Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas eve. As a child this was the day I so longed for. When my dad would get home from work at 5 and sit for a while....we would get the evening goodies ready. Christmas eve food consisted of chips, dips, finger foods and all the cookies and candies my mom made were now allowed to be eaten. When it was finally time to eat we would and then we would all pile into the station wagon and go look at lights. One of the older boys would made an excuse to stay home and take a nap or a shower...but low and behold when we all got home Santa would have miraculously arrived and we would open our gifts. Christmas morning meant church, so it wasn't my favorite. I liked midnight mass better- get it over with. With my son we open gifts Christmas morning. It's ok.. it's tradition...I asked to change it this year in memory of my mom, but he got offended. LOL~ OH well, it's all the same anyway. As long as we are together~ then it's perfect. I miss you mom....but will think of you!! Thanks for all your hard work to make my Christmas' the best.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Back

Well, here I go again. SO much has happened since my last post.....Some good and some bad. Starting with the bad, my mom, Mabel passed away on September 27th. It was sad and amazing watching her go that night. Ever since her doctor visit in April which landed her in the hospital every day was a downward spiral for her. Whatever started or launched this, we don't know. She was getting weak and started falling. My mom was 79. In the hospital they found she had a blood clot in her lung and was in congestive heart failure. After a week in the hospital we all agreed she needed rehab, so she decided to go to a nursing home instead of having to be driven every day. I was still teaching at the time. Two weeks later when things were looking up for her and she was getting ready to go home she got severely dehydrated. Back in the hospital she went. This was the beginning of the decline. Four months later and 6 hospital (infections, draining fluids, etc) visits landed her in the hospital for the 7th and last time. This time it was to fix the lining in her lungs. By this time my mom wasn't my mom. I had spent the whole summer mourning her as each visit with her she remembered less and less and declined more and more. But this time we had hope. Sealing the lining would make it easier to breath, which would give her more energy. Her deep depression (so common with people her age in this situation) was going to be addressed with some strong meds. We hoped for improvement. At this point I was at the stage where visiting her was an ordeal. It was so sad and hard yet I loved being with her knowing each visit might be my last. That last hospital stay with the sealing of her lining went well at first and on Friday morning, the day after, my brother had good news. All was well. But then things changed that Friday. She started making jerking movements and doing strange things with her mouth. Her legs were ice cold. At the last minute her move out of intensive care was cancelled. I had taken that Friday off work to go be with her, but I also had 6 classes of essays to be graded that weekend. My brother said to some Sat. morning. I graded all I could Friday and arrived in San Angelo on Sat. at 9 A. M. My younger brother, Russell was there. My mom was making jerking movement and it was strange, but she greeted me with a smile. The nightmare part of this came when I looked at her legs, they were both purple. It was scary and intuitively I knew the end was near although I denied it and kept telling myself she'll be ok. Cleon and his wife arrived shortly after I did. He had gone home at midnight to get his wife. My mom even ate that day. I fed her pudding and applesauce with her meds crushed up in it and she drank water. My mom had given up eating much at the nursing home, so this was so good that she even ate. She was still with us. Through the course of the day various specialists came and went and it was decided to take her into surgery to clear the blockage in her legs and save them from amputation. The drawback was it would shut down her kidneys and that would be it for her. But it bought time for her and saved her legs. We just didn't know how much time. Hours, days, weeks? The surgery went well. She stopped jerking and at 9:30 PM after a day of intense waiting my sister-in-law and a brother went home. I got in bed as my head was pounding. My older brother ate and went up there. I got up at 11 and felt better...ate and we all went to bed confident tomorrow would be better. An hour or so later though, my brother calls us to the hospital...Mom's heart-rate was slowly declining, the end was near. We rushed up there. I went to her side and told her it was time to let go. I said Dad and Lannis (my older brother who died) were waiting for her and it was time to see them. I said we would all be fine and we would miss her terribly, but would never forget her. I said we all love you so much. She said I love you too. Those were her last words. So everyone said their goodbyes. We called my sister who was able to talk to her and my niece.At this point my mom responded with her eyes. She was still with us even now. As the numbers on her monitors slowly went down, they started unhooking all her IV's. Finally, my brother Cleon told her to smile and as she died she smiled as we all held onto her. That was the amazing part. And then it was over. A feeling of relief and sadness mixed with unbelief settled in me. The next day we had her funeral planned, her obituary written and my sister flew in. Everyone had to drive home to get the proper clothes. I need to be with my family for the night. We got up early Monday and went back to San Angelo. We had lots of loose ends to take care of. We had her Rosary on Tuesday night, buried her Wednesday and I was back at work on Thursday. It was a surreal week. I miss my mom. I had the whole summer to mourn her dying, so her death was no shock. It is still hard to think she is gone. I still catch myself saying I need to get there for Mom or I need to tell her this. :) In time it will get easier. Right now we have her house to deal with and all her belongings. That is another chapter.

Monday, July 20, 2009


You know what is really hard? Being yourself. I'm almost half a century old and I still find ways to shield my true self. I'm not sure why we do this or maybe I'm the only one that does. I know I have many different selves. Maybe that is it....I'm different things to different people. I'm different at school than I am at home. I'm different with different people. I change to fit them. Wow. So my goal is to be more consistent- authentic. In what I say, in how I react, and in how I live. In doing so maybe I can shed this outer layer ( both physical and mental) and find the real me. I know I'm in here somewhere. 

I'm Yours

Thanks Jason Mraz, for your inspiration. :) If you don't know who he is...you should look up his songs. They are awesome. His philosophy is finally something I can relate to. I find the older I get the more I search for more meaningful  spiritual realities and look for more meaning in my life. So I'm changing my path for a while. I'll probably need some reminders to get back on this path, but here I go !! 

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Yey...it's summer. I love being off work and home! It's time to rejuvenate and do all the extra-cleaning, sorting, and errand running you can't do when you work. However this summer like last summer we've decided to move to a new house...again...   We just moved out here last August. I really like the house and yard. It's the drive that is hard. It added about 15-20 minutes to our drive. Parker is too active and this isn't working. Plus he misses his friends. We are moving into our old neighborhood just a different house. :) If all goes well and we sell this one in a reasonable amount of time we should be ok. If this house sits for too long it might be an issue. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am in mourning for this house. It truly is a dream house. The yard is fabulous and you feel like you are at a retreat. But the drive doesn't justify the view and quietness. So city life here we come. The stagers are here now making it look like a "showpiece" and I'll post the before and after pics. In the meantime I'll enjoy the birds and fish and tranquility. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost the End of the Year

As the school year finally winds down I find myself thinking of the positives and negatives of the last school year. I think the biggest change in my life was moving so far out into the country. While I love my home and location, the extra 15 minute drive ended up being more of a challenge than I thought. I'm not sure if it's worth it or not because when I drive home I think of how I could be home already if I hadn't moved, but when I get home and see the beautiful natural surroundings I think it's well worth it. So, I guess the verdict is still out on that.

Teaching wise this year started out rough. Our school for some reason decided we needed to change the way we did lesson plans. Never mind that the last 8 years I've worked for this school we've managed just fine without objectives, TAKS, TEKS, and the assessment labeled. We were told all we need to know is what you did or or what you plan to do and our TAKS scores were great. Isn't that all that matters?? LOL This year we added all that extra stuff which is really just a time eater.  For someone with two preps, one being a brand new prep and being kicked out of her classroom during her conference period, that was hard. I found myself doing a lot of grading/curriculum writing and planning at home. While I understand that sometimes everyone takes work home, I was taking home 8-10 hours of work most weekends for a while there. I finally got a handle on it and still take things home 4 or 5 days, but not 8 hours worth

 I discovered I don't like Junior English. I just can't get excited about the literature(American) . The age is ok. I think though that I still prefer the younger students (9th grade) who still have a bit of innocence about them.  I will miss my 9th graders this summer. I miss their energy and how they bounce back from everything that happens to them so quickly. I like how they get so in to what I'm telling them as long as I make it interesting!!!  ( My juniors look at me like I'm from Mars...sigh :) ) I also like the variety of literature that is read in the 9th grade. I feel like the end of the year is like having a baby. You tend to forget all that was bad, and just remember the good. The result is a beautiful baby you can take home.

School is my baby and I just need to get home.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Long Time No See

Wow..it's been ages since I've written here. My life is filled with work and Parker's activities and what little time I have for myself is consumed with chores and house maintenance stuff. I like the busyness  though, but I miss the down time that I desperately need. Luckily with teaching I get a couple of months off in the summer and can return to a calmer state of mind!  In the meantime I'm counting off the days until school is out!! 23 an counting! 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wanting Color

Lately I've been craving color.
 I want a colorful bed. 
I want color on my counters. 
I want color in my bathroom. 
I want color on my walls. 
I love that color comes with spring. 
I am even wearing clothes with color.
I think I'm ready for a change. 

 I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Squirrel Haiku

You cute pirate squirrel
Stealing bounty from the birds
A charming rodent. 

Dear Parker,

Sweet child of mine. 

Ok...I know I see you every day, but I thought a letter might be more appropriate since you are so busy over spring break doing really important things like playing video games and basketball. So if you have a minute I have a few questions for you. 

First of all, did you know you have a designated place for your socks to go when you are finished wearing them? And the hall or the family room isn't one of them? 

And did you know that your four pairs of shoes scattered through various parts of the house isn't really attractive and you do have not one, but two closets in your room they could go in? 

Oh and did you know that your Ipod and phone are yours and not to be confused with food? I wonder because you always leave them on the table. 

Did you know I pulled out 6...yes 6 ...1/2 full bottles of Gatoraide from the fridge yesterday? Thank you for kindly finishing them off before opening a new one. 

And finally how do you manage to take care of these things when you are in school, doing homework and going to practice everyday with practically no free time and on spring break when you have NOTHING you have to do you can't remember to put this stuff up????? 

Just Wondering.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring BRAKE......STOP and Take a Break!!

Oh Thank Goodness It's Finally Here. 

It's that wonderful time in March where we teachers get a break from the young dears. 

And I love it. 

This is what I'll be doing: 

I'll be looking at these outside my kitchen window
and watching these: 

I'll be watching these bloom and flourish: 

After that I will most likely cuddle with her: 

I hope to spend time with these: 

I hope to catch up on reading these: 

But not these: 

Oh sure, I'll have to do this: 

But I plan on spending a whole lot of time just looking at this: 

So I brake for spring break and recharge, renew and unwind!!!! 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

From Where I Sit

 From where I sit I see a lot of teenagers. I'm around teenagers all day. Even at home!

I really like being with teenagers but sometimes....I don't. They talk a lot. Have you noticed?

Like when I'm talking and of course it's really important and they want to talk to each other about non-important stuff like what they did last night and who said what to whom and who won the game and why she is crying and that he is hot and how cute your handwriting is  and oh I like your purse  and dude can I have some paper and my mom took my phone away and now I'm grounded and no I didn't do the homework did  you? And well you get the idea. 

Hmmmm. Ok, so maybe that stuff is a wee bit important. Probably a hundred times really more important than knowing who Pip is  or who Jay Gatsby is or any of the other interesting characters we read about, but well, I feel compelled to share these characters with them. 

So I am patient. 

I let them get their yaya's out and then I try to lure them into my world...if only for a while until the bell rings and they start up again....where do you go next and what are you doing this weekend and isn't he so funny and yes I had fun in here did you? 

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I am possessed. I will stare at you with my green eyes until you give me something that is really not intended for me. I know Parker got something and I want a piece of it. . .

Seriously I'm not leaving.

I have the Patience of a cat. 

The Stare of Medusa. 

The Will of Odysseus. 

Take  your time....I see you are avoiding eye contact with me. That's ok. You'll cave. You always do, which is why I know if I sit here long enough you'll get up and go to the kitchen. 

Monday, February 16, 2009


This month is my least favorite.  
It tends to drag on with blah weather. 
Not hot and not cold. 
Even though it's a drag, sometimes there are unexpected surprises. 

Thank goodness. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

After All He's Only 14

He's at the age where we can't tell him anything! 

He knows it all. 

He won't listen to us. 

He won't talk to us. 

He is confident he knows what he wants. 

But he still expects me to tuck him in at night and hug and kiss him.  

 And I wouldn't change a thing!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sometimes don't you just wish you could stay in bed all day? 
Sometimes don't you just wish you could be your dog all day? 

Today was one of those days. A good day to stay in bed. 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Old Pictures

Laura and Elo 
I love looking at old pictures. I often wonder why people looked so serious. In all the pictures you see everyone has the same serious look. Everyone is dressed in their best clothes and it's usually dark colors. The top picture are my maternal grandparents, Elo and Laura. Sadly they eloped and my grandmother's father never spoke to them again. Very stubborn German man I guess. My mom says he didn't think my grandfather was good enough for her and forbid the marriage.  The bottom picture is my grandmother, Laura (all the way on the left) and her whole family.  Notice all the matching dresses. She bought a bolt of the same cloth and made all the kids their Sunday dresses. She and my grandfather went on to have 9 children. My grandmother died in her 70's and my grandfather died at 95. Who knew when they took those photos their image could possibly bee seen around the world. I bet they couldn't even fathom that back then. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nature is Upon Us

Footprints leave the evidence. Two missing fish. 

