Saturday, July 29, 2006

Great Expectations!!!!!

I spent Tuesday - Friday in Joplin, Mo. for a Great Expectations seminar. This is my 4th year and once again I loved it. Allan Johnson, our presenter, creates an atmosphere where everyone gets involved and by the end of the week even if we don't know each other's names, we have shared and hugged and laughed and learned together in an atmosphere of acceptance and love. It is amazing. I have many ideas for making learning "FUN". I know that is unheard of, and I am sure that some of the time learning might not be as much fun as I would like it to be; however, I am going to give it a shot.

We learned some square dance moves and the Bus Stop. Oh yeah!!!! We also learned some unique ways to get kids to work together plus we learned some activities that help students to get both sides of their brains engaged before we start teaching. Let me tell you both sides of my brain were engaged but no where close to married!!!! I may have lazy brain syndrome because I almost poked my eye out a couple of times.

I have all of these notes that I am going to have to go over and over so that I can begin to pick out what to start with and how often to add something new. Since I get to start back the 7th and the students come in on the 10th, I need to get myself down to the school to make sure I know what I am teaching and to whom. That's not much prep time but after 33 years of the first week of school, I think I can get myself put together for 34. Those first few days or couple of weeks are mainly getting to know one another, setting up procedures to follow, and finding out where they are.

I found some newspaper articles this summer that I cut out that deal with learning and studying for tests. The results show that most people study and read but don't retain what they need so we are going to spend the first part of the year working on studying and reading skills. I hear them talk about how hard they study and then can't remember anything. I've been there so maybe we can work out a better plan for studying and retaining. I am going to give it a try. Since they are juniors and seniors, convincing them that after all of these years there might just be a better way could meet with some resistance, but hey, I've faced that before, too.

My friend R and I stayed in Joplin at a motel with an inside pool and a hot tub. We got to go out to eat at some great restaurants and then got to laze around in the pool and hot tub before we went off to dreamland. I was so tired by the time that I got home yesterday evening that dragging my body and stuff in the house was about all I could do. Hubby "D" even fixed supper!!! I don't mean he ran out to ARBY'S. He heated up some chicken, fixed some salad and opened a can of green beans. He set the table and all I had to do was eat. But then, he is marvelous!!!! Even Snitz was glad to see me. We watched some TV then I went off to bed at 10. Very early for me. I didn't get up until 9 this morning then spent the day lounging around dozing off and on.

Monday begins the "OhmywordIonlyhaveaweekuntilIstartbacktoschoolandIhaven'tgotten anythingdoneritual!!!!!" I will get done what I can and then, hope it will be enough until the first long week end comes along. I am a slow learner. I did get the name of a good book on procrastination and as soon as I have time I am going to order it and read it and get myself on the right track.

Anyway, I have GREAT EXPECTATIONS and am ready to tackle another year!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Getting ready for School

Gone are the days of shopping for new school clothes and supplies. Nowadays when it gets close to the start of school, I make doctor appointments.

I have already had my eyes checked. It had been 2 years. Oops! Luckily, I don't need a new prescription yet. I do, however, have the beginnings of a cataract. My sister (3 years older!!!!!) is having one removed in the near future so I figured my time was coming.

Today, I went to the dentist to get a crown. It wasn't bad really. I got to wear a nice little nose thingy-ma-jigger that let me breathe oxygen and some other mind numbing stuff. I believe I slept through most of it. I kind of think I snored at one point and woke myself up with a snort, but I'm not sure and I sure as heck didn't ask. I need to go back to see what else needs to be done, but I am the type of person who needs an aching tooth to get me into the dentist's office. It had been a year and a half since he had done some other work and put in the temporary. My insurance ran out for the year so I just forgot to go back. Really, I am a sweetheart and let D get his teeth fixed first.

Next week, I get to go see the "women's doctor" and on the same day I see my other doctor who makes sure that my blood glucose and cholesterol are normal. Then, I'll be ready for school.

Right!!!!! I never realized until I started teaching how much the teachers need vacation time. Trust me. You deal with your own and you love them. We deal with other people's children, and we try to like them. I deal with 20-29 an hour. I do grow to love them, but at times they make it very difficult. Thank heavens for my dear ole alma mater, where I know the parents, went to school with the grandparents, and probably even taught the parents.

Don't get me wrong; I am always ready by the day we start back. I guess it is because I appreciate a challenge. However, one of the problems is that I keep getting older and the students stay the same age. What you thought was original and funny to do to disrupt class is exactly what they think is original and funny to do to disrupt class. I really appreciate when an original disruption occurs. Matter of fact, I have a hard time being the disciplinarian because I want to cheer. Grant you it doesn't happen often but on that rare occasion when it does, I have a hard time not yelling, "I AM PROUD OF YOU! HEY, I AM PROUD OF YOU(CLAP, CLAP,CLAP)." Once a cheerleader always a cheerleader.

One of the things I have done for the last 3 years to get ready to go back is attend GREAT EXPECTATIONS seminars during the summer. Each year I have come away eager to go try some of the creative teaching techniques I have learned. Some work. Some don't. This year my friend, R, and I will be staying at a hotel instead of driving home in the evenings. This way we won't have to get up so early, we have an inside pool to lull around in, and we can do what we want!!!!! I am looking forward to it.

I'm not sure what day we start back. Every year they send us a letter with the details of our inservice days which is my cue to start going to bed at a decent hour and trying to get up at an earlier hour. Seeing everyone on the first day of in service is like the first day of school for kids. We get to catch up on all the "news" and it can get quite loud. Teachers know how to tell others to be quiet but they have a hard time doing it themselves. Go Figure.

Now I have to go finish doing my laundry, packing, and getting ready. So ta-ta for now!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Male/Female Birthday Gifts

Tomorrow will be Hubby D's birthday. He is a year older than I. (Yes, that is correct even though it doesn't sound right.) Yesterday, I asked if there was anything in particular that he would like for his birthday. His answer---an air compressor. For his birthday? Yes, men and women have fairly different ideas about what constitutes a good present. Men---practical. Women---anything but practical. I know this is a generalization but I'm pretty sure that it's that way at least 85% of the time.

One of those discussions we had before we got married was about the appropriateness of presents. My ex-brother-in-law(notice the ex) bought my sister an electric knife (or was it a teflon pan) one year for some present. It was not well received. I also remember Mom not always being enthusiastic when Dad would pop in with those type things. To keep this from happening, we have an understanding if I get something practical, there better be something fru fru with it. He has never failed me in almost 35 years. I know on the other hand that he wants that practical gift that he can't justify spending that kind of money on for himself. It is one of those not completely necessary but it would be nice to have things.

So, D got an air compressor for his birthday, and yes, he picked it out himself. You can't beat SEARS for those things. Now, if a tire is low, we don't have to drive all over town looking for an air hose that hasn't been vandalized. Try any of the quickie stores, and sure enough someone has cut or ripped up the air hoses. I know the absence of air hoses in town is the bane of most people's existence so I feel really good knowing that I have done my part to at least make one person happy. He no longer has to rant and rave about the idiocy of those *&#*#@% who destroy public property for no apparent reason. Because I like to buy gifts, I also got him some manly boxers and a couple of flat garden hoses that he doesn't know about. Wow, will he surprised tomorrow. I love that too.

We also had the discussion before we got married about how bad he is about remembering dates. He doesn't even realize when it is getting close to his own birthday. He told me that he would not remember unless I reminded him so I remind him. A few weeks before the important event I say, "Honey, do you know what important date is coming up? It is August."

Being the perceptive man that he is, he knows immediately that my birthday is looming and it is time to get busy shopping. He even likes to shop for me. I know. He is a jewel. The clothes he picks out are perfectly suited for me. Sometimes he misjudges the size but it is always on the small side so that is completely forgivable.

Anyway, gals if you want your man to know something, waiting around and hinting will not get the job done. Maybe he should remember, but God made men different from women for a reason. When we get to heaven, we might even find out why. For now just love him and give him a nudge in the right direction. It won't hurt a thing and it saves lots of hurt feelings and tears. Trust me on this one.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Story of Us (hubby and me) Part 2

First, a quick summary of our beginnings: met in grade school, became friends, never dated each other but did date each other's friends and relatives, kept in touch, came back to Wyandotte at the same time, decided to see if I could love him as more than a friend, chased him until he caught me(almost dying will get them most of the time if it is meant to be), and finally introduced to his family as his fiance.

In late February or early March, D and I were sitting around talking when I started the following conversation:

"When are you going to ask me to marry you?"

"I don't know."

"Well, you know you are going to ask me."


"So why don't you go ahead and do it now to get it over with?"

"I don't know."

"You do want to ask me don't you?"



"All right, will you marry me?"

"No.........Now ask me again."


"I had to turn you down or it would have appeared that I was too anxious. So go ahead and ask me again."


"Please, I'll say yes this time."


Well you get the idea. He never did ask again. He just introduced me as his fiance and then the plans were on. We decided to get married over Thanksgiving. I was in my last semester of school-the whole almost dying thing caused me to miss my spring semester- and that seemed to be the best time.

Then, on D's birthday, the very next one after the fateful first real date thing, we went out with a couple who had just gotten married the summer before. They started talking about how great being married was and how we shouldn't wait until November. The next day as D and I were talking, I mentioned moving the date to October. He said, "Let's flip a coin. If you win we move the date up, but if you lose it stays the same." We flipped the coin and it landed in the trash can. But hey, I won. I then got the calendar and the first week end in October was the 2nd. Yep, that is our wedding anniversary.

We got married on a Saturday afternoon at 2:00. My mom was not happy since several people had to work and couldn't come if it wasn't held at night. We got married in the First Baptist Church of Wyandotte and it was filled to capacity. Extra folding chairs had to be brought out to seat everyone. D comes from a large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. and so do I. Of course, my parents knew many people through their years of working in the ministry, and yes, my mother invited them all. One of the things I'll always remember is that some of our former school teachers came. So now that I am a teacher, I try to go to as many weddings as I can.

We chose fall colors and the bridesmaids' dresses were floral peasant dresses with an outlined apron made with eyelet on the front and a tie in the back. The colors in the material were red, burnt orange, brown, yellow, and green. They wore eyelet scarves on their heads. Most people are a little shocked when they look at our wedding pictures. Many laugh. We were, however, doing our "thing". AFTER ALL, IT WAS 1971!!!!! Oh Yeah!!! The carpet runner in the church was also burnt orange so it blended in quite nicely. After seeing our wedding pictures, one former member of the family said that my bridesmaids looked like Denny's waitresses. Did I mention that he didn't stay in the family very long?

My nephew and little brother, who are the same age and were about 6 at the time, were the ring bearers and my niece was the flower girl. Before we ever got started, the ring bearers got into a fight. I promised my nephew that he could beat his uncle up after the wedding but at the moment we just needed to get through the wedding. After the ceremony, someone came in saying something about the ring bearers fighting in the rain outside the church. At least, they got through the wedding first. In our wedding pictures if you look really closely, you will notice the wet pants legs of the two youngest males in the picture. (You might also notice the eyes of one of the groomsmen; he was quite mellow.)

My Granddad Dareing was supposed to help with the ceremony but someone from his church died so he opted out of my wedding to have a funeral. I've never quite gotten over that. I understood because that was who he was but still it bothered me. My dad's youngest brother, Uncle Mike had the services until Dad gave me away. Then, Dad took over and did the ceremony. It was beautiful. Dad always did a great job of marrying and burying people. Dad threw D a curve by having us both repeat all of the vows instead of just saying "I do" or "I will". Dad was ornery that way. In the pictures D looks a little rugged but then he and his male friends and relatives had had way too much fun the night before. In the picture of us walking down the aisle afterwards, I look like the cat that ate the canary and he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. He still gets that look every once in awhile.

Because the kitchen area was not built onto the church until a year or so later, the reception area was a back classroom. People went in one door, came out the other, and then had to sit in the sanctuary. Most people would have opted for a bigger church in Miami, but according to my mother that would have hurt the feelings of the church members. Hey, I didn't care. I got married to my one and only. The reception was especially nice because two dear friends of the family, Corrinne Campbell and Dorothy Richardson, were in charge. Corrine got special orange, green and yellow mints, and since our cake topper was two white doves, she made some ceramic doves to sit on the table. The only glitch was that Mom forgot the gingerale for the punch. No one seemed to notice, and she didn't even notice until she got home and found it sitting in the living room.

As we were leaving the church, I threw my bouquet and D's Grandma Sutton caught it. She was shocked, amazed, and embarrassed. She said she didn't want it to fall in the water (Did I mention it decided to rain on October 2?)

We had a lovely little honeymoon trip to a cabin near Jane, Mo. We stayed in Tom Thumb's cabin but that is another story for another time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The story of us (me and the hubby)

I met D at church when I was 9 and he was 10. His family moved onto a farm just outside of town. The church was small and so everybody knew everybody. There weren't that many kids in church and even at that age we were glad when new boys moved to town. D's brother C was a year and a half older than D so we got two new boys to chase and kick and flirt with. Our families became friends but D and I were not an item until much later.

As a freshman in high school, I dated C. Then I dated D's cousin. He on the other hand had the hots for my two best friends, K and A. We ran around together throughout high school and even into college at NEO. He was my best guy friend. Matter of fact when my best girl friend and I wanted to know what it would be like to get drunk, he got us a bottle of peach or apricot schnapps and took us to a field where no one would see us. Later, he told us we were terrible drunks and that we should never drink again. (Oh should we have listened to him!!!!!) We could talk about almost anything and we did. He joined the army and we kept in touch through letters. There was no email.

In December of 1969, his parents were both severely injured in a car wreck. D was stationed in Brussels, Belgium and came home immediately to help out. I had been living in Tulsa and not doing too well in the dating department. I kept dating guys who were totally wrong for me, and my life was a mess. I decided to move back home that January and go back to finish my degree in education because my financial situation wasn't doing any better than my dating. I had begun to think about D in a more romantic light. He was a truly nice guy. So I got to thinking that if I could love him as much as I did as a friend, what would it hurt to see if I could love him in a more intimate way.

D was of the notion that he wanted to remain single until he was at least 30. At this time I was 21 and he was 22. I began my not so subtle pursuit. There were a couple of nurses that took care of his parents that he dated but that didn't go anywhere, and there was this really cute, well built girl from Miami that he dated and he was hot for her. However, on the 4th of July that year, he had a bad case of poison ivy. He figured that she would want to be at the lake and he wasn't going to go swimming with poison crud all over him. This played to my advantage since my family wound up having a picnic on his family's creek. He came over to visit since he had nothing else to do. Going to Seneca to the carnival and fireworks together that night took the place of nothing to do. He would never date the good looking stacked blonde again. Matter of fact he had one other little fling with some girl who lived in the same apartment complex as his brother, but it was nothing serious. Not being very good at sitting and waiting I also ventured into the dating game. There were 3 guys that I dated but there were no sparks. D had hooked me and he wasn't even fishing!!!!!

I spent that summer helping around the farm. I set irrigation pipe and drove a tractor for haying. D's folks weren't exactly well yet so I made myself available to help out whenever I could. He saw an awful lot of me. On his birthday he was out in the field behind our house plowing. I had gotten him a huge tire truck inner tube for floating in the creek after setting irrigation pipe so I took it out to him. Since his dad was back in the hospital for awhile and his mom wasn't up to doing any celebrating, he asked me if I wanted to go do something a little later that night. Well, DUH!!!! I mean like it had been 3 weeks since the 4th. We had been together doing various and asundry things but hey this was a DATE!!!! He had taken the bait!!!

