Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here I Am

Today was not a productive day. I went to school, and I enjoyed my class, really. I walk out of there after 3 1/2 hours and I feel like I could sit there another 3 1/2 hours. Everyone talks, and I like that. We debate, and no one feels threatened that someone else might see it differently. I like that when you say something that no one else has thought of, they all look at you thoughtfully, considering your words. Noah looked at me today, and said, "You know, I love your perspective." Nice to hear. Even when people disagree, though, there is the sense that they are listening and considering what you have said before offering up a counter point. I love this class.

I walked out of there daydreaming, head in the clouds, thinking about words and stories and the poem that I read in class. 'Margaret, are you grieving over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you with your fresh thoughts care for, can you?' I remembered the first time that I heard these words, in highschool. I don't believe that I ever saw anything other than the perspective of the young girl. Yet 40 years later, I read it, and I immediately saw it from the perspective of the older person watching the tender scene. It was a little shocking, like seeing yourself grow up in timelapse photography.

And then, on the way to work, I heard a song.

I wondered just how many times I'd heard this song. How many times I'd sung along with it. I thought of different ages, and different stages, and different places. I owned that album, you know, and I found myself daydreaming of that teenager. How comforted that young girl would have been to see the life that I have now. She would not have thought it possible. Yet here I am.

Here I am.

You know, sometimes, I can hardly believe it myself.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I got up this morning and wrote two papers, one on Hemingway's "Hills like White Elephants" and Alice Walker's "Everyday Use". I put together a presentation for Gerard Manley Hopkins, as back up for the poem I am presenting "Spring and Fall". Then I got a shower, cooked Tim a steak for lunch, baked potatoes and peas. Then I was out the door to work.

For the first time, I got so angry at a customer that I simply called the manager and asked him 'to take care of this gentleman, please' and walked off. Mark was pretty shocked. He asked me later what happened. I told him. What I did not know was that the assistant manager had been coming in the door and heard most of the exchange. Both managers agreed that the man's behavior was completely uncalled for. Man. I sure do hate narrow minded people who feel that they have the right to shove their political views down your throat. I told him that I'd rather not discuss it, repeatedly, and, of all things he accused me of not having a sense of humor. I said, "Actually, I have a wonderful sense of humor." (unspoken part: '...but you ain't funny, man.') He continued on, and on. He wanted to fight. I finally looked up at him and said, "Do you have any idea who you are speaking to?" He shut up and looked shocked. "I am a seven year Army veteran, and I am entitled to my own opinions just as you are entitled to yours," and once again, I said, "I do not want to discuss this with you." He shut up, for just a moment, but then began to hammer his hateful views once more. That is when I called for the manager, and left my register.

The rest of the day was fine, busy, but fine. When I came home, I walked for two miles, a good brisk walk at top speed.

I am really productive lately. I really think that a large part of it is that I really love this class I'm taking. I really think that just being excited about something makes a big difference in the rest of your life.

Things that I Love.

I love my poor overgrown yard at the new house, where old established plants from a formal garden struggle to compete with the forest of baby maples and dandelions and four autumns of leaves from the giant maple trees that I cannot reach my arms around.
I love the violets there, small treasures in the deep leaves.
I love the way the white wood work gleams when you scrub it down. I'm scrubbing the walls and the woodwork and cleaning the windows one room at a time. It makes a huge difference.
I love the way the even sun shines through these windows in the library, making splashes of gold. One day, I'd like to replace the glass with stained glass, but that's one of those dreams that is waaaaay down the road. There will be no luxuries until the necessities are taken care of.
I love these lights.
One on each side of our door. The screen door has to go. It doesn't match the house. The steps need patched. The house needs painted, but Tim was delighted to see that beneath the peeling paint, the house is sided in cedar.
Competing for our attention, our house in the woods once again boasts a nest of baby robins. Even though baby birds are the ugliest thing known to mankind, I love them. I love that mama is so hardworking. I love that she has become so accustomed to us that I can stand and watch her as she goes about her business, flying back and forth to keep the demanding creatures fed.
I love this little grandbaby. He 'talks' now, and grins so big that he just wiggles all over. He find Tim fascinating, and stares and stares. When Tim speaks, he grins and wiggles.
I love this man, although he does not understand why I am taking pictures of robins and of him. We have work to be done, and I cannot do it if I am wandering around with a camera in my hands.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

House Work

I was at Lowe's and while Tim was looking at a big dehumidifier for the basement, I was looking at plants. Sure enough, I found the clearance rack. I got two nice geraniums for $3 each. I got 3 six packs of vinca. I got one six pack of salvia. I got two other potted plants. Can I remember the names of them? No. Tim looked a little concerned when I pulled my little red wagon of plants up. The tension eased from his face when he figured out that I had $9 worth of plants.

