Seven ’17 Sentiments…

…in the New Year.

Alphabetical Post S

     I went back to school on Tuesday after a wonderful break and it was the lonnnnggggest short week ever. When I am feeling blue or haggard due to the daily demands of being a classroom teacher, I try to remind myself that I am lucky to have a job and  to just keep teaching. One of my colleagues has been so overwhelmed that it sent her to the doctor this week.

     Since I know what it feels like to be submerged in stress (read here) I have tried to offer words of wisdom, but words are easy; actually allowing yourself to take something off your plate is not so easy.  When providing unsolicited counsel of my own experiences to those in distress that I often have plenty of lemons , but no lemonade; that person may say something like, ” Wow, you seem to have your act together!” (Those who really know me are laughing so hard right now they need to change their underwear. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

The “act together” comment from those who I seem to have bamboozled that my life seems in calamity calm, cool,  and collected reminds me of the persona “Fernando Lamas” created by Billy Crystal.

Sentiment 7

marvelous

 Little do they know this is really what is going on in my daily life….

Sentiment 6

 smile

Things have changed because I seriously have decided…

Sentiment 5

everything

This is why during the school year, Hubster does most of the cooking. (Honestly, I think he really likes the deluxe health benefits my job provides.) He is a great cook and although I grew up in the era of ” I can bring home the bacon…”

Sentiment 4

enjoli

I am perfectly happy with him frying it up in the pan!

There are many experts out there who tell us we need to find ways to relieve stress…

Sentiment 3

adult-color

My sister, Keary, bought me an adult coloring book for my birthday last year…I tried it, but then I stopped because the color pencils required sharpening…I didn’t want to add another job to my life. In my profession, I sharpen a few thousand pencils every day.

I do believe my best stress reliever….

(no, not alcohol)wine

is my best friend….

 

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A dark and blurry photo of two young kids who are still in love.

Sentiment 2

husband

Operative word here is “girl”,  for he still calls me his “child bride” and believes it!

Another step I have taken to relieve worry is to remind myself that ….

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These two are adults. Yes, I did buy them the t-shirts and they did wear the hats for the throwback photo at my request, but they have significant others, jobs, benefits, and lives beyond the one that we created. We have raised independent beings …apparently, that is the job of parents.

     When my mother was dying in 2009, I entered her hospital room having just driven 7.5 hours with my sister, Susan from Maryland to Boston. In the days before this trip, I had walked across the stage to receive my Masters degree at the  old nubile age of 46; I was very much a hip and trendy well-ripened and exhausted adult.

     My mother, was slumped in the chair next to her hospital bed. Her hair was combed straight back and white, like I had never seen before. I walked over to her while Susan stayed near the door. We both thought she had died in that chair. I called to her, ” Mum…Mum”, no response. I turned to Susan and frantically exclaimed, “Get a nurse!”…Susan was frozen, so I grabbed her by the arm and together we summoned a nurse.

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My mother and Susan; a time Susan didn’t mind being close.

     The cool-headed nurse brought us back to the room. She told us to call her name again. Susan did not want to get too close, so I along with the nurse tried to give her a little shake on the arm, while I called out again, “Mum…it’s me…Susan is here too!”

     My mother began to wake. As she muttered my name and tried to focus her eyes, she whispered, “Oh, it is you…you know I’m dying.” There was never much “sugar-coating” when it came to her making a point.

     As she focused more, I was crouched down in front of her. The voice which once commanded attention was now fragile, but just as pointed. She had a clear view of my hair because she advised, “You need to do your roots.” At that moment, I knew that no matter what your age or state of mind, your mother is still your mother.

Sentiment 1

adult-children

     I  had hoped I would find myself writing more, but I will refer to Sentiment 5. This does not mean I am giving up on my blog, it means that for now things are status quo…Writing is excellent mental health, but so is reading, watching TV,  and sewing….

A Cautionary Sentiment

alone-time

Have  a great week!

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PS: This is Us comes back of Tuesday, but also check out Good Behavior on TNT….Lady Mary not so lady-like.

