Half a Cup of Blues

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another One Gone ...

One of my students ran away from her group home last Friday morning. We talked to her aunt today and she had heard from her so at least we knew she was safe (relatively speaking) for now. The bad news was that even if she does come back we won't keep her. The company had already decided that they were sending her back to her home county (the other end of the state).

I'm never quite sure what the specific reasons are that we give up on a kid and move them on down the line. I would have voted to keep this one. She was a scrapper, yes, and she created havoc with other kids but there was a great kid wrapped up inside of all of that bravado.

I hate that we give up on kids.

We just shouldn't be doing that.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Zappa Rocks!

That's what we've named the Beta (Japanese fighting fish) that we've had for a while.

We moved him today from the studio apartment (large vase) to the spacious condominium (1.5 gallon tank) and he seems to be adjustly nicely to all of the changes. He has shag carpeting. Okay, it's really just black rocks with some blue sprinkled in there and it looks really nice when the light shines on it. He had live plant roots in the vase but now he has an entire garden of plants that are completely submerged. He's got a floating chunk of hollow wood that is supposed to sink eventually and give him a nice little hidey hole. He's got a light which also provides heat, something that the vase was sadly lacking, so he should be warmer now. Our bedroom can get pretty cold sometimes. He's got a filter and bubbler though I'm not sure what he thinks about those.

Oh! And he has a roommate, too!

We added a very kewl little snail in there. He hasn't moved a muscle (hehehe) yet so I don't think he's all too happy about this arrangement.

I know, mundane stuff to be sharing, but it makes me smile so I thought that I'd share it with y'all!

Love ya's...


Friday, January 20, 2006

Gall Darn It ...

I felt like I was bruised and battered all night last night!

My tummy hurt. Bad!

I ran to the bathroom every 20 minutes until I HAD to be flushed clean. I can stand any food and even water makes my tummy hurt. Getting through the day at work was miserable. In fact I left early to go to the walk-in clinic and see what was going on. I thought it had to be either the lactose intolerance or food poisoning but the doctor thinks that I may well be trying to pass a gallstone.

Is that why it hurts so bad? Dang rocks floating around my innards?

At any rate he's sending for a blood draw at the hospital (only place able to do it on weekends) to make sure that wasn't my liver acting up. And I have antibiotics and an Rx for nausea meds. Oh, and nothing but clear liquids until I can stand food again.

I was gearing up to start dieting and this sudden "fasting" may be just the jump start that I needed.

Well, that's all for now folks! I hope that you are all healthy and happy so far this year!

Today's Plan: Enjoy that Mango Passionfruit tea and find me some jello!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Opportunities ...

Things happen and sometimes, if we are paying close enough attention, we are given an opportunity to teach or learn something that might otherwise pass right on by.

I had one of those moments this morning.

One of my goobers was hit by car on his way to school. His school nurse calls me as I am on my way to work this morning and I can literally feel the tension in her voice. She tells me that he was struck by a small truck while on his bike across the street from the high school. She tells me that I should come straight there and pick him up and take him to be seen as well as file a police report. Police report? This was a felony hit-and-run she tells me, with injuries. Okay, you just KNOW that at this point the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. I am on my way!

I get to the school and pick him up. He shows me his left leg and it looks a little bit like raw hamburger meat but, to be honest, I've seen worse. I mean, these are teenage boys! Underneath the road rash I can see some bruising and swelling already beginning so I do think it is the right thing to take him on over to the walk-in clinic to be seen right away. On the way there he tells me what had happened. I have him repeat it a couple of times and I'm asking him some clarifying questions to get a clearer picture.

It appears that my son was riding along the sidewalk and stopped at a driveway where the small truck (driven by an older gentleman) was also stopped. They both motioned for the other one to go ahead, they both declined and again motioned for the other one to go first. What manners, I mean, you really do have to pause and appreciate that for a moment. Anyways, I guess they both decide that they may as well go ahead and go - so they did! The truck and the bike collided at maybe 5 mph but it was enough to send the kid flying out into the street and bend his front tire. He gets up as the man, horrified, jumps out as asks if he's okay. He says he's fine and the man asks him a few more times if he's okay. The boy instists that he is okay and then proceeds to walk his bike across the street towards his high school. Now this is a rather large and busy road so as the boy gets to the other side of the road he looks over his shoulder and sees the man get in his truck and drive away. This is also what he told the school nurse.

The doctor goes through the same questioning that I had and he's taking copious notes. The leg does not appear to be broken (we'll go back and xray in two days if it is still hurting) but he does have an abrasion and contusion (fancy words for scrape and bruise). As we're waiting for the doctor to write out the instructions for us I tell my son that he's to go back and check in with his nurse and explain to her that we were NOT filing a police report and that I did not consider this to be a hit-and-run at all. I believe that this man did, in fact, try to talk to my son and that when my son walked across the large street he (the boy) gave every indication that he was just shrugging it off and going on to the school and that I believe it would be wrong to pursue this man and potentially wreck his life by filing a report that might lead to charges when there really was no malicious wrongdoing or intentional evading of responsibility. Our family does not race to a lawyer and try to get something, we do not seek damages where none are due, and we treat people as we would like to be treated. The doctor, who had been listening through all of this, also gave the boy a little pep talk about what is to be a good citizen and do the "right" thing.

So, in the end, I was an hour late for work, my son is bruised and sore and sent on his way back to school (much to his chagrin) and a great opportunity for a mini-values lesson in life was seized and utilized. Not a bad day at all.

Today's Plan: Continue to be vigilant for those little opportunities for big growth.

Monday, January 16, 2006

On the Road Again ...

Yes, that would be my Yibbyl.

He'll be out of town all week and back home sometime Friday evening.

I miss him already.

While he's gone I'll let y'all in on a little secret:

He's smart.
He's wonderful.
He's kind.
He's funny.
He's sexy.

He's loved.
By me.

Today's Plan: Tell him how much I love him when he calls me tonight.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Gluttony was King ...

King Crab, that is!

So we went out to dinner last night, just Yibbyl and I. Every now and then it is important to have some time just to ourselves and the Goobers understand that. Well, they actually like it especially when we let them have run of the computer while we are gone!

We had decided to go to Red Lobster 'cuz I was having a hankering for some decadently rich seafood. The menu was placed before us and it took us ages to decide what we were having. We wanted it all! We finally decided on an appetizer sampler of crab stuffed mushrooms, clam strips, and scallops wrapped in bacon and broiled. It was divine! Oh, and the cheesy garlic biscuits! Anyone who has ever been to the place knows that they are famous for the melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. We each ate two of those, too. Then our salads come. We're already starting to feel a little apprehensive about the sheer volume of food that we ordered but we dig in anyways, after all, vegetables are good for us!

Did I mention the drinks that we had? We each got a fruit smoothie. Mine was strawberry and his was orange (with a lovely hint of coconut in it) and OMG were they awesome. We forced ourselves to pace those drinks and make them last. And that was quite a challenge since we each kept sampling the other one's glass, too! I'll be looking for recipes for these in the very near future!

Meanwhile back to the food. We are kind of knowing that we are in big trouble and not going to be able to eat all of this food when I see the server coming with our tray and I whisper to Yibbyl, "You should see your plate." As soon as she gets to our table and he sees his he blurts out, "Good gawd!" It was a HUGE platter of crab alfredo. I mean really huge. It could have fed a small family. I had ordered a combination plate that included shrimp pasta and stuffed sole and we had added the other dish that he'd wanted (a mini-platter of scallops, schrimp, and crab covered in butter sauce and jack cheese) to my order. I slid that mini-platter off of my plate and over to him as his eyes were about ready to pop out!

Okay, we absolutely know at this point that there is NO way we're going to be able to eat all of this (though we did give it a heck of a good try!) so we pace ourselves and prioritize. I eat half of the sole and all of the stuffing. I also eat about a third of the pasta and pick the rest of the shrimp out then I'm done! Yibbyl eats maybe a tiny fraction of his platter of crab alfredo 'cuz we figure that it will keep better than the other stuff so he finishes off his scallops and shrimp and maybe a fourth of his smother crab stuffing then he's done. We get a box for the rest of his dinner.

We had planned on snagging a piece of key lime pie to bring home but that was completely out of the question by the time we were done. We wanted nothing more to do with anything food related no matter how good that it sounded. In fact, we had planned on going shopping after dinner but those plans were changed so that we could just come back home and peel our pants off!

Yes, we were gluttons but we were divinely sated ones when all was said and done.

Today's Plan: Eat light!

Friday, January 13, 2006

No Z's for me...

Yibbyl has been in Oregon since Wednesday.

I don't sleep well when he's not here.

And that is all I have to say about that.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One Hot Mama ...

Who turned up the thermostat...?!?!

I can go to bed bundled up in jammies 'cuz I'm freezing...
I'll wake up at 3am and be dripping with sweat...
The covers have to be pushed away ...
And jammies will be flung far...
I need COLD water...
...which turns out to be no problem since I have to get up and go anyways!

This is NOT okay!
I want my money back!
No Deposit, No Return?

I'm WAY too young for this! *sob*

Today's Plan: Sleep with the window open?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

BLOG - Project ...

My classroom now has an online project - a BLOG!

It's all about asking and answering questions that promote self-awareness and values clarification.

Anyone interested in it can visit (and participate!) here:

Question of the Day

I love ya's!


Monday, January 02, 2006

The (not so) Little Things ...

So I had to sit in a faculty meeting for 90 minutes this afternoon to brainstorm ways that our company could improve morale. The timing was rather interesting. I have felt that there are ideological differences that have moved the company and myself farther apart rather than closer together over the last few years. I have always loved what I do but the atmosphere and climate of our school has become strained.

You have to absolutely LOVE what you are doing (in this field) or you burnout like a supernova. We've lost some really good teachers and aides the last few years and we all feel fairly expendable. The pervasive feeling of being underappreciated and devalued makes an already tough job nearly impossible. Needless to say we came up with about 30 ideas that I thought were mostly pretty good.

One of the things that I suggested would raise morale was very small and simple: say "Thank you" more often. That shouldn't have to even be suggested but it is amazing how quickly people become numb to the niceties like good manners when they are overwhelmed, overworked, and unheard in their pleas for help. Such a little thing but I really do think that it could make a HUGE difference in making our staff feel better about the awesome work that they are doing each and every day.


If they really do start making changes and begin treating us like valued members who provide a vital service instead of mere cogs in a corporate wheel then I'd like to think that this will once again be a positive place. I need to work for a company that I believe in and I'd like for it to be this one. It really is the little stuff that often make the biggest difference.

Today's Plan: Say "Thank you" and make sure that I show others how much I value them.