I did not have time to plant today. We ripped all the carpets up from the second floor and through them off the balcony onto the back of the truck.
I started sweeping up the rubble left behind. Soon I heard Tim's voice. "Let me out," he said. I stopped. "Where are you?" I called. "Let me out," he said, once more, and then nothing. I leaned the broom against the wall, and headed out calling, "Where are you?" I finally stuck my head in a room, and from a closet, a stuffed gorilla with puckered lips and satin boxers that read "Hot Stuff" wiggled at me. Tim came out of the closet laughing. "Jeepers," I said, "that is one grotesque thing. You need to get rid of that! It gives me the creeps." Tim laughed some more. I laughed too, and went back to sweeping. I gathered up a huge pile of debris in the hall, and when I went into the room Tim had been working in, I saw that he'd left that gorilla perched there, waiting for me with puckered lips.

Gah! The thing gave me the creeps all over again.

The nice thing about this house is that there is a lot of work that I can do on my own, while Tim is at his second shift job. This week, I have tack strips to pry up. A million staples to pull out of the five rooms and the stairs too. I've got walls to continue washing. Woodwork. A second bathroom to clean. More yardwork than you can even guess at. None of this requires money; just elbow grease. I've got plenty of that. I love working by myself in the silence of that big old house, thinking my thoughts and dreaming my dreams.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What's Up?

Merrill's mom came into Tractor Supply the other day. She was quite upset. Mr. Merrill, the chicken who does not know that he is a chicken has begun 'flirting' with her daughter. "He'll have to go outside," she says, and I laugh. This is what she said when he began to crow at ungodly hours of the morning. But first it was so cold that she couldn't bear to do it. When it warmed up, they began putting him outside, but his 'mother' could not bear to see him looking so miserable. He'd come to the back porch, afraid of the other chickens, and he'd sit there looking dejected and miserable. She'd give in, and bring him into the house, and he'd march back into his cage, pick up his 'dolly' (a little stuffed chicken he's quite fond of) and pull it to the side of the cage to listen to a book on tape.

But this latest, well, I think it's convinced her that it's time for Merrill to adjust to life outdoors. He'll need his own coop, since he's so maladjusted that he does not realize that he's a chicken. I show her a nice dog house, raised off the ground. It's got a hinged roof that opens for easy cleaning. It would be perfect. "My husband would kill me if I spend $135. on that bird," she says. I mention that it would be easy enough to build one, but she says that her husband is provoked enough about this bird that he would not do that. Thinking, I say, "Hey. Wait a minute. My husband brought home some very large wooden packing crates from work a few years back. I'd sure like to get one of those out of the basement..." (side note about Tims: When Tims find stuff to stash stuff in, they stash stuff. If they don't have stuff to stash stuff in, they are a bit more realistic about what they keep.) "One of those would be perfect," I say. "They're about waist high," and she got excited. "That would be perfect!"

So there you have it. Tomorrow, we'll be dropping off Merrill's new home, and I'll be able to take a few pictures of that bird you've heard so much about. His mother walked out of the store wondering aloud, "But how will he listen to his books on tape?" I laughed again, shaking my head. She tickles me.

We worked at the house today. I scrubbed. Probably swept up a truckload of mouse poop. Tim pointed at the wall. Bat poop. "I wonder if this is new." I was able to say, "Yep. It is. I washed that wall down last night." But everything is looking nicer. Brighter. We can see that we are making progress: everyday, we take a bite out of grime. Tomorrow we'll haul all the unsalveageable carpets out to the truck. We're pulling up the kitchen lineolum down to hardwood floors. Every layer of filth we remove and haul out of there brings that house one step to its former glory.

