Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dipstick has a fog day today...several school districts canceled. However we just went on a delay. Driving was not difficult - the roads were not slick at all. However visibility was non-existent to say the least - one could see about the distance of two telephone poles. Thankfully I knew the route and where the stops were - made things much easier. Even so...I realized at one point that I really wasn't sure where exactly on a road I was...turns and stops were definitely more difficult to find. The fog has lifted mostly but it's still a grey hazy day... it's supposed to start raining and sleeting later.

We rather suspect that one of the dogs has tangled with a skunk...the aroma is still fairly strong outside. I have no good ideas how to decrease the aroma...especially since I'm not at all sure how/what the dog tangled with it.

The "scenic route" can be a lot of fun - provided one does not need to use the restroom! There are no public rest areas on back country roads. I made a wrong turn somehow coming home from dropping off a payment at the electric company and actually ended up in a different county. I am very thankful for a compass in my car as I would have had no idea which way to go or where I was without that. I still didn't know exactly where I was or which way to go but at least I knew which way I was going! B and my sister and girlfriend all laughed at sense of direction (or lack) is well-known.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Been A Week

It's been a week since I've posted anything...on the one hand it seems to have flown by...on the other hand, not.
  • Been sick all week - fighting sinus junk with voice
  • Kids on bus LOVE having a squeaky-voiced bus driver
  • Had 1 little one ask for the bucket...and another one fall down bus steps yesterday afternoon. Thankfully he wasn't seriously hurt - more embarrassed and bruised.
  • Another bus driver's husband has just been diagnosed with stomach and colon cancer
  • I lost 4 lbs last month - doing county-wide weight-loss competition - only increased my activity very slightly - have increased water intake but really not watched what I ate.
  • Found out this morning that we do not have "automatic" recycling pick-up here at new place - boys were most disgusted and rather disbelieving about that! Their reaction was very funny...though I'm disappointed to not have the recycling pick-up as that means there won't be much of it going on here at this point in time.
  • We may be looking at some MAJOR repairs in old house - involving heat in the ceiling - we've made no decision yet on how to handle them but I suspect they will need dealt with before we can sell it
  • Caught some students pulling duct tape repairs off one of the seats on my bus - I'd been suspicious of these girls before and had been checking that seat 4x daily - this time they made "mistake" of putting tape on top of the seat where I could see it in the mirror.
  • Am attempting to plan a possible trip north to see my Mom and Dad - will end up being a "rushed" weekend trip but hopefully I'll be able to pull it off
  • Winter storm advisory for this weekend - currently there is very little snow on the ground but it's been cold the last couple of days and there is predicted to be snow in the morning.
  • I like bullet style journaling especially when it's been awhile since I've posted anything and it's getting late at night
  • Squirrel is testing for his black belt in TaeKwonDo in a couple of weeks
  • Stretch is away for the night at a youth group retreat...he's gearing up to be pretty busy again as musical try-outs were this past week
  • Dipstick does much better with keeping his grades up IF I am very diligent about checking daily to see what he has due and has turned in
  • Even though my writing may not be particularly has been decidedly funny this week overall - except for finding out about life-threatening illness in friend's husband
  • Eventually I will get pictures posted again

Friday, February 13, 2009

I wrote this post last night...after a very trying day on the bus. I can't decide how to edit it so here goes.

Dipstick learned to swallow pills tonight! By his own choice! At supper he decided to attempt to swallow a frozen pea like he would a pill. He succeeded, did it again and moved on to a piece of frozen corn, then a frozen green bean. From there he snapped multivitamin in half and successfully swallowed it. This is huge though it sounds minor. Up to this point he's always choked on them and almost gagged. I'm proud of him - and it was so neat to see how excited he was about it!

I cried through my bus route this afternoon - and was very tempted to tell a principal that she could drive the students home! However I have a signed "contract" from one student...his mother was talking about his behavior with front of me and I started taking notes. She had him sign it so we are agreed. I discussed with another student's mother his behavior and suggested that having him bring a DS on the bus would be acceptable if it would help him stay quiet and calm. She suggested using that as a reward for good behavior for a week or two. So I will likely be coming up with a similar contract for this student - maybe a fill-in the blank document that can be used as needed would be the best way to go. I'll have to sleep on this. But having stuff written down - with dates and all - helps me remember and keep stuff straight. My rules are pretty much the same for everyone but sometimes I focus on different aspects of them.

Dipstick is finally done with his homework and I'm away to bed.

Mom's memory seems to be deteriorating again...that's discouraging/difficult to watch and hear about. I need to plan a visit there but not sure how to do so with work and boys.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interview with Linds

Linds interviewed me....some cool questions but there might be some long answers. Hope you enjoy the answers.

If you want to be interviewed leave me a comment saying so and I will send you 5 specific questions for you to answer.

1. You were born in Africa, I know, so can you tell us about what you remember most about the time you live there? Have you ever been back?

Probably what I remember most about Africa is ... Do I have to chose only one thing? Grocery shopping - I didn't have to do it myself as I never lived there as an adult. However it would take most of a day. There would be a visit to the market where we got our fresh fruit and veggies, followed by a stop at the grocery store for dried and canned goods. From there we would also go to the butcher shop to get meat and eggs - possibly milk as well. Then it was home where everything had to be washed (fruits and veggies) and put away. Occasionally there would also be a trip to the Post Office to get mail or pick up a package and to the bank. I remember living in a beautiful house near the ocean with windows all around the top floor that we could watch the ships come in and out. We still had to drive to go someplace to swim but what a view!

I remember - at an earlier age and in a different country - living on a mission station out of town with no electricity and no indoor toilet. The outhouse was actually a ways away from the house...overnight we used a can that Dad would empty in the mornings. There was a big old tree that I loved to climb with one of my bears and a book - I don't remember ever taking a journal up that tree but I spent hours hiding out reading books. In that house...I got to sleep in the living room - windows faced east so I was often one of the first ones awake. The house was only a two bedroom place - my sister and 2 brothers shared the bedroom - until she fell off the top bunk. Who-ever slept on the cot in the living room got to go to sleep in Mom and Dad's bed at night and be moved when they went to bed. Lighting at night was by kerosene lamp...stove must have been wood or coal. The fridge was kerosene - I remember Dad laying on his stomach on the floor priming it. That was the same house that Dad fell partway through the attic in. I remember riding my bike around - in a dress with shorts underneath it - falling off and skinning my knees.

Yes I've been back - but only to Kenya and only 1 time. I got to go back for my sister's graduation from high school - 3 years after I graduated. I knew at that point that there were some definite pictures I wanted to take that I'd not taken before...and some definite things I wanted to do. It was a good six week trip - and gave me a chance to see and experience more of what my Mom and Dad did as a young adult. It gave me a much better understanding of some things.

2. Where and how did you meet your husband?

This was not specified but I'm assuming this is in reference to B. I met him at church - actually officially through his wife. The very first time I noticed B he was standing in the hallway outside of a Sunday School classroom sharing with someone that cancer had been found in his wife - not afraid to show his emotions - the pain and sorrow in his face...My heart broke for him as I knew personally what it was to have a spouse deal with cancer and I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. It was probably more than a year later that we actually met and even then we rarely spoke. We did not begin to really talk until after his wife died and the relationship developed from there. He will tell you "never lend a car to a woman unless you are prepared to eventually marry her" - in a half joking way.

3. What games do you remember playing as a child? Did you play similar games with your kids?

As a child...we often played board games as a family. That was one way that Mom and Dad spent time with us together when we were home from school. We occasionally played Scrabble - something that I never really enjoyed in spite of being an avid reader. We played Tri-Ominoes. Probably the game we played most often was called "Muggins" - it was a good counting game made out of old calendars. I've never seen it in stores and have never played it with my boys. Ping-Pong was also a much enjoyed game - and one that I've not had the opportunity to play with my boys. I saw a set of Ping-Pong paddles in the dollar store the other brought back some cool memories. Would love to play that again. I do occasionally get to play games with the boys - most often card games such as "Hand and Foot". Life is popular and occasionally we even play Scrabble.

4. What would you prefer - summer or winter?

I think I overall prefer summer. The days are longer and brighter. Growing up near the equator where the length of the day doesn't change much year-round has made a difference to how I cope with shorter winter days. Besides being a school bus driver means that during the summer I'm usually off. On the other hand...I do love the sight of a fresh heavy snowfall with the sun shining on it.

5. What would you like to have achieved in 10 years time?

In 10 years! The boys will be grown by then and most likely out of the house. I would definitely like to be debt-free. I would like to have lost 50+ lbs and be in better physical shape than I am now. I would like to have improved in my photography skills and have completed at least 2 quilts. More than any of that though I would like to have grown in my relationship with God - and be doing what He wants me to do. I would like to see my marriage strong and happy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

February Thaw

We are in the middle of a February thaw it seems. One could hear water running and dripping all day. The snow is nearly melted off and things are pretty muddy. There isn't much flooding in our area but there are places that I'm sure have rising water. I just got the fire going again in the woodstove - it had burned itself pretty much out but it is getting cool again tonight and we will need it.

Not much has been happening around here. Dipstick was out pretty much all day at a boy scout event - he seemed to have a good time but is pretty tired tonight. Squirrel is fighting a cold so he stayed home all day. Stretch and I went this afternoon in B's "big truck" to pick up something from the old house and a crate from a friend. I also went to town to get litter for my chickens and birdseed. I've been getting 10+ eggs a day - even with the chickens cooped up. I'm looking forward to being able to let them out in a fenced area.

Guess that's enough boring rambling...I haven't taken as much time to come up with interesting things to write recently...nor have I taken many pictures recently. I have decided however that as far as pictures go...a tripod is a very useful tool to have.