When we first purchased this house which is 10 miles from Helotes and about 15 from the edge of San Antonio, we knew we'd be dealing with the elements of nature. In Helotes where we moved from we were used to snakes, scorpions, raccoons, possum and the occasional deer. The first clue were were "not in Helotes" anymore was the morning after we got hit by the wild pigs. 

We knew wild pigs did damage out here. Our new yard had big dirt spots where the feral hogs had rooted up the grass looking for grubworms...rooting to find them. But the sellers played it down, "They don't come often....it's random." Well, after a week in the new house,  we woke to find our grass in the front yard all uprooted in various places. It was interesting and annoying!

 After about three months of this we finally decided to add grass to the dirt spots. We still got hit by the hogs, but my husband would get out that at 5 AM and cover the grass back up. We also put up an electric fence. It goes off in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if it's effective or not because at the same time, the Homeowners Association hired trappers to trap them...So for two months we've been pig free. 

We thought we were finished with the wild animal thing. Deer aren't a problem out here. I guess they have enough to eat.  Oh we did fish out two small Hog snakes from the pool, but that could happen anywhere.  We have a Koi pond right off our back porch and it's complete with a waterfall and fish! It was one of the selling points of this house that I loved. 

But one morning I was home recouping after a battle of the nasty virus that was going around and I had just taken Parker to school. I was tired and feeling yucky and ready to get back in bed when Molly wanted outside. I let her out and through the corner of my eye I saw something big and white fly off. I assumed it was a duck as we have a pond close by and it has several ducks in it....so I promptly got Molly in and we  got in bed and  fell asleep. 

We were soon awakened by a loud THUNK at the back door,  which is glass. I thought someone was trying to get in...I ran to the door to see this HUGE  gray HERON walking out of my pond. I thought WHAT THE.......OMG....I bet it got the fish!! 

Sure enough the fish, we had five, were gone. I was so upset. I could see the footprints coming out of the water. The evidence. He was gone for the day, but the next morning and the next he was back....Back for more fish. 

I learned that it was probably migrating and would be leaving soon. So we placed a huge net over the pond and in about two days he left. It was persistent. I got to see it very well. Turns out he only got 2 fish. He got the biggest goldfish and one of the Koi. The other three fish were so traumatized that they wouldn't come out except in the cover of darkness.

 I don't blame them. I had been working on feeding them. They would see me in the morning and at night and come up to the surface for food...now they hid within the rocks. We ended up buying three more Koi to add and they have helped the other ones not be so skittish, but they still are. In winter, when the water is really cold they hardly move anyway, so hopefully in the spring, I'll keep the net up and get them to trust us again. 

Here are the survivors and the new guys. One goldfish still doesn't like to come out. :) 

Who knew I'd be battling Herons in my backyard??

The Culprit

Recognize Facebook? 
That ate all my computer time last night and I didn't get a post out.
 I got to looking for old friends!!!
 It was fun though. I found a friend from HS.
 I did finally finish grading my dreaded essays, and got the grades loaded in the computer. 
I worked on and off all day Friday and got up at 6AM Saturday and worked until 11 AM.


Today is have fun day and catch up on house stuff day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grading Paper Blues

I'm taking tomorrow off for two reasons. One, I am getting a new dishwasher and want to be here while it's being installed. 
Two, I have a bunch of To Kill a Mockingbird essays to grade. About 90 to be exact.
 I already graded about 30 of them. 
Did I mention I dread this? Well I do. The temperature tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80's. I wish I could sit outside and grade. That doesn't work for me. I have to be in the zone. I  have t0 hunker down somewhere and really concentrate. Get a system going.  At least when I grade such serious essays. I guess this is the price I pay for having June and July off. I have to say though... it's worth it. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is what my kitchen counter looks like every night and every morning. 

This is where Parker chooses to do his homework. He spreads everything out and goes from chair to chair depending on what he is working on. Geometry, World Geography, English, Science, art, and sometimes Spanish! 

He has his own desk.....never uses it. He has a place in the study....he only uses the computer there. 

I sometimes have to shoo him out so his dad can watch TV. 

I think he likes being an only child where he can spread out and not bother anyone. Who knew that would be a perk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Blooms.....

I noticed some yellow flowers blooming yesterday and when I came home from work today I saw different flower blooming.

I thought how strange it was to see flowers blooming this time of year. 

A new house is full of surprises!!

 So I got my camera and started looking for all the blooms and things of color I could find. 

These are just a few of the things I found. 

 Who knew flowers were this pretty in January.