Monday, March 1, 2010

On a Happier Note ...

How about a happier post to cancel out the cranky part of yesterday's post? Good idea! I appreciate all of your comments, and I think it's time to lighten up a little. You're not here to listen to whining and complaining, after all, and I don't really enjoy doing it.

A while back, I promised pictures of Nikki's shower. Warning: the location had some very tricky lighting, so beware of my truly amateur photos. Here's Nikki with her cute mother-in-law. I'm not sure what Nik's looking at, but since she's looking down, there isn't much to see but her tummy! Someone (maybe her mom?) must've made some smartassy remark about her delicate condition.

Here's Nikki and her wonderful friend, Maribel, who hosted the shower. That sweet little guy is Alec, my new best friend. You've never seen anyone as goofy around babies as I am, and I'm happy to report that I got him to laughing pretty hard. A baby laugh is the very best sound in the world. Look at those smiles!

Oh, and the giant bruise on Nikki's arm is the result of an ugly slip down some icy steps, not domestic violence. I'm afraid she got her graceful manner from her mom. I could go on and on, but those are just a couple of pics to show you my happily pregnant daughter. It still doesn't seem possible that she's gonna be a mom. Everyone says this, but how do they grow up so quickly? One minute they're learning to walk and talk, and the next minute they want your car keys.

To show that I really am accomplishing a little something, here's a picture of Nikki's knitting bag in progress. I started it for me, but she loves the colors as much as I do, so as soon as it's felted, it's hers. Another bag for me can wait.

In between bags, because I'm feeling brave, I think I'll give washcloths a try. Something new to sink my needles into. Don't worry, I'm not feeling cocky. A knitting friend assures me that washcloths are a great way to get in some practice and try to become more consistent. We have a plan. I wanna knit socks so badly that I can taste it! Practice, practice, practice.

It's conference week, so today was the first of three 11-hour work days. Our reward is part of Thursday and all of Friday off. Ah ... Friday morning is mine to stitch away. What a treat! For now, my pillow calls. Make some fun.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is It March Yet?

Well, another 12 days has passed between posts. It's been a very long couple of months. I've been stitching and knitting a little, but I'm incredibly distracted by life and work. I have quite a plateful right now. You know about Nikki and her son's birth within the next few weeks, and you know about my mom. I've pretty much stopped telling you about my job. It goes back to what my mom said: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

My job will change in a huge way next year. In my former teaching life, I spent 13 years as a classroom teacher in third through sixth grades, with one very interesting year in middle school. Bekah was born in 1991, and I figured out some at-home jobs (data entry and charting needlework for designers) in order to stay home with the kiddos. In 1996, Bekah died and I got divorced, so I returned to teaching in 1997. During that time, I've worked with small groups of kids who need help learning to read, but I haven't had my own classroom.

Because of our district's enormous budget shortfall, all of that's gonna change. My job has been eliminated and I must be "absorbed" into the school I was unhappily assigned to last year. That means that my only option was to accept the offer that my principal made to me. So, after 19 years out of the classroom, I'll be returning next year as a teacher in first grade (gasp!). I know! How scary! How fun!

I love first-graders, so that's not a problem. I'll be able to catch up with all of the math stuff, so that's not a problem. My teammates are very nice, and I've known them for years, so that's not a problem. My only problem is that I work for an ass. A boob. He's an immature, bird-brained, former high school administrator with negligible leadership skills who knows absolutely nothing about literacy and has no intention of learning. In fact, he never passes up an opportunity to display his ignorance or his lack of integrity. He's the only issue I have with the daunting prospect of enormous change. Unfortunately, it's a very large issue.

So now I'm gonna shop around the district to see if I can find a better spot. Because of the budget, there's not much movement in and out of positions, but there are bound to be one or two. We'll see if anyone is silly enough to hire an old lady who hasn't been in a classroom position for 19 years. It can't hurt to try, and I've heard from several former coworkers (displaced by our school's closure last spring) who want to help me get into their schools. I'm updating and polishing up my 13-year-old resume, and thinking about interviews This could be interesting, huh? Things to remember: it's not life or death, only my job; it's good to be employed.

Thank you for allowing me to whine a little bit. OK, a lot. The stress knot under my shoulder blade feels better already. I wanted to explain my distractibility, because my stitching and knitting progress has been so lame lately. Sarah Esh has been occupying my lap (along with Merlin) while in the purple chair. I love, love the Olympics (another distraction), and Sarah's been watching with me. Once in a while I actually put a stitch in. I'm not completely satisfied with my choice of natural linen, but it's growing on me.

My house is largely back to its former self, minus the ugly beige carpet. At home, life is very good. I'm still allowing myself to engage in some slide therapy after school. Whatever helps, right? So here are some pics for you. The teeny tiny kitchen (note the Cedar Hill kitty on the wall and the bag o' magnets on the counter) ...

The living area (sorry about the glaring sun, and the speaker will move to a less conspicuous spot later on) ...

The small dining area with my piano, my parents' dining set from the 50's (I love it), and the crocheted tablecloth I found in a Rhode Island antique store for $35 (I know!) ...

Home is a happy place to be! Too bad I can't retire and spend more time here, huh? Next, after some recovery time, will be the removal of ugly beige carpet and cheap-ass vinyl in the upstairs bathrooms. Ah, something to look forward to.

I leave you today with a very late look at my TUSAL jar. I took the picture on time a few weeks ago but couldn't remember to post it (duh). I like the look of yarn in there.

Make some fun!