Saturday, May 24, 2008


Yesterday morning I had an hour or so to simply sit and journal. It was wonderful as it had been a while since I did so. I got the time because my internet access was down and I was having my coffee - can't do other chores and drink coffee at the same time. Anyway...there are some things I've been pondering lately and would love any insight you all want to give me.

First off...the least involved question. What ways are available to fight allergies - worst in the spring when tree pollen counts are high - that do not involve drugs that cause drowsiness as a side effect? Most over the counter allergy stuff either does very little to help or knocks me out sleeping.

Secondly...what realistic ways have you found to cut your gas usage? With gasoline at $4.00/gal (I was thrilled to pay able to pay $3.89/gal Thursday night - that's just wrong!) I'm looking for ways to cut back. The challenge is that Stretch is in Gospel Choir so is out every Sunday while Squirrel takes TaeKwonDo classes at least twice a week. Squirrel can - until school lets out - ride a school bus and get dropped off for class. I still have to go pick him up. Stretch has to be both dropped off and picked up every time. Biking is not really an option simply because he is in dress clothes. For Squirrel it's an 8 mile bike ride which I'm not willing to have him do yet - not to mention that he's got a large equipment bag that goes with him. We live in the country which normally is wonderful but there is a minimum of a 2 mile distance to anywhere for us.

Third and final question...what are some realistic ways to make one day of the week an actual "rest day" that does not involve a mountain of chores that don't get done other days? Being a single working mom I find it a challenge to say the least. Also what does a "rest day" look like? Is it simply "no chores" - vegging out in front of the TV or is it more - Doing something fun as a family, having time to be "creative" - with beads, scrap booking, cross stitch, "playing" in the dirt, simply having time to journal or to sit and read? I realize that each individual and each family will have different ideas of what is does one balance those differences? For me...a huge part of a rest day is not having to cook a huge meal and not having to clean the kitchen afterwards. I have no problem grilling or doing something really simple. That gets old sometimes though.

I am looking forward to reading your comments on this.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Squirrel is turning 12 today! In honor of that fact I thought I would recap some of what he's accomplished over the last year and what he's looking forward to for the next. I've always wanted to write my boys letters on their birthdays doing that and so far have never accomplished that. But here's a first attempt.


I love you. I love the fact that you still want mom to tuck you in at night - and to spend a few minutes laying beside you talking over your day. Those are the few minutes that you generally tell me more about the day then you do at any other time. I love the fact that you come in and crawl in with me in the mornings - even when I'm not awake and sometimes grumble at you. I love the fact that you are so good at getting up and around in the morning cheerfully - with your alarm. I remember the days when I literally had to stand you up, get you dressed, and put you on the bus where you fell back asleep again for another hour or so. Thank you for cheerfully caring for the chicks in the mornings before school - and for still making it out to wait for the school bus on time.

You are finishing up 5th grade and excitedly looking forward to middle school and 6th grade. I think you are most excited about getting to learn to play the trombone. And it looks like you will be very gifted at it - it will still take hours of practice to do well but an aptitude helps.

You are old enough to start attending youth group at church. I pray that as you do you will develop a "fire" for God and grow in your faith.

You are having "puberty" talks - learning what to expect as you grow. You now tell me "I need to wash my face morning and night mom!" You are almost as tall as your mother - soon I will be the shortest in this family.

Last night you "closed" at Grief Group. You showed me your bag of rocks on the way home and seemed comfortable with the decision. Closing there does not mean that you will ever forget Daddy - it just means that you are healing and moving on. That's good and important and right.

You are working towards your black belt in TaeKwonDo and doing very well at it. You are excelling in school - which thrills me. I'm eager to see how you continue to grow and mature. You still hate to have pictures taken - would rather be the one taking the pictures. In that you are a true son of your mother. I hope though that you will allow me to take some this weekend.

Have a wonderful year as a 12 year old - your last year as a "child" before you become a teen.

I love you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Today was a misty damp rainy cool day - with the kind of rain that is needed for crops and gardens to grow. The lilac bushes were bent almost double from the weight of the blooms and the water. On a work day it can be rather gloomy - it's a better day for being able to hang around home in pj's. However today was a work day.

The bus route has been rather peaceful this week - a very nice change from last week with problems both at the beginning of the week and the end of it. Two of my students that had issues at the end of last week have been suspended from the bus for most of this week. Another one has been out of school - not sure why. I am very thankful for that - and at the same time rather looking forward to the end of the year. Today one of my older students had a can of "Fart Spray" - something I had never seen before. He tried to tell me it had sprayed "accidentally" while in his pocket. So...more paperwork to do tomorrow.

