Friday, December 21, 2007


So yesterday afternoon - 2nd last day of school before Christmas break - I'm at the elementary school attempting to load my students when one of my little boys came to me and told me another one had punched him in the nose and it was bleeding. The next time I looked we had blood what seemed like everywhere. So I'm on the radio attempting to get someone from the school out to get help because I knew the student with the nose needed looked at. Finally after using my cell phone to call my boss to get a response I was able to leave the two students involved at the school and take off to take the rest home. Thankfully there were no major issues with the remaining students and I was able to get them delivered safely. So...I'm empty and proceeding home myself when I meet a bus from the neighboring school district on a gravel road with soft shoulders that we both use - she still had students on board. I made the decision that since I was empty I would move over as far as possible - unfortunately I hit a patch of ice, then the soft shoulder and slid into the ditch up to my axles. Thankfully my boss was able to pull me out without having to call a wrecker and there was no damage done to the bus. I was there probably about 30 minutes. The other driver watched the entire thing happen - I found out later that she radioed in to her boss that she had just watched a bus go into the ditch and something needed to be done about the road. My boss appeared amused - and said that I'd had my share of "pulls" this year - this was the second time this week!

I'm very very glad that today is the last day of school before break - I need the break as do my students. Things have got to turn around soon - I don't want to find another job - I normally love driving bus and my kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shoes, Snow and Driveways

Well we have a normal school day today...Monday we were off for a snow day and yesterday we had a delay. Monday I didn't get plowed out until late in the day - then I took off for town. The main E/W highway was clear running water but the back roads were still snow and ice-covered. And getting up my driveway was extremely difficult when I did get back home - we dumped cat litter, wood ashes and any sand we could find on the driveway - then I prayed a lot. I finally got up after several attempts. Roads during the bus route were bad yesterday though thankfully I didn't get stuck or run extremely far behind - and I was able to successfully make my turn-arounds both morning and afternoon. However the driveway was still an issue - I was home for a few minutes between my kindergarten shuttle and afternoon route - ended up stuck across the road unable to go forwards or back. Eventually with the assistance of a pull and 4 people pushing I was able to get out and off the road. I just had enough time to get a quick drink before having to head back out again to do the afternoon run. Getting home after the route I still had trouble with the took several attempts to get up and I didn't succeed until I'd made arrangements over the radio for the boys to get rides home. Needless to say I canceled any plans I had last night to go run errands or attend the middle school choir concert and I was more than a little discouraged.

B and Dipstick ended up coming down for supper - I fixed spagetti - it was rather spur of the moment but I was very thankful. They worked on the driveway - cleared some of the ice and melted muck off the bottom so I could get traction this morning. After supper B and I went to town - he drove. I had a coupon to a store I needed some stuff at and he needed some groceries from Stuff-Mart. After I bought my stuff we ended up at the local shoe store where I was to get new shoes. I learned something - my favorite brand of tennis shoes are made in 3 different countries overseas. So I'm in this shoe store - don't try on the shoes - just pick out the size I need and wait for the employees to go find the mate to that shoe. They are not able to do so - they ended up with 6 different pairs of shoes (I think) that were completely mis-mated - each pair was from 2 different countries. The only pair of that brand that was a matched pair didn't fit me comfortably. So...long story short...I ended up switching brands. I have to I in the future want to go back to that particular brand or do I simply switch to another brand?

Better scoot - got to go switch laundry loads and clean some more. Mom and Dad should hopefully be here sometime this evening.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snowed In

Picture taken from back door - across back yard.

Well we are officially snowed in - at least for
today. It started snowing yesterday morning about 11:00 am and continued all night. It was a mix of little tiny flakes, sleet, freezing rain and lovely big soft flakes. We are under a snow emergency which means that unless we are a emergency worker or on our way to work we are not allowed to go anywhere. Even when it's decreased I don't have 4-wheel drive so won't be able to go anywhere - not to mention the fact that it's impossible to hand shovel 10 inches from our drive. (O.k. maybe not impossible but extremely difficult and not something I will be attempting).

However we have 3 gallons of milk, plenty of flour, sugar and other baking the kids will spend some time sledding so we will be just fine.

Picture taken from front door - across driveway.

Picture taken of the deck.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A "normal" day?

A "normal" day? This will be the first one all week where school actually started on time with no delays and no cancellations. And the sun is attempting to shine. But I am so far behind on stuff that one day won't be nearly enough time to catch up. And maybe we might possibly get a snow day before Christmas break yet! At least one can always hope. Oh well...the bus is in the shop getting the broken window replaced, a grease job and hopefully a wash. I get to drive a mini for my shuttle - that's always fun. The kindergartners love riding in the mini bus and to me it's better than driving a different full size one. So during the day today I will attempt to catch up on housework - tonight we have Squirrel's TaeKwonDo testing and a Gospel Choir concert for Stretch so will be out running most of the evening. B is going to attempt to make the concert - Squirrel was disappointed that Dipstick and he won't make it to his testing. Dipstick may opt to go to youth group tonight instead of the concert - I don't know yet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Delay

We are just finishing up another 2 hour delay for this morning. It's much more gray out than it was yesterday morning - it's been raining since before I got up. To me it looks as if the ice is getting thicker on the trees and shrubs. However the roads are "just" wet at the moment. If the temperature - which currently is hovering just above freezing - drops any at all things will get very challenging. It feels very very cold out this morning though.

