Monday, May 21, 2012


Today on Facebook one of my friends posted photos of his mother's retirement from my Alma Mater, Atkinson Elementary. He had pictures of all of my old elementary teachers, I use the word old literally.  Good Lord they are OLD!! I didn't even recognize most of them. I could see a shell of their younger self, if I squinted and looked at it in my peripheral vision. My third grade teacher is of course 30-years-older, but I could not pick her out in a crowd. However, finding the librarian was spot on! Mrs. Majaka was 107 thirty years ago, and she still is. The man who I thank silently (out loud if I'm alone) for teaching me to drive every time I parallel park looks much too old to drive a car now. My favorite elementary teacher, Mr. Kragness, looks so old I would never pick him out in a crowd- or in the nursing home. Even my "almost mother-in-law" was unrecognizable. Maybe it was just because she didn't have her hands out like she was about to choke me to death. How could they have aged so much in the last 20 years? I didn't. I also don't understand how soap opera actors/actresses don't age. Seriously! Victor Newman was old when I was a small child, 30 years later, he is still having babies! Mrs. Chancellor was "old lady Chancellor in 1980- she's still alive. Maybe her and Mrs. Majaka drink from the same fountain of youth.Not all actors are as lucky. Danny Romalotti was super hot when I was five-years-old, but now he's a very creepy looking 60-year-old. I don't understand why people have to age so dramatically. I think you should be able to pick an age in looks and "lock it in". I would have picked 33. Or 19. I was thinner at 19, but my school picture at the age of 33 is my favorite. When I was at my uncles funeral last weekend, I kept looking at everyone and thinking, "when was it that you got so old?" My cousins tell me I should still be 6-years-old (they are much older than me), I look at them and think 'when did you turn into your dad?' It's like one day I woke up and boom! Every one is bald, wrinkly, and grey. Weird.
Thoughts that I think:
I want a new dog so I can name him "Stay". I'll say, "come here Stay" and he will get all confused. :)

Describe Your Relationship With Your Parents

Well, I've been avoiding this question since I copied it down from a friend's blog. In one word, I'd say that word would be "complicated". It's difficult to have a relationship with my mom without being the creepy guy in Psycho. I still wish I could talk to her- and she'd answer back. I write a letter to her every year and bring it to the cemetery. I miss my mom a lot. I wish I knew at the time of her death that I am more like her than I wanted to admit. I little bit of me always hoped I was adopted, or found on the side of the road. This weekend I was in Barnesville and saw the mother of my neighbor friend growing up. She knows both my mom and dad's sides of the family. I know she thinks I inherited all of the bad traits from both sides, something I also was convinced of until about a year ago. As I talked to her about her kids my mom's very words echoed in my head, "trust her just as far as you can throw her..." I had to giggle a little knowing she was right. Growing up I would always be sad when mean girls were nasty to me and mom would say, "who cares. If they don't like you, you don't need them." At the time I was angry because she wasn't even trying to understand me. Now I realize what she was saying because I say the same thing to my kids. My mom loved to read and was really smart. I got that from her. She would never sit still, always had to be doing something. I got that from her too. She might not have been the perfect mom, but she taught me what, along with what not, to do. When Noah was born she was very, very sick. In fact she didn't know why I was in the hospital, or who the baby was when they came to see us. I felt so cheated. How was she supposed to teach me to be a mom. Then I realized she did. For 28 years. I still miss her every day. I wonder what she would tell me. I wonder if she's watching me live my life and what she thinks. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized by just being her, she made my dad a much better person. She made him appreciate his kids and grandchild. She made him empathetic, caring, and thoughtful. Now he is not. Now he's very much like his new wife; easily offended, self-centered and basically doesn't want anything to do with me, my sister or my children. He actually told Noah on his birthday, "This is the last year I'll like you." (being he's 12 and dad doesn't like teen-agers). What a dumb thing to say. It would be different if they had a relationship, but coming from someone whom you suspect doesn't like you in the first place? He's blown off all of our birthdays. He lives 20 minutes away and I get invited to his house once a year. We DO NOT go there uninvited. All of us learned that the hard way. For a long time I thought I did something wrong, or the boys (at the ages of 2 and 4) did something wrong. I know he's the one who is missing out, but it really feels like the boys and I am. Noah and Ethan constantly ask me why grandpa doesn't like them. Noah asked if he would be a different person if grandpa still liked him. That breaks my heart. I've tried talking to him about it, but his wife is screeching in the back-ground, "What's wrong with her? Is she crazy like her mother?!" I also know if I talk to him, he'd never understand where I am coming from. So there you have it. I'll leave you with... Wait for it...

