Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday morning harvest

I have a lot of lettuce at the moment that needs to be picked and either eaten or given away. It's getting to be too hot for lettuce, plus I need the space.

I pulled a few carrots to do a size check, and they're still way too small to harvest. These tiny ones will be a sweet, tender addition to a salad, though.



Thursday, May 12, 2022

Just saying hi

 Hi friends!

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

Girls' trip

 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

Gardens and puppies

What a busy week it's been. Work has been okay. Although we're still in limbo as far as who our next principal will be or what's going to happen, everything has been surprisingly quiet. Very few students or parents have even asked about what's going on. I'm very grateful for that. 

I got most of my garden planted last Sunday! The only things left are some peppers and cucumbers that are still too small to go out. I ended up with a dozen tomato plants, two each of the following varieties: Aunt Ruby's German Green, Brandywine, Classic Beefsteak, German Pink, Gold Medal, and Bonnie's Best. I put in four sugar snap pea plants, basil (between the tomatoes), and a row of green onions. Once the sweet banana, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers and the cucumbers are planted in a week or so, I'll be done. The carrots are almost ready, and I'm still getting lots of lettuce. I pulled up the last of the radishes on Sunday to make room for the snow peas.



Now for a Poppy update! (That's what you're all waiting on, isn't it?)

We're so pleased with her. Having such a young pup has been a new experience for us. She's so smart! And spunky. She annoys George half to death, though. He's fine with her until she jumps on him and nips at his ears and face with her puppy teeth, and then he snarls and runs away. We're doing our best to teach her to act a little calmer around him, but she's got that crazy puppy energy that she's just going to have to grow out of. We don't interfere when he corrects her, just like we didn't get involved when Ginger had to put him in his place back when he was the crazy new puppy in the house. In this case, payback is literally a bitch. :)

Today Princess Poppyseed lost her last baby tooth! Gregg saw it fall out and he picked it up and texted me a picture of it. (Maybe the tooth fairy will have to come see her tonight). She's growing really fast. On Saturday she goes back to the vet for a booster shot, and it will have been three weeks since we first took her. She weighed 24 pounds then; we're certain she's pushing 30 pounds by now. Everyone seems to think she'll be between 40-50 pounds when she's done growing. 

Her little canine teeth were the last to go. 


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

Upheaval

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

Poppy

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


Thanks for all the name suggestions and good wishes!