Saturday, January 19, 2019


Did I say avalanche?  I meant rain with maybe a flash freeze that will be over with by Tuesday morning.  We are just a little northwest of Morgantown. We are always in the armpit of the storm.  We'll have to live all of the excitement vicariously.

Here's a riddle for you.  Potato + soy milk + vegetable stock + butter + broccoli + cheddar cheese + flour + sour cream +garlic +pepper = POTATO SOUP!  I sort of half followed Betty Crocker's internet recipe (I didn't want to make as much- I wanted it a little thicker-) and it worked.  I can officially tweak recipes.

I spent all of the morning writing a week's worth of music appreciation lesson plans.  The gang at school says I'm looking at more like 4-6 weeks of recovery. So I'm going to write for that so there is no worry.  No date has been set yet.  I don't mind.  The longer they wait, the closer to summer vacation my return will be.

Aunt is in hospital again. Her heart is in afib.  She's on blood thinners to prevent stroke and they are working to get her back into sine.  Look at me and my fancy medical words.  I wish I didn't know them.  The only reason I do is because greathusbandbob (20 years younger than aunt) suffers from the same malady.  They were able to shock his heart back into sine. Watching anyone struggle to breathe and keep calm is horrible.  Every now and then I realize that I may have to relive this same experience with greathusbandbob.  I just hope it's much further down the road.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday night update

Yes to snow-

This morning’s activities

It’s still lightly falling fingers crossed for a delay.

I took a few moments to imagine shoveling this walk in my dotage-

The house on the right was the gutted one we could not buy.  This one is currently an Oxford House for sober living.  Greathusbandbob helped to set it up.  The owner claims she is looking to sell it.  If I could come home to this I would never even have to retire.  I told him I’d give up my yarn stash.  It has the giant sliding wooden doors that separate the foyer and the parlor (that’s what you have to call it as far as I’m concerned.)

Finally the latest thing on the dog Facebook pages is to show before and after photos. Before is the regular dog.  After is after you say “what a good dog.”  Liza fails this game. She’s humble... or humiliated one or the other.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Good News-Bad News- Good News

Good News- I realized that I could take cousin shopping after school on Friday nights and that would give me a whole free Saturday.  I think I was oblivious to making that change because I was so devoted to "keeping things the way they were" as she transitioned to the 'burg.  After 3+ years, I now will have Saturdays free and easy again.  

And it's not like I thought of it independent of circumstances.  There is supposed to be snow today and we didn't want to worry about driving.  So today's Saturday snow day has become permanent snow day Saturday.  And to think I used to take Saturday's for granted.  Next thing you know we'll go shopping on Wednesday and I'll have Friday nights free instead.

While in the car I told her about the polyp removal.  She had the same procedure done several years ago. I told her how clever I thought I was waiting until it was all over to tell her.  I asked her  what she would have done if I had told her beforehand expecting her to say she would worry.  She answered "I would have panicked."

Bad News- sort of- She'll have another chance to panic in the near future because while I was with her, the dr.'s office phoned and talked to greathusbandbob. There are abnormal pre-cancer cells and a hysterectomy is in the works.  Don't know when, don't know which parts (though I'm guessing all of them.)

My first excited question to drknitnightjustine was- "how many days off?"  I've got my priorities.  At least two weeks of no work and rest. Yippeeeeeeeeee.  I know I should be more worried, upset, concerned or something but I'm just not feeling it.  No cancer, no more periods, at least 2 weeks off and another visit to anesthesia land.  Every now and then I'm a little freaked out about it but funny things keep jumping in my head.  (I'm the poster child for coping using humor.)

Case in point- greathusbandbob and I will have matching belly scars.  Now that the social committee has new and fresh members, I might even get a card.

There is a teacher who switched from pre-K to subbing to take care of young kids.  Before she was pre-k she subbed for me often.  Preliminary conversations suggests that she is willing to do so again.  I can talk to her comfortably about planning and not feel so stressed to be hyper-vigilant about it.

And back to Good News- there is snow in the forecast- the longer it takes to get here- the better the chance of another day off on Monday. Weather is calling for 4-6" in the city of the school- less here in the 'burg.  A perfect storm if it produces.

And finally, facebook to me should be a happy place.  I am a member of two dog groups and sometimes I can't resist saving dog pictures that make me happy.  Today I made a collage of them with my Saturday snow day.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

I’m not always nice.

Every twenty years or so you get that one nightmare class.  Ours is in 5th grade.  Once they leave I should be safe until I retire.  I have a countdown of the number of times I will see them for the rest of the year (18).

We had a 2 hr delay this morning which means an altered schedule.  When creating this schedule, custom has dictated that an effort is made to ensure the teacher sees the same classes- just for a shorter period of time.  (Insert toxic statement that’s how I always did

The principal, not giving a rat’s ass towards custom (or it would seem consistency) has put together delay schedules in the same way a small child might approach a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle.  One difference being that she’s the boss.  So if she says “that’s what the picture is supposed to look like” then that’s really the end of discussion.

As a result, I find myself teaching an extra class that I wouldn’t normally have on any given delay or early dismissal day.  It has been this 5th grade in the past.  Sometimes it’s kindergarten.  Today I missed seeing my favorite 4th grade class.

Before the day began. The art/library teacher, apparently just now noticing the inequity of it all, came to me and said “I think there’s a mistake in the schedule.  I’m not supposed to have these kids (the horriblest 5th grade class), I think you are. I’ve already had them twice this week and I don’t have any plans for them. I’ll trade two for one.” (No doubt ensuring that she would see a different unplanned for class.)

Keep in mind that she’s seen them twice because she opted to split her job and become art teacher/librarian to avoid traveling to another school.  She’s also been a teacher for 15+ years and should be able to throw together a last minute lesson plan (especially with an extra hour at the start of the day)  She has also been whiny and selfishly petty toward me on more than one occasion.

Also of note- the principal was gone for the day and could not give final judgement.  And my guess is that she wouldn’t have brought it to the ppal’s attention if she had been there.

She essentially forced me to either a) feel crappy all day because I allowed myself to be taken advantage of or b) feel crappy all day because I was an inflexible schedule follower. Given that I was going to feel crappy either way, I went for the option that did not require me to face that class.

I think it was the fact that she tried to coerce me into taking them that pushed my decision.  The excuse of no plans for them was a lame tactic.  I believe I might have been more amenable if she had just honestly asked.  “Hey, I’ve had a rough week, can you help me out?”

Because really I would have done that for any other teacher in the building. It would not have been difficult. And they would have asked in a way to make things o.k. Person to person.  Not- “I’ll get one over on her.”

So I did feel crappy all day for being “that person.”  I had to tell and retell the story to several colleagues to make sure I wasn’t the horriblest person.  And here I am retelling it again. To the blog confessional.  But by telling it here I feel like I’ve made more sense of the situation..  And I feel much better about that.  I continue to be the easy going flexible colleague that won’t get manipulated into being taken advantage of.

Monday, January 07, 2019

A morning at the hospital.

Up at 4:15. 3 hours of sleep. Greathusbandbob fell asleep at 8:00 pm and was wide awake.  When he is anxious/anticipating he likes conversation. Which is fine when it’s his procedure.  I’ll go along with the Bob and Becky show.  I went along with it on the drive there.  Once in the waiting room I said “hey you should work on your crossword puzzle.”  He did.

I remember the first push of the bed to the operating room and that was it. Then I woke up, waved at a few people in the hallway and asked what time it was.  Dr removed a thumbnail sized polyp. 

Drugs have been taken. The confusion of drugs made me believe for a second that the removal of the polyp relieved my lower back pain.  After talking to drknitnighjustine I realized it’s likely the pain med intended for the internal pain that relieved the lower back pain.  The temporary freedom from that makes it clear to me why people love drugs.  I’ll miss feeling good when it’s time to stop taking them.

That being said, I’m not in pain, I’m no longer bleeding like a stuck pig, and I have two days off. That feels pretty good.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

I like odd years.

So maybe this will be a good one.

A quick scan of the blog suggests that 2018 was the year of cooking. There was also some knitting.

This July we return to th house in NC where I was when I decided to do more healthy things.  It’s actually been a year and a half since that started and the recent plateau was discouraging and caused some slippage.  30 lbs down is still good.  After the procedure on the 7th I will return to my 3 Zumbas a week conscientious self.

It’s not really a resolution but a recommitment.  I can feel the world weighing me down more lately and maybe the things I’ve been calling self care are really just excuses not to do the things that help the most.

So look forward to more food posts.  My fingers were itching for a crochet hook this week so that may be in the works.  I have the Kafe Fasset yarn and the Atlantic us pattern in mind.  Hopefully I will share brilliant inspiration from the music appreciation class.  And if all else fails, greathusbandbob and I can start working on our stand up comedy routine. Maybe I can convince him to do an open mic night. ha!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Patience is what I have

Lunch with the aunt. Last week (actually for two weeks) the conversation was about fruitcakes.  Particularly Collins St. fruitcakes in Texas.

Lunch companion Barbara talked of getting them every year.  As a sort of joke/gesture, I sent one to her last week. I consulted with aunt and she said “make it from both of us.” Apparently they didn’t put the requested “from Becky and Sippy.” Barbara thanked the aunt for the fruitcake.  Aunt yelled to her “I DIDN’T GET YOU A BRIEFCASE!”  When she loses her hearing, she does it in a big way. Also she has no memory of me telling her I was going to do it.

After lunch we gathered at Barbara’s door to have a fruitcake party. And while greathusbandbob suggested it, I’m pretty sure he didn’t think it was going to happen and certainly not right away. Trapped in a little room with 4 ladies over 87 (aunt was the youngest one) oozing over fruitcake. And no one really hearing a thing anyone was saying.

I took this opportunity to go to aunts room and set up her  new tv remote (lost since she’s been there) so that she can see the bottom of her screen.  Much to my surprise not only did I get the remote to work, I changed the wide zoom to normal zoom and would not have to try to figure it out under pressure.

Upon returning from the fruitcake party I showed her the change and at first she was pleased, repeatedly asking “how did you do that?”  She finally heard my answer after asking the 4th time “I got a new remote.”  She didn’t hear it earlier because she was still asking the question.

After watching for a few minutes (checking to make sure she could see the scores) she said “it didn’t work. I still can’t see the numbers. (As if she could see them even if they were there-she says she can’t identify the food on her plate.) So I go back into settings and because the remote is new (and greathusbandbob is usually the boss of all remotes) the picture disappears.  While I am trying to manage the buttons and collect the necessary order of operations in my head, greathusbandbob is to my right saying “try channel 2,” aunt is to my left saying “slow down, what does that say on the bottom?” She can’t read a 60 pt font right in front of her so I don’t even know how she knew they were words. Breathe in, breathe out. Fuckity fuck.

I got the tv talking to the cable box again and moved in close to try to adjust the picture saying “talk amongst yourselves.” No success but kind of like the story where the Rabbi tells the guy complaining about the noise in his house to bring the barnyard animals in the house, when they are finally gone, the house seems quiet— When there was finally a picture, she minded less about the words on the bottom.

In other take a breath moments, greathusbandbob and I became the couple where one tells the story and the other corrects.  He maintains no details so when he makes shit up I just give a little under the breath correction.  I can’t believe it’s come to this.  Usually I leave him alone but he was missing the heart of the story. 

Him: Becky and I were married 
Me: we were dating, it was our first date.

You get the idea.

Later on he shared the story about getting aunt a cheaper lifty chair- the jack in the box version.  Crank it and up she pops. When she goes, nobody knows.  She looked at me and asked “how many times have you heard that one” and I said I’m not sure but I was the one who told it to begin with.

This evening, after the Browns lost, he went upstairs and got a list of Netflix shows he wrote down.  This likely came from a Facebook/huffington post type list called “what to watch.”

The first one he pulled up was mystery science theater 3000.  If you’re not familiar, it shows old B movies with generally funny commentary from three robot silhouettes presumably at the front of the theater.  I have been watching this show for YEARS.  I remember trying to get him to sit still for an episode when we were first married.  Turns out he still doesn’t like it which is fine.

The real kicker was Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt.  This is another one we’d watched the first episode of and he refused to consider it.  This evening he watched all of episode 1 and said “that one might be a keeper.”  I never even told him.  It would have been like telling him there was no meat in the lasagne he ate tonight. Because really, 

All’s well that ends well.