Thursday, June 30, 2022


 When I got to the school today for my meeting with the principal, I found out she had already filled the secretary position. Apparently she was just speaking casually when she asked me if I was interested in it and never intended to give me a shot at it. Our meeting today ended up being about my current job responsibilities, and she made some noises about maybe finding a new position for me to "utilize my talents" but I think that was mostly an effort to cover the embarrassment of having to tell me the job was taken already. 

Whatever. I'm very disappointed, mostly that my new boss let me waste time this week thinking I had a chance at a better job when I didn't. I didn't expect it to be handed to me, but I did want the chance to try for it. The new school year hasn't even started yet and I'm feeling insulted and overlooked...again. 

This really and truly might be my last year at this particular school. I'll continue looking elsewhere in the district for a better position. A little more respect and consideration would be nice, too. 

Thursday photos

I'm just popping in today to say hi and to share a few pictures. I have my meeting with the principal this afternoon at 2pm, so in the meantime I'm trying to relax and enjoy the morning and not stress out about it. 

Have a good day, everyone!

My first peppers and cucumbers, picked yesterday:

Poppy in the garden:

Zinnias are starting to bloom:

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

So excited!

There are some exciting developments happening at my job!

First of all, we have a new principal! The school board and a panel of parents, community members, and teachers interviewed a whole bunch of candidates at the end of May and narrowed the choice down to two individuals. Then the two final candidates gave presentations to our staff, and we got a chance to ask questions and give the district office some feedback on them. Well, the woman I would have chosen got the job! And just by chance, this past Monday I was at the school (with Gregg, because it was his day to service the aquariums and I go along to keep him company in the summer) and I was the first person to individually meet her when she showed up for her first day. No one knew until later that afternoon that she was the chosen candidate. Gregg and I both got to chat with her for a little while, and we agreed that she seems like a breath of fresh air for our school. I like her already and I'm actually looking forward to what I think is going to be a much, much better year. How nice is that?

But there's more! Remember the school secretary, one of the horrible women who made me so miserable last year? I got the news a couple of weeks ago that she accepted a new job elsewhere and is leaving at the end of this month. That's going to be a really, really good thing for our school, and for me personally, obviously. Well, today I went up to the school again to feed the fish and to add chemicals to the planted aquarium in the library. There's no one working through the summer that will do it for us, and I live just down the road so it isn't much trouble. I stopped in to say a quick hi to the new principal (she's hit the ground running and is working hard already to prepare for next year) and she asked me if I might be interested in the secretary's position! Am I?!!

 That position would mean a promotion for me, a private office, more responsibility, and of course a nice increase in salary. I would become a year round employee, so no more whole summers off, but I'd get two weeks of vacation time each year to use whenever I want along with all the regular time off for holidays that everyone gets. 

Of course I told her that yes, I'm definitely interested! She told me to reach out next week and we could set up a time to sit down and discuss it. Of course this is all preliminary and it may not work out, but I'm so excited about the possibility! The extra money would be very, very welcome and would help my family a lot. 

Please wish me luck! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Solstice garden update

 Happy Solstice, everyone! There's been a short spell of fabulous weather here, with lower temperatures and much lower humidity that has everyone saying, "If only it could be this way all summer!" Today is the last day before another run of record-breaking heat begins, so we'd best enjoy it while we can.

I'm feeling 100% better. I had a follow up with the doctor yesterday morning and my lungs were clear. I have a new medication I'm trying for allergies/asthma while I wait for a call from the allergist to set up a consultation. Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes and kindness! Here's hoping I'm done with being sick for a good long time.

My garden is looking great! I've been out there working on it as much as possible. There's always something to do, and I've found that the key to success (besides the stuff that's just dumb luck, like weather conditions) is spending some time every single day seeing to it. Timely watering, pruning for air flow, tying up drooping vines, looking for the first signs of pests or disease to address any problems early--this kind of careful attention pays dividends. Of course, I still have a lot to learn about gardening, but that's one of the joys of it all. Being out there working in the dirt and sunshine is like meditation for me!

As you can see, we really need to weed around the raised bed and cut the grass. Look how tall the banana plants (on the left) are, though!

The cucumber plants are looking good so far.

We'll have peppers very soon.

Now if the tomatoes would just start to ripen!

