Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Youngest

Wow! How I miss her! I bought her that blouse for summer camp, but she has been wearing it a lot! Maybe she misses her mom, too!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's Over

My school year is FINALLY over. It was such a bittersweet day. This is by far the hardest year teaching I have ever had, and I have had some HARD years, especially in the beginning of my career. I received some of the most beautifully written notes from some parents that I will cherish forever. I thought I had done such a crappy job this year, but I guess the parents feel otherwise. My class for "next year" is filling up, and they are now talking about capping it, which means not letting some kids enroll, which is killing my boss, I know. She would take them all because of the money.

J and I have decided that I will take all of June off (I am leaving Wed. for Florida). If I have not found a job by the end of June, then I will stay where I am. A main reason I feel so much stress in my job is because I took over the class in October because the teacher became ill and could not teach anymore. There were very few materials for the kids to work with, the closet was full of junk (and still is), and I was never given time to make the materials I needed, organize a calendar, get my head above water (unless I had been willing to do it at home, which I refused to do). I wouldn't mind bringing work home if it was because I ran out of time, but I was rarely given any planning time. So if I have July and part of August to make my calendar, put the materials together (three moms have volunteered to help and one is buying me a file cabinet), and drag everything out of that stupid closet and see what I even have and what I want to toss, then I will feel so much more equipped to do a good job. I did not feel I could make very many changes to the classroom since the kids had already had things a certain way. Keeping their routine helped them get used to me. Also, if I stay, there are things that I want put in writing on my contract that were not there before: 1) I must get my planning time each day, which means, also, that I must have time to have parent/teacher conferences at least twice each year. 2) I must have an assistant at all times. There has to be consistency in these kids' days. 3) I am paid for December break (my boss still owes me a lot of money from last December). 4) I will not do child care before or after school!

My one big concern about going back next year is my possible coming out accidentally. Most of the parents I know right now would probably not have a problem with my sexuality, but I fear that my boss's religious beliefs might really make it difficult in my situation. I really don't think she would fire me during the school year, but I feel that she would lose her respect for me and be even more difficult to work with.

I have learned this week that I have more control over my work situation than I originally thought. I have learned to be more assertive with my boss, and I eventually get my way. I AM RUNNING THE PROGRAM. She really is relying on me to make all the decisions, even though she tries to make it appear that she does.

I will still be looking daily for a new job, but I do not feel the stress of "Oh, no, what if I can't find another job?" going on inside me. I don't know. It could be because my year is over and I have a month off. Maybe I will feel differently the closer to the end of June we get.

Thanks for listening to all the rambling during the year!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wardrobe Change

Remember when 6-yr-old girl S told me that I look like her dad and I said I might need a wardrobe change? Well, S has done it again! Today she said, "Ms. B, you and I could be like boyfriend and girlfriend. You can be the boy, and I can be the girl. " Ugh! I don't like wearing skirts or dresses to work because I am up and down from the floor all day, but I have seriously got to think hard about the clothes I am wearing and make a change! And yesterday I found out from another blog that I will not mention that the vehicle I drive (Saturn Vue with stickshift) is considered butch! I suppose that J's Mustang is considered femme? Want to trade me, J?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday News

Well, we woke up, and J wasn't feeling too well. She had a dr's appt scheduled for 3:45 p.m anyway. She stayed home from work, which told me she was really feeling lousy. I was afraid that she may have had an incisional hernia because of her symptoms. I went to work but could not keep my mind on my job. I was supposed to come home and pick her up around 3. I left work around 11:00. People at work know J as my "sister." I hate having to lie, but you never know with schools, parents, etc. So I took my sister to the dr. and everything is fine! It is just some fluid buildup which should go away. I still don't understand why she had the pain; she hasn't had that much pain in awhile and was able to go to work half days last week. But PTL! She IS on the road to recovery afterall!!!!
This is not a good picture because it is so dark, but it is a photo of the minister (on the left) and J (on the right) waiting for me to come down the aisle. The photographer took a photo (which I have no digital copy of) of J closeup about two seconds after this photo, waiting for me to come down the aisle. I think it is my favorite photo of her because she looks so happy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Part 2: Eye of the Storm

Part 2. Watch Part 1 first, please. A teacher studies the effects of segregation and racism on a grade 3 classroom. Part 3 is about the reunion of her former third graders from Riceville, Iowa, a white majority town, to see how much of her blue eyes/brown eyes exercises they had retained. Parts 4 through 6 is an exercise with adult employees at a prison instead of 3rd graders. Their behaviors are amazing. Notice the cocky blue-eyed woman (with the gum) and man (against the wall) at the beginning and the end of the exercise.

