Friday, February 28, 2020

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Secret squirrels

We are secret squirreling at school do nice things for a few months- end with a Christmas present and a guess.

In the month that’s passed there has been minimal action from my squirrel.  But I am not the most pathetic recipient.  Our 5th grade teacher has received a crocheted cross (she’s not at all religious) and a kitschy collection of post-it notes.  The thing is the post it notes were a welcome back to school thing from the admin at the beginning of the year to every teacher in the building. As in 5th grade teacher now has two of them.

Yesterday I suggested that she and I become not so secret squirrels.  Pseudo-squirrels as it were. We were both good with it because we’d rather know a good squirrel than be disappointed by a secret one.  Today I gifted her one of my knitted knubblekins (she has a little one at home it was perfect for) and another kitschy collection of said post-it notes.

This evening she sent some photos-


I love when knitting makes people smile.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

once a week will have to do

I know I'm teaching 8th graders when the intercom announcement of "spaghetti with meat sauce" for lunch leaves the boys giggling ridiculously.

First grade kiddo who never lets anyone touch him (past trauma) saw me after a few days of absences and spontaneously gave me a hug.

Knitting has been boring because I promised greathusbandbob I'd knit some hats to sell to raise money for the recovery houses in the burg.  It also served as a way to burn some stash yarn.

Cooking, eating, exercising, lesson planning, repeat.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Things that make me say YES!

High school was overwhelming a few classes ago.  There are just so many people.  I expressed this to “president of my fan club.”

 I can do no wrong in her eyes.  She also sits near where my notes for class are.  On this particular day I was using a scrap sheet of throwaway paper to  keep track of my plans. At the end of class I tossed it in my backpack and forgot about it.  While cleaning said backpack out I found this note-

Secret squirrel update-  yes we drew names- yes against my better judgement I decided to play.  I say against better judgement because years ago I played and my squirrel secreted the wrong person.  My “victim”  loves Hallmark Christmas movies, the movie Hocus Pocus, root beer, chick-fil-a and I’m just guessing Disney. She’s been easy to buy for.  

We had to give our squirrel ideas on the secret drawing paper.  I said hot Cheetos, dark chocolate and anything ridiculous to make me laugh.  Four weeks in I had received a bag of hot Cheetos and a dark chocolate sea salt candy bar.   That is until monday-

When this handmade chicken pumpkin was on my desk. Acknowledging both my recent love of birds and all things handmade.

Sitting in the last hours of safety crisis training.  It’s good to have some laughs.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Where are all the posts?

I wish there was more time to post.

Block scheduling at the high school/middle school essentially means I am planning 5 90-minute lessons a week which is a whole different mental process.  I've also had to spend two Saturdays getting re-certified as a member of our school crisis team.  This means I respond to calls when kids start throwing chairs.  We have several chair throwers.

I found a dog I loved.  He was young, energetic and too much for Liza.  It was sad to send him back.

And while it's been a month ago, there's this gem from a staff development video-

It's a training video about how to react in an active shooter situation.  But mostly I feel like it needs to say "what's wrong with this picture?"

Hopefully after training ends (this weekend is the last Saturday) I'll get to be creative on the blog again.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Busy Busy Busy

It's time to try and fit the blog into the back to school- life schedule.

It's been a week at the vet's office and my vet friend Dr. Cink has been on vacation.

First it was Liza who had stopped eating and started limping.  She tested positive for Lyme disease and a urinary tract infection.  She is on two kinds of penicillin and some pain medication and is back to her usual self.

The next day, Annabelle the Cat had to be put to sleep.  Greathusbandbob always said that she didn't come upstairs for her morning treat, he knew something was wrong and that is exactly what happened.  Also she let me pick her up and console her.  She had labored breathing and it was time.  Both GHB and I cried even though the closest she usually ever let me get was a bonk on the toes.

She was a good kitty.

We have been talking about a second dog since the beginning of the summer.  I took Annabelle's leftover supplies to the Animal Shelter and steeled myself for a walk through the dogs.  I did not anticipate seeing any that fit the bill and then I reached cage number three.

This little guy- formerly known as Cactus popped his body up and I knew immediately.  I dragged GHB to the shelter.  He took one look and said let's get him. I filled out the application then and there, the director of the shelter was in and she approved it immediately. We have to wait for a vet appointment for him to be neutered but he will soon be coming home and will henceforth be called Lucky Louie the Wonderdog.

After GHB approved and went home to watch WVU football, I went back for a visit. The play area was occupied with 2 other dogs meeting and greeting so we had to wait.  It was all he could do to not hang himself on his collar while we walked the parking lot.  He pulled and jumped and dashed and darted. I became a little wary.  Once we were alone in the play area he was still distracted by all the goings on and pent up energy but we had some bonding moments.

His papers say he is part wire haired terrier and pit bull.  I don't see either of that in there much except his nose does have a wire haired angularness to it.  His tongue is GINORMOUS.  I believe that goofy dog pictures will be the word of the day.

Because I took those pictures with the new phone I added to our plan (which only added $20 to our bill- why didn't I do that sooner?), the internet was eavesdropping on me and this came up on my facebook feed for the low cost of $29.95.  We made so many training mistakes With LizaJane that I am ready to learn from a professional to get this right. 24 half hour lessons.

In other news- kids have been hilarious so far.  

Kindergartener after the first music class- not completely grasping how school works- Him-Let's do this again some time.  Me- How about next week?  Him- Great!

Second grader explaining to me that he could only snap with a good pre-snap windup.

Another second grader, after hearing about fire drills and intruder drills asked about the procedure for a tomato drill.

The high school kid who has music appreciation as a required course who hated my guts in elementary school has come around.  This was after I started addressing him by his last name and talking to him like I was a football coach and insisting that he talk to me in the same manner.

With my new schedule, I am home by 3:30.  This means I can make it to the gym and do the awkward bits before the boy gym rats arrive.  Although I think they may be just as wary of my fat farting old lady stinky sweat.  After a lunchtime conversation it was determined that if it starts feeling too weird in that situation I'm just going to look them dead on and say "Bro, this is how cougars are made."  or else I'll just meow.

Was I blogging way back when I took 8th grade Maggie to NYC?  She is now 26 and in addition to having never had a dad, having lost her mother (to a drug overdose)when she was 8 and her younger sister was 4, she is now the primary caretaker for her grandmother- known as g-ma who was once her caretaker and who is struggling through the onset of dementia.

Last week, little sister got pulled over for cutting off a police car in traffic (though I think it was a set up, he could have just let her in.)  In addition to having no insurance she also had an expired license.  They are both recently employed full-time and were just starting to catch up financially (and able to get insurance in a few short weeks).  Their car was impounded, they live in the middle of nowhere, they were missing work and needed n adult in their life.  They showed up in my classroom on Friday afternoon.  Fortunately we had a 1/2 day of classes and I was done teaching for the day. We went to lunch, got insurance, went to the police station for the car release form and freed their car by 4:00 pm that day.  I definitely stacked up the karma points helping them through the city of Morgantown on a holiday/gameday weekend.

So- it's been a pretty busy couple of weeks- and it doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

NYC Saturday afternoon-evening

Given the distance and our tired feet, we grabbed a cab to the Museum of Food and Drink.  I found this on a map search on Yelp!  It was an exhibit on the history of Chinese American food (distinctly different from actual Chinese food) and the attitude towards Chinese Americans at the time. (It will seem familiar)

There was an Exclusion Act- part of the reasoning is that men who must eat beef and bread at meals can not work with men who can live only on rice.  Racial stereotypes prevailed.  The fact that the railroads were near completion and the Chinese were still around looking for work was a contributing factor in the discrimination

The poster celebrates the Democratic president signing the Democratic Chinese Exclusion Bill and was an advertisement to come out and celebrate the democracy of excluding Chinese from the country.  With so much discrimination and exclusion in our country, it must be hard to keep track of it all.  The food itself  transformed as the Chinese worked to improve/transform their image.  Chop Suey (not a traditional Chinese dish) became all the rage.  

After walking through the history of Chinese restaurants in America (that included a myriad of menus from across the ages), we reached the chicken exhibit. Note- all exhibit chickens died of natural causes as indicated by a sign nearby.

After a walk through the chicken exhibit we stood in line for some Chinese food prepared on site.  A crab rangoon made with fake crab, some egg foo young and some coconut rice milk pudding.

We finished here and did some walking around Williamsburg- found an artists collective with some unusual exhibits and items for sale including a crab coat and an astronaut costume. While here I purchased a batik bandana to help with the crazy heat of the day.

Our next scheduled stop was at a place called WonderWorldNYC at 7:30.  It was 2:30.  We were in Williamsburg with tired feet and five hours to kill. We had heard tell of flea markets along the river and walked in that direction.  What looked to be flea markets was actually a food truck sort of event called smorgasbord.  Having just eaten at MOFAD, we were not interested and walked toward the water's edge where there was a great view of Manhattan.

By now we were beyond exhausted. And still four hours until WonderWorldNYC.  In desperation, I was struck by insight.  WWNYC had multiple times available when we purchased the tickets.  Why not call and see if it was o.k. to come early.  Success! 

The cab dropped us off at a bright pink warehouse looking building.  This exhibit was advertised as an immersive exhibition that invites you to the realm of the fantastical. This was accurate if by fantastical realm you meant carpet attached to the walls and fake clouds hung by fishing line and a glue gun.  It also advertised many instagrammable options.  Watching others take advantage of these options proved to be more interesting than actually trying to stage any.

One of the highlights was the machine meant to create the illusion of a windblown look.  Fortunately drknitnightjustine had the foresight to video rather than snapshot.

I can't even imagine what our state of mind would have been if we had killed 5 hours in Williamsburg to see that.  The hilarity gave us a boost and we took the L train back to the city headed towards Chinatown.

We dined at the same vegetarian dim sum place as the last time. And took a walk into Little Italy for a cannoli for dessert.

And though we were ready to call it a night and had no room for any more food, we had to stop at the local Rice Pudding store where we shared some lemon poppyseed rice pudding. (no toppings.) It's of particular note because drknitnightjustine, on an earlier NYC adventure, spent 3 hours on a quest to find said location.  It is the Baskin Robbins of rice pudding.  And they deliver.

And though it must be hard to believe, we haven't even come to the high point of the trip!