Friday, July 08, 2011
It has been a busy week--short workweeks always vex me because for whatever reason, it seems that we (teachers) try to get five days of work in even if there are only four days.
My family went on a picnic at the lake on the 4th right after the Sunday evening fireworks at the park. I have some photos ready to share and I am hoping for some feedback. I am going to be a co-leader of another Spark Class team this month and I am trying to select one of these photos for the team. Please let me know which one you like the best.
Anyway, I spent a good deal of time trying to get the online portion of my class set up on Tuesday, in between my tutoring work and physical therapy. I was still doing the same on Wednesday in between my work and a doctor's appointment. I am still waiting for the book. Today, I found out that the reason I couldn't do it was because the guy who does the roster hadn't gotten my name on it yet and had been away from his job for a few days. He was back today and I was able to start accessing things. My book isn't here yet, so I still can't get started and I am already behind on some assignments. This weekend may be about me getting caught up. This class is the first that I am taking to earn my ESL endorsement. It is called "Sociolinguistics," and it looks like I have a lot to learn about.
Tomorrow is an extra work day (since we were off on Monday) and I have a routine check up with my cardiologist. Even though my last two visits and the PET Stress test showed me to be just fine, it seems that I will need regular monitoring. I'm okay with that, it was scary to have been diagnosed with chronic heart failure, so I want to make sure that I stay better. I remember being so freaked out with that diagnosis and then I met someone who was really laid back about it, calling it "no big deal." It scared me.
Anyway, the following photos are from our fireworks party on the 3rd. Don't forget to let me know which one of these that you think would be a good team photo. Thanks!!
The sun is starting to set--there was a bit of light rain sprinkling on us from time to time.
The rainbow was special to enjoy as we waited for fireworks.
The sky was beautiful after the rain and as the sun was setting.
I hope that I got some of my best fireworks photos. I am kind of a beginner at taking photos, but I took about 25 of these. I sure hope one of these will be a good photo for a team.
Thanks for being my friends. Thanks for your support after I was MOD on Saturday and Monday--I am still getting caught up on the messages about that. Anyway, I care about you all. I do appreciate every kind and supportive word and I take them to heart.
Monday, July 04, 2011
Happy Fourth of July!!
We started today with a wonderful "Blues Music Service" and Communion. We enjoyed the church band with both of our daughters playing saxophones. The praise music featured two of our sons and Marissa, who surprised us with a wonderful blues solo. She hadn't told us or I would have taken my video camera and recorded for everyone. She will be singing again sometime this month or early August, and I will be prepared for that.
We came home and did some yard work. It was quite warm--but we weeded, mowed, planted three new plants that I bought. Then we got the things together for our party tonight. We packed them up (including our screen house, tables, chairs, games, and coolers)and went to set up for the afternoon and evening for fun and fireworks. (My husband had to drive a couple of the kids to work and pick them up--but we had everyone but Mason, who was with his girlfriend's family) We also took Marshall's birthday cake out of the freezer where it has sat because he works so late every night to have his birthday party. There was some light rain a few times, but all that did was convince them to start fireworks at 9 rather than 9:30.
It was a fun family time. The fireworks and music were beautiful and it certainly made me think of years gone by. I thought about learning all of those patriotic songs from my past as a child. I also thought a lot about the soldiers and troops who have given so much for all of us since the beginning of this country. There aren't enough ways to thank them and their families.
I hope that you all have an equally wonderful holiday!
Saturday, July 02, 2011
I had a tough night and was awake off and on, but I fell asleep this morning and managed to finally get my 6 hours in. I work for that each day, anyway. When I opened up my computer, I had many, many, many emails about comments on my Spark Page. I get them from time to time, but never like that--so I knew something was up. I opened the first one and found out that I was MOD. Thank you all, I am humbled. It will take a while to respond, but I will try to get that done.
I appreciate the support more than you know. There are days that it feels as if I have scratched my way up to a real life. It takes one baby step at a time for some of us. I am getting to the place I want to be and my most recent "aha" moment is that it takes growth in every area. I have had to learn to take care of myself and speak up for my health and decent treatment from everyone. I had to learn that I deserve to be treated right before I could do anything. That doesn't seem like it should be tricky, but for me--it has taken a long time and many setbacks before I finally "got it." I am worthy and deserve to be treated well. That is true for each of you as well--and I believe that is the real starting point of becoming healthy, inside and out.
Today is a special day for a number of reasons. I have lunch with my best friend today. We make a date each month so that this important time we share doesn't get pushed aside. I am going to the pool and then bowling with my kids. Bowling--really, me!! I went with Micah yesterday and using an 8 pound "little kids" ball, I bowled 114. I wouldn't have guessed I could do that a year ago!! After that, I am going grocery shopping for our family weekend with my husband, two of my sons, and Mitchell's girlfriend. She and I had a long phone call last night as I told her all of the honest things I feel about her. She is a wonderful girl and I thought it was important to tell her that. I also wanted to let her know that if I messed up and forgot to ask her opinion or if I assumed that she was joining us on a family event, it was simply and oversight because I think the world of her. It seemed to have touched her--but I wanted to make her feel welcome as she settles down here, away from her family and childhood friends. I am thinking that might be a bit difficult.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you all before I head out on a busy day. You are all awesome and I will be checking in later.
Life is good.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Do you think that you get more confidence after you lose weight and become more healthy? Is it a part of growing older and more established? I don't know if the "why" part matters, but something is up with me. I have tackled a few major issues head-on rather than my former way of "putting up" with things that aren't right or fair like the former, shy Sylvia did. I called and talked to one of the park board supervisors about a wayward employee who was making life at the summer program unpleasant for every other adult involved and I simply ended the conversation by telling the supervisor that "you need to shut her mouth." I also returned an email by the PhD candidate who is supposed to be observing our summer program for her class and who is trying to act as a principal and told her that I wasn't expecting an evaluation and that there were rules about that. (I also hit the "reply all" button so this went back to administrators and everyone else in the program.) She was pretty upset with me today and we had a tense conversation--but in the end, she is not doing the "evaluation" and will come by at an appropriate time to observe a variety of ways that I teach reading. I needed relief from these things and I spoke up and got it, just like I got ahold of administrators about carrying heavy classroom materials and things are now set up for custodians to move things back for me.
Anyway, what has happened to me that I did something about all of this stuff rather than quietly swallowing it and accepting it. I think a few things have impacted me. I have had a tough relationship with my principal for the past 5 years and I finally had to call out for help because she was so mean and inappropriate with me. I know that she cares mostly about appearances, so having an obese, disabled, non-walking employee made her cringe--but that is not right for her to do. A second thing was my new doctor who offered to call my employers and who wrote a detailed restriction list of what I absolutely NOT do which includes overhead work, lifting more than 5 pounds, and repetitive bending at the waist. I took responsibility for my own actions in moving things--because I had no available help, just a custodian who was badgering me to hurry--and I handled it to save some face. I also think that I don't need to hide out from the world like I used to do because I am more comfortable with my appearance. Losing a lot of weight made me happier in my own skin, and gave me some sort of internal permission to finally become visible and speak from my heart.
I wish that I hadn't been so ashamed of myself for how I looked for so many years--I think that was the result of how people treated me in my life. Everyone from my own parents, my siblings, kids at school from elementary to high school all make fun of me constantly and it hurt. Staying away from that prevented it from happening and I think it became a way of life. It has taken me a long time to find my voice and to use it. I think I like the outcome, because even if several of these people are probably irritated with me, they have agreed that I am correct in my comments and things are really going my way. I wonder how much work I have done and how much rudeness I have accepted because I didn't want to make a scene and be noticed.
I really have gotten better!!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Part 2--I'm back!!
I left off my week of activity describing our Adventureland trip--I have lots more photos to share. Anyway, we got home around 11:50 PM and everyone was asleep or went right to sleep except me, of course. I tried the best I could and slept a couple of hours, just in time to wake up with no time to spare to get ready for church on Sunday.
