Saturday, April 30, 2022


Thank you all for all the kind, helpful, and encouraging comments on my last post. Physically I feel much better today. I have no shortness of breath, no allergy symptoms, and the general feeling of malaise has lifted. Whew. 

I went back to work yesterday, apprehensive about what the day might bring in terms of the two women I'd had the problems with. Well, I could have saved myself that worry. One of them wasn't there at all, and the other left early. I never even saw her. The rest of the staff were so kind, stopping by my desk to ask if I was feeling better and telling me I'd been missed while I was out. A few students even came to me and said they had missed me and was glad to see me! Then I cried a little when the lead teacher of the Special Ed department presented me with a lovely card from the SPED teachers for Administrative Professionals week. They wrote such nice things to me in it. Knowing I'm appreciated by most of my coworkers is a real comfort when dealing with the few bad apples. Then at lunchtime, a mother showed up and presented me with these

also as a token of appreciation for Administrative Professionals week. How wonderful is that? I was sincerely touched. So everything was going just peachy for awhle.

 Around lunchtime it became apparent that something big was brewing behind the scenes at the school. People were creeping around and acting weird, like they were waiting for something to blow up. And that's exactly what happened.

The principal pretty much got fired and yesterday was his last day. I say he "pretty much" got fired because they offered him a demotion to a classroom teacher at another school, effective immediately, if he wanted to remain employed by the district. He wasn't given a choice. It was a move designed to humiliate him, and of course he turned it down. They refused to even let him finish this year out, and we only have four weeks of school left! Just booted him right out the door! When he called a staff meeting to announce what had happened, the room went silent with shock. Then there were tears and anger and disbelief. For all his faults as a principal, he's a decent and kind man, and we can't imagine why they feel it's necessary to get rid of him in such an ugly fashion.

One of the last things he did before leaving yesterday was send a letter of grievance to  the school board about the situation. He's alleging a hostile work environment, harassment, and civil rights violations from the higher ups. We know all the details of this letter, because the last thing he did yesterday afternoon before they shut down his email account was send it out to the whole staff! The whole situation is just bonkers.

So that's how our Friday afternoon ended. We have no idea who's going to be at the school on Monday morning running it, or if the assistant principals will have to run things for a while, or what's going to happen, or even what to say to the students and parents when they ask about it! 

These next four weeks are going to be interesting. At best. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Catching up

 I'm home sick today. After almost two weeks of dealing with shortness of breath, a dry cough, chills, and a general feeling of being unwell, I called the doctor Tuesday afternoon and made an appointment for yesterday. 

I was pretty sure I didn't have Covid, because I'd taken two at-home tests that were negative. The doctor confirmed that it wasn't that (thank goodness) but just as I expected it was an exacerbation of seasonal allergies that led to an exacerbation of asthma. He also thought I might have the beginning of a bacterial infection in my lungs. I came home with prescriptions for prednisone, antibiotics, a new inhaler, a nasal spray, and a note excusing me from work for the rest of yesterday afternoon and today. 

One thing the doctor noticed worries me a little. My blood pressure was very high, particularly the bottom number. This was very unusual. He didn't seem too worried about it, given that I'd been feeling so bad and struggling to get good deep breaths, but it bears watching. One thing I didn't tell the doctor is that when I left work the hour before, I was very angry and upset. The office women were being horribly rude to me (they were mad they'd have to cover my desk and the front door while I was gone). Normally I can shrug off their toxic behavior, but when I'm not feeling well physically that becomes harder to do. On Tuesday when I first made the appointment and let everyone know I'd have to leave for a couple of hours, the principal overheard one of them going off on me about it and he was pissed. He called me at home that night and told me he intended to address their nasty attitudes. He said, "You work way too hard to be treated that way." Apparently he hadn't had time yet (yesterday morning) to talk to them, and when it was time for me to leave for the appointment they were incredibly rude about it. I was in tears when I left, and plenty mad, too. I'm so glad the doctor told me not to go back to work afterwards and to take today off too! Let them suffer for treating me like dirt! Hopefully by the time I go back on Friday the principal will have addressed the problem with them. In any case, I wonder if getting so emotionally upset had anything to do with my crazy high blood pressure reading? Gregg thinks it's definitely possible. When I'm not feeling so physically poor I should be able to ignore them and let it go, like usual. I don't expect things to change much, but I've gotten very good (most of the time) at shrugging it off.

