Sunday, May 15, 2022
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Please forgive my lack of commenting on your blogs lately. For some reason when I try to leave a comment with my phone (which is how I do it about 75% of the time) suddenly I get a prompt that says "sign in with your Google account" but when I try to press the link to sign in, nothing happens. I can't figure out what's wrong. I've been so busy lately that it's hard to find time to sit down at my desktop computer so I end up reading on my phone when I get a few spare minutes. And then I can't comment on about half the blogs I read. The other half are just like normal. Why does Blogger have to keep being weird and changing and stuff? It's so annoying!
Work has been so busy and stressful. I've had even more tasks dropped in my lap, so to speak, and I just can't keep up with the workload. We have a temporary acting principal finishing out the school year, and I think I'm going to have a conversation with him soon. Even though he won't be our permanent principal, he works at the district office and he's a very good leader. Already we're wishing we could keep him permanently; he has an air of quiet authority and leadership that's making the school run so much smoother than it has in a long time. I feel sure if I go to him with my concerns, he'll do his best to intervene for me. What we really need is for a good new office assistant to be hired to help take over some of the tasks I simply don't have time for anymore. I'm doing the job of about 3 people at the moment and I need some relief.
But! School will be out in two and a half weeks! I don't recall ever being this anxious for a school year to end. Two months of gardening, spending time with the dogs and Marco, taking naps, and watching crap tv sound like heaven right now. I'm hoping for much better things next year.
Since I haven't shared one in awhile, here's a new picture of Marco. I took it on the back porch yesterday. Isn't he beautiful?
Saturday, May 7, 2022
I got a surprise call from my friend Marla's husband the other night. With Mother's Day coming up tomorrow, he had an idea for a gift for her and he wanted some input from me. He had the fantastic idea of paying for a girls' weekend away for her and two friends (me and Martina) anywhere within driving distance that we want to go. How awesome is that?!
He asked me to come up with some ideas that he can present to her tomorrow as her gift. We talked it over, and he said he's willing to pay for either a nice hotel or a bed and breakfast "as long as ya'll don't book the penthouse" ha! We'll each pay for our own food and entertainment. I've never had a getaway with girlfriends before and it sounds heavenly!
One of the better ideas I've had is to go to Raleigh, NC. There's currently an interactive Van Gogh "immersion experience" (click here) in town and it looks fabulous. Not only that, but I'm very familiar with Raleigh, since my in-laws live there, and there are tons of great things to do in addition to the Van Gogh exhibition.
If not Raleigh, we have plenty of other options within driving distance: Charleston or the beaches, Asheville, NC or any of the surrounding mountain areas, even Savannah. As soon as Toyo tells Marla about it we'll be able to get together and make plans. She's going to be thrilled! The trip will probably happen in late June or early July, so we have plenty of time to talk it over and decide.
I'm very, very excited!
Thursday, May 5, 2022
She always runs out to the fence to greet me when I get home from work, even if it's raining, like it was in this picture.
Here's a photo of her with all the sticks and pinecones and half-chewed up toys she assembled on the porch rug. Running in and out of the dog flap into the backyard and gathering stuff to drag back inside is one of her favorite things! See how long and lanky she's starting to look?
Last, I forced her to take some selfies with me this afternoon. She wasn't especially interested, but was a good sport about it.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
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.
Thursday, April 28, 2022
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!
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
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.
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.
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Sunday, April 10, 2022
Thursday, April 7, 2022
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!
Saturday, April 2, 2022
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 honestly.....it 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!
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.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Can you spot the baby rabbit? We apparently have a nest in our back yard. This one let me get very close and take a picture, but even from a couple of feet away he was well disguised.
I repotted most of my house plants on Sunday.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Little P. and I have a birthday coming up next week! He's going to be nine years old. I adore that boy, and it's fun that we share a birthday. This year I have no idea what to buy him for a gift, though. A couple of weeks ago I asked him what he wanted, and you know what he said? "I don't know, I really already have everything I want." I thought that was rather mature, given how he usually has a big list of expensive items in mind when holidays and birthdays roll around!
I pressed the issue a bit the next day, since I'm going to get him something and need ideas. After giving it some thought he mentioned that he went to a birthday party at a skating rink a while ago and didn't have his own pair of skates. Since I know nothing about kids' sizing, or how fast his feet grow, I didn't feel comfortable with that suggestion. It's a specific enough request that it's likely someone in his family has already bought the skates, anyway. When I asked him what else he might like instead, he just shrugged.
So, dear blogger friends, what would you buy for a nine year old as a birthday gift? I love to buy books for kids, but only if they like to read and will appreciate them. I'm sorry to say that even though P. reads really well (and well above his grade level), he's not turning out to be a real reader. What he does like is building things with Legos, and projects that involve electronics and robotics and even math. He recently qualified to begin the advanced/gifted academic track in school, so he's a really smart kid. And he likes active outdoor play and sports, typical boy stuff. Any suggestions will be welcome (not too expensive, though).
I have two more Little P. updates for his fans. Remember I told you he had a crush on a little girl in his class? Everything was going well until the day the teacher asked the class who had been whispering when her back was turned and the girl ratted P. out. He showed up at my desk that afternoon in a state of high dudgeon, a betrayed young man! From that day on, Love was Dead.
At the end of January Little P. had his "Vocal Star" audition. He had picked I'm Still Standing by Elton John to sing. His mom said that when he first got up on the stage and saw the people looking at him, he froze, and then his bottom lip started to tremble. She thought, "Oh, no...." but then he pulled himself together, managed to smile (although she knew he was on the verge of crying) and then sang his song all the way through. His voice shook but he finished it! She told him afterwards how proud she was of him, even if he didn't win. I was pretty proud of him, too. That took guts!
And look how handsome he looked in the new jacket she bought him for the audition:
(This picture makes him look so grown up for an eight year old! He doesn't really look quite this grown up in person).
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Here's how I prepared for last night's freeze:
This morning when we got up it was 23 degrees outside! I'm pleased to say that my plants were almost completely unscathed despite the bitter cold. The only loss was a few leaves on the fig tree (over where you can see a few leaves peeking out from the cardboard) but the majority of them were fine. The salad garden looked green and cheerful when I pulled back the tarp this morning, too. Tonight it's supposed to get just to freezing again, so I've covered everything back up now that the sun is going down.
One last thing....why, why, why must we continue to observe Daylight Savings Time?! I hate changing the time both times we do it in a year. I wish the powers that be would just pick one or the other and leave well enough alone!