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Ready, Set......

Monday, May 23, 2011

A day that was supposed to be a complete washout turned out to be quite a sunny day with the bright blue skies I have been missing. Possible severe weather, tornadoes not ruled out, is due in around 7:00 tonight, but right now it is hot, breezy and shiny.

I took three of my 'grads' shopping for camping supplies this afternoon. They were positively giddy with excitement, and hanging on to their last special activities before leaving this school to go on to middle school. They were taking pictures of food in the groceries store (the calamari really tickled their funny bones), taking pictures of the door handle of the bank, and saving the foam water cups from the bank as mementos from their shopping trip with Chris. They loved the entire shopping trip and did not want anyone to help them bring in the groceries when we got back to school. There were a LOT of groceries - enough to feed 20 people for 3 days.

I saved some of the shopping for my other three grads, so they could also go shopping with me tomorrow. I can only fit 3 in my car and still get the food in. The Fusion has a lot of trunk space for a hybrid, but hybrids just don't have a lot of trunk room.

By the end of today, I had enough drivers and people sharing chaperone help that we are a go for a Wednesday departure.

I had two generous offers this weekend. I am terrible at delegating; partly from being a perfectionist. One of my father's favorite saying was, "If you want a job done well, do it yourself,' and I'm afraid that stuck. However, one sweet parent offered to organize the drivers and chaperones for me since I have been so busy with the musical. She has done a fabulous job with that and it was a tremendous weight off my shoulders.

Then last night, one of my friends asked what I still needed to get done to have the camper ready and asked me to leave a list in the camper. She came over today while I was at work and mopped, made the bed, and cleaned the fridge, Big Daddy Frying Pan, and my cooler for me. I am grateful to both of these sweet people. Funny, I always happily offer to help people out, but never think to ask for help. When it gets offered, I am so happily surprised.

If you've never seen a Big Daddy frying pan, here it is in the trunk of my camper with a folding chair and a whiffle ball and bat for scale:

And with my hand for scale:

That's how you feed 19 hungry kids!

I had 40 minutes between the end of the school day and my appointment with my acupuncturist, so I got a lovely walk in. Then I also got a power nap when I was 'marinating'. Once the needles are in, they get left in for a while to do their magic. I felt so relaxed, I just fell asleep.

Tomorrow I find out the results of my biopsies. I have chosen not to stress over them, but wish me luck.

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OLDERDANDRT 5/25/2011 1:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 5/25/2011 11:27AM

    Wow ~ that "Big Daddy" is huge! It must be very heavy and hard to handle. It is always nice to have help with such a chore! Enjoy the camping trip!

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MARY1313 5/23/2011 10:45PM

    Glad you let some help in! that is something that is hard to do when you want everything to be perfect for the children that you have spent so much time with.

I'll be praying for good results on your biopsies.


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IUHRYTR 5/23/2011 10:17PM

    I know that saying, too. It is difficult letting go and maybe as difficult accepting help from others when they offer. A good lesson for us all -- be as willing to accept others' assistance as we are willing to help them. Looking forward to the stories and photos of your camping trip. -- Lou

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ARLENE_MOVES 5/23/2011 6:40PM

    So organized!! Love it, but like I said before, I wouldn't have the patience... good luck with the results of the biopsies. emoticon

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What Works

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I've been working on ironing out some health issues - the old; back and hip pain, and the new; GERD and difficulty swallowing. Tomorrow, I go for my third acupuncture treatment and on Tuesday I go to get the results of my endoscopy and biopsies.

I have found over the years quite a few things that are effective in getting back in balanced health, and have been learning a few new ones:

emoticon Not letting health set backs define me

emoticon Meditation

emoticon Yoga

emoticon Chiropractic adjustment

emoticon Acupuncture

emoticon Maintaining a positive outlook ~ a sense of humor is an added extra

emoticon Fish oil

emoticon Walking

emoticon Drinking water

emoticon Fresh cabbage juice (for the gastro/esophageal sores)

emoticon Lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies

emoticon Anti-inflammatory diet

What does not work as well for me is the pharmaceuticals. I tried the Nexium which both my D.O. and the gastroenterologist wanted me to take, but quit after a few days. It may have reduced the acid in my stomach and soothed the sores in my stomach and esophagus, but it also interfered with digestion. I decided to try juicing cabbage and drinking cabbage juice every few hours to help heal my digestive track, eating fresh pineapple to aid in digestion, and increasing my intake of probiotics. This tact seems to be being very effective.

It will be interesting seeing my gastroenterologist on Wednesday and discussing courses of action. He is from India, and I keep wishing he practiced ayurvedic medicine. Instead he is an MD practicing western medicine. I will be interested to see how open he is to alternative approaches to wellness, bypassing the prescription medicines.

Meanwhile, it's been an extremely busy weekend between the spring musical on Friday and Saturday, and getting ready to take 17 children camping this coming Wednesday - Friday. I got a LOT done today and aside from shopping for the groceries needed to feed 20 people for 3 days, I feel pretty ready for the next and last venture of the school year.