I made a mistake in taking the first dose of prednisone with dinner last night. I probably didn't get over 3 or 4 hours of (broken) sleep. I'll be taking today's dose as soon as I eat breakfast! I already feel a good bit better despite the lack of sleep--prednisone is like a miracle drug for me. My eczema clears up, my allergies dry up, and I feel much better, fast, whenever I take it. I've decided to get a referral to an allergist and to talk to them about getting a full range of allergy testing and starting allergy shots. We'll see how that works out.

I meant to post last week as my spring break was winding down. They had the plant and flower festival at the farmer's market, and I went out and bought three blueberry shrubs to plant over by my raised garden bed. I got two of the variety "Premier" and one of "Pink Lemonade". The Pink Lemonade is supposed to get pink berries instead of blue, and they're supposed to be twice as sweet as the blues. We shall see! My little quarter-acre "homestead" (Haha) is coming along nicely. Even the crabapple tree I planted in front is finally, finally getting some tiny new leaves. It was a bare stick for so long I was beginning to despair that it was really alive and not merely dormant! The fig tree I planted is growing nicely. I expect by next year I should get a few figs from it. In summer garden news, I've been getting loads of lettuce and radishes, the carrots are almost ready to harvest, my tomato and pepper seedlings are ready to be planted out, the potato vines are sprawling all over the place, and my cucumbers and snow peas are finally sprouting. My gardening brings me a lot of joy.

One last thing of note from last week. On Saturday Marla and Martina came over for a couple of hours. I almost canceled because I wasn't feeling too hot, but I really wanted to see them. Marla brought little Carsen with her, too! That child is growing up fast! She'll be four next month and she's got that crazy little kid energy. Between her and the puppy chasing each other through the house, George trying to stay out of the way, and Marco getting excited and wanting to be in the middle of everything, it was like a circus over here for a little while!

She's loved the big aquarium since she was a baby. Gregg keeps telling Marla she needs a tank of her own. To which Marla responds, "And is Uncle Gregg coming to take care of it for us?" :)

This next picture was typical of the visit!

I don't know about Carsen, but Poppy was worn out when they left.

Marco loved every minute of the chaos.

George was a very good boy, as usual. He's been so patient with Poppy, and he's always glad to see Martina and Marla and even little Carsen. Here he is saying goodbye to Carsen when her daddy came to pick her up. After she left, we all had wine and adult conversation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Spring Break

It's been an eventful week.  We brought Poppy home last Wednesday night, just as my spring break was starting, and that proved to be good planning. I can't imagine dealing with the first few days of a new puppy in the house while going to work! I still have the rest of this week off, and things are already settling down a little bit. 

Poppy is a real delight so far. She's super smart, sweet, and incredibly playful. Having never gotten a dog this young, this is all new to me. Also, I need to give my George a big shout-out. He's been incredibly patient with the puppy. She follows him around, dives on him, brings him toys to try to entice him to play, and he usually just lets out a heavy sigh and ignores her. Every now and then, when she jumps on him once too often and attempts to bite at his ears with her needle-sharp puppy teeth, he issues a quick but stern correction. Ginger used to do the same thing to him when he went too far! In fact, Ginger helped us raise him, and now it looks like George will do the same thing with Poppy. He already seems to accept the fact that she's going to be living with us now. What a good boy!

Puppies are tiresome.