Eye of the Storm

Originally called "The Eye of the Storm" in the early '70's, my fourth grade teacher made us watch this documentary on a movie (reel) projector. Every since (1971), Jane Elliot has been a heroine to me, teaching about discrimination in a totally unique way. Everytime I hear the song "High Hopes", I think about her. I have followed her for several years. She continued doing similar workshops at prisones and companies around the country. There are some youtubes of these. You can also now find her DVDs at libraries, but they are titled "A Class Divided." I encourage you to watch the programs in their entirety. They are amazing. There are also parts 3,4, 5 and 6 to these youtubes.

Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening.
In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it. Decades after she stopped teaching in Riceville, Iowa schools, she is still not welcome in the community. She supposedly “is detested by residents as an arrogant, self-centered opportunist who turned against her town and inflicted untold harm on hundreds of Riceville’s children.”

Getting Lost

Okay, I thought I was doing a "good" thing, going for a 2-mile walk on a holiday when I could be gelling out at home. Wrong. I started on my journey in the south side parking lot at Myers Park. I knew the trails were not marked very well, but I wanted to take the 1.27 mile trail. Everytime I would get to a fork, I would take the outside one because the last time I took the inside trail, I was back at my car in less time than it takes to make a three-minute egg.

So I am walking along with my protein water in one hand and my cell phone in the other. How boring. Oh, I should call someone to make the time pass faster, I think to myself. I call my friend V. We get to talking, and about 45 minutes later, I say to V, "I think I am lost. Nothing looks familiar. I should have been back to the park a looooong time ago. I have passed baseball fields, soccer fields, and several fishing ponds. The trail is too straight, not to mention that quite a ways back I went under a bridge at a major street. There WAS a park now, but it was on my left, not on my right, where it should be. I know about what two miles looks and feels like, as that was pretty much my daily routine for years.

V said, "Why don't you just follow someone, B?" I said, "Because they are all going the opposite direction, bikers, walkers, joggers. I mean, wouldn't you think that you would eventually end up back where you started, even if you took the "long way around?" Wrong. I finally asked a woman who almost walked into me while she was checking her Ipod, "Where does this go? Will I end up back at Myers Park?" She looked at me liked I was nuts. "No, you are a loong way from Myers Park. If you keep going, you will end up at Collins Park, which is where I started from." I estimate that I went about 2.5 miles total before turning around and following the woman.

On my way back, I found a map, which I had missed the first time around, because I was so involved in my phone conversation. I could not believe where I had gone. However, "Collins Park" is on the east side of I-45, miles and miles away, so I find it kind of hard to believe that the woman had started there. But, hey, maybe she had, but how was she going to get there without turning around? If she did start there, my hat is off to the woman, cuz it must have taken a long time walking it. I just can't see myself spending that long walking. Walking is just soooo boring to me.

I need to lose weight so badly, but that is not really why I am walking. I am more worried about my blood pressure and my mental health at this point. Exercise is really supposed to help with anxiety and depression, both of which I have. Although, personally, it never has really seemed to help me that much in those areas. If you have something in your life to depress you or stress you, that is the way it is. But maybe it will help me deal with those things in a more constructive way.

Above is one of my favorite parts from Benny and Joon. Smile and enjoy!

