Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Bam no Pow, try again.

Th previously posted bird in hand mitts were frogged. Bam Pow in madtosh. It would be a victory if they weren't too small.



Made some easypeasy potato soup. Pepper is key. Second batch was better than the first.

When it's time to return to the world it's going to be difficult. We've been napping-sleeping-bingeing-repeat for a complete week; taking a break only to go to the grocery store.


Saturday, December 24, 2016


The thing is, everyone has gone through this with someone in their lives. Benign? Malignant? No signs? Metastasized?

Buddhist meditation and non-attachment becomes laughable. Which is, I suppose the Buddha's joke regarding the human condition. Attachment causes suffering. You can't help but attach. There will always be suffering. (Suffering in the Buddhist definition- greathusbandbob isn't suffering suffering.)

And so one day it is clear that the doctor will announce he has many years ahead and the next day all he says is he will have to fight for his life. And the appointment isn't until January 4th. And every now and then I take a Xanax when I start to get to ahead of myself.

In the meantime, the Gnomes have a friend. (Why does autocorrect always capitalize Gnomes?)


Her boobs are uneven but it is my understanding that most are. More realistic. Soon she will be monogamous as this evening I find her a life partner. Until now I thought the Gnomes looked monk-like I'll have to see if there is chemistry.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Why "stepson" Ian is the best.

Firstly I was fine and cool with all things surgically related up until the moment pre-op was over and he was headed to op. Ian takes an elephant when he travels to share the trip with his girls. This trip was no exception.


He also had a pre-op selfie with dad. Does it count as a selfie if someone else snaps the pic?


Shortly after this was taken I was a hot crying mess and he held me close and told me how lucky I am to love someone so much that it makes all the feels.

In the waiting room he pulled up every adorable picture of his cute girls and dog on his computer from when they lived in Switzerland to distract.

Once I settled in to some calmness and knitting (the second Xanax in as many hours) he and brotherJerry went for a walk. There was a vendor entering Mountaineer Field and thus an open gate. Ian began live streaming their break-in which eventually led to a golf/injury cart (with keys). The only thing that stopped them from pulling a Marshawn Lynch (YouTube link) was that greathusbandbob might need them later in the day.

No YouTube upload but a good picture for proof.


So kmkat, we are the lucky ones. Surrounded by distractions when there's no use in worrying.

All that being said, greathusbandbob is minus one left kidney, a previously unnoticed hernia and some tissue from the lymph node to check for the bad stuff. While waiting for him to get out of recovery both son Ian and I would turn to look at anyone entering the room, fully believing him indestructible enough to pop out a kidney and come Immediately home to binge on some Netflix.

Son Ian is spending the night in the hospital. When greathusbandbob expressed worry an d concern that I might leave him because he was sick I said "I never liked that left kidney anyway."


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Making things.

Making things to distraction,
Making Kate Gilbert's Bird in Hand Mitts

Making potato broccoli soup. Yes, I did in fact use a blender. Added some but not enough cayenne pepper.. the blandish flavor tells me why they sometimes add bacon to it. Greathusbandbob's disdain for cheese limited that ingredient which would likely improve it.

Making my fingers work a little better on the ukulele. Kitchen shelf liner is the answer to the smooth back of the uke sliding off my protruding belly.

We are in stasis. I am at peace with stasis for now (because change is still in the distance.). I woke up feeling Bob Marleyish everything's gonna be.... etc.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Stress test his ass.

The following is the update sent today.

We spent the day with Dr. Cardio who, by 4:30 this afternoon, phoned Dr. Kidneyremover. Dr. Knockhimoutsohedoesntwakeup (the one ultimately responsible for Tuesday's cancellation) hasn't jumped in yet but we believe that Dr. Cardio gave him enough info to go forward this time.

Pre-op tomorrow, surgery on Monday.

And because that's how Dr. Cardios operate, we got fair warning of possible heart failure or stroke.

I am at my most absurd when stressed to the max- on beyond crying, I have become Dark-humored Detective Lennie Briscoe from Law and Order.

In better news- estranged daughter of brotherjerry saw the joy and ridiculousness of the Tuesday photo and has become just a little less estranged.

In crack me up a little bit news- I've done the same songs in my winter program for the last five years. You've heard this story- spirituals. So many came up to say "that was the best show ever." I really need to quit worrying about whether the program is the same every year or not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Stress test my ass. Today should have counted as a pass.

No surgery today.

Dr. Cardio verbally approved surgery last Monday. That is not what was in his written notes. When Dr. Anesthesiologist got the report he did not see approval. No one told Dr. Urology Surgeon or Patient Greathusbandbob. We arrived promptly at 10:45 am and waited patiently to be sent home at 2:30 pm. Everyone blames Friday's pre-op administrators for the snafu but they were unavailable for comment.

With some fancy insurance footwork and a nuclear stress test (the second in as many years), we are rescheduled for the 19th.

I see their secret plot. Make everyone mad enough to overtake the worry. In other related news, today's Christmas vacation countdown calendar present was a bag of marbles so once again, perfection.

Around 1:30 brother and sister in law were getting hungry having eaten nothing all day. It was only after a fifteen minute conversation about whether to go to the cafeteria that I remembered the treats in my bag.

Greathusbandbob, always one to make the best of a bad situation hauled the fam over to the Aunt so she could have a family picture. I'm the only one she's actually related to. The woman in red is Barbara who lives there and whose short term memory is so bad there was never a lull in conversation.

So don't think of it as not losing a kidney with cancer, think of it as a treasured family memory.



Monday, December 12, 2016


First the vacation countdown advent milk carton calendar. Gift number one:

Deodorant. Would that I could hear our inspiration Gerry Brooks say that word.

I won't be here to open most of them but believe I will do so daily just to make each day have a little laugh.

Second- the people that care about you. The kindergarten aides and teachers put together a waiting for surgery hospital goodie bag to keep me busy while we wait tomorrow. I love people.


All of the goodies won't fit in one picture but this should keep me good for an hour or two.


Third- the people who are in your life who become closer and more connected to you because they've been there done that, and in doing so would move heaven and earth to be helpful



Still worried.

Still waiting.

Still scared.

Still medicating. It's not making me sleepy which is how I measure if I am overusing. (That and following the directions on the script)

Still having bouts of hidden tears.

GreatsonIan arrives in the morning tomorrow.

GreatbrotherJerry and GreatsisinlawMerly arrive tomorrow evening.

GreatauntSippy made me laugh and feel comforted today (in spite of pointing out it's how her husband died.)

Surgering surgery on Tuesday.

Winter program at school on Wednesday. Little does the sub know his main purpose that day will be setting up th sound system and tearing it down.

No more school until 2017 after that.

If greathusbandbob weren't such a badass, he would still be waiting for the initial consult originally scheduled for the 15th. As always he gets shit done and doesn't waste any time.

A reading of the results of the CT scan ( with and without contrast) says there's no indication of metastasizing which I know is only preliminary but feels a little promising.

le sigh.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Bring on all of the meds because I feel stuff and worry and that's part of being alive.

Greathusbandbob is having a kidney removed on Tuesday. His son and his brother are coming to town to stand watch and be my helping family.

The winter program is the day after the surgery. I have a sub coming to help set up. Then I will have a sub all the way through until break begins.

It's funny how school works. Most crises are faced with either hush hush gossip or a three page long email explaining every detail.

I opted for middle ground. Tell what I know. The simple facts. If people want to ask more, they can. And sometimes they know you'll just cry so they hug you and move on. As it turns out, one good friend had a similar and positive outcome to share that I had no idea about. And talking to her made me feel better.

I think, minus the outliers, everybody goes through lots of the same hard stuff. If you're willing to put yourself out here first (without appearing to have borderline personality disorder) there is reassurance, empathy and comfort to be found. Also Betty doesn't even know about this blog, but thanks anyway Betty.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Adorable and funny or not

While having a class full of kindergarteners come up to me, trap me behind my keyboard in close quarters and whisper what they asked their classroom elf on a shelf for is, in fact, adorable, the accompanying fever chills and sneezing that was to shortly follow was not. Zicam work your magic. I know zicam is not science but I'm hoping for a placebo effect.

This adorable has no side effects-


This window of pointing Gnomes is what I see when walking out of the bedroom. So as long as it's not zero dark thirty, I laugh a little when I wake up.

In the category of make Mondays better I'll be making homemade mac and cheese and hard boiled eggs for lunches next week. If this recipe has the same effect as the last two (as in the sight of food prepared by me made me physically squeamish) then I give up. It will be PB&J the rest of the year.

Also there is this- by pernciple Gerry Brooks

There are four of us who will be making our nine day milk carton advent calendar next week and begin opening them on December 12. Should make for some laughing.

In other medical news, aunt continues to walk, cousin is no longer eligible for Medicair, only Medicaid (thank you Pennsylvania) and greathusbandbob has appointments on Monday and Wednesday next week for some calcification in his heart and a mass growing on a kidney. For now we are pretending it's all in a days doctor appointment because what's the point of worrying.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Now I hate chicken.

Something happened. I don't know when. I thought maybe I just hated the chicken breasts that greathusbandbob made (which are objectively very good- I just can't.). White chicken chili was once my favorite thing. Surely it can not be a part of my psyches protest against chicken. But it is. <sad face>

I'm wondering if hormonal pre-menopausal stages also bring changes in appetite. Some food just makes me so mad.

I made a dog but Knitnightgina assembled it. It has gnome friends.


His name is Murphy- made while watching Z-Nation. In an ironic twist, Amanda's alligator is chewing on his leg. This scene was followed by several more and if you know anyone who is hiring independent contractors to create hilarious knitted toy tableaus, I may be able to hook you up, (that would have been so funny if it were crochet.) People may having been smiling curiously at us in Panera's.

The next gnome has been started on size 10 needles with four strands of Elsbeth Lavold's silky wool.


The gnomes are to be a fixture of knit night until it gets boring- with more to come until snow can make me laugh instead of gnomes. Also why does autocorrect keep trying to capitalize Gnomes? Also in the works in my head is a size 2 needles/sock yarn version of the dog. Puppies!


Sunday, November 27, 2016



Blue tortilla chips to accompany tomorrow's white chicken chili will look fabulous on this most recently painted plate.

Also I do not want vacation to end.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016


It's thanksgiving break and I am doing three and a half things.


Watching black and white movies on YouTube.



I say three and a half things because I seem to only manage a paragraph or two at a time before napping.

I'm reading an Erik Larson non-fiction account of the US ambassador to Germany just before he start of WWII. There are too many quotes from this book that fit today. Also, while he craftily documents and creates stories from artifacts, it's still pretty thick reading and I've given up trying to keep accurate track of who's who in the story.

The black and white moviethon had Orson Welles as a lawyer fighting against the death penalty and another movie called "Joe Macbeth." A film noir gangster version of Macbeth. I caved and purchased YouTube Red. Mostly because the commercials are three times as loud as most of the movies and they scare the shit out of me every time.

This is a sneak peak at knitting- I can't wait to assemble!


Cousin is having a holiday meal at the drop-in center today which I've decided relieves any formal gathering on our part. We will be taking pies to aunt in the afternoon for a visit. (Lemon meringue and pecan- made by Giant Eagle). I'll also take cousin to Bob Evans on Saturday. She said "they'll probably have leftover thanksgiving turkey, if not I'll just get a turkey fork and knife sandwich."

Time to read some more (wink wink nod nod)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Hangover

As soon as I had a moment with one of my third grade classes on Wednesday morning, they asked me who I voted before. Even before I could answer, grinning ear to ear, they said "Donald Trump won!" The conversation snowballed into "I'm glad he won Hillary was going to take our guns and close the coal mines." I got a handle on the conversation, stated no opinion (as teachers are instructed to do when it comes to politics) and tried to explain amendments and how they are overturned to a group of 7-8 yr olds.

As soon as these words were spoken, images from Sandy Hook Elementary flashed through my head and really it was all I could do just to understand gravity and make it keep,working for me.

Today I listened to a podcast called Trumpcast produced by Slate News. Jacob Weisberg was interviewing a white high school teacher from an all black high school. They discussed the difficulties in coping with what the election told them about our country etc. In the end the teacher talked about the comfort of unity and togetherness that all experienced as they shared their fears and emotions.

Here in western PA, western MD and most of rural WV (where I teach) if we supported Hillary, we did not have that luxury. We are from another planet.

And while I keep my politics out of my classroom (especially the black and white minds of the very young), it is absolutely soul sucking not to be able to publically condemn all that is wrong with what happened on Tuesday. Where is the line between avoiding political views and teaching little ones to be good citizens. I guess for now I know where I've chosen to place it. I'm just not terribly proud of the things I am not able to teach.

Below is the innocence of the birthday banana split from Sarris'. Consumed on Tuesday night before the results came in.


Also, who can watch Negan on the walking dead when there are real monsters soon to run the world.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Birthday update.

Celebratory ice cream for lunch on Saturday. Not only celebrating the b-day but also celebrating the completion of the most difficult task in wallet replacement- the DMV.


Fancypants lunch on Monday. Nurseshelly made crab dip- I brought the things you don't have to cook.


We ate birthday dinner at my favorite hole in the wall Lebanese restaurant where the wife/waitress forced shawarma instead of my usual gyro platter. She kept saying "you try something new... you might like." She was mistaken.

There was ice cream cake when we got home.


Greathusbandbob sang and didn't get all weepy like he did when he and aunt sang on Sunday.

We waited for an hour to vote today, ate some Mexican food for lunch and picked up my newly detailed car. Tonight we head north and it's a "the election is over and yesterday was your birthday" party at Sarris' ice cream parlor with knit night friends.

Two days of school and another day off- the following week begins program prep and then off we go into the holiday season.

I'm still double knitting hearts because I like the color combos.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

New dawn new day.

Item the one. The non-verbal kindergartener (not diagnosed with anything but will probably be on the autism spectrum) spoke in my room today. And spoke and spoke and spoke. In the past he might communicate with a whisper. Today we were playing with the chant "Mabel Mabel set the table don't forget the ___ ___ ___ " where kids fill in the blanks with food and practice clapping the syllables. The aide sitting next to him was whispering "turkey" in his ears trying to get a response and he up and shouted "NO! NOODLES!" He spent the rest of class talking and talking. I would say everyone stand up he would repeatedly say "I can't stand up." (While he was standing). Then he changed it up after a while and said "I can't sit down!" Last year in pre-k his favorite sound was the sound of the bus brakes which he would do every time a bus arrived. What a win to watch it happen.

It's pretty hard to top that. Greathusbandbob had a WVU shirt (that fit and was cotton instead of nylon) and a Penguins hat hanging in my room this evening. Start of the birthday festivities.

I finished the never ending cardigan by Hannah Fetig at knitnight on Tuesday. Right sleeve longer than the left because measuring. It's actually called the Effortless Cardigan. It's a great pattern and the second time I've made it. Dog nails and life took a toll on the first one. It's in a lightweight dark blue alpaca and as of now fits mostly like a short bathrobe. Just as the other one did. And yet I am pleased.

This inspired knitting corner overhaul as I often do after a big project. This helps me see how many unfinished projects I have and check to see if there are any I want to finish. Finding plenty unfinished but none that struck my fancy I did this- which will likely become one of those unfinished items later on.


Don't even bother to squint to see the colors. This bad photography could probably start a new "what color is the dress" meme. Trust me when I say that they are fabulous and time for daylight pictures will reveal all.

No! NOODLES! What the what?


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

You Scream, I scream...

NurseShelly and I eat lunch together. After my success with plating cheese and crackers we decided to collaborate. Last week she made spinach dip and I brought mini bread bowls from which to eat it. No pictures. This week I was in charge of lettuce, tortilla wraps, apples and caramel dip and she was the boss of the chicken salad.


It's not such a great plating job but I have visions of a new plate in my future. Now that the plate has a purpose I may be more inspired design-wise. (To be continued.)

Next week is birthday week. I will bring shrimp cocktail for lunch because birthday. Nurseshelly will find something to accompany it. It's good that I'll be eating healthy at lunchtime as I am asking to have my birthday dinner at Bruster's where so far the top pick is this-


Dinner on the knitnight 8th will be here-


Sarris Ice Cream

It will be an ice cream sort of birthday.

In school hilarity, I asked young children (age 5) why we don't have school on November 11th. Guesses included summer vacation, because it's his birthday and "because we need a day off." When eventually got to calling it Veteran's Day (as a lead up to singing You're a Grand Old Flag and pretending to be in a parade with mini flags) one girl thought maybe Veteran's day was the day we take our dogs to the vet.

Greathusbandbob is trying to recapture the "Men of Mayberry" glee from last month but it's the intent and presentation that he's got going for him. A man's shirt two sizes too small in a fabric that induces an immediate hot flash will likely be returned. Let's Gooooooo Mountaineers,


We're taking cousin to Prime rib night in the burg on Friday- the weekly Walmart trip will follow. Hopefully a trip to AAA on Saturday morning will complete the lost wallet card replacement process.

The end.


Monday, October 31, 2016

End of the streak

So when I felt like no one was listening to me a few months ago,  I subsequently lost my voice.

Just this week I began to feel the tentacles of depression intertwining in my brain.  And then I lost my identity.

Yes, today will be a day of report and replace.

It was good while it lasted.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two weeks and counting

Another duly noted uncatastrophic week passed last week much to the delight of everyone involved.

Aunt remains in a holding pattern although they insisted on a care plan conference call this morning. The last time we had one of those was at a critical juncture. Today's was an annoying formality. The doctor says she can't rehab so we wait until she can. Their primary concern was that insurance wouldn't be a problem.

Cousin has a Halloween party on Wednesday. She called last week looking to get some cowboy boots. I said if we could find them at Walmart- o.k. I wasn't expecting a positive outcome. Then I saw the ankle boots with zippers on the side that are like fake short cowboy boots. Halloween costume for the win.

Greathusbandbob has been motoring along breathing freely until this weekend. Some sort of bug caught him and when that happens in combination with copd it's pretty terrifying for him. What is Prednisone and nebulizer for $200, Alex?

The best part of today was lunch. I brought baby carrots and mini Italian bread rolls. Nurseshelly brought spinach dip. A clever shared lunch may be the new self soothing Sunday nightmare dread solution.

The latest binge is PBS' Mr. Selfridge. I can't even begin to express what a relief it is to watch a show completely devoid of zombies, blood and guts. Just silly British antics that all work out in a feel good way in the end. This in contrast to last night's Walking Dead which was one of the most disturbing things ever. I tend not to watch- greathusbandbob likes it- and will only listen and even that filter offered no relief.

I have the sleeves to an effortless cardigan by Hannah Fettig on the last stretch to completion. It will be delayed for a few days as I make a monkey hat for our guidance counselor's new baby. He has a son named Jack. Baby girl didn't have a name as of noon today so we sent out a quick note suggesting Jill or maybe Jillian so that he would have Jack and Jill. There's been no response, I can't imagine why it hasn't been a priority.

In the past I might have skipped writing this post given its lack of storytelling excitement. Except I really want a record of calmer days so that the next time the shit hits the fan I'll be able to look back with some relief.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lunch of the Goddess

Or something like that.

Whenever I have had snacks at kmitnightgina's house they are delightful. She's got some smarts when it comes to mixing flavors and appears to just "throw together" magic.

Last week I decided to see if I could transfer the idea of that to my school lunch and realized that part of the problem with lunch at school is the manner in which it is delivered. I experimented with tiny plastic containers and then decided to try to "plate" my lunch for greater appeal.


This looks so much better than snarfing food out of plastic baggies and cardboard boxes. It just so happened that prek teacher at school was looking for lunching advice. She saw this and was delighted.

When I told her I painted the fancy plate at the WOW factory she said "I want to do that!" And then there were a bunch of "me too's" from school friends I like a lot and I think we might have a field trip in the works.

Speaking of field trips I'm hoping for an awesome knit night field trip on Election Day (also the day after my birthday). It involves having regularly scheduled knit night at Sarris' ice cream parlor. Knitnightgina and knitnightdrjustine are in so I can pretty much count on some awesome. KnitnightLucy has found us and she makes me damn laugh. There is nothing better than a fast thinker and quick-to Laugh-er. And we can add another one to the club.

Note to future self- when life is complicated, it's harder to laugh. When it relaxes, the laughing comes back. That is such a relief.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Details at 11:00

So I wanted this post to be something like "confused elderly rehab patient photobombs local hero" or something like that. There is a perfect news teaser to go with this picture. I just don't have it.


But I've just declared greathusbandbob the master of selfies in my head. Also I think he is very handsome.

He's wearing his Gabe's Steelers garb- new t-shirt and hoodie. We were trying to be gangstahs family visitors at the nursing home.

I had a matching hooded outfit but couldn't fit in the pic. It was another open the yarn room door surprise last week. Only this time I was slightly suspicious because he kept lurking in the hallway when I got home from school and doesn't usually show off his new clothes or wear a hoodie with the hood up in the house.

Also for all of my dog readers out there. Warning. This ramp leads to the gates of Hell and should NOT ever be used to get on a bed that's too high. No matter what, wait for your owners to lift you up onto the bed.



Thursday, October 13, 2016


If tomorrow passes without a crisis it will be the first week since late July that has been uneventful.


Last Friday a child (who was 11 years old) started crying at me and screamed "you're a JERK!" because I took the ice pack intended for his knee after he started eating the ice in it. A little bit later after talking about how Solomon Linda's Mbube was lifted by Pete Seeger after a trip to South Africa, he shouted "YOU STOLE FROM ME!"

The hardest part in managing this situation is to encourage other kids in the class to have compassion about the hard day he must have been having rather than looking at me and meekly saying "you're a jerk" when he's not around because it cracks them up. Especially since when I walked into the teachers lounge the school nurse that I eat lunch with yelled "you're a JERK!" when I walked in and I laughed my ass off.

School story the second. There are 17 kids in my elementary band class. Today we got through "go tell aunt Rhody" while still hanging on to all of them. Also they changed the words to the song and it now involves macaroni. When we finished I gave a short speech letting them know that if they didn't practice between now and the next band class, they would lose it and we'd have to do the whole thing again.

There is one girl that is about six inches shorter and as skinny as the trombone she plays. She raised her hand and asked, "Mrs. Terry, can I make an announcement?" I said, "of course." She shouted "LET'S MAKE MRS. TERRY PROUD!!!"

Moral of these stories-

There is nothing worse than a fifth grader who hates you and there is nothing better than a fifth grader who adores you.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Brain in Action

Minding my own business, cutting out manipulatives I saw a piece of scrap paper good for a note or message.

I remembered a band student who would have received a "token" (good behavior reward) had he only taken one of those sheets and written down the number of minutes he practiced for band.

Then I thought about those tokens.  Maybe he didn't want one.  What are they good for anyway?  Tchotchkes from a school store.

Remember that time we had a food drive and let students use their tokens to buy food to donate to the food drive.  That was awesome.  Kids who couldn't spare extra food got to contribute.

Why didn't we do that last year?  Oh yea, that requires planning ahead of time and a principal who can follow through with the plan.

Oh wait, we have one of those now-I must immediately go tell her that we should do this.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016



So I got home and heard the details of my life as they have been taken care of by greathusbandbob (including pie and donut delivery to the hip doctor and his office) and I was just about full up of gratitude.

Then I walked into my yarn room/office and saw this. I have been laughing and smiling ever since!


Monday, October 03, 2016

Unwanted company

le sigh.

Cousin slipped in the shower this am. The person we pay to help take care of her responded quickly (she's o.k.) and put her to bed only to find a bed full of unwanted guests. Bed. Bugs.


Greathusbandbob to the rescue- he and our helping friend removed mattress and bed springs and got on top of calling an exterminator. All of this while I made a last minute oh shit I forgot about it run to the big city for a meeting the superintendent called.

The girl has been really clean in the new place. That means she either brought them with her from over a year ago. Unlikely. They were there when she moved in, also unlikely. Or she picked them up at the drop-in center where she goes daily. After sharing these possibilities with her she casually mentioned. Oh yeah, the drop in center had bed bugs. From here on out there will be drop-in center clothes and house clothes and drop in center clothes go straight into hot water.

Aunt is still in hospital. When I called this evening she was trying to get to the bathroom without the giant person moving contraption.

I got home and went for a walk. While I detest the box store that begins with the letter W, ours happens to be on a high hill surrounded by bucolic scenery. It's the next best (and only) alternative to Zumba which would have meant another hour in the car.

I am so over this adulting business.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Yawr boox ahr ovahdoo

The laugh of the week.

Aunt Vickie is actually my sister-in-law. Greathusbandbob's sister-in-law to be precise. In spite of being from Brooklyn, her New York accent is Jersey Kardashian times infinity. For whatever reason, this came naturally to my ears and out of my voice (unlike my Jamaican accent which sounds like a Spaniard living in the Baltics.)

On occasion I use this accent to get the attention of the kids I'm teaching. It's also handy to pull out when you feel like yelling at them but yelling isn't really called for. They are always begging for it.

Yesterday two girls reported to music directly after library, put their glasses down to the tips of their noses, looked over the top of them and proudly stated "Yawr boox ahr ovahdoo" in a pretty decent Aunt Vickie accent.

Hilarious. And the tradition lives on.

Also cracking me up is the collection of sheet music that came with the keyboard last week. I finally sorted through the stack and found-

Songs from Neil Diamonds, The Jazz Singer, hits from 1976 which included Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, the theme from Mash, the Alley Cat, the theme from Love Story and Morris Albert's Feelings.

There were others but if you are my family and you are reading this, you are already laughing your damn ass off.

Apparently we had the musical tastes of a 50ish year old gay man.

Aunt update. Being the hero he always is, while I was taking the cousin shopping, greathusbandbob went to Morgantown on a home game day to check on aunt. The amazing doctor called yesterday to say that she was having anesthesia/pain med related cognitive issues that will likely subside. And in fact according to husband she is- loopy, sleeping, talking in her sleep and out of it similar to the way she was last time. But this time the health care people are aware of it without us telling them so it's not so scary.

Today is the one year anniversary of cousin moving to the 'burg. We are celebrating with Laverne's famous apple dumplings and ice cream. I'm going to secretly pick up her friend to join us. She will be so surprised. I think we'll make a list of all the things she's been able to do that are new since she's been here.

What a difference a year makes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A humble surgeon.

This is the review I put on google about aunt's doctor today-

This guy is amazing. He clearly took the care of my 85 year old aunt (who required a hip replacement) personally. He made a point of calling the rehab where she was staying (HIM not his office) twice the night before her surgery to make sure everything would be ready for surgery the next day. Then on the day of the surgery, my husband was on his way to the hospital but when he got home he found a message from Dr. Klein letting us know she was getting ready to go into surgery. He bypassed the "officialdom" of receptionist and back room conference and came out to talk to us (still in his scrubs) to let us know how things went. You could not hope for a better Doctor and a great human being!

And really what I mean by getting everything ready the night before- he had her admitted to the hospital the night before so that there would be no snafus. He also scheduled the transportation.

Greathusbandbob took afternoon duty from 1:00pm-6:00pm. She was in surgery from 1:50-5:40. He and I had dinner together at the hospital cafeteria (for the record I pretended I was an extra on House.) I stayed to wait for her to come out of recovery. After three room changes (she never made it to any of them) it got to be 8:00 and I realized that 1) she would be way sleepy and 2) she wouldn't know if I had been there or not given her reaction to anesthesia. I got home around 9:00. I wish I had realized that earlier in the evening.

And because medicated schizophrenics really have no filter when it comes to saying what they think (or at least this one doesn't), when I called to tell her everything was ok she said "oh good, the operation didn't kill mom." And "are we still going to celebrate my year anniversary living here with apple dumplings at Laverne's?"

Priorities people, priorities.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And because the fun never ends.

We spent 45 minutes at the xfinity store yesterday trying to get our multiple phone/cable accounts back into our name through no error of our own only to be told that there was no one there who could help and we'd need to come in during business hours. This was after 30 minutes on the phone only to be told to go to the store.

Then today we spent three hours in room of aunt inhaling acetone and trying to remove her acrylic nails in preparation for Wednesday's surgery.


At this point I still believed in the power of cotton balls and aluminum foil. It was only later that I stole a glass cruet dish to begin the soaking.

In the category of sheer force of effort- 200 lb electric piano moving. Knitnightmarc let me borrow his dolly and kept the heavy portion of the keyboard strapped to it when he put it in the car. I unloaded it, rolled it to the back door and into its current location before greathusbandbob could get home. He has COPD and I refused to wait and require his help. This was after believing that I could drive the Subaru through the back yard (the trailblazer can do it- there may have been some rubber burned.)

Perhaps the theme of this post should be my many mistaken beliefs.

Today's sheer force of effort was the glue under the last acrylic thumbnail. Dizzy from the inhalation and the Steelers huge loss, I believe it was sheer force of mental effort that took that nail off.

On the up side, I spent an hour and a half playing piano today instead of napping or playing dumb tablet games. I bribed the weekend nurse with a pair of socks to make sure aunt gets to the surgery on time during the week. She's on a sort of "on call" list for the procedure and the exact time won't be known until the morning of. She's only a size 7 and I'll be using size two needles.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dog hair for a better fit.

Because this was once a knitting blog-


I'm calling these the visiting socks as they were made during visit to aunt at various facilities. 72 stitches on size one needles. The next pair will be on twos so I can feel what I'm doing and not have to look so much.


Happy birthday to me in two months

Our upright piano sits approximately ten inches from Greathusbandbob's desk/work/central local area. I can't call it his knitting corner but that gives you an idea about how often he's there and what the space is to him.

Once I tried to move the piano into the yarn room only to be foiled by tight corners and immovable walls.

My plan was to get a high end electric piano to put into the yarn room that I might play again. I shared this plan at knitnight and knitnightmarc asked me if I wanted to buy his. I saved 90% on what I would have paid and got the "best for its time" (1995ish) piano with excellent touch and tone. There are some floppy disks and other bells and whistles but those two qualities were the only ones I was looking for.

Some assembly-tightening of the screws- and tidying-putting the room in order- are required but now I can play again. An added bonus is that having cleared the room during the last minimalist scourge, there is room on the shelves for the music.




Friday, September 23, 2016


Today's post is dedicated to Bob Terry.

Yesterday he accompanied aunt to her hip doctor appointment.  In an effort to move quickly to surgery she had to cram 3 days of pre-op tests into one afternoon with him wheeling her from station to station.

He says "fortunately the guy doing the chest xray could get her in position.  We had to get more people to get the urine sample."

He left our house at 11:00 am.  I know this because I was in bed with bronchitis/laryngitis, wondering whether I should have gone with him.

He returned at 6:00 pm.  In addition to requiring little to no decompression time when he got home, he managed to keep aunt joking and laughing even as she started to get depressed toward the end of the day.

Both of them are an inspiration.  Do your best.  Stay happy.  Be the boss of your brain.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Physical Manifestation

I spent last week feeling like I wasn't being heard. Fighting for aunts dr appointments, daily calls about completing the payment part of th house closing.

The money is in the bank. The appointment is scheduled for today although the communication channels where aunt is currently make me only 75% certain it's actually going to happen. (For the record it took greathusbandbob to finally secure confirmation of both as no one seemed to be hearing me.)

Now no one is hearing me for reals. We are on day two of bronchitis/laryngitis. And day two of zero voice. Day two resting at home. In true "can you believe it?" fashion, I had a dr appointment of my own scheduled for yesterday afternoon. It's the first time in forever that I've seen my actual dr ( and not a Medexpress dr) when I've been sick. It ended up being a two for one sale. Blood pressure's cool. What's going on with your voice?!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


If my RBF looked like this, I would be thrilled.


The next is RRBF (Royal resting bitch face.)


I think however the Queen may have to give up her crown. This RBF is compliments of the waynesburg office of the PADMV where their motto is "if you've got it, we put it on your license." The up side is that if I ever get pulled over I'm pretty sure my face WILL in fact look like this.



Friday, September 16, 2016

What is..

A.  Making me crazy?

A healthcare facility that seems incapable of scheduling a doctor's appointment after three weeks.  The aunt needs a hip.  They did not tell her about the last appointment because she was in between facilities.  I have been speaking to head nurses at this new facility for the last two weeks in an effort to get them to get aunt to a doctor that she may get her hip replaced.  This is ridiculous.

An attorney's office plenty quick to cash a check but not so quick to deposit payment.  You said you could wire money. What's the hold up?  Suddenly you need ME to Google the address and phone number of the bank?

B. Making me laugh?

This is the week that we sing about dogs in second grade.  We insert students' pet names into the song and make up verses about them.

One student has a dog named "Meathead"  which led to "Here, meat head you good dog, you"  And then the next day I asked her if his nickname was burgerbrains or steakskull because that's how I roll.

Another student without a pet (they were given the option of singing about a pet they would want if they were allowed to have one) sang about her invisible shark Sprinkles- who happened to be in the room with us.  "Here Sprinkles, you good shark, you."

C. Making me happy?

Greathusbandbob is making eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight.
I'm getting a steal of a deal on an electric keyboard from KnitnightMarcandBarry- just have to finish the logistics of disassembly and relocation.
I get to go to the DMV to have my driver's license photo taken on Saturday.  -ok that's not really making me happy but the dmv is always good for a blog post so there's that.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A pause for poetry

Or why I tend to avoid listening to music. (Said the music teacher)

When I was in tenth grade I had the ear worm of all ear worms lasting at least 12 months. It was the first 16 bars of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It never left my head. Always there.

While not a conscious decision, I've come to realize that I don't listen to a lot of music (again, said the music teacher.). It's all just so much.

My favorite artist of all time is Rickie Lee Jones. I think I know all the feels in all the albums. And then one day while trying to get Zumba songs out of my head I bump into one that I've owned forever that suddenly stops me in my tracks.

RLJ is more than just a vocalist. She is a poet. Up there in the ranks with the best. The thing about poetry is that you don't necessarily have to experience what the poet writes of to become immersed in the power of the language. I have never been (knowingly) left for another. Unless of course you consider whiskey a lover. Then maybe. Maybe a past life experience is why it resonates with me.

Video here

You are the sweetest boy I know
I've lived my whole life in the past
But I awoke last night at last

I thought I’d finally won your heart
And that forever never part
And in sweet love we would grow old
Now I'm just a scavenger in the cold
I'm just a scavenger

All I can do is wish you well
And light the Bonfires of hell
Honey, you hurt me bad this time
I'm burning everything I find

You hurt me bad this time
You nearly tore me from my mind
Before I knew I had been hurt
She laid her hair across your shirt

All I can do is wish you well
And light the Bonfires of hell
There's just one thing before I go
You are the sweetest boy I know

If there's a sun, I'll watch it rise
To dry the tears out of my eyes
If there’s a river, you can bet
There’ll be a sea for my heart yet.


My thoughts- the contrast between "you are the sweetest boy I know" and burning everything she finds in the bonfires of hell.

"Before I knew I had been hurt, she laid her hair across your shirt." The feels but so simple- and then she repeats part of the line as if she can't bear to repeat the whole thing.

She takes the cliché, the sun will still come up tomorrow and turns it on its head. "If there's a sun, I'll watch it rise." She know but doesn't want to know.

As of now I've spent every moment driving in my car (two hours today) with this song repeating. I have to hear it again and again. Also, if you end up liking this one, search YouTube for RLJ and Lyle Lovett singing North Dakota- another one that once it starts is on perpetual repeat. Oh the sounds.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

We interrupt this acute anxiety

With a brief episode of calm. Though part of the brain is still waiting for permission.

Aunt- it sucks to be her right now as she goes from chair to bed needing assistance for the most menial of tasks. And yet when we visited this afternoon she didn't whine and complain. She appreciated and laughed. After sharing my confusion as to the next steps to be taken, the head nurse at her new facility is arranging for calls and appointments to be made. The head nurse at her residence is going to do some follow up on the dentures. I am not shirking so much as coming to understand that medical people prefer to talk and listen better when they are talking to other medical people. Nurses are the key to those doors and for them I can't express how grateful I am.

Dog is walking and pooping, pooping and walking. Her internet dog friend, Baxter, is having the same surgery on Wednesday so think good knee thoughts for Baxter.

The cousin's paperwork is attended to and in the works of being ready to be submitted. Another beauraucratic hurdle nearly jumped.

In more mundane news- what makes me happy today is a new way to make hard boiled eggs. I think it's waiting for the water to boil and the uncertainty of cooking times that's always made me dread making them. Enter the Internet and a vegetable steamer.


I've left the parts I hate behind. Using the vegetable steamers, the water boils quickly, the eggs don't crack bumping into each other and in 12 minutes you have perfectly hard boiled eggs-cooked with steam. To me they taste gentler. You're welcome.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

I don't belong here


Typical street corner in the 'burg. Wooden cross and Trump shilling. ugh.

Dog- happy and healing.

Aunt- still fighting for surgery info. Hey joint guy- you should really try to contact the owners of the joints you are to replace. Unless you've got some kind of hip joint telepathy (which clearly you don't), those joints aren't just going to walk in by themselves.

School- I gave away my first round of thanks for being awesome selfie picture stickers. They have an option of taking one in lieu of a reward token when a token is offered. It was clear to me that some of them have been waiting for the chance to choose the picture and as I had forgotten about the deal, I was twittering about cutting out stickers in a gleeful frenzy.

Paperwork- will it ever end? After a hurried drive in the rain to a FedEx overnight drop box 25 miles away, I believe I have taken the final steps in closing on the sale (long distance!) of aunt's house. With those papers delivered, all that remains is for them to wire the money to the account. And hey, don't forget about calling all of the utility companies...

But in the mail the same day came a thick envelope of forms and requests for documentation to renew cousin's benefits so the fun never stops.

Add to that the upcoming trip to the dmv for a photo renewal of the drivers license and I should be fulfilling all beauraucratic requirements needed for a gold star.

An added bonus to the week was the night of parent conferences which got me home at 9:00 pm and caused me to oversleep with two minutes to get ready to leave for work the next day.

On the up side, I have a husband who volunteered to bring me dinner on conference night (I told him not to), who drove me to said fedex drop point, who made the phone calls about the as yet missing dentures because I was pretty sure anything I said might burn the telephone wires and a few bridges, who made an extra mid-week trip to deliver magazines to the aunt, who fixed the fuse to the stove at the cousin's house AND who, when I get home, has ZNation ready to binge on Netflix so I can escape reality. So, in spite of it all, Life is Good.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In better news and a list of bizarro-world

The stitches are out. The cone of shame is no more.


The kids were released early today because of low water pressure and no air conditioning.

This gave me time to investigate the aunt's latest medicalness. (Which auto corrected as medical mess)

The rod inserted to allow her to walk broke through the bone which means she will require hip replacement surgery. While painful and awful, knowing is better than not knowing.

Because the dr visit happened between facilities, no one in charge of seeing her and planning things paid attention to where she was and how to connect with her. Hopefully that has now been resolved.

Bizarro World

Our favorite friend in the burg who we like a lot was observed proudly sporting a Trump t-shirt. It saddens us and has colored our perception.

It was likely purchased from a retail outlet located underneath a canopy on a traffic island. Welcome to Western Pennsylvania.

Greathusbandbob and I were invited to a baptism of a 60+ year old adult man. Maybe that's a thing, but not for me.

Donald Trump, a presidential candidate just said our country was losing jobs like big babies. He also said that Hillary has a happy trigger.

ZNation. Not that I'm complaining.


Monday, September 05, 2016

And then you lose your shit over dentures.

How yesterday was supposed to work-

Do laundry.

Go visit aunt.

Go to middle eastern restaurant for dinner.

Go to the grocery store.

How yesterday actually worked-


Aunt visit

STOP. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

The visit was rolling along. I cut her pants because they were too tight. We argued about how she actually broke her leg. (It was at the hospital- not at her apartment- it was her leg- not her hip.). Bob was making her laugh when she wasn't asking me to translate what he said and yelling at him for his accent and swallowing his words when he talked.

And then she said "next time you come, bring my teeth you brought the container but it's empty."

I know for a fact that she had her teeth at the last rehab. I remember commenting one day that she had them in. I also remember noticing another day (at the same facility) that she wasn't wearing them. When I asked her she said , "oh I don't wear those anymore."

I checked her belongings with no luck and immediately went to the previous facility. I now hate that facility. I spoke to one of her aides who, while attempting to be helpful, made sure I knew that she wasn't there when she left and it wasn't her fault.

She checked the office and then called the nursing supervisor who did not answer. Meanwhile the nurses at the station were furtively giggling and shrugging their shoulders. Rather than speaking directly to me- I was less than two feet away- they told the aide to tell me to hang out in the lobby until the nursing supervisor came through. I asked if they were expecting him any time soon. She replied oh probably in the next 15-20 minutes. "Does he know I need to talk to him?" No. Just wait he'll probably be around.

Enter me losing it- "so you're telling me I should just hang out in the lobby waiting for the nursing supervisor who may or may not come through and who definitely doesn't know anyone is waiting for him and see what happens?" Well, yes. "This is not acceptable." "Do you know her case managers name?" I gave it. "You can call her in the morning if you're not satisfied."

I am totally willing to accept that aunt somehow disposed of/lost her teeth at this facility but when I was met with apathy and disregard it was more than I could take.

Cut to sobbing and raging in the car. Cut to double checking the apartment (because sometimes aunt is so sure of her false facts that I start to believe them). Cut to sobbing hot mess with the wonderful aide Rose trying to hug it out of me at her apartment.

I don't know how this fiasco will resolve. I won't even go into the complications involved in acquiring those teeth in the first place (I'm pretty sure the initial tooth extraction contributed to the first round of sepsis). In her lack of clarity she said, oh I'll just call Pat (her out of town former dentist) in the morning and tell him I need new ones.

The middle eastern restaurant was closed on Sundays. We ate at Primanti Brothers- delicious but by then I was wiped out.

We did not make it to the grocery store.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We just want to play!

Puppers Update.

Stitches (and therefore cone of shame) are removed on Wednesday. In spite of bonking into every. Single. Thing. The girls still wants to play and keeps bringing toys to us.


Greathusbandbob and I haven't really spent much time together in the last few weeks. Dog care, aunt care, the start of school, after school conferences and Zumba have been eating into our "hey, how you doin'?" time.

Most of the change has been because I've been committed to various unavoidable duties. We finally got to spend some time together yesterday. On the way to the casino he said he realized that one of the things that may be making him not feel good in the past few weeks is that he misses me at home. He just wants to play. He asked if I could take FMLA to be with him. He could arrange it. I said that absolutely would not work because if I quit working for six weeks I most definitely will not want to go back!

And in a story that is opposite of he and I, this was the conversation overheard next to me at the casino.

Wife: (approaches man at slot machine) $400?!?! You should cash out.

Husband: I will when it goes down to $300. I just like playing.

W : you should just cash out. Why don't you cash out and then just put $20 in?

H: why are you nagging me? I just want to play.

W: I'm not nagging you. I just don't want to hear you complain about losing money on the way home.

For the record, she totally WAS nagging him

H: did you buy anything at the outlets?

W: yes, I figured if you were going to blow $100 here, I could spend money shopping. Why don't you cash out.

H: this machine is hard to get on to. I want to play a while. Are you always this annoying or is it a monthly thing?

Then she stood in front of and looking down at him for ten minutes and angrily said she would be sitting in a chair out front reading her book- as if this would somehow be punishment for him wanting to play longer.

It was one of those horrible examples when you hate what's going on but you just can't look away from archetypes in action.


Saturday, September 03, 2016


Hey, good news everyone! Aunt has to have surgery again.

At least it explains why she wasn't making progress in rehab.

At least she's complaining I don't visit enough.

Not Sarcasm:

The monkey hats are blocking.


Sarcasm: At least they'll fit the babies when they are 9.

Not Sarcasm: I like kids better this year than I did last year. I think maybe because I had enough time to decompress during the summer.

Sarcasm: at least everyone in the building is sharing their complaints about the schedule with me except for the one teacher who did the suck up thing and ended up practically having Friday afternoons off and doesn't even have to pretend to be principal and help others.

Not Sarcasm: It's not five million degrees outside. I can breathe without sweating.

(Mostly I included that so I wouldn't end with Sarcasm.)


Thursday, September 01, 2016

A good day when...

Me (walking in the hallway): hi princess Jessica!

Princess Jessica: Mrs. Terry, don't ever retire.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Today's laugh

I see kindergarten three times a week for 45 minutes. That's a lot of K. I'm used to and have frequently planned for two times a week so I'm trying to dig in a little deeper to some of my themes so I don't run out at the end of the year.

When we sing about apples, we keep a beat with Apple ornaments. We pretend we are walking through a foot of apples, we pretend we are running toward apple pie. All accompanied with fast and slow sounds.

Today in a fit of "I wonder what will happen next if I..." Before we did anything with the plastic apples we took a walk and sang quiet songs to them to get to know them.




Sunday, August 28, 2016

Living in the moment.

Right now I am watching Ida Lupino in The Hitchhiker. I am knitting some cashmere mitts. There are clothes in the washer and the dryer. Greathusbandbob is picking up a bag of ice, lunch items for tomorrow and dinner for later. The puppers has realized that in her new world leash does not equal walk although she's ready ready to go. So in this very moment, all is well.

Last week at juvie school (which I think may become another blog saga) i had some great plans involving moving, drumming, and ukulele-ing to Ozzy Osborne's Crazy Train. What I didn't know ahead of time was that their last music teacher let them run and move with abandon while listening. Not my plan. Raw teletubby was pissed and shut down.

The one I'll call Genius kid (because he is) immediately recognized the vibraslap as a sound in the song before I said a word and asked if we could play it with the recording. He also learned the intro notes on the uke.

My plan of attack is going to be 15-20 minutes of predictable routine activities followed by 15-20 minutes of something new. My theme for the last 20 minutes (playing a little to the two 5 year olds in the room) will be chickens and we will make these with different size cups as resonators.


The friction of a wet sponge creates the sound that resonates inside the plastic cup and sounds like a chicken. I'll crack myself up no matter what baggage they come in with.

Some of the clothes in the dryer belong to aunt and I will deliver them later in the day. After visiting yesterday the following became obvious. She can not walk. Her memory before repeating questions is about 40 minutes. This means she will have to live some place a little less dependently. The woman in charge of nursing where she was living before will be attending a conference call with us on Monday to help be an advocate and adviser to where to go from here. She adores aunt and I trust her knowledge and experience.

Also there is solace in that next week will not be this week. My monthly nightmare that required three changes of clothes in one day has abated. (For the record there is nothing on the market tha can protect you when you sneeze or cough in that condition.). The dog continues to improve. The schedule at school (despite how poorly it has been done) is set and should remain constant on a daily basis.

Maybe I will be able to Zumba on Monday. Knit night on Tuesday is probably out. The beat goes on.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

le sigh

This is the mama's eye view of the recovering puppy. And together on the floor we stay.


The vet gave her a sedative to keep her calmer on the way home. In addition to the knee surgery she had a large fatty mass removed from her chest. He also said the best thing to do is have her walk with the leash rather than a sling or a towel. She remains disinclined to do so at all. And then there will be the cone of shame. And this-


In other news, Aunt will likely be losing some independence as the recent trauma has done serious damage to her short term memory. I kind of saw that going before the recent illnesses.

I know that I can only do the next right thing and thinking further ahead is useless but I must say- I'm feeling mightily overwhelmed.

In good news, the pink monkey baby hat is finished and after blocking, both will be delivered.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Cat


When the dog isn't home.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Holding pattern

Aunt's delirium continues.

Greathusbandbob's back continues to spasm.

Dog's surgery in three days.

No set schedule at school yet.

Tomorrow is a good day to visit the psychiatrist and then dance it off at Zumba.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Names changed to protect the innocent

So I'm thinking I need to change the name of this blog to beckyreportsoneveryoneshealthandwellbeingtoo. I'm working on the twinsie monkeybabyhat but it's slow going.

Aunt has regained use of her hands. She believes she's been held prisoner. When I tell her what really happened she says "they said you'd say that." I don't press her for details though really she almost had me convinced. I tell her I believe what she says except I put in a little doubt when I ask her if she thinks I would let that happen. She's out of hospital and back at rehab. If she continues to make the same progress she's made in the last 24 hours, she may come back around.

Greathusbandbob is down for the count with a back spasm so there's that.

I had a nice conversation with the new principal letting her know that I was glad to be relinquishing duties and was grateful for her presence. That I would be on her side. Because sometimes people in new places just need to know that.

And what I forgot to mention about juvieschool today is that when I got done, all the interns and teachers who were observing students (there were five "just in case they gave me trouble" extra adults in the room- they clearly did not understand what I had to deal with last year!) gave me a round of applause. So that was awesome.

Tomorrow is cousin lunch and shopping outing. We are headed for the Mexican restaurant which I mention because I love it when we go to a place that serves alcohol. Especially after a week such as this. Tomorrow I'm going to have a tequila. Actually, a double. With extra tequila on the side. And when I come home I will sleep the sleep of the dead.


Reason 71,221 of why I love juvieschool


I got there early to get to know the kids. One had finished his work and was keeping himself occupied by writing me a restaurant bill. He asked me what I had for breakfast. I said grapes and coffee and then I said I had pizza last night.

I saw him writing and assumed he was putting a price on it and didn't look closely. I said there was no way I could afford that and we decided that if I did a decent enough job teaching that I could pay it off in service-Score! He let me leave without paying.

It wasn't until I returned to my regular school that I noticed he charged me $1200 for raw teletubbies. I'm guessing that teletubbies are much like puffer fish and require specialized skills to prepare.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wait, what?

Newsflash. There are things that exist that I don't know about. Who knew? Aunt's condition is fairly common in the elderly and called post-operative delirium. At least I know smart people who know the things I don't. Today she pulled out her IV's and needed a blood transfusion. It's just so bizarre.

Other newsflicker- it's not really a flash. When you work for someone compassionate but incompetent, it's easy to become an enabler for the sake of your own sanity. When you finally work for someone who does their job, isn't a whack job (like two bosses ago) and is well aware of and capable of learning what they don't know it can throw you off for a day or two. In a good way.

There was a Facebook meme about making kids feel great about the first day of school. I always start with school rules (be safe, responsible and respectful). I declared those (and the many ways of being that fit under their umbrellas) rules as the challenging ones we'll work on all year. And began to list and drum (with their suggestions) the "duh rules."

Don't crack an egg on your music teachers head. Don't bring an elephant to music class. Always wear clothes to music class. Don't eat the instruments. Don't feed your music teacher chicken feed.

The look on their faces as they got sparked out of the "oh this again" mindset was priceless.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Y Usted?

So I secretly wish I could write these daily stories as episodes of Days of Our Lives. Or better still, a telanovella. Maybe you could read with an accent in your head. Or maybe you could pretend all sentence endings alternated between question marks and exclamation points.

When last we visited the hospital...

Aunt's head was lolling back and forth in a stupor. The heavy meds have been halted but there is still unexplained stupor to diagnose. Possibly anesthesia that was slow to wear off, continued med reaction. They're doing tests. One frustrating bit is that the staff on the osteo floor doesn't have a sense of who she is when she's not sick in the way that the people on the telemetry floor did. To them, ranting old lady who can't feed herself is par for the course.

On the other hand, she was sure there were elephants behind her and when we finally left she kept pushing off the covers to join us to see the elephants. She also did not want to clean the pool at the lodge and laughed like she understood when I said greathusbandbob was not pregnant.

Goodhusbandbob told me that I sounded like I understood what she was talking about the whole time. I credit that with an amazing episode of NPR's This American Life in which they shared the story of an improv comedian talking in the now with his mother in law who was suffering from Alzheimer's. The moral of the story was meet them where they are and go where they take you.

Back at school...

My email-at least the parts about the potential grievances- was met with an email to all staff apologizing for rookie mistakes and thanking me (publicly) for heading her in the right direction. So. No more state policy is being violated but I've been informed that county policy says my scheduling assistance will no longer be needed and shouldn't have been employed in the first place. Which is sad. Because today I sat in a two hour meeting with four other people watching their brains catch up to the complications of the task- a learning curve I worked through around three years ago. It was like drowning in slow motion.

If you still have some sort of dramatic visualization going on in your head while reading, imagine (slow motion underwater if you want to go that far) an art teacher grabbing a discarded schedule out of the gym teachers hand because he kept referring to it to solve problems instead of the more recent schedule he was supposed to use.

In the category of self-care...

I feel like including this category is necessary mostly to remind myself that it's important.

Aunt's condition is such that I will be going back to hospital rather than to Zumba tomorrow night. I do have tennis shoes in the car and I may find a way to get my body active between school and hospital because.... Wait for it....not even kidding... My body says it feels like running and sweating. What the what???

My classroom is in the beginning of the year minimalist state that I love the best. I found some extra storage spaces and if I'm responsible (and pretend like I never did end of the day bus duty) I will be able to maintain a truly clutter free environment. At. School. I told the custodian and she laughed and laughed and laughed but perhaps she will rue the day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Really? More?

So once upon a time aunt had pneumonia. She went to rehab to get stronger only to be sent back that day with too much fluid. She made an amazing recovery from what really looked dangerously close to the end. The Sunday night before going back to rehab, aides took her to the restroom and weighed her afterwards (at 3:00am). She fell and fractured her femur. Surgery was yesterday afternoon. As she is wont to say- except in Yiddish- if it's not cockroaches, it's pissants. She now seems to be over-medicated and all are in agreement that tomorrow it's Tylenol not oxy.

Once upon a time the puppy blew out her knee. We took her to a specialist and we liked him. More surprisingly, she liked him (although heavy sedation may have played a role-as may also be seen by the fact that she just pooped in the living room in front of us). Next Wednesday she's getting TTA surgery

Once upon a time there was a new principal. We were looking forward. When the back to school letter arrived there were zero grammatical or spelling errors. I offered scheduling assistance given my past experience but was not unhappy when it was declined. Then the schedule arrived and in an effort to fix one recurring problem the scheduler managed to violate two state laws. Normally I would remain silent. My schedule was within the legal limits.

Except all of my friends were unhappy and I wasn't sure if the scheduler knew there were violations. Today I sent a really positive email sharing faculty concerns. Everyone else seems worried about bad first impressions (or are just smarter than I.) I have received no response. But I feel good for getting it out there doing what I can. Either it will be resented, ignored or well-received and I don't even care. As greathusbandbob is wont to say if you're going to take a stand you have to be ready to face the consequences.

The air conditioning at school is not working. You may recall that I teach in a windowless room.

I will miss Friday's knit night field trip. I will miss knit night for a second week in a row next week because of open house. I've slept for about 5 hours a night for the last two nights. I did get to Zumba on Monday. My intentions are to go again on Thursday. But really if anyone breathes suspiciously in my direction I may collapse into a weeping puddle-y hot mess. It's right on the edge.


Just trying to ride the roller coaster without throwing up.


Thursday, August 11, 2016


In the category of self-care I have engaged in Zumba or YouTube Zumba-like activities for four days in a row. The classes are Monday and Thursday for an hour plus. I make it through about 15 minutes of the more challenging YouTube version. Today's big accomplishment was that I was able to bring my foot up to the back of my leg for a stretch.

In other self-care news I will celebrate the last weekday of summer vacation getting a mammogram. The fun goes straight to the last minute.

In the care of others category, aunt has been ping-ponging between hospital and rehab. Complications and med adjustments will hopefully bring her some stability.

Cousin and I have our weekly shopping adventure planned with an added trip to the local mini department store, Peebles and the store where everything is a dollar, the Dollar Store.

Greathusbandbob was successful in his power point adventure and I explored the Garage Band app to create some background ambience for his slide show.

I'm really struggling about the puppy. The idea of four weeks of caged rehab breaks my heart and almost feels like torture. The fact that she may face the same thing with the other knee is unbearable. Our vet consult is Tuesday. More will be revealed.

For now if I have to decide between boring blogging and more frequent blogging, I'm going with quantity. Maybe every now and then I'll have more on my mind than daily life.