These pictures were taken yesterday after I got finished with my kindergarten shuttle. I did notice yesterday that places where tree branches did not normally touch the top of my bus routinely clipped them.

On a different bus route went much more smoothly yesterday afternoon. I was full but not exceedingly crowded and it seemed the kids were slightly less wound up. We will see how things go today. Other than that it doesn't seem like there is too much exciting going on. I confess I was hoping for a day off today.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ice Storm & School Delay

11:20 am Well our 2 hour delay this morning honestly wasn't a whole lot of help as far as the roads were concerned. I got stuck - partly in a field off the edge of a road - it wasn't the worst one I'd driven on this morning but there was no way I could get myself out. We sat for probably 30 min waiting on assistance. The county salt truck driver was a friend from church. Also one of the mechanics and the head of maintenance for the school district came out. They hooked the back of the bus to one of the pick-ups and pulled me out - after shoveling a fair bit of salt/sand mix under the back of the bus. Then I followed the country truck to the end of that road before going out to the highway. Thankfully one of the other drivers was able to pick up my town kids relieving some stress for me. Also thankfully I was not the only driver that got stuck - just the only one that had to be pulled out. Now I'm having a very quick cup of coffee before I have to head back out to do my kindergarten shuttle - then it will be home for a few minutes before afternoon route.

Edited to add:
Ok...I haven't figured out how to post pictures on the right side as well as the left - sorry. (These pictures weren't from today - if I can figure out where they went I will put them up - they are similar except for hoarfrost it's clear ice on all the branches). I have found out also that my little seat belt child fell and hit his head this morning - he had to be taken to the ER for a CT scan. Thankfully he's ok though sore. I also had another child fall and land fairly hard before he got on the bus - he started complaining about not feeling well shortly before we got stuck.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Quick Update

Very quick update this morning as I've got plenty to do today - I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to yesterday. Before I get too far wanted to note a nickname change for the boys. Son1 will now be referred to as Stretch, Son2 is Squirrel and B2 is Dipstick. None of these nicknames were chosen by me - all were chosen by Dipstick's step-brother, Jay.

Tonight is the visitation for Matt's dad Mike - Stretch, B and I will be going. Squirrel will be at a friend's after his TaeKwonDo class and Dipstick will be at Cub Scouts. I'm certain it will be a late night if only because we have to go to Ft. Wayne for this. The funeral is tomorrow and none of us will be attending.

Yesterday we managed to get the bird feeders refilled and rehung. I need to make suet soon as I'm certain that will help keep the feeders filled. It's a great pleasure to watch the birds flitting around back and forth - especially on the gray gloomy days. I also did grocery shopping after picking up Dipstick from his house. Stretch and Squirrel shoveled the top part of the driveway and just beginning down the hill - this was after they'd been out sledding for nearly an hour. We spent time with Suz at her house - the boys played outside with her girls while she and I were able to enjoy a good visit.

Once we were home, Matt stopped in to see the boys. It was wonderful to see him and to have them all have a chance to visit. He and Stretch went to church last night - that gave them some one on one time to visit as well. He is struggling - holding his grief over his dad in and I'm certain would appreciate prayers. (Dipstick and I also finished shoveling the driveway before Matt arrived.)

B came over for supper last night - topped off an enjoyable day with a very pleasant evening. We had some very good conversation while the younger boys watched a movie.

Now I need to be off to get some housework done and hopefully find time to work on some Christmas stuff.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

There is now the sound of much cheering and hollering in my house! We are off school today due to a snow day. We've had several inches of snow overnight and it's still coming down lightly. The amazing thing to me is that as of right now - 7:45 am - the district right next to us who used to be one of the first to cancel is still going - just going late. I am thankful for the unexpected day off as it will hopefully give us a chance to catch up on things around the house. I accomplished absolutely nothing yesterday as I had a major nausea causing headache and slept most of the day. Getting the boys to stop jumping around is a major challenge but they are happy.

On a different note...I don't have my chickens yet. Suz accidentally had my rooster butchered so the chickens will stay at her place for now. Eventually I will have a coop with a heat lamp at my house and that's where I will keep the chickens and keep them warm.

8:27 am - B2's school district is now also canceled as are most of the school districts around us. Later I will go pick him up to bring here for a bit - that way he's not home alone all day and the 3 boys can go sledding. In the meantime, hopefully at some point someone will be able to come plow my surely would be nice to have a lawnmower with a snowplow attachment. We will likely all go to Suz's to sled there with her girls.