Thought of the day: Student, "Why do we have to learn synonyms?" Me- "When you can't spell a word, you can think of one you CAN spell."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Am Middle Aged

In the last 9 months I've lost three relatives. Two uncles and a grandma, and I'm about to lose another uncle because he's knockin' on death's door. I know people get old and die. But as I get older, my concept of "old" gets older and older. Time changes too. When I think of 10 years ago I say "Oh it was 1996 and Forrest Gump just came out"... Except 10 years ago was 2002 and I had a 2-year-old and was pregnant.  I remember thinking 30 was old, and that wasn't long ago at all. For the past ten years, I've used my dad's current age as the sliding scale of "old" because he can't be old. Ten years ago he was 66, so 68 was old. Now he is 77 and I've decided 90 is "old". Maybe it's the reality of my dad ageing and I don't want to face his impending end. He can't die until at least ten years after his wife dies. I have to 1) say my peace to him, and 2) live in the bliss of his realization of ignoring his lovely daughter and awesome grandsons, and his redemption to earn our forgiveness. I can't do either of those until she kicks the bucket. I was not close to my uncle, Lloyd, who died but it's really bothering me. Lloyd was a "loner", and they expect 30 people at his funeral. That scares the shit out of me. I worry, and strongly suspect, if I were to die tomorrow 30 people wouldn't come to my funeral. If it was during Superbowl weekend the three people I live with wouldn't even come. It just makes me so sad. A whole life and only 30 people to celebrate it. My dad and Lloyd didn't get along because my uncle thought he was a better dancer than dad. It also bothers me that dad doesn't have "time to think about" his brother's death because his wife's grandson is getting married in two weeks. I really hope when I die, my siblings aren't too busy thinking about a wedding they will attend to think about my death. I've never claimed to be a better dancer than either one of them, but we all know I'm probably a better dancer than Paul. What if I died? Would dad be too busy thinking about Brenden's wedding to contemplate his daughter's life? A whole life and it only impacted 30 people? My former students might come to my funeral, but I bet more of them would go to the cemetery to spit/dance on my grave.
It's been a long two days at school and home. It doesn't help that I have cramps so bad they could bring a grown man to his knees, and a horrible headache to go along with it. I also am convinced I had to have gained at least 12 pounds in the last week. Nothing I own is comfortable or looks decent.
On the plus side- the kitty came back!! Ethan said we can't call him Small Skinny Kitty because "it takes to long to say". So I am calling him Pretty Kitty and Ethan calls him Lightning. He answers "Merow" to either. Ethan finally got to pet him. He purred for Ethan, but purred louder for me. Ethan wants to make him a "cat house" outside. He actually wants to start it tomorrow right after school. Noah still thinks we need to "stop touching the flea infested, rabid cat."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Ghost in My Bathroom- And My (Maybe) Pet Cat