We've been having some ridiculous weather. Yesterday, when my friends were in Chautaqua county, over the New York line, the same place I go to college, the report came on the radio. A twister had been sighted. Blessedly, it did not touch down.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today, I went to class. I really love this class. Reading the stories, and teasing the words apart, looking for the hidden meanings, the discussions, the different perspectives.

After school, I went to the new house and began giving it a good scrubbing. I listened to the sound of children playing and the sounds of the church bells ringing the hour, every hour. I listened to the wind, and the sound of the town, the hiss of yet more rain, and the birds and I thought to myself, "These are the sounds of my new life."

Altogether, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, wrapped in the silent house, the noises outside slipping in the open doors, scrubbing and climbing ladders, my body hard at work as my mind wandered freely in and out of the different stories we read today.

Today's discoveries: mice poop small, but mice poop LOTS. Ack. (Yay for rubber gloves). I've got to find diatomaceous earth to treat the foundation of the house with, because we've got ants. I set out ant poison inside today. I set the stuff down and went back down to retrieve the clippers to open the stuff. I got discombobulated and couldn't remember where I'd set the stuff down. I wandered from room to room, laughing a little that the house is big enough for me to lose track of myself in. I counted the rooms today. There are 13. We are ripping out carpeting. Underneath that carpeting, I found a gleaming wood stairway. This house has the most wonderful nooks and crannies. I'll have most of the day to work in it tomorrow, and then (be still my heart), I only have to work Saturday night. The rest of the weekend, Tim and I can work on the house. I'll take pictures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Is anyone else having difficulty posting a comment on blogger? I type in a comment and then it gives the wv. I type that in, it takes me to the sign-in screen. I type in my name and password, although I am already logged in, and then when I hit enter, I'm taken to a new wv screen. I dutifully enter the info, and hit enter, and am taken back to the log-in screen. I can do this 3 or 4 times, and simply bounce from one screen to the other.
If you are having problems, you'll have to e-mail, because obviously, you won't be able to leave a comment...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I began my summer course today. It is "Writing about Literature". It is one of two prerequisites that I will be knocking out of the way this summer. Writing is easy for me, and heaven knows, I do so love to read, but when you drop all of that into the middle of all the other classes, it is just too much. That pleasure becomes a pretty heavy burden. It just seemed wiser to knock those labor intensive courses out during the summer when I can focus on them, and nothing else. Well, nothing else but the house, and work, and Tim.

Last semester was a real trial, and I am glad to be done with it. I really struggled to keep up with everything, and I wasn't all that good at it. I wasn't even a straight B student. Straight Bs except for that one C+. I struggled. I was not happy with my performance. I was not happy with school. I slogged through the papers, one by one, and I thought it pointless at times, to have so many assignments that you couldn't even enjoy doing them. By the end of the semester, I was whipped.

I set the alarm this morning and I got up, and I was very unenthusiastic about going back to school. That week between the end of spring semester and the beginning of summer semester went waaaaaaaaaay too fast. But I am responsible, so I got myself dressed, and I went to school, and I sat down in the classroom. There was no joy in my heart. There was no enthusiasm to be there. There was no real interest at all. I stared out the window and thought about that house in a dreamy sort of way.

The teacher came in, and all of that changed. We read stories, and we discussed ideas. I disagreed with her on a point from the short story, "The River of Names." A charactor in the story responded to the death of two family members as "God's will". She felt that was an indication of faith. "No," I said. "He was a mean man, and the two charactors had packed up and were leaving. They died. The words are a warning to the rest of the family about the futility of leaving: God's on HIS side. Some of the meanest people I've ever heard of claim to have God on their side." Her eyes went wide, and she nodded. "Yes!" she said.

That's all.


That openness seemed to unleash a current within the classroom, and everyone talked, ideas flowing freely, everyone listening to what everyone had to say. I looked interestedly at my text book, and I read ahead through next week's assignment, and I walked out of the classroom today excited.

I had originally walked into the college setting with a lot of enthusiasm, but somewhere along the line, I lost it, much to my disappointment. It's not that OT is the wrong field for me. I love people and I think that it will be a good fit. It will be an occupation that brings me satisfaction. But it will never be my passion. My passion is thinking and talking and tossing ideas about. It is writing and creating, and dreaming.

Initially, walking to the car, I felt kind of bad about that realization. I had expected to bring a passion and zeal to my job. I expected that OT would be my passion. However, today, I discovered that passion is a visceral response. I cannot make myself be passionate about OT, not like I am about writing and reading, and thinking. When I got home, Tim and I only had a few minutes before he left for work, but we talked and laughed together, and he got that spark in his eyes and he suddenly stood and kissed me full on the mouth, his hands running down my back.

This is what I think: When we indulge our passion, we are enervated and energized. We are inspired and alive. That spark in me also ignites something within Tim. Joy draws people close. It's mean to be shared. That spark will make me a better OT. A better person. It's a stupid thing, I suppose. Common sense, really. But sometimes when one is hugely busy, we forget stuff, and I had forgotten this.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I worked today, in the back yard of our new house. I unburied the sweetest little stone walkway into the side entrance of the carriage house. I found interesting plants beneath the leaves. The hemlocks that Tim cut down in front of the house are showing new growth. Everywhere I turned, I was making discoveries. I raked and gave myself a blister, but it was warm with a sturdy breeze blowing, thunder rumbling far off into the distance. I daydreamed about days gone by, and what the garden looked like in all its glory.
As I daydreamed, it occurred to me that my daydreaming could be a book.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The First Floor of the House.

This is the house that everyone is dying to see pictures of. Tim has already hacked away the bushes in front of the house. This is what Tims do. The bushes were overgrown, way to close to the house, and we discovered rhododendrens and azaleas and interesting flowery stuff choked beneath the overgrowth. So hacking away the bushes from in front of the house was a very good thing.
Please excuse the picture taking skills. We will try again when we have more time. Welcome to the foyer. The picture doesn't show this, but you enter from the side of the house climbing a big broad porch. The door is heavy wood with full length glass. It opens with a skeleton key, believe it or not. Yes. We do have the original skeleton keys and the brass locks. The foyer is actually open in the front. It is probably 15 feet from front to back.
This is the living room, to the right of the foyer. If you open these doors, you would be going back to the foyer.

On the other side of the living room is yet another set of french doors. These open into the library. The fireplace is rigged with a gas log. It works. It made it all quite cozy. There is another room off the living room with its own glass paned door. It opens up into what will probably be an office.
This is the view from our downstairs bedroom. It's a horrible shot of the bedroom, which is actually quite nice. There is a narrow long window which will be above the bed. Do you see the hard wood floors here? We will be renting a sander and redoing all the floors, and then sealing them. We won't do that, however, until we get all the painting done. Which we won't do until we get all the cleaning done. Which we won't do until we get the water leak situation all straightened out. Yep. This is not going to happen over night. I'll remember to take lots of pictures, but remember, this are the 'before' pictures! The bedroom also has its own glass door. It matches the doors in the livingroom and library and office.
This is the downstairs bathroom. It does not have glass doors. It is right next to the bedroom. You would reach these two rooms by going back to the foyer, and then walking back past the stairs.

If you go back through the foyer, and walk in front of the stairs, you would be walking into the kitchen. In front of the island is a picture window that overlooks the back yard, and we are uncovering some wonderful stuff back there. In front of the picture window is a comfortable place for the dining room table to go.
So these are the seven rooms on the first floor. The kitchen has a covered back porch. There is a nice storage space for our freezer there as well.

This sneak peak of the second floor is for Bob. It's the guest room-to-be. We understand if you want to hold off on your visit.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Oh, there is a lot going on here. I was working on my computer last night when notification came that my computer was infected by blaster worm. I tried to do a system restore, but it would not let me. I tried to delete the offending program and my computer screamed at me. Literally. Screamed at me. I about jumped out of my chair.

So the computer is at the shop of the great and powerful computer guru, name of Ralston. Ralston of Youngsville. Good egg. He and Tim went to school together. Hopefully he can fix my screaming computer. I am amazed that this all waited to happen until after school ended. It would have been disasterous had it happened just even earlier this week.

I am using Cara's old laptop. She donated it to my 'office' when she bought her new computer. I am glad to have the back up, because I would have gone through withdrawal without computer access. I have a column rattling around my head that needs to spring forth. I have a girl backpacking through Korea on her own. She was staying at hostels, but after one night where she said she saw more naked people than she wanted to ever see again, she began staying at 'love motels'. She mentioned that the television had a coin box, and wondered if she could sit down and watch a movie. Perhaps the Aristocats. I advised her not to put a coin in the television machine. The only contact I have with her right now is via computer, and I would have been beside myself if I could not have checked in to see how she's doing.

Tim and I got up early and went to the house. I've only been there a handful of times. Today we met the carpet cleaner who took one look at the second floor and recommended not even trying to save them. Since there is hardwood floors underneath, we're not all that broken up about the idea. The carpets on the third floor are salvageable though.

I began sweeping today, just piles of rubble. BB? You know how you hate mice? You would hate my beautiful house right now! I daydreamed while I worked. I daydreamed about where the Christmas tree would go. About parties and gatherings of friends and family, about where to put our furniture. What would look nice in the entrance way. Our bedroom has a big picture window to look back across the back yard. I worked outside too, and began to discover things in that garden. A glade of violets, and lily of the valley. A gorgeous bleeding heart. Holly. Forget me nots that look like a cloud fallen to my back yard. All too soon, it was time to leave, and I said to Tim, "Everytime that I come here, I love it even more." I cannot believe our luck. It is such a beautiful place.

I have so many plans rattling around in my head. As I swept today, and daydreamed while Tim installed the hot water tank in the basement, sweeping up all manner of rubble: toys, juiceboxes, dishes with spoons, rodent droppings, papers, pencils, pens, make up, candy wrappers, cripes, you name it, I was sweeping it up, and I found myself talking to the house in a reassuring way. Sounds stupid, I know, but I felt sorry for this grand house, so badly treated.

I had an appointment today at the Cancer Center. I had arrived early for my 2:30 appointment, but ended up leaving because I had no more time to wait. I had to be to work at 4. I understand that emergencies come up. It is after all a Cancer Center. I told them though, that when the doctor is running late, it seems only common courtesy that one would be told that she is running late. This gives the patient a chance to assess the situation. If she cannot stay, then the appointment can be remade. It's really just courtesy, after all.

Well, to bed. I have to work tomorrow. If the hot water tank is installed, then I can begin to scrub the kitchen tomorrow evening after I leave work. I'm so excited...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Morning

This morning, I woke up with a start. I had not heard my alarm go off, and it was nearly 8 AM. Almost immediately, I remembered: The semester is over. I didn't have school. I nestled under the covers and laughed a little to myself. Tim stirred. Probably doesn't remember what it is like to have a wife who does not start each day with a groan.

I did laundry. I folded laundry. I cleaned. Tomorrow, I am getting up early and going to the new house with Tim to meet the carpet cleaners, who are going to take a look at the carpeting on the second and third floors of the house. I'll have the morning to putter around there. I will finally have a chance to plant my asparagus. It just feels good to have this quiet time just for catching up.

When I called myself a jackass in the previous post, it was not because I was happy. Shoot. I'm still happy about finals being done. What I am a jackass for is allowing myself to get so worked up about things that don't matter in the great scheme of things. Compared to dying, finals are nothing, and yet I fretted myself stupid about them. Don't you think that I'd have a better perspective on things?

In an odd irony, today, Tim saw the husband of my friend who died. Tim saw him shambling across the parking lot to the bank. He stopped and he said to Tim, "Did you know that my wife died?" Tim said, awkwardly, "Yes. We read that. We are sorry to hear the news." Bob told Tim, "It was such a surprise."

I guess that's something that will always, privately, scare me a little. The fact that you can, one day, dealing with cancer, but living a fairly normal life, and then suddenly you're sick, and then dying for heavens sake. Just like that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I'm done. Classes are over. Last A&P final finished at 9:30 this morning. I picked up two papers for another class before leaving. 100% on both of them. It was a great drive home. I am so happy.

It seems like the more I worry about something, the more anticlimactic it turns out to be. Note to self: worry about all tests...a lot.

I got home to discover that in the middle of my rejoicing and hopping up and down, a quiet woman, an acquaintance from the Cancer Center lost her battle to cancer. I remember her telling me that it had returned, standing there in the middle of the Wal-mart as people bustled past. She was afraid. In her quietness, her eyes spoke volumes. She was very afraid. And now she is dead.

I think about my fear over these final exams, and once again have come to the conclusion. I am a jackass. A complete and utter jackass.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Big Day

Surprised to see a blog post this morning? So am I. But the hot water tank went. Tim turned it on enough to get some water that is heating in a kettle right now. I'll take a sink bath, wash my hair. Yay. Seems an ominous start to the day that has me scared spitless anyway.

This weekend was kind of a interesting weekend. I spent a lot of time with my books, but I received a couple facebook messages, one from a little girl who used to come to our house when we lived in Michigan, back when the kids were little. She had spinal bifida. It was a big deal to her to come visit, because I could take care of her. Our house was the only house that invited her to come spend the night. She's all grown up and married now. Another couple messages came from two sisters. One reminded me that she'd been driving by and made her husband turn around and come back, 'because she thought I was that lady who writes in the paper'. I got to be friends with her whole family, actually. Her mother was ill with cancer. I used to work with her sister. You know. Small town stuff. She said again how her mother had loved me. Told me that she found my stories inspiring. Sometimes when you are at low ebb, it means even more to hear that at some point you made a difference in someone else's life.

On that bright note, I need to get going. Wish me luck. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have been kind. This weekend, I found plenty of evidence to support both of those statements.

Late Edit: Today's final seemed easy. Which is frightening. Whenever I walk out of a test feeling confident, it usually swings around to bite me.

Tim, bless his heart, has the new hot water heater about ready to go. You know, I've got a lot to make up to him this summer. He's probably feeling very ignored, although he denies it. For every married student in college, there is a spouse in the background plugging on. Alone. I owe him. Big time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Twas the Night before Finals

I've studied most of the day away. I feel like I know nothing. We have an OT facebook page, and I checked on things and discovered that other students had posted some questions. The good news is that I knew the answers to those questions. I am so flipping scared.


Sorry. It just burst out of me.

On that bright note, I am going to bed. And I bet that I won't sleep well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

School is out...almost...

Tuesday at noon. I'll be done with this semester Tuesday at noon.

Can't wait.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today at the Tractor Supply

Oh, gosh, what a day. I got to work, and it was busy. Really busy. The phone was ringing, and I was trying to wait on customers, one right after another, answer questions. It was nuts. Just nuts. In the midst of this a woman comes rushing up to say that we "need to get our janitor up front, because there is a child throwing up."

"Uh. We don't have a janitor," I said. And I paged for someone, but Ike was out front selling yet another rider (man, that guy is a selling machine!), and the manager was interviewing a potential employee, and the receiving clerk was outside loading fenceposts for a customer.

The mother kept soothing her son as he continued to throw up. It seemed kind of heartless to holler over, "Hey, can you wheel that kid out to the parking lot please?" The best we could do at the minute was hand her a roll of paper towels.

Things settled down a little, and Ike ran back for a mop bucket, and I rushed out to grab the carts. Almost all of them were in the parking lot. I was glad that Ike volunteered to clean it up, because I've got a weak stomach when it comes to vomit. Don't you know? While I was rounding up carts, folks pulled up with a trailer and began looking at riding mowers. I scooted the carts in, grabbed Ike and said, "Stop what you're doing and go out and talk to the customers looking at mowers. And I began to clean up the mess.

The kid had a big glass of milk with his lunch and something with one heck of a lot of red food dye.

I did not puke. And Ike sold another rider.

What a day!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

At Aldi's

Yesterday after class, I drove home, stopping by the grocery store to pick up something for a couple fast meals to keep Tim and I fed through this next couple of days. I saw an elderly couple who live down the road. They walked close together as she pushed the cart. His arm was around her waist and his white head inclined towards her white hair. And he sang softly, "You're still the girl for me..."

My eyes watered at the sweetness of the secret scene, and I did not speak as I passed, because I didn't want to interrupt. I don't even think they noticed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lab Practical

I had my Anatomy and Physiology Lab Practical today. It was bad, I think. Really bad. I am horrible at Lab Practicals. I always have been. If you show me a name, I can invariably tell you what it is. However, show me a dissected brain and ask me what pin A is poking into...well...I can't pull that Latin name up to save my soul. Today was no exception. I came home feeling sick. I've still got the lecture final to save me. Hopefully, it will. I am really discouraged tonight.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Today at theTractor Supply

Saturday was a hopping busy day at the store, just crazy busy. Friday night had been so busy that we did not have time to get the store straight for the following work day so we all showed up an hour early to square it all away, and lucky we did, because like I said, we were hopping busy all day Saturday too. I was tired at the end of my shift, and I was ready to go home. Much to my shock, my drawer was off. Like $26. and change off. I was horrified. I double count my change, and am careful. I was told not to panic until the end of the day, when we would see if it showed up someplace else...such as if change had been miscounted from one drawer to the next, or something. I walked out of there, and I was a little sick. It's not good to have something like that hanging over your head.

I had Sunday off, and went back tonight. The money had not been accounted for anywhere else. I did not cry, although I thought that I might. I apologized though. I told the manager that I was hugely sorry, that I did not have any idea what could have happened. He said, "Well, there needs to be two names on that cash discrepancy sheet. I ran on your drawer for the half hour that you were at lunch." He pushed the sheet at me. He had already signed it, and I signed my name next to his. We counted our drawers, and then switched and verified the drawers. Today, happily enough, they were right, down to the penny. That is usually the case. Mark said, "I really think it was a transaction error. I don't think it was a cash handling error." I don't understand what that means, exactly, but I do understand this much. It means the manager of the store trusts me, and I walked out of there tonight and I didn't need to know more than that.

Back to the books.

The Weekend

It's my last full week of school. And it is a full week. I will get two more finals done this week, a major presentation on Friday, portfolios handed in Wednesday. Eee. All I have to do is get through this week. I will. I know that I will.

My sister graduated from Clarion University Friday night. She is a nurse. Well. She still has to pass the state boards, technically, but she will. I couldn't go. I had to work.

Tim and I had a date night. We went out for dinner and then took strawberry shortcake to my mother in the nursing home. Dylan said, "Man. You guys know how to ROCK a date night.

Sunday, I went to church. A mother of a young man in Afghanistan spoke about her fear of reprisals in the wake of bin Ladin's death. I've been a little worried about my church. To be honest, I have not been there for a few weeks. It is becoming increasingly conservative. To hear that our president is listed in the Book of Revelations and is a sign of the end times bothers me. Revelations is a cryptic book. If I were so inclined, I could take any person I wanted and drum up 'evidence' that he is a sign of the end times in the book of Revelations. The church has become a hotbed of teaparty-like politics, and it began to seem, to my ears anyway, that my political beliefs disqualified me from belonging to my church, even though I know that I'm not the only one to hold them. Even Tim began to have misgivings.

Anyways, I digress. The mother spoke about her son, and our minister did mention that his initial jubilation that bin Ladin had been killed was squelched quickly when he saw people dancing and rejoicing in the street. He said, "I thought that was wrong." So did I. When I saw the pictures, I thought of the uneasiness that I had watching Muslims dancing in the street and rejoicing at some horrible event to befall us. What makes it any more right for us to behave that way? It doesn't. I thought of Jesus Christ, when the soldiers came to take him away, reaching up to heal the bleeding ear of one of them, rebuking his disciples trying to defend him. As Christians, we are, in my opinion, required to act like them. No matter what. I was glad that the minister spoke up. I was glad to hear murmurred agreement from the congregation.

I came home. I studied. Today, I will go to school, and I will study some more. And then I will go to work. When I go to bed tonight, I will sigh to myself, "Only eight more days and school will be done."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For Brianna

I know that you are still here, and I love you too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

For Cara

Let me tell you that I love you, and I think about you all the time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today at work, a mother came in with three lively boys. They burst through the doors yelling to go look at chickens and the bunnies. Chick days are over, so we don't have the live animals anymore. They were disappointed but found plenty of other things to do. "Look, mommy, this is Daddy's car!" holding up a toy car and much to their mother's surprise it was...a red Camaro. Another boy was rushing to the drinking fountain, another boy was wanting a shovel. They were kind of hither and thither and yon, not being bad, not at all. Just loud. When their mother said 'no', they didn't push or whine. She grabbed my hand. "We just finished baseball, and I'm freezing." Her hands were cold too. It's hard to believe it is May, really. But the boys kept on, and she paid for her horsefeed, and the one of the boys was swinging on a lawn swing. Another was standing on the horsefeed, and another one headed for the drinking fountain at the back of the store. I looked at mom. "I'd hate to see how much energy this bunch has when they are not worn out by playing baseball in the cold." She laughed. "I know, right?" she said. "People tell me these boys are busy all the time. I tell them they need to be." She headed out the door, two boys sitting on top of the horse feed on the flat cart. One fell off in the parking lot, lost his shoe and limped to the car crying. She examined his foot. I watched through the window. Behind me, came a bellow, "Mom?!!!! Mooooooooooooom?" and I turned to see the one who'd been getting a drink turning around and around with a frantic look. "She's out in the parking lot," I said, and I walked out with him. I cautioned him not to run through the parking lot, and looked for traffic holding his shoulder. "Okay," I said, "it's clear..." and he scooted to his mother's SUV. I walked back in and I missed it, the having young children, the hubbub of it all. My youngest is half a world away, and she is homesick, and I cannot fix it. My oldest is a mother herself. I can't make the math work in my head, but just yesterday I was a busy mother who also rated activities by their 'exhaustion factor'. Surely it was only yesterday...

First final tomorrow. 11 days of school left.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Today, I wrote a paper. Today I began working on a study sheet for a final. I have 12 more days of school, and then I have a week's break, and summer term begins. Lest you think that I've gone completely off my nut, allow me to say that I am knocking out my remaining two prerequisites before fall semester. I am taking my final English requirement and the Abnormal Psychology class (as an online course). As my auntie said, "Well, that course should come pretty easy." Oh, she's a funny one, that auntie! :^D

I like school. Don't get me wrong, but I have been so overwhelmed. Class every day. And then throw in work (25-33 hours/wk). Add that to the fact that I rarely see Tim because I go to school during the day, he works second shift, and on the weekends when he's off work, I'm putting in most of my working hours . I miss having a circle of friends. I want time with my kids and grandbaby. Life has narrowed itself to a rut. I feel guilty about taking time for myself. I feel guilty about being a poor wife, a poor mother, a poor grandmother. My mother is ill, and I cannot stop. My sister is graduating from nursing school and I have to work. My friend is ill, and I have not been able to be there since midwinter. There just is no time, and I am seriously, seriously tired.

My sister says, "This is a season." It is. I know. This way of life is not the way that it will always be. I try hard to keep that in mind, but at this point, I've lost perspective.

This summer, I will be. I will simply 'be'. I will be a human being. I will draw my friends and my family close to me, and I will savor the richness of those blessings. I will dandle my grandbaby. I will spend time with my daughter and son-in-law. I will work side by side with my husband on a house that we both love, and we will, for the first time in our lives, begin the process of creating a home that is uniquely our own. I will read books for pleasure in the night when I am at home alone. Tim will kill me, but I believe that we need a cat. I will sit with friends in my new back yard and we will talk. I will buy a journal, and I will record summer's blessings each night with a glass of wine, and I will revel in gratitude.

When I return to school in the fall, I hope to feel restored. When the days get hectic, I will have a small journal to read and smile at, and the memories of summer will carry me through the fall and the winter.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The final countdown...

One thing that I do well, and I know I do well, is that I can put together a presentation. Yesterday, our group (yes...another group project...)each came up with a different lesson plan for preschoolers. One for gross motor. One for prewriting skills. Another for letter recognition. On and on. Mine was pre-math, and so I did some reading, and saw a cute craft idea for ladybugs, and so I incorporated that craft into a story line, and basically, we will follow the adventures of 10 lady bugs (very polite lady bugs to reinforce manners and social skills) and we will be counting them as they go this way and that. I like to do things like that.

We presented our lesson plans yesterday, six of them, and we had to choose one that we were going to go with. I was hoping that we'd go with Stellaluna, because frankly, I'm tired. I am really, really tired. They loved my story. "Awww," they said. "Did you write that yourself? That's so cute..." and they all excitedly began discussing how we could present it to 30 kids.

It made me glad that they loved it. I was proud that they chose mine as the one to present. But I'm tired of working on school stuff. I'm so ready to be done.

First final on Friday. Final Lab practical on Tuesday. Another final on Wednesday. That's all I know, so far.

Last day of class is May 16th. I know that I have a couple finals after that, but I should have a little breathing room to study for them. First day of summer school on May 24th.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Signed the papers for the house Thursday. Will try to get pictures. Will take a couple weeks though. I am up to my armpits in alligators.