Just before I snapped this last picture, I watched the dragonfly devour a tiny white moth-looking insect. Dragonflies are friendly little garden buddies--to humans, anyway.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Worse than I thought

It's the middle of another sleepless night. I almost went to the emergency room last night, I was struggling so to breathe. I managed to hold out until my doctor's appointment yesterday, and it turns out I'm sicker than I thought. My oxygen levels were low, not dangerously so, but low enough to cause serious discomfort. The doctor was slightly appalled at how long I had waited to get help. She gave me a breathing treatment right away, and although it made me feel a little better, it didn't improve my oxygen level much at all. The wheezing and congestion in my lungs was terrible. 

I have a chest x-ray scheduled later this morning to check for pneumonia. In the meantime, she sent me home with 5 different prescriptions to begin taking. If I have pneumonia I may end up being admitted to the hospital. I certainly hope that won't happen. I feel awful, though, and I'll do whatever I need to do to get better. 

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and kind words. It means a lot to me. I'll try to update again later today. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


 It's ridiculously hot here today. Dangerously hot, as a matter of fact, especially if you add in the high humidity. Walking outside is like putting a steaming hot wet towel over your face and trying to breathe through it. All of the weather sites are putting out excessive heat warnings, as the heat index (which combines the actual temperature with the humidity to get a "real feel") will go as high as 108F today and for the rest of the week. A couple of days next week the actual temperature is supposed to reach 107F so who knows how high that heat index will be! It's unbearable. We're dealing with it by keeping the blinds drawn and the a/c set around 78F during the day, which feels super cool and comfortable considering how hot it is outside. When the temperature goes up past 100F we plan to move the thermostat up to 80F or even 82F. Although our unit is less than 3 years old, it's working hard on days like this and we're trying to lessen the strain on it. And let's not forget next month's power bill! It's going to be a scorcher just like temperatures.

I'm worried about my garden. I can water frequently, but I can't imagine my tomatoes setting much fruit with temperatures this high. It's frustrating to do so much work in a garden, only to be at the mercy of whatever Mother Nature decides to send. I looked into buying some shade cloth to drape over the trellis of the raised bed, but honestly, I've been feeling too bad to go out and shop for it--and I'm not sure how much good it would do anyway. 

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, not a minute too soon. I'm still struggling with a cough and shortness of breath and just generally feeling bad. I did have one good day when I felt normal again--this past Sunday, which happened to be our 16th wedding anniversary! I'm grateful that, for whatever reason, I felt good all day. Good enough to work outside for several hours, cook a nice meal, and drink a bottle of champagne after supper. We had fun. But I paid for it yesterday, when I woke up feeling worse than ever. I wonder if being outside for a long time (and possibly inhaling allergens) made things worse? If so, there's no danger of me repeating that mistake anytime soon. Not with temperatures this high!

 Thank goodness for my appointment tomorrow. I'm tired of feeling bad. It's not been a great start to summer vacation, and I need this break to relax from the work stress of last year before the new year begins. I also have a trip to look forward to with my girlfriends in early July, and if I'm this asthmatic I won't be able to enjoy myself. If the trip were today I wouldn't even feel like going at all. So I hope the doctor can help me.

How is the weather where you live? I saw on Cro's blog that the temperatures in France at the moment are just as bad as here, and I know that the Midwest states are experiencing a terrible heat wave, too. Every summer I find myself daydreaming about moving well north of here.

         Poppy has discovered the joy of draping herself over one of the a/c vents.

Thursday, June 9, 2022


 Something is wrong with me. I'm beginning to wonder if I've had Covid in the recent past and just didn't know it. I did a couple of at-home tests, both of which were negative, but I still wonder. Since April, off and on, I've been having a lot of trouble with asthma flares. Lately it's been mostly "on". 

I've been short of breath and wheezing almost continuously for about two weeks now, despite (over) using the inhaler the doctor prescribed. I have a dry cough that's keeping me up at night and making my days slightly miserable. Walking the dogs in the heat and humidity has been nearly impossible. I wheeze deep in my chest every time I exhale, and the urge to cough is always there. It's driving me crazy. 

I have a doctor's appointment next Wednesday and I'm trying to hold out until then, but if I have another bad night like I had last night, I'll be going to Urgent Care. I honestly think my oxygen levels are fine, but the wheezing and coughing are keeping me awake most of the night and I can't really enjoy anything when I feel like this. I haven't felt totally normal in a couple of months now.

Could this be the result of an undiagnosed Covid infection? What do you think? I haven't had this kind of trouble with asthma in years and years.