I'm pretty sure there is a ghost in my bathroom. I have three separate light bulbs in the bathroom. When one burns out it gets quite a bit dimmer. Today while I was taking a shower, one of the light bulbs "burned out". I need a new bulb, no big deal. I went on showering. Not even two minutes later, the radio switched from my normal FM morning show to an AM station. Weird huh? I kept on showering. Then the radio went off all together. I suddenly remembered somehow the outside electrical plug-in is connected with the bathroom electricity and it was raining... I wondered if there was a correlation. Then- the bulb came back on! As if I had the right idea! Shortly after that, my normal FM radio station came back on. All of this makes me fairly certain their must be a ghost living in my bathroom. Therrrre Heeerrrre..... Hopefully the ghost isn't all judgy when seeing me naked.
The boys have seen an orange cat around our neighborhood lately. As you may already know, orange cats are always the nicest. I love orange cats. Lots of my cats growing up were orange and they were all named, "Kitty". Even my beloved dead Big Fat Kitty was orange. Anyway, today when Ethan was getting ready to go to baseball practice we saw the kitty on the sidewalk by my house. He was headed over to the condemned house next door. I'm sure he gets his fill of mice, etc.. from there. I beckoned him over and coaxed him with some tasty dog food. He came over and even before eating he was purring! New Small Skinny Kitty loves me!! I pet him and fed him from my hand. The whole time Noah was backing away saying, "Don't do that. He might have rabies. I bet it has fleas. Quit petting him. Don't let him rub up on your legs, he's going to get his fleas on you." Seriously? Who is the parent? Obviously Noah is NOT the animal lover Ethan is. I told Noah I wanted to keep him. In my house. Noah said, "No. The dogs won't like him, and he'll be scared of the dogs. If you get a cat you should get a baby cat, not a teenage cat."  Then I told Noah I want to keep him. In my garage. Small Skinny Kitty would like my garage. He still had his claws, and the tip of his tail was gone, so it probably froze off. That means he probably doesn't belong to anyone and is a stray. I picked him up and had him tell Noah, "Let me live in your garage. I'll like it there." Then I tried to chase Noah with the cat. He ran away yelling, "PUT the cat down mom!! The 'cat' (he refused to call him Small Skinny Kitty) wants to live outside." Ya right. Like he's the cat whisperer or something. Noah is no fun at all. I let the cat go and he, Small Skinny Kitty, not Noah sat on the sidewalk and stared at our house until he got sick of it and went rat hunting next door. Maybe he'll come back everyday. Then he can be my outside Small Skinny Kitty.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Number 4

I am skipping number 3- Describe your relationship with your parents because I don't feel like "going there" right now. I will go to number 4. What are the 10 things you would tell your 16-year-old self if you could. Wow. That's a hard one. I would say:
1. BE CAREFUL! There are a lot of times I could have, and if God wasn't watching over me, should have been really harmed or hurt. I did some really stupid things that I pray my children don't repeat.
2. Boys are dumb and not really worth your time. Sure they are fun to look at and talk to, but they'll just hurt you. Wait until you are in college to take any seriously. They, and you are not done growing.
3. Spend time with mom and cherish it. I know she's probably nagging you, but make sure she knows you love her. Ask what it was like to be a new mom, a new wife, and what her dreams and hopes were when she was 16.
4. Write down your hopes and dreams. Not just goals. But HOPES. At my age now I really can't remember what they were. I know what my goals were, but not my hopes or dreams.
5. The world is way bigger than Barnesville. Suck it up for two more years. You always hear "you can't go back." You'll be sad when you have to leave, but once you do, it's hard to go back and fit in. But strangely, it'll be OK.
6. Learn to study and demand that the English teacher teach you. It'll save you stress and money in the near future.
7. Have fun, but be safe. You have no real responsibilities, but also have an immature brain. Keep both of those in mind.
8. Don't worry so much about the girls who are "all that". You will be more successful than most of them. In 10 years, they will be living their "glory days", while you'll be glad you didn't peek in high school.
9. Don't worry so much. Nothing you worry about now will matter in 10 years, 10 months, or even 10 days.
10. You will be fine. You can't worry about the things you can't control. You can't change people, and you probably don't really want to. Remember- There is a reason for everything. It usually isn't obvious at the time, but years later you will look back and know what the reason was. HINT- Stoutenburg kicks you out because he really doesn't want to teach Social Studies and you are too distracting. What comes around goes around. You will feel like you'll need to kick kids out too. Then you will understand his frustrations with you, and magically have more patience! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Most Embarrassing Moment

I'm skipping a few on "my list" to get to "My Most Embarrassing Moment" because it just happened on Friday and is fresh in my mind. First I need to set the scene. Noah was going to have a sleep-over with seven friends on Friday. That means we had to do mega house cleaning. On Thursday I picked Noah up from school and brought him home. On the way home we talked about all of the things we needed to do to clean. I figured, "it's not my friends- he can get a head start" and I had decided that morning that I had to break down and buy some spring clothes. Wearing causal summer clothes  or winter wear to school just wasn't working anymore. I dropped Noah off at home, then called Scott to tell him Noah had started cleaning and I was on my way to to mall to shop. To make the story more pleasant I'll just say I couldn't go shopping for myself, had to clean, and had to give more "notice" when there is a variation from my daily schedule.
Part two of setting the scene. I work with a guy, "Brian", who is our data specialist/reading strategist. Brian is very serious, proper and kind of fancy. He intimidates me a little. I wonder if he is from England because he uses words like "snarky" and "cheeky". My most embarrassing moment story starts here...
On Friday morning I opened my e-mail when I got to school. I had one from Brian reminding me about a special ed meeting for one of my cherubs with him and three other specialists on Tuesday after school. That message made me think I better give Scott "notice" so I started the following e-mail:

"I hope this is enough NOTICE for you. Next week I have the following going on:
Monday- School Improvement Committee Meeting from 3:00- 6:00. Tuesday- I AM going to the mall to get new clothes. Wednesday- I have a PLC meeting until 4:00, and I'm going out for a beer with the basketball moms at 7:00. Thursday- I'm free. Friday- I certainly hope I can find someone to get liquored up with because YOU DRIVE ME TO DRINK!!"
The end. Send. Feeling satisfied, I got up and welcomed my students into the classroom to start our day. Four hours later I checked my e-mail again. I received another e-mail from Brian marked "RE RE Reminder" (two replies from the original message he sent). I opened it. I read "So... We're changing the meeting to Thursday?" Oh My GOD!!! I clicked reply! NOT new message!! I immediately replied that it wasn't meant to go to him. But- to make matters worse- I couldn't send the e-mail! Our e-mail system was down!! It wasn't until lunch that I could talk to him. For five hours he thought I was a total nutcase! He even saw me twice during that time- in the hallway.  Of course I told everyone at school and now they're all asking Brian, "What did you do to drive Fairfield to drink?" "Can you tell me what Sara has going on a week from Wednesday?" I just opened up my e-mail today, Sunday, and he wrote yet another message saying, "We could have the meeting on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. My week is pretty open." Really? You aren't going shopping at the mall for new clothes, or tying one on Friday after school because the crazy lady from down the hall yells at you via e-mail?  

