Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roughing it--You might be a redneck if...

Your toilet is sitting on your front porch, instead of in the bathroom where it belongs...

Well, the big news in my life is that after more than a month I'm finally getting somewhere with my bathroom woes. Yesterday the landlord and his son came over, and ripped out the toilet---uugh! Gross water all over. Then they ripped out the disgusting carpet and dragged it through my house---yuck! :( I'll be deepcleaning the carpet as soon as this is all over with! They pounded on the floor for quite awhile to decide whether they needed to rip that up as well, but decided against it and are hoping it will all dry out before the guy who wants to put in the flooring comes this morning. While they were there they also removed the old medicine cabinet I had (which has been broken for at least 2 years, without mirror) and put up a new one. Of course they made quite the mess, and didn't bother to clean up any of it. So I had to. All the carpet remnants, and bits of wood smell something terrible, and made me want to puke. At least something is getting done though.

This morning I'm teaching summer school, and hopefully while I'm gone the guy will come and lay down the linoleum. I'm hoping that if he gets that done, the other guy will come and set the toilet this afternoon. Maybe I'll have a functioning bathroom by this evening? Dare I dream? Last night I had to make sure I used the facilities at the pool before going home, and being without all night. This morning I got up extra early and went to Kym and Troy's so that I could have a shower. By the time I got there I was ready to run into the bathroom, but I tried to show I was in control! :)

I've been going each evening for water aerobic classes at the new pool. I'm really enjoying being back in the water again, and I'm looking forward to being able to swim year round. I'm trying to spend 20-30 minutes swimming laps before class, then the water aerobics class is 50 minutes, and then the last 10 minutes before closing I go down the water slide, dive off the board, or swim more laps. I'm looking forward to taking all of you with me when you come visit, so make sure you bring your suits!

The garden is finally producing a bit. It's overgrown with weeds though, and it's at the point where pulling them is impossible. Quinn went in the other night with the weed wacker, but he only got part of the garden done. I went out on Monday night and looked for tomatoes. I got a few, but most are still marred with hail patches. I did get some zucchini, but they were giant, and probably won't be any good. We need to dig up the potatoes and onions, but who knows when that will happen! The last two days have been rainy--remnants of Hurricane Dolly coming through. I'm happy for the cooler weather, but that will come to an end this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and then we'll be back up to the 100+ weather. The humidity will be even worse now, with the extra rain we've gotten.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My life is boring

As I've said before, my life isn't very interesting. I've been trying to figure out what to write about, but I haven't come up with much. I know my sister likes regular postings, but.... I entitled this "My Life is Boring"--which is a bit of a misnomer--I never get bored myself, there is always something going on, something I'm doing, etc... But I realize that the things that keep me busy are not always things that are interesting to read about, and in turn are most likely boring for you!

For the past week and 1/2 I've been teaching summer school. Summer school continues for another week and 1/2. I've got a mix of 4th graders through high school aged kids...some have had me for a teacher before, and for some this is a new experience. I've got a few that I'm having a hard time with--I expect kids to work, and try to do things on their own...but for some of these kids it has been bred out of them! Instead of teaching them how to do things on their own, their teachers hand them the answers. This is much easier on the teacher--less time consuming,less work, etc...but does not help the child in the end. When the kid shows up in my classroom then for summer school, it is a rude awakening. After relying on an adult for so long, my classroom is a different experience. I've got one kid who came with work sent by the teacher (this child will be entering the 7th grade in a few weeks)...we were supposed to conquer division in 3 weeks--the kid can't even count by 2s. So, I finally told the kid that we wouldn't even bother with the division problems, that there were other things we need to concentrate on first. We've been working on counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and yesterday we worked on 3s. We're slowly making our way through the multiplication facts. I'm trying to make it as interesting as possible, showing him little tricks for memorization, listening to School House Rock (3 is the Magic Number), making things tactile... Some of them don't have tricks though, so he'll just have to memorize them. If you had a special way of learning your multiplication facts, please let me know. I'll certainly try to pass it along!

I spent the afternoon out with some of them has a huge pool at her house, so we spent the afternoon lounging around in the water and trying to avoid the splashes of her two young children. We had a good time--most of us are teaching summer school together--and there is always tons of good gossip! Most interesting is the fact that the local school district has finally settled their teacher negotiations. My salary is the average of all 5 districts in Marion county, so we've been waiting to see what we might get for an increase this year. Insurance policies are also changing, so we're all hopeful it will be beneficial and cover the increases in insurance premiums.

That's all for now... Hope you are all doing well!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bits and Pieces

There isn't much new around here. It feels as though summer is coming to a close though.

In the past week I've split my time between the massage clinic and home. Carolan took the week off, which means I had more clients. I'm always happy about that--more clients=more money to pay bills with! Of course the extra clients came just in time to pay for massage supplies I needed to order.

This week I've done some major cleaning (NOT my favorite job, but one that needs to be done, none the less); I've rearranged the furniture in my front room, as well as the dining room; made mozzarella cheese; and made use of the new clothesline mom and dad helped me put up. As much as I hated hanging clothes out when I was a kid, I'm really kindof enjoying my new clothesline. I don't know whether it is the idea of being out in the sun (something I don't do very often since I get hot so easily, not to mention the threat of skin cancer some day); the fact that I'm saving money with each load; or the idea of helping the earth...I really am having fun. Of course with all the sheets from the massage clinic, I'm sure this will get old fast, and it will no longer be fun. Friend Kym has been spending quite a bit of time with me this week, and she helped me rearrange the house. We've had a great time laughing and telling stories. I showed her how to make the mozzarella one morning, after she had made fun of me for being so bored I started making cheese. Of course, after tasting it, I think she changed her mind! :)

Just got back tonight from watching Journey to the Center of the Earth--great flick, and in 3D! I hadn't seen a 3D film since I was a small child, and I have to say this one was impressive! I'd even see it again! I remember that as a child I wasn't too impressed with the cardboard glasses with one side blue, and the other red...maybe I was just too young to really enjoy it. This time was better--and the special glasses were a step up from what I remember.

Monday brings the start of summer school, and what feels like the end of summer to me. At least it will only be mornings, but I'll still be doing massage in the afternoons. I'm sure the days will fill up and it will go by quickly. This summer sure has! I haven't gotten as much on my "to-do" list done as I would have liked, but I suppose everyone feels like that. My garden needs a good weeding, my yard needs to be mowed again, the back room still needs to be cleaned and organized...

We have started to get some produce from the garden. I'm glad, as we had a terrible hail storm several weeks ago, and I thought for sure everything was lost. So far we've gotten several zucchini, some green beans, and a few tomatoes. I'm hoping that the other plants will pull through, but I'm not sure they will. At least I've gotten to enjoy my favorite summer salad: fresh tomatoes, basil and real mozzarella cheese. I'm just hoping that I'll get to enjoy it a few more times!

Okay, it's time for me to head to bed. I suppose I'll head to church tomorrow, although last Sunday I nearly had to get up in the middle and walk out. The pastor was gone, and instead I got to hear a very patriotic July 4th sermon. Uuugh! If I had known which pastor was preaching, I would have just stayed in bed. I know, that isn't the right attitude to have--but, living where I do I'm a very small voice of dissent in regards to current politics. Sometimes I'd like to live in a place where more people share my views, instead of me constantly feeling like I'm swimming against the steam.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Dirty 3rd" in the "Dirty South"

Happy 4th of July, one and all! Hope you're having a safe and fun 4th.

A bigger holiday in my area of town is the "Dirty 3rd in the Dirty South". I live on the south side of Marion, and every July 3rd South Cedar (connects with the street I live on) is practically shut down for a city wide "block party". The street is overrun with people for bbq and huge fireworks once the sun goes down. It all started I think with a house on the corner that had 3 bachelor guys living in it, plus several houses in the area with bachelor guys. Now the bachelors have moved on and no one lives in the house, but the party continues. Since they have moved on, the party wasn't quite as big (read, it hasn't lasted for days on end as in the past, and I'm not having to pick up beer cans from my front lawn), but it was still a pretty good display of fireworks tonight.

So, for those of you who plan far in advance, get out your calendars. You are all invited to my house, next year. We'll have a party of our own, enjoy our own fireworks, good bbq, maybe some homemade icecream, and the extravagance of that other party! :)

Who: You
What: July 3rd/4th Celebration
When: "Dirty 3rd"--July 3, 2009 mid afternoon-evening
Where: My house in the "Dirty South"
Bring: To be determined...bring some fireworks for playing with, and I'm sure we'll have a BBQ of some sort... we can figure out who will be responsible for what at a later date. You will need lawnchairs, bugspray, beverages of choice, pot-luck dish to contribute... I'll let you know later what exactly you'll need.

The big fireworks show usually starts at 9:30 or so, and lasts until 10:15.

Firm RSVP not necessary now, but would be appreciated so that I can communicate further details to those who are interested.