We had a pretty good Easter. I cooked a ham, deviled eggs, rice served with glazed ham drippings, green beans, and fresh salad (lettuce and radishes) from my garden. I picked enough salad from the raised bed that I was able to share two big ziplock bags full with Ms. Luella next door. I can't wait to harvest some carrots--they're not quite ready yet.

Did I mention that I'm growing some potatoes in a large container as an experiment? It's the method of growing potatoes where you slowly add layers of soil around the plant as it  grows until you reach the top of the container. (You start off with a thin layer of soil in the bottom). Here's what my potato bush looks like as of this morning.

The only other thing of note going on this week is that my seasonal allergies have gotten so bad that my asthma has been kicking in. I had two or three nights of wheezing and getting short of breath despite using an inhaler, and I haven't been sleeping well. Yesterday I decided that if I had another restless night I'd call the doctor and go see her today. I feel a little better, though, and slept fairly well last night. I'm hoping a trip to see the doctor can still be avoided. 

All in all, it's been a wonderful spring break so far! A new puppy, a thriving garden, sunshine and nice weather--even the crabapple stick tree we planted in the front yard has put out its first tiny leaf buds! The chickadees nesting out back obviously have babies right now, given how often they're flying in and out of the nestbox. And on Easter Sunday I saw the first hummingbird of the year--about 15 minutes after I hung the feeder up for the first time!
It's a really nice time of the year to have a vacation. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022


The new puppy came home last night! We've decided to call her Poppy. 

Thanks for all the name suggestions and good wishes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Help us name this dog!

The puppy will officially come home tomorrow night! Since I'm on spring break after tomorrow that gives me almost two weeks to get her acclimated before I'll have to return to work.  She has a vet appointment Thursday morning to get her shots and anything else she may need.

Now we need a name for her.

We have such a hard time naming pets. It's a good thing we never had human children because I'm not sure 9 months would be enough to decide on something for a human child!

A few names for the puppy that we like:

* Charlie (it's kind of cute for a girl, plus our Ginger's first best friend was a boy dog named Charlie, so the name has ties back to her and warm connotations for us).
*Poppy (I like names from nature)
*Annie or Abbie
*Olive (I like this one more than Gregg; I think it's cute).
*Molly or Millie (they're so common, especially Molly, that we're not too excited about these, but we do like them).

So here's where you, my blog friends, come in! Please comment with a name (or names! as many as you have!) and give us some more suggestions. If we end up using a name that a blog reader suggests, I'll come up with a small prize to send that person as a thank you. 

Here's another picture of the little girl, walking with her new big brother.

And curled up asleep at my feet.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


 It looks like a puppy will be coming to live with us next week. ❤

I'll be asking for your help narrowing down the list of names in a few days! 

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Best yet!

The walk with George and the puppy went so well! They actually got close and George sniffed her all over, and then they walked nicely together for the rest of the way home! No barking, no growling, no raised hackles or pulling on the leash. I'm honestly amazed. 

We decided not to push our luck, and I wanted to end things on a positive note, so once we circled the block one time we headed home. George got lots of treats and praise once we were back safely inside. 

We seem to be on the right track. Things may work out after all!

Walking with friends

This week we've been working at acclimating George to walking with the puppy our neighbor is fostering. We've only been on three walks so far (it poured rain on Tuesday afternoon) and we haven't dared let George get too close to the pup. He gets overly excited and barks and lunges, trying to get over to her, and we're being very careful to make sure nothing bad happens. For the most part, George has done okay. I handle him while Gregg follows behind us with the little girl. As young as she is, she already walks nicely on a leash, and seems very curious about George. Our neighbor reports she gets along great with the other dogs at her house, and loves to play with bigger dogs and other puppies and everyone, really. She's going to be a great dog for somebody--whether or not that will be us is the question!

Today Gregg works late, so Martina is stopping by on her way home from work (at the vet's office) to help me take the dogs out. As long as George stays calm, I'm going to try to let the dogs get a little closer together this time. He's securely attached to his leash via a harness, so I have control of him in case he starts to act aggressively. I don't think he will; honestly, I think his barking and pulling when he sees the puppy is pure excitement. I can tell him calmly to hush and to sit, and he'll do it, so I'm pretty sure we can reduce the distance a bit more than Gregg is comfortable with. Also, Martina is experienced with handling big dogs, and George loves Martina, so I think having her helping out will be a good thing. I'll report back later, but I'll say this:

I think this puppy will be a good fit for our family if George will accept her. It's obvious she's smart, well socialized for her age, and most of all....spunky! She's sweet and playful and curious about everything. I can tell Gregg really likes her. He hasn't said much, but I keep seeing him stopping briefly to pet her and rub her soft ears. For the time being we're calling her "Laylay" but last night he said we'd have to pick a better name for her if we decide to keep her. Again, it's all up to George. Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Saturday odds and ends

Another long week at work finally came to an end. This has seemed like the longest school year ever. It's as though the two years of Covid have just bled into one another and combined to form one long, crappy year. 

Things are not going well at our school. There's a huge exodus happening in which more than a dozen teachers and other staff are either transferring to better schools in the district or else are fed up and retiring (those who have enough years in to retire). Little P.'s mom has been so mistreated and bullied by some of the same people that used to cause me problems that I'm afraid she's going to be the next to go. No one likes to work hard, try hard, and then be at the mercy of petty, backstabbing, lazy people with no scruples. I feel so bad for her. Then just a couple of days ago yet another of my favorite teachers told me she's leaving. She said the stress is starting to negatively impact her health and she's had enough. It's the best teachers and staff who are leaving, naturally.

It all makes me sad. Morale is so low that a feeling of gloom pervades the halls. We keep hearing that the principal will be leaving at the end of the year, either by quitting or else being sent somewhere else (I've even heard a rumor that a specific woman who's currently at another school will be replacing him) and would probably be for the best. I hate to say that. I like him a lot as a person but as a principal, well....the buck stops with him, so to speak. I'm just laying low, doing my job, and hoping for better things. What I want is to feel pride in my school again, not to mention a promotion to a better paying position. I'm finishing up my 5th year and I think I've earned it.

At home, though, things are really good. My garden is coming along nicely. Today I harvested the first radishes and soon there will be lettuce and carrots to go along with them. My tomato and pepper seedlings are ready to be potted up and by the end of the month I'll be planting them in the raised bed. The bluebird box we put up last month has a pair of Carolina chickadees nesting inside! They're such cute, sweet little birds that I'm not sorry to have them instead of bluebirds. 

Last night I went to a community theater play with Martina, her husband Will, and one of the veterinarians that she works for. We had so much fun! Gregg isn't a fan of community theater, nor musicals, which is what this was, so he didn't care to go. He was amused to find out that our family doctor was part of the ensemble cast, though, and I took a photo of her after the performance to show him. At one point she was tap-dancing in an egg costume, which made him laugh when I told him about it. He said he would have liked to have seen that!

Florence Little Theatre

This is no joke!!! It’s OPENING NIGHT of Something Rotten!! Join us for a night of laughter, big-hit musical numbers, and of course, those tap dancing eggs!!!

Tickets are still available for tonight’s performance and can be purchased at the door starting at 6:30pm!

Doctor Shelton after the show! The guy with dark curly hair behind her was another local physician who played William Shakespeare. It was lots of fun.

One other thing of note this weekend is that this morning I met a sweet little puppy that my neighbor (the dog rescue person) is fostering until a good home can be found for her. Gregg is going to meet her either tonight or tomorrow, and we might consider trying to introduce her to George. She's right next door so it should be easy to take her on a trial basis if we decide to. I put her on a leash this morning and walked her around our property (George was in the house). She acted right at home and didn't seem to want to go back to Heather's house. We're not going to rush into anything, though. And George may not allow it anyway. 

We'll see.