slice of my life

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I'm starting to obsess about Gustav, the Hurricane.

I began my non-stop watch of weather and news channels this afternoon. I'm not in a danger zone, as of yet, anyway. (I am about an hour and a half northwest of Houston.) People are being sent this way, though. I suppose it could affect my workplace. When Hurricane Rita came through on the heels of Katrina in 2005, our school building, a church, was a shelter for families from Houston. I had heard that a few families were spending the night in my classroom! It was a bizarre thing. Nothing was damaged, nothing taken. Just some stuff out of place, and a few stains on the carpet not there before.

I remember being home the day that Katrina hit, cleaning house (like I'm doing today). I remember thinking I was so glad that New Orleans had made it through the storm. As the day progressed and the levees broke, I just couldn't stop watching the water in New Orleans. We all had a front row view of the destruction. And then the awful squalor of the Superdome.

Let's see if this time things will be done right.

I think in a former life---or a future life, maybe----I was a weatherman. Maybe even a storm chaser. I am just fascinated by weather and the power of it. I can't stop watching.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's been one week . . .

J made this picture for me. He had one of his own face, and he offered to make me one, too. Came out pretty good! He even took this photograph of me this month.

I am long overdue just updating the blog about life around here. I'll try to bullet the important stuff---in no particular order.
  • B lost a tooth today. Funny thing----it wasn't the loose one she'd been concentrating on. The aid---Pink Laffy Taffy. Much more gentle than a string around the doorknob.

  • B had a free ticket to the football game tonight. She is there with Larry who's actually working. I hope it's all okay. I'm a nervous mom. I kind of think B can be down where Larry is for most of the game, but she has a seat in the stands right where Larry's "zone" is that he covers.

  • He's an usher---it's his third year to do it. He will work 7 games this season. The pay comes at the beginning of December---our Christmas bonus. Larry enjoys working the Aggie games, being right there in the action. I've spotted him on TV in years past, but no TV tonight. He has seen the Big 12 coaches up close and personal, and had the governor call him by first name (he walked up and said, "Hi, Larry!" looking at his nametag.)

  • Today is Larry's birthday, and now I can show you what I made in honor of him.
  • This is me painting the square plate. I am making one salad sized plate for each member of the family. B will be next, for her birthday. Here's the fired and glazed version. I like how it turned out.
  • Speaking of nervous moms, my mom called today and asked if we were going to get evacuated. I don't think so, but we are gearing up to receive evacuees in our community. Since we're on the west side of the storm, I think we'll not even get much of the heavy rain. I do have my tank full of gas----which will get me to mom's with no problem and gas to spare---if the storm takes a weird westerly curve. I evacuated myself from hurricane Rita on the heels of Katrina 3 years ago, and the traffic was heavy, and the McDonald's was nasty dirty from overuse.
  • Here I am on the first day of school. J took this one, too. I used it already on my other blog. I am putting this one here to say that the classroom is going well, and I'm enjoying myself being a new Kindergarten teacher.
  • I have 11 students now---3 girls and 8 boys. It should hold steady at this number. I am getting the hang of making the lesson plans and managing my schedule in the classroom. It's tweaked to get restroom breaks in at the right times---important since I do not have a restroom in my class. My bulletin boards are coming along, and the morning crying has stopped for the most part. We're rolling right along!
  • J came home from school Thursday and said that he had no mean teachers. Good for him! He has lunch in the middle of his language arts class. B Lunch. There was a problem with 2nd period---like they changed what his class was, and it wasn't what we thought it was supposed to be----but it's already fixed. He says he might have a nervous breakdown sometime in Math because of the company in there (not the teacher). But I think it's going to be okay!
  • B has had a great first week, too. She seems to like her teacher, and I feel confident the teacher's on top of everything. B is excited about what they will get to do in art as big 4th graders---making books this year, and learning about some kind of Japanese book sewing technique. She is also glad to only get P.E. twice a week, but it's a longer period, I think. Her lunch is at 12:50, but they get a snack break in the morning.
  • J is signed up for his fall TROUPE stuff. One of his troupe friends is at school with him this year---a girl, even. The director, M.A., wanted him to do Troupeadors (the singing group). So he's been enrolled in that plus Theater High---yea! He's old enough to be with the older group now, in 7th grade. The best news about this----he got two scholarships, $75 each, for each of the programs. This is partial scholarship, but it sure helps. J loves it. It's his niche.
  • I'm off for Labor Day, but the kids have to go to school. Na-na-na-boo-boo!
  • Tomorrow we are finally going to Pyro, the Mongolian Fusion grill for Larry's birthday lunch. Yea! again!

This has to be all for now! I have been slacking taking pictures lately, but I will get the other blog more up to date really soon. Love to hear comments!

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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, August 30th

Today's theme is Beautiful. This part of the country was one of the most beautiful areas I've ever visited. And maybe it was my youth when I was there, my grandiose idealism,---something---that made me just soak it in and remember it. There is something so majestic about big mountains and big sky.

This is Jenny Lake, WY, with the Tetons in the background. It's beautiful! And you can't even tell how beautiful unless you're there. This picture can't even capture it. I took this in 1994 when I was just 23. Those were the days! ;-)

If you'd like to see more beautiful images, click over to TNChick's website. What a good day to go browsing!

Next week is string or strings. That's interesting!

Happy Birthday Larry! (Today's the day!!)

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, August 23

Today's theme is wrinkled, and my first thought was about the wrinkled faces of people I know. Or maybe my own wrinkles I am getting. I couldn't think of a picture right off the bat that would be flattering enough to not hurt someone's feelings! HeeHee! So I am going back to my archives to some wrinkled people who aren't alive.

I love old photos. I always try to see the real people in those photos---the personalities of those people who lived before me. I wonder what they talked about, what their daily lives were like, how they treated others. I wonder if they hoped and dreamed about things like I do. I wonder if they took joy from the things I do, or if they had unnamed longings, and if they felt like they had done everything they needed to do before they died. I like to see old photos of people I do know as older folks----it makes them seem more like me than I had known before.

This is Larry's family. His grandmother is the third one from the right, and these are her parents. It was an anniversary party. I wonder if those shoes were comfortable?

Next week's theme is beautiful. If you're interested in more wrinkled photos, go to TNChick's website!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

My first day of school

I survived day one of Kindergarten. No one cried (a hard separation from Mom, but he shaped up just fine), and we all came away with smiles. The ones I had in the afternoon said they "loved Kindergarten." All of them! ;-) That's the ultimate goal to me! :-)

I am up early again this morning. I wake up, and if I let my mind wander to the tasks ahead of me this day, I can't get back to sleep. It's not worry---there's just things I think of I have to do. I'm excited! I like this "setting up" part of school. It's a bit like playing house.

Well, I think I might have gone back to sleep for a few more minutes if I hadn't heard something out on the deck (outside my bedroom window). It was a little possum! I don't really like to see them, even though I know they're out there. Better that than a rat or a snake!

Now it's about time to get ready and take Bess where she's going today before I get to my school at 7:30. Where's my caffeine?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meet the Teacher---it's me!

First some random local news.
Our town has produced a baseball team that's in the Little League World Series! It's Bryan West, senior? boys (16 and under), and they're in Maine with a 2-and-0 record. They play again this morning at 8 am.

There is a new Reveille--and she's a collie from Kansas. Reveille VIII can be seen in pictures here. I wonder if they think the problems they had with the last collie will be avoided because they're getting a dog that is already grown, and not a puppy who's temperament is untried. I was actually hoping that we'd get a mutt. That's what the original mascot was!

I had Meet the Teacher Night last night at my school. It went well, and with 7 boys and 2 girls, I think I can foresee a bit of boyish violence in my future. Nothing big, but we had some questions last night about a play knife, and it makes me wonder. The parents seem great, and I have a really good "vibe" about the school year.

Then again, I always have a good feeling about the new year---anything's possible. :-)

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


I didn't get to blog this weekend, and I don't see much happening this coming week---I start school, my new job, Kindergarten!

The bad news from today---B got her big toenail totally ripped off. It was her bedroom door that did it. I am still a bit freaked out, but Larry knew what to do---his toenail got ripped off when he was a freshman in college, moving into the dorm. I on the other hand, am feeling her pain in my body when I look at it, or talk about it, and now I find out, when I blog about it.

I get sympathy pains in my pelvis, in my whole abdominal area. I have told the kids it's because they came from my womb, and I am still connected to them like that somehow. Although I feel the pain when it's Larry, or other people, too.

She asked me to post the pictures of it on the blog. Do you really want to see this?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

weather update

We got our first rain from the tropical storm this afternoon at about 2. We are thankfully not getting any strong winds, but we're getting a wonderful soaking rain. Because of the rotation, as the storm moves northwest across us, we are getting the rain moving down from the north right now. The "eye" isn't really apparent, but it's sitting a little bit east of us and moving our way.

I was just looking over the TAKS scores of my kids' schools. Both of their campuses were rated "academically acceptable." I know they were aiming for higher. Part of the course I just finished on my "Road to Certification" was about testing and analyzing the results.

I was really unhappy about B's school's Math scores. Because of construction, last year the only grade taking the state tests was her grade---6 classes of children. All students passed at a 67%.

Other interesting facts I gathered:
B's school---85% of the students are economically disadvantaged.
At J's school---82%
district-wide---56%; this is quite a bit, actually.
For College Station---20%

At B's school, apparently 9 students out of 91 are white. They didn't make a large enough group for the TAKS test to count their scores for.

Two out of 6 of the College Station schools are Exemplary. They have 20% and 13% Economically disadvantaged.
One out of 15 Bryan schools got the Exemplary status. Only one grade had a statistic for Economically disadvantaged, and it was 48%. This is not the school with the least economically disadvantaged children attending. The other two with fewer low income kids did have a Recognized status, though.

Here's the link to our county's ratings and information:

It's time to go make the dinner!!

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Hello, Edouard!

Well, I'm not really hunkering down or anything, but Hurricane Edouard is coming my way. We are expecting rain and wind tomorrow. Of course I will be working outside the home tomorrow, not safe and sound at home where I'd probably rather be. It's Sonshine School's Olympics day!

Two counties south of me, there are "Inland Tropical Storm Wind Warnings." They've been upgraded to the warnings, not just watches. I hope that doesn't mean we will get that strong wind, too. We might!

The good news is, our high will be about 10 degrees cooler tomorrow and the next day---only 94 and 96 degrees! I must mention, however, that my parents 3 hours north of me are getting the heat much worse---Dallas is consistently hotter than us this summer. Of course, we brag about our humidity around here---we like to increase that heat index! We like having to drink our air, really.

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intersting fact?

Well, it's interesting to me . . . .

I heard last night that at over 330 campers and 60 staff, J and B's church camp session is the largest camp session for a "church of Christ" church camp in the nation. Wow!

On the other hand, I have never gone by the rule that "bigger is better." I am only 5'2" after all. And you know I think the super 5-A schools are too big for their own good.

But still, there are lots of people who trust the leadership of this particular group and lots of adults want to be involved with this group. The kids keep coming back and sharing the opportunity with their friends. The graduating kids often come back as counselors.

The ultimate opinion that matters to me: my kids'. They loved it and want to go back next summer.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

new site to look at

I just made another page on the web. I have to make a teacher webpage for my next course, so today I got started. It's very much a work in progress right now, but you could look at it if you want.

I have to add some stuff like assignments and test dates on the site to get my grade for the assignment. I may have to make it up just for a grade and then erase it and use the page for real.

If you have a beautiful picture of me, please send it along! ;-)

Here's the link:

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, August 2nd

Today's photo hunt theme is Clouds.
I took this one this week in the town nearest church camp when we picked up B early to take her to the track meet. Bandera is a town of about 3000. Classic water tower shape. It was a beautifully sunny day, if not deadly hot. :-) The clouds are remnants of hurricane Dolly.
If you want to see more clouds, go to TNChick's website. Join in!
Please leave me a comment---I love to see where everyone's from. :-)

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Starving on Friday

There seems to be no Friday's Feast leader any more. There hasn't been a new post on that website since July 11th. I guess I'll have to go find some other meme to fill my time! I still have my Saturdays . . . Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt.

I've been busy this week. I worked on Tuesday, of course, but I'm trying hard to get through a lot of my schoolwork. I start my teacher workdays in only 6 more days! Therefore, I want to get through the course I'm in today, maybe, and zoom through the next one as much as I can. I have this present course, and then three more courses I will have to read a lot for. Then I have a course named "You are Hired" and another one that I'll be enrolled in when the school year is in session. That one will be stuff I do in the classroom and reflections on my experience.

The summer is almost over, people!