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Rest, Relaxation, and…

…resolutions.

Alphabetical Post R

My winter break from school began promptly at 3:35 pm last Thursday and I didn’t stop moving until yesterday around 11:30 am when Son-ster #2 headed back to Pittsburgh. I have no regrets, I loved having my boys home for Christmas.

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I especially love that not only did I still have the Santa hats for this “throw-back” photo, but I also captured the “red-eye”. #2 refused to put in his retainer, I suppose I can’t have it all.

We had a wonderful time filled with games, eating, dishes, gifts, napping, eating, Christmas movies, eating, and more dishes. I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the fact that when Hubster turned on the oven on Christmas morning to pre-heat for the 22 pound turkey he received an error code “f3” …once the code was “Googled”, we determined nothing would be roasted in the oven, so cue the gas grill…

Voila…grilled turkey!

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This is the actual turkey…luckily #2 had gifted Hubster an i-Grill for Father’s Day.

We also had grilled sweet potatoes and grilled herb dressing. I can honestly say it was truly delicious.

The next several days will involve sleeping in, a bit of sewing, some after-Christmas shopping, a visit from the Family Matriarch and the Kitchen King as they head to Florida, a dinner hosted by us (cooking courtesy of someone else due to aforementioned oven), a visit from my nephews (my sister Susan’s sons) & their crews, and finally New Year’s weekend with Peggy Anne.

From the sound of this post it seems it should be titled, Run, Rush, and Resolutions, but trust me not dealing with school life for a week is rest and relaxation. As far as the resolution goes the below (found on Pinterest) is my motto.

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Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

If you live near me, can you recommend someone to fix the oven, I am pretty sure we will need it in 2017.

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Quick Update…

…alive and well!

Alphabetical Post Q

When last I left you, I was waiting for a new floor and furniture for our family room. The floor has been installed and the furniture delivered. I did some Black Friday fabric shopping and scored two fabrics I intend to include in the room.

Here is a peek:

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I think I am truly in love with the new floor. We had a wall to wall berber prior to this, but I love the look of wood.

The art work which I will frame for a spot in the room, is a painting by a local artist. It features the Domino Sugar plant whose lighted sign greets incoming ships and visitors to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Hubster and I have a long running joke about this sign. When we were dating in college, we would go out downtown. Free parking was limited so often we would find a spot a long walk away from where we were going. One night a friend of Hubster joined us and stated he knew of a perfect free parking place…it indeed was a good, free parking spot illuminated by the Domino Sugar sign; however it was over a mile from our intended destination. Today, if we don’t find a parking spot within close proximity to where we are going we laugh and say, ” I guess were stuck under the Domino Sugar sign.” While not hysterical, it is a fond memory.

domino-sugars-baltimore-maryland-1984-wayne-higgs

I have to leave you here dear readers because at this point, I need to work on my own outdoor lighting for the holidays, not one hall has been decked, nor are the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Also, it seams seems the fabric will not sew itself.

Have a great day!

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Publish or…

…Perish

Alphabetical Post P

The pressure to write a post has been weighing on me heavily.  Although I work in the world of academia (elementary school teacher) I don’t have to worry about losing my position here at AMD (A Milkman’s Daughter) because I own it.

Hubster and I have been busy in the home remodeling mode. It all started back in mid-October when I decided we needed new family room furniture. I really made the decision about the furniture two months years ago. (I wrote about it here, but the link to the video in this post is no longer available.) We went to the “More than One pay Check for a Sofa” Store, but managed to find a reasonably priced sofa and love seat. Naturally, the furniture you want is never available in a quick turn around so we are waiting the 8-12 weeks in limbo.

The new floor is supposed to go in on Monday. Right now our home seems to be in a state of “abandoned home meets back room at the home improvement store”.

Needless to say all of this has had us consummed…painting, new light fixtures, vent covers, etc., and Hubster’s dream of having a light post out at the end of the driveway has come to fruitition…cue the hallelujah chorus.

light-post

This is not our light post, but you can bet that our new light post will be adorned this holiday season. This light post is from Pinterest.

