Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where Does The time Go?

Today I worked at school for close to 5 hours. We strung up the wind socks that the kids made last week. They will be so surprised to see them hanging from the ceiling beams with their streamers all aflutter. That job alone took over 3 hours! Then we reassigned kids in their 'Activity Center' groups. We also selected books for next week's guided reading groups and did a bit of copying on the copy machine. Lastly, I rearranged every one's table mates. I do that nearly every three months and it always causes a stir.
At home, Hubs was exercising at the Y, putzing in his studio, reading, cleaning the kitchen, grocery shopping, and surfing the Internet before leaving at 3:20 for his bus route. Then, at last the sun made a brief appearance and I proceeded to do a serious pruning of the wisteria which as you may know is the Hub's favorite botanical feature in our yard. He loves it so much that he finds it hard to take pruning very seriously (Kind of like the plant version of 'spare the rod and spoil the child'). So every year I take the pruning into my own hands and then I shudder to think of how he will respond. Today I was sure to make a scrumptious dinner of Chicken Enchiladas in a Green Sauce with freshly made salsa for dinner. I HAD to tell him about the pruning; it was one of those things like a big bad secret that was hanging in my mind. He kind of scowled and threatened to take revenge on not one, but TWO plants that I love. I did remind him that I AM the one that knows more in the line of gardening and I HAD consulted specifics on Wisterias before grabbing the loppers. He hasn't seen it from the lower yard. We shall see if his rant is 'to be continued'.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Hawaiian Visitors

Chase and His Mommy

The sunshine was in their smiles but certainly not in Seattle's weather. This is Chase and his mommy, Tanya. I taught with Tanya here in Seattle oh so long ago. When was that Tanya? 2004? I have kept up with The Adventures of Chase but this is the first time I got to meet him. He is a charmer, that's for sure! A walk on Alki would have been nice if the weather were warmer but it was gray and windy and only about 45 degrees out for most of today. Certainly not a good beach walk day to Hawaiians.

Ticklin' the Keys

I had fun being 'Auntie Teresa' and brought out some old toys from Anna Rae's closet. Chase loved making music and he was a real good listener to his mommy and played only with his fingers, not his toes which was a mighty tempting idea.


He has nimble little fingers and spent a lot of time with the Fischer Price School House putting the people into the desks and cars and on the seesaw on the playground. He was easily occupied by these toys for the better part of three hours which really amazed me. You're right Barbara, hanging on to the old Fisher Price toys is a very good idea!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


the Dracaena needed to have their dead foliage lopped off and I am not at all sure they will regenerate from the root system. My plan is to plant pole beans up the trunks for this season. If no greenery emerges we will need to completely cut them down and pull out the trunks. Surprise! Surprise! Today it was sunny in Seattle and although it wasn't above 50, if you were working in the sun you could toss aside your polar fleece. I worked for at least three hours preparing a bed for lettuces and moving a rose bush (an odd rose bush that likes partial shade). At this time of year the amount of work in our gardens is formidable and I must say I was certainly feeling yesterday's ten mile run. Our house is the perfect size for retiring in, but the yard work; that's another story.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It is the first day of Spring Break for Seattle schools and this is what it looked like on Alki beach this morning; rainy, gray and cold. It was only 39 degrees this morning when I did my first ever 10 mile run from Fauntleroy to Alki and back. Cheery yellow daffodils and blossoming cherry trees punctuated an otherwise dreary run. I wasn't the only fool out running and we were all soaking wet. I wore my most waterproof jacket and still managed to get soaked to the skin. The hot shower at the Y at the end of it all was welcome solace. My time for the ten miles was one hour and 37 minutes. Report cards stood in the way of writing a post last week. They are behind me now and I look forward to a week of running and hopefully some gardening if this rain ever lets up. I might just give up and pull weeds in my rain gear. At least the roots should be easy enough to pull up.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It feels good...

