Thursday, May 31, 2012

152/366 Exhausted trying to stay healthy

Early morning runs... late afternoon speed work sessions (in the rain)... chopping and cooking vegetables.

It sure would be easier to just eat Doritos for dinner.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

151/366 Wistfulness

The last box was packed;   the last lamp was moved; the keys were handed in.   All my work things are now packed along a wall -- a wall in the school where I will be working for the upcoming school year.  Next week, I hope to unpack those things and bring them back into order before I go home for the summer.

I thought my last day in my current school would be more emotional and it surprised me when it wasn't.  My secretary cried as she hugged me goodbye at the end of the day.  I'm going to miss her and her effervescent laugh that lifted my soul.

Over the last seven years, I learned a lot within those school walls and absorbed many memories and emotions.  I've dealt with the death of a child.  I've heard threats against my well being.  I've watched children play and laugh and learn.  I've been sued (that would be my one point of advice for new administrators - accept that at some point in your career, you will be sued).  I've been to court to fight for a student's well being.  I've reported suspected abuse to the authorities.  And I've learned that I am much happier working closer with the students (no offense to the adults).

I'm going to miss that red roofed school house.

Monday, May 28, 2012

149/366 It's a jungle out there

I'm enjoying this rainy Memorial Day in Georgia.  So far, I've spent the day cooking and reading and taking pictures in between the rain.  I think the folks are coming over later for some pizza (which I haven't cooked yet).

This was edited to look like a double exposure of the yard and the long leaves of the border grass.  I wish I knew more about how to use editing software.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

148/366 Waiting for the storm

We are under a tropical storm warning -- so Mili and I spent some time in the yard waiting for Beryl (the tropical storm).

I can't say that I've had a lot of energy today.  I can say that I've read a lot.  Time to read makes me happy.

147/366 The dance

Yesterday, I worked for my catering husband all afternoon and evening at the wedding of a daughter of a friend.  I met this girl when she was about 7 and it just doesn't seem possible that she is now married.

Because I was working, I only had time to take a few snaps in between pouring drinks at my corner of the bar.  I love all the orange in the room (orange is the best color in the world, after all) and I love that I got the father of the bride looking wistfully at his little girl.

It was a beautiful wedding and a wonderful night.

Friday, May 25, 2012

146/366 Down by the creek

Less than a mile from my house is this little creek down by the park.  The mimosas and other trees line the banks and make it a really fabulous place to explore.

The weather was muggy and hot and the sun was just beginning to set.  I scared a snake away (I don't know what kind but there may have been a moment when someone did a little screaming like a girl -- and I like snakes).  I got stung by a wasp on my back.  Some fire ants bit my hands.  I fell down twice on the embankment (it is mossy and slippery) and a branch scratched my arm.  And did I say it was muggy and hot?  Oh, and there was a mockingbird that was swooping at my head for a brief period.

All in all, it was absolutely AWESOME!   I totally need to pay more attention to the things that are right in my neighborhood.

You can still see the road/bridge through the mimosa leaves. I know mimosas are considered to be nuisance trees but they are just awesome along the creek.

Waders on and on the creek's edge. 

The mossy edge that caused me to slip and slide a bit. Seriously, I think my butt is going to be bruised. :) BUT I'm very happy I didn't fall into the water.

Cheesy and sweaty picture of me down in the bottoms. I couldn't find a dry place to set up the camera to use the timer thus I had to settle for the classic MySpace pose.

The woods get thick and cut out most of the light at the bottom of the creek.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

145/366 Waging a war against the weeds

Today, I decided to try and tackle the weed population that is threatening to take over the backyard.  I yanked out unwanted plants for almost 3 hours -- and now there is a bit of satisfaction in the pile of refuse by the road.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

144/366 "In cooking, you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

My youngest son was away on his birthday so we are all celebrating tonight.  I spent almost the entire day cooking -- and I started with dessert first!

My priorities are completely in order.

By the way, the boy turned 20.  According to him, it is a birthday that just makes you sound older but isn't actually good for anything.  I wonder what he could be referring to?  :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

143/366 "Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person." ~ Anne Tyler

Today was the last day of school with the teachers.  I still have a few more weeks of work but since I won't be in my position next year, I worked hard to get my stuff packed so that the new principal can move into the office.

There were a few emotional moments but in the end there was an immense satisfaction in moving the packed boxes to my new school.

During my six years as the principal, I've learned a lot of things and I've taken a lot of advice.  Several years ago, my boss told me I needed to get thicker skin -- and I did.  While my skin was thickening, I learned I didn't like who I was becoming.

I am ready for this move back to the assistant principalship.  I am ready to get back to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

142/366 Gears

It was a jam packed weekend!  Late last night, my husband and I picked up my son for his brief stay at home before going back to college for summer session.  It was worth losing sleep to have the boy home.

The gear is from my husband's erector set from his childhood.  I wish I could use a few of those gears in my brain right now.

141/366 The great oaks of the south

The great oaks are such a big part of the landscape of Savannah.  While we have a few fantastic trees in my town, they just don't seem so grand and majestic as they do all along the streets and in the squares of Savannah.

Sunday was our last day in Savannah and the man and I walked around downtown for several hours.

140/366 Savannah time

For my husband's uncle's 75th birthday, we all met up in Savannah, Georgia to celebrate.  I just love the history in the buildings, the cemeteries, the people, and the trees.

Friday, May 18, 2012

139/366 Last Day of School

It was the last day of school for the students -- as well as early dismissal.  Win-win!

Several students brought little gifts and I love them all.  My very favorite gift was from the little boy who gave me a tattoo and a sticker in a ring box.


Now I'm home, packed and heading out the door for a big weekend in Savannah with my husband.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

138/366 "I think that I'm just a normal girl, you know." ~ Donna Summer

Back when I was a kid... before my father became so sick, there was a time when he taught my sister and I how to disco.  We even had cut-out paper footsteps carefully placed on the floor in an attempt to teach us the dance steps. One of the albums we boogied to was Donna Summer's Bad Girls album.

When I hear her music, I am instantly transported to a time when life seemed so carefree.

I can still feel the shag carpet beneath my feet...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

137/366 A random Wednesday evening

After work on Wednesdays, I meet a friend at the track for speed work.  Today we got to run in the rain -- and it was awesome!  I'm not sure if I'm getting any faster but I just love thinking that I am working on it.

Afterwards, I took the world's fastest shower and got dressed to go eat Indian food with some friends.  It is my favorite restaurant and I love that they treat us like family when we arrive.  It is the only place where I get hugs when I arrive and again when I leave.

Wednesday evenings are the best!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

136/366 You know what?

I got to take the top readers from each grade level to lunch today and it was awesome!  The Kindergartener sitting next to me said, "You know what?" about 3,247 times.  She talked so much that I had to get her lunch to go -- but she knew a lot of things (especially about Junie B. Jones).  According to her, reading can do that for you.

While we were at the restaurant, I ran into the mother of a student I taught.  He is the father of a little girl who is going into Kindergarten this coming up year.  That kid was a real challenge -- and fortunately for him, I liked challenges.  I remember that he liked to share a lot of things in that same "You know what?" manner as the Kindergartener sitting next to me.  

I'll bet his daughter says, "You know what?" all day long.

Working with kids is the best job in the world!

Monday, May 14, 2012

135/366 Things that go bump in the night

Things always seem creepier (and a little larger than life) when a long shadow is involved.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

134/366 Hiding out

Found this little lizard (anole) hiding out in a light fixture this morning.  He blended in so very well!

Today was Mother's Day and it was a fantastic day.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

133/366 Moving day

It was full of emotions for the girl.  Best line of the day: "Life is just all downhill from here."

I couldn't help but laugh.

132/366 Another graduate

My oldest step-daughter graduated from college on Friday night.  She was one of about FIVE THOUSAND graduates that evening.

This picture was taken around 10 p.m. after we'd already had about a 15 hour adventure to get us to this point -- and no supper.  It could have been me, but the pizza we ended up getting was the best pizza ever.

