I am going to enjoy life after 50 if it kills me!

Archive for the ‘Onward’ Category

A Long, Strange Trip I’m Still On


This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except that I miss my little man and wish I could spend more time with him.

Since my dad fell, a lot has happened.  After a week it became clear that while his hip was healing beautifully, the rest of his body was bent out of shape over the whole thing.  His kidneys began to fail and that took awhile to deal with.  Then his bladder decided it was not going to work as a protest to this whole thing, and that he’s still dealing with.  Then, just for fun, his blood pressure started to plummet whenever he stood during his occupational therapy sessions.  After only a minute or two, he’d feel so weak he’d have to sit back down.

Fortunately, by the time all this started, I had already taken a leave of absence from work until the end of the school year.  I have been living at my dad’s house so I can visit him daily, attend doctor’s appointments with him, keep track of his meds, pay his bills, etc.

Because I needed more of a challenge apparently, while all this was going on, my dog got a nasty, nasty ear infection, as basset hounds are prone to do.  She has been to the vet three times and is on a host of antibiotics.  She also managed to pick up fleas, which got a foothold because when Dad fell, I forgot to give the dog her flea meds for a week or so.

To make a long story short, my apartment is teeming with fleas, my car is infested, and my dad’s house has a few fleas.  Because I’ve been living there, I’ve had a chance to treat the dog and the house, so they’re almost gone.

So while I’m waiting for my apartment and car to air out from the flea bombs, I’ve had a chance to write this post at a local sandwich shop while very slowly eating lunch.

This all, by the way, is STILL wayyyy less stressful than teaching fifth graders.

PS – I tripped over the dog a couple weeks ago, landing in the road on my mouth.  Next week I’ll be getting a crown on one of my front teeth.  That dog is the most expensive pet I’ve ever owned.



Onward to Selby Gardens

Although I have lived in Florida for 17 years now, there is so much to see and do here,  that I have years of things to do and places to see in front of me.

Recently, I spent a lovely day at Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.  It’s one of those places I drove by often, thinking to myself, “I really should go there sometime.”  Last month I finally had the opportunity.  And I’m so glad!

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a treasure!  You can meander its pathways through various gardens or join a guided tour, which is what my companion and I did.  We strolled through a variety of plants, trees, bamboo, and so many others.  In the couple of hours we were there, although we saw much, there was more we could have seen, had we made a longer day of it. One of the loveliest parts of the morning was just sitting on a park bench overlooking the bay, while workers set up for a wedding nearby.  What a relaxing way to pass the time!

There is much more to Selby Gardens.  Besides hosting private events, there is a research facility which studies, among other things, orchids and bromeliads.  They also have school programs, events, and classes for the public.  This week is a “Tropical 4th of July”, featuring reggae music, food, and fireworks, plus activities for children.  Their website is very informative and I urge you to visit it to see photos, get more detailed information, and learn about the resources they offer!

Onward to… I’m Hungry.

So the thing about a tropical storm is, it’s not scary dangerous like a hurricane.  Don’t misunderstand, it can be deadly if a tornado drops down out of the sky, as several did this past weekend.  And if you’re foolish enough to go running around in the surf or swollen creek and rivers, drowning is a distinct possibility.  But on the whole, if you use common sense and pay attention, you will get through it.

However, this one, even if she is named for me, is a pain in the butt.  The bands of rain come through, dropping lots of rain, so I stay inside.  Then the sun comes out, the rain stops, and I make plans to run errands.  By the time I get my act together (okay – it takes me longer than most people…) the sky grows dark and drops a deluge once again.

All I want to do is go to the ATM and run over to Chipotle’s.  Is that too much to ask?  Rats, the sun is out again.  I gotta go!

A Tropically Stormy Weekend

Here in Florida, there are two things you can always count on – sunshine all year long, and rain in the summertime.

So for the first couple days, I didn’t really pay attention to all the rain.  Yes, it rained more than the typical afternoon showers we usually see this time of year, but whatever.

By yesterday, I was pretty much over it and just wanted the sun to come out and raise my saggy, soggy spirits.  That didn’t happen.  In fact the rain carried on all day and through the evening.  It wasn’t until last night that I realized this rain was being caused by Tropical Storm Debby out in the Gulf of Mexico.  And by the way, people, I prefer the -ie spelling over the -y spelling, but I was not consulted.

Today the wind picked up as the rain kept falling.  I ran a couple of errands because I needed dog food and something sweet.  Which I would probably go out in a Cat 5 hurricane to get, by the way.  Not until I sat down after dinner did I find out that in Hillsborough County north of me, there is a tornado warning just being lifted, along with a tornado watch in effect until tomorrow morning.  This little “rainy weekend” is turning into a dangerous storm.  According to the local news, one person has died as a result of a “possible tornado” touchdown today.

And yet, on Twitter, people are griping about having their TV shows interrupted for news of weather warnings and updates.  Sometimes I just want to smack people on the forehead with “I am an idiot” stickers, so we can all identify them from a distance and avoid them.

For those of you who are taking this storm seriously, stay dry and stay safe.

We’re Off to the Symphony… Again!

Our final field trip as a fifth grade class is this Thursday, and I am excited!  Once again, we’ll be boarding the big yellow bus and heading to Sarasota‘s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall aka the Big Purple Cow.  The color was suggested by the widow of Frank Lloyd Wright, at least according to wikipedia.

Those of us on the Gulfcoast of Florida are blessed to have such a vibrant arts community in Sarasota.  And one of the benefits we enjoy is the yearly Sarasota Symphony Concert put on just for the elementary students of Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  Pieces are chosen specifically for this young audience, giving them a taste of how music creates moods, tells stories, and can evoke emotional responses.

When my students take their purple seats on Thursday, they will be surprised to hear music that is familiar to them.  Perhaps they heard a snippet of a piece in a commercial for beef, perhaps a melody will remind them of a movie score they’ve heard.

It’s days like these that make me cherish my role as their teacher.


Effectively Not Highly Effective

Effectively Not Highly Effective.

My Gift to My Daughter – Sorry.

I may have mentioned once or twice that I have become a grandmother recently.  Love it, and love my grandson, by the way.


What this means, of course, is that my eldest daughter has recently become a mother.  She and her husband are going to be excellent parents to this little man.  I know my daughter relishes her time with her son.

My daughter.  She is me.  Smarter, thinner, and prettier, but me just the same.  When she was about three and a half, I took her with me to an acquaintance’s house, where several moms and their little ones were also visiting.  All the other children knew each other and quickly took off into the back yard to run and play as we watched.  I looked over at my sweet little girl watching out the sliding glass door as the others laughed and played and my stomach turned.  I’d been that child once, watching others play and feeling left out and lonely.  It was gut wrenching and I realized that day that my daughter and I were of one heart.

As she’s grown up, I’ve seen more and more of me in my child.  The perfectionist, the worrier, the pleaser, and the downright neurotic.  We have often joked about this and my standard line to her is “Sorry about that”.

When she was in middle school and high school, my girl began getting migraines.  I KNOW I’ve mentioned my migraines here before.  As she got older, they decreased and were very manageable.  But now, having given birth and returned to work, her headaches are becoming a daily habit.  And they are increasing in intensity.  And with all my heart and soul, I am truly sorry sweetheart.

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