Monday, September 28, 2009

...homecoming week

Just before my junior year of high school we moved from San Diego to my dad's hometown of Podunk, Oregon. I went from attending the largest high school in San Diego to a school of 80 students total. This was the school that my dad had attended, and his mom before him. Homecoming week was a tradition. I loved it. On wild west day when everyone else dressed up in their jeans and cowboy hats (gee, what a departure from everyday) I borrowed my aunt's prom dress from the 60s and went as a dance hall girl. And how many hours did I spent creating that outfit out of newspaper?? (I wish I had those old pictures scanned so I could post them.) Homecoming week was a blast.

But now...I'm sitting on the other side of the desk, and homecoming week is a pain in the you-know-what. The barely established routine is out the door, classes are shorter and the kids are wired. There's no sense in starting a serious project, so we're kind of in a holding pattern, waiting for the week to be over.

And while I loved dressing up as a a teacher it's just one more thing to think about before I go to bed. Today was duct tape/crazy day. Last night I spent way too much time trying to put together a mismatched outfit and only succeeded in looking like Grandma V with my florals and stripes. So, I fashioned jewelry out of duct tape instead. Stylin'!
Tomorrow is pajama/toga day....and since nothing I wear to bed is appropriate for school, I dug around in the linen closet and found an old white sheet. A friend even sent me a link that shows how to fold it.
I have to admit that I dread Wednesday--gender bender/super hero day--a day filled with boys dressed like girls. And for some reason when teenage boys dress like girls they act like...idiots.
Thursday is sports day, thankfully tame after Wednesday's theme, and Friday we get to wear good ol' orange and blue. (I think I'll pass on dressing up as a Viking.) There is value in tradition, and hopefully the kids will have good memories of this week. But I also wonder about doing things year after year because "that's what we do." Much of my time today was trying to explain to second language learners why we're doing the crazy things we do this week. And then there are the conversations with the soccer and volleyball players who resent homecoming week being all about football. Hmmmm...points to ponder another day...time for bed...zzz

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 blogging anniversary

September 20, 2008 is the date of my very first post on this blog. I had intended to write an anniversary post on that date this year, life is a little bit crazy right now. In the past year I've written random thoughts, dreams, goals and complaints, whined too much, celebrated good times, said goodbye to a loved one, shared lots and lots of pictures, talked about my love affair with a certain bicycle, and in the process connected with friends and family. (Well, some family--my mom never remembers that I have a blog!) A few of my readers post comments; most don't. I do get emails from a handful and am always glad they stopped by. And there are probably a few lurkers out there who might eventually speak up. If they don't--no worries. (I've been a lurker myself from time to time and either felt enough of a connection to leave a comment or stopped checking in. The day I recognized someone in the grocery store from her blog was a bit disconcerting! And was it my imagination, or did she have a moment of {Who is that?} as well?)

My very first post had a picture of Katie and me. So in celebration of the anniversary, here's the latest of the two of us,
taken this past weekend. Blogging has been great fun--I haven't written this much in many years. (I wonder if there is a way to save all my errant thoughts to a file?)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

...putting on our dancing shoes

Katie has been home for a few days--she surprised me by coming earlier than I expected. So good to have her here! (I put her to work in my classroom--what a HUGE help. She needs to come visit mid-week more often!) We've hung out together, made each other laugh, teased each other about the new men in our lives, and have gotten a good Katie/mom fix. But now it's the weekend, and we're getting ready to go our separate ways. Katie is going to a classmate's wedding, and I am driving across the mountain to boogie to a jazz band with John. Time to put on the dancing shoes!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

...things that make me smile (and one that makes me giggle!)

A few things that brought a smile to my face this weekend:

  • Working my butt off in my classroom yesterday so I was free to renew my spirit today.
  • An invitation to join my very good friend for some patio time. Even though I was knee-deep in work in my room and didn't want to stop, I appreciate the phone call.
  • Beautiful, gorgeous, perfect weather for riding this morning. My buddy Scott flaked out on me, and the only other people to show up were 2 of the fast guys. I told them not to worry about me--I didn't want to hold them back, and didn't want to work as hard as I'd need to to try to stay with them. So I rode by myself and thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Riding to the Potato Sheds and saying, "Good job, Sue!" just like the guys do when I finally reach the top.
  • Passing a corn field as it was being harvested. Ah, what a delightful smell! Ditto for the newly cut mint fields.

  • Finding a recently harvested red onion along the side of the road. It fit perfectly into my center back pocket! It almost looks obscene, doesn't it?? (There's the giggle.) I contemplated the watermelon field for a minute, but couldn't figure out where I could carry one. :-)

  • Some time on the bike was spent trying to recall my new students' names. A few are easy: Azucena. Beautiful. It just rolls off the tongue. And she prefers to be called Susie. Like I said, easy. But the boys...oh, the boys. They like to see if they can trick me, so I created a cheat sheet for myself. That works in the classroom, but I still don't have names and faces matched once they're not in front of me.

  • My parents having been doing their own dance steps together for 57 years today. :-)

  • An impromtu picnic and hike with John on top of the mountain that separates us. We each drove 45 minutes. The day was still beautiful, perfect for talking, hiking, and laughing. We had a hard time getting this picture because we couldn't quit being silly long enough. Good to see him in person again.

And some things that DIDN'T make me smile:

  • Almost getting hit by a vehicle not once, but twice on Friday afternoon. Yikes. They were in a rush to get past slow farm trucks.
  • The dog with the hungry look in his eye this morning who thought my leg looked like breakfast. I prevailed. Gave him the full-of-authority teacher voice, "NO!"

A busy weekend, but I'm ready (in more ways than one) for the week ahead. And that makes me smile.

Friday, September 11, 2009

...the first week of school

Whew! We made it! An exhausting non-stop week is behind us. Now to regroup, rest up, and be ready for Monday. Some highs and lows:

  • Fun, cute freshmen who haven't quite figured out their schedules, locker combinations or my sense of humor.
  • Someone I had as a freshman is back to get her diploma--after having 2 babies. So glad she's back in school!
  • All but one of my newcomers from last year are back again this year.
  • Four new newcomers with that "deer in the headlights" look . :-)


  • More work, less time to do it--thanks, budget cuts! (How NOT to live at school this year will be the challenge.)
  • Schedules that just don't work no matter how hard you try.
  • Bells weren't working ...but neither was the maybe that should be a "high?" hmmm...
  • Too many boys sporting red shirts in the halls today...hmmm again.

And now...I'm headed out to blow off some steam...a beautiful afternoon for a ride.

Monday, September 7, 2009


The 13th annual Tumbleweed Folk Music Festival has come and gone once again. My sister Arlene and I have not missed a year yet. How much of the festival we've seen has changed from year to year--when we moved Katie to college we only made it back in time for the evening concert. Other years we have gotten a motel room and were there for both days from beginning to end. This year we spent all day Saturday and part of Sunday, and thanks to a helpful neighbor didn't need to rush back to potty the ol' dog. (The Saturday night concert was rained out so we ended up going home early after all.)
Good music and dancing, yummy food from our favorite booths, sweet smelling soap from a couple of vendors, hanging out with my sister--another fun Labor Day weekend of being hippies in the park. :-) Summer is officially over...