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Jan. 1st, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello again. Hello.  I've just got to let you know.  Sorry, that was a little Lionel Richey.  Once again I did not journal at all while working and am now here to write one entry while on winter break.  Probably won't be back until March. 

This break has gone unexpectedly slow.  I can't believe that.  It's not like we haven't been busy, we have.  It's not like it is a dreary time--it's not.  The days leading up to Christmas are great.  I like shopping and "finishing up" Christmas shopping.  I like seeing all the gifts under the tree.  I don't know why it seems to have gone slow.  I won't mind getting back to school Monday, I don't think.  I won't mind because in two short (hopefully) months it will be spring break.  Now I agree, January can move on the pokey side, but February goes by swiftly.  It's my birthday month so maybe that helps, but it goes quickly then March--ugh!  I hate March.  I will hate it a little less this year since I'm on break for 3 of its disappointing weeks.  Every year (I'm slow) I expect March to be warmer and it never is.  There are warmer days, but when your expectations are for 75 degree weather and no wind, you tend to be disappointed.

I'm difficult, here's why...

I find myself not wanting to be busy--Aaron's swim meets and concerts, Nathan's concerts, other evening and weekend activities.  But, I know, logically time goes by faster when I'm busy so I find myself pushing myself into activities and I always enjoy them.  So the moral of the story is....keep very busy during January and February and March will be here in no time at all.

Resolutions-who needs 'em?
I know some things I need to do, but doing it for a New Years resolution doesn't take care of it.  I need to just do them for the benefits they will bring.  If having resolutions work, go for it.  Usually they don't.

I             feel                 like            I'm             writing               in               short             choppy               sections. 

More later when I'm flowing!

Oct. 16th, 2008

Alive and Writing

Good Lord what has happened to my blog?  Someone hasn't been writing for way over a month.  I even had 3 whole weeks of break to write and I didn't do it.  I could say I was busy all day every day, but that would be a lie--duh.  When I did have time to myself I spent it watching Law and Order from 1-3 or rewatching Six Feet Under.  I have tried to figure out why I'm so drawn to that show and enjoy watching them even though I've already watched them ALL at least 2 times each.  Maybe it is because it is so wierd that I like it.  When I hear the show's opening music I actually smile.  It's not all that humorous, yet I laugh at moments.  I really feel like I've rediscovered an old friend each time I watch one.  I also feel the same way when I find a Law and Order that I HAVEN'T seen, which is rare.  That's the best!  I painted the boys' rooms over break.  Nathan's is almost a robin egg blue.  I'm not sure if it is too much or not.  I also found new comforters for them to match.  I am very proud to say that I found them at Target or as Jeff would say "Targucci" for $13 each!  Incredible.  They are soft too, not rough or chintzy.  I am very particular about comforters.  They can not be chintzy like hotel room comforters.  I hate having them so smooth they fall off the bed in the night.  Forget that.

Ok, here is an interesting experience, for me.  Everyone else will say "what a simpleton" but I found it different.  The day I shopped for comforters I drove from Jordan Creek to Valley Junction to find scrapbook crap for the Alaska scrapbook that still isn't finished.  (A unmet goal of break)  I followed this Carroll county car all the way from the mall to the side-by-side parking in front of the scrapbook store.  I was concerned that the lady would think I was stalking her, but she was fine.  She said "You're following me."  I told her I was worried what she might think, but no problem.  I asked her if she was from Carroll.  She said she and her husband lived at Panorama.  I was going to ask her name to see if Jeff/Dan/Ali would have a connection, but I didn't when she said she was in Panora.  Small world.  Shelley's mom is from Yale--tiny and my dad is living in Guthrie Center.  Told ya--simpleton.

I miss being on break.  I loved it.  The weather was wonderful.  The cool mornings were lovely and then it warmed up.  Work is overrated.  When I think of 9-11 I don't think of where I was, I think of the beautiful day it was.  No clouds, no humidity, brisk morning.  Those are my favorite days.

I'm really rambling here, but it's because I haven't written for so long.  I keep thinking of things.  I watched Ellen at 3:00.  I'm sorry to admit, well not so sorry as to shy away from writing it, but I even danced with Ellen.  Yep, usually in the bedroom while folding laundry.  It was great.  I had about 10 minutes before the bus dropped off Nathan.  Then I had to tend to his needs--DVD player going with Cosby, Mountain Dew (or Hillbilly Hollar).  Then I was back on my own for about 30 minutes before Aaron got home.  Then it was time to find out about his day.  Usually it was "exhausting" due to PE or some other complication in the life of Aaron.  But he always seemed to come around and tell the unabridged version of the day then he was off with juice, snack and a bit of Monster Jam on tv.  Then Shelley would be home about 10 minutes later.  This would end the day of Scott and morph into a "normal" evening with dinner, showers, homework and other chores.  It also marked my longing for the next morning about 8:45.  I would have dropped Nathan off at High School and headed back home or to the coffee shop.  The days went oh so fast.

Sep. 3rd, 2008

Oh how the mind wanders, or is it wonders?

Sunday I ran the furthest I have ever run in my entire life.  Kind of mind boggling.  I ran 20 miles.  I only stopped two times for water and gu.  This is a biggie since I usually stop several times.  I was very happy with the run.  I think, maybe, kinda, sorta that I might, perhaps be able to somehow finish a marathon.  I hate to even type it for fear the Greek marathon gods will strike me down because of my stupidity for such a thought.  It may be possible though, perhaps.  Short term concern is that Gustav will ruin my plans to run Thursday morning.  No rain dances please.

Today I had to sign for another stupid frickn piece of equipment for Nathan.  We had it delivered to school so one of us could sign for it.  It is a cough assist machine that helps him get in a big breath and sucks out the breath as he coughs.  Stupid machine.  Maybe it will help, but right now I hate the damn thing and want to throw it in the trash.  it probably costs a million dollars or something but I really don't care at all.  One more shitty thing to do.

There seems to be several things that need to be done and none of them is fun.  That is my barometer--is it fun?  I know that many things aren't going to measure up to that, but I also know that the crappy things are going to find me so why shouldn't I find the fun things?

Endure the crap, embrace the celebrations.  Too damn philosophical.

Aug. 24th, 2008

I see little birdies flying around lots of stars in the background

 Today marks the second longest run I've ever had.  Last year at this time I ran 19.43 miles.  Today it was 18.  It was a good run.  I didn't stop much at all.  I had water breaks twice with some Gu (energy gel).  I was going to run on the Summerset bike trail that goes from Indianola to Carlisle and then back to the lake, which is midpoint for the entire trail.  That would have been right at 18 miles.  I went out yesterday to check it out, but it was closed.  It must still be closed from the flooding.  I called the number on the website to see what was up, but the message didn't say ANYTHING about it being closed.  I'm sorry, but if a state park is closed you'd think there would be a reason given on an answering machine.  I wanted to know if there was a water fountain where the state park joins the bike trail.  I couldn't find that out so I scraped the idea and ran around town.  A L L   O V E R  town.  I found streets I haven't run on before which was "Fresh, fresh, exciting!" The last two miles were killers though.  My calves were cramping up, not pleasant.  I guess that can happen when you burn 2236 calories.  Well, at least that one is done. 

Brother-in-law Jim is coming up from Kansas City next weekend for the September birthday bash (4 birthdays in September--2 of them on the same day.)  September is an expensive month!  Especially for the art teacher's present--damn he is picky.  Anyway, Jim and I will run next weekend, probably 18 again.  I hope I have recovered completely.  He is the one I ran the 19.43 with last year so I hope he doesn't have big plans to push past that yet.  I will be doing a couple of 20 milers coming up which scares the crap out of me, but also thrills me.  If those go well (low expectation of the definition of "well") then maybe I will be able to run the Des Moines Marathon in October.  I want to have a marathon marked on life's "To Do" list.  Amazing how the need to accomplish can motivate someone.

My dad just called and is coming down in an hour.  Oh boy that is a whole different topic.  Better get ready for this one.

Aug. 20th, 2008

Better Now

Whew!  As bad as yesterday was, today was good!  The boys had great first days.  Nathan feels terrific.  He's talking more, giving Aaron advice about Middle School.  Amazing.  If all his illnesses were asthma/allergy related we're going to scream.  What an easy fix.  I know I'll be all happy about it and he'll fall apart again.  Ride the wave while it lasts I guess.

Aaron had mostly a great day.  He likes everything about Middle School except lunch!  Unbelieveable.  That is somehting Middle School teachers always tout--lunch.  Figures the picky eater had trouble with pizza every day.  Apparently, you have to have 4 items of food on your tray and all he wanted was pizza.  He's worried he'll have to eat it all or worse yet, it will be wasted food.  I told him it was the school's rule, so if you don't eat it --fine, throw it away.  I'm really trying to make our mornings easier by not having to pack a stupid cold lunch.  I don't even pack it, Shelley does, so I guess I'm trying to help her.

Jeff is helping with some of my more challenging students of which I appreciate more than toilet paper.  Maybe tomorow will be a day when all students in 4-B are having a good day at the same time.  If that happens the world will probably explode because all the planets will be lined up or something.

Good day! 

Aug. 19th, 2008

Here we go again!

Today Shelley came home for lunch and Nathan told her his hands were warm.  He had a temp of 100 and a headache--classic description of what we had last year so often.

Ibuprofin took care of the fever and headache so he was feeling better when I left to go back to school after my lunch break.  We also began the plan that Iowa City came up with when he gets this stuff.  He took a steroid and an inhaler treatment.  Creeped me out to give that stuff to him, but if it helps, then fine.  He has been congested in the morning when we get him up and he has coughed up yellowish crap when he shakes so we knew something was up.  He says he feels fine.  He ate a good meal tonight.  He says he is tired and he is pale.  I hope this treatment works.  Man would it help with the stress level here.  We are worn out worrying about him.  It is always hanging over our heads.  We don't tire of taking care of him, but the impending illnesses get the best of us.

Of course, before all this happened at lunch it was a banner day.  Good meeting at school, productivity, fun times, dancing after the meeting then the preverbial shit hits the fan.  It's not that he is extremely sick, it just happens all the frickin' time.

Ok, I've vented and that helps.  Onward and upward. 

Aug. 18th, 2008

Anal wins out

I did not get my long run in Sunday and it was bothering me all day.  I really wasn't in any condition to run early Sunday morning since it was a late evening among other things and my head wasn't with it.  So I stewed about it all day long.  I could have run later in the day, but I am an early morning runner.  The sun saps the energy right out of me so I knew if I went it would be an unsuccessful run.  So.... I woke up at 4:00 this morning wide awake, and I took advantage of it and got up and ran my 12 miles damn it!  Now I'm all peaceful with myself again.  Ahhh...    hooommmmm...... very zen-like now.  I will probably sleep through meetings today. 

Aug. 17th, 2008

Def Leppard lives up to name

Saturday night I went to the Fair with two friends to see, hear, feel Def Leppard in concert.  First complaint of the day: Expensive!  I didn't mind paying the $50 to enter the concert but then $10 more to enter the Fair?!  Yikes.  I wish concert ticket holders could have gotten in half-price after a certain time.  

Friend Brian and I ate at Rock Bottom before heading to the farigrounds.  Their beer on tap for August is called Happy Pills.  I liked the name since I was hoping some happy pills had been added.  It is a Pilsner beer.  It was good so was the Kolsch beer they have on-tap from July.  Next it was a short drive to the Capitol complex to take the bus to the fairgrounds.  I drove the convertible and it was great.  It was perfect convertible weather.  The bus ride was great fun.  It reminded both Brian and I of CyRide in Ames (always good to relive college years).  There was definitely a festive atmosphere on the bus with lots of laughing and yelling.  Seems many people were priming themselves for the fair.  

We just had time to see the grand champion pig and cow.  I don't know if those two could even move.  Brian was at the fair the day before and both animals were in the same position.  I texted friend Kim who was also at the concert to see if she had seen Freight Train (pig).  She said she missed him and wondered if he had big balls!  Ha.  Um, yep.

Finally we made it to the grandstand and met up with friend Sean.  He was the ticketholder so we had to treat him royally so we could get our tickets.  We were on the stage level 10th row back.  Great seats.  I was hoping for some sort of recognition from the band members--of course not, duh!  Even though friend Jeff could have gotten us backstage passes since he has a connection, but he crapped out--what a butt crack, to coin a phrase of one of my students.  Mostly, the only recognition I got was deafness.  Wow!  We were right in front of the mothership of speakers.  I even got some ear plugs from friend Ann.  I thought I would try it without them, but I should have used them.  I'm still not back to normal.  They ended the main set with Rock of Ages, a song I could have listened to again.  Too bad you can't put a concert on replay.  The crowd was moving to the music.  The fireworks at the end were super and very close.  I kept thinking about those various fireworks mishaps that happened over the 4th.  Thankfully, it was only enjoyable.

After the concert we wandered around so Brian could get his cheese curds.  I had one and a half arteries close off at the mere mention of cheese curds.  Did I try any of them?  Yep.  Closed them off for good, but they died happy.  Yum.  Then it was on to cup of cookies.  Another goodie.  Um did I remember that I was to run 12 miles today?  I kinda let myself forget that.  Did I run today--not yet.  After the carb/fat load it was time to go home.  Sean dropped me off at my car and I drove home with the top down, heat on full, sweatshirt on, windows up, hood of sweatshirt up.  It was a fun experience to drive with the cool open air and the full moon shining down.  I'm sure I would have scared the crap out of anyone passing me since I had my hood up--oh well Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has safety as more basic of a need than self-actualization.  I did see some little boy out looking for his missing dog along 65/69.  Wonder what could have happened.  Just kidding JeffreyJingles!

When I got home I found a note from Aaron telling me that Michael Phelps won his 8th medal.  The Olympics has made for some good family bonding time.  He also left me note saying that when I was supposed to be running this morning that Shelley would wake him up early.  Lately she has been waking him up earlier and earlier in preparation for school starting and he can't get to sleep earlier than 10 if he doesn't get up and burn off calories during the day.  She has been getting him up early, making him walk/run on the treadmill and go out for a walk with her, plus yesterday he helped me mow the yard for the first time.  I think he probably slept well.  He now has a better understanding of what it is like for me to mow.  Anyway, he doesn't like her waking him up--no surprise there-- so he always wants me to get her out of there.  So now it is a big game to prevent her from getting in there.   Man he snuggles up and goes back to sleep too.  I wouldn't be able to do that.

No students tomorrow or Tuesday, just happy meetings!  I'm looking forward to them--seriously.  Anybody who knows my class will know what this all means. Smile.

Good day all.

Aug. 6th, 2008

Book Review Inspires Self Reflection...How Profound--Not

 By request, I need to post another entry and leave my wood behind.  Man some people.  Ok here goes.....ahem......nothing.  Well I can give a book review even though it is old news.  I finished reading John Grisham's "An Innocent Man".  The beginning was good and had me ripping through the pages, but the middle was slow.  I'm one of those readers who wants to read every word of a book--every word.  I get so involved in a book it becomes part of me.  I will often start to talk to somebody about my day and, thankfully, before I begin I realize it was the book I was reading and not MY life.  It's hard for me to pick up the book and get into it.  I don't want to commit to a whole book because it sounds too long.  Yet, when I'm in the book I never want to put it down (unless I fall asleep reading) and I'm lost when I finish it.  It is kind of like now wanting to watch a movie on tv.  If given the choice between 4 sit coms and one move  I'll choose the sitcoms.  Less committment involved.  I can break away in 25 minutes as compared with the 120 minutes of a movie.  I love movies but due to life's happenings I get interrupted and hate to miss anything.  Back to John and the man of innocence.  I, yes I did, actually skipped words in this book!  This was big for me.  I'm the one who would read every stinkin word in a college course textbook--yuck!  It also tells about the book.  The end of the book got me revved again and I was reading all the a's and the's and all the other useless (kind of) words.  Since it was a true story I guess he couldn't do that thing he does.  Now I'm beginning his book "The Appeal".  It is typical Grisham, maybe a little too Grisham but I like it anyway. Good night kids.

Jul. 20th, 2008

Got wood? ahem

"Oh I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok, I drink all night and I sleep all day!"  Well, not exactly.  Saturday I went out to mow in the tropical dew point air and got about 2 laps around the side yard when I snapped!  The previous occupants in the home next to us were really into gardening, but they were about 300 years old.  So when their health turned bad their gardening did too.  They had a very nice buffer between our yards that they usually kept very nice (they had been on the garden tour a couple of times) but now it was overgrown with several trees growing.  They had grown so much that I had to almost mow that part on my knees to avoid being slapped around (hmmm that could be a good thing?)  I stopped mowing and began to saw down trees and trim off smaller growth.  The current residents probably don't have a problem with it since they are doing some other projects and they WERE growing on our side.  If they aren't good with it then does anybody know a good attorney?  Once done binging then our own trees were trimmed.  I always have to tell myself to slow down because I tend to get carried away  "Oh now that branch is too low, now this one looks funny, oh now we have a telephone pole growing in the front yard."  It all looks good and the neighbor guys took the branches away--for a fee, but the mess is gone.  

Shelley's birthday is next week so we all went in to Rock Bottom and ate then went to Barnes and Noble to look at books.  It was a fun evening.  Shelley really enjoyed it and so did we.  I did have a German lager with dinner so I was kiiiiinnnndd of a lumberjack and I did drink beer at night.  If I would have taken a nap today I could have hit all three parts of that diddy.

Jeff and I saw Batman at the Science Center Friday.  It was good to see it in an IMAX theater with all the city scenes.  Plus I had to move around more to see the screen so it did kind of take my mind off the psychopathic Joker.  He was a likeable psychopath though.  Is that possible?  I enjoyed the humor in the movie as well as the plot line.  My only criticism might be that it was too long.  Did they really need to introduce two villians?  I guess it surprised me so maybe that was what they were going for.  Oh, sorry, probably shouldn't have shared that if you haven't seen it.  Sincere apologies.  We then went over to Hessen Haus and had good food and even one of my very favorite beers--Erdinger.  Very smooth, not bitter, almost fruity.  Tad Jeffson even had one and gave it praise.

Oh, Ice Road Truckers is on and I have to see what the guys are doing.  Who is quitting, getting fired etc.

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