Hanging in there...

I am hanging in there... mom was released from the hospital today after she proved she could keep pills down... she has an MRI tomorrow and hopefully will not have to return to the hospital until surgery... This is still all so... I don't even know how to describe it. I have talked to a few people and it has been helpful. Thank you. Many people have respected my need to hibernate, while letting me know they are thinking of me. I have talked to Rico a couple of times and it has been helpful. Unfortunately he went through a lot with his mom before losing her to cancer and his perspective is appreciated. It was nice talking to him tonight... laughing a little about me getting into a fight with a cheerleading coach today... not that any day would be a good day for a cheerleading coach to pick a fight with me... but definitely not with everything else going on... the basics of the fight... she wanted to split the gym in half tonight... with her using half for her TWELVE cheerleaders... and myself and the other coach using it for our ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE kids.... Ummmmm.... we barely can contain the kids in the whole gym... so I told her that I would try to help her out, AFTER we did our warmups with all the kids... after warm ups a lot of kids run outside to get ready for the meet and there is more space in the gym.. but for the first half hour or so, we needed the entire gym... PLUS... WE reserved the gym months ago for these practices. Ahhhhh! Rah rah rah...2 -4 - 6 -8 you'll get what you want if you sit back and wait! She was not happy with that... gave me a dirty look... with her raccoon eye lined eyes... and stormed off getting the kids to glare at me too... WHATEVER! I was trying to compromise... and while we were getting the kids warmed up, she was rolling long mats out onto the gym floor. I went over and blocked them from going further until after we were done warming up. THEN... the kicker... Once they got in there... they stayed for MAYBE a half hour... so they could have waited...without issue. To top it off, one of the cheerleaders asked me for a late bus pass... I said, I can't give a track pass to a cheerleader, sorry, you need to find your coach, but she doesn't have passes made for us... Well.. tell your coach she can write one out for you.

Oh well... that's all for now blog buddies... hope you are all well.

My knee is hurting...mostly because I have not been doing the PT exercises... which I think I need to do daily still... I can tell it is weakening a little... so I need to rectify that.


bump in the road.

There's a scene in the movie Bruce Almighty, in which Jim Carrey's character yells at God... asking "Is that all you got, God?" I think that line is somewhere in the film after Carrey's character has lost his job, his woman, and crashed his car... and is getting drenched in a thunderstorm....that's how I feel today... I feel like yelling at God and asking him what else he can give me... But I am not sure I want to know what else is possible... at least in the bad side of things...

Mom was hospitalized early this morning. She was throwing up in the night and was feeling a lot of pain. Apparently the pressure of the kidney is causing her kidney to not work and it is unable to filter like it is supposed to, leading to toxins causing infection after infection... As a result, mom's surgery date has been moved up... she will have surgery a week from tomorrow... I talked with dad a few times today and he was having a hard time... as expected. I know this is hard on him and even harder that he knows that we know how hard this is for him... So today was a day of much stress and many tears. I worried about my mom.. how she was feeling... what she was thinking and worrying about... and also about the fact that she had been admitted to the same hospital in which my grandmother died... that was the last time we were at that hospital, was when we were saying good bye to Gramie... apparently dad was having similar thoughts, making sure that Mom's room was not in the same part of the hospital where Gramie had been.

We aren't sure how long mom will be in the hospital...but if things improve she could get home in a couple days...

I am trying to figure out all of the details of getting up there... and need to call and make some hotel reservations. I am glad that the surgery is sooner, though I am upset about the discomfort mom is feeling.

So God... if you are listening... don't give us any more bad news... we are trying to work through this....


I survived Monday

Today was the first day back to school after vacation...I survived. I was very glad I had called people yesterday to share with them the news about my mom. It made facing people today much less intimidating... I had emailed my professor to let him know of possible missed classes and to say that if things happen sooner than expected I will not be in class. I also told him that I was unsure how coherent my book review was going to be because of where my mind has been while trying to write it... He was great... telling me to not even think about class right now, that family always takes priority... hopefully he will take that into account when reading my paper. Today I got my first paper back... with compliments... that's always fun... He liked the paper and I got full credit. Yay Me! Class was a nice distraction from everything. I came home and cooked myself dinner... made a stir fry. Had not done that in a long time... always end up with a huge amount of food because I keep adding stuff... It was good. I am starting to unwind from my day...my cold feels better, but I am tired... tired... tired...


I feel better... I think...

I think the cold is going away. I am still a bit congested, but nothing compared to how I was feeling earlier this week. I feel very achy and low energy, but I am ok.

I have been processing all the mom stuff a little at a time. I have my moments... and I am sure there will be many more moments. Mom and dad took a drive today. To my mountain... though mom insists it is hers. It was a beautiful day for it. I called a few people from work today to tell them about my mom so that I don't have to do it in person tomorrow.. somehow the phone seemed easier... and I hope it will make for a less emotional day tomorrow. Hope.

My neighbors are back.. together... and back upstairs... Joy.


Still Sick

It has been a long day. I did get some of my reading done.. between naps.


doctor visits

Mom went to the doc today... not good news. The tumor is 3 times as big as her kidney... and 99% likely that it is cancer. Major surgery will be done in late March... wish it was sooner.

I went to the dr. today... and I just have a bad cold... though if it gets worse I am supposed to call and go back...it may turn into a sinus infetion or pneumonia... but may not... fun.

I am going to take a nap... hopefully a LONG nap.


"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans..."

So... yesterday I said I wasn't going to write much about my life...outside of my knee... but I am already going to break that rule. This week has been stressful... VERY stressful... today I got the cherry on top of the sundae of crap... I have mentioned that my mom had not been feeling great. She had been battling a kidney infection along with pneumonia... and just started feeling better... today she got some test results back... and there is a growth in her kidney. As a result, she will have to have surgery... a kidney removed. My head has been swamped with a lot of other things.. and this pretty much reminds me of what's important... and this, of course is the priority.

Today I decided to retreat.. sent emails to a few people who had mentioned the possibility of seeing this week if I was feeling better... and told them what was going on and told them that I was going to just " be" for a while... alone.

Over the years my friends have tried to help me not have that reaction to stress... but at least telling them that I am going ot retreat is better than just retreating with no notice... right?

After crying a lot today... for various reasons... I decided to take a hot shower... and while I was in there my nose started bleeding... which freaked me out... it ended up not being that bad.. but whenever I have any kind of bloody nose I freak... I have been known to have MASSIVE nose bleeds...I haven't had them in a while, but when I had them... they were terrifying... I used to call friends to come be with me because I was afraid I would pass out... but today's was just a minor one... maybe they are stress related?

Please say a prayer for my mom... no matter what your spiritual beliefs... please.



Some people wpnder why I don't lean on people or fully express myself... I am remembering my reasons...

Shutting my mouth for a while.

The blog needs to be refocused to my knee... and that will resume...

I called... and they came....

My neighbors started fighting again... loudly... and it sounded more physical this time.. lots of banging... I yelled for them to stop and they didn't. I got nervous, very nervous and called the police. They told me they were on their way. The guy upstairs started walking down the street and I yelled out my window that the cops were on their way... he ignored me and kept walking... I met the first officer in the driveway and pointed my neighbor out... the second cop car arrived and the first cop pointed and the second car went after him... siren going, lights flashing... talked to him then let him keep walking... the first officer came back to me, told me things upstairs were in bad shape... things had been thrown and that it was a bad situation, bad enough to almost warrant arresting both of them... informed me they are breaking up... he had been ordered to leave for an hour and that her mom was coming to pick her up for the night... and that if anything else develops that I should call 911... and that they both could get locked up...

I am glad I called... because I think things were more out of hand than before.. and as the cop said.. domestic situations can spiral pretty quickly... so... no more yelling warnings... just going to dial...

I hope the cops notify my landlord... since he has told me it is my issue to deal with... maybe the cops can talk to him... oh well.. I was and am still a little shaken up. You can bet that my doors wil all be secured tonight... I called mom and she told me to come home.... not a bad offer, but I am still exhausted and I am sure being out in the cold talking to the cops did not help my cold....

Fun vacation so far.


Do things get bigger when we put them under a microscope... or do we just perceive them as bigger?

That question is not as random as it perhaps seems... though I am not sure I can even explain it here. You have a thought... an idea... a question even... and at first it is simple... then it keeps coming back into your mind and creates other questions... then it has become something significant... and you examine it... and it becomes something..bigger... and the more you examine it... the more you wonder about it...


I am home today... we had our last meet of the season yesterday, for high school. It was good... both teams finished in the top 4 for the state...we had some pretty impressive performances. We didn't have a lot of kids competeing at the meet, but those who were there did really well... I only had one kid in the shot put... so it gave me the chance to watch some other events and I really enjoyed that. I got to see one of our kids compete in the pole vault and she tied her personal record and she was pleased with that. The pole vault is quite an amazing event. The kids must not have any fear. One kid that was there... was amazing.. broke several records... and is able to go higher than most collegieate athletes... it was amazing to see something like that in person.

I was pretty exhausted yesterday... not as much because of the meet, but because I woke up yesterday with my chest feeling like it was on fire. It was a long day. I kept taking some medicine... mucinex... and the kids were giving me a hard time.. because I bought the kid version of it... because I hate taking cold medicine.. because it tastes so horrible... but the kid kind tastes better... AND... there are adult dosages listed on the back. I do feel a little better today.. chest is still tight, but overall I feel ok.. just tired. So I am being lazy. I want to get up to visit my parents, but don't think that it is a great idea if I am sick.. so we'll see what happens.

Oh well... off to rest on the couch.


Cold Day at the Beach

It was sunny out this morning and I decided to go to the beach... I had planned on going to the same beach I usually go to, but as I was driving there I decided to keep driving to see where I ended up. I ended up at a different beach, further south... and by the time I got there the sun was gone and the wind was blowing pretty strongly. But I needed to feel the sand beneath my feet and smell the salty air. This beach has more rocks than the beacu I usually go to. To access this
beach I had to go down some stairs... The pictures of the icicles was taken at a place where the snow had been plowed onto the rocks from a higher point. The ocean was dancing today... to a very fast beat. The water was a beautiful color and the white caps of the waves added to its beauty. I was not the only beach goer out today... there were a few others on the beach... and a few people who went to the beach and stayed in their cars. If you look closely at my scarf, you can see that the yarn on my scarf is really blowing... it was hard to keep my eyes open when I was facing the wind.

It was nice to go for a drive and to not have a specific plan or schedule to follow. As I was driving I thought about the independence I have to do something like that. It's nice. I am sure that I could have found someone to accompany me, but I enjoyed the time alone, with no distractions. Of course my mind is always moving... but it was still nice. I thought a lot today about someone I care about... and how much this person loves the beach... I think that part of me went to that beach to somehow maybe feel connected to that person... the connection is still there, but not as it used to be.. it is harder... somehow... In most situations in my life I feel like I know how to handle things...handle myself... I don't feel that have any control of this connection... control seems like the wrong word here... because I don't want to control people in my life... but I think we do have control over some pieces of the relationships we have. I sometimes feel like the relationship is delicate...and that I wait sometimes...wait by responding to instead of initiating contact... and it is the only relationship I do that in... I question myself.. and wonder why I am different in this relationship than others in my life. Fear. Maybe. I go back to the book "Conversations with God" and remember that our actions stem from either love or fear... not initiating communication does not seem like I am acting out of love... so... I must consider fear. Fear. What is there to fear? I fear losing more of the relationship than I have already lost. Fear that fighting for a stronger relationship would push this person further away. I want to be supportive of this person, but the ways in which I feel I have to be supportive are counter-intuitive to me. Giving space... treading lighty while trying not to tread lightly because I have been asked not to...yet have to or fear repercussions... and... putting this here... will that do more harm?

My biggest fear... is that this person's life is complete... without me.

My blog apparently has some way of giving me courage... perhaps false courage... because I knew this was on my mind and knew it would come through on this blog... so I reached out... and shared my feelings with this person... and have to admit... it makes my stomach a little nervous...

Change the subject..... I did not go to the gym today... tomorrow I will be coaching so I won't go tomorrow either. Not good.


My lap..

My lap has been getting a lot of use today... this is a picture of Lucy and Lady Sheldon on my lap... what you can't see in the photo is that Tess was right by my feet and Stella was behind me on the back of the chair... I think it will be impossible for me to get a shot with all of us in it... but you never know.

My day started out early... Sara and Phil were scheduled to catch an early flight to FL to vacation with their families... they got to my house around 5:15a.m. or so, leaving their car in my driveway for the week, and I dropped them off at the airport... about 5 hours later... they called... they were still at the airport... their plane had broken down... and they had to get on a later flight... so I picked them up... and they left for a while... returned later and once again left their car here and we headed to the airport... I think all is ok because they haven't called me yet... so fingers crossed that all is well.

In between chauffeuring my friends I got some sleep... cleaned up a little around my apartment... ran to some stores to see if I could find some ways to improve my kitchen... I had ideas but did not go as extreme as I had thought about. I did get some cool accessories to help rearrange some things in the kitchen... but that will be a good project for the week... when I am here. I am still trying to figure out when I want to head north... but think I will wait until after I coach Monday to be able to see how my knee feels... I think I am going to try to get to the gym tomorrow... my knees are feeling up to it...though I did twist it a couple times today on the ice... not in my driveway... but in the parking lots of stores... not fun...

I ran into some friends today... while I was out looking for some kitchen things... I saw Joleen... and later ran into Matt, Melissa, and Tobias. Tobias was happy to see me... big smile and came right to me. It was a nice surprise running into them.


Mission... UN - accomplished

I searched google for a disappointed face... and typed in face in hands... and this is what came up... and it intrigued me so that I had to put it here... it is form a site celled thebestpicever.com. Nice, right? EDITED... UMMMM>.. the picture I chose was NOT the one that appeared on my blog... wow... ummmm the pic that posted was WAY not appropriate... so there is no picture... and you should be relieved... OMG...ok... I think I figured it out.... let's hope... or else my mom is going to kill me.

So why would I want a disappointed face? Because.. I did NOT do a mile on the elliptical machine. I have not given up this goal, but today was not the day. Yesterday I was pretty miserable with my knee... even considered icing it... though I didn't... took Aleve instead. Today it feels better, quite a bit better... but I didn't want to aggrivate it... plus I knew that I needed to shovel the driveway a little tonight after school to reduce some of the ice... thankfully that worked well. I am hoping to return to the gym this weekend, but with no expectations. I will see how I feel when I get there and do it... with no specific goal. we'll see how it goes. I will get to a mile, but not today... I am disappointed because I feel like I have reached the goals I have set for myself in respect to my knee... and I feel my goals have been realistic... so it is disappointing that I am not there yet... yet... gotta remember the yet part...

So there is no S on my chest today... no superwoman here... just me. But... I think I was smart. I do need to listen to my body...even when it is frustrating. I also got my kitchen cleaned up al ittle tonight, so all is not lost. I want to do some things in my kitchen... want to have more counter space... trying to figure out how to do that... tomorrow I am going to go to a store around here that supposedly sells household items that were purchased by people who overestimated their need and are sold cheap... we'll see... I would love to find a small set of kitchen cabinets... See my kitchen is very unique... the sink is in a different room from the stove and fridge... and there are no cupboards near the stove... so I have improvised...and created some shelving and counter space... but it is not ideal. If I can find something cheap I may buy it and see if my landlord would reimburse me... doubtful, but possible. If I can't find anything that is affordable, I have a back up plan... so we'll see how it works out.

I am on vacation! Yahooooooooooooooo! A whole week without teaching... I am ready for that. completely. I do have to coach one day, but the rest of the week is mine... all mine!!! I am hoping to get to see my family for a couple days, but not sure how that will work out.



Silent Rebellion

Today is Feb. 14. This is a day that evokes many emotions in people. In me... it evokes distaste. Perhaps it is because I have never had a really romantic Valentine's Day... and have yet to receive flowers... or candy... even when I was dating someone... so bitter would not be an untrue description. In fact, last night I went online searhing for just the right graphic to put on here today... and didn't find one... but found some things that made me chuckle... one site sold t-shirts that were anti Valentine's Day... and compared to those shirts, I am a huge fan of this day. I did find a saying that stuck with me....'you can't spell relationship without - s h i and t. I thought that was pretty appropriate. I also went through a phase where I thought that if I hated cupid he would continue to... not shoot me... that sounds weird... but you know what I mean, so I tried to treat him with more respect. This year.. with the picture above I am bribing him with beer...
At school today, the kids were supposed to wear Valentine's colors... I wore green... in a silent rejection of the day... on a color wheel, what color is opposite of red? GREEN. So that was my way of being anti red and pink today... and while it wasn't something I announced to people... I knew it... and that was all that mattered... kind of like when I have my toenails painted and nobody knows... I know... and I like it!

Anyway... I have opted to not read tonight... but to just sit instead. and watch Survivor. I did not go to the gym today.. my knees are feeling pretty bad today... think part of that was the boots I wore today... I did not dare not to wear boots because it was so slippery, but they are not the most comfortable shoes.. and a good reminder that I need to bring alternate sneakers to work if I need to wear them... It was bad today... slippery wise... I twisted my knee several times... grrr... and am less than happy about that.

Is it spring yet??? Not yet....


Snow day...

We got the storm that had been predicted...snow... freezing rain... rain... we got it all...including another day to make up at the end of the school year.

I did not sleep well last night. My knee kept me awake. This is not good. I got up a few times in the night and had ahard time walking because of thestiffness and pain in my knee... of course that causes fear... wondering why the pain now? Yes I did go a bit further on the elliptical... but not significantly... though my gym time has not been as great as it had been... so I want to rationalize it and say that I am still trying to recover from the long days at track meets... and that I will be fine... Truth is... I am worried about trying the elliptical on Friday... and it is only wednesday. Will it domore harm than good? My knee has felt better throughout the day, but I have been much more cautious than I have been in a while. Grrrrrr.

Good news... my plans for Valentine's Day have been finalized... I will be spending the evening with... Harrison Owen... an author of one of the books I have to read for my class. His book arrived today, one day earlier than anticipated... and tomorrownight I will start reading it. Granted, there won't be candles, chocolate, or romance, but... it will be some good quality time.


That track lady...

What a day!!! today was one of those days that makes me feel so fortunate to have the job I have... the opportunity to work with kids... it really is a gift... first... to update you on the kid at track last night... I took the clothes into school today and as planned gave them to the nurse. She knows this kid well and filled me in on some of the details... WOW... in addition to being displaced by hurricane Katrina he has a rare eye condition that has caused complete blindness in one eye and will most likely cause blindness in the other in time... There are some learning issues, some OCD issues..and he is a bit defensive about his small stature... wow... how much for one kid to deal with. Anyway... when he came to see the nurse today she had him try on the clothes... he asked where they came from and she kind of shrugged and he said... I know... it was that track lady... the nurse neither denied or validated this statement. Another teacher brought in a gym bag for him to have... and he was thrilled with it. At practice today he looked sooo cute... in his new clothes. (By the way, I did get the school to reimburse me, as a nice gesture to make for one of our students... ) At practice this kid was like my shadow... constantly asking me questions... and he apologized for being upset and rude yesterday... I told him I appreciate that and told him I was impressed that he would return to practice today after having a hard time ... that it took guts for him to do that. That was enough to make me happy with life... but in addition to that I had an AMAZING conversation with three of my students today. They came to my last class of the day and we were supposed to do math... however in their previous class they had begun a discussion about discrimination... they had talked about how we each face discrmination... more so for some of the students... one boy who is deaf apparently shared a lot of insight... he is not in my class so I was not fortunate enough to hear what he had to say... One of the other students who is in my class is African American... not in the politically correct way... but in the way of he was born in Africa and lived there for the first five years of his life. He shared some of his experiences and it was amazing. The other two students, who I will classify as caucaision for the purpose of this story, in my group also shared things... their honesty was beautiful... one of the boys admitted that he thought that people were black because they had stayed in the sun too long and were really tan... and thought that if a black person laid in the snow...they would return to their normal color... interesting. The African American student eloquently described his experiences... and how when he first learned about what Americans had done to his people, Africans, he was angry and hated Americans... all Americans... even though it had happened so long ago. I asked him how he got past that anger and he told me that a kid in one of his classes, a white kid, was super nice to him and he was confused by it. Confused that someone who he perceived as hating him would offer him kindness... and he said it was then that he realized that just because people hated him, he didn't need to hate them. There it is... just because people hated him, he didn't need to hate them.He shared stories from Africa.. remembering drinking muddy water after it had rained and feeling grateful for having water to drink... he remembers being hungry... and told us how he cannot leave food on his plate, even if he is full... because it is wasteful. He said... that people can be racist... that he believes that eventually they will know someone who is black and will learn to not hate... he has faith in this. He mentioned seeing Obama, a black man, running for president and how hard tha tis for him to believe... that learning how this country has treated Africans and other black people... he is in awe... to see someone on the television, running for president...someone with whom he has at least one thing in common...but he was fearful for Obama... saying that this country assassinates black leaders and he doesn't want that to happen to Obama... There were times the discussion almost made me cry...because this kids was so articulate...and his ideas... so basic, so simple...so RIGHT... are beautiful... beautiful. I was so glad he was in my class.. .that I got to know him... get to know him... and so happy that his classmates know him and can learn from him. It was a learning opportunity...and what lessons he taught...I am thankful today... for being a teacher and a coach.

Thankful... I am also thankful that I went to the gym this afternoon...and did 0.8 miles on the elliptical in preparation for Friday's 1 mile goal... thankful that I got to spend some time with friends tonight...got to go out for dinner and just visit...with sue, Sara, and Melissa...



Frigid Monday

It is COLD today... very cold. One of those days that if you leave your hands out of your pockets they get raw quickly... thank goodness for mittens. (Yes I prefer mittens over gloves!) I put this picture up in hopes of warming up.

Before I get too far into the blog I wanted to answer a question that Torben left in the comment section... he asked if my knee is still swollen....and he has the same incision in the back that I have... Torben, my swelling has really decreased and I would say my knee has pretty much returned to its normal size... though I wish my legs were more toned right now... I am working on that. I have noticed that it gets a little swollen after a really long day. Today, things were pretty icy... and I walk so carefully on ice that I think I tighten my muscles up and feel sore later. Torben, does the cold weather bother your knee? What about other people?

Today was the first practice for the middle school team I coach... and within the first... well three minutes or so I made a kid cry! I was like, whaaaaat just happened? His sister asked him if he brought clothes to change into and he said he was going to practice in the uniforms... I told him that uniforms are just for meets and that he needs to wear shorts or sweat pants to practice each day. I think it threw him off.. he is tiny.... a 6th grader... and I think he was feeling a bit overwhelmed at being there...another kid suggested he just wear the sweatpants he was wearing... and he told the kid to shut up... I told him that was not acceptable team behavrior and to be on the team he needed to be respectful.... TEARS... I gave him a few minutes, went over to him and told him that it was going to be ok.. that if needed he could sit and watch today and join in tomorrow when he had different clothing. He tried to ignore me, but as I walked away I heard this little voice...I will trip over my pants... and he was right... he is very small and his pants were way too long for him... he had them folded way up and safety pinned to keep them up.... then he asked, does the nurse have any extra shorts? I had him go check...and she didn't... but he came back... and seemed to be a bit more composed. This kid is going to be a challenge.. I like him already. As practice began he tried hard to be grumpy... and only did some of the drills that we do... saying he needed a break. One of the other coaches came up to me and asked what the deal was... and I relayed the story.. he laughed...and said YOU?? YOU made a kid cry? Of all people... I CAN'T believe it... YOU are the nice one! As practice continued, he seemed to loosen up a bit... and I went over to him and asked him if he had shorts at home that he could bring for practice. He told me he could bring his swim trunks or his jean shorts....neither are good options for running. So I told him that I had some nephews who have outgrown their clothes and if I knew his size I may be able to round up some shorts for him. (My nephews clothing gets recycled from one brother to the other..plus I have no access to their clothes living so far away...)I got the impression that this kid would not accept someone buying something new for him because of pride...but may accept taking something that another kid had used...so he asked his sister what size clothes he wears because he did not know... and told me. So I went shopping tonight... at Walmart and spent $15 on some clearance items... a t-shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, and a pair of windpants... thinking that when we have the kids run outside he may need something a bit warmer... I am going to ask the principal if he will reimburse me.. but even if he doesn't... so be it. The clothes are small... smaller than what I would buy for my 8 year old nephew... but I still am worried that they are too big... So I am trying to strategize on how to have him try them on... with the tags... so that if they are too big I can exchange them... I am thinking I will go to the nurse's office and have the nurse call him down to her office and have him try them on... I think that would be ok... I don't want to make him feel weird in any way... it's such a hard balance. I have bought clothing for kids before... kids who needed that... but always attached it to a task or contest that I knew the kid could complete or win... pride is such an important thing... I just hope that he sticks with track... I think he will since his sister is also doing track... I hope he does.... Also, I am very excited because I got one kid to join the team as a manager... he is a kid I work with daily and he is a sweet kid... I can so see him as a manager for a basketball team as he gets older, but he is so shy... so I am trying to get him involved and get to know some other kids. I have never had a manager before, so I am trying to create tasks for him to do. He seemed to be into it today, so I hope he sticks with it too...and secretly hope that he will ask us if he can compete some week. I also got to meet a parent of one of the other kids on the team... a kid who I also happen to teach in one of my math classes. I was so happy to meet his mom and she told me that he says so much about me at home... and was SOOO happy I encouraged him to get involved with track.

I then went to class... and it was one of those brain frying classes... good discussion, but a lot to think about. The good news is that I think I have a partner for the big paper we have to write at the end of the semester. We can have a group of 2-3 people. One guy that is in my class apparently was in my school law class last spring... I feel bad, but I don't remember him... oops... so we talked about joining forces to do the paper... there is also one other person in the class that I would work with, someone who teaches with Phil.... if he needs to be in a group I think the three of us could make it work.

Anyway... I am home... and now that i have blogged...feel a little like I can relax. Hope you are all staying warm!


Cheers to my Gram!

This is a picture of my grandmother...taken yesterday at her 90th birthday luncheon... She did not want a big party, but did want to have lunch with her kids. My dad sent me this picture today. I am so glad he did. She is an amazing woman... was married to my grandfather for ... well I don't know exactly how long but I think it was over 60 years... together they had four children...2 boys, 2 girls. They raised the kids in a very small house, which was designed to ba a camp, not a year round home... but they made it work. My gram still resides in that house. I love going there to visit. I remember as a kid going to visit and having beans and franks for dinner. I remember my mom threatening my sister and I to be on our best behavior and to not break anything that was at Gramie's house. I remember Sis and I playing cards while everyone else visited. I remember Gramie's garden and especialy her rhubarb. My mom, sister, and I loved eating the rhubard, raw, with salt... Gramie would watch us, shaking her head because she could not imagine how we could tolerate the tartness of the rhubarb. Gramie always has fresh flowers in her house... most of which were from her flower gardens.... at least in the warmer months. We always sat, listening to Grampie's stories...and though I am sure Gramie had heard every one, she alwaus chuckled at the right places. It was so hard returning to that house after my grandfather died. I am sure Gramie still misses him so much it hurts... I still do. Gramie has given so much to her family and I so admire that. She has kept us all warm... for years, with her gifts of quilts... I still have the one she made for me as a kid... with puppies and the alphabet... it is very tattered and worn, but I hope one day to somehow restore it, or to use what I can from it to make a new one. Gram has given so much of her time volunteering as well... for her church and other noble organizations. She is the matriarch...at Thanksgiving she waits until every other person has gone through the line before she even thinks about eating. One of my fondest memories... was one summer... I was working as a nanny, near Bar Harbor... and my mom brought both of my grandmothers to visit me and we all went to the ocean. I don't remember her age at the time, but I remember my mother having brought some sturdy chairs for my grandmothers to sit in. My other grandmother sat in her chair, as my mom had hoped and enjoyed the ocean and I think our picnic. This grandmother began combing the shore for treasures. She walked on rocks, bent down to pick up sea glass or shells. My mom tried to corale her, knowing that if she fell and broke something dad would be less than pleased. But Gramie told mom she was fine.... and I joined her in her beach combing. It was nice. I am in awe of her... in many ways.

She is very proud of her family... of who we are and all of what we have done...and worries about us all... especially when she knew we were on the road.

She is amazing... I hope that by the time I am 90... I have a fraction of the goodness in my life that she has had.

On another note. I finished my paper that is due tomorrow... my 500 word paper is 563 words... and I am hoping the extra 63 words go unnoticed. I feel good that it is done...but of course am a bit unsure of how I will do... grade wise. Next I will begin my readings for the class. I ordered one of the books online and it should get here this week. I probably could have found someone from whom I could borrow it, but really want to be able to write in the book, highlight it as needed.

It's snowing again. In the words of Forest Gump... 'that's all I have to say about that.'


More Snow...

Yay... it's snowing... I know that using a blog as a means of communication makes it difficult to get the true essence of one's intent... my Yay.. it's snowing... is meant sarcastically... very sarcastically. ENOUGH already with the snow. Though it pains me... I have to admit that as I was driving home tonight I caught myself thinking it was pretty... as I drove under street lights the snow almost seemed to pause... I was driving home from our meet. This meet was not an official part of the season, nobody wins necessarily... but it gives kids one last chance to qualify for the state meet. One of our girls qualified in the triple jump on her very last jump... and she is a senior so it was very exciting. One of my shot putters had her best throw of the year... just 4.5 inches shy of qualifying for states. She was disappointed she didn't qualify, but I was very proud of her. My knee is quite sore today...grrr... that doesn't make me happy. I want to be done with knee pain for good. Maybe it is from walking in the snow so much this week... reminds me of walking in sand...which is hard...

I may try to go to the gym tomorrow... depending on the knee pain and on the weather.

Sue is 30

My friend and gym buddy, Sue, turned 30 today. Yay Sue! A few of us got together for dinner and then went to some bars. We went to this delicios Thai place for dinner. After that I challenged the group... well the group of us, 5, about to go out on the town.... that each of us needed to initiate a conversation with one man. It was a good challenge.. and those of us who accepted the challenge succeeded. My first victim...I mean... guy.. was an employee of one of the bars... so the group voted that it did not count... I would argue, saying that he was not the bartender nor the door guy, so he was not an employee with whom I had to interact.. but that's ok... I did anyway. This Irish bar has an upstairs... and upstairs there is an old fashioned hutch... on the very top of this hutch.. that is close to 6 feet tall... sits an old old typerwriter... which I admit in the past I have pretended to use to write a letter.... there also sits a bell... the kind you would picture on an old school teacher's desk...with a fairly long handle... and for the record... it isn't just a decoration... It has a dinger thingy inside... and when shaken.. clangs.. loudly.... even during a loud football game.... (yes... I did that....) tonight there was a new item on the hutch... a beach ball. ALthough I really had no desire to do anything with the out of place beach ball... I decided I would use it to interact with one of the employees. As this poor guy, perhaps 22, walked by I told him that it was my friend's birthday...and asked if we could get the beach ball down... and throw it around.. like people do at concerts... he was a little unsure of how to react... and thought about it... and gently declined my request...saying that once things got busier, the ball may cause a ruckus... or something like that. I told him I understood.... the next time he came 'round I asked him if I oculd ring the bell. (again... though he didn't know that...) and he told me that he thought it was best to let the bell simply be a decoration. By this point my friends are laughing at me... and he thinks they are laughing at him... and perhaps thought I was trying to hit on him... which I wasn't... after all he was like 12.... there were some other interactionw with him as he was circulating.... and I kept talking to him... it was fun. After a bit I think he avoided our table. So... since that did not fulfill the challenge... though I think I deserve points for it.... I kept going... told a guy that I liked his glasses...asked him where he got them.... kind of lame, but it counted! Then we went to another place... and sat next to some people we didn't know... and I started talking to the guy next to me... he was also a good sport. I tried to get Sue a free drink.. by telling this guy that we were celebrating her birthday and I was so surprised that no man had bought her a drink....because she is so cute. He agreed... but didn't buy her a drink.. darn it. Then... Sue go ther chance to fulfill the challenge... and did so while threatening to kick some guys butt.... not really... but it sounds good. The place was pretty crowded... and apparently there was a guy behind me who kept touching my hair... I could not feel it. Sue noticed it and was like.. what is he doing... so she got up and asked him... A woman at the table next to us had noticed and mentioned it to us too... after Sue sat back down I nudged the guy's shoulder and motioned him closer to me. I asked him if I could play with his hair since he played with mine... He thought that was ok... so I took his baseball hat off... and said... ooooh... you better be careful.. looks like early male pattern baldness.... it was funny... then... I purelled my hands... It was fun. Some of the other party - goers were Sue's sister... you may remember a pic of the two of them ... after they decorated my walker.... the walker is taller than they are! Another one of our friends from college was there... and two friends of Sue's from growing up together... I will refer to them as "C squared" because I am not sure if they would permit me to use their names. They are fun... saw them at the superbowl party last weekend too. IT was a fun night...

Other than birthday fun... I did make it to the gym today... and my knee is sore.. and has given out on me a few times today... I am hoping it is because I haven't been to the gym much this week... and I need to..I think it strengthens my knee a lot... We also had a team gathering... the last of the season... the parents had made up some pictures for us to have.. very nice.

Anyway.. that's my adventure for now.... it was a fun night... Happy BDay Sue!


2nd post of the day...instead of practice

Well... I got a call from one of the other coaches who told me to stay home and he would take practice... Yahoo... since only two of the shot put kids will be competing at states I figure it is ok... plus another one of the coaches is also staying home tonight... so instead of practice I thought I would post some pictures of my scars... taken tonight... sorry the lighting isn't great... but You will be able to see them. They have healed well and while not pretty... a good reminder of how painful it was before the surgery... it may not look better, but it feels better! ok.. here's the front...

And here is the back:

Aren't they pretty?

Hot Chocolate

I am sitting at Panera Bread...just finished some cocoa. I rarely drink hot beverages... don't find them refreshing, which is what I usually go for when I want something to drink. But it was snowy...is snowy...wet and cold. I did not have to go to work today because of the storm...but we are having practice tonight. I have mixed feelings about that. I don't want to drive there...and would rather be home watching the new Survivor show, but... going is the responsible thing to do I suppose. A day like today usually means staying put, wrapping up in a quilt, and snuggling with the cats. I had already scheduled an appointment to have my taxes done today, so I kept it... and figured that it made little sense to go home, then come out again... so I stopped at Panera for some cocoa...and tried to finish my paper. Not sure why this paper is causing me so much angst. I usually have no problem writing papers... but I am not sure of this professor's expectations and am not sure if the way I am writin gmy paper is the style he has envisioned. He has mentioned keeping things simple...brief... but that doesn't suit me. Right now it is 600 words... which means I need to get rid of 100... eek. We'll see. I may rebel and keep all of its words and see what happens. I get the impression that with this professor there is no right or wrong... which is good...and bad. Sometimes it is easier to know, for sure, what the expectations are. Then again, what do you really learn if you are just spitting out information? Anyway... Like I said, I got my taxes done... and as always, felt relieved to know I don't owe the government any money. I am not getting as much back as I have before... mostly because I made less money this year... which is great given our economy... I didn't work much collecting tolls and was unable to coach last spring... so that made a difference. So even my taxes were affected by my knee.

Did you ever send an email and wonder if you should send it or not? I did that last night... and the person read it this morning... so there is no taking it back. As a coach I have to communicate with a lot of people. One of whom is an administrative assistant. this person does a lot for sports in our community and I appreciate her time and efforts. One thing that has frustrated me is that I email her questions and she does not respond... so I end up sending repetitive emails and often still not getting my questions answered.... she sent me an email yesterday about our tentative roster for our middle school team. I had sent her a copy of it, as she had asked me to do...so that she could check to see if those students already had completed an emergency card... I also gave the list to our school nurse, as has been past practice, to check to see who was in need of having a physical before participating... this woman emailed me telling me that she did not appreciate me wasting her time by expecting her to check on the status of the physicals while aslso asking the same nurse. She said something along the lines of...we are all busy. Well... this person has taken over the role of the middle school athletic director... and once i found that out I immediately emailed her asking her specifically what she would need from me... she said collect information about the kids and to hole onto emergency cards as they came in. I figured getting the nurse to check on physicals would save this other person time.... anyway.. the phrase... we are all busy... pushed a button. I too am busy... and too busy to send multiple emails about the same topics without getting answers... so I emailed her telling her that I was sorry for the frustration, that I was under the impression that asking the nurse would save her time, not cost her time... and also told her that it would be great if she could extend the same courtesy to me... of saving me time, but responding to my emails.... I think there will be backlash from this... but... time will tell.

Speaking of emails... I emailed the guy I mentioned... the sci fi guy... that we would not be each other's Valentine's.... he seems to understand...I hope. I did say that a friendship would be fun... and I mean that, but that there is not going to be any romantic connection. He seemed to take it well. Email is not the ideal way to say such things, but... given that much of our communication has been through email or chatting... I feel it was ok.

Anyway... I should stop rambling...and maybe start making my way to practice to account for the messy roads.

Oh... one last thing.. I heard from the woman who recently had the same surgery I did. She is doing ok... I didn't get many details, but she had her staples out. (I didn't have staples.) Her doc was pleased with how she was healing... and said she can start trying to lift and bend her knee. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her.



We had practice early today and since the weather was so bad two of the coaches volunteered to run practice and told me and the other coach to head home. Sweet. So I figured that I would use this time to get some things done... specifically...the homework that is due Monday for my class. Basically I have to write about my ideal school environment without using the word ideal...I have to include how people are treated and how they interact, the core values, and what would be learned... in 500 words. As you may know from my blog, I tend to be a bit verbose... so limiting myself to 500 words while having to describe what such a great school would be like... is proving difficult. It is of course what this place would be....sadly I cannot say that I can use my current job as an example of what I would hope for a school. So that is my task for the evening...I have started it and have about three hundred words so far. Less is more... less is more...right?

Anyway, I did not make it to the gym today...I woke up feeling really tired...and I am trying really hard to listen to my body while pushing my body... it is a hard balance. I need to develop a plan...so that I can keep up with my workouts because I do feel so much better when it is part of my day...but it seems that when something in my day has to give... it usually is the workout. Next week I will have practice for the high school team in the morning, before school...and will have middle school practice after school....so... I am thinking that I will have to work out after middle school practice... because in order to be at the morning practices I would have to get to the gym by like 4:30 a.m. or so... and that is not happening. Getting there at 5:30 is hard enough. So..... this week... I am going to try to go tomorrow morning...if not I will go after school. Friday I will go after school... Saturday I will go in the morning... and Sunday in the afternoon ... Next week... Monday... no gym...then the rest of the week...evenings... then.. I don't know... but I have to get my butt there... my goal of completing a mile on the elliptical machine is set for 2/15... a week from Friday. (Notice the goal is not set for Valentine's Day...I would rather celebrate success on the elliptical on a day not associated with hearts, chocolate, and cherubs...)

Have I mentioned lately... that I am ready for Spring? I am.

No more procrastinating.... back to my homework.


Defining moments

It has been a long week... long day. School was delayed for a couple hours due to the weather...and the drive was bad. But we got there and made it through the day. I was grumpy though... not sure why...but the kids drove me nuts today... absolutely nuts. I wanted to avoid them...that's not good. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be crappy too, but later in the day and it looks as though we may have an early release from school. We'll see. Anyway...

Tonight at practice one of my girls was having a tough time. I have known her since she was in 8th grade...was one of the students I worked with...at the time she was going through a lot...she was an angry girl. She has come a long way... a very long way. She joined track last year as a junior and did okay with it. She is very aware of her abilities and I believe, has overcome some social fears to be a part of a team. Tonight she was sad... I could tell as soon as she walked in... and I greeted her and said... I recognize that face... you ok? and she said it had been a difficult day... after some careful prodding... I learned that she had asked a boy to accompany her to her senior prom and was rejected. Once practice began she seemed frustrated with her event and I went over and talked to her... she said she was having one of those moments where she really wondered if it was worth it... if she should quit... I told her that it was in those moments that we define ourselves... she asked in what way... I said.... either we quit... or we don't. She kept practicing...

My knee is sore today... not sure why... I kind of want to attribute it to the weather...and to the fact that I haven't worked out since... last Wednesday I think... not good. I am going in the morning. I feel so good when I am working out... so why do I have those moments where it would be easy to quit... to stop... to find excuses? Why does something that is so good for me so hard to keep up with?

I am tired today and I think I need to not get too philosophical... so that's all for now.


Don't Even.....

I am not happy.... the defining moment was when Manning escaped from that pack of Patriots....



Today is the day! New England Patriots are playing against some other team in the Superbowl. (Of course I know the other team, but they are not worth mentioning!) I plan on watching the game with some friends, but am worried that I am only going to make it until half time because I am so tired.

Even though I am wiped out I went out to luch today and to the movies. At lunch I ran into a parent of one of my track kids and she asked me what time I got home last night, saying she got home at 9:30 and was exhausted... She then said, I don't know how you guys do it as coaches. That is a nice compliment really...

Then I went to the movies... and saw a movie I had been wanting to see, Untraceable. I had seen the previews and it looked like a suspense, thriller kind of movie. I like that kind of movie. The plot, as is shown in the previews, shows a female FBI agent, Diane Lane, investigates a website that a psycho sets up. The psycho kidnaps people and rigs the site so that the more people who log onto the website the faster the person dies... I really thought it was going ot be more about her search for this psycho and the drama that it would entail... it did... but...well... before you read further...be forewarned that I am going to spoin the movie for you, so if you don't want to know what else happens in he movie you need to not read any further...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................giving people enough time to exit without seeing what's next.

This movie is DISturbing... VERY disturbing. The movie spent more time showing the killings than the investigation... and the murders are sick... the first one... the more viewers the more drug gets pumped into this man... the drug causes blood not to clot and the guy bleeds out... the next guy... even worse... gets burned by bright heat lamps....and the last guy.... basically gets cooked in battery acid... it is very graphic... very graphic.. .I had to look away. The other disturbing part is that millions of people went to the website, knowing that they were assisting in murder... and we live in a society in which we do watch/see so many horrific things online. There is so much online, that can be googled... and it is upsetting. Then the ironic part... the lesson in the movie is that we are sick, as a country, to encourage such things... and here I am sitting in the theater, having paid money to promote it... in a way... eek... Oh yeah... to truly spoil it for you... in the end Diane Lane gets caught... stupidly... gets back into her car after its electric system had been completely disabled by the psycho... in which the psycho is hiding... and she gets kidnapped...and he tries to kill her... and she barely escapes... but she does, and kicks his ass.... Anyway... I can't encourage you to see this movie.

My knee feels okay today, better than I expected it to. :-) that is good news. Maybe all the Aleve helped!

So... just in case you were wondering.. why I would go to lunch and a movie while being so tired before going to a superbowl game? well... it was a date... though I don't think I wanted it to be... this was the third time I have seen this guy and have realized that when it comes to dating... i have a complex about dumping someone who is a nice person, but with whom I just don't match... can I even dump someone who I am not really dating? I don't know........... Because he is a nice guy, I feel mean not wanting to date him... and giving the let's be friends speech seems cruel... he is a nice guy... who is into Sci fi... WAY into sci fi... too into sci fi... so much so that he doesn't watch any sports... ANY... NONE... NADA... and while I do not need someone who is a total sports nut, some sports knowledge is needed... wanted... welcomed... we had a discussion at lunch ... i was talking about coaching yesterday and about all the team pictures that parents were taking... and he said, I don't think I have ever been in a team picture.... that in itself is not a bad thing... but suddenly I realized that he has some characteristics that I need to avoid... neediness... wanting to be accepted.... ahh... and after previous experience with such issues... I'm not interested... not my job to make you feel ok about things... not your cheerleader.... oh forgot no sports references... I am not your.... ummmm.. what is the sci fi equivalent to cheerleader? C3PO? R2D2? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... Depth... that's what I want from the dating pool... just a little depth!

Where are the single Teddy Bruschis ... when you need them?

I don't think I can even use the knight in shining armor scenario any more... why? because this guy... would dress up like a knight and do sword fights at renaissance festivals.... a lot.... if given the chance... especially if he could use a light saber... eek... that is a sci fi faux pas... I just looked it up and light saber is one word... lightsaber... see... it would never work!


What a day.

Ahhh... I am home... and trying to unwind a little before hitting the hay. Today was a great day..in so many ways. The track meets went very well... lots of sucesses. The boys team did incredibly well... and the girls team had a great day too. As a coach I am very proud of them. I hope to get some of the pictures from the meet to post...

I got a couple of presents today. One truly surprised me... it was from one of the captains... the one that frustrates me so much... she gave me a gift for our championship meet, a nice candle... and with it came a nice note. Interesting. I also got another gift from two of my other girls...a picture of the two of them... in the picture they are wearing headbands... the kind that are designed to prevent sweat from getting into your eyes when you do sports... the thick elastic/terrycloth kind... like this:
which they decided was their signature style for when they throw the shot put. Well... in honor of this meet.. the championship... they got new headbands.. all white... and on them.. they each spelled out their name with black letters... AND... they made one for me... and I wore it... while they were throwing. The other coaches immediately knew from whom I had received such an awesome gift... and I think they were jealous... There are some good pictures that were taken and I hope get emailed to me soon... At the end of the meet we took a team picture and one of my headband girls had already left, but the other one.. who is very petite...was there... wearing her headband... and told me I needed to put mine on too... so I did. And we took pictures with me giving her a piggy back ride... so that we could be together in the picture.... since she's so short I would have had to be in the front and that wouldn't have worked, so I gave her a piggy back... can't wait to see that!

I also got other gifts today... but not anything I could put my hands on... lots of kids expressed gratitude for me being their coach... some parents thanked me... and it was nice.

I am proud of my kids...very proud. I am tired... VERY tired, but... I feel good.

My knee did okay today... I had to stand around a lot... and it got tired... and I took some Aleve... a lot of Aleve... but I survived... and even though I had to sit down for parts of the day because of my knee... just getting stiff and sore, but... I survived....


2 days without the gym

I did not go to the gym yesterday... and did not go today... I feel a little bad about it, but think that my body has needed a break. Also, tomorrow I have a very long day ahead of me. I will be coaching from about 8 tomorrow morning until close to 11 tomorrow night...and I know I will be sore from it. I have still been eating healthy, though I want a pepperoni calzone so bad right now... but I will find other choices... healthy choices.

School got dismissed early today because we are supposed to get some messy weather. I should have stopped at the gym on my way home, but didn't. I just finished writing notes wishing the girls good luck tomorrow and will do the notes for the boys later.

I may be really lazy and take a nap.

I may not get the chance to blog much this weekend because of the meets tomorrow and because of the BIG GAME Sunday...


My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place