Saturday, July 10, 2010
I am still in my nightie and it is 11:39, lol. I needed some rest and when I finish this blog, I will put on my swim suit and head to the pool. I have gotten into the same state I was in with the big "Box packing of 2010" episode from May and I am not going to stay in that place. We were given the "go ahead" to start unpacking this week and my friend Ken got my helper lined up for me to start this week. On Tuesday, Mitchell, Marshall, and I went and we moved things around in my classroom to get the big furniture in place. The guys did the big work, but I muddled around and did some. On Wednesday, Miles and I went and opened most of the boxes and sorted them to go in locations that would make unpacking easiest. (That was a big job with the 87 boxes I ended up with there and a few that have already returned.) On Thursday, my helper started--and along with Marissa, Mitchell, and Marshall--we emptied well over half of those boxes. Many of my books are either on CLEAN shelves or are sorted into baskets waiting to go on shelves that needed to be made. That was another big work day. I made a schedule with Linda, my helper to work again on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, after the church reading program. Ken stopped by to see me and caught me working and asked me, "Why aren't you sitting down?" Duh, good question--but I am not sure how I can sit while all of these other s are doing MY work.
By the time we got home Thursday, I was asking myself the same question. My body was in trouble and I knew it. I took meds and got myself to the pool--it is amazing how soothing that is for me as I walk in the water, do all of my exercises, and then swim a few laps. (I also took time for both the hot tub and the sauna )
When I woke up on Friday, I couldn't stand up straight. I knew that I was responsible for my condition, but I am someone who has always worked and worked relentlessly until I complete a task. I can no longer do that, but I am too much an "old dog" to learn new tricks without a good lesson to teach them. The kids at church had a field trip, so I knew I'd have some down time. I also had an "urgent--lol" sewing project to do and complete for Mitchell so that time out was going to happen regardless of my own stubborn nature.
I have to explain the project, it is so funny. He is at a weekend Ultimate Frisbee shindig up Chicago way. Each participating team has to have a theme and my son's college buddies are "The Big Lebowski." Now, that is a movie I have never seen, but I can explain--Mitchell is the John Goodman character and needed to have a vest like you'd wear on an African safari. Nothing like that was available around here, either expensive or cheap in thrift stores, costume rentals, sporting good stores...So he bought a (actually nice) khaki shirt at a thrift store for $1.49. He gently removed the sleeves and the collar. My job was to create four more pockets---two to fit below the pockets on each side and convert this into a safari vest. Now, I haven't done much sewing since before I had splints on both arms and surgery on my hands--some 5 years. My sewing machine needs a tune-up and isn't useful right now. I thought the quilters at church had one, but they take things home to sew. So I cut the pockets out of those sleeves, pinned them on and sewed them on by hand. It would have been a five to ten minute project with a machine, I spent a total of 3 and a half hours on it. It wasn't the best stitching and sewing, but he could actually use this shirt for real--it turned out pretty nice. I was able to incorporate some of the stitching and hems from the sleeves into these pockets and it made it look fairly nice. I didn't have time to use actual hem-stitching and the like. Anyway, he got these silly yellow lensed shooting glasses, a green polo shirt and khaki shorts to complete the deal and I guess it is a perfect replica of the character. I was told if you had seen the movie, you would know who he was. OK, I'll believe. Now he is there, with his best friends in the world having a good time. These guys won't "win" anything because they are all working and haven't practiced as a team since they graduated from college 3-4 years ago. They have a lot of fun and I'm glad that he goes. They do a few of these a year, but this one is a special time.
Anyway, back to my story. The field trip got changed because the bowling alley they were going to attend didn't work out. I ended up teaching for an hour before the trip and then they needed me to be there when they returned. (The bowling alley they ended up at wasn't near a park for lunch, so the remainder of the summer camp day was at church.) I told them that I'd be glad to work with my kids after lunch, and totally forgot that I was supposed to meet Linda at my classroom at 1:30. I had to be with the kids until 2. We zoomed straight over to the school, but she wasn't there. I put the finishing touches on Mitchell's shirt-vest and Mitchell, Marshall, and Marissa helped to unload a few big things that Mason brought to school in his truck. Since Linda wasn't there, I made an executive decision that I wasn't going to do any heavy work on Friday and we came home--and I watched my son pack up and leave for his weekend trip.
I also realized that something was going totally wrong with me. My body's major joints were all on fire and I couldn't focus on the computer, a TV program, a magazine--nothing. It hurt so bad all over and my legs were particularly nasty--then I realized two things. The first being that I hadn't eaten my lunch yet and that I had only had 4 oz of apple juice for breakfast--and that I had felt that awful feeling once before. I got Marissa to help me out, and yes, my pain patch was not in place on my back. Grr--rr I checked my clothing, the nightie I had worn the night before and my previous day's clothing. It wasn't in any of those places, so I suspect I'd lost it at the pool in the prior day or two. Arghh. She helped me replace it and I went outdoors in the heat and sunshine and struggled for the next hour until it kicked in and helped undo the damage I had done to myself over the past few days. I am supposed to place these patches on my back, but I sure wish I had a way of knowing when they weren't there. When I find out the hard way, it is really a hard way. They get changed every 3 days and well, I have these because I need them. It is surely not a perfect system.
I did go to the pool last evening, a bit later than usual, but it shouldn't have mattered. I was almost through all of my exercises when the life guard along with one of the other workers insisted that everyone leave the pool 5 minutes early last night. I know my pain issues made me grumpy, but it aggravated me. I know the reason is that this particular lifeguard doesn't work so hard and that the other staff member was irritated because she tried to manage the wayward family I discussed in my previous blog and they complained about her being "rude." She was right in what she had done and everyone knew it, but she caused the early closing as some petty way to get even with them. I expressed my unhappiness and she told me that I could get back in. It isn't that easy for me there are stairs involved and once I get out, I'm out. I don't expect it to happen again. It was all too reactive to me--if the lifeguard would do her job and if the fitness center would use backbone with this family, there wouldn't be an issue. Oh well, I took care of me and finished my time in the sauna.
Now, the only time a problem is worthwhile is if we learn something from it. I have learned that I am going to take it easy on this body as we continue to unpack. The boxes are pretty organized, so things are coming out fairly easy. I am just going to tone down my activity. I have all of these lovely cupboards and things to use and I can do sitting down work. There is a possibility that the big grant helping to fund our church program might extend the program for the last two weeks of summer break--if so, I',, teach those two weeks as well. If not, I think that we may take a couple of short say trips or something and find a way to get some playtime in. Everyone has worked hard this summer and some playtime is due all of us. I'll see how things unfold. My kids' schools are not on the modified year-round schedule that the district I teach in is on, so they have another month--so we have some weekends to fit play into as well. As for now, I still have 3 more weeks off work and I'm going to take care of me as my priority. I have to do that.
Gentle hugs to you all!
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Sometimes making the right choice is not easy for me or for others around me. I have found myself in that position a few times today and it is a bit unnerving. (I'm betting there was something in my horoscope about this because it came up so often, haha) It started this morning when my 18 year old son Mason was not feeling well, so I took him to our pediatric groups Walk-in morning clinic for working parents. He had been coughing awfully and was running a fever. They did a rapid strep test and prescribed him some Allegra and had me get him some Delsyn to go along with the ibuprofen. I asked the doctor about his two jobs--that he loves, and the doctor gave him a note to take 2 days off work. He wasn't totally happy with me, but he gets up at 6 AM to go to his job at the church with the feeding program and he works there until 1:30-2in the afternoon. Then he goes and spends a couple of hours with his girlfriend before he has to be at his job at McDonald's at 5. He has been working until around 2 AM there. Now you can do the math, but I know that he is run down from not getting enough sleep and he needs it. I called the church to tell them I would be late and I took him to get his prescription, a case of water, a couple of bottles of juice and his Delsyn. Then I told him he had to stay home, take the meds, drink some water and/or juice and go to sleep--end of conversation. (Sometimes Mom really is right.)
When I got to church, I found that I had a preschooler in my group again and I just wasn't happy about it. I found out that our outreach director had told this woman she could bring her child--but my program is about teaching reading and improving the reading of children. Pre-schoolers don't read and many don't even know ABC's. There are 2 parents who are working with the program with older children who have brought these small children (who are sweet, kind, nice , lovable children--but they aren't ready for reading. I told them that I wouldn't throw her out or anything, but when I have children who require a lot of attention for support and behavior and immaturity, that it takes my time away from working on literacy. About a half an hour later, the little girl's mother came and got her--she has another child a year younger, so I would think that she could get child care there. I found out later that this mother is having a lot of serious life issues, but they gave her two days off with pay to work on her life issues. I am so sorry for the major difficulties that this lady is having, but I suggested that maybe we consider that we need a preschool program or a childcare program, but I simply want to maintain the integrity of what I am doing with the schoolage children.
Today, we had a "Telephone Hearing" for the unemployment people since the store my son works for fought his request for unemployment. It was a strange thing, being sworn in over the phone and having a session like something that might have been on "Law and Order." I don't know how they will judge this case, but there was a lot of discussion about the things that made this silly. It was strange not being able to see the others--and one of the "witnesses" from the store flat out lied about something. I encouraged Marshall to question her on this. It wasn't a fun time, that's for sure.
Tonight at the pool, I finally said something to a couple of children who are very young and who usually come to the pool around 8:30 with their parents and stay until the pool closes at 9:15. this has been bothering me--and my children for quite some time. These two children who are around ages 3 and 5 are the naughtiest and orneriest children ever. They break every rule in the place over and over again, and they are mean to people. They do things that are dangerous sometimes and their parents ignore all of these behaviors. The girl who is around 5 runs all over the place, climbs on the diving board and jumps and runs on it, throwing toys off of it and doesn't listen to any redirection from anyone. The little boy like to ask you what your name is and then as you answer him, he squirts you in the face with a squirt gun. He throws things all over if he doesn't get what he wants. He spits water and splashes anyone--babies with their parents or his parents. He slaps his parents too. Both of them go into the adult equipment room and drag anything they want to out of it and make a mess of everything leaving junk floating all around the pool. Since you know that I am not so sure on my feet, you can guess that these children might be a problem. Tonight, as I was walking my laps around the pool, the little boy was slapping the water hard with a noodle and as I walked by he started to hit me with it. I simply said, "Please don't do that" and he didn't hit me but his mother bristled. On my next lap, the little girl had been throwing something into the pool for another little girl to dive and fetch--which might have been a great activity for them--until I walked right by and she threw the object right over my head and it turned out that the object was a 3 pound exercise weight. I was outraged and I asked her why she even had that. I told her that it was dangerous and she needed to put it back--but she lied to me and told me that the lifeguard told them they could play with it. Then I told her that I was going to go check with the lifeguard and she told me that she was going to go put it up, and she begged me not to say anything. I went right over to the lifeguard and told her what had taken place and she went to talk to this child's parents and their daughter. Grr, the mother's look at me could have killed me--but someone needs to help these children learn how to act and the parents don't seem to know how to do it. It is quite irritating--they disrupt my workout almost every evening and I am pretty tired of it. I decided that I am not going to turn a blind eye to this awful situation anymore. That is that.
So, I haven't been calm, quiet or passive today. I haven't pleased the people around me very well. I have been honest in my actions and I have tried to do things that were best for the majority of people around me. As I reflect on my day, I am feeling a bit guilty for causing some problems for other people, but it was important to maintain my own integrity and peace of mind. You judge this a bit and tell me what I should have handed differently. I know this day has left me cognitively exhausted.
And yes, it rained some also--on me and around me. What a day. I have some praying to do.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
This has been an amazing weekend. today was a day for getting a long, long nap--since I didn't fall asleep last night until sometime after 3PM. Mason didn't get home until just before then. He went to a baseball game with his girlfriend and her parents (The Quad City River Bandits is our local team, way down on the food chain from the National and American League. They are the Level A team for the Cardinals--we have also been a feeder team for the Twins and the Angels and the Cubs in the past, it is hard for me to keep track of all of that.) Anyway, there were some people burglarizing homes across the street from his girlfriend's house and the police were out there and caught the thieves and their guy in the car--but his girlfriend's parents wisely had him stay at their house until all of that was clearly over and it was safe. Unfortunately, nobody thought to call his mother and I sat here awake with him on my mind.
The biggest job I did today was sorting about 7 loads of laundry--and most of t hem were mine, tee hee. Actually, I had so much to do that y husband volunteered to take it to a laundromat to get it over with quickly. That was so nice of him. It took me over an hour to gather and sort it--and then it took another hour to sort it again and get it all put away. It was nice to have help.
The pool was so quiet tonight that I even took 15 minutes in the new hot tub. It was relaxing and I enjoyed it. I did a bit of work outdoors, but it has rained off and on. My husband keeps telling me that it is supposed to rain straight through until Friday. Oh yuck, I don't want that. I am supposed to get started moving into my classroom tomorrow. I would like to take my time, doing a bit at a time and avoiding any other nonsense. I need to check my work email for the particulars--I am not even sure when we return to work. I think the kids come back on August 3, so I have a bit to get done and a month to accomplish it.
Well, take care. I need to try to get night time sleep tonight so that I'll be ready for my children at church tomorrow.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Hello and Happy Day of US Independence!!
It has been an awesome weekend--with lots and lots going on around here. I have been trying to get a blog written, but I have been really busy trying to sort through emails from our new Spark Class Team (week of 6/27-7/3/2010) We have 10,068 members, WOO HOO SP!! I haven't done nearly as much as I'd like, but I am also not getting to my Spark Friend's blogs or to my other teams much with all of this. I am very happy to see SP grow like this--and I was able to recruit one member for our Basset Hound dogs team as well. I think we need a couple of other leaders to help us to reach out to everyone, if that will even be possible.
On Friday, we had a "fun day" with the children at church. Several of our little regular members weren't there and we got a few little tots whose mothers help with the older kids' Summer Club. After our morning book baskets and our big book/ reading lesson, we took them outside to play under the church's sprinkler. It was so cute and they had a lot of fun. We also took out a pitcher of water and some splash balls for fun as well. I stayed for the afternoon and after lunch, we had centers that included water painting, a letter-sound board game, and creating pictures from stickers and markers. We took them back out to play in the water and to blow bubbles. I gave them each a bottle of bubbles to take home with them. It was a pretty tiring day, but I also went shopping and to the pool before the day was out.
Saturday was busy. I went shopping for our big picnic and then to lunch with my best friend and straight to the pool. Saturday is the day that our little village has fireworks (so they don't have to compete with the bigger towns around.) They do a really nice show, some 100,000 dollars worth of fireworks after an afternoon and evening of carnival type food vendors and a variety of jumping toys for the kids. We set up our screened awning and had roasted chicken, veggies, salads, and watermelon as we waited for the show. We played lasso golf or hillbilly golf (I have no skill at all, lol) and we played "Apples to Apples." It was a wonderful time--I fell asleep and got in a bit of a nap and woke up soaked in sweat, but it kept me nice and cool for the rest of the evening, ha ha.
