day of the week it is. Now, during the school year, I am trying to destress evenings. Work harder during the day in the classroom and leave it (though I do carry the students in my head!) behind and come home to relax.
The grandson was here tonight as his parents were buying a car. I told him he could not stay the night as he wouldn't listen to me and I was tired of noise, but grandpa took him with he and buddy Denny running around so he got his way and I get the quiet of the house. Laundry to catch up. pay a couple of bills and then American Idol. I adore Taylor, the gray-haired 29 yr. old from Alabama as he is totally into his music. There are several this season that I think will record whether they win or not. He and Paris are two I am certain will, though Paris seems such a baby in comparison. I don't call to vote but do watch to the end.
Anyway, I smiled tonight when I realized I had to think what night it was as the old me ran so tight that I was constantly aware of fitting everything in day by day to get to the end of the week. I accomplish less but have learned to let some things take a back seat to be done whenever. That's not to say that I don't have ongoing lists in my head with the following...
House: Paint the boys bedroom/den for the 4th time with a taupe #4 paint from Lowe's.
Ready our tax papers.
Catch up bills...I am a huge procrastinator.
Take dog Mack for an overdue grooming.
Make plans for two new bathrooms...here and at the cottage.
Pack things for the cottage and sort our closet and bedroom.
Paint, wallpaper and refloor our tiny laundry room.
Clean our overdue for cleaning deck.
Revive my previously beautiful perennial garden by the stairs to the deck.
Work on the lawn. Clean the barn. Paint the outside and repair windows.
Self: Lose weight by constantly eating better and exercising.
Send out invitations for the weekend in July reunion slumber party at the cottage.
Work on getting old movies from family on dvd's and photos on cd's.
Read books and magazines saved on shelf for years.
Crochet a blanket or two.
School: Sort the room and make it more colorful and attractive for the students.
Ready some town displays of student work.
Line up a yearbook staff for next year and plan their welcome breakfast.
Post best work on the net for the students.
Order more supplies for next year and find some new projects for the kids.
Other: Make my religion more personally fulfilling...be a better servant to the Lord
on a daily basis.
Keep in touch with those I care for in email, notes, phone and invite over for dinner.
Celebrate my Scottish and English heritage.

And that is only what I remember storing up there in my noggin!
I tell myself there will be time if I just concentrate on the day for now. It seems to work if I just pull down a project at a time to deal with and not sit in the middle of all of them trying to make a dent.

Time for American Idol.
Have a great night.
Marilyn
Photo At Top is Not Me, but I often feel like she looks! (received her in email)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday Night


It's around midnight on Sunday. The schoolweek starts again in 7 hrs.
Am ready for spring break as much as my students are...
Teachers are not liked by the public in the U.S. as we dare to tell parents when their kids are bad and dare to discipline them (as long as we don't touch them or deny them their rights!)..What they don't know is that every student, even those with poor behavior get to us and cause us stress. I actually worry about many of my students in the off hours or take joy in the funny things they do. But by the end of the 9 mo. we are like grandparents eager to send the kids home. I love to hear parents at the meat market in August talking about how they can't wait to get their kids back in school after only 3 mo. --- We are glorified babysitters most of the time and don't I know it!

I have been feeling frustrated in general over my lack of progress in the muddles in my life, then I stumbled over a blog out of Singapore tonight called A Penny for My Thoughts. In it she said, "Only God's word will lead us into the light. If you are at a stagnant position, it is a warning sign that something in you must change. If you are moving backwards, it is important that you do something immediately. If what I just said is frustrating you, we all know something is wrong. Not with the things that happened, but with the person involved. Changes will only get to where God wants you to be. Check your heart. What seems correct may not be what God wants you to do. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Know God's heart. And its all about God and you. Nobody else.
When religion talks about God giving answers, I believe that they are all around us if we are open to finding them. Thanks to the gal from Singapore.
Hope you all have a good week ahead.
God bless.
Marilyn

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Guy...


Nothin you could do, could make me untrue
To My Guy
No handsome face, could ever take the place
Of My Guy...
As a matter of opinion, I think he's tops
My opinion is, he's the king of the hop...
I'm tellin ya from the start, I can't be torn apart
From my guy....

Love you Jake.
GaGa.

