Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Why I Love Them!

It's my daughters's hard work and dedication, honing their craft of teaching, that I happen upon that fills my heart. 

There's M, the high school student teacher (snap chat) 

And D in the midst of her Block III practicum in middle and junior high school (Instagram) 

I hope one day they will become that teacher who a student views as that one who made a mark on their life. It's my dream for them both. Just like they each had that one special teacher that forever changed them, with a strong belief in their successes. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mother Nature Is Smoking Something Funny

I don't know what is up with Mother Nature these days, but she seems to be smoking something funny. It seems like every week in February, one day, she just decides to dump snow on us.  

On Ash Wednesday she decided to start dropping snow around 3 o'clock and it lasted well into the night. It didn't impede the way for school to be in session on Thursday. The next week she decided that we should have a Sunday snow. That was the snow I mastered my road trip winter driving skills. Last weekend she gave us a reprieve and graced us with 78° temperatures on Saturday, and 58° temperatures on Sunday. Then this morning she decided to really dump, 5" of heavy wet sloppy snow. Damn ole' Mother Nature! 

At 4:51am I received a text alerting me of a snow day from school. We all know I love snow days! It means I get to be alone in the office--it's quiet, peaceful, tranquil, no kids dragging their nonsense to my desk...overall just a relaxing day of work. 

King Ralph hopped out of bed and looked out the window to notice all the snow...and no power. Our neighborhood was in the dark. I grabbed my phone to report the power outage. Luckily it had already been noted and restoration was expected at 11:30am. 
(They lie! It was restored at 12:30pm.) 

The joys of no electricity means showering by flashlight, but don't wash the hair because you can't power the blow dryer. No making your lunch because you don't want to open up the refrigerator. And using your gas fireplace to warm the house…actually that's quite the bonus. 
(Uli really is thinking, will my damn humans take me to get a fricking haircut, I look like a rat dog!) 

Being the mother than I am I went outside to prepare Princess A's car for her to go to work. Then it was my turn

Call me nuts, but I don't mind a gloomy day. It means I get to leave the blinds open on the windows behind my desk. On beautiful, sunny days I close the window blinds, because the sun glares my computer screen...making it feel like I'm trapped in a box. At least on gray days I get to see the outside world. 
(The Wednesday view from the top) 

Here's the trouble with starting your day with no power…I can't find my slippers without the lights on. So I took the first thing I came to--my flip-flops. I got to work, took off my snowboots, put on my flip-flops. It was kinda like telling Mother Nature "I'm ready for spring!" 
(I know, I know the socks.) 

Before I left for work I got a text from the guidance secretary asking me to be sure to feed Rebel. 

By the time I got home the dog gone snow just about all melted. Insane! Crazy!! 

So I ask you, what the hell is Mother Nature smoking? 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Making The Trade

Last weekend before hitting the highway for Chicago, we dropped D's car "Nancy" off to be inspected. We took it to a shop we've never frequented before, only choosing it because the Toyota dealer had no available appointments for the weekend, and the plates are due for renewal next week. 

Just as I was leaving the nursing home King Ralph called to say the car failed inspection--bad brakes, bad windshield wipers. The auto shop quoted $450 to make the repairs. King Ralph refrained from verbalizing his inner voice that was thinking: F YOU! We were left with no other option but to send D back to college with my car.

There is nothing worse than driving a car you're unfamiliar with. How do I move the seat? Oh ya, "Nancy" is a manuel ole gal. What, no automatic lights? Great, I hope I can remember to turn them off when I park. What fool designed a visor that hits the rear view mirror? Note to self: squint, wear sunglasses or adjust mirror constantly. Actually ole "Nancy" did me fine...once I gave her a full tank of gas.  She was dying of thirst. Typical college kid takes the car with gas, leaves mom with the car with none. 

On Thursday King Ralph celebrated "Nancy's" one year gotcha day by giving her new brakes, wipers and an oil change. If ole "Nancy" was a woman it would be like getting new shoes, sunglasses and a good drink for your birthday. The ole gal had a good day! King Ralph, not so much! He was pissed off when he was forced to replace brakes with ample pad left on them. 

Saturday we made the exchange. Drove the 90 miles to SEMO to reunite D with her "Nancy." It was while cruising down Hwy 55, smelling dead skunk after dead skunk, that we decided we'd check out an RV dealer in town. They had the model King Ralph had been researching. Here is what we learned
1. No power jacks, but an insulated under belly
2. 14" tires make the King question...thinks they should be 15" 
3. The recliner passed the man test
4. The counter space is doable for the woman 
5. The free standing dining table with storage in the seat chairs was a plus 
6. Pleather sofa sleeper would do fine for any tag-alongs. 

All the while D could be heard moaning "this isn't camping!" I suppose letting go of our beloved pop-up might not be as easy for some, as it will be for others. All that moaning from a girl who hardly has time to vacation with us anymore. 

Once we got a price quote we decided to chew on it a little. While it's not totally off the table, it's left us in limbo once again. Sigh. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Call Me Captain Kirk

I navigated the roadways through a winter storm--like Captain Kirk at the reigns of the Enterprise. I watched a car behind me spin out all the way to the other side of the highway.  I passed a car in Springfield crunched, as the woman stood in the road implementing her rescue plan. But me, I was slow and steady. The perfect captain! 

Before the storm I filled my love tank with a quick trip to Chicago, to spend time with this great lady--my 94 year old grandma.
I never ever tell her I'm coming. I never want to get her hopes up, get her all excited, and then something cancels the trip.  Say, like winter weather. I also never want to tell her who's coming along, because I never know what sudden college obligations could road block them from joining. This visit she got great grandchildren number two and five. (There are 17 greats in total.) After a four hour visit, loads of family history stories told to the girls, tons of laughing (the kind that draws out tears) and her first experience with a selfie stick picture..."no I look terrible, like I'm a 103." My Grandma said to us as we kissed and hugged her good-bye, "this was the best Valentine surprise ever!" 

Once I got home I couldn't help but share the love of shoveling with M and D 
The family that shovels together are Valentines for life! Or so I brain washed the kids into thinking. Hehehe

Later this evening my real Valentine will come home from work, I'll throw a pork chop his way and remind him 29 years ago he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We are romantic like that. 

Happy day of hearts and kisses! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I dress for an office that consistently try's to sweat us out of the joint. 
Then there's that unexpected mid-day snow

I guess I'll give up sock-less feet for Lent...starting today! 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tie Tuesday

I work in a business casual setting--skirts, simple dresses and dress pants for the ladies...slacks, collared shirts, sweaters for the men--just enough to look respectable. Except on Tuesday. Tuesday, is "Tie Tuesday." It's the one day of the week when the men break out their dress-for-success card. It's fun to see the men sporting ties of all different colors and teams and holiday promotion. I'm waiting for the students to join in on the fun. 

In the meantime I've been having a last couple of weeks that send me: 
1. Dreaming of after work cocktails 
2. Begging for a midday nap 
3. Contemplating stealing all those Tuesday ties 
 Personally I think this is a genius escape plan! Options are good. Just saying!