We had a wonderful communion service today at church. The music was patriotic and we had a guest preacher from our denomination with out pastor who did a very good job of helping us to think about our values. I went shopping with two of my sons and my husband to pick up some much needed clothing for the three of them and a few items that we needed for our picnic today, We went to "West Lake" for a nice time. It was a bit chilly and sprinkled a bit, but it didn't hurt anything or take away from the fun. I went swimming and exercising in the lake for about 2 hours--it was chilly to start and the breeze kept it that way off and on, but it was a nice change of pace from my regular pool (that is closed on sundays for the summer.) We got home around 6 which gave us time to do some yard work and to plant 8 new hostas around our great big pine tree. The ones we planted last year on one side are doing so well that I wanted to encircle the whole thing. I also tried to walk Lady, but she is still too strong for me. I did walk Chloe, Frankie and Scooter for a little bit. I also cleaned up a grocery bag of spent fireworks from all around the road and our driveway(thanks, kids) and on the lane. My husband came and rescued me when my back gave out and we had a stern discussion that I am not able to do everything that I may want and what other people do. I know, but I am getting better and just have so much I want to do.
I know that laundry gets priority tomorrow... but I still have some fun and tricks up my sleeve. I'll let you know about that in my next blog. I have one more day to have my husband home--he had a 4 day holiday weekend which is the first such thing in over 6 years.
Oh and I am now 4.6 pounds away from onederland ,,, I had hoped to be there by now, but I will be there before I return to work at the end of this month.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Less than a month ago, I had a lot of people reminding me that I needed fun in my life. I thought about that, and now that I am on break and out from under some of the most intensive stress I think I've had in the past many years--even more than my health issues (except the spine infection!) I realized that I find fun all around me. I think the stress was stealing the fun right out of my life. I need to learn how not to let that happen again. I simply need to figure this our.
Anyway, back to having fun... If you read my previous post, I really had fun at our church service on Sunday. I often have fun at church in a variety of ways. Our church is good to me and for me. Here is the website--Sunday's blues service isn't up yet, but last year's blues service is. http://churchofpeaceucc.org/site/ Please stop by and take a look--you will find the blues service on a video located on the right side of the screen if you scroll down a bit. I you look at the "current" activities, you will see pictures of our feeding program as well as my reading program and the Summer Club activities that are happening. The focus of the Summer Club for the kids aged 8-12 is Fun, Fitness, and Nutrition. My son Mitchell (the teacher ) is teaching nutrition classes to all of the age groups. He works with my little kids on Mondays after my program is kind of finished.
Today, they took all of the kids to our local "Dinner Theatre" called Circa 21--to see a performance called "Go, Dog. Go!" based on that familiar green and orange book by PD Eastman. It was a hoot. We had a sack lunch out in the pavilion downtown (Turkey sandwiches, apple, chips, apple juice,milk--I ate half of the sandwich and had the juice. I just ate my apple.) Then we went to the theater. I wasn't sure how that book could be a play, but it was so cute. The characters were wearing a sweat suit kind of outfit with tails and other parts, a variety of hats--each with their own color. They did all of the things in the book and there was music and dance added to it. I couldn't help but to laugh and enjoy it. I'm going to base my lessons tomorrow on the book and revisit it with the children. Some of my kids are very young, early readers--but I am now betting that each of them know the words dog and go. I really love working with the children and it is especially great doing it in our room at the church.
I also have fun here at SP. I love talking to you, reading your stories and blogs, thinking about you, praying for you. and getting messages from you. I think I can safely talk about my fun here. I also have learned to make exercise a priority--and I make sure that after I have done my exercises and walking in the pool--and then swam some laps, that I play with my kids and have fun there. And I go faithfully every single day unless they are closed. I have learned a lot here and it has added to my enjoyment of so much.
I am also having fun being with my kids--not all of them all of the time, but I really enjoy being able to spend time with them and go places. It is a wonderful thing.
There is no shortage of fun in my life--there is no shortage of blessings in my life either.
Life is good!!
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