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Sunday, 7/18 Hospitality

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hi everyone,

Today's scripture included the story of Martha and Mary and it also included the story of Abram and Sarah when they showed hospitality to the 3 strangers who showed up unexpectedly at their home. Their kindness gave them a big reward in return when they finally got past being childless. Our pastor talked at length about the value of hospitality and how the kindnesses that Abram showed not only gave them the thing that they wanted most, but how in turn, it gave to all of us. I am glad that he spoke of it--and his prayer talked about how the world needs women of all types and the importance of having Marthas and Marys in our worlds. I was expecting him to link the stories and he didn't--I think he knew we could do that. I also expected him to mention the summer program and the hospitality that we gave to those 60 children who ate and played and learned in our church. He didn't mention that either. I didn't get around to asking him about that, but if I were to guess, we are hospitable to others to show caring and that is what motivated all of the Biblical players. If we happen to get something back in return, that's extra.

OK, SP is one of the places of the greatest hospitality ever. I have many Spark Friends who haven't heard much from me lately, yet they stop by and leave me comments and notes and help me get over the rough spots. I am thinking back to my beginning here, when I didn't quite get goodies and blogs and our other forms of communication, but I learned to talk with people and share my thoughts. I learned to give them support because I liked seeing these great people succeed at such a complex activity. I have made more friends and I do a bit more with a few teams that I am a "leader" of--I am not sure that means anything special, except that I would try to be a bit more consistent in what I do on my teams. So why be hospitable?

Well, it's an easy answer. I like being helpful and a little (on my busy days) is better than none. I like emoticons and goodies that help me to say what is on my mind. I like thinking through my own situation and sharing what has worked or finding ideas for what hasn't. I like having friends who I can count on whether I am present or not. Mostly, I like having this place to hang my hat when I have a few moments to spare so I can check in with the kind and hospitable people who are helping me to stick to it and who give me a chance to help them--really help myself.

I get more from SP than I give it, but it is fun to be hospitable here and it is fun to keep up with everyone. It is fun to know that I'll hear from others today. (It is not as fun to know that I have some 30 SP emails reminding me of all of the blogs I need to visit, but they help me to get there...) there is a lot to that hospitality stuff--look at all of the places where we can find it.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NPA4LOSS 7/19/2010 11:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 7/19/2010 9:39PM

    You certainly are part of my online family! I spend a lot of time getting around to a lot of blogs, so I can see why you would get behind when you are busy. But you should know your friends do appreciate your support and its not that critical you need to get around to all the blogs or activity feeds -I know you care and that is good enough for me!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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    South Beach is great!! I'm up to around 150 emails a day now. LOL.

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LOULOUBELLE2 7/19/2010 9:30AM

    emoticonBlog...You also echo my feelings, we're all Mary and Martha's on Sparks, an ON LINE FAMILY if you must. So glad you part of mine.
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Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 9:31:35 AM

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Saturday 7/17 Busy Family, Vacation Needs, Glorious Blessings

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hi Everyone,

We have really been doing a bit of everything recently and it dawned on me that my family works way too hard at so much and that is why I am always feeling as if my house is a mess and my yard needs work, and that I miss my family and we need time together. My husband works 7 days a week and 9 hours a day. I have been working at the church from 8:30 until at least 12:30 and some days until 2:30 followed by time in my classroom that often goes until well after 4 or 5. We get home for a bit of regrouping and dinner--and I go to the fitness center for about 3 hours each night. In the meantime, 4 of my kids have been joining me with my daily schedule, one has been at school, and three have been working at two/three jobs each day. We are all working too hard at too much. I go back to work on Monday, August 2 and I want to have some family fun and some R&R before then. I know, I know--I have so much to do to get my classroom ready and unpacked. I wanted to have some major cleaning done in my house and the guys still have to put in my new floor and sink in the bathroom. They are going to rebuild the kitchen floor and cabinets as well. I have 3 cans of paint for a bedroom, my dining room, kitchen and family room, and we have a new carpet to put down in the family room. Our garden has started giving us a lot of great big zucchini and the vines are loaded with nice green tomatoes. I have a bag of green beans already and the cucumbers and melons are all in bloom as well. Our basement and garage need a good cleaning and we have a couple of new projects waiting in the back yard too. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We haven't had time to do any of that--or the yard sale I wanted either. We all work too hard and there is always something else to do. I read something here at SP today that mentioned we won't be able to read all of the books we want to read or see all of the movies we want to see, etc...co we must choose carefully. Well, we won't be able to do all of the work we think we should do either and I want to spend some fun time with my family. I want to spend a lot of it actually--and I intend to. that brings me to today...

