Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bus Route Stuff & Other Ventures

I have to confess to frustration this morning...Driving my route I completely spaced and drove right past one of my stops. The students were not out at the stop but they were on the way down their long driveway - in their mom's vehicle. I kept waiting for them to show up someplace along the rest of the route and it didn't happen. Instead while I was trying to nap at home I received a very irate phone call from the mom. Truthfully I don't blame her for being upset as it meant she had to drive her boys to school - and I should have stopped. On the other hand, she needs to have the boys out at the stop early especially since she lives on a very busy main road. I did check the time and I was not early - in previous school districts I would not have stopped if the students were not out. By the end of the call the mom was calmer - accepted my apology and now knows what to do if that should ever happen again. I told her where to meet me where it would be safe for me to get the boys that's not too far out of her way or mine.

Also I'm still too full - I got 2 new students yesterday. That pretty much negates taking the 5 off. Additionally two students that haven't been riding in the afternoon will be back on starting next Monday. That still leaves me 3 to a seat in most of my seats with many of these kids having issues that make it challenging for them to handle being 3 to a seat. I talked to my boss after I finished the other phone call and he basically said that if I do not have at least 72 riders I'm out of luck and will just have to deal with it. I'm going to do a count this afternoon both of actual bodies on the bus as well as those on my list that are not on the bus but are potential riders. I don't see any way that I can put 3 in the seat that I have my "seat belt student" riding. He's got enough issues without being squashed added to it - yesterday was a very rough afternoon with him anyway. When I went into the school this morning I found out that his teacher was away yesterday and he'd had a very difficult day overall. So the challenges are very much still there.

On a different note I'm going to get some chickens of my own - laying hens that are already layers. In other words I won't have to raise them from chicks before I start getting eggs. I'm both excited and nervous about this. Suz will keep them for me until B and I get something built for me to keep them in here. He says he's got feeders, nest boxes, etc at his parents so my start-up costs are likely to be very minimal.

This morning was beautiful - very cold but gorgeous red and pink sunrise. It's clouded over pretty much all ready - we are supposed to get rain and snow later tonight and tomorrow. I wished I could take my camera along on the bus! No deer this morning - yesterday we saw 6 in a group. That was fun. I'm making progress on Christmas stuff but it's slow. I am still trying to figure out how to simplify while still decorating the big tree and doing gifts.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I did it!

I did it! I successfully began to conquer my fear of heights. (I say began because I'm sure that it's not completely conquered yet) Yesterday B & B2 were down to help me with stuff that's difficult for me to do alone such as cutting wood, cleaning gutters, taking out A/C units that are too big to lift alone. We got wood cut and stacked, as well as taken to the burn pile out behind the barn. We also got the big A/C unit out of my bedroom window and hauled to the barn. That left finishing up cleaning out the gutters to do - it had been started a couple of weeks ago with the front of the house being done. The back sides required a bigger ladder that I don't own so we borrowed one. Anyway...we sent Son2 and B2 up the ladder to the roof to start that process. They stayed up there working until both were complaining that their hands were cold at which point they came down and went to warm up. I was the only one willing to attempt to go up the ladder to take over - Son1 is more afraid of heights than I am and B needed to stay down to hold the ladder and run the hose. So I climbed up and finished the one side, then crawled/scooched over the top of the roof to the remaining side to work on that one. I was unwilling to stand up and walk on the roof but wasn't too terrified otherwise. And I was able to get down without the fire department having to be called! So growth is happening in this area.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well...I'm losing 5 of my regular 14 middle school students on my afternoon bus route to another driver. Of the remaining 3 that have no siblings on my bus I am still hoping to have one more transferred off - the other driver goes right past her house while I have to do a turn-around when she rides. I was told the other driver did not want to take her as a rider because she "is a hottie and that makes the high school boys act up." Considering this other driver only hauls 30 students and I have 60+ I honestly don't have much sympathy for that reason. Of course now I am on the other driver's black list - she's really upset about having more passengers. While I'm not losing as many as I'd hoped to it should still make a difference - it will open up at least one more row in the back so that I hopefully don't have as many students sitting 3 to a seat.

On a different note the weekend went very well. Friday night I had G over - we went to the "city" - we stopped at Hobby Lobby and a scrapbook store. She didn't enjoy those as much as I had hoped she would - and we ran out of time to go to a department store. She did seem to enjoy walking the mall though. It was good to spend some time with her - we had some time to talk about stuff we don't usually get to chat about. I still want to spend some time scrapbooking with her.

Saturday the boys and I in addition to B & B2 had supper at Suz's. Her in-laws (who I've known for many many years) were there visiting. It was neat to get to see them and have them get to meet B. What was extra special to me is that they approve of him - that's important since I've known them so many years - they've been an adopted "mom and dad" to me - especially when I was away at boarding school. That was a late evening but a lot of fun.

Sunday there was only one service at church as they were finishing up their building fund drive. It is obvious we need a bigger building and the plans are beautiful. I do struggle with certain aspects of how they handle some of the pledging but overall it was a good morning. There was a catered hog roast at the local 4H center which they used as their annual Thanksgiving meal. I would have enjoyed having a bit more variety of side dishes and desserts but it was o.k. In the afternoon, we celebrated B2's birthday - he turned 11 on Monday.

This week will likely be a busy week but thankfully there's only 3 days of school. I've got to come up with some dessert ideas to take with on Thursday - brownies of some sort are a given but I'm not sure what else to bring. Enough rambling for now - time to get some stuff done around the house.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


No training this morning - our session was canceled due to the school nurse being sick. I'm thankful to have time at home - haven't got much done that wasn't school bus related but at least I'm home and able to start laundry and stuff. And honestly I wasn't looking forward to learning how to handle seizures - have been there, done that at home with my husband. I've sent an email to my boss about the over-crowding on the bus - I have middle school students that could possibly be transferred to another bus. That would free up some space for my younger students. Legally I know I'm not over-crowded but so many of my kids are "high need" that having them 3 to a seat makes things more challenging. I have 20 minutes or so of "he/she's hitting/touching/pinching me" or "I'm crowded" or even "my mom doesn't want me to sit by him/her because they....(you fill in the blank)".

We had snow flurries this morning - quite a drastic change from the upper 50's from yesterday and the day before. The ground is still too warm for it to stick but it's still a cold blustery day where I'm thankful to have a heated home and a heated bus. I did get my irises replanted a couple of weeks ago - and some grape hyacinth transferred. I wanted to put in more daffodils, crocus and tulips but so far that hasn't happened. There is plenty of cleaning up outside that needs done but it will likely wait until I have some help.

Other than that, not too much is going on. Son1 ended up not missing any school this week - by yesterday morning he was feeling much better. I am very thankful for that. Just wish I could also have stayed healthier.

Better go for now - time to get ready for kindergarten shuttle

Monday, November 12, 2007

This morning is a damp gray day - it rained yesterday and last night. The nice thing is that it's a bit warmer today - in the high 50's right now. I saw several deer this morning on the bus route - that was cool. I am weary this morning but that's to be expected since I didn't get adequate sleep over the weekend.

Yesterday of course was church. Son1 had two concerts so he wasn't home much. Son2 was still recovering from his cold/fever/virus that he's had - he missed school on Friday though he did go today. B and his son B2 came down for supper - I was dropping off Son1 when they arrived. I came home to find B2 on my roof cleaning out my front gutters. B was on the stepladder in the back of the truck helping. That was wonderful as yesterday morning I had to wade through several inches of water on the front sidewalk. Son2 wanted to get up and help - he did very well. The rest of the gutters should still be cleaned out but hopefully for now the water will drain better. Yesterday morning we also realized that our 6th (and final) kitty from Oddball's last litter was missing. Sally dog had woken me up early Sunday morning barking and I heard something that sounded like barking outside the front door - I didn't turn on any lights to check but assume that something happened then to cause it to die.

Saturday night B and I had a date - we had tickets to go to the OakRidge Boys concert - what a blast! It's been years since I've heard them live - and it's hard to believe that they've been a group for 30 years - that's getting close to being as old as I am. They did several of their old hits, some Christmas and some gospel. I didn't realize that they had a gospel album out - that's something to look for. I would love to see their Christmas concert but that's not going to happen any time soon. The funny thing was that B and I were among the youngest people at the concert! Prior to the concert we went to a wedding reception for the son of some friends of his - that didn't go too well as the couple didn't get there until an hour after we did and we had to leave early to make it to the concert.

Friday night I went to the closest good sized town west of here - needed to drop some pictures off to get prints of and to find some new jeans. I also was able to do grocery shopping shopping as well. B called and tagged along - we had a good time. I figured he would be bored while I clothes-shopped but he didn't seem to mind. All 3 of the boys stayed at the house - got along quite well.

Friday on the bus route was very very challenging. My "seat belt child" did fine once he was seat belted but getting him there was interesting. He figured it would be more fun to try to block the aisle with his arm. Then as we were about to pull out of the school I had 3 5th grade boys get into a heated verbal argument - heated enough that I felt that they were likely to come to blows. I turned the bus around and requested someone else to come out to the bus - they were to be dealt with this morning by the principal. I still don't know what started it but when I heard them there was a lot of finger pointing and name calling going on. Hopefully this afternoon will go better. In the meantime I suppose I had better get my emails sent.

Oh yes...adjusting to the reading glasses is getting easier. I'm still amazed at how much difference they make.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Reading Glasses

Well...I finally broke down and bought (actually B bought them for me) a pair of reading glasses. I am amazed at how much difference they make. It will take some getting used to figuring out the correct distance to hold my book or whatever - I've gotten so used to stretching my arms out to be able to read that being able to hold things closer is a bit challenging. And I have no problem seeing my computer screen - Son2 on the other hand likes things so small than I have to have him make it bigger for me to see it. I didn't realize just how bad things were apparently getting with my vision - distance is still excellent but the near stuff is not. I cried when I realized that I could no longer cuddle a baby and see it comfortably without having to stretch my head way back. I still probably really need to get an official eye exam but I hope that I can put it off for a bit longer - at least until after Christmas.