Saturday, October 31, 2009

is time really relative?

so today . . . is the day we change our clocks to go back to standard time from daylight savings time. usually it means an extra hour of sleep for me. it is my favorite day of the year--except maybe for christmas . . .

i love to sleep, but i don't get to sleep as much as i would like to.

this is partly due to the fact that i have a real job where i have to get up every morning and punch a time clock--which precludes sleeping until i feel rested! i'm not sure how long i would have to sleep to feel rested, but i know it is later than 7:15. or 7:20. or 7:25, which is when i actually get up and race around trying not to be late . . . today i slept until 10:00 and still felt tired (but i blame the nyquil for my grogginess.)

it may be due to the fact that i rarely go to sleep before midnight anymore. i try. i start to bed earlier. but even when i make it to bed at a reasonable time, there are the dueling dogs to deal with. it is a nearly endless battle over who gets to lay RIGHT NEXT to mommy's left side. and then when i look at the clock, i see that it is almost tomorrow before i am unconscious.

but today we set our clocks back one hour. you would think this would result in an extra hour of sleep for me. but it doesn't. and it is all rollie's fault . . .

we have a lot of clocks in our house, largely because of all our electronics. and so, it takes a while to change them all. rollie is the one who is responsible for this task--because you know if it was me, the clocks would probably not all have the correct time for a week! usually he does this right before he goes to bed, but today he did it at 5:00--there was a big game on that he didn't want to miss (although as it turns out, he should have just watched old episodes of wipeout!) this was somewhat disorienting for me. in fact when he said, "what do you want to do about dinner tonight?" i looked at the clock and said, "well, i'm not hungry yet. it is only 4:15 and we didn't eat lunch until 1:00!"

"actually," he said, "it is 5:15. i already changed the clocks."

ok then. i tried to adjust. every time i looked at a clock, i had to remind myself that the clock said it was actually an hour earlier than it was.

this should have been easy for me, as i have sort of been doing this with one of my watches since we turned the clocks ahead last spring. i have two watches that i wear most of the time, but one of them is a little hard to change. and so, last spring i just left standard time on it. but then every time i looked at the watch, i had to add an hour to it. most of the time this wasn't a problem, because i usually know the hour--it is the minutes i am checking. however there were a few times where it was an issue . . .

but tonight when i looked at the clocks, i kept thinking, "oh good! even though the clock says 8:00 it is really only 7:00 because of the time change." this is the sort of thinking that leads to an extra hour of sleep. but tonight the clocks had already been changed, so my thinking went like this--"oh good! even though the clock says 8:00 it is really only 7:00. no wait, rollie already changed the clocks, so it really is 8:00. no, it is really 9:00 because the time change doesn't officially occur until 2:00 a.m. and then it will be 8:00. no, it will be 1:00 at 2:00. but now it is actually . . . AAGGHHHH!!!"

and then this thought entered my head--"what will hsn (my shopping channel of choice) do with that extra hour? it isn't on the schedule? how would they put it on the schedule--that would totally mess up the scheduling grid!!! and how can i sleep not knowing what they will be selling during that hour? what if it is something i want? and what time would that be really? midnight? 1:00? 2:00?"

maybe i should just take another swig of nyquil and call it a day . . .

Thursday, October 29, 2009

**whiny blog alert**

so today . . . i cannot blog. i keep trying, but nothing is funny.

here's the thing. i've been going nearly non-stop for the last two weeks. my brain has been full of everything that needed to happen before our big event at church last week. there were lists to make, emails to send, sessions to write (i spoke four times during the weekend,) and a voice to protect, as i was also leading the music. usually i am not responsible for so much, but this time there were circumstances.

then, i missed two days of work so i could attend pastors retreat with rollie. that sounds restful, doesn't it? but it really isn't, although i did sneak in a nap one day. i returned to work on wednesday, only to find that the substitute on tuesday didn't do any of the work i left for the kids to complete--which might not have been such a big deal, but i spent a lot of time preparing those materials and this is a short week anyway because of our "harvest festival" on friday. so that made me feel lethal. really lethal. i was "mean" teacher miss julie on wednesday. not to mention, i am still coughing which is affecting my ability to get a good night's sleep, so i am tired too.

all of which results in my lack of a blog today. nothing is funny. i feel tired and a little congested and did i mention I'M STILL COUGHING--even though i have been on medication for a week.