No more graduations until next year!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

131/366 "Sometimes you have to lie. But to yourself you must always tell the truth." ~ Harriet the Spy

In an effort to remember my inner kid, I am rereading a few of my favorite books from my childhood.  Currently I am reading Harriet the Spy.

When I was in 9 years old, I read that book three times.  I even persuaded my mother to buy me a journal so that I could snoop around and write down my observations.

It turns out that hearing impaired kids don't make good spies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

130/366 Happy 22nd

My oldest son turned 22 years old today.  For some reason, it has struck an emotional chord for me.  He just graduated from college this past weekend and is now trying to sort out what he wants to do.

I gave him a funny card and then ruined it by writing from the heart to him.  Emotional ramblings rather ruin a funny card.

"I can't believe you are 22 -- the same age I was when I had you.  I've truly enjoyed watching you grow up and being a part of your life.  You are such an incredible person and I've been so lucky to have been your mom.  I can't imagine my life without you -- the son who just seems to understand me.  And I understand this about you.

You are your own worst enemy.

You are on the cusp of so much in your life.  No one gives a shit where you went to college or if you've ever drank too much.  What people will care about is how you treat others.  And that, Drew, is your gift.  You have always had a heart for people and a way of understanding that far exceeds your years.

Don't hold back.  I see the greatness in you and I hope one day that you see it, too."

We are topping all this emotional birthday wordage off with a family gathering for some pizza.  Nothing like a little bit of doughy crust to make everything better.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

129/366 Getting jiggy

That super moon might have made some of the kids have some super crazy ideas.  At least that is what I am blaming for the mass pantsing debacle on the playground.

Don't know what pantsing is?  Just do a little Google search....

Monday, May 7, 2012

128/366 Water drops and sunshine

The sun came out after the rain today.

It was such a long day.  14 and a half hours.  The words are muddled in my brain right now.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

127/366 Bird by bird

Several months ago, I read a book about writing called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  When she was a child, her brother had a huge project about birds due the next day that he'd neglected to do when it was initially assigned months earlier.  His dad sat him down and told him to just start working bird by bird.

I'm using that same advice in trying to accomplish all that has to be done as the school year winds down.  Bird by bird.

And I'm remember to savor some of the sweet moments life has to offer -- such as sitting in the yard with the husband after a long run with friends.  I haven't put my husband on my "to do" list but I probably should.

Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

126/366 And a new chapter begins

Today, my oldest son graduated from college.  I'm not sure that I'm old enough to be the parent of a COLLEGE GRADUATE!  But still, I'm pretty excited for him.

I'm so lucky to be his mom!  He has always been such a cool kid (and adult).

Friday, May 4, 2012

125/366 There should have been some background music

Some friends came over this evening and we whiled away the time talking and laughing!  It is what weekends are for.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

124/366 "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~ Maya Angelou

Actually, today was a great day!  In a perfect world, I'd tell you all to pull up a chair so that I could share all the stories I know from today.

Alas, confidentiality is there to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

I can leave you with one humorous story about the little boy who got in trouble for bringing his dad's girly magazine on the bus.  It gave him a "funny feeling."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

123/366 Happy to see you

My husband made a statue in my likeness.  Sweet little Ray came by to visit and said that I was "nekkid" and then laughed hysterically.

Then he went on to tell me about his "secret spy hideout" and he told me that it wouldn't have a roof.  He says he "doesn't do roofs."


Today, I sat in meetings about all the changes coming from the state department about how they are planning to hold schools accountable and how they are measuring student achievement.  One of the presenters from the state department said they "didn't want to be like Tennessee where no three teachers could explain in the same way how they were held accountable."

I was so confused throughout their entire explanation.  From the questions asked and the looks on the faces of the other 112 participants, we were all confused.

So, if they asked all of us in the meeting today to explain how we were going to be assessed this year, we would all have the same answer -- "I don't know."

Well played, Georgia.  Well played.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

122/366 Don't Trim

After dinner, I took a walk around the neighborhood.  Found this sign and it made me smile.  I guess this guy really means business about his bushes.