to come in first! My time was 29.01 This was not my best but it put me at first place for females ages 51-60 in this morning's Cove to Clover 5k which was, as I had predicted, a real butt burner with lots of up hill running and twists and turns in the first mile. I think my time put me at something like 20th overall but I am not sure. It was a small race of about 350 people and the proceeds went to Highline Food Bank. I do know the male for my age group had a time of about 25 minutes and the best overall time for a male was 20 and some odd seconds and the females' best overall was 24 something. When I drove to the start line it was SNOWING! Yes, there was snow again in Seattle. So it was a COLD race too. My lungs protested against the cold air and I had a bit of a coughing jag when I finished but I feel SO much better than last weekend. Mick Kelly's was packed and the beer was flowing at the finish line. I think I will make this run a regular on my schedule instead of doing the usual St. Patrick's Day Dash downtown. Although I know there were some crazy folks who did BOTH races today; they really earned their beer!

Originally uploaded by mtnester.

By time I got home the sun was shining and the wind blowing. Gale force winds are forecasted but I don't think they are that fierce (at least not yet). It is still cold enough to know that winter has one more week with us and we keep our winter clothes handy and the space heater hums at my feet. Even these Crocuses are huddled together and keeping their petals wrapped close.

The day is slipping away so quickly and I really need to work on report cards for my students. Remember the little guy I wrote about back in December, the one who has a Sensory Integration Dysfunction? His behavior IS improving; he still doesn't produce work like the other kids but at least he joins us at the tables or on the carpet, he rarely asks to 'stir up the crayons' anymore, and chairs were overturned only once last week. Best of all, he came into the classroom on Tuesday and after greeting me he says, "You know, I love school!". Now THAT'S progress!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've surrendered...

to the heavy stuff; amoxycilin and cough syrup with codeine. Today I finally gave in and went to the Dr. filled my two prescriptions and stopped at Full Tilt for ice cream which is the only thing that feels good on my throat. It was tough to decide but I chose a small bowl of Toasted Coconut and Jameson Caramel (that's Jameson as in whiskey, which is said to be good for a cold, right?) The Dr. thinks I have a bacterial infection. I have not had to take antibiotics in a LONG, LONG time. When he said amoxycilin I was thinking 'bottle of pink liquid' which I gave to my daughter for ear infections as a baby. Boy but was I disappointed when I saw this bottle of 'horse pills' that I have to take twice a day. Those, along with water, not whiskey, should do the trick.
In addition to getting a possible 'cure' I was lucky enough to miss a staff meeting. A messy staff meeting at that; the one where we set budget priorities. That Washington education budget shortfall that we read about in the news, the $8B one? It's hitting home. Seattle School District has a shortage of about $25 million.
I am sure I will post more about the changes that means for me and my Sanislo
colleagues once our budget is finalized. It ain't gonna be pretty!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Round Two...

of my cold is worse than round one. The hardest part is getting a good nights sleep. If I can't breathe through my nose, I wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat or a nagging cough. Don't talk to me about your arsenal of cough remedies, nasal spray, nettie pot, Sudafed, Nyquil, syrup for just the cough, gargling with salt water; I've tried them all. They work, kind of, temporarily, but the cold is still here. It has been three weeks now, I can't smell a thing, don't like to cook, eating is no fun (imagine that) and I think I must be getting cranky.

This morning I spent 3 hours sitting in bed with the laptop reading newspapers and a very interesting six page article in the Atlantic about how this recession will reshape the population centers of our country. Then when my eyes couldn't focus on print anymore I went to TED and listened some interesting talks one of which was by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Isn't the Internet wonderful? I am one who does not sit still easily and there it was, three hours, "poof!" gone. The DH had encouraged me to cut back on my exercise routine and so I did not run Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. But I just couldn't take another day without putting in a couple, three, four miles. So I ran, during a break of blue (we had snow, hail, rain, and sun today)and I it felt great. I am looking forward to the the Cove to Clover 5k next Sunday, cold or no cold.

As for the FAFSA and CSS Profile, I'm almost done. Otherwise I wouldn't do something as frivolous as writing a post. A phone call to the U of Chicago in the morning should clear up my last few questions.

Speaking of frivolous, here is Thing One and Thing Two along with me in the classroom last Friday as we celebrated the children's author Dr. Seuss: