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

I’d Like a Clutter-Free Classroom, Please..


I have been looking forward to summer vacation for months now.  The idea of getting up in the morning without anywhere I have to be, doing great little organizational projects at home, crafting stuff, writing stuff, and cooking stuff.  Just lots of fun stuff.

So far, I’ve been teaching a half day of summer school, which has been the best part of my days.  For someone who has always been shy around strangers, I am horrible at enjoying time alone.  I’m good for an afternoon, or even a day or two once in a great while, but I need interaction with people, whether they’re in fifth grade or collecting pensions.

In one more week I will be done with summer school, and then I’ll have to keep myself entertained for entire days at a time!  And this is probably obvious to all of you already (I’m slow to catch on sometimes), but doing crafty things, organizing pantries, and fixing meals is not the least bit exciting when you are the only one who will see the results of your labor.

Poor, poor me…

Hmm… what would I tell my kids if they came to me with this problem?

Get a life.

I’d probably be a little nicer about it, because that’s just the kind of fabulous mother I am, but basically – get off your butt, and go do things.  Meet people.  Join something.  Seriously.  And I do have friends.  Honest!  But do I have people over to my place for dinner?  Never.  Do I call them up and make plans with them to do… well… anything?  Not so much.  It’s tough to do with chronic pain, but most of my friends have known me long enough to know I can’t tell when my head will take over my day, and they’re genuinely nice people, so I think they’d understand.  And most of them are teachers, so they have the same time off I do.

I find that most often I make my own unhappiness.  This quote has been making the rounds on Pinterest – which I have an unhealthy attachment to, by the way.  I laughed because it was a little bit snarky sounding, but then I realized it really is that basic.  If you’re not happy, DO something about it.

We’ll see how this turns out.




This and That and Debby

I truly planned to post this Thursday, but my head got in the way and a two-hour nap ensued.  I’m okay with that.

My this and that for this week includes the following:

  • more rain in 3 days than I’d like to see again for the next 3 months
  • all the water sent ants into my kitchen in droves and a cockroach into my bedroom until his life was snuffed out by the woman who pays the rent around here.
  • the sun has returned and the grass is already looking dry again.
  • an alligator was spotted earlier this week crossing the street in the cross walk like a good, law-abiding citizen.


Just another week in sunny Florida.

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!

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.

Hello? Hellooooo…

Did you hear me tapping on the mic?  Just wondering if anybody is still out there in the audience.  When I take a break, forget 15 minutes.  A month is more like it.

It’s been a hectic month, in which I finished the school year, started teaching summer school, and had a most excellent social life.  Now  that I’m done with school, half done with summer school, and back to my lame non-social life, I guess I have no excuses.  My teeny-tiny fan club (brother Mike) gave me grief today over the lack of posts.  Which is good, because it means he reads them.  God bless relatives.

Some things in my personal life have been very discouraging over the past week, and it’s got me feeling very glum.  The fact that it has rained all day today, all my kids are busy, and I have spent most of the day in a very silent apartment has not helped at all.  I hate it when I’m not perky.  I’m the antithesis of perky right now.

However, in a little over a month I’ll be jetting off with child #3, my dad and his sweetheart to that booming, amazing metropolis of Eden, NY.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it, right?  For those not in the know, go buy a REAL kazoo – you know, red or blue on the bottom, gold-colored on the top and made of metal.  On it will be stamped Eden, NY USA.  Or it should be.  Home of the authentic kazoo, sweet corn, and moi.

We’ll only be there 12 days, but I’m already exhausted thinking of all the things I want to see and do.  I have never been bored on a trip home.  Sure, it’s a sleepy little farm town, but you’d be amazed.

Fifteen minutes after our flight is scheduled to touch down, there is an open house at the Richardson Olmsted Complex, formerly known as the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.  My niece is interning there, and a non-profit group is restoring this beautiful old building and grounds.  Fortunately, they are doing rolling tours over the three-hour open house, so even if we don’t get there right away, we won’t miss the event.  Unless our plane is delayed a couple of hours.  Then somebody is gonna hear from me, because I REALLY WANT TO GO TO THIS!

Then there’s my niece’s band, Brother Keep, performing locally. Alumni weekend, creek hiking at Zoar Valley, the Lucille Ball Museum in nearby Jamestown, NY, architectural tours of  Buffalo, and on, and on… and let’s not forget my sister-in-law’s birthday, and Eden’s fabulous Corn Festival!  Did I mention it’s Eden’s Bicentennial?

I will be way too busy to be glum, even if it rains.  Hmm… maybe there’s a lesson in there for me.

Yesterday was a banner day for me, professionally and personally.  The symphony trip with my students was delightful!  This year, the conductor focused on melody, playing little snippets of pieces, including Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and his Seventh Symphony.  The kids recognized them immediately, because each school’s music teacher teaches the lessons that prepare them for this field trip.  They learned about repetition in melody, along with scales as melodies, as in the Beatles’ Yesterday. I am particularly thrilled to hear my students talk knowledgeably about classical music, as they come from low-income families, whose parents have most likely not exposed them to this genre of music.

Now that would be the topper of the day for me usually, however yesterday each teacher at my school received an ipad and ipad training.  While I have my opinions on how that money could have been spent more directly on students, I am not stupid enough to look a gift horse in the mouth.  I now know just enough to frustrate myself.  I did manage to download National Geographic Explorer magazine, and plan to go exploring myself to find other apps that can be utilized by my students in the classroom.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting myself an ipad, so this will be a great opportunity to find out how and how much I will utilize it, as compared to my laptop.

If any of you have any favorite apps or a particular way you enjoy utilizing your ipad, I’d love to hear it!

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