Three Legitimate Fears

Today I will conquor number two on my list. Describe three legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears. This is a hard one. I have many, many fears. It's hard to determine, with that many, if they are legitimate, or how they became fears. I am afraid of mascots. Seeing a mascot makes me feel the fight or flight reaction people speak of. Really, who is going to fight with a mascot? They are big, hairy and not above totally making a scene. That leaves the only other option- flight. I actually met the person who is my most lothed mascott, Hawkeye, from Fargo's baseball team. He is a friend of one of my friend's husband. When I met him I said, "Oh my God!! I HATE Hawkeye!! He's (as if Hawkeye was an actual person and not the guy sitting in front of me) always chasing me and trying to embarrass me. He's so obnoxious." Yep. That's what happens when you give me a few beers and try an intervention about my fears. I think I know how this became a fear. I was with my college boyfriend at Univeral Studios in Los Angelos, sitting on a tram. We were waiting for the tour to start and a giant, hairy gorrila tapped me on the shoulder and scared the $hit out of me. However, I never feel any PTS whenever I have been in a tram since. I also remember seeing the Easter Bunny at the Holiday Mall in Moorhead when I was pretty young and thinking he was creapy. Next fear, clowns. They are a little creapier than mascots. With Mascots I want to run and hide. With clowns I was to start yelling, "Get out everyone!! The clown is going to eat us all!! AAAAGGGGG!" I've never liked clowns. Even when I was little. My mom used to make clown dolls and she would set them in my room while waiting to be packed up for the craft shows. I remember not being able to fall asleep with the damn clowns in the room. I remember staring at them, looking away, and staring back again to see if any of them moved. I would also get out of bed, get a garbage bag and put them in it, and lock them in my closet knowing full well they could untie the knot and open the closet door once I fell asleep. I'm not sure where it stems from, but I think it might be every Stephan King movie I've ever seen. However, I would totally bury Big Fat Kitty in a "Magical" cemetary if it meant he'd come back to life. The next fear is probably snakes. I absolutly hate snakes. They make me want to run and hide AND yell, "Get out! The snake will eat us all!" Growing up on a farm, my job from seven-years-old on was to burn the garbage in the garbage barrel. Really? WHO in their right mind lets a child play with matches, let alone have to walk those thiry feet in the tall, tall, grass to get to the burning barral. Every time I went to burn garbage, I saw at least one snake. Once I saw a whole nest of little ones crawling all over eachother. I would whine and whine every time I was told to "go burn the trash". My mom would always say "this was going to be the time you won't see a snake." One time, in the early spring when I was about fourteen, I told my mom if I see a snake I was done burning trash forever. She said, it was too cold out for snakes and I wouldn't see one. Making a deal- right? Well, I opened the door from the house into the garage, didn't even take a step out into the garage, and saw a snake IN THE GARAGE!! It was probably waiting to eat me. I screamed. Mom got the broom and shooed it outside as I was yelling "Kill it! Kill it!!" I was mad she didn't kill it but she told me we needed it alive to eat the mice. Great. One more reason not to go in the garage. However, mom did stick with the deal and told my dad to burn the garbage most of the time that summer. My dad said the fear of snakes came from my sister's intense fear of snakes and apparently I was about two and with her when she saw one and I just reacted to her fear. My mom said it was because I was in a car with her and my grandma once and my grandma ran over (as in above- not killing it) a snake and grandma and I were certain the snake jumped up into her engine and was going to crawl out onto the floor of the car at any minute. I think I'm just scared of snakes. I hate how the move. I also hate how sneeky they are. I used to be afraid of dogs, but now I collect them. Growing up, it seemed EVERY damn house we went to, realitives, neighbors, etc... Had a big german shepherd, doberman, black lab, or husky. They would always jump on me and knock me down. If I knew I was going somewhere that had dogs, I would start worrying from the minute I found out. Sometimes it would be days. I think my fear of dogs concerned my mom. I heard her tell my aunts once that her and dad should get a dog to help me get over thte fear. I just thought, 'well between the snakes and the dog, I'll never go outside.' I'm still not a fan of German Shepherds, but I'm not scared of them either. Getting Abby helped me conquor that fear. None of these are legitimate fears though. Seeing a mascot, clown, or snake might ruin my dayWell my week if it touches me, but not my life.
My legitimate fears are 1) Losing everything. As in my job, children, family, house, car, friends... It's a fear that has kept me awake at night at times. Where would I live? How would I get the kids back? What if they were kidnapped? What if I couldn't afford rent or a morgage, or car payment? All of those things can be taken gone in a matter of a week. I know exactly how this became a fear. I've had enough loss in my life to know how fast your can lose something- or someone important to you. They could die, they could marry an evil b*tch and never want to see you, they could run away, it could have been something that you made more of than what it really was. Legitimate fear 2) Something terrible happening to my kids. Having two miscarriages and years of infertility will give you an unrealistic fear of something bad happening. I know I could never go on if something happened to either on of them. 3)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The List

To entice me to blog more, and to get people to read my blog. I decided to answer questions from "the list". Of course I'd like to hear how you would answer the "question of the day" as well. Here's "The List"
1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe three legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell you 16-year-old self if you could.
5. What are 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What is the most difficult thing you've had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe three significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Ten years? Fifteen years?
23. List your 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be, why, and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What do you think most people misunderstand about you?
29. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for?
30. If you had three wishes what would they be and why?
31. What would you do differently if you could live your live over, knowing what you know now?
If you would like to get a jump start and answer these, feel free!!