Too Common

Denny, a high school friend, e'd that his brother died at age 61 (so sorry you are having to deal with the loss, Denny). I told my husband, as I often do when someone is close to our age to try and make him see that we could be next if we don't tend to health issues. I asked Bob if he went to a doctor what percentage of health does he think he would rate. He said 85%. I told him more like 60% because his gut is so large...he agreed, which surprised me.
Sometimes I wonder how we became senior citizens, when it was just yesterday we were in our 40's. That thing about going over the hill is true...well, at least with the body. If you gain weight and don't get exercise, you can run around with your head cut off keeping up with life and it won't help one iota. How much you eat, what you eat, and lack of sleep and exercise are what causes weight problems. Oprah can drop her big bucks my way as I see the solution, but have not the willpower...yet, of course. I always think it will happen just like that tomorrow.
The human mind is amazing though. We keep overloading our brains with trivia from our day and look for ways to simplify our lives? Without lists and time restraints I wander daily wasting all kinds of time. Why do I fight doing all these things that I carry as quilt?
Death is starting to become all too common. I mean, I actually know the people dying.
When I was young I used to think about the end of life until I became frightened and stopped. I mean never existing again, ever, in the universe? I now believe in God and the hereafter, but admit that I still can't imagine existing in another form.
Heck, it's easier believing in God than it is for me to fully grasp the concept of our living on a round sphere that is floating in space? Now that one will baffle me forever.
Going to try for more z-z-z-z's tonight. Still sleep deprived.
Our daughter is calming to me before I sleep...like fish in a fish tank her simple existence brings me down to the bare essentials in life. What must it be like to be inside of her mind?

Night-Mare...

Friday, March 17, 2006

AMAZING GRACE...



THE SCHOOL YEARBOOK IS DONE!!

Heading out of state in the morning for the funeral of my father's only sib...his brother. He lived to be 90 and was a gentleman of great character. After serving in the war he graduated from the Univ. of Michigan in Architecture and formed a partnership in a firm that built most of the schools in part of our home state. His wife died many years ago and he remarried mostly for friendship. He has left behind a terrific daughter, son and daughter in law. I never heard he or my Dad say a mean word to each other. They died 5 days and 12 yrs. apart.

I have one from my uncle that explains our family Scottish
heritage as he remembered it and maybe a few handwritten holiday
cards. He was a generous, soft-spoken man and I will remember him
with great respect.

Post when I return.
Marilyn

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pocket Call


Woke to the sound of my cell phone ringing..it was Bob's phone calling me from his pocket. He and buddy Denny run around together and could hear some of their conversation though they were not aware the phone had triggered. Spent yesterday out of state seeing my mother Audra. She's 86 and in a resthome. I used to be more of a Daddy's girl and have missed him every day in the 12 yrs. since he has been gone. But watching my mother go through the wrenching caregiving of her husband, financial loss, then the decline of her own health...and eventually her smoking and catching herself on fire, the strength she showed recovering from her skin-grafting...well, it was just plain horrible but she seldom complained. During the years of growing up Mom made all four of us feel as if we were only children. She would be up until 2 a.m. ironing mountains of clothing and sneak into our rooms at night to put them away as we slept. Her kitchen was spotless, with a hot meal on the table every night. At lunchtime she would come home from her work as hospital office supervisor and start meals, work on laundry, or anything else. Her bag was constantly packed to visit us or take time off with Dad. Her whole life was devoted to being his wife or our mother. She played the organ at church and never had anything bad to say about another. It's hard to find anyone in the hometown who didn't admire and love her. She is now in a rest care facility where I admire her courage facing the wasted hours between visits from family, while watching death all around her. She has outsurvived at least a half-dozen roommates since entering the place a year ago. We try to rotate weekends to have someone in the family there to spend time with her. My sister Martha, the youngest in the family, is her guardian and watches after her like a child. My brothers offer her humor and understanding and visit as often as their schedules allow. I try to make it there one weekend a month as the roundtrip takes about 10 hrs. to drive. When my children were young, Mom took them out to see the moon, so we nicknamed her "Grandma Moon Sky"...it sounded like a hippie tag, which Mom certainly did not fit, but I still look at the moon and feel she is shining down on me in encouragement. I've learned a new love and admiration for my mother's life and as a result have given my own life more of a sense of purpose and direction. Today it's back to school to work on the yearbook, which I am hoping to finish. I want to get back to working on the house and anything else to get me out of the tangles that are keeping me from just enjoying life. Have a great Sunday. Marilyn

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Chartreuse Room

























The photos are of our daughter's room. She has moved in.
It's a soft and pretty room, though not entirely done. It's girly and mature.