but i am no longer lethal, or even really cranky--mostly just tired. today i was back to my usual "mostly nice, but you'd still better follow the rules" teacher miss julie. i spent more time talking to kids, but we just had normal interactions, nothing funny. or maybe there were funny things and i just missed them . . . either way, it was a much better day. just not funny.

i wasn't going to blog--i hate it when my blog is whiny! but today it was a whiny blog or no blog, and since i haven't posted in a week, i needed to get something up! so whiny it is . . .

and now my nyquil is kicking in. my mom told me to take it. she said it would help me sleep. i'm sure that is true, because i can barely keep my eyes open--i only hope i can wake up in the morning . . .

anyway, don't hold your breath for blogs throughout the weekend. i think i am going to spend some serious time in bed or bundled up on the couch, trying to get well. but that won't expose me to much blogging material, so it may be a quiet weekend. hopefully by monday, i'll be back up and running again, random thoughts flowing from my brain and out my fingertips . . .

Friday, October 23, 2009

a short break

so today . . . i'm really tired. we are having a special weekend event at our church and it is wearing me out! and then as soon as it is over, we will be out of town for a couple of days. i know this is not vital information for any of you, except that it means there will probably not be any blogging going on until the middle of next week.

unless something blogworthy happens and i can find a starbucks with internet . . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a 15 minute adventure

so today . . . i needed a treat. and you know what that meant . . . a mad dash to 7-11 during my break.

i could have gone during my lunch break, but i only have half an hour for lunch, and i hated to spend it getting food. so i decided to go during my morning break. i do this about once a week, and usually it takes me exactly 15 minutes--occasionally a little more or a little less. but from the minute i walk out of the door of the school, i worry about getting back on time.

it was a beautiful day and as i walked to my car, i debated--leave the top up or put it down? it only takes a minute to put it down, but i didn't want to leave it down all day, which meant i would have to put it up when i got back which only takes a few minutes, but what if i didn't have time . . . so i left it up and headed out to 7-11.

once i'm at 7-11, the only decision i have to make is should i get two brownies or three? today i opted for two, but on my way to the cash register i had to work my way around a guy in a uniform who was buying juice. i thought he was a police officer, so when i went to the parking lot, i checked to see where he was parked, because part of my worst nightmare is crashing into a police car . . . but i didn't see one. so i watched where he went, and he headed for an ambulance. and this got me thinking . . .

where do ambulance people hang out in between saving lives? the hospital cafeteria? the fire station? the police station? the mall? in a metropolitan area like ours, there have to be thousands of ambulances, each with their own crews, but they aren't rushing around responding to 911 calls all the time. so what do they do when everyone is seemingly safe? inquiring minds want to know!

after today, i am guessing that they hang out in the home depot parking lot and buy juice at 7-11 . . .

i started back to school, and the lights were with me! i was cruising along, thinking about ambulance crews and their free time and could i make that into a blog, and i happened to glance at the clock--i had only been gone 8 minutes! yessss! i was going to get back to school in time to use the bathroom before my break was over--whether i needed to or not! green light, green light, green light . . . oh wait! shoot!! i green lighted right past the street i needed to turn on to get back to school!

you are all thinking, "just make a u-turn!" yes, that would be so simple . . . if i wasn't inside the city limits of cerritos where they have recently banned u-turns with signage.

i didn't have a lot of choices, so i kept driving until i approached the first opportunity for a u-turn--illegal or not (ok yes, illegal) but there was too much traffic to risk it, so i drove on. the next cross street happened to be a freeway and guess what? there was no sign banning u-turns!! so i put my left turn signal on, pulled into the turn lane . . . and saw a police car approaching from the opposite direction.

what to do, what to do. technically, there was no sign prohibiting u-turns, but maybe it was illegal to make a u-turn at a freeway entrance. normally this wouldn't be a problem--i'd just assume it was ok and go. but should i risk it RIGHT IN FRONT OF A POLICE OFFICER IN A REALLY FAST CAR?!? probably not. i contemplated doing it after he went on down the road a bit, but there were no cars behind him! not one. (where was all that traffic now?!?) if he happened to be looking in his rearview mirror, i would be toast. so back out into traffic i went, to the NEXT cross street where u-turns were actually encouraged--there was even a sign to prove it. but of course the light was red. and then i noticed the pedestrian, who i KNEW would cross the street when i had the light, and i would have to sit there in the intersection blocking traffic while she sauntered across. because i KNEW that she was a "saunterer." i could just tell.

but to my amazement, she was not a saunterer! she was a "walk across against the light" