Sunday, September 24, 2023

Almost Forgot But What Else Is New?

Whoa! I almost forgot to post my Ten Things of Thankful for this week! The reason why will be my first thankful:

1 I have Monday off! No reason, other than I have maxed out on accruing vacation days and need to use some up.

2 We got much-needed rain several times this week. 

3  It was warm enough that I took my class outside with bare feet after the rain stopped, and we walked through puddles and over wet grass just to feel the different textures with our feet. I'm thankful that I take advantage of teachable moments like this as often as I can. Didn't get everything done on the lesson plan? Who cares? We did something much more valuable.

4 We made butter this week in class by shaking cream in a jar AND IT TURNED OUT. I have had trouble in past years getting past a runny whipped cream consistency, and after a little bit of research, I found out that I had been filling the jar too full! If you ever have the desire to make your own butter, remember not to fill the jar more than half full of cream to allow enough space for the butter to form!

5-9  This actually happened LAST week at work, but I forgot to put it on my list. We had a Code Brown during drop off time (use your imagination just a teensy bit and you will figure out what that means). It was dog, not human, but it smelled REALLY bad and was tracked throughout the building. My co-worker Robin (BIG thankful here) offered to clean the shoe that was involved in the Code Brown, and my co-worker Dane and I went about cleaning the floors. I spot cleaned and rolled up rugs; Dane mopped and hosed off the rugs outside. After mopping and mopping, Dane asked me to check the lobby, because he thought he could still smell the Code Brown. I walked out there and sniffed and COULD still smell it, but it was impossible to say whether it was lingering in the air or was still on the floor somewhere (did I mention that our floors are laminate wood flooring and are BROWN?). Dane stepped out into the lobby as well, letting the door close behind him, and as we decided to go in search of Lysol spray, we walked over to the (closed) lobby door to re-enter the building and stopped. Dane looked at me and asked, "Do you have your key?" "Noooo," I replied, "it's on the desk where you put it after you used it to open the custodian closet." "Can you call someone?" he asked, and I reached for my back pocket just as I remembered my phone was also lying on the desk, right by the keys. The safety feature of locked doors at our school is AWESOME unless you lock yourself out like an idiot! 

What to do when this happens? First you start laughing, then you take a selfie! Dane did have his phone, but he didn't have any phone numbers of the other staff members saved in it. We wondered how long we would be out there before someone came looking for us when we saw a car pull up with two little latecomers in it. We were saved! The mom would come in with her kids, sign her kids in with her key card, and we would casually walk in like we hadn't been LOCKED OUT OF THE BUILDING. But before they made it to the lobby, the inside door opened and a student worker headed to her college class opened the door. We scared her half to death as we shouted our victory! We were in! 

Now, lest you think children were left unattended, Dane and I were scheduled in the office and not in a classroom, and we probably weren't locked in the lobby for more than 2-3 minutes, although it SEEMED like an eternity when we weren't quite sure how we were going to get ourselves back inside without looking like big goobers. (btw this is not the first time I have gotten myself locked out of the building and was rescued by a student worker)

10 It's fall, y'all! Does it feel like it? No. Will it feel like it soon? Also no, not right away, but it should in a few weeks. In the meantime, pumpkin everything!

Hope your week didn't include any Code Browns! 

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Saturday, September 16, 2023

It Only Hurts When I Laugh (Or Yawn)

Got some thankfuls fer ya.

As mentioned in last weekend's TToT, I spent the weekend in Branson with my friend Nikki. We had taken Monday of this week off to give us a 3-day weekend, which was lovely, and then we both did a Thing. This is mine:

While I had done some research on the whole nose piercing thing, I was still not prepared for how it hurt like a sonofabitch. I was expecting pierced ear pain. BAHAHAHAHAHAAA no.

1. It only REALLY REALLY REALLY hurt for a couple minutes as he jabbed my nostril with an ice pick or whatever he used to do the piercing.

2. By the time we left the store (piercing parlor?), it didn't hurt anymore, but I was definitely AWARE of the piercing.

3. By Wednesday, it only felt a little sore if I yawned and my nostrils flared.

4. Now it only hurts if I forget it's there and boof myself in the nose (it happens, okay?).

5. And I love it! 

Every morning when I get to school, after I turn on all the lights in the building and turn on the office computer, I go to my classroom, turn on MY computer, and open the live feed of a bird feeder in Akron, Ohio, that my kids love to watch (there's a large monitor on the wall). 

Thursday morning, I clicked on the wrong feed by mistake and opened a ground feeder that we watched one day last week (got to see bunnies and chipmunks and mourning doves, and squirrels, always squirrels, whether the feeder is hanging high or on the ground). I was sitting at my desk for a moment, watching a big, fat squirrel eating peanuts from the ground feeder, when a good sized bird came out of nowhere and hit the squirrel. My first thought was that it was a mourning dove with a clumsy landing, and then I realized it was sitting ON the squirrel and then it turned its head and I saw that it was a hawk. Oh, nooooo! I clapped my hands over my mouth and watched in horror, frozen, while the hawk squawked his victory. 

6. I'm thankful that I snapped out of my horror in time to click away from the live feed before the actual carnage began (I know, I know, circle of life, but I still didn't want to see it).

7. I was SUPER thankful that it all went down BEFORE my kids were in the room to see it! 

We celebrated Grandparents Day all week at our school, with each class celebrating on a different day of the week. My day was Friday, and my kids were WOUND UP all morning, because (a) their grandparents were coming to school and (b) they knew they were going to get cookies and lemonade after their program.

8. We sang a song, recited a poem, played the rhythm sticks for two songs AND showed off our mad dance skills by giving the grandparents a taste of our Fun Day Friday Dance Party, and the kids did GREAT with everything, in spite of how squirrely (ouch - too soon!) they were all morning.

9. I invited anyone who wanted to join us in the dance party to do so, and I was pleased that several grandparents were standing up and grooving to "Saturday Night"/Bay City Rollers and "Shake Your Booty"/KC and the Sunshine Band right along with us! It is well-known to readers of this blog that I am NOT a fan of programs and parties and special events at preschool, because I feel soooo awkward and uncomfortable at them, but it wasn't horrible and I survived!

10. My friend and co-worker Robin helped me set up and tear down everything, and I couldn't have done it all without her!

A pretty good week, all in all!

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Rah! Rah! Rah!


I really needed that month off from the Ten Things of Thankful. 

It wasn't for lack of thankfuls. I had them. But I also had not-so-thankfuls, like my dad being very ill, changing grade levels and only having a week to physically move everything and set the room up to be a classroom, and some sadness for the lack of participation in the TToT after so many years. Did you know that at one time, we would have 50+ weekly participants in the hop? I began to feel like I was one of the cheerleaders at the pep assembly in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (watch it if you don't know what I'm talking about; it's currently streaming on Netflix), yelling cheers and encouragement while the audience ignored the enthusiasm and the team's morale slipped lower and lower. I wanted to throw down my poms and walk off the field.

So I put the TToT on a break for the rest of the summer (a Rachel break, not a Ross break). And now summer is over and it's time to either pick up the poms or quit the cheer squad.

Let's do this:

Slowly but surely, my dad has regained enough of his strength after his fall in early June and subsequent sepsis in his artificial shoulder joint that he may be going home soon! He was in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks and then transferred to a rehab facility near us. He plans to go home and live by himself again when he is released.

I'm thankful that we were able to bring my dad to Joplin for his rehab, because I've been able to see him nearly every single day. 

My daughter finished her summer internship at the end of July and was offered a position at the firm where she interned as a public finance attorney when she graduates next May. Yay! She won't have to worry about finding a job when she graduates!

Future attorney!

My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on August 7. Hard to believe it's been that long!

Moving all my stuff from my former classroom down the hall to my new classroom was not fun. Also having to move all the superfluous stuff out of the new classroom was even more not fun. Having some amazing student workers helping me with all of it was priceless. I absolutely could not have done it without Dane and Baylee; we worked hard and laughed hard!

I got my room ready enough for Open House literally minutes before the doors opened. 

The room continues to be a work-in-progress, but it is comfortable and homey and the kids love it.

See those paper flags? I SEWED THEM!

I am now teaching pre-kindergarten instead of preschool. If you've been following me for awhile, you may remember that I taught pre-k for 18 years before leaving that position and taking a new position at the school where I am now. I taught toddlers for a year before being moved to a preschool classroom (where I stayed for three years), and here I am, in pre-k again. I am back with my people, and it feels good!

My birthday was last week (63, if you're keeping track). Enough said.

This weekend, I am having a much-needed girls weekend with my friend Nikki. We have shopped, talked, laughed, eaten, and gone to a club to see one of my favorite bands, the Cleverlys. I feel restored.

Pick up YOUR poms and join in the cheerleading by reading thankful posts, commenting, and then writing your OWN list to add to the hop so we can all cheer for YOU.

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