My weights, pedometer, and balance board are packed, I have my Kindle loaded with Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, some mysteries, and the book I am currently reading, 'Unbroken.' It looks like rain (surprise!) every day we will be camping. It doesn't look like steady rain, rather isolated thunder showers. I count this as a good thing because it means there will be down times when the children will have to be in their tents. That gives me time to snuggle up in my camper and have some quiet reading time.

Lucille is still in love with Mike, and cute as ever.

But we have had problems with Stella. Since poodles can be so fru fru, and are not included, for some bizarre reason, with the sporting dogs in the dog shows, most people don't know that they were bred as hunting dogs. Duck hunting, specifically. Little Lucille is just too much of a temptation for Stella, who has caught, and injured Lucille twice. Lucille has proved to be a rugged little girl with a very positive attitude and is healing up very nicely, but I have had to make a special poodle-proof playpen for her to be in during the day. Lucille can have the run of the yard if I am outside, but otherwise she needs to stay in her little yard for safety's sake.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAWRTIAN 5/23/2011 1:10PM

    I wish I was going on the camping trip!! I love little lucille, too cute. Stella rocks too even if she is inclined to eat (or at least chew on) a family member ;). I really want a dog, I need some unconditional love. Have a great week!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/23/2011 12:42PM

    Our Charlie is the same about rabbits: he CANNOT resist chasing them (he knows that they cannot climb trees, like squirrels!!)

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OLDERDANDRT 5/23/2011 11:22AM

    Sounds like you are completely ready for your class camping trip! I sure hope that each class realizes what a great teacher they have in you!! Not very many would turn themselves inside out and upside down for them like you do!
Wonder why Stella is like that with Lucille! She wasnt' like that with the other girls! Maybe it's her imprinting on Mile! The green-eyed monster coming out in our little Diva? Anyway, I'm glad you have an alternate way for her to have good outdoor time safe from Miss Stella!!!

P.S. Give the Diva an extra special hug and lovin from me, ok? Thanks. (And the kitty, too)

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MARY1313 5/23/2011 10:21AM

    Poor Stella! what a temptation LOL! Glad you have everything done except the shopping part. I know Stella is going to have such a good time with all the children.

Cute little chickadee LOL


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IUHRYTR 5/23/2011 6:40AM

    Ah, Stella, can't you all just get along? Chris, as I read your blogs about all the out of school activities with your students I can't recall going on any field trips while in school. Maybe we did and I was too young to remember them but nothing comes to mind. That's why I think your students are blessed. Too much of the world happens outside a classroom's walls. You teach innovation and creativity, traits that will stay with the young ones for a lifetime. -- Lou

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TISHTOES 5/23/2011 4:28AM

    Keep on keeping on!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 5/22/2011 11:22PM

    Is Stella going camping with you?

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ARLENE_MOVES 5/22/2011 10:34PM

    Afraid Lucille wouldn't stand a change with my terriers. Talk about obsessed. Lefty won't stop digging for a mole even if he digs the entire yard up.

Enjoy your camping trip. Don't think I could ever do that but you sound like you have so much patience.

Have fun

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It's Over

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aladdin is done, all went well - the children are happy with their performances and it was a real parent pleaser. I am proud of my students for all of the work and effort they put into the production. Now I can finally put on one hat instead of wearing so many. This is the first year I have tried to direct the musical without a musical director. My aide, who retired, always took on the music directorship while I directed the acting, blocking, etc. This year, I added the role of music director and vocal coach to the production., this in addition to teaching. Now I know that that is just too much for one person. I did it, and did it well because I am a perfectionist and I want all of the children to shine in each production. But the cost to my health has been too great; I think I need to consider adding a background in music to the requirements for my new aide.

Oh, I am also the make-up artist and costume designer

Now I can put my feet up this evening before organizing and shopping for the end-of-the-year camping trip tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OLDERDANDRT 5/22/2011 5:44PM

    emoticonWhew!!!! I knew you could do it!!!!

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MARY1313 5/22/2011 12:28PM

    Great! I see a beer or a glass of wine in your future LOL



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GBSLIM 5/22/2011 9:09AM

    emoticon YOU DID IT!!! What an accomplishment to have under your belt. I understand the toll it has taken and that all the pros from this experience do not warrant doing it again.
But you must be SO proud?! (LOL If you weren't so tired of course.)
Hope you can relax a little & enjoy the camping trip knowing it is finally "THE END" of a job fabulously done for another year! emoticon

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CAROLIAN 5/22/2011 6:00AM

    Now maybe you will get a little me time you need it lol emoticon

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IUHRYTR 5/21/2011 9:14PM

    The only thing left is for you to also perform all the roles -- a total one-woman show that will definitely leave you ready for bed emoticon. Your work and dedication should be appreciated by the students, parents and administrators. Another good project you completed. Now maybe you can get back to the fairy house and camper. emoticon Way to go Chris. -- Lou

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SHERYL_B 5/21/2011 8:31PM

    Congrats! Your plan for the next production sounds good. Make yourself a note (or make sure to come back and look at the blog) when you run into a problem and think about doing it all yourself again!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/21/2011 8:18PM

    Sounds like a wonderful production but . . . too too much: and now followed by the camping trip. I hope these parents recognize that you are going waaaay above and beyond the call of duty!!

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STARLASUE 5/21/2011 7:56PM

    Congrats! Job well done!

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Mike's New Girl Friend is a Cute Chick

Friday, May 20, 2011


When I came home from work today, Mike was with his new girl. She was following him everywhere, and he was wrapped around her little... little, well.. talon?

The little chick I brought home night before last finally made her way outside, found Mike and imprinted on him. He is now totally smitten, and has named her Lucille. It is so sweet to see the tiny little chick following Mike's every move.

I need to get a picture of the two of them No time today though, between rehearsal and opening night, this is the first time I have had to even sit down for a minute, it's dark, and the chickens are all tucked in for the night.


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IDLETYME 5/23/2011 10:00AM

    This baby will be well loved!

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DOR2BFIT 5/21/2011 7:09PM


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AMAS92568 5/21/2011 1:17PM

    Too cute!

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OLDERDANDRT 5/21/2011 11:53AM

    Aawww! How sweet!! Now he can learn what it is to be a mommy!!!! emoticon

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IUHRYTR 5/21/2011 11:01AM

    Such a feel-good story. Thanks for starting mu day on a happy note. The video of the two of them should be pretty one to treasure. -- Lou

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PUDLECRAZY 5/21/2011 9:38AM

    I think Lucy is okay with it. She often goes back to the nest to be with the baby. On the other hand, Mike just loves having this little one so attached to him. I hope to get a good little video to post.

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GBSLIM 5/21/2011 9:17AM

    Oh poor Lucy. Did Lucille not take to her?
You take such emoticon pictures!
emoticon for sharing.

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TISHTOES 5/21/2011 4:51AM

    Cute! emoticon

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CAROLIAN 5/21/2011 12:01AM


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MARY1313 5/20/2011 11:29PM

    HAHAHAHA!!! Great Story! I can't wait for the pictures!


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0309COOKIE 5/20/2011 10:33PM

    Aaaww, that is so sweet!

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BARBARASDIET 5/20/2011 10:09PM


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A Gift for Lucy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lucy and Eleanor

When I got my chicken eggs to hatch last spring, I ordered Plymouth barred rocks and black australorps, because they are great layers, friendly, winter hardy, and I thought they would look great as a flock. Then a friend gave me her favorelle chick, a French variety of chicken. Lucy is our only red hen and is of quite a different nature than the other chickens even though they have been together since they were little chicks. She's a little ditsy, and is often left behind by the other girls.

Recently, Lucy has become broody. She has been sitting on the eggs and scolding us when we gather them. The other girls are content to lay their eggs, then go about foraging. Lucy REALLY wants to hatch a brood. The problem is, none of the eggs are fertilized, so they are not destined to make her a mom.

One of the parents at school ordered eggs this year to hatch at school. She ordered Plymouth rock and black australorp eggs, but the order got mixed up. Some of the chicks are red; they look like they are probably New Hampshire Reds. They are not really what she wanted, so she said I could have some.

Well, I really don't need more chickens, but I got a little present for Lucy. Isn't she cute? I hope she makes Lucy a happy mom.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I got two chicks for Yasmine when she was broody. The first day was a little rough, but after keeping them warm all night, she bonded with them and made a wonderful mother. They are 6 weeks old now, and she still calls them to come to bed at night. Yasmine is a Partridge Cochin and the chicks are got her are a Silver Laced Wyandotte and a Black Sex-Link. They are really cute together.

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CAROLIAN 5/21/2011 12:04AM


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IUHRYTR 5/20/2011 3:16PM

    Such a cutie. Hope she grows up and gives you much happiness, and eggs. -- Lou

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IDLETYME 5/20/2011 9:23AM

    Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing. (and yes, the baby is precious!)

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KASEYCOFF 5/20/2011 7:34AM

    I dunno how chick-adoption goes, having only ever had the hens and no rooster (lol), so please post updates - it's that curiosity thing kicking in!

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BARBIETEC 5/20/2011 5:24AM

    how cute!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! :)

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STARLASUE 5/19/2011 5:40PM


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OLDERDANDRT 5/19/2011 2:34PM

    How cute!!!! I really hope she nd Lucy have a great mother/daughter relationship!!! Sweet!!!

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BADASSBLONDIE 5/19/2011 1:53PM

    Awww how sweet of you!!!!

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0309COOKIE 5/19/2011 11:13AM

    Aaawww, how cute!

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MARY1313 5/19/2011 10:27AM

    that is the cutest!!!


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    I never thought about making chickens happy. It's kinda funny but makes sense.
Good luck. Hope she attaches to it.

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GOLIGHTLY344 5/19/2011 12:10AM

    Totally cute! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/18/2011 9:43PM

    You are so kind -- imaginatively kind!! Lucy will be ecstatic!!

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DOR2BFIT 5/18/2011 8:51PM

    Aw! Will she adopt it? emoticon

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