In addition to the above light, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with this project. I am crossing my fingers and toes that the furniture makes it here before Thanksgiving.

Have a great week!

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One Word…

…TV

Alphabetical Post O

Technically, TV is exactly two letters, but since it is my blog I take creative control and deem TV, one word and an official O post.

I have been coming home from school everyday with a major curriculum headache. I will not digress about the crazy math problems, testing, data, ya-da, ya-da…

The one respite has actually been TV. At present, Hubster and I are in the midst of a family room makeover. Got Junk? came and took away our 18-year-old family room sofa and love seat. While they were heading out the door a quarter fell from one of the cushions. I quickly picked it up and explained to Hubster that the cost of the new furniture was now 25 cents less. (I am not being paid by Got Junk?, but I have to say it was quite painless. Also they donate what they can or attempt to recycle so hopefully our old vintage stuff doesn’t end up in a landfill.)

For now, there is no furniture in the family room except for the TV, two end tables, and two chairs taken from other rooms. We have been watching TV much like….

edith-and-archie

No cigars for Hubster, but this is pretty much a dead ringer.

There have been a few programs that we have actually been enjoying…first on the list and mentioned by other bloggers… THIS IS US….so far I have cried during each episode.

 

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We are still Survivor watchers even though we know we would never cut the mustard in those challenges. As of yet, the new season of Amazing Race has not come back; that is a game we believe we could win.

 

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This is the Millenial Tribe on the current season of Survivor…ask them about their day jobs…nevermind, I think only one of them actually goes to a job.

 

amazing-race

If only our pesky day jobs would permit an extended 39 day vacation…we could be contenders.

BULL has been on our radar, but we are not convinced this will last. Apparently, this character is loosely based on Dr. Phil.

 

cbs-bull

 

One last word about TV…Goliath, with Billy Bob Thorton and William Hurt. In our two lone chairs, we have binge-watched the entire season on Amazon.

goliath

Spoiler alert…Billy Bob does not play the Goliath character.

Ok so I lied, two more words about TV and  neither word begins with O; The Crown, on Netflix starting November 4th. I have a slight infatuation with crowns. I believe I was born with one on my head (just ask my siblings or Hubster or my two Son-sters or my college roommate or my students).

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I can’t wait!

Our new flooring, paint job, and lighting will begin this weekend. If you’re the praying type, please pray that our new furniture arrives before Thanksgiving. Yes, my new chair is a throne, thanks for asking. 🙂

Report card comments, also known as “creative writing brain drain”, starts this week. I hope to do everything in my power to write a P post as soon as the creative writing comments are done.

Have a great week.

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Nothing, but…

…nonsense, numbers, nuns, and names

Alphabetical Post N

I must admit, I have indeed neglected my duties here at AMD (A Milkman’s Daughter). I guess, to be truthful, neglect may not be the true term; rather, it’s been in neutral. Once again I started and stopped…stopped and started…Null, may be the best term.

A post about neon fashions was quickly nixed. Neon and my pale complexion are not a good combination.

neon-shoes

I know what you’re thinking…“You mean you had a $10 coupon at DSW and you didn’t buy these?” My loss!

Next, I started a post about my neighbors…I decided that since they are not always on the pulse of my blog it might be better to remain neighborly. Afterall…

WWMRS

(What would Mr. Rogers say?)

 

mr-rogers

I do love a cardigan, so I’m going to continue to nurture my neighborliness.

I know a set of newlyweds, but they may not want me to share their nuptials until the professional photos are released.

wedding-sign

Recently, I read that chalk signs at weddings are “so 2012″…as a teacher, I am a sucker for a good chalk sign.

Indeed, the above, is all nonsense…so let’s get started with the real content of the post.

Numbers

As time would have it, Hubster added another year to his age. His sister, KM and her husband, Waterman, paid us a visit from Maine to celebrate his birthday weekend. Typically, we do not celebrate Hubster’s birthday for two and one-half whole days, but this year we made a weekend of it. I was utterly exhausted by the time it was over because during the school year I hit the mattress no later than 9:05 pm and start snoring sleeping by 9:06 pm. I stayed up until midnight one evening and 11:45 pm another. My youthful glow and mutlitple bubbly personality has been running on half power for the last two weeks. Numbers will do that to a girl!

Nuns and Names

I received a Catholic education for 16 years (that’s right, grade 1 all the way through college). On the first day of first grade, all of us were placed in one first grade classroom and told to stand against the wall. Needless to say, as my age group was still considered part of the Baby-Boomers, there wasn’t enough wall space.  Sister Noreen* and Mrs.Buckland* told us to listen for our name to be called. Sister Noreen said if you hear your name take a seat at one of the classroom desks. She read very quickly and students began sitting. She didn’t seem to take notice when she called “Ba’mae” P., that it produced no student taking a seat. When she was done, Mrs. Buckland told the rest of us to follow into her classroom. I followed Mrs. Buckland. She told us to stand against her wall because she would seat us in alphabetical order.

While this process was taking place, I continued to stand long past the letter P., which was the first letter in my last name. Suddenly, Sister Noreen appeared at the classroom door. It seems she was seating her students in alphabetical order and she was missing someone from her list. Mrs. Buckland and Sister Noreen looked to the last two girls standing … “What is your name?” she sneered.

Afraid to answer, I let Madonna Wallace* go first. When she said her name, Sister Noreen looked at her with a frown and advised, “You’d better live up to that name.” (My Madonna Wallace went on to earn a full scholarship to UMASS…the real Madonna, the one I think Sister Noreen was talking about, went on to earn millions singing; however not acting, “Like a Virgin”).

Then Sister Noreen looked to me….I said my name Beemie P. (Be Me)* and she challenged, “That is not how you say your name!”

I replied with the confidence of a precocious child who spent two years in kindergarten perfecting the art of coloring inside the lines, “Oh yes, it is. It’s my grandmother’s name and that is how my parents say my name.”

“You are not pronouncing your name correctly and since you don’t even know your name, you can stay with Mrs. Buckland.” Sister Noreen and her sensible shoes trotted out of the room.

Sister Noreen’s First Grade Class

classroom 1st grade (1)

She was a tough cookie…that “Obey” bulletin board was looming over their shoulders all year.

Mrs. Buckland then looked at her list and asked everyone after Soledad Peron* to move back one seat. This produced a few grunts and groans, as well as a disapproving look from the teacher who was presented with the gift of a new student on her list.

“Ba’Mae” P.

Beemie...a childhood nickname

Beemie…a childhood nickname: The name I use on my blog and for creative purposes in this post.

Mrs. Buckland’s Classroom

teachers desk revised

I am just out of camera range in this photo, but the portrait I created of Soledad Peron has quite a prominent place on display.

While having my name mispronounced for the first few years of school was a bit annoying, those who really knew me pronounced my name the way it was intended; those who didn’t went with Sister Noreen’s version. By high school, I began introducing myself with the Sister Noreen version of my name. At the time, it actually seemed, “Cool”. I watched as a few of my female classmates began using their own imaginative spelling for their names or a new nickname to seek an independent identity.

I never felt robbed of my identity because Sister did not pronounce my name correctly, if anything I believe it provided me with a “thick skin”When I introduce myself today with the version my parents intended, I often have those who revert to the Sister Noreen articulation. I have an acquaintance who I would see out & about, and occasionally at social events over the course of 28 years. I realized that for as long as I have known her, she never called me by my name. I sensed she did this because she was afraid she would say it incorrectly, so I inquired. She told me that I was correct, she didn’t want to mispronounce my name. Having no identity, honestly stung a bit more than having my name mispronounced.

I usually do not correct people attempting my name because I find that I am creating an immediate barrier to getting to know someone. Many times I have those who use the Sister Noreen version and ask why I never corrected the pronunciation…

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…names can never hurt me.

See what I mean, sucker for a chalk sign.

Until next time…

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*names changed to protect the innocent

 

 

 

 

 

Multitasking…

…respect for my colleagues.

Alphabetical Post M

 After my first career in human resources, I was an at home mom for 20 years, taking care of my own humans. When I started my teaching career back in the fall of 2009 at the ripe age of 20 30 40-something, Son-ster #2 had just started college. I was once again working for humans who do not belong to me and my nest was empty.

One morning early on the start of that school year, I gazed into the empty kitchen sink and shouted to the Hubster as we were both about to leave the house, “Come here quick, look …the sink is empty. When we return home it will still be empty.” It was an early Christmas miracle that September morn.

sink

Not my sink, but playing my sink on the blog today.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t sad about my boys off in college and living away from home. My experience going away had been so remarkable and life changing that I was thrilled for them to go live their lives. When they called, mostly for funds and food, they were for the most part, enjoying college life. The actual going to class, studying, writing papers, and making the dean’s list, sometimes interfered with the intended goal of a four/five-year education vacation. When they came home for breaks and holidays, they were better friends than they had ever been as brothers growing up in the same house. Maturity had replaced rivalry. (Son-sters, if you’re reading this, don’t let your heads get too big, you still do a few things that your father and I question.)

We can go from this:

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to this:

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after just one phone call about your latest and greatest life endeavors. I digress…

Those early weeks months years now of my career, let me just say, “I still am was in way over my head.”

Talk to any teacher who is in the public classroom today and you will get an earful. I will spare you the details, but a few other job titles we hold…nurse, counselor, advocate, detective, banker, decorator, actor, travel agent (think field trips), dietician, custodian, technical support specialist, data collector & analyst, bathroom monitor, and so much more. Sometimes we are so flexible with our job titles, we can’t believe we actually earn a paycheck every two weeks.

Just take a look at how flexible a teacher can be…

flexible

I must confess, teachers in my building do this without a ball and usually wear more clothing over their leotards.

Everyday I work with a remarkable group of teachers; mostly women, younger than me… with husbands, school age & early college age children… 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 children. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. They arrive early, work all day caring for and educating those who will take care of us in our retirement, and when school is done for the day, they are still there…preparing for the next day.

Typically, after an evening home with their families, I may hear a story of them aiding their own children with homework, sports practice, doctors appointments, drivers ed, nevermind dinner, baths, and bedtime. I am humbled and in awe of their dedication toward others who are not their own blood. They share materials, resources, time, an ear, and most importantly a tissue for tears (especially my own, but I have one colleague and she knows who she is, who wins in the tears department).

In honor of their spectacular ability to be masters of multitasking (mother-teachers); this post for the letter M is awarded to them. I hope they and you have a laugh with all the Pinteresting ideas to those whose multitask with grace, common sense, and tissues.

multi-girl-by-tree

multi-car

multi-calm

In addition, her phone is probably blowing up with text messages that her own child is sick.

multi-brain

This happens at least once twice three times per week.

 

multi-lunch

The above is just as glamorous as it sounds…YUM!

 The Multitasker Mother-Teachers of C-Wing

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Their students and their families are lucky to have them.

One of my C-wing colleagues is a part-time teacher with full -time home obligations as a wife and mother.  I was able to catch her while she was enjoying her 12 minute duty-free lunch.

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There are more mother-teachers in my building; including one who will be a first-time  mother any day now. I’d like to offer all the mother-teachers in my building a luxury vacation…,

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Can’t you just picture yourself here, instead of standing outside the boys and girls restrooms.

but it seems the best I can do is suggest…

multi-shower

Have a great weekend!

I have one more M word to remember, my Milkman father would have celebrated his 97th birthday last weekend. If interested read about him here.

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Love Letters…

… and loved letters

Alphabetical Post L

The school year started without a lot of fan fare, but plenty to do. I will try not to dwell on my level of insurmountable “busy-ness”.

Earlier in the summer, I made a request of my siblings to take possession of the last of the “courting” letters written by my father and mother from January, 1943 to April, 1945. Currently, I have only a handful of the letters.

One of the letters…

corinne125edit

I first discovered these letters when we were cleaning out my parents home in April, 2008. My brother, Heir*, was in the attic of our childhood home. He discovered a box of letters and cards. As I began to peruse the box, it occurred to me that this was truly an untold story. While I knew my parents loved each other, it was hard for me, the youngest, to imagine them young and smitten, for a life filled with responsiblity had replaced many of the “wooing” ways. Because the job of cleaning out a 14 room house was a challenge, the majority of the letters went back into a box. Some are still unread.

When my sister, Susan, passed away in June, I started to think about her story and about those letters. I do not want their story to go untold , so the letters will soon be mine to read, organize, do some research, and eventually write their story. Even if my siblings are the only readers of this story, at least we will know the life before us.

Speaking of letters…every year as the school year comes to a close, I start a project with all the 5th graders. To be honest, it is a project intended to keep the students busy and engaged during the last few days in elementary school. Most of the students love this project and get very excited when it is finally their turn to get started.

The project starts with letters, specifically those cut from magazines. The students are charged with creating a collage of every student in their class. I take a class photo on the playground. During any down time on those last few days the students busily cut and paste these “loved” letters to spell names of their classmates. Most are so excited to complete the project and take it home, but often I wonder; “is it worth it” as there are times it is a battle down to the last-minute to help some students complete the keepsake. Usually, I can be heard down the halls proclaiming, “You are going to love these letters…they will hang on your bedroom wall like art for the rest of your life!”

The Hubster reads In-Fisherman and has his own Kindle... the rest are my choices.

Some of the magazines that go into creating the keepsake.

Typically, I hang my previous class project (the one I create as a model) on my classroom wall until the following spring. Rarely, does a student question the “art”.  At the end of the day on Friday, one of my colleagues had to leave immediately when the bell rang. She asked if I could take the last of her bus riders who were waiting to be called. One of her students came to me to let me know that his brother had just entered high school. I had been his brother’s teacher . The younger boy was looking around my classroom when he spotted the end of year project. He said, “Hey, my brother has that same picture hanging in his room.”

Next, one of my own homeroom students who was waiting for her bus stated the same thing about her brother. She said he yelled at her when she tried to look at it one day because he stated it was a “fragile memento”.

Finally, I have a student intern in my class. I taught her my first year of my second career. She is currently a senior in high school. She was approaching me to sign her time sheet when she overheard the two students. She said, “Oh I still have my project hanging on my bedroom wall. My friends always ask me about it. They want to know how long it took to cut out all those letters.”

To be honest, the exchange made my day.

“Loved Letters”

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It seems my labor of love has been worth it!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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*see Who’s Who page

Keeping up…

…with a kaleidoscope of K’s.

Today is the last day of my summer vacation. I return to school for a week of preparation for the coming school year.

back to school

This is what I will look like in the mirror tomorrow morning.

When the school year ended in June, I was in a state of sadness because of my sister’s untimely death. My class last school year was probably one of the most delightful groups I ever had as a group. They were supporters of each other, cheerleaders for every effort, looked out for each other when others were less merciful with words and actions, and above all, kind. As I tried to keep a stiff upper lip about my sister’s passing, they turned their support toward me. One morning while driving to school on those last days, I heard a song performed by Tim McGraw. It was and still is a message for them and everyone else.

Listen to the song by clicking on this….

humble & kind

Speaking of school, (Ugh!), clothing comes to mind. I spent the majority of my grade and high school career Wearin’ O’ the Plaid

My school changed uniforms after my first grade year. This is the only photo I have of me demonstrating this Oxford intelligence flare. Also note the circles under eyes...still have skin of an eight year old...amazing.

Grade school plaid jumper

 

 

days gone by

High school kilt …all the rage!

I still like some plaid, but kilts are not on my radar. I happened upon an adorable video that I tried & tried & tried to embed in this post, but alas I could not. Here is the link and you don’t need to be a member of Facebook in order to view.

This kilt baby from Pinterest is cute, but this one cracks me up!

baby in a kilt

On my last days of freedom, (rather than clean the house) I have been spending some time doing something I have a bit of a knack for…sewing. Several years ago I read the book Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan…a really good read. There is a character, Anne Marie…her nest becomes empty so she takes to collecting doll house miniatures. I am fearful that I have become a kindred spirit to Anna Marie’s character for this is what I have been sewing (and getting really excited about) for a couple of lucky daughters of colleagues.

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Hey, it keeps me out of the bars and a key to mental health!

Well that’s it for Tuesday…kudos to all the Olympians, the USA is killin’ it!

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Jubilation…

…thrill of victory & agony of defeat.

 Alphabetical Order Post: J

The summer Olympics have returned. At one time in my young life, I actually thought I was going to become an Olympic athlete… had killer instinct in competition been the only requirement then yes, “I coulda been a contender.” Lack of money and the realization of waking at pre-dawn hours for 365 days per year quickly woke me from that dream. (I suppose true Olympic talent would have helped.)

As you may recall in my last post, I mentioned I had returned home from two weeks at the beach. Well, I turned around Wednesday to go right back for several days. Jackson*, Peggy Anne’s #2, was not in attendance for my two weeks because he was busy with his summer  vacation internship in Spain. He returned to the states Sunday night after I had left; devastated that I would not be at the beach with him, he requested I come back. Who am I to say no to the beach  Jackson.

On Thursday, Jackson and I built an impressive shamrock in the sand. My photo does not do it justice.

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Ernie*, Jackson’s college roommate (also a guest at Jackson’s request) noted Jackson and I employ a thrill of victory attitude toward the sport of sandcastle building. On Friday, Ernie asked if he could join our sandcastle team. Naturally, there was an interview process (which he nailed because he was able to text his mother for a personal reference) and we asked to see his resume. Stating he usually doesn’t bring his resume to the beach he offered this…

jeep shovel

He put his money where his mouth is…so we said, “You’re in!” The Dream Team was complete.

For the record, these are our shovels…

sand shovels

Ernie, did his best to control his envy for our plastic and wood “proprietary” sculpting tools.

To demonstrate our Olympic spirit, our “Dream Team” spent two hours with no breaks manipulating sand, sweat, sunscreen, and water to erect our tribute.

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Jackson earns all the creative praise, as he requested we construct the Olympic rings. He implemented the use of Google to be certain the rings were equidistant …as the tide went out he was quick on defeat his feet to advocate for use of wetter sand to contrast the Rio 2016 logo after noting the NBC logo to the left seemed too similar in color to stand out in the sand. (L-R) Ernie, Jackson, me.

In my mind, We received a gold medal in Olympic sandcastle building. Ernie earns the team spirit award for running back & forth for more water, limiting his creative suggestions to one, and laughing when I recommended we forego the Copacabana Beach dress code of Speedo for them as rumor had it the young men had skipped their appointments for a “Bro’zilian” prior to the trip. The man sitting under the umbrella (not in our beach group) was sorely disappointed with the news as he realized I would also pass on going topless. Ever a team player and knowing there is no I in team, the rest of the beach applauded with jubilation at my team spirit.

This was the last day on the beach. Friday evening, we returned to the condo for dinner, Opening Ceremony watching, and closing ceremonies cleaning after 3 consecutive weeks in Olympic Beaching.

Peggy Anne and I are quite the task masters when it comes to cleaning the condo which is returned to her good friends after our use. According Hubster, Peggy Anne’s sons, Ernie, and my own Son-sters; Peggy Anne and I resemble the individual below when cleaning the house.

clean up

Click here to view….it’s worth it! 

Go USA!

Have a great Monday!

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*names changed to protect the innocent (Peggy Anne & Jackson in WHO’S Who)