We continued to date and hang out and get closer but he still wouldn't surrender his heart. I would tell him that I loved him and he would say, "Likewise I'm sure." I really had it bad because I let him get away with that. Then on December 19, 1970, what should have been an insignificant thing happened. I bent over to pick up a pencil. Yep, that's what changed our lives. It would be January 2, 1971 before I regained my memory. I was told plenty of things that happened later but very few things connect from that time. Yes, I missed Christmas.

After several wrong Diagnosis, it was discovered that I have an abnormal cluster of blood vessels growing on my brain and one of them had sprung a leak. Of course, it sealed itself off but a weak blood vessel on the brain is something to be concerned about. There was nothing that could be done since these blood vessels sent blood directly to the brain and could not be by passed. Yes, even to this day, I am a walking time bomb!!!!! The only things that were affected were my eye sight- I had to start wearing my glasses all of the time not just to see at a distance- and my memory of certain past events. Otherwise, I was/am fine and dandy. I'm not supposed to strain my head chest or abdomen or lift heavy objects.

This incident of almost losing me was what got D to realize that life without me wasn't much of an option. He finally started saying he loved me too and only used the likewise thing when he was trying to get a rise out of me. Isn't it ironic that now that I couldn't do things on the farm to help that he fell for me?

He surprised us all on Easter of that year when he introduced me to his uncle as his fiancee. I didn't argue with him. We set the date and changed it but that is a story for another day. We always laugh and say that I chased D until he caught me.

I later found out that in March of 1970, before D and I had really started dating, D and my brother had a discussion about me while they were shooting a game of pool. My Bro asked if D realized I was out to get him. D said he did and then my dear Bro told D that he hoped I won but to go ahead and run as fast and as hard as he could. As the story was told to me, D said something about planning on running.

Take heed all you single people; you can run but you can't hide from the fickle finger of fate. D tried but I was his destiny. And to quote from my favorite movie, "Destiny, destiny, no escaping destiny."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I was supposed to remember my blog password? Go figure.

I was so proud that I actually got a blog done, and then I realized that I hadn't written down my password so I couldn't get in to write again. I tried to get into my blog. Honest I did. You see when I was a little girl, my parents went on a trip and the kids didn't get to go ( it was some kind of church thing where we were left with family while the folks went off for a few days). Since we didn't get to go, of course we all got something special when they got back. I got a book titled Try Again Tommy. Any time Tommy wanted to quit because he was having just too much trouble, his mother would say, "Try again Tommy." He would and by gum and by golly he would succeed. So after getting the same message many times about a URL and only being good once etc., I was ready to tell Tommy what he could do with his trying again. But, thank Heaven for my son, Cap'n N. After hearing of my little problem, he jumped in there and got my password for me. I would never have thought of it. I don't even have the slightest idea of why I came up with it. Any way here I am able to express myself to the masses again. I now have everything written down so that I can find it easily.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I'm not quite sure what possessed me to want a blog. I suppose it is the need to communicate. I am almost 58, have been married for almost 35 years to the only man in the world who would have put up with me for this long, making him an incredibly wonderful guy, and have a grown son who is on his own. I have 33 years experience teaching 7th-12th grade English, and no I have not retired. I plan on staying around for 4 more years or until I win the lottery or Publisher's Clearinghouse. Is this boring or what?

I have been wary of writing because I am an English teacher. We are such picky people when it comes to the grammar and punctuation stuff that we hate to put ourselves out there so that the masses can jump on our typographical errors. (I didn't remember whether it was typos or typo's so I tried to spell the whole dang word. See what I mean? Any ol' who. Just yesterday I bought the book Eats Shoots and Leaves which is about punctuation so when I am done here I will check it out.)

Since my hubby works evenings, the cat and I are left home alone most evenings. After reading the paper, watching what I like on tv, checking my email, reading a couple of blogs of people I know, and playing my games, I sometimes feel the need to let my creative juices flow. What the heck do I have to talk about? I' m not quite sure but as the days go by I'm sure I will think of something.

Ah, my first blog is finished and am I ever glad. Now I just have to remember what I put down on all that beginning information so I can get back in here. Oh well. I at least got one blog done. Yea!!! Hurray!!!