Sunday, July 31, 2022

I'm Conscious That I'm Thankful

I've spent the weekend working on a little project that required a great deal of scrapbooking paper and glue and led to me making a big mess of bits of paper all over my craft room, so I'm late with the Ten Things of Thankful post this weekend (correction: later than usual).

They seemed to think I needed their help.

Things that happened this week for which I am thankful:

I got to go to a conference on Conscious Discipline (and before you ask, no, it's not about being conscious someone needs to be disciplined and don't ask me how I know that) in Kansas City with my director and my grade-level partner. We. Had. Fun.

Got our picture taken with Jill Molli, the
amazing presenter of our Conscious Discipline
conference. I may or may not have asked
if I could touch her gorgeous, bouncy hair.

We picked out toys and other supplies at an educational supply store to take back with us. It's a lot more fun spending someone else's money (in this case, it was from a grant) than your own, and the nugs will enjoy using everything.

Yet again, my amazing Tetris skills came in handy when we had to fit the fruits of our shopping labor into the car, along with our suitcases and snacks and laptops and the stuff we bought at Target the night before.

Packed to the gills.

I enjoyed dinner at Minsky's pizza, which has been my favorite since I was in high school, AND I got to share it with my travel companions. They were suitably impressed, or at least gave a good performance of being so.

Driving back Tuesday night (I was the designated driver for the trip), I am thankful that I didn't hit the two fawns on the shoulder of the interstate that the person riding shotgun and, therefore, in charge of watching for deer, did not warn me about until we were right next to them. I also didn't hit the pedestrian who was wearing camo and walking on the shoulder of the interstate (take a sec and let that sink in), but I'm afraid the bat that swooped down right in front of the windshield did not fare so well....

Nikki, Alyssa, and me as we left KC

My nugs were happy to have me back, and I was happy to be back with them.

Thursday was a ROUGH morning. My class (and this is true for pretty much all children) thrives on routine, but our post-breakfast routine was interrupted when the very first kiddo to transition from table to bathroom let his little firehose get away from him and doused the bathroom floor, and the rest of the kids had to be diverted from potty time straight to play time. Yeah, THAT didn't wind them up at all.... The good news is I didn't have to hide in the bathroom and cry, and within an hour, all was well.

The school is closed this next week, so we can prepare for the fall semester, which starts on August 9 and isn't fall at all. We clean our rooms, wash all the toys, wipe down shelves, and decorate for back to school. There's always excitement in the air when it's back to school time, no matter how old you are. Something about seeing the stores stocked with crayons and glue and notebooks takes you back to your own days of going to Sears for back to school clothes with your mom. Good times.

I hope you find the thankfuls around you, too.

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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Getting Used To It

Guess what? Still hot, but I think I'm becoming more acclimated to it, as long as I'm not standing on asphalt, like the fresh, new, really black kind. I guess and I can be thankful for that, as well as the following:

It was too darn hot to take my littles outside, even if they had water to play in, especially because some of them don't play in the water and instead run hell-bent for leather around the playground and risk getting overheated. We found plenty to do inside, however, including drawing with chalk and doing a LOT of exercise and movement songs to wear them out for nap!

You may remember that in the winter, I do love my snow days. We don't often get very many here (although we scored fairly well this past winter), but it's something to look forward to when winter comes. Well, we had a different version of a snow day this week, in that a water line broke to the building and school had to be canceled for Thursday. 

They weren't able to fix it on Thursday, so no school on Friday, either.

Thanks to our four day work week schedule, I was off on Monday, so I had a TWO day work week this week!

Thursday, the teachers did have a meeting at the school to go over a few things. I'm thankful I didn't have to go to the bathroom, because our only option was a sketchy gas station across the street.

Friday, six of us took a day trip to my favorite educational supply store that unfortunately is closing (I started shopping there in the early 1980s when I was still in college). We had a fun day of shopping and eating, and I got to demonstrate my mad Tetris skills by fitting a box containing an entire child's WAGON into the tiny space behind the rear seat of my van along with all the bags of loot we bought.

I got a surprise chance to go to a training on Conscious Discipline! It's in Kansas City and we are leaving in a short few minutes to drive up there. When my boss asked me if I wanted to go, I immediately jumped on it, but to be honest, if it were a training on paper clips that called for an out of town trip, I would jump on that, too.

My boss (who, bonus, is also my good friend), my grade level partner, and I will be loaded up with snacks, a rental car that I get to drive, and will not be back until Tuesday night. Woohoo! Oh, and we will learn so, so much while we are at the training!

Okay, I've got to run, so I'm invoking Secret Rule 1.3 from the Book of Secret Rules (or Secret Book of Rules) that says Imma not doing 10! 

Because I'm early for a change, you can actually link up to the Ten Things of Thanksgiving RIGHT HERE!

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Sunday, July 17, 2022

A Little Bit Louder And A Little Bit Worse

Same song, second (or third or fourth or fifth) verse. It's HOT. Hotter than it's supposed to be around here. Welcome to global warming! Al Gore tried to tell everyone about it, and no one listened. We've had triple digit temps for several weeks now, plus high humidity. We can't have outdoor play time in the afternoons because of the heat index, and it is HARD to find ways to keep those littles busy and active within the confines of the building!

Onward and upward with this week's Ten Things of Thankful:

Our upstairs air conditioner conked out again and was revived on Thursday. Hopefully this is not the beginning of the end for the unit. We will keep babying it along as long as we possibly can!

Popsicles are wonderful for cooling off and for making little nugs a happy, sticky mess!

I am thankful for little things that make me smile, like what I found on the fire alarm across from my room this week:

We got a brief respite from the heat on Tuesday when it sprinkled lightly for about twenty minutes. I wasted no time getting my class outside to run around in it! They had a ball playing in the rain, and I didn't even mind that it made my hair frizz.

I'm reaching my water goal every day!

The discovery of the recirculate air button in my car has continued to dazzle me. Boy, do I feel silly that I didn't know about it sooner!

My friend and preschool mom Lauren gifted me with a shirt and a bag, plus a shirt for my daughter. Make good trouble!

I signed up to write postcards to encourage voting in the November elections. I did it two years ago, and it's not easy to write 200 postcards (and bless those folks who do more!), but it's rewarding.

My daughter finished her law school finals for her summer classes and got to come to the lake house for the weekend and relax. Next up will be helping her move into a new apartment before school starts again.

My husband and I enjoyed a couple of hours at White Water theme park Saturday evening. Taking a dip in a pool is a great way to cool off before going home and going to bed. If I could afford it, I would have a swimming pool of my own, but instead, I content myself with occasional visits to White Water and with taking a long bubble bath in my big bathtub.

Keep cool! Eat popsicles! Drink your water! Write your Ten Things of Thankful and meet me here next weekend!

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Sunday, July 10, 2022

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I LOVE my four day work week in the summer, but there are two negatives to having Mondays off:

I miss my little nugs when I'm not there with them.

I forget that Sunday is not just another Saturday and I come in hot getting my Ten Things of Thankful post written before the midnight CDT deadline.

Here's my list:

I am thankful for Mimi of messymimi's meanderings for always being at the hop (and if I ever think I have a busy schedule, I read just one DAY from Mimi's week and realize I'm quite a slug) and for always, ALWAYS having kind words for everyone. 

I'm thankful for my student workers. I can't name them without leaving someone out, but I love and appreciate them and could not do my job without them.

Okay, I'm going to call one student worker out, because Yoshito and I have spent a lot of time together the past two weeks, and I have laughed more with him than I have laughed in a long time. After seeing a pool noodle water wall on Pinterest, I bought all the materials to make one for our playground, and Yoshito and I spent what seemed like an eternity making it happen on the hottest day of the year (100 degrees with a heat index of 107). I was so proud of it that I took a video of our test run, only, well, you'll have to watch the video....

The inspiration from Pinterest.

The finished project

I SWEAR I was looking at the screen as I recorded this. I claim the heat skewed it. My daughter says I was what was skewed by the heat. I found it a hilarious cinematography fail. And this is the kind of stuff Yoshito has to put up with from me all the time, bless his heart.

Thanks to the 4th of July holiday, I had a three day work week instead of four (and that's instead of five!)

My daughter was approved to move into a different apartment. The one she's been in has some rather, um, interesting (sketchy) tenants, and I'm thankful she found a place in a quiet neighborhood in a house with only two other apartments. With everything she had to do to get approved, it appears the other tenants are also fully vetted and life in that building will be less...exciting.

I finally looked over a large, old chest of drawers my husband brought home from a thrift store last winter and found the inside to be completely clean and spider web free and the finish on it isn't as bad as I thought it was. I used some Old English scratch remover on it, and it looks pretty darn good! Some day, I can refinish it, but for now, it's perfectly fine to use. It's now in my bedroom at the lake house and being fully utilized.

One last thankful to Lisa at Prolific Pulse and Clark at The Wakefield Doctrine, my co-hosts at the Ten Things of Thankful. Our little weekly blog hop keeps puttering along thanks to them. 

Join the TToT every weekend. We are here. 

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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Lemonade Or Lemon Juice?

I'm not feeling very patriarchy, I mean, patriotic this 4th of July weekend. I think I'll turn my negativity into thankfuls, kind of like making lemonade out of lemons. Of course, we all know you need sugar to make that lemonade any good, otherwise you've just got lemon juice. Let's see how I do:

1.-3. I have to watch for deer every morning when I drive to work, as they can't tell time and don't seem to know when it's time to go back to the woods and hide for the day. On the way home, in the middle of the afternoon and especially in this heat, it's not a worry. Then there was Wednesday. I was driving between a wooded area and a big, grassy area when a large deer came bounding across the field and across the road in front of me. I stopped the car as I saw her coming, knowing deer have NO BRAKES and can and will run right into the side of the car, and as I watched her bound across the road and disappear into the brush, I looked to the grassy field (deer are seldom solo animals, so I was looking for her friends) and saw not one, but two fawns bouncing along after her. The first one boinged across in front of me and into the ditch on the opposite side of the road and froze as the second one boingedy boinged onto the road, then stopped in front of the car and looked at me. Cars are lining up behind me as I rolled down the window and told him to keep going, finally clapping my hands out the window to scare him into running to the ditch, where he joined his twin. Then instead of running into the brush like their good-for-nothing mama, they ran DOWN the ditch, me keeping pace with them, trying to protect the little goofballs from running back into traffic. A few yards later, they passed the brush their mama disappeared into and off they ran for the woods. Whew! 

I didn't hit them.

They didn't hit me.

I held up traffic for several minutes and no one honked.

4. The air conditioner in my car has not been working very well. It blows coolish air about 75% of the time, and 25% it's just plain warm. Then I read a little blurb that popped up on Facebook (Huff Post, maybe?) about the recirculated air button on the dashboard and that it should be turned on in hot weather. Without the button pushed, the a/c is using hot air from outside and trying to cool it down, but when you get in the hot car and turn on the a/c, that air is still cooler than the air in the car, and if that air is recirculated, it gets cooler and cooler until it's as cool as it can possibly be. It appears I have saved myself servicing on my a/c with the push of a button.

5. I baked a turkey breast this weekend that we had in the freezer. It was a chesty turkey, weighing almost 10 pounds, and when I was taking it out of the oven a few hours later, I didn't spill ALL the drippings in the bottom of the oven....

6. Brown recluse spiders are very common in the midwest. We seem to have more than our fair share of them, between the lake house and our own house, and they are not so reclusive in hot weather. Like now. My daughter was down for the weekend, and one ran across the back of the couch where she was sitting and down the arm and disappeared. There was much screaming, but she didn't get bitten!

7. My daughter brought her cat Calvin with her to the lake house. He's a big ol' funny guy except around 4:30 every morning when he becomes possessed by the devil and races around the house, knocking things over and otherwise wreaking havoc. During his early Saturday morning zoom session, my husband was awakened when he could no longer breathe, and as he yanked his CPAP mask off, he saw Calvin sitting on his bedside table with a foot on the air hose. Was Calvin trying to kill him? Possibly, but it didn't happen THIS time!

8. Sunday morning, I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast for my family and found my dad's pill organizer on the floor with pills scattered around it. We all know who did it, right? Fortunately for Calvin, the only little door that popped open was one that he used to store extras. Had it been more than that, well, I don't want to think about what a mess that would have been to straighten out.

9. I cleaned out the pantry at the lake house. It's been a disaster for months, but it's nice and neat now. I had to throw out some boxed food that had expired (we laid in a lot of food when the Covid lockdown started), but it means we had plenty and can be thankful for that.

10. My friend and co-host Pat of A Season and a Time is stepping down, but I am thankful that the Ten Things of Thankful allowed me to meet first her daughter (and original co-host) Kristi, then Pat herself, and I am blessed to call them both friends (AND cousins!).

Did I add enough sugar to those lemons to get lemonade? I think maybe I did!

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