We had a really awesome Friday celebration of the "Summer Camp" program at our church, of which my reading program was part. It had been a busy day at a beautiful city park and the park board had gotten three bouncy toys for the kids--one had two basketball hoops, one had a slide and the other was a traditional jumping room. They also had put together a lot of nice games--potato bag race and relays and rope tug and so on. After lunch, they had a pair of magicians for the kids. I got to walk around a lot and visit with a lot of people which was fun. Our church supplied food for well over 300 children from a variety of places and programs. We got back to the church in time to give the kids each a literacy bag with lots of books, crayons, pencils, things they had made, and a few toys--and to say good bye to them. i felt as close to this group as I did any of my students this past year, maybe because I got to teach them and get to know them without any stress. I did some assessments at the end of the program and was happy to see some nice growth in reading levels for most of them. They left around 2 and we tidied up a bit and left after 2:30 and we came home and did routine stuff--dishes, laundry, some weeding etc... Mason went to work at his other job. My husband came home and took my daughter to voice and the guys made taco salads for dinner. Then we went to the pool. I got home around ten and I fell asleep trying to do my SP activities. That has happened a lot lately and I wish that I had more time for answering team posts and blogs and stopping by to leave supportive messages and simply say "Hi."

I woke up at 2 and at 4 and at 6 and I finally got up around 7:30 and did some things that needed attention around here. Most of the kids were sleeping which is rare around here and I thought they deserved to sleep in. I had a rather nasty headache and would have slept longer if I could. when the kids got up, Mitchell and Marissa worked on laundry. I took Micah and ran some errands. When I got home, we started some weekend chores--vacuuming, dusting, washing floors , lawn mowing, weeding, and on and on. I decided again to emoticon While waiting for my husband to get home, I went to the stores and bought some groceries and prepared a picnic for dinner. I blew off going to the pool because we needed to do all of the things we were doing, but I realized that my family needed some down time. I met a bit of resistance from my husband and Marshall--but I insisted and we took everyone to the lake. I did get to go swimming there--it was certainly different than the pool at the fitness center, but I found a way to do most of my exercises in a revised format. The water was warm and the beach was busy, but it was nice. My husband finally admitted that maybe he should come to the pool and actually get in the water with us--maybe even come to the fitness center and do some walking or use the hot tub. Then it dawned on me...

We ALL need a real vacation. Every single one of us need a vacation and a change of scenery. I have 2 weeks to get that classroom ready and I have 2 weeks and limited money to pull this off--but we need some time off of this hectic crazy schedule we are trapped on. I am thinking of some possibilities and had been tossing around some ideas for day trips or weekend trips or something. I will make this happen because we need this. My family works too hard and we need time to rest and play, and to enjoy each other. I have great kids who help me with things like moving classrooms and who volunteer at the church. I know them as well as they know themselves and I know their naughty stuff too--but, quite honestly, I know beyond everything else that I am really blessed and I realized today that we simply need some time out. I don't have the details yet--I am hoping to catch up with one of my spark friends on a day trip later this week, if our schedules can work it out (I need to reread her note to me and see what might work.) Mitchell is going to Chicago to meet up with his girlfriend who will be done with her third tour of working on cruise ships and they are heading to alaska to his best friend's wedding. I think he leaves a week from Tuesday, so I need to fit some things in before he goes. Maybe we play until then and I do the classroom after then. I don't know, but I keep remembering that I need to have fun. Well WE need to have fun, together.

This might be a bit tricky to pull off, but if anyone can do it, it will be me. I am convinced and I believe we need this. Stay tuned in for new developments on this!!

Gentle hugs to all of you--I am blessed to have you and my family.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonAnd these are only the available emoticons to show some of my blessings. Thank you for being part of this special summer group.

