Half a Cup of Blues

Monday, September 26, 2005


What a weekend! We put over 700 miles on the truck this weekend and that was nothing compared to the driving my uncle did! We headed down to ClovisFest for the BBQ cookoff. My uncle, Jerry King, drove all the way out from Midland, Texas. He was one of just 37 contestants in this brand new BBQ contest.

I've never been to one of these but I'm sure going to go to some more. Some of the BBQ rigs were big! I mean seriously HUGE. My uncle had converted a horse trailer into half living quarters and the back half was an amazing custom made BBQ grill. And he sure knows how to use it! He took 1st place in Chicken, 2nd place in Pork, 6th place in Ribs, and his Brisket (usually his BEST entry) was dry and placed 18th, I think. Ya reckon the family reunion that we had going on there distracted him? I brought a little goody bag home but I expect that the Goobers will devour it before I even get home from work!

Yibbyl paid close attention and learned all kinds of great bbq/grilling techniques. We've also been exposed to such incredibly good meats now that our taste buds may become snobs!

Well, it has taken me two days to write this (I hate that OLD computer at home!) so I'm just gonna go ahead and post it. I miss you guys!

Today's Plan: Find a good computer repairman and make an appointment!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Oh My ...

I have such phenomenal students! They make me work SO incredibly hard just to keep them engaged and excited about what we do but they are worth every minute of it.

The kids in our environment are often pulled, kicking and screaming, into participating in their own education. They often fight being here right up to the minute that they leave and move on to the next leg of their journey through life. We're lucky if we ever get a goodbye much less a "thank you" or any sign that what we did made a difference (we all know that what we do may take years to truly bear fruit and we're okay with that).


Every once in a while you get a hug, a note, a picture, a card, or some other precious tidbit from a student who made a connection. This (written just as it was) came to me today from a VERY challenging young lady:

Michelle your my bell
sent from heaven to ring.
I love you and only kindness can tell
the joy that you bring.
Cute & cuddly the courage that you have.
You inspire me when no one else can.
Helping to overcome
the nastyness in this world
The students that you teach
get so caught up in your loving swirl.
Enthusiastic and fun
Your hair looks so beautiful in the sun.
Look Michelle don't you understand
I love you and I think that your grand?
Lightly creating a structured world
You help so many abused children
to believe their of worth.
Enthused I am to be at your hand.
I trust you and love you.
Your my best friend.

Wow! She almost made me cry in class!!


Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Storms of Life ...

I used to LOVE storms.

And then a storm like no other came through my life.

Life is filled with ups, downs, and all-arounds for each of us. We journey through it taking the hills and valleys as just par for the course. Not all storms are bad. Some, like Katrina, can wreak havok and destruction while others merely water the parched ground and bring forth new life.

Yesterday marked two years since the death of someone that I loved.
He died here.
In my home.

Grief and sadness slowly slipped into deep melancholy and, finally, into depression. These are the storms that rage deep inside where nobody can see them. Life became basically mechanical. I went to work everyday. I looked okay on the outside but I felt hollow on the inside.

Then I stumbled across RadioParadise and things began to brighten in my life. There were such amazing people there and their kindness and support helped me through more dark hours than they will ever know. I owe them a debt that I can never repay. I met a few of them in person and I knew that I was, indeed, blessed by finding my way into Paradise.

Most everyone here knows that I met Yibbyl in Paradise. He even has ties in the town of Paradise where the internet radio station originates. We enjoyed talking here and there and getting together when he was in town. This was and is a lovely friendship. Then, in June, something shifted somewhere in the cosmos. I don't know what it was or where it came from but a new storm rolled through and it was a GOOD one. He's much more than a friend. I love him.

I've been offline for most of the last few weeks now and only part of that is due to the excitement of Yibbyl moving in. I know that it goes deeper and that I have been making peace with the past and moving towards the future. I haven't slept well in the last few days and I even had something like an anxiety attack last night. I am so blessed right now but, deep down inside, I know that I've been trying to board the windows of my soul for the big storm that may or may not ever hit. I can feel it but I hadn't really identified what was really going on.

What if, just when you begin to be so happy again, another bad storm rolls through and yanks the floor from underneath you? Can you survive it a second time?

What if...

If I lived life trying to hold something back so that I could be safe in case a storm rolled through then I would rob myself and others of the joys that come with accepting what you DO have and embracing it with open arms. I don't want to do that.

Love, with a net under it, is not really love at all. It's a circus act. Maybe even a very good one. I want my life and my love to be without the net. I do not want to hold anything back. When the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes I want to be standing out there in it, face towards the rain, embracing the storm - come what may.

Love, without that safety net, is what I choose to give to Yibbyl.

Today, tomorrow, and forever ...

Today's Plan: To live life fully and to love unconditionally.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Sorry to have been Missing In Action lately.

Life is rolling by faster than I can keep pace.

Yibbyl is well on his way to being here rather than there (yeah!).

School has been insane on so many levels that I can't even begin to get into it without heartache attached.

My computer crashed again. Bigger and bolder than the last time. I'm online almost not at all right now.

I miss RP terribly (was going to try to get there this week but failed) and my fellow bloggers.

My head is swimming in miserable allergy fog so I'm off to medicate and sleep.

Don't forget me and, if you can spare some good thoughts in this time of national disaster, send some this way to the boy from my classroom who is in crisis and nearly homeless at 15.

I love ya's!