The picture on the wall was a photo I put in oil-painting mode and ordered as a stretched canvas through
Kodakgallery.com : Shop : Specialty .
Curtains and paint came from Lowe's.

Hoping to be done with the yearbook by the end of the week and after a brief weekend out of state, work on wallpapering that tiny bedroom with the horrible white walls for the boys bedroom/den.

Be back by the end of the week.
Enjoy yours,
Marilyn

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Vera Schmera









On my second night working on the yearbook at school I took a dinner break with Jude. She had a Vera bag which made me laugh...I do too, but of course two of them and they are knockoffs that cost a mere $20 ea. at the local variety store. Actually, I have three as I have a backup for the red one which I am wearing out sooner than the blue. There are pockets inside all the way around like a diaper bag....maybe that is really what they are...when I lose things, instead of hunting at the bottom of my purse I go from pocket to pocket. I use the blue one to carry my digital camera and charger as it makes a better carrier than most digital camera bags. I may need to go back and buy a second blue bag also. You never know when you need another. And by then I probably could have bought one Vera bag. Designer is no longer me, just the look is enough.

A former student waited on Jude and me for dinner. He had to be the worst I have ever encounterd. He apologized when he came to the table saying no one told him we were there...has he no eyes? Then we noticed he apologized to every table he went to as if for sympathy. Our meal was delivered by the mgr. without our lemon ice water, toast/biscuits, jelly/butter and silverware. Our guy returned for small talk but not much in the way of service. He had moved to another state, had a great interview with the chain restaurant there, but was finishing up his stint with this one...said the local high school ordered him out his last day saying he might hurt himself? I remember he was on yearbook staff several years ago and all he did was eat and talk.

Jude and I email all the time and her personality literally jumps off the screen, but I think we meet every so often to keep up with the face behind the words....because we seem to talk about the same things we have in common. Jude is smart, attractive and very self-effacing. She is brutally honest, and takes joy in so many things that I do. In ways we are twins in our maturing.

Well, I stayed at school until 5 a.m. this time. Was really getting into the software about an hour before I left, but once home headed for bed. Not heading back tonight as need to get the laundry caught up, etc. and of course something so important as the fashions for the Oscar's red carpet. The awards are not even as important as that.

Have discovered that blogging brings out the mundane in me...I mean, normally I can be more clever in how I word things but I feel myself too aware of someone reading the blog...although Jude and I laugh at how she is probably the only person in the world to read it!!!

So, have a good day, Jude!
From your skanky friend, Mare

Friday, March 03, 2006

Eye on the Prize...


Sometimes keeping an eye on the prize helps.
When the yearbook is done I plan to buy another Chico's watch just like the one I have. It was Oprah's favorite watch a while back and I don't want them to stop making it without having a backup...I wear it every day and feel naked without it.

Working on the yearbook into the night, tonight. My students are restless and needing more supervision so can't concentrate on
doing anything on the book during the daytime.

Hoping to start into wallpapering the small boys room on Saturday as it lacks warmth with paint and the walls being so imperfect. Even after all the work I put into it, it just needs more work.

Will post pictures of the two bedrooms, then will start our
bedroom which is my favorite room in the house...soft green, king size bed with a beautiful metal frame...working on it being a retreat and can't wait to post more on it.
Be back on the weekend.
Enjoy the day!
Marilyn

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Too Busy To Blog




Now that I'm into blogging I find I have to take most of this week off to tend to business...mainly getting our school yearbook submitted so we can receive it by the end of the school year.
I adore my students at school, but they are starting to act more
like it's the end of the school year as the weather improves.

Our almost 6 yr. grandson Jake has been at the house a couple of nights this week. He is a joy/rascal. He told my husband we needed to buy more "beers" as his Dad likes to drink it. And he watches 7th Heaven on TV saying he never misses watching an "episode" with his Mom. He locked himself in the toy closet...it's worth it sacrificing closet space ...he closed the door which locks and screamed bloody murder until his grandpa rescued him. But when he curls up in my arms I forget everything and am in his world. He's still a baby underneath it all.

So my online time is now devoted to doing layouts and sorting through hundreds of photos...our book is only 56 pgs., but it's all color, hardbound, and the photos are all digital. Means learning the company software, which is more time consuming this year.

I 'lll be back to the blog on the weekend.
Tomorrow is Friday...hang in there.
Marilyn