Thursday, August 26, 2010


Perhaps I am being silly here, but am both embarrassed and hurt by something that happened today.

A number of years ago a close friend went with me on a school trip to the UK. She lives over a thousand miles away so it was a treat for us to be able to travel together. On that particular trip we brought our daughters as well as my students.

Things went well at first, but my students came to me and were complaining about the bickering going on among some of the other kids. None of the teen drama made any sense to me, so I pulled all the kids that were arguing together and made them sit down and talk out whatever the heck was going on.

My friend's daughter was behind the mess. She was carrying tales back and forth between groups of kids doing the teen girl "she said this about you" or "he said that about you" thing. Possibly it was a divide and conquer thing to get into one of the groups - I don't know.

I told my friend what was going on and she was angry with her daughter for being so dumb and life went on. As the trip progressed things became more strained though. My friend was spending more and more time with her daughter because the rest of the kids didn't really want anything to do with her anymore. Add to that mess the fact that this friend of mine has had various mental health issues in the past.

I'd been there for her through a number of them. Some of those things included me talking her out of suicide and being there to support her through issues that drove her depression into a serious mess. I think seeing her daughter unhappy made her angry and she became somewhat of a bitch for the remainder of the trip.

When we got back to the States, I was uncertain how to handle things. I felt uncomfortable calling her because she stomped off at the airport without even saying goodbye. I just didn't know what to say so I hoped she'd contact me.

Time went on and I missed her. I missed the wonderful things about her. I missed the bond we had and how we always seemed to have each other's backs. Even so, I was still edgy and didn't want to make that first move.

There were so many times I stared at my phone over the years. There were so many times I started to dial and hung up. There were a couple of times that I blocked my number and called only to get a voice message. Rather than leaving a message, I hung up. I just didn't know what to say.

Last November I called her and left a message. My hope was that years put the rough feelings of our last time together behind us and we could possibly regain some sort of a friendship.

She called me back the next day and we talked for hours. We laughed and joked about all the things that have happened in our lives over the years. She sent me an email and said she would rather keep in contact that way because her work schedule made it crazy to be able to catch each other to talk.

We began to write back and forth about once a week. We shared feelings, laughs, and stories about what was going on with us. She sent me pics of her family - yada yada yada. In the meantime we talked on the phone every once in a while.

I hadn't heard from her for about a month so I called her last week. Today she responded with an email that shocked me.

She said she doesn't know why I bothered to contact her after all these years and that she knows it certainly couldn't be because I missed her. She said she has no desire to renew any kind of friendship with me and told me to have a good life.

I was stunned.

Why would she suddenly decide that? It makes me sad.


It's Over

This is it mon last "official" week of freedom from other people's teenagers. Next week I head back to work for workshops, the week after that the wild hordes of kids will be upon me.

I'll have my usual tenth and eleventh grade kids - for those of you in other parts of the world, this means they are roughly 15-17. They've also given me ninth grade. Argh! What a rough age.

We also have a new principal and a new superintendent. Three of our school board members are up for reelection in November. AND *drumroll* so is our referendum. It comes down to this - if it fails, my school and job go bye bye. If it passes, life will be good.

What a weird and whacky feeling. This may be it for a school district.

Cross your fingers for my school and for moi! I get those hyper little ninth graders this year!!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vision

Suffice it to say, that was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen/experienced.

They had an open coffin.

It caught me off guard.

There they were – the mother, my old student, with her beautiful baby girl curled up beside her. Beneath the blanket that rested across the mommy was her tiny baby who was only two days from being born.

I cried.

I think everyone cried.

I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t have been moved to tears.

I cannot seem to get that image out of my mind. It’s haunting me.


Saturday, August 21, 2010


There are those news stories that just get you - they tear at your heart and make you wonder why the hell things like that happen in our world. I'm talking about the stories that never happen to anyone we actually know - it's those horrible things that happen to other people.

This week one of them happened to someone I know.

She was one of my students. She traveled with me. She hung out in my room. She made me smile. She was a good person. She was one of those quieter students who didn't need or seek to be the center of attention. She wasn't the most popular girl in school, but she was kind and people liked her.

She graduated several years and ago and went on with her life.

She graduated from college. She worked with kids.

She was married and she had a fifteen month old baby. Her second baby was scheduled to be delived on Wednesday via c-section. Both were little girls.

Rather than celebrating the life of a new baby, her family and friends are left with sadness and grief.

Her scum sucking excuse for a cheating bastard of a husband brought an end to all of their lives.

He shot them.

He killed his fifteen month old baby girl. He killed his pregnant wife a couple of days before their second little girl was to be born. The asshole even shot their three dogs before killing himself.

She'd left him and was back in the house getting some of her things.

She knew he was cheating on her.

She knew he was an ass.

She left.

Sadly, she must not have had a clue as to how dangerous he truly was.

News reports will go on and on about what a kind and loving man he was. They will blame his military service in Iraq for his behavior. I don't care. I really don't.

Maybe it is nasty and unforgiving of me to say "I don't give a shit" about his mental health issues, I don't care.

I understand the fact that war plays hell with a person's mind. I get that.

What I will never get past is the fact that this animal was able to look into the eyes of an innocent fifteen month child - his own daughter - as he shot her. There is no excuse. He murdered his family.

Now there are unanswered questions running through the minds of so many people.

There are her friends who are mourning and wishing they could have done something to save her.

There is her family praying to find a way to turn back the clock and to stop her from going back to that house.

There is grief.

There is sadness.

There is no wee baby to coo over.

Instead, many people, including me, will be attending a wake tomorrow and a funeral the following day.

It is just so sad - so horrifying.

It's one of those things you never think will personally touch your life. We see stories like this in the papers and on the news - I hate that it is so close. I hate that things like this happen to anyone.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bean v Car

I'm hangin' here - hanging my head in shame. Here I was utterly and completely muttering about my hubster's silly spending habits and I most certainly had to find a way to choke down every one of those wayward mutters.

Why, you ask?

Last night was silly time with my gang of grad school girlies. When we get together it's our time to recap what's been happening in our lives since the last time we sharing the same space.

I think I've babbled about them before - this time it was our Diamond Girl that had one of the best stories to share.

It seems her hubby had the brilliant idea to buy his mom a brand new Camaro. She vetoed this plan for a couple of reasons: 1. his mom and dad have plenty of cash and could have paid cash for it if they wanted to buy one 2. Diamond Girl thought spending that kind of money on "mom" was a bit frivolous.

Apparently, hubster disagreed. He went off on his own and bought the car! Now they have $500/month car payments on a car that his mom loves, but seldom drives.

Oi vey!

Who does this?

Seriously, a few weeks ago I was rolling my eyes when my hubster was paying $8/pound for black jelly beans! He insisted on buying a whole lotta pounds of the gooey things as a gag gift and I thought that was dumb.

Put in perspective, I'd happily buy even more jelly beans! Yup, those little black suckers were a much better buy.

So, I am chagrined. I shall not complain again! (at least not today)


Friday, August 6, 2010


Yesterday I drove Girlcub to the theater so she could meet a friend for some teeniebopper movie. When we drove up, I noticed three squirmy little boys and one chubby little boy all hanging outside the theater.

As soon as I parked, the chubby one walked over to the car with a "wanted poster". The poster had a pic of Waldo and was done up like a police wanted thing.

For unknown reason he thought he was amusing as he went up to movie people and asked them "Have you seen this man? The police are looking for him."

Sadly, he was too much of a nerd to realize how geeky he was actually being!

When he finally walked away, mon Girlcub grinned at me and said "Uh, mom, he's one of your new students this year!"

Oh joy!

I knew having one class of younger kids would be different, but I didn't expect this one. Ha! I'm going to call him Waldo!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scoop on the Poop

So there is this guy that lives in my town and I am feeling consumed with guilt because I don't think I'm feeling the "proper" amount of sympathy for him right now.

I don't like him.

Our paths have crossed socially and professionally for years.

I never liked him.

He's always come across as arrogant and superior.

He taught my oldest daughter in school. She didn't like him

Our younger kids went to daycare together.

If my two year old took a toy from his two year old, he mentioned it in class to my daughter and embarrassed her.

I always had this feeling he was looking down my nose at me and that he thought I was some kind of superfluous bit of fluff.

He never said anything - it was just how he made me feel.

My youngest son goes to school with his son. His son is rather pompous (or so say most of the teachers he has had along the way). The kid is very bright, but arrogant.

We've served on committees together, this man and me, and he puts himself out there as an expert on everything we discuss.

It makes me crazy.

When we moved into this house we had extra fencing. I mentioned to someone that the guy could have the fencing because his son was going to raise goats. The man called and asked if he could come get it immediately. I was getting ready to go somewhere and told him the next day would work out better. He argued. I said no, tomorrow is best because I was busy. He showed up five minutes later. Rude!

Three years ago his wife was diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know her that well, but she seemed nice enough. I felt badly for her, for their two kids, and even for the man. It was an aggressive form of cancer; we all knew she wouldn't survive.

Late last month she died. It truly is a tragedy for that family. Nobody deserves that to happen to them - not her, the kids, her friends, or the man.

On Sunday I saw the man at our local town thingy. He came over to hang out with my friends and me. I told him again how sorry I was that his wife died. I said all the things one should say in that situation.

I was involved with something else and didn't really listen carefully to the conversation he was intently having with one of my friends.

Later I find out their conversation was him grumbling about something. He was being his negative and superior self about an issue that was very important to my friend that he was discussing it with.

She chalked it up to the fact that he must be having a difficult time right now.

Not me.

I just thought "he's like that all the time".

Hell, I am sitting here actually feeling guilty for not feeling guilty because I can't jump on the "cut him some slack, his wife died" bandwagon.

He was a poop before.

I think he's a poop now.

Now he's a tragic figure to people and I can't say I think he's a big stinker or I'll look like an unfeeling twit.


Oh well. I can say it here.

He's a poop!


Sunday, July 25, 2010


It's that time of summer - my little town has its weekend of play and celebration. In the past I've always just gone to the parade on Sunday. This Babycub volunteered to work a couple of the Saturday events for her volleyball team. One of them was yesterday's "bean bag toss".

I figured it would be something for wee kiddies, so I grabbed the wee baby granddaughter to take with me. Nope, nada, I was wrong.

Who knew that in my small town the beanbag toss would be so popular among the adult world? They set it up on the street (blocked off) in front of our local bar. The volleyball girls keep track of the score sheets while the local peeps pay $10 each turn to try to get the most points. The winning team of two claims $100 at the end of the evening.

I marveled at this thingy as people brought lawn chairs to sit along the street so they could sip beer while watching each other toss beanbags at targets. It really was pretty damn quaint. At first I laughed to myself, but then it occurred to me - I'm damn glad I live in such a small, safe little world. How awesome that in this era of war, terrorism, and dirty bombs that my people still get a kick out of being together and tossing beanbags.

Yup, I'm glad I moved here.

On an entirely different note we have a problem with the wee girl grandbaby. She speaks now and her word for "frog" sounds far more like "fuck". It's a little disconcerting to have such an innocent sweet voice asking for a "greek fuck". Ha!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crossing Fingers

It's tentative, but it looks like I may know what I'll be teaching next year. With all the ups and downs with my district, nobody really knew what would be going on in the fall. I will still have my 10th and 11th grade kids, but they are adding 9th grade to the mix.

Of all the grades I'm licensed to teach, this is my least favorite age. Those kids are too old to do silly things like the younger kids do and too young to do some of the things the older kids do. All that middle ground makes them a hormonal mess that can drive a sane teacher insane. I don't know what it will do to someone like me - already a bit off the wall!

Next, this particular group of ninth graders are going to be a challenge. They've been that way since elementary school. Fortunately, I connected with some of them when they were in 7th grade - those kids have been following me around, texting me, spending lunch hours in my room, etc. ever since. I'm hoping that will help me this year.

Finally, the subject matter. *insert yawn* I'm licensed to teach seven different areas - two of them are my least favorites and this is one of the two. It's government. Ugh ugh ugh! I'm going to be scrambling for the rest of the summer. I've never taught this subject and I know it can be horribly dull if not taught the right way. I have to find that way!

I do love changes and challenges, so this is going to be unique. In a quirky weird way I'm looking forward to it. Hmmmmm we shall see!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Boobies

After reading Bliztky's blog about going back to Poland and seeing how some things changed and some things stayed the same, I thought of something that happened the last time I saw my extended family.

I have this wonderful cousin, K. She and and her hubster were at the family thingy that we have every July 4th. While a group of us were just hanging out, I noticed 'em.

No no no, I am not talking about noticing her and her hub. I am talking her boobs.

I don't generally find myself staring at or checking out boobies, but one glance at hers had me pondering. I had to look again.

In a flash many many many previous conversations involving her moaning and groaning or commenting on her lack of chest material. She no longer appears to be lacking.

She has always been tall and willowy. She's still tall and willowy. I say that because sometimes weight gain leads to booby gain. That's not the deal in her case.

When we left I asked one of the resident boobie expert if he noticed a difference. The conversation went sort of like this.

moi - "Do you think K had a boob job?"

hubster - "Well duh!!!!!"

Yup, the man is a typical man. While I wondered, he taken note, assessed the situation, and was certain of the facts. Many guys are like this, no?

The question I put out there is - is it proper, friendly, snoopy, yada yada to simply say something like "Wow, K, I love the new rack!"



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Geared Up

I have found it.

Well actually someone else found it for me, but hey - who cares? It could be my future!

Last night at a school board meeting the board chairman said to moi "Just wait until you see what we have in store for you!"


He was chuckling about this; I figured it he was up to no good, but I just had to ask.

His response?

"We're going to get an old school bus and paint it blue. We're going to put you in it and turn you loose on the race track"


Apparently, a local race track has an annual bus racing event. This year another school entered it and used the side of the bus as a huge advertisement for their district. Clever clever!

Somewhere in all of this, our school board has decided that I get to do this next year. I glanced over at the zany teacher that is usually at my side when crazy adventures are taking place and said "only if my partner in crime goes with me!"

She moaned, laughed, and said she would.

Okay, so neither of us has ever driven a bus. We both drive compact cars. We've never done any kind of racing.

What the hell?

It sounds like fun!

This time next year I may start my racing career in a school bus, but I figure by the end of the summer I'll be ready for Indy. Look out Danika Patrick, there's a new girl racer on the way!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another World

They didn't want me. Oh woe woe woe is moi. Actually, I'm truly not upset about not being contacted about that job. I just thought it would sound wonderfully dramatic to do the whole woe is moi thing.

I have time to figure out what I am going to be when I grow up. However *insert shudder here* I do have a sudden concern about what will become of me. It didn't actually occur to me until I was dangling my toes in the lake while sitting on the dock with a bunch of friends and family.

Somehow that conversation got around to age and aging. Someone said I don't appear to be as old as I actually am - that part I pretty much knew and loved. The next part is what has me worried. They said that I seem younger because I act younger and I act younger because of my job.


What happens if/when I have to leave the world of high school and get a job in the adult world? What happens if I get an office?

Will I suddenly feel old?

Will I look older?

Will I forget how to laugh?

Will I become one of "those" older people?

Will I forget what it is like to be a kid?

Will I forget how to play and be silly?

Will I ever giggle again?

Laugh laugh if you like, but I have to say this is one of the things that scares me most about my possible school closure and career change.

I don't wanna grow up!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mummy Choice

I hate being in a state of limbo!

The kids and I are contemplating a jaunt to New York to see the Tut Exhibit before it flies home to Egypt. The boy has always been a mega fan of mummies, Egypt, and all that jazz. I've taken him to The British Museum in London and he was fascinated. Outside of actually visiting Egypt, that museum offers a fantastic experience. The girl has been driving me crazy to take her to New York City.

I have never been there. That seems so weird to me. I have visited and am quite comfortable in a number of European cities, but this great city in my own country is foreign to me.

Had this opportunity come up a year ago, it would have been a no-brainer. I'd already have the plane tickets purchased and the hotel reservations made. Instead I'm torn. New York City is expensive, and when I do these "once in a lifetime" things, the hub usually just says "go for it" and makes sure there is plenty of money for us to blow.

This time is different. The future is simply too iffy right now to be comfortable with an easy decision.

Do I take go for it and spend the money when I may not even have a job a year from now? Does it make more sense to save the money for that possible rainy day? Should I savor this adventure with my kids because we'd be doing something we'd never do again?

The hub says go for it. He'll dogsit and hand over the cash for the three of us to play in the Big Apple for a few nights. I figure we'd go in October.

Keep in mind, I'm taking both kids to England and France in March. That's going to hit us in the bank account as well.

Argh - I do so hate hate hate hate hate hate this uncertain feeling.

What to do?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Diva

I am creating a wee little monster, but she truly is a damn cute one.

The other day Babycub (who I really should rename now that she is taller than me) and I took the little grandbaby to the mall for "girls' day". It was a delight!

I think a love of shoes must be a genetic thing that runs strongly through the females in my clan. Actually, shoes were the primary reason for this shopping extravaganza - MiniMouse needed new sandals and I'm just the woman to take her shopping!

We started in the shoe store and after she gleefully tried on a number of pairs, we found the perfect ones. From the shoe store we scampered into a children's clothing store to find the perfect outfit for our little Diva in Training. The one we chose was so utterly delightful that we simply had to do a quick change in the dressing room after paying for our treasures.

Everyone knows the perfect outfit requires the perfect accessories, so our next stop was a boutique that carries jewelry for teenyboppers and little girls. Our little lady happily found some bracelets, a cute little purse to match her new outfit, and pink polka-dotted sunglasses to complete the ensemble.

The look was complete and she was loving the feeling of struttin' through the mall in her new get up.

I was giggling.

She was adorable.

We did lunch.

We shopped for new books.

We had a great day and I'm looking forward to a whole lot of days like this in the future. This gram (beebee) thing really does rock!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Babbly Thoughts

I miss blogging. I also miss the community aspect of having a number of blogs that I look forward to reading. I always enjoyed the silliness of some bloggers, the joy of others, the opinions of some. I loved the variety of the numerous personalities that I came to know and enjoy.

I know I bailed out - took time away. I think a number of people did the same thing. Sadly, not everyone found their way back to the world of writing, journaling, whatever. Facebook seems to have nabbed a number of people. I gave that a very very short try and I really don't care for it. It's not as interesting or as deep as blogging was to me.

I can't fight Facebook, but I will continue to blog. I'm hoping to find new blogs to read, new people to enjoy, new readers for my babble, etc. I am going to try to be more dilligent about tossing something up here more frequently. I'm also going to post at a couple of my usual haunts with the idea of eventually just using one site.

Cross your fingers; I am hoping to see more of the "old" bloggers around these parts!


Saturday, May 15, 2010


As the days, the months go by it still doesn't seem quite real that Led is actually gone. Every once in a while something hits me and I realize that I'll never hear his voice again and I am sad - so incredibly sad. One of his best friends, Leah, has been there for me. We text and sometimes have called each other.

Led left us in a very weird spot. When I first found out I was stunned. I guess the best thing to do is to go back to the beginning - the beginning of the end.

When Leah called me to tell me Led died, there was a particularly difficult spot in an already weird conversation. She paused and asked if I had a daughter named D..... I said yes. At that point she hesitated again before asking me if Led was the father.


A while back Led told me his friends thought he was the dad and we laughed about it. He told me he talked about her around them and they jumped to that crazy conclusion. It was like him to be secretive and let them guess. I could just imagine him inwardly chuckling at their false assumption.

I told Leah that Led was not the dad and that Led mentioned they thought he was. Thank goodness she got ahold of me when she did; she and his friends were about to tell his mother that she had an unknown granddaughter.

Can you imagine?!?

A while later Leah and I were talking again and it all came out. She told me that it wasn't an assumption - my Led actually came out and told them he was my youngest child's father.


He told them I'd once lived there with him and we split after I got pregnant. He told them it was all his fault. He told them he'd paid child support for years. He told them he helped me buy my current home. He told me he loved me, but we just couldn't be together.


He didn't tell them I was married. He didn't tell them I had other children. He didn't tell him that my daughter was actually conceived when he lived in an entirely different state and before I actually knew him.

There is more, but you get the picture.

I was shocked.

I talked to him. Sure he couldn't respond, but I talked and talked and talked. I asked him what he could possibly have been thinking.

I've not always been truthful about myself online. I think I 'fessed up to you guys about my intitial ventures into chatrooms and the lies I told. I'm not proud of them. I told giant fibs to people I didn't know.

He told huge whoppers to the people in his life. He fibbed to the people that were his support system, that cared about him, that he sat across the table with during holidays.

Somehow it all seemed different to me.

Maybe it's not.

I know that I was lonely when I did the things I did. I was seeking acceptance and I thought that by being something I was not, I'd get that. I had no right to do and say the things I did. I hurt feelings and I hurt myself in the long run. I wasn't in a place in my life where I was happy with how things were going. That doesn't excuse my behavior, but it's the only explanation I have.

With Led, I think he was incredibly lonely.

I think he'd seen his friends moving on - one by one. I think he saw them getting married, having families, growing up, and having the things that I know he wanted so very much. I think he wanted them to believe that he had them - in an odd and twisted way. I think he wanted them to think there was someone out there for him.

Sadly, when he was at his most lonely - those last months of his life - I was too busy for him. I'd stepped away and expected him to be able to fly solo. I know I was his support system. I know I was the one he'd always talked to when the world kicked him in the balls. I deserted him because he was clinging too much and expecting too much. He wanted things I couldn't give him. I could offer friendship - nothing else.

At the same time someone else that was very special to me had to back away. Their own life took some unexpected turns and they needed to deal with that. Their life was most assuredly too busy for me and, like Led, I had to stand on my own two feet without the emotional support I was used to.

In the long run, I think it was a good thing. I will always care about the special person that drifted from my life. Hell, my heart will always hold a place for just that person - nobody else can fill that spot. Even though we are still friends, it's not the same. My calls and texts to this person are not always answered and I know I'm not as important to them as I once was. It's okay - I understand - I truly do.

My point - I don't know that Led was able to do what we did. He didn't find it as easy to go it alone and the stories he wove increased during the last months of his life. He floundered. He was alone and he was lonely.

I am not angry for the stories he told.

I am sad for him.

I'm sad that he was so very lonely and that he died alone.

I'm sad that he's not there anymore and that I cannot tell him that I'm sorry I wasn't there. I'm sad that he didn't know how much he meant to me.

I'm sorry for myself as well. Two people incredibly dear to me in different ways are lost to me. I think of them both daily. Even still in those odd little moments when something funky happens I want to just pick up my phone and call one or both of them. Yet, I cannot.

I guess tonight I am feeling introspective and just needed to ramble.

I'm okay; truly I am. I'm not looking for anyone to feel badly for me. I'm in a good place in my life. I am happy. Things are good.

Sometimes, I just want to move the clock back and have one more day.


Monday, March 1, 2010


My head hurts.

Why, you ask?

I dropped a vacuum cleaner on it.

Uh huh, that was the response I got from the hubster when I casually mentioned dropping our vacuum cleaner on my head.

It went like this. There I was innocently vacuuming the stairs in the foyer when the damn thing came toppling down and landed on my head. I didn't see it coming and it smacked me a good one.

I guess that's just one of life's little foibles.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Daylight Serenade

There I was happily having a luverly discussion with one of my most favorite classes - and then it happened.

I glanced out the door and one of our secretaries was there with the guidance counselor and one of the interns working in our school. Behind them were four old guys wearing matching suits with bright red ties.

No, I hadn't been zapped into the Twilight Zone.

The hub found a unique way to do something for me for Valentine's Day. He sent a barbershop quartet to sing to me. They were so much fun. They all traipsed in, handed me roses and a card, told me that my hub sent them and proceeded to start singing.

My class was stunned and more and more people started filtering into my room to see what was going on. To say it was different is an understatement. It was delightful!

Between songs, they gave me little messages from the hubster that were all pretty damn sweet. The kids were taking pics with their cell phones, the women in the room were crying. The guys were grinning, and me? I didn't know what to say or do.

Nobody ever told me what the proper protocal is when being serenaded by four total strangers in front of a room full of people.

I'm pretty certain that I blushed. I know I got misty eyed.

It was sweet. To be honest, it was probably one of the most touching things he's ever done for me on Valentine's Day.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Buddy

Soooooooo I am really cool now. I have a new penpal. Okay, so he's only written to me once. I see that as a start to a new and beautiful relationship full of dialog and the exchange of ideas.


Yeah yeah, I am exagerating. Even so, it's still kind of cool.

I write letters. I write to my congress dudes and dudettes. I write to my governor. I write when things bug the beejeebers out of me.

That's how one of my missives ended up in Washington DC. That's why my new penpal (that based on the fact that I got ONE letter back thus far) even knows I exist.

Yes, my new penpal is none other than Barrack Obama.

My own kids and my students were tickled pink to see the return address on the envelop and run their fingertips over the Presidential seal. Sure, it wasn't personalized - even so - it came from the big house in DC. That said to all the teens in my life that they "do" make a difference. It said everyone can put in their two cents. They were amazed.

As for me? If my penpal and his wife decide to have us over for dinner, I shall wear my new sassy ensemble that I bought for the wedding. Just don't tell 'em it was on sale!


Sunday, February 7, 2010


I truly do love my sophomores this year, but they sometimes drive me utterly and completely bonkers! I was warned. I can't say I had no idea what to expect. Everyone, and I do mean everyone that taught these kiddos before they pranced into my room last September said the same thing - "great kids, very chatty, but low achievers". It fits them perfectly.

Collectively, they are content to be proficient. There really isn't a single one of them that puts any great effort into school. They want to be spoonfed and would rather have me give them a bunch of information to memorize than to put any real thought into how the world works, why things happened, how one event led to another, etc. It's frustrating because I'm NOT a teacher that simply tosses dates and names at kids to memorize. I want them to "understand" the world around them. Argh!

A classic example was Friday. I was covering the end of WWI - it was time to mention the atomic bombs being dropped. Puleeze don't turn this into a discussion about the right or wrong of it - no no no peeps, I just wanna tell you 'bout my class, not get all political here.


It went kind of like this (abbreviated for the sake of my purdy little sore fingers and my non-desire to type each word)

"On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima....... (yada yada yada)"


"The Japanese didn't surrender, and three days later the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki..... (yada yada yada)"

One of the total black and white thinker type boys interupts me to ask "Uh, what year was that bomb dropped?"

My look of utter exasperation must have shown because one of the kids who "gets it", looked up, grinned at me, and muttered "that would have been 1946".

I didn't say anything, I just went on to explain the Japanese officially signed papers to surrender in September of 1945.

The confused boy looked up with a rather dazed and confused expression on his face and said "Uh, that doesn't make any sense!"

I asked why.

His reply?

"Well why would we have dropped a bomb on them in 1946, if they surrendered in 1945?"

*bangs head on desk*

Did you notice that I'd said "three days later"? Duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes I just want to stomp my feet and cry. Those feelings were intensified when the kids sitting around him said "uh, we have 1946 written down too!"

I had to explain that sarcasm boy was just messing with their heads because they should have KNOWN the year when I said it was three days AFTER August 6 of 1945. Instead of saying "oh oh oh, I get it", they said things like "well why did he SAY 1946???"

My head hurts.


Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'm a happy little camper; a happy camper yes I am.

(think melody to Yankee Doodle when reading that - I'm singing it in my head)

Yeah yeah, I'm feeling silly today but savings oodles of money can do that to a stingy Deej.

The wedding is in three weeks. I have been putting off finding a dress to wear to the big event. I just haven't been anticipating the thought of digging through atrociously decorated with faux pearls and gawdy sequins type dressed. I hate that shit. I hate those "mother of the bride" type dresses.

Yesterday Babycub and I went shopping for all kids of gizmos and doo-dads. She suggested I find a dress and I shuddered. I opted to use the age old excuse many women use when confronted with this particular horror "Uh, I need to shave my legs".


After all, who wants to try on dresses with less than smooth gams? Not, I - that's for sure!

With that out of the way, we continued having a marvelous day poking through one store after another. Then it happened. Some odd force drew me into a cute little boutique that I've never ventured into before. I found myself being pulled toward a rack of clothes and right toward this luverly printed jackety thing.

I pulled it out and asked Babycub what she thought. We both loved it. Then my face fell. My jackety thing with the fitted tank under it came with pants NOT a skirt. I sighed mightily and Babycub suggested I call the bride - my oldest daughter. If she could live with her "mother of the bride" in pants, I most certainly would be happy to prance down the aisle in this outfit of outfits. It was perfection on a hanger!

She didn't care. She knows I'm never going to be the 50s Throwback Family that she's marrying into. I am me. My family is unique, and I love it. We don't fit molds.

With glee, I scampered to the dressing room to try on my treasure. It fit like it was made for me. I flounced and preened in front of mirrors, Babycub, and the sales clerks. It was "me". I was thrilled.

I didn't look at the price.

I knew I'd be spending a few bucks to find the perfect ensemble for this wedding. I just figured this would be pricey and that was that.

There it was - the tag.

But wait!

It was marked down.

The mark down was crossed off and marked down again.


The marked down mark down was also crossed off and marked down again.

But wait even again!

The dress was on clearance.

After all the markdowns, they were still discounting it by 75% of the last markdown.

To sum it all up - my perfect perfect luverly delightfully make me smile and feel purdy outfit cost me ....



Yes, that's FOURTEEN dollars.

The gods of shopping were smiling on me yesterday!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boobie Fairy

And suddenly there are boobies.

Yes, the boobie fairy has sprinkled some kind of mammary dust on my wee little girl.

My little babycub has a chest and I'm not quite ready to see her this way! Last weekend she tossed on some sweater, walked out into the living room and said "omg, mom, my boobs look like the size of Texas in this!!!"

I had to laugh and promptly texted her older sister about this so we could harass the poor little Texan in tandem. After all, if your family doesn't give you endless amounts of shit, what good are they?

We spent the day calling her Tex while she rolled her eyes at us in utter dismay.

When her bod first began to develop she was extremely self-conscious about the whole puberty/mother nature/hormone thing. She's accepted the inevitable - she will get boobs, pimples, periods, body hair, and all that jazz.

My house has changed. The hub and I have adjusted to the Mancub having a deeper voice, a hint of whiskers, and littlemanuppityness. Now we are moving into the moody hormonal aspect of a teen girl. Both of them at once? Really?????

Years ago when these two were little someone repairman was at our house and seemed rather puzzled to see the gap in the ages of our kids. The hub looked at him and said "Yeah, they are all ours. God is punishing us for something to land us with two year olds in teenagers all at the same time."

Some days I long for those old days, but time marches on and I wouldn't change a thing about my cubs. Okay, well, maybe she could be a wee bit less chesty - she's being ogled by teen boys and she's only thirteen!


Thursday, January 28, 2010


It still doesn't seem quite real to me that Led isn't going to be there for me the way he was for so very long.

For the first few days I cried every time I thought of him, but for the past two days I haven't cried. I'm doing okay.

All kinds of odd things have gone through my mind.

I think we all have similar thoughts when we lose someone we love. We fret over things left unsaid. We moan over things we wish we hadn't said or done. Shit, the last word I actually texted to him was "die". Go figure! Granted, I wasn't telling him to die; I simply texted "crap, my battery is about to die" - even so, the irony of it all didn't escape me.

I've been angry with him. He promised he'd always be there. He isn't. I know this because I call his cell each day just to hear his voice. Perhaps the finality of it all will sink in when the phone is disconnected and I get a recording saying the number is no more. Until then, I shall call just to have that bit of connection.

I've come to realize that I'm being incredibly selfish. I'm thinking of his death in terms of "what will I do without him in my life?" Sheesh, I have made this all about me. The reality of the situation is that I should be sad for him and not for me. I think grief tends to be that way for most people though. We are sad for ourselves because losing that someone takes them away from us. It's the survivors that are feeling lonely - it's not the one that's gone.

Even though I hadn't talked to him right before he died, he knew I loved him. I know he did. I believe that deep in my heart.

I also believe he didn't know or sense how close he was to dying. I've heard over and over from people how their loved one just "knew". I really think he just went to sleep that night and didn't wake up in the morning. I don't think he felt shitty and suspected that was his last night or that the end was nearing. I believe he'd have called me to say good-bye if that were the case. He wouldn't have just bailed from this planet on me.

I do believe his spirit, his presence, or whatever is here and always will be around me. He may not physically be here to kick my ass when I act like an idiot, but the essence of him is here. I can hear his voice in my head giving me encouragement.

I'm still finding the hardest part is that I can't just pick up the phone any time I want to talk to him. I think that will bother me for a very long time.

In the meantime, I am finding myself smiling when those memories of him hit me by surprise. It's okay. I miss him, but I will be okay. The world will keep spinning and as long as he's in my heart, he's going to be spinning on it with me.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Led

Nobody will understand this entry better than most of you. In our own odd little ways we have forged friendships and much more through this medium that non-blogger type people do not and will not understand. I know many of us have already mentioned this like this.

So, here I am.

Sad beyond belief…

I can’t sleep because I just want to cry…

It’s the middle of the night and the one person that wouldn’t get cranky by a middle of the night phone call from me for no particular reason isn’t going to answer. Sure, there are others I could call, but some would be a mite irritated about the time, others wouldn’t get what I’m feeling. This one person wouldn’t question. He’d just listen to me cry and let me get it all out. After that, he’d find something to say to make me laugh.

I cannot call him tonight or any other night…

He’s why I’m so sad…

A couple of you might remember him. He really didn’t blog at efx2 very often and he never wrote anything here; he signed up there to write a few entries here and there because I nagged him to do it.

He registered here and efx2 as leduntitled. I just called him "Led".

I had this phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I didn’t answer the phone. Instead I listened to the voice message from a person I didn’t know. It simply said “I’m L…, a friend of Ed’s. Could you please call me?”

I knew.

I didn’t want to make that call, but I had to.

He died last weekend.

His friends hunted and searched for my phone number because they knew how close he and I were. They knew I needed to know. They invited me to come and stay with them so I could attend his memorial service. They seem wonderful. I’m glad he had them in his life.

Sadly, I knew this call would come. I just hoped it wouldn’t be so soon.

He’s had health problems for the past few years. I’ve known that, but he didn’t complain and tended to try to shove the seriousness of his illness in the background. He always told me he didn’t want me to worry.

Our friendship has spanned years and years. Once upon a time, I wandered into some silly chatroom and met this guy. He was sarcastic, odd, funny, intelligent, sweet, and silly. We hit it off immediately and began to spend hours and hours talking.

No matter what happened in his life or mine, we stayed friends. There were some ups and downs, just like in any friendship. There were times that I wanted to smack him silly, and I’m sure there were times he felt the same way about me.

He was a computer savy tech geek who rolled his eyes when I admitted I didn’t know how to copy and paste. He patiently taught me how to navigate the net and do all kinds of funky things with a computer.

He forgave me when I wasn’t a very good friend to him. He’d tell me if I was being an idiot, but never did he stop being there for me.

Before there were inexpensive cell phones everywhere (yes, we have been friends long), he got an 800 number in case I wanted to call him – any time, anywhere.

When things were crappy in my life, he listened and cared.

When shit hit the fan in his life, I listened and cared.

I was married with kids; he’d never married and had no children. Even so, he seemed to love when I babbled on about the goofy things my kids did. He asked about them all the time. When he was in a relationship, he’d use me as a soundingboard when his g/f was driving him nuts.

He was just always there.

Several years ago, everyone in my immediate family forgot my birthday. He didn’t. He put together a silly birthday website to make me laugh. He was so angry that I’d been forgotten here that he made a point of always making sure that never happened again. My birthday is Monday. It will be the first time in thirteen years that I won’t hear from him.

I hated knowing he was so sick. I hated even thinking about the possibility that he wouldn’t be there some day. I tend to shove bad things into the background. I tend to try to avoid the ugly parts of the world. I ignored that I might lose him.

In doing so, I haven’t been the best friend to him lately.

I wasn’t blogging here, you know that – I also wasn’t being very good about talking to him as much as we did in the past. I haven’t had any contact with him in over a week.

I keep going back to last year when he was really feeling sick. I demanded he go to the hospital and threatened to call his mom, his friends, etc. if he didn’t go. He went and his doc told him he’d have died if he didn’t get in when he did. Now, I am thinking that maybe if I’d talked to him last week, I would have realized he needed to see a doc again; he was terrible about doing things like that.

In any case, there is a hole in my world right now and I just needed to talk it out. Like I said, you peeps – you people understand how much we can learn to care for someone online. Truly, none of my friends that don’t go online would understand how I’m feeling – they would think I’m nuts.

Bear with me for a bit. I have a feeling I may be writing about this again one of these days.