Internet Woes

I haven't been to many blogs this week. I don't know if it is our computer, or what, but it is sooo frustrating! I can't get on to Tina's blog. I stay on it for like three seconds and then it boots me off. I can't leave a comment on Rebecca and Lorrie's blog. It says I need a Google Friend sign-up, and when I do that, it still won't let me comment. Some blogs won't open at all (they stall), and when I try to open a different blog, the current one which is stalled stays open and a different window opens. I have run a virus scan and have the current IE installed and running. Any ideas?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three names I go by:

1. B 2. Mom 3. Flipper

Three jobs you may not know I have had in my life:

1. Reader to a blind man
2. Legal transcriptionist (loved this job!)
3. ESL instructor to the Vietnamese (volunteer)

Three Places I have lived:

1. Huntingburg, Indiana
2. Houston, Texas
3. San Marcos, Texas

Three shows I watch:
1. Wife Swap
2. Amazing Race
3. Nancy Grace

Three places I have been:
1. Colorado
2. Yucatan
3. Las Vegas

Three people that e-mail me regularly:
1. My sister-in-law
3. Dead Celebrity Update (sad, isn't it?)

Three of my favorite foods:
1. mashed potatoes
2. Mexican (doesn't matter what it is)
3. fried mushrooms

Three things I'm looking forward to:
1. 50 year wedding anniversary, although I may be bedridden
2. My daughters' weddings (if I'm invited)
3. Grandchildren, which I hope I will be allowed to help deliver

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lucky Me!!

I just have to tell you about my love. Her name is J. She is absolutely the most beautiful woman in the world. I am so in love with her. She is the most amazing person I know. She is getting well from her surgery, and I am soooo thankful! I get three -- count'em -- three whole days with her this weekend. What's a woman to do? Lucky me!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


"Kiss me." J said this to me last night, totally out of the blue, while we were lying in bed. I was reading, and she was playing her DS. My stomach did flip flops. I love it when that happens.

For almost a week now, I have not been able to touch J very much, for fear that her incision would hurt. I was even afraid to sit on the couch or the bed because any movement could hurt her. She could not put her arms around me, and we could not lie together in our spoon position at night. We switched sides of the bed so that I would not be able to lay against her incisions. No snuggling at all for almost a week, not even a brush on the cheek. I think I overly avoided touching her in almost any way this week, and for that I am truly sorry. I didn't realize how it had effected other areas of our relationship. Things have just not been the same around here. We talked awhile today and figured out that we must have taken it for granted that we can simply reach out and touch each other at any time. Remember the old Southwestern Bell commercials, "Reach out and touch someone"? LOL I somehow knew that when J said, "Kiss me", that everything was going to be alright again.

A year ago at this time, we would see each other for a few hours and then have to say "goodbye" for a few weeks. How blessed we are that we get to come home to one another every night now.

Anyway, if you are like us, touch is so extremely important in a relationship, so don't take it for granted.

Kid Quote of the Day

6-yr-0ld S was telling me that her aunt was coming to the kindergarten graduation. She said, "Yeah, she's got blonde hair and she's fat like you, a little."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This is what a nurse did to J at 4:00 o'clock in the morning. It is still there one week later! Ugh! We should sue!