Sunday started out with church. We had a wonderful service followed by our bi-annual Congregational meeting. The UCC churches figured out long before the rest of the country that women were important players in business matters and we have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time. After church was over Marshall, Micah, my husband and I went to the "Feastival," a fund raising and educational program set up by the Tri-City Jewish Center. They had a wonderful menu, but we used a bit of restraint and avoided their wonderful foods and baked goods. We did buy raffle tickets and participate in activities and historical opportunities there. It was good for my youngest son to have the opportunity to visit their Temple. After that, I came home and worked on household chores before preparing for the coming week.
Monday was a bit out of hand. My day started out at the dentist's office. I was going in for three crowns, but the dentist realized he could save a tooth he had thought needed extracting and he repaired it FREE OF COST. He was so kind and gentle that I am so glad the other place was so lousy. I wouldn't have ever found this thorough, kind dentist otherwise. He spent over 2 hours working on my mouth and I missed my morning reading lesson due to no fault of my own. The final nicety at this office was the cost of the work dropped by almost $700 from their original estimate. That was sweet.
I got to school and found out that the squabbling by the folks in the park program had trickled over into my work. Their vindictive employee who was told that she couldn't stay with her daughter instead of doing her job actually told parents and families that people were not treating kids well and added in that the "reading teacher didn't even write lesson plans." Grr-rr. I don't even have to give this any time of day because my work and record keeping speaks for itself. However, this program is kind of my baby and I resent her trash mouthing that could prevent us from getting subsequent grants in the future. I called her "boss" and told her exactly that and suggested that since this young woman was her friend that she should do something to close her mouth. Topping that was the PhD candidate who sent out an observation/ evaluation schedule for me (and others in related programs.) I object to that as well--evaluations are part of our negotiated contract and a 6 week, 24 day summer tutoring program does not warrant that type of thing--this woman's desire to be an administrator needs to stay exactly her desire at this point in time. I said as much in a much gentler tone of voice.
After school, I had physical therapy and then my annual women's exam (yuck to that.) I had to make contact with the pediatrician to check on Marissa's well-being since we know that Megan's embolism was a genetic issue. I want to make sure that she is safe. I also had to get caught up on some laundry before I went to the pool.
Tuesday was much more calm. I got a report from two people in the park board that the offensive employee is denying her comments. However, the rest of the staff was glad that I brought it all out into the open because things have been stressful and uncomfortable for all of them. I got a call to take Marissa to the lab Wednesday afternoon for her lab work and she doesn't want to go, but she will. Then, two of my new crowns came out and I had to miss the pool to go back to the dentist. I learned a lot about temporary crowns and different cements. After that, Miles, Micah, Mitchell and Laura (his girlfriend) and I enjoyed a baseball game by our local minor league ball club. It was a gorgeous, perfect evening for a ball game--no ball park snacks for any of us, yay--and the only down side was that our team lost.
As we came home, my crowns came out again. The dentist thought that might happen because with my partial, they didn't have support. They didn't want to use the permanent cement because I don't get permanent crowns until July 13 and they would have to drill them off. It looks like we will have to do that after all of this.
Anyway, it's been busy and busier. I am going to leave you with a few other photos from the past few days (mostly because they are fun!!)
This is a funny display at one of the gift shops at Adventureland.
Here's the Adventureland train that we were riding on (behind this part f the photo.)
Micah liked the gentle "Tea Cup" ride.
Friendly geese were all around on land as well as in the water displays.
One more view of their gorgeous water park!
It's about bed time for me now--more is coming Wednesday. After work, I have an appointment for the second set of injections in my left hip and Marissa has to go for her lab work. I also have to work in my garden and go to the pool. I need to call the dentist back, but I don't know when I can see him. And, of course, there are the several unplanned things that will undoubtedly come my way. I think that final item will have to be part of my plans.
Happy Wednesday everyone!!
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