The chicks are growing. I moved them into an area bordered by two boxes, covered in chicken wire that has litter down on the floor. There will be clean-up to do when they are big enough to move into the coop. However now they have a little more room to roam.

Squirrel and I are both fighting sinus junk. I know that mine is caused by allergies and I suspect the same for him. He is finishing up his major 5th grade projects - on his state that he had to do a report on. I am speckled in gray spray paint as a result of helping him. Tomorrow night he has his music program also. Stretch has pretty much finished up his major school projects. He still has a few concerts left but nothing else major. He has been learning to run sound for elementary school music programs and is enjoying that.

Tomorrow I'm likely to be incredibly busy. In addition to my regular bus routes, I'm on standby to drive a kindergarten trip in the morning. That will depend completely on weather as it would be a walking trip if it is sunny out. Then I would go straight from that to my shuttle and a short break at home. Then it's afternoon route, followed by Squirrel's music program followed by a trip to pick up the track team from Sectionals. I am to be in the town where they are held by 9:00 pm tomorrow night. There is no telling what time I will get home. It's looking like a long day.

Stretch is hovering waiting on his turn on the computer so I'd better stop for now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bus Route

Completely discouraged at the moment - mainly with my bus route. That incident I wrote about last time with the 5 kids and the broken arm? The students involved got nothing, nada, zilch! The parents got a letter sent home telling them that if there was any further discussion, threatening or arguments the student doing the threatening would be suspended. The story in the letter was different then the story I heard from the students talking - Kid1 was not the kid who supposedly broke Kid2's arm - it was either Kid4 or Kid5. However that makes no sense at all because Kid3 sits with Kid4 on the bus - and if it had been either Kid4 or Kid5 they would not be getting along with Kid3. Now that that's sufficiently muddled...I talked to my boss about it. He says that because the principal involved is retiring at the end of this school year, he's not going to fight her on it at all. All I can do with any bus incidents is keep writing them up and just live with them.

Also I know for certain that my route will be changing again next year. That's frustrating because I have worked with these kids all year...finally have them somewhat lined out and now will have to start all over with a new group next year.

Out of time for now...guess I will try to post a more cheerful post later today. At the moment I'm getting ready to go have a quick visit with a couple who were like 2nd parents to me when I was growing up. They are in town for a visit with Suz and this time of day is the only time for a visit. It works for me though.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Struggling this morning - yesterday I got a lot done early. I was able to enjoy having quiet time out on the deck, did laundry, dishes, picked up the kitchen and family room - even spent time mowing the lawn. I was cheerful and encouraged. This morning - not so much. Nothing much major happened except I thought I was going to have a fist fight on the bus. Kid1 is blamed for breaking Kid2's arm over the weekend. Kid2 is back to school today along with brother Kid3 and two friends Kids 4 &5. Kids 4&5 start making comments about Kid1 who gets upset and starts to threaten them - no one will be quiet and let things drop. involved are turned in to the school to be dealt with - hopefully at least one will be kicked off the bus for the rest of the year. He's had his limit of conduct reports and is at that step in the discipline plan. We will see.

I'm sure another one of my sources of stress is the fact that I've realized that I have something scheduled every night this week - all will have me out until at least 7:00 pm - some will have me out later. Unfortunately none can be rescheduled due to it mainly being stuff that's preparation for next year. I was earlier rejoicing that this would be a less hectic week than last week with the musical being over with. B has asked me to go to the parent meeting at Dipstick's middle school as he finds them overwhelming. That's tonight along with TaeKwonDo for Squirrel and praise team practice for Stretch. Tomorrow night Squirrel has an instrument fitting for band for next year and I have an overdue haircut scheduled. Thursday night is TaeKwonDo, Grief Group and a music program that Squirrel wants to go to. He won't be doing just depends on which one he decides to do. Friday night I was hoping to attend an introductory yoga stretching class led by a friend of mine - I need the stretching and exercise. Not sure at the moment if I will make it or not - we will see.On a different note...the musical is over and done. I thoroughly enjoyed it - laughed a lot. I didn't cry even when Beth died...actually I didn't even realize that was what was happening in that scene. The girl who played Amy was amazing - perfectly cast. Stretch did a very good job as Professor Fritz - though he was told he had a awful German accent by our German exchange student. (I told him the exchange student should have stepped up to the plate to help him with that. ) He stayed for the "after party" - didn't get home until 4:00 am Sunday morning. It turned out that I knew the parents who were hosting it - that set my mind much more at ease. Stretch is back to running again.

Guess I've rambled enough...think I'm going to go outside and dig in my flower bed for a bit before having to head back to work. Still need to start laundry and stuff but need this more for my sanity.