Two Graduations, Mother's Day, and More Musings

My 18-yr-old graduate with her 15-yr-old sis, with her 93-yr-old great-grandmother, with my brother and my father.
Graduation day was bittersweet. I had to face some really tough situations, but I made it through. There were over 1,500 people there for 37 graduates. A lot of people for me to face. Some, I could tell, had not heard the news. Most people were pleasant enough, but a few came over to me intentionally, hugged me, and even engaged in conversation! Even one of the men who signed the excomminication letter from the church came over and congratulated me and shook my hand! When my daughter walked in to Pomp and Circumstance, I started crying. That was the only time I cried. The rest of the time, my stomach was in knots and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I made it to the stage, hugged her while her dad gave her her diploma, and posed for a photo. I look like a beached whale in the picture; I am soooo embarrassed.
After the ceremony, I stuck around for awhile and then drove my grandmother home to Conroe. I did not attend the afterparty because I was not included in any of the planning; only the other two moms were. I did not pay for my half of the third, and ex said he understood. Up to the day of the ceremony my daughter was asking me to go to the party, but I told her, "You of all people in this world know what it feels like to be left out. I cannot attend in good conscience."
The next day I went to my brother's house for Mother's Day lunch of jerk pork tenderloin (Jamaaican) and Cuban rice. It was excellent. I just would like to know why everyone else showed up at 1:00 o'clock, and I was told it started at 2:00? I even have the time written down on a pad next to the name of the wine my brother asked me to bring, so I know it was not my imagination. Again, everyone was nice enough. My youngest was not there, though, (the talkative one who is starting to accept me more), and the graduate was getting sick, probably from no sleep the night before, and kept falling asleep on the couch. I tried to put my arm around her and stroke her hair, but I felt her squinch. A few minutes after that, she went to another couch and sat next to my mom so SHE could stroke her hair. I just couldn't keep the tears under raps, so I ended up leaving after that, before dessert, which was probably a bit rude. The whole 3 hours I sat there I did not get a "Happy Mother's Day" or a card or a gift. Literally as I was walking out the door she handed me a little planted pink flower. I was sooo happy and sort of upset that I was now leaving.
Today my 15-yr-old came to my school and helped with the kindergarten graduation and recital. She was such a big help and is going to be with me all day Tuesday to see what I do. My favorite (sarcasm here) part of the program was when my first graders came on stage to lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance and there was no flag. I looked at my boss and asked, "Where is the flag?" She said to me, "Where is the flag?" Ugh. It was pretty disorganized. I could go on and on about how I had MY part organized, but people kept trying to take over and do MY part a different way, but I will not bore you with the details. My daughter definitely noticed. I said, "Just wait until Tuesday. You will see a lot of crap happening." My kids were precious on stage. One kid did trip going up the steps to get their diploma, but I can't even remember who it was.
After K graduation, we went to lunch and then to the mall. We got the graduate a T-shirt that reads, "I graduated. May I go back to bed now?"
J is still recuperating, at a slower rate than she had hoped for. I took her out for a few minutes last night, driving to the pharmacy and to Wendy's for a Frosty. She was supposed to go back to work Monday, but I think that will be pushing it a bit. I just want her to get well. I know she is going absolutely stir crazy. I will try to get her out a bit tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some More Kid Quotes

My class is in a combination Kindergarten graduation, end-of-the-year presentation, and dance recital on Saturday. We practiced our routines today. Little did I know that the patriotic hats the kids are wearing are made with glitter, and it looks like each child has taken a glitter shower. Not to mention that there is glitter ALL OVER the gym floor and the hallway of the school. My boss was not too excited about that, but, hey, she is the one who purchased the hats in the first place. The hats are our props, so we HAD to practice at least once. No hats for the remainder of the week.

6-year old S was talking today about her dad serving in Iraq. I asked her if her mother had ever showed her where Iraq was on a map. She said, "No," so I told her to remind me when we went back inside, and that I would show her where Iraq was on the globe. She replied, "I hope it is near Florida!"

6-year old S (again) was telling me how people get old. She said they have water in their blood that gets old, and then they die. She said that she and I have new water in our blood. Glad to know that and that someone thinks I am still young. LOL

It was quite windy today. 5-year old M and 5-year old I asked me, "What does it mean when there is a lot of wind?" I said, "There is a lot of wind." "Well," they asked, "what does it mean when there is a lot of wind and rain?" I said, "Usually, that is called a 'storm'." They said, "Isn't it a tornado?" We started talking about tornadoes, and I said that I had driven my car through a tornado once. M looked me in the eyes and asked, "Did you survive, Ms. B?"

I was trying to get everyone lined up. M was picking grass, the trash bag was breaking, little S from the preschool room who I watch at playtime for her mom was bawling, I was trying to carry a cookie sheet, bug spray, and my lunchbox, and holding a kid's hand all at the same time. I mentioned that no one was listening to me, and one of the children said, "Everyone loves you, Ms. B!"

Ugh, what a day.

