Monday, April 28, 2008

speedy quick!

So I got on the bus today to bring us to lunch, and I was happily chatting with the driver, as I always do. I said something about "8 more weeks" and he looked up at me in his huge mirror and said "You need math help. 7!" I quickly looked at his calendar and realized I'd double counted this week. 7 weeks until summer vacation, when I can sleep in and laze around and enjoy my family-- and still get a paycheck every 2 weeks! It was like magic, that moment of realizing I am that much closer to every teacher's favorite day of the year. I can do that, my friends. Almost with my eyes closed.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My boys are home. Arrived in New England around 3, ME around 8, and the front door at 9. Bestfriends were here to welcome them with us. All is right in the world again. I missed my boys for sure.

Friday, April 25, 2008

U. Charley

Today Girly and I headed off to Uncle Charley's memorial service. My sister in law and her youngest two carpooled with us to Lunenburg. It took just over 3 hours to arrive, and was a pretty easy drive down, especially since her boys slept most of the way :). As an interesting aside, they were worried their mom was going to have to wake me up, as I didn't get up until 10 minutes before we were scheduled to leave: they've never witnessed my ability to motivate in the morning, which allows me as much sleep as possible. Girly and I were dressed and ready to go as promised. Your Aunt has some skills to teach you boys, if you're paying attention.

The service was nice, complete with a flag ceremony courtesy of the Navy. Although my boys were greatly missed, everyone agreed that it couldn't be helped, and are looking forward to their stories when next we meet. I told Boy I took a few pics, so here they are. Hope you found an internet hot spot before bed.

For those loyal followers out there, they officially entered the Northeast (Penn) tonight, and I was on the phone with them when they crossed into New York, which is officially close enough for a rescue mission if it became necessary. And more good news: they're logging 15 miles per gallon now! Weather Boy is feeling motivated to spend the last night of vacation on his couch and in his own bed, so there is a major push to be back tomorrow night. At 9 PM, they were probably 8 hours from Albany, which we figure is 8ish hours from home. I bet they're going to crank out some serious mileage tonight. Stay tuned...

missing you

Just talked to my boys, and man, I can't wait for their return. Truth be told, neither can they. They're doing well, and are in IN now, resting at a hotel with free wireless, and very excited about shower facilities. I selfishly just want them home. Saturday is our goal.

Call me whenever you want! I love talking to you!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I love it when they really smile...

Weather Boy posted a pic of Boy in MN, and it made me verklempt just looking at it. He looks so happy about life... it's so great to see your children truly happy. Between appointments today, Girly asked me to take pics of her playing in the tree. Here are the highlights.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

it doesn't get better than this...

I love everything about this: clothes on the line while there is still some snow in the shadows and daffodils blooming in the sunshine. It's April vacation. Add Weather Boy's way cool Bert and Ernie bike shirt, and life is truly grand.

Now all I need is the boys to make it home in The Beast and life will be perfect. Maybe for only one day, but that's all anyone really needs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's Saturday Night!

Some days I think I'm married to Will Ferrell. I don't think there is a person on the planet who makes me laugh so completely over absolutely nothing. Tonight he had a little cramp, and I just about lost it. Granted, a Will Ferrell commercial had just aired, and Dave's "oohing" reminded me of how Will would react. I felt bad laughing at him, but he was just being so goofy about it. I know I shouldn't blame him for me being cold and heartless, but it really, if you'd have been here, you'd have done the same thing.

I love my man very much, and lucky for me, the feeling is mutual. I guess I just wonder if he thinks Cheri O'Terri when he thinks of me... and if so, is that a good thing?

Friday, April 18, 2008

waterfront property?

So I wandered around the house this afternoon, mostly to see if I could get to the clothesline. It's going to take some work. A huge chunk of ice ripped it off the side of the house sometime in March, so I'll need new hardware to get it up and running. I love hanging clothes on the line. I love how clothes smell after being in the breeze, and the rabid recycler in me jumps for joy using natural, free energy to dry my stuff. Anyhow, when I walked around back, this is what I found!
I half expected to see some ducks out there swimming around.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

YEA ME!!!!!

There was actual hopping in my kitchen. Weather Boy's comment: "I didn't realize you were really worried about not passing." I was totally not kidding, but I made it, well above the minimum score required.

We celebrated with chocolate shakes (under 21) and mudslides. SJ, we so need to celebrate our accomplishments over break.

What a relief. I say again, yea me!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


So it seems there are lots of changes happening around me these days. My mom and mother in law are both retiring this month (although MIL is taking back her old job at Mt. Blue State Park for the summer, so I'm not sure you can call it retiring as much as switching jobs, but I digress). People all around me are pursuing Masters Degrees in Education-- including Weather Boy himself! My sister is pregnant with her third, my friend from high school just had her third, and an old friend is getting married this summer! So much going on.

Me? I'm just plugging along, living my life, enjoying the place I'm in. I know it won't stay in status quo forever, but for now, it's just where I want to be.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

one more week

It's a busy week ahead, which will probably mean it will fly by. Two recital rehearsals, track practices, scrapbooking, and then life in general fill it up. I need to remember to make an appointment for the van to get it's mileage check, too. Must do that tomorrow...

I can not believe that it is time to deal with April vacation. Where has the year gone? I mean, really? Time is just flying by, and our lives along with it. Nine more weeks and then we will be blissfully on summer vacation. This summer will take us to the Cape again, and I hope to get to Western Mass to see my high school friend. If my Dropout Prevention conference in Orono survives the budget massacre, I think we might also take a trip to The County. Perhaps we'll roll a yatzee on the Marden's challenge before SJ and The Music Man do!

Friday, April 11, 2008


It was a long week, my friends. Long week. My biological school clock says this is the first night of April break, but it turns out this is the weird year of an early Easter and a late break. And so I must content myself with an overnight trip to visit our friends on the coast where the kids will have a sleep over in the living room while we talk the night away.

I love this friend of mine. I met her when she taught at MVHS for a year, partnered with Mike. She is so full of life, and truth oozes from her pores. I always feel centered when I'm with her, which is just what I need after a week of drama at school. Weather Boy the Introvert is staying home this trip to recharge his batteries the way that best suits him. I will miss him, but know he needs a night home alone the same way I need to get out of dodge and laugh with my friend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


So I bumped into a fellow RVB-er today and we shared a laugh over the joy of finding a new post on a friend's blog. There really isn't anything like it-- except for finding a comment posted on your own post! It's not really my life philosophy, but the idea of connectedness certainly influences me a lot. I mean, I still send a Christmas card to MY 4th grade teacher! Since becoming an Alt Ed teacher, I've made it the focus of our classroom: connected to our classmates, our school, our community. This little conversation (as I was leaving a concert in which my bestfriend's daughter was singing) is just another example of how important connections in our lives are, however we get them. I would not have missed her concert unless I had no other option, because connections with non-parental adults are so important to growing kids. I would not have walked by my friend without stopping to talk and laugh unless I was late for wherever I was headed next. And as cool as our little online community is, knowing each other personally makes it even cooler for me. I only regularly read one blog of someone I don't know in my real life, and that's just because it's such a cool math idea that it makes me happy.

Then, at the end of track practice, we were waiting for the straggling parents to arrive (the last kids left 30 minutes after practice ended). A local boy who will probably be in my class in 5 years was hanging around the front of the school. Dave made a point to talk to him, once he figured out who this kid was and why he was out about town at 7 PM on a school night. Instead of just yelling at him to go home, we talked to him while waiting for all the rides to come. It's obvious he's got it rough, and more obvious that one 30 minute conversation with a few random people isn't going to make much difference. But maybe it will. Maybe we won't see it until he's in school with our kids, or in our classrooms. Or maybe when we see him again and say hi, just because we can. Connections, baby.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

jedi mind tricks

So for the first time all year, I beat Mike to the kids drop off point on a LAW. Now, I should not have to point out how difficult it is for me to get out of the house by 7:15, drop the kids, and get to school by 7:30 on the dot. I so hate getting out of bed, and once we spring forward, well, it's really not pretty. (For those of you who've played along since the beginning, this is truly the main reason I hate EDT.) So what's a struggling night owl teacher to do? The same thing struggling high school and college kids do: set the alarm clock ahead. Yes, I know the clock is fast, and I have more time than Mickey says, but when you look over and see 7: 12 staring at you, adrenaline kicks in and you get up. Once you're up you remember "Damn, it's only 7:00" but you're up, so you get moving. (And yes, it really does only take me 15 minutes to get out the door. It's a skill I've been mastering since 1985-- and my kids have learned to do the same!)

So anyhow, the last quarter of the year is notoriously difficult for me to just get up. Without the mind games, I might get a nasty gram left in my personnel file. I still love my job as soon as I get to school, but if we could somehow start the day at 10, my life would be the best place ever.

Monday, April 07, 2008

What I Should Wear

Day One of New Birthday Clothes (which are nothing like the Emperor's New Clothes), and who knew how many people look at what I wear! I had 3 compliments on my new pants (Gloria Vanderbilt, petite's section of JC Penny) before 8:30 AM. My new shoes (Keen, on Weather Boy's suggestion) also got high approval ratings. Maybe Clinton and Stacy are right, and buying new clothes that really fit make a difference. I can't see me going completely cold turkey from Goodwill, but I guess it doesn't hurt to live high on the hog every so often.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Only one reason to leave

I went to the Maine Mall today with my mom for some birthday shopping. Having read Beth's recent post about melting in all points south, I thought to bring my camera along to document it for myself. It's true: there is way less snow in South Portland than there is up here.

But that is not what would get me to leave this beautiful, small town valley. The only thing that would get me to move, baring a major catastrophe that vaults us into spaces of which we can't conceive, is a decent radio station. I can cope with WCLZ, but it's not perfect-- a little too much Steely Dan to really call it mine. CYY just got too screamy about 7 years ago, and JBQ is too teeny-bopper. I end up rotating through these 3 stations, time determining who plays lead: JBQ for my morning commute (yea, I know, work with me here), CLZ afternoons, and CYY as a random hope for something good.

Now many of you out there must be wondering why I don't just plug in my iPod and call it a gig? My iPod is great for walks and moving wood, but to me, a car needs a radio. I like the unexpected joy that comes from hearing a song I didn't know I wanted to hear, or the thrill of identifying a new song by a favorite artist. I like learning who has a new release and who is coming to town. I am a child of the 80s, and I like my radio. I'll put in a CD when all options just plain suck, but I like to roll the musical dice most of the time.

And so today, my heart skipped a beat when, in Auburn, I randomly checked 92.1, the "Mt. Rialto Radio" of my youth turned into a NH based satellite of FNX out of Boston. It was coming in, loud and clear! Normally I have to be past USM before I can listen in, but the gods were with me today. So as I drove out of the snow and into the musical promised land, I realized that the weather does not bother me-- it was cool to see the difference 75 miles makes in melting, but cool in a science experiment sort of way-- but a really good radio station-- not just a passable one, but a really, awe-inspiringly good one-- would be really nice. And since I'm too old to travel to some club 150 miles away on a random Tuesday night just to see Cowboy Mouth or someone equally as exciting, living in a real radio area would mean maybe I could make it if it was only a 50 mile drive.

I know that leaving town just for a radio station is pretty silly; you'll all notice I have happily been a River Valley citizen for 16 years, and if I was going to relocate based on music, I'd be already gone. But when I fantasize about retirement, and where we might end up, radio waves influence me way more than their liquid counterparts.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

singing down memory lane

There are 2 albums out now that I am really excited to get my hands upon. (What do you call digital downloads?) The singles on the radio now (yes, I do listen to the radio in the car. I'm old school, remember!) get me grooving and cranking the rockin' Toyota sound system every time. I was waiting on the new BoDeans until this week's release of the new REM album, but I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer. Turns out MLTI images don't have the latest version of iTunes, so I need someone with a personal machine to pull the trigger on said purchase. I don't know why Mike, Michael, and Peter need me to be fully updated, but they do, and so I must content myself with the single on the airwaves. Lucky for me, they rocked the Colbert Report. The new BoDeans is sitting in my shopping cart, waiting for me to push the button.

I guess now all I need is some new U2 that rocks like old U2, and my trip back to the best decade of my musical life will be complete.