Saturday, August 30, 2008

Helping Around the World

Ayesha Munir Ahmad Group Cosmetics Sales, Pakistan
Raising Funds
43% raised

Juliana Fish Selling, Peru
Paying Back
84% repaid

Luz María Urbalejo Martínez Jewelry, Mexico
Paid Back
100% repaid

Helen Bakare Clothing Sales, Nigeria
Paying Back
75% repaid

I heard about Kiva ( on Oprah of all things. It was while I was watching tv sideways as I lay in bed all puny from chemo. I invested $25 in one woman who was trying to improve her life. Then a different day I invested another $25, and finally I wanted to honor my surgeon by investing another $25 in another woman.

Some loans have already been paid back, so I just had enough to invest in another woman. My goal is to help women in poverty to improve their earning potential. I kind of see it as a way to spread a little (very little) American wealth around the world, and maybe earn us a little positive thoughts from places in the world that think poorly of us. It's fun to select someone and get the updates and then know at the end when they've paid back the money, that presumably their life is a bit better because they've improved their ability to make money and support themselves.

It's a small investment in global goodness. I like it because you can re-invest the money over and over and keep the goodness going. My life is very blessed. It's a small way I feel like I can help others who struggle. It was very hard making it when I was a single mom raising a child and working two and three jobs. I feel a kinship with these women that also struggle and work endless hours.

My fund-raising focus is still the 3-Day right now, but I like the diversion above. It doesn't take but $25 to start something that just makes the world better; literally.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teens and How Their Brains Develop

Harvard Magazine has an interesting article that's worth reading if you're an educator, know a teen, or wonder why you did some nutty things when you were a teen.

Very, very, very tired tonight. Going to bed now. Rah, rah .... tomorrow I work the Friday night football game. I'm stuck there until half-time, BUT by doing it and getting it over and done with, I don't have to worry about it the rest of 2008. I have to do a game in the Spring semester, but I'll deal with that later. The three day weekend is going to be welcomed by me for some rest and hopefully some recreation too. I hope you and those you love are well and have a safe holiday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, I went to the eye doc today and got a real surprise. He does all kinds of fancy tests and pictures. I thought maybe my Rx had changed. What I found out instead is more information than I ever knew about eyeballs.

Eyes have two different kinds of muscles. The eye muscles that make your eyes move from side-to-side are the same kind of muscles in your legs and arms. Now there is a different kind of muscle that controls the opening and closing of the pupils. Those are smooth muscles. The other place in your body where there are smooth muscles is in your gut. So the muscles that make the pupil expand and contract in your eye, is the same kind of muscle in your intestines.

Turns out that the chemistry of chemotherapy effects the smooth muscles in your eye. My eyes aren't focusing right, not because my Rx has changed, but because the residue of the chemo in my body is causing the smooth muscles in my eye to not focus simultaneously or with much acuity. It's been eight months since my last chemo, but it's the gift that keeps on giving.

I hope you and those you love are well this day. It's all good here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Making Up for Being a Slacker

Between having a cold, being worn out from work, and not sleeping very regularly, I've been remiss about posting in the last while.

I do OK during the work day, but once it is over, I just absolutely become a noodle. This week is particularly hard because I have meetings and appointments after school all week. Stay with me as I build up endurance.

Tonight I'd like to introduce you to my content teacher. His name is Jeff and he's a real mench. He is chef extrordinaire when it comes to pork barbeque, breakfast knoshes and most anything that needs cooking. He also has a rare ability to work with and keep the peace between rowdy kids and to gain the respect of cynical teens. He's quite a guy and a good catch if you're looking for a fellow in the early 40's range.

This is our classroom. Can't you just smell the dust and the damp of a concrete block building? It hasn't changed over the decades. I can't show you the room with it's smiling faces because they're minors and I'm a responsible adult and because I like my job and don't have permission from parents, etc.

The entry to our building which is used, on the whole, by only 9th graders. It's called the Freshman Academy. It help (but doesn't completely prohibit) Juniors and Seniors from "trolling the halls for fresh meat" at the beginning of the school year. I know that's a crass way to frame it but 9th graders are crass, and I've heard it spoken of in just those kinds of terms by the Juniors and Seniors.