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    I hope you can manage this. I know it's difficult with just the 3 of us to synchronize our schedules.

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JHADZHIA 7/18/2010 2:40PM

    WOW!! I sincerely hope find something your family can all do together and rest and have fun!!! You all soo need a break from your drudgery routines.
I don't know how your husband works such long hours and still keeps his sanity!!
Good luck with it!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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NPA4LOSS 7/18/2010 2:27PM

    emoticon I hope that you are able to follow through for your busy family. Relaxation is so hard for some of us with that strong work ethic. Good luck on teaching your family a good relaxation ethic too! emoticon

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Sunday, 7/11 An angry note to the pain in my back

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I have been having such a good time this past month, but I have known and avoided the fact that unpacking boxes would be coming. I have been teaching young children reading strategies at church and I've been having so much fun with them, but I know this big job is facing me. I have been walking around the heap of boxes on my porch and in both of our vans because I was given a limit on what I could take--then I found out that most of the teachers had well over 100 boxes--more like 180, 160, 140--and I was told that I could only have 50??? However, I have been having a pleasant summer and I have been avoiding these things. I have been having fun at the pool, with my family, at my church, and visiting with all of you.
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We have taken a few things from my porch to the school during the summer--but it was only to drop them off and get out of there, because we weren't allowed to unpack yet. Now we can unpack, and I have had almost everyone of my kids in to help with some of this. I have a lot to do, but the unpacking is easier than packing. I labeled and organized things pretty well and that made this part of the job a lot easier. My porch looks ridiculous though and I spent about 6 hours today opening and moving boxes and organizing things so that they could be taken (back) to school where they belong. Marshall helped me and when Floyd got home from work, he helped me too. The guys will have no problem in knowing what they need to load into their trucks and bring to me now, yay. The downside is that my back is hurting like all get out tongiht.
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My attitude issue is here and it is with myself. I am frustrated to have this body that won't let me work the way I'd like to. After church today, I played around here for a while and procrastinated, but I finally went out to my porch to organize the things that are piled all over. (It looks purely disgraceful out there, but I didn't have anywhere else to put those things. Our basement gets water and nobody should have to lift these heavy boxes of books and put them in our rafter attic.) Anyway, I have worked at moving, lifting, and unpacking boxes since Tuesday and I have found that it doesn't take much to get my back throbbing again. It is as if I have done nothing to try to become stronger and to manage this pain. I get the same reaction simply by bending over and trying to pick up items off of the floor. It hurts and that hurting is ALWAYS there. It doesn't go away and hangs out just waiting for me to do any little thing to make it scream at me. I don't like it and I don't want it. It interferes with what I need to do. It interferes with what I want to do. It won't let me walk very long (if I'm not in the pool.) It won't let me go to the mall and shop with my girls. It won't let me go to yard sales and thrift shops and look for bargains. It won't let me work in my garden. It won't let me go hiking. It won't let me play frisbee. It won't let me walk Lady. I know that it is wrong to dwell on this type of thing, but sometimes it just makes me darn irritated. As a matter of fact, I am going to write my back a note here:

Dear Back,
Hi there. I'd ask "How are you?" but I already know that. I know that when I moved boxes around and climbed on and off of the porch today that it really made you angry. I am a little bit sorry for that, but you need to understand a few things. I have a life and I have important things to do in my life and YOU interfere constantly. This past weekend has been all about you and that isn't right, it is time for you to understand that you aren't in charge of what I need or want. If I could, I would evict you from the premises for all of the disturbances you cause.
I know that a lot of this is my fault. If I hadn't lived most of my life as being very obese and if I hadn't did so many yoyo diets, maybe you wouldn't have gotten into the shape you are in now. Yet other people who are obese do not have a back meddling with their life constantly. You demand far too much attention from me and I cannot give you whatever it is you want or need to behave. If you were a child, you would be in time out constantly. However, whatever I did in the past is over and cannot be changed, so that brings us back to now.
Listen, I have to get my things moved into that beautiful new classroom. I do have a helper thanks to my friend Ken. My kids have been very good about helping as you well know. Yet, I cannot sit there like some kind of queen while everyone else is doing my work. That would be rude on my part--and besides that, they need my help to know what I want to have done. I would like to get this finished soon so that I can enjoy the last few weeks of my summer break with my family. I need that and I want that. I got the porch organized today with the help of my son and my husband and I took several sit down breaks because they made me. It isn't fair that you are making me pay for that with all of this pain--this work is my RESPONSIBILITY.
The reality is that you and I have to get along with each other. Neither of us can live or function without the other one. I want to make a deal with you and try to prevent this from being a constant problem this week. Here is how I am going to help you: I am going to make sure that I use my meds in a timely way and not wait until you are angry to remember them. I will stop and sit down every 5-7 minutes to keep you calm. I won't lift anything that weighs more than ten pounds again. I will ask for help and I will be patient and wait for the help to come, rather than doing things by myself. I will get to the pool everyday when it is open like I have been doing. I will also do a pain patch check each evening to make sure that I haven't lost it, so you get screaming upset. I am still losing weight and I will keep at this until I am at the healthy weight my doctor wants me at. I will eat healthy and take my vitamins as required.
All I ask of you is to be reasonable. I don't deserve it when you scream at me for hours and I don't deserve to be stuck in a chair all of the time. If I treat you with the respect you deserve, you need to let me do things that other people do. It is only fair if I give you everything that I am capable of that you give me a break and stop the spasms and the constant aching and burning pain. I am going to expect it and I will keep my part of the bargain in return.
So cheers to you, my back, as you and I work hard to live together in peace, while I continue living my life within reason. Thanks for hearing me out.
Gentle hugs, Sylvia
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OK--it is going to take a lot of effort for me to hold up my end of this bargain, but I need to do exactly what I promised my back. I may need your continued reminders to take care of business. Please feel free, my SparkFriends. We started moving things at school on Tuesday and my back started acting up Tuesday evening. It was as if no time had passed and that pain was simply back. I must have a better quality of life--there will always be something for this mother, teacher, student, wife, Christian to do and I have to stay in the boundaries that my back has given me.
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Do you think I'll be able to keep the promises I made to my back? I MUST or it will ruin me and my life. It is that simple to say and understand. However, why I don't make those choices without all of this self-direction is far beyond me. I wish it wasn't like this and I wish my back didn't hurt and act up all of the time. But it is what it is and it does what it does, so compromise is the way I have to function.

As always, I emoticon for your support. Have a wonderful new week and together, we will reach for the stars without upsetting our backs. Take care everyone!!
Gentle hugs to you too,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Excellent blog. I'm sorry that you're in so much pain.. but your spirit is strong, even if you body is not. You are on the right track. I'm here for you, one day at a time. Love ya, Dawn

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    I'm sorry about your back but you are doing remarkably well, Sylvia, for what you have been through. Just take it a day at a time.

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    I'd sure listen to you if I was your back! Very good blog...great way to get it all out there for yourself. Hang in there!!!

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2RICKIE 7/12/2010 2:14PM

    Yes, stop beating yourself and your back--there must be a reason it needs special care. Great that you have the people to help, LET THEM!

May you find time to relax and do stretches to relieve the back.

emoticon wishes always!

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NPA4LOSS 7/12/2010 9:27AM

    I enjoyed your blog. I hope that your back will listen and straighten up it's act. Keep your end of the bargain and don't give it any excuses to not fulfill it's part. I hope that all is better soon and you begin to feel some relief. emoticon

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SHELLPRO 7/12/2010 8:50AM

    I'm sorry your having such a hard time. It's probably like mine (yeah, the arm & hand again!) Weather and too much use. I blew a hard 60 min. Aerobic workout Sun. and now Storms moved in, emoticon

I am in a lot of pain too. And no pain patches prescription med's on hand, so on with the ice packs and Tylenol. I'm sending a copy of your letter to MY arm! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/12/2010 8:52:00 AM

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JHADZHIA 7/12/2010 2:20AM

    So sorry about your back Sylvia, here is hoping it stays within the boundaries of tolerance.. Is your classroom smaller then the other teachers or something? I find that mysterious how they are allowed to bring more (or perhaps they are ignoring what they were told?). And this idea of not being allowed to unpack until they give you the go ahead. It would have been so much easier (and less stressful for your back) if this could have been done slowly, over the summer instead of all at once just before school starts..
Just try to enjoy the rest of your summer and pleasant times in the pool.
If I can refrain from lifting anything more than ten pounds with my elbow replacement, you should be able to do so also for your poor back. What say we push each other to take a little better care of ourselves, shall we? Mom sure isn't letting me carry anything heavy when she takes me grocery shopping. She calls herself my pack mule. It actually doesn't matter where or what we shop for, she is always caring it for me. I get a little frustrated with this as she has been having some bad trouble with pain in one of her hands thanks to a bad wrist break that later developed arthritis.
We can do this!
Gentle Hugs,

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SAHURE 7/12/2010 1:32AM

    Oh Sylvia!

My heart goes out to you and your naughty back.

I am sending you healing vibes and heat for the back, and gentle hugs and support for you.


Most of all: stop beating yourself up. emoticon

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CHYRL_C 7/12/2010 1:25AM


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Saturday, 7/10 A bit of time out

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Good Morning,

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 emoticon)
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. emoticon 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. emoticonI 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! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Please, listen to your body and take care of YOU! You need to be YOUR BEST FRIEND! Glad that you were able to get to the pool. Love ya, Dawn

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    You are getting a lot done but you need to be careful and not injure yourself.

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Wednesday, 6/7--A Tricky Day

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 7/8/2010 8:39PM

    Hi Sylvia,
You did everything right today, just put your mind at ease. I agree about contacting someone in charge of the pool facilities about these children if they are regularly misbehaving and their parents are doing nothing about it. You can't let them ruin it for you. Your pool time is important and needs to be enjoyable..
Hope you have a relaxing and restful evening.
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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JIM*S_QUEENIE 7/8/2010 7:06PM

You just hang in there and relax. Wish I could tell you to go and get a massage, but I know how difficult it is to do so on such a short time issue. You have had quite the day, but you handled everything great. I know it doesn't feel good confronting people, but obviously these two mothers needed it. You are right in that you were at the church to teach literacy, not babysit. I hope your church gets a daycare program going. So many moms could use it---but, not for babysitting so they can go and play.
I don't know what is wrong with many kids in America today. I have never seen so many rude and untrained and undisciplined children in my life as when we moved to Iowa. Children taking butter packets and grinding them into the floor at restaurants. Children running in the isles of stores when you are shopping---even in the crystal and dining areas, of all things. Little ones should have the hand of their parent.
My DH does our shopping and he comes home so frustrated. Not just with people standing in the isles and kabitzing (sp?) and you can't get through, but children unsupervised running around. He comes home "hot", know what I mean? And, he is a nice guy with lots of patience--at least, I think so. I told him, "It doesn't matter about my panic and anxiety attacks, I am going to have to do the shopping from now on." Although, I don't like it either.
I used to volunteer at the school and I spoke to many teachers about the issues of children being dirty, sleeping in class, ADHD (although it was ADD at that time), etc., etc. The answers always went back to the parents not being committed to training and taking time with their children.
Very sad, indeed. But, you know those kids knew better than to throw things at an adult. If it continues, maybe you can speak with a supervisor in charge and have the children restricted from the pool temporarily (suspended) for 2 weeks and then allowed back if they promise to behave. Have them sign a contract and see what happens. It isn't fair to others who want to have a good time. And, the squirt gun incident was totally uncalled for. It should have been removed from his hands. He can play with it at home!
Okay, that is my opinion and I'm stickin' to it! LOL
Now, sit back and relax in a nice bubble bath with your favorite beverage and some nice music and perhaps a good book.
Peace, love and blessings,
Vicki emoticon

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VAMPS351 7/8/2010 4:28PM

    I hope your son gets better soon Lou.
Where those kids are concerned you did the right thing and i know exactly where you are comeing from.
We also have some kids like that at the pool, i had trouble with a couple of girls last saturday when i took my kids swimming. These girls must have been about 12 years old but the language and the sheer cheek of them was unbelievable.
They started to pick at my 10 year old then my son and my other daughter went over to sort it out. Then these girls started to call my son 17yr old a spotty c--- and threw allsorts of names at my daughter and told me to shut up!!!
I bellowed at them and said how dare you tell me to shut up.... the pool went quiet but i didnt care.
Still no one sorted them out and their parents wernt there.
I complained to the management and they knew full well who i was on about as they are known trouble causers.
They were told off in the pool by the attendants a few times about other stuff.
I doubt very much that anything will be done about them but just let them start again next saturday.... i will be dragging them out of the pool by their hair if they start on mine again.

Im not the sort of person that complains or moans but there comes a time when enough is enough and you cant keep quiet any longer.
God help them if i truely blow a fuse.... they wont know wot hit em.
As for their parents.... i dread to think what they are like! probably the sort that dont care as long as they are out of their faces. My kids have never ever behaved like that...even when i havnt been around. I have always had good reports about mine. They know how hard i would come down on them if i didnt lol.
Anyway, sorry to go on, but you DID do the right thing...sometimes you have to upset some people before things get sorted.
In that situation.... you were a lot calmer than i was lol.
emoticon emoticon

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    I am sorry your son is sick but you did the right thing where he is concerned. If he is that sick he has no business at work where he could spread the illness. And he will recover quicker with adequate rest.

You are also right about the preschoolers not belonging in the school age group and as a nurse I can see other reasons besides the obvious one that you mentioned that they are not qualified for the group and will detract from it. Children this age should be supervised closer than school age children and require more adults per group. Their attention span is less, their physical limitations/development make them more prone to injury when playing with older children. They could be exposed to viruses they normally would not be at a time when they are less able to handle them. And this is not a free baby sitting service. Put your foot down. Otherwise you will have people dropping off 2 year olds wearing pampers.

And the children at the pool were outrageous. What kind of parents sit on their butts and watch their children behaving in this manner? My first job was as a lifeguard and this would not be going on when I was working. They sound like total brats and I would put their parents in that group. If this situation does not improve you need to bypass the lifeguards and file a formal complaint with the director before someone is seriously injured and a lawsuit ensues. There is no way some brat is going to squirt me in the face. His squirt gun would be confiscated and given to the life guard with the instruction that they can return it to the brats when they leave for the day.

Comment edited on: 7/8/2010 3:21:25 PM

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2RICKIE 7/8/2010 2:40PM

    My children learned early that if they misbehaved ANYWHERE, we would step out the first time, and leave the second time.

Thanks for helping these youngsters learn their boundaries and manners.

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    You were right to ask for respect from those children when they were "attacking" you in the pool and I'm thankful the parents were passive enough they didn't come after you. I've learned to go to the parent first and let them know what is happening to ME and then if nothing changes I feel free to say something to the kids. At least then if the parent comes back at you it is easy to say "Well, I asked you to help and you chose not to and I refuse to have 3 lb. weights thrown at me in the pool." I'm surprised the lifeguards weren't doing more about the kids' behaviors though.

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    It sounds like you have been faced with more than your share of self-absorbed parents. This is such a crises in our country today. I'm glad you spoke up. When I was young those things never would have happened because people expected to be respected and even those who were not naturally respectful acted that way because of peer-pressure. We need to get back to that and I think your reactions were just right. Keep it up.

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ACIMPEGGY 7/8/2010 12:43PM

    Isn't it great to be able to air our issues here?

Sounds to me like those parents need a parenting class! It may all go back to the way they were raised. Probably allowed to run wild.

I believe you did what was best for everyone. You have to keep things safe. You have to take care of YOU first, then your family, then the clients.

Please DO NOT FEEL GUILTY-ever. In each moment, you do what you feel is best. If on reflection, it turns out you were wrong, you learn...and choose differently the next time.

(PS I got my daughter for her 1 year old 'Your Baby Can Read' - check the website if you're interested - and also have it for Suz DIL's shower next week)


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JRSWHIMSY 7/8/2010 10:22AM

    Well I'm going to latch on to the part of this blog that is making me bristle - THOSE PARENTS! Let me tell you - if my kids acted like that in public I would be horrified! I've had people come and comment on my boys' behavior on very rare occasions and I've always been nothing but apologetic, thanked them because I can't be everywhere at once, and took immediate action (which usually involves an apology by the bad child to that stranger). I think you were ABSOLUTELY right in opening your mouth and don't you feel bad about it for a second longer! Someone has to teach a child right from wrong and if the parents aren't going to, someone else needs to step up! Really!

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