J is doing okay, but she is in the doghouse because she took a shower before I got home, and that was NOT a good idea! She also unloaded the dishwasher!!!!! Grrrrr. I love you, sweetie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is This Job Worth $10 - $15 an Hour? ROFL

Business owner is moving overseas to expand his business. I need a polished, OCD anal retentive (as in you belong in a straight jacket) Mother Organizer to help me get a 20 year old Houston office (that was downsized here) organized, up and running with all communications and technologies and make sure owner stays on target and is in bed by 2:00AM from his workday. The following are important: 1) Ideally, the hours would be from 10:00am to 8:00pm (even an hour later on each end) Monday thru Friday and 1:00pm to 6:00pm on Sundays which means you basically have no life which is not surprising as you are combing Craigslist ad. And the reason we advertise here is becuase it gets immediate results and no one expects a return answer. That measn if you are the first to impress me, you will start immediately on a contract basis whilst I make sure you are the best candidate. Early bird gets the worm and all that (though I would prefer you never call me that as i trust I have never deserved it) 2) You must have excellent resourcefulness . A monkey has been trained to use the internet. You may be asked to find a camera crew in Marrakesh, an 18th century silver handled sword, or get me the phone number to most famous artist in Havana. This is the highest end of the travel business and a real niche piece at that. The clients are special, the details are beyond your imagination and dealing with me is the real challenge. 3) You must be willing to work from MY home office (Sugarland / Missouri City, Fort Bend County) while I am here. I will accept NO home office arrangements whatsoever until I am out of the country. Now, if you have other skill sets such as graphic design, writing (professionally), sales, event management, project coordination or translation in French, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Malaysian or Arabic, please send me a resume under the subject heading “translator” or whichever applies. 4) If you are too sensitive to work for a AAA type personality who is a mad man in the office (I gave up swinging from the chandaliers), fast on the draw, a multi-tasker on steroids, or you have thin skin and/or are easily inclined to have you meds kick in, please don't waste your time or mine. 5) You must live near Sugarland and/or Missouri City ( for the assistant position) as the commute might kill you. And with the meager starting pay (which will stay the same for two months while you go through training and orientation, none of which will impress you. After that, if you have decided that you can continue to tolerate me and my artist personality, your compensation will result in a 15% to 20% raise as often as you can prove you deserve it (and according to market rather than your husband). I believe in paying people market rate and not a dime less. But it takes two months to see how good you are at different skill sets and whether we work well together. I also have a new start up business that needs a home based person to handle airline requests which involves talking to a lot of reservation agents at various airlines. There is nothing better than listening to the abortion of some of the finest musical pieces ever written as you sit on hold for 20 minutes so you can have the opportunity to schmooze some burned out agent in Mumbai in order to have the privilege of her undivided attention as you seek the impossible task of getting someone a ticket for an air miles reward ticket (during peak season). I would love to keep doing this personally but feel obligated to hire someone to replace me as it is simply not fair to keep all the fun in-house. And for the cold caller, I have a killer value proposition similar to selling shovels at a gold rush.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surgery Day

J is home! The surgery went well! She was only in recovery for 20 minutes. She stayed at her mom's all afternoon, and her sister brought her home to me around 5:00 o'clock! She made it up the entire flight of stairs, only pausing for a moment! Her recoup time is around a week since she didn't have to have the big incision! Woohoo! Thanks to everyone for your concern. If you want to call her, you may start calling her tomorrow, please, on her cell phone. I have to work again tomorrow, so I know she would welcome your calls!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our Weekend

The words I've always dreaded -- "Friend or family?" I replied, "Just a friend." Our ordeal started about 4 a.m. Friday when J was having a terrible case of what she thought was indigestion. She also started to have chest pains and trouble breathing. After finally talking her into going into the emergency room, we arrived at the hospital which is 5 minutes away around 7:30. They immediately ran an EKG and put her in an ER room. After about an hour of blood tests and heart monitoring, we made the decision to call her sister, who would call her mom. Her mom was adament about coming to the hospital. Remember, she and I have not seen each other since 1985, and she had noooo desire to see me whatsoever. J told me that no matter what, do not leave her. Everything went okay between her mom and me. They ran tests on J all day, finally deciding to take the gall bladder out on Monday morning. I feel terrible because I have to work and will not be there when J gets out of surgery. I will have to see her mom for about 15 minutes tomorrow morning to give her J's personal things. J will go to her mom's house after the surgery, and then after work, her sister and I are somehow going to get her up the one flight of stairs to our apartment. What can you do? Pray if you are a praying person that J's surgery will be laproscopic; that they will not have to do an incision surgery. I will try to post tomorrow night and let everyone know how the patient is.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Please Pray or Pass Along Good Thoughts