This is the main building. Well some of it. There are about 1100 students here and about 100 or so teachers plus other staff members. The most amazing time of the day is when the buses pull up and all the students pile out of the building to get on said buses and they all go toward home all at the same time. It's especially gratifying on a Friday afternoon, I must say.

This is a picture of Bubba, Doc and Baby. Now keep in mind this is a 55 gallon tank and that the biggest fish in the forefront is about 7 inches long. The fish behind him is more like 8 - 9 inches long. These two fellows and a gal (I think Baby is a girl.) were absorbing a lot of worry this past week, but I think some water measuring and consultation with various experts has narrowed down the problem to one of pH in the tank. They've been improving and I'm working on being a better fish "mom." These are the common comet's that I bought at about 1-1-1/2 inch two years ago and are now these flowing, beautiful water ballet artists that I'm trying not to kill.

Tomorrow night is breast cancer support group meeting, so I'm planning to crash and burn late tomorrow. Wednesday I'm getting my eyes examined -- oh joy! Actually, I'm actually hopeful that they can improve the visual field with new glasses, though I'm a little anxious about moving toward graduated lenses instead of my preferred executive lenses. I'm willing to try the graduated trifocals only because (a) I can get the lenses in the Transitions lenses so they can change with the light levels, and (b) they can actually make the lenses is less time than insisting on the executive lenses that take 3 weeks to grind and glue together. So, I'm going to give it a whirl. So, forgive me if I'm a bit tardy this week; I'm going to be chasing my tail a lot this week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I either have a sinus issue or a cold, but either way I feel like crap. I've dosed myself up with all kinds of decongestants and will either get better, have a seizure or a stroke, but by gosh, I can breathe.

My legs hurt, and I'm thinking it's from the weather front, AKA Fay. Even though its not here, it is big enough to influence things. I've taken some Tylenol for pain, and I had a nap when I came home from work. I'm hoping to be able to zonk out soon. It smells like EUCALYPTUS in here because I've bathed my legs in Biofreeze.

I am so glad tomorrow is Friday, because one more day in the week and I don't know how I'd handle it. I'm really feeling puny, and whiney.

I saw the most adorable cherub on the bus today. She was only five. She held her fingers up for me and her fat cheaks and blond hair were just adorable. Her friend who held up seven fingers was trying to find out if I knew her cousin Nicky and couldn't figure out how a teacher could NOT know her cousin. The concept of 1000 kids in one place at one time was beyond her ability. What a couple of charmers. I can't remember how it was to take the bus when I was five. I know I did, but I don't remember that far back. I must have once been one of those little charmers. If I knew what to do with them, I might well enjoy working with the little ones, but there is such a terrible race to teach, teach, teach so many ideas so fast now while they are little! Where did childhood go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Real Conversation Today

Student: Is it true you have cancer?
Me: I'm hoping that I don't anymore, but yes, I was treated for it this last year.
Student: What kind of cancer do you have?
Me: Breast cancer.
Student: What part of your body is that?

(I swear -- and that's a regular education student too.)

Monday, August 18, 2008


OK, about 2 years ago, I bought some goldfish to entertain my grandson, Liam. He's 3 now, and the $0.29 goldfish that were about 1-inch in length (if that) are now about 8-9 inches in length. I'm not certain yet, but think I may have dawdled a bit too long in cleaning the tank, and some kind of infection/fungus/parasite has opportunistically (maybe) moved in and made themselves at home. I'm watching the fish closely. After a lot of research, although it seems very counter intuitive, I've added salt to the water. I put it in at half the dosage recommended. I'm a little anxious that they may not really be sick (I'm not a good fish diagnostician.) or that I'll treat them for something and mess things up enough to kill them. I've had these fishies for 2 years now and if they have a good owner, they can live to be 8 to 10 years of age! I'd feel pretty awful if I killed these fish after all this time, so I hope they end up being ok.

Jewel is a synapse away from figuring out how to crawl. Good lord preserve us when she does. She loves to grab things. This past Thursday she got one of her upper, middle teeth.

I have a cold or sinus crap. One or the other. In any case, I'm not feeling really great, so I'm going to hit the hay early. I couldn't get to sleep last night until around 3AM. So I'm pretty tired now.

I hope you and those you love are well this evening.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ready, Set, CREW!

Saturday morning was an orientation for CREW members for the Atlanta 3-Day. I'm on the "Bus Liaison" crew. Turns out there are only 7 or so people with my job. My duties include entertainment of walkers too tired to continue walking but waiting on the bus to be carried back to camp and the bus can't leave until it's full. I'm to dress up for the part. A prospect that delights me and which I think may include dee-del-dee-bompers, but I digress. The crew that "guards" solo walkers and helps with traffic management arrived while I was outside. I made them get together so I could take a pic. Now, off to the side of the picture are all kinds of really macho motorcycles. It was fun to get with folks who have done the 3-Day before and see their commitment. I took notes, and actually had a fun time as they gave us an overview of what to expect.
I turned in my request for personal time so I can do the 3-Day, but haven't heard back if it's approved or not.
I'm catching a cold. I woke up in the night with the scratchy throat and stuffy nose.
I have to work harder on getting ready for the 3-Day. I have lists of things to do or get. It seems like it will be a growing and interesting experience.
I got to meet a member of the 16 member team that raised the most funds last year. And, it's all about getting money for the research. These people are really dedicated to getting the bucks so the "cure" can be found. This is good news for me. I need them to be dedicated and to get the money and to keep fueling the research.
Just as a general reminder, the goal of $2200 is still elusive and if you'd like to throw $5 to 50 or more dollars at cancer, it'd be appreciated. Check out I was shocked by the people there who asked their friends for minimum donations of $100 each and got them! Holy crap! They know folks in a whole different economic bracket than me, evidentally! It's mercinary to ask for money, but it's where the solutions to the cancer problem come from. It's the money that buys the little naked mice that the researchers need, and make the drugs, and pay for their beakers and white coats, and whatever else they need. I feel honored for ever cent anyone sends on my behalf. Thanks! Because many of you have sent money, and evey penny is something you do to honor me and the other cancer victims out there. But keep sending money. We've got a long way to go. Don't do it because you like us, do it because you hate cancer.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who knew?

It appears that Bigfoot is from Georgia! See this CNN story. This story also has some interesting detais. Also from CNN....these details. Somehow, the image of a Bigfoot from Georgia is a little disturbing. Not because I'm afraid of them or anything. But, because it's like the Deliverance version of Science. You can almost hear the banjo in the background. Now, I understand that these gentlemen are upstanding members of the community with good references. They've turned the body over to science investigators in California for independent testing. That's good. All the same, why couldn't Bigfoot have been found in Wyoming instead of Georgia? (If it is indeed something we might characterize as Bigfoot.) Redneck mentality wasn't bad enough, now we can be characterized as the 1st cousins to Bigfoot. Sigh. How unfortunate -- especially for the dead Bigfoot.

Made it to Friday again. Two weeks down, about 34 to go. :)

Oh dear. Now the AP has picked up the story.

And lastly.........the person that thought THIS was a good idea, hasn't worked in a classroom recently. The part that is disturbing most to me is that they actually considered letting students have weapons too. Ugly idea. Very ugly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


School is going well. I tire more easily than the rest of the crew. It's going ok though. Tired.

For the first time in about 40 years, I'm going to have to get a sweater to wear indoors. Interesting that I've become much more cold-natured without boobs. Who knew they were the heaters that they apparently were?! I used to wear a sweater instead of a coat. Now I want one to wear in the classroom. My shawl isn't enough. Brrrrr.

Must sleep. Night all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baptismal Covenant

Among other promises in the Baptismal Covenant, I have promised to:
(1) proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ,
(2) seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself,
(3) strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human

These are BIG promises that I made. As a Daughter of the King, I have further promised to live by these promises. These are hard promises too.

Each of us finds our own ways of working these promises into our lives. It's different for each person. In some ways for me I feel that I'm a terrible failure. In others I feel I make small in-roads. It's always a struggle on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes I forget this for long periods of time. Sometimes the world THROWS opportunities in my face like a rude pie-in-the-face.

Sometimes it's as simple as giving my snack to some unfortunate soul by the expressway. Sometimes it's trying hard to honor the dignity of a teen who doesn't honor mine. Sometimes I wonder if I shall end up accomplishing #1, by showing others how to die. I hope not. But it lingers on my mind sometimes. I really hope I get to show how to live until I die, but one really doesn't know.

I have goals yet that I want to pursue with regard to the Baptismal Covenant. I hope I get to complete my plans. Yet, you know the little contacts, the little moments, and the little interactions we share with those who we see daily -- those are the moments when our true colors are most easily seen. I don't much worry how others see me in accomplishing these goals, but in the grand scheme of things, I'd like to think that I put more good into the world than I take back out.

When I least want to be generous in spirit is when it's hardest to try and exemplify these goals. I think that God helps us find that generosity, when we least have it available though. That is the magic of the Baptismal Covenant. We are flawed creatures that under the best of circumstances botch these mystical promises up. Yet, if we try, I think we are spiritually given the generosity of Spirit to do better than we might otherwise.

I wish you and those you love, the generosity of spirit to handle more than you might otherwise. And, no matter how well you can, or can not accomplish it, I wish blessings on you and your house.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mother Theresa Quote

Life isn't about avoiding the storms,
it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Story of a Child

This is a well-written story. It is long, but worth the read, if you can manage to get all the way to the end. Ultimately, in my opinion, the reason this could happen is because authorities and the general public don't imagine that a mother can be an offender.

Here is the story.

Good hearts will help this child, but "normal" will never be anything but a dryer setting in her life. She had the will to live, but she will forever be limited because her first years of life were starved for love and appropriate interaction.

Neglect is as evil as inappropriate attention. Every child is a miracle. Every child deserves to be loved and cherished. Love is an amazing inoculation against the speedbumps one will experience on the road of life.

(I first saw this story at Washes of Color.) If you're a parent, hug your kids, just because.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


First of all, if you have any interest in this topic, I recommend reading anything by Martin E. P. Seligman, especially his book Learned Optimisism. Dr. Seligman was doing research as an up and coming doc in the way back and he had to do experiments that he found distasteful. In fact he found them immoral, and he vowed that if he ever got anywhere he'd never experiment on animals again. What his experiments then led to was the idea of "learned helplessness." Learned helplessness occurs when dogs are tied and shocked with an unpleasant but not damaging shock. After a while the dogs would just lay down in their cages and submit to the inevitable. Then you could take the tops off the cages and the leashes off the dogs, so the dogs could jump out if they wanted, and they wouldn't because they thought they were helpless against the inevitable shock. So they had an escape, but just would lay down and take it. In case you haven't already figured this out, this is what happens to women in abusive relationships, many prisoners of war, and often children who are ritually abused.

Seligman spent a portion of his life focusing on remedies for Learned Helplessness and treatments. Then one day he turned things around and asked, "What are the qualities that resilient people have that make them able to get up one more time than they are knocked down?" He decided he could focus on Learned Optimism. And he's done a bunch of studies and found out a lot of interesting things.

So, how does one come out on the other side of child abuse or cancer or both and still have a positive attitude? Well, that presumes you have a positive attitude first. For those of you that don't know my mother was nuts and ritually abused me on a regular basis. If you're unbelieving for some reason, check my x-rays of my hands. There are over 40 broken bones in my hands. That has led to some interesting life experiences in the sense that I probably try to "control" things too much. Often I think I speak up too much, and other times, I'm too silent. I am uncertain who the real ME is, because I'm basically using "normal" people as a barometer for what I'm supposed to be like, and making an attempt to make myself like them. Of course that doesn't really work well as a life path. I have my demons and I have my flaws, but the likelihood of me being able to exorcise them at this point in my life is pretty dim, so I'm best off shaking hands and making friends with them. I try not to let my nuts-ness out to walk around too often, but it's there.

Now that I've been through the whole treatment for cancer experience, I have other daunting issues that push in on me and make life more interesting; more complex. I have known women during my treatment, that refused to get chemotherapy because they couldn't stand the idea of losing their self-image -- they chose to die prematurely because they couldn't lose their hair. I know women who won't be seen in public with their flat, double-mastectomy chests. I refuse to stop living, so me and my suddenly-so-visible BELLY go and do things like exercise without my prosthetics. (Summer heat and exercise are not compatible with prosthetics in my book.) There have been other medical issues that could have kept me down, but I kept going anyway. My injured left foot had me down for a long time, but after finding a fellow that can do custom orthotics for me, my feet, knees and hips have recovered a lot. I go hiking and walk beaches and do most anything I want to, and can depend on my left foot and leg to hold me up. For a while, that wasn't anything I could envision, but I kept looking for solutions, even when things seemed hopeless. I mean after YEARS of pain and difficulty and surgeries. I hope to crew on the 3-Day Walk and back before orthotics, that wouldn't have been an option.

So what does this have to do with resillience and Learned Optimism? I guess for me it means that while I may be pessimistic about what might come into my life, I have a strong sense that whatever it is, I can find a way through it. I found a way through a difficult, and what was a damaging childhood experience. I found a way through a debilitating injury to my left foot and even though it took years to get to a better place, I kept looking for answers until I found the right ones for me. I don't know yet if this is all that the cancer demon has in store for me. I can tell you that I've taken every possible step I can to ensure that I've done the maximum I can so that it is. However, you and I both know that cancer is sneeky. It may come back. I hope not, but until and unless it does, I'm LIVING. Until I stop breathing, I'm living

This stuff that people say I have called "courage" is nothing more than the need to preserve my Self. You just keep enduring until there isn't anything more to endure. Life is a marathon; a race that goes to the steady runner, not the swiftest. When you get to the other side of the hard part of the journey, you hope like all get-out that there's something good there. For me, the good was being a mom, being a grammy, getting to travel, being an instrument of change at different points in time, helping others know that there is "good" worth getting to the other side for. (Bad grammar, but you know what I mean.)

Plato observed many centuries ago, that it was important to "Be kind to everyone you meet, for they are all in a great struggle." My struggle is no bigger or different than your life struggle, but it's important to hold on and endure because the sweet moments are ever so much sweeter for the struggle. Look forward to the sweet moments, sometimes you are ambushed by what becomes that moment. I didn't expect having a child to be the warm, wonderful experience that it was. I sure didn't expect to fall in love so deeply with grandchildren. Each trip I've taken has had hidden treasures I couldn't have anticipated. And the list of unexpected dividends and sweet reward goes on. I'm sure I have more speedbumps in the road of life ahead of me, but the goal is the sweet joy of the unexpected.

Friday, August 08, 2008

First Day With Kiddies

I turned the alarm off this morning and woke up at 7:15. I'm supposed to be at work at 7:45 and I live 15 minutes from work when there's NO traffic. Needless to say, I got to work late. What a great start to the school year!

It was a race today to stay up with all the requirements, but I feel decent about having met my responsibilities once I got there. No more turning off the alarm without putting my feet on the floor!

Kids were good today, but there's always a "honeymoon" period. By Monday the goodness will wear thin, and by Tuesday, we'll have normal teens. So far our biggest class has 29 in it. It's shoulder to shoulder in there with 29.

I did a count today while we were talking about countries we've visited, and I've been to 11 countries! Canada, Mexico, France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, British West Indies, Bahama, Belize, Honduras, Luxembourg. Have a passport, will travel! Sometime before I croak, I'd like to see Northern Ireland, Prague, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and if get to all those places, then I'll think about places in SE Asia, and even though it's really a part of the US, I want to see Alaska too.

It's interesting to me, and disappointing that so many students who have not been any farther than Alabama, don't want to travel, don't think there is anything to learn by traveling, and are harboring a lot of anger at people from other places who live here. They assume that all immigrants are illegal. A very poor generalization.

One of those palatial homes and businesses in Honduras. The toilet facilities were out back, and I think the bathwater is in the ocean. The woman in the "window" (sans glass) was preparing food. According to teens in Haralson County, all Latino's are Mexican, and I have no idea why anyone would want to leave here for America -- legally or illegally. Our taxi driver in Honduras said there was no reason to leave the island when the hurricanes came, because anyplace they'd fly you would be innundated by water too, so you might as well die at home. It was clear that this island had been very damaged by storms sometime recently. Food here has to be a whole different kind of thing. Nothing like a Publix or Ingles here. The astonishing thing I found was how starched and crisply white the school boy/girl shirts are, and everyone has a white shirt to go with their uniform pants and skirts. I suspect since mom/dad PAY good money to send their children to school that the students are a lot more polite and that horseplay would not be viewed well, either. Neither public nor private schools in these countries put up with students misbehaving. They just throw them out. But..........I digress.
The good news is that I think my hair is about one-inch in length now.
More good news: I got the teacher duty that I really like (really). Every three weeks it'll be my turn to direct traffic in the parking lot. I love telling people where to go. :)
I do have one duty that I really despise. I have to go in and do a "walk through" of the girls bathroom every morning. It is humiliating to have to do that, and it makes me really, really nervous that I'll end up in court someday trying to explain why I was in the student restrooms. Ick! Mostly what I learn is that next to no one washes their hands. Double and triple ICK!
Tomorrow I really can just sleep until I wake up on my own. Ahhhhh, the good life!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


We had a motivational speaker come today for a MANDITORY training. It ran from 8:30 to Noon. He was a really good speaker, but my gosh my butt was really screaming by the time it was done.

Got our classrolls today, and if they really hold at these numbers we'll have no more than 27 in a class, which would be a nice change from years previous where we had 32 in the class. Our room is too small for 32 plus two teachers.

Tomorrow is another late night at school. I don't have to go in until noon though. There will be a LOT more families and kids dropping by tomorrow night though.

I was a little stronger today, although I came very, very close to nodding off during that speaker for a moment this morning. People are interesting. Most are taking time to tell me they are glad to see me back. Some are wondering why they haven't seen me in a while (duh?), and then there are the ones that feel COMPELLED to tell me about anyone they have EVER known that had cancer of any description. Sigh. Please hand the latter folks a CLUE.

Must sleep now. Romeo, did you hear that? We both need to sleep. No spunky interruptions to the Sandman tonight at 2AM!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Open House

Tonight was open house at school (another one Thursday night) so we didn't have to report until noon today. The room got very dusty and grimy over the summer so we've been using 409 and some elbow grease to get the place spiffed up. The room looks nice and my case files have been found. I'm really, really tired tonight. I worked mostly on the computer today doing lesson plans, our course syllabus and getting ready for all the flurry of special education forms I'll have to send out.

The cleaning goddess came today so I have clean sheets, and a clean house.

Tomorrow our day starts out with a 4 hour faculty meeting. Can I just tell you how EXCITED I am about that? YIKES! ARE THEY NUTS? I'm not excited about that at all!

Anyone have about 120 dead tennis balls? The make nice little "socks" for the desks, and help preserve the floor. It keeps the room quieter too. I need the dead tennis balls from a couple of tennis teams!

Must sleep. Very, very, very tired tonight.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Oh, My Achin' Back

Today went really well. I did miss my afternoon nap. ;) The only negative is that my back hurts tonight, I'm guessing from wearing my prosthetics all day. The classroom is taking shape. We had our first faculty meeting today. Everything is going like it's supposed to. Tomorrow night (and Thursday) is an open house so we don't have to go in until Noon, because we don't get off until 8PM.

Going to bed early tonight! Peace.

Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love Endures

Love you, brother. Don't understand why you're upset. Until and unless you call or e-mail me with some clarification, I won't ever know or understand why you're upset. You seem to think I've done something to your computer. I didn't, couldn't, wouldn't. What is this all about? Please e-mail or call me privately so we can figure out where the misunderstanding is. Love you.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gearing Up

Went to Walmart today and spent my Sonny Money. If you're not from Georgia, Sonny Money is $100 given to teachers for the last three years so that we could better equip our classrooms at the beginning of the school year. I got LOTS of school glue at $0.17 each, and lots of colored paper which is HARD to get at school, and things like scissors, rulers and colored pencils. They'll all help as things go on.

I've also been tackling a mountain of laundry that I allowed to build up. I needed some clothes to wear tomorrow. I'm also trying to tidy up a bit since I don't want my cleaning goddess to know what an incredible slob that I really am.

Tomorrow I have to once again be a responsible adult. I have the alarm set, and clothing laid out, and I'm psyching myself up to be excited about the new school year starting. I get to sling on the boobs in the morning, put on make-up and act like a grown up. I've had a chance to preview what retirement is like, and I rather like it! With luck, in six more years I get to actually retire!

Point taken from Amber. I will not let the whippersnappers intimidate me. Much. I feel kind of bad for little Jewel tomorrow when instead of hanging out with Grammy, she gets to be introduced to daycare. I got to see how she interacted with them there on Friday though, and she'll do fine. She's such a joy to be around. When I get out of school tomorrow, if there is any umph left in me at all, I can go get her and Liam if I think I can manage them. We'll have to see how much umph is left in me at 3:30.

We'll see how things go tomorrow and if I have the energy to blog tomorrow! Peace.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I've apparently lost my eyeglasses. I have my sunglasses, but that makes the world dark. They also are only bifocals, not trifocals. I know where I had them last. They just aren't there. I guess I'm getting new glasses. Yikes, it takes a while to make my trifocals too. It took three FULL weeks last time. Sigh. This is not good.

FLASH UPDATE: Jenn found my eyeglasses and saved me about $400!! Thank goodness!

Derrick, whatever you think I've done, I'm not smart enough to do what you appear to be suggesting. Someone else messed with your computer; not me. Call me so we can straighten things out. Love you.

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's Fall

It may only be August 1st, but it's fall now. I go back to work on Monday and on Friday the kids start their fall semester. I went over to the high school today to take care of some business and get my "Sony Money." We teachers are given $100 to buy school supplies with on the tax free weekend. It's nice. I appreciate the money. Sigh, it is also, however, a complication to get it spent and on worthwhile things, in a hurry. You don't really get to buy things that you might want the most. Oh well. Thanks Sony. It's probably the only thing you do that I think is worthwhile. I am so NOT a fan of our governor.

Jewel goes to a different place on Monday to be cared for, and so do I. It's a bit of a commencement of sorts for me, in that I'm starting my life again, after it de-railed last year. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. 366 days ago I was well. In the next 24 hours my life would change forever. In the last year my body has been fundamentally changed. My peace of mind this last year has been forever stolen. My confidence has been altered along with my body. "Do I look ok? Is anything showing? Is my clothing adjusted properly? Are my prosthetics where they're supposed to be? Are they still where they're supposed to be? Does my pain or discomfort show? Can I do what I've got to do today? Am I ok?" And those thoughts go through my mind like every other minute. Close friends and family get to see a bit more of the anxiety, less of the "window dressing" and more of me without makeup or prosthetics. But ultimately I'm not comfortable with myself yet. I'm not sure I ever will be, but I hope I will. It's going to take a while to get used to the "revised" me. I'm still startled by my short, short, short hair. I haven't had hair this short since I was an infant! It is not ME that I see in the mirror yet. My curved, caved-in chest that no longer has that full, feminine set of "headlights" -- who does that belong to? My fat ass is shrinking as I work on eating more healthy. Twenty-five pounds of my ass is no longer there, so I really am continuing to change my body. Nothing is like it used to be. Who you see today, is not the ME that I have been. I don't have confidence in who this person is; I want to slid back into myself again, but I don't think that can ever happen. That ME is gone. This ME is ...someone I don't know or feel comfortable with yet. Boo, hoo. Get with the program and just get on with life. Well, I think I am, but that doesn't mean I feel right about it. The skin I'm in has literally had some significant changes this last year.

I see lots of positive and good things. I'm happy to be alive. I do not regret any of my decisions. I'm just getting used to a different self than the one I had grown into over time. So, be gentle with me a bit longer. I need a little longer to get used to this particular incarnation of myself. I admit to being a bit unnerved to go before the 9th grade students and their particular brand of cruelty. My backbone isn't as evident as it used to be. I have stage fright. Gotta sleep now. Definitely have to sleep now.