J is in the hospital overnite. She is having her gall bladder removed Monday. She is exhausted. Her heart rate was too low for her to be sent home tonight. Our story later. Graduation tomorrow. I miss my love. :o(

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Name Change

A few days ago, I posted a photo of our names on the bridge – “J.B. + B.B.” For those of you who know us IRL, you know that my last name does not start with a “B.” The original bridge “inscription” said, “J.B. + B.S.,” to represent my maiden name.

I guess by now most of you know how sappy I can be. So, yes, I want to take J’s last name; I have since we wed in 1980. I never told her, I guess because I thought it was always just understood. You get married; you change your name, right?

Last year, I mentioned to J about changing my last name to match hers. She seemed to be in shock; she couldn’t believe it. She said that the thought had made her so incredibly happy. She never even had a clue that I had wanted that my whole life.

We talked about how her dad would have felt about the name change, since I would be getting his last name. I think we are pretty much in agreement that once he had accepted our relationship -- which we are fairly certain he would have eventually -- that he would have been okay with it. I loved J’s dad very much, and it would be such an honor to have his name.

Why is it so important? Sharing her last name will once and for all show people that we are a couple, never to be separated again. It represents more than marriage or commitment; it represents who I am and have always been.

On the day of our wedding in Vegas, we were presented with helpful info on how to legally change your name and a checklist of places not to forget about sending the change to. So I AM eventually going to change it, but not yet. My kids and family are not at the point right now to handle a name change; but in my heart, all those years, I have always been B.B. I love it when we buy raffle tickets or something and J signs my name that way. I told her once that I would like for it to be that way when she signs us in at church on Sundays, but so far, she hasn’t written it like that. I cringe when I see our names on our checking account because they are not the same, and I want that soooo much!

So to our IRL friends, don’t be surprised if you receive a Christmas card this year with “J and B B.” written on the return address. My new e-mail address already reflects the change and I am consciously thinking about other ways in which to “sneak it in.”

Behind This Door

Behind this door
My world changed
I was faced with the reality.
We could not have what others did
We could not share our joy
We had to celebrate together, alone.

But behind this door
My heart changed
It became entwined with hers
The love we shared
Was sealed with a promise
My heart now beat for two instead of for one.

Behind this door
My life changed
She asked me to marry her at 5:45
Just as the sun was about to rise
I said “yes” without thinking twice
And we go on forever.

I think of our life as two bookends. Our story started as one bookend. Then there were all those years apart that followed. And now we are spending the rest of our lives together as the closing bookend. It is as if our love has supported us all those years, and that is how we got through them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Speed Dating

CrapImalesbian posted about lesbian speed dating, and I think that if J and I had done speed dating, we would have totally connected the first time and had to leave the establishment. LOL I'm not kidding! There was a DEFINITE connection with us once we were finally formally introduced. I remember that I was trying to get her attention. I was trying to make her laugh. There is nothing that compares to the way J laughs. She laughs from the gut. It is relentless.

I think that speed dating is great. Think of all the dinner tabs and embarrassing and boring moments it spares you? I once went on a blind date where the guy actually had a FILE on me! How weird is that? I once went on a date with a dentist (okay, I totally admit it. I answered a personal ad in the Houston Chronicle on a dare from a friend. She didn't do much better.). I swear, he was looking at my teeth the entire evening, and my teeth are nothing special to look at. It was a total drag of an evening.

But with J, just hanging out for a couple of hours at Square Pan Pizza was a blast, playing air guitar to My Sharona and hugging "goodbye." Man, there is no comparison! I wanted so much for her to take me to prom. I really envy you ladies who went to prom together. I think we would have looked magnificent together in turquoise! I have to admit, that during homecoming, I secretly wanted J to buy me a mum, maybe even a double or triple mum! I would have melted. How cool would that have been to have had an anonymous triple mum at homecoming! I would have been the only one who would have known who it was from, and my stomach would have been doing flip flops during the entire football game, straining my neck from the woodwind section of the band to look up at the brass section in the stands?? Oh, my, how I secretly longed to kiss her!

Not Invited

Okay, well, the oldest is graduating on Saturday, and there are many events this week, none of which I was invited to. Remember, parents present the diplomas. So I finally asked what part of graduation am I invited to participate in? She replied, "Family pictures at noon, rehearsal dinner Thursday night, and you can be on stage (to present diploma with her dad)." Nowhere was it mentioned that I was invited to the afterparty, which I found out yesterday is at 7 p.m. I was origninally to pay half of a third. She is having it at a sort of community center with two of her best buds. The other two moms are planning it, decorating, etc. I have never been called to participate in the planning, etc., so I don't feel that I should have to pay my half of the third if I have nothing to do with it, much less attend.

My elderly grandmother is going to have a long day, and my parents were wondering what to do with her after the graduation. There is approximately one hour to one and a half hour wait between the graduation reception and the afterparty. So I mentioned to my mom last night, "I'm not going to the afterparty (which is really called a reception), so I can take Grandma home after the ceremony. My mom said, "Why are you not going?" I said, "Because it was made clear to me that I am not invited."

A few hours before my conversation with Mom, I talked to my dad. I said, "Hey, Dad, are there any plans for Mother's Day?" I kind of assumed there wasn't since the entire family would be at graduation festivities from around noon to 10 pm Saturday. He said, "Yeah, we were all invited to your brother's house for lunch!" Helloooo, I was not invited. I kind of sounded surprised, I guess. I mean, my kids are going to my brother's house for Mother's Day without me, their mom? So wouldn't you know it -- bless my father's heart -- got a call from my brother last night, and he invited me. Remember, he's the one who left me out of Thanksgiving dinner??? My daughters have known about the Mother's Day get together since last week. Turns out, my youngest will not see me on Mother's Day afterall because she obligated herself to work backstage for Annie and didn't realize it was Mother's Day.

On a better note, I WAS invited to the Lord's table on Sunday, and I partook, AND I DID NOT CRY!!!!

Had three kids removed from school today because -- here's the background story -- three after school kiddos ride in a van to my school from a public elementary school which has been closed because of exposure to swine flu. So my boss allowed them to join my class for TWO WEEKS. One of them is in fourth grade. I have no equipment or resources for fourth grade. So for thirty minutes this morning I am hunting down and copying math, language and science work for him so he will have something to do. Meanwhile, a long line of parents is waiting outside my boss's office, waiting to pounce on her in anger for allowing these kiddos into the school building. My boss asked me if my assistant could take the exposed kids to an empty classroom for the day to maybe satisfy the parents. "Or," she said, "would you be okay having them join your class?" After three kids were taken back home, she finally decided to send the public school kids home and quarantined them in the library. Then I took my entire class outside for over an hour while my assistant disinfected the entire classroom. Total waste and interruption of our day. Kids this age just cannot handle it when the routine is upset. Now we have parents semi-concerned because one of my students has a sibling attending that same public school, so now it is exposure once removed. When does it end?

I saw two men on my way home in a car with masks over their faces and what looked like plastic wrap around their heads. Come on, people! It's a flu!!! Like someone said (I paraphrase), so many people are wearing masks to keep from catching the swine flu, but they won't wear a condom to stop the spread of AIDS. Go figure.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Blue Lagoon

Everyone has a "song"; so do we, several. But we also have a "movie" -- The Blue Lagoon. There is some confusion about when we saw it, my last year in high school or hers, but I do remember the evening. We saw it at the Galleria in Houston, and I still remember walking in the mall together afterward thinking, "Wow." Not because it was such a good movie; in fact, it was not. But it was our life as we saw it.
So much so that in college, we would go to the local video store on a regular basis and rent not only the movie, but the VHS player, as well. Video players had just come out, and we thought we were hot stuff renting one. I bet our rental account looked hysterical -- The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon. We would have a picnic on the floor of our living room and watch the movie, sometimes a couple of times in a row. Half the time, we would just listen to the words as we looked into each other's eyes. We had the entire script and dialogue memorized. It may sound goofy now, but it was pretty serious to us. We eventually got the soundtrack and knew exactly which scene went with each piece of music. Years later, when my family would go out of town or I was "single", I would rent the movie and watch it several times over the weekend and just cry and cry. I missed J so much and wanted to be back on "that island" with her again so badly.
In those days, J and I would also shy away from any discussion about which character she was and which character I was. We both knew; we just knew. Our relationship was so much like Richard and Emmaline's, so innocent. Our love just literally snuck up on us. And the one scene that is exactly the same as in real life is the line where HE says, "My stomach feels funny," and SHE says, "Mine, too." Man, there are deep, emotional feelings in hearing those words, like a kick in the gut. And it wasn't even sexual to me; it was love, fear, excitement, curiosity, and amazement all rolled into one. It was, "My God, can this really be happening?"
I envied Emmaline so much, being alone on the island with her soulmate, isolated from everyone (which, if you look at it one way, J and I were already on an island of our own). I DEFINITELY envied her when she had the baby. I wanted J and I to have a baby so badly. I used to dream about being in labor and J holding my hand, telling me, "You can do it!" In the movie, you knew that if they ever got back to civilization, that they would never be accepted. You knew that they would be seen as "wrong."
And I always cry in the end because I always literally "feel" the part of Emmaline in the boat, not wanting to go on in life if she has to live without him. Part of me wants them to die (pardon me if I'm giving away the ending, but I think if you were going to see it, you would have already seen it in the past 20 years) in the end because I couldn't see one living without the other, and I wouldn't want them to go through life being scrutinized by those who didn't understand.
So if you're up for a cheesy movie, and you want to see some beautiful scenery (the music is beautiful, too), rent The Blue Lagoon. But don't put yourselves there on that island! WE CLAIM IT!!! LOL
By the way, speaking of wanting to have babies, congratulations to Jesse and Greta on the birth of Holland Patrick!!! He wasn't one bit late afterall! I know they will post a birth story soon, and you know how some of us ladies LOVE to hear birth stories, no matter how graphic they are!

The Graduate

Here's my 18-yr-old homeschool graduate. Her commencement is May 9th. I am soooo proud of her. She has faced tremendous odds. My wish is for her to be happy in her life, continue her love of God, and find the person of her dreams, as I have.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I am sooo glad it's Friday. What a week!
Last night I applied for nine jobs with the largest district in Houston (hint,hint), which is something I said I would never do again. I have worked for two ISDs in Houston in the past, one year with the above mentioned and three years with a smaller one. I said I would never go back to the bureacracy. But -- would it be different for me in a non-teaching position, which is what I applied for? I know there would still be bureaucracy, but would I be able to make more of a positive difference in children's lives if I was in more of an administrative job? Or would I just continue to be pooped on by those above me? Would I have more of a say in what goes on, or would I still be squashed like a bug for speaking out? My one and only year there, I witnessed a teacher hit a child because she was talking in line. I reported it to the principal and was basically told that he wasn't going to do anything about it, and that if I tried to take it higher, it could mean my job. And at that time, I was not in a position to lose my job. So I decided right then and there that would be my last year in that district. If I had to stand by and not be able to protect a child, then I just couldn't do the job at all anymore. So if I get called for an interview, will I go? Should I go? I would get a good salary and good benefits. Would it be worth it? Do I want to see the junk that goes on in administration, I mean, REALLY see it? I already know it's there. That's what's wrong with the system. Would it be really stressful for me, or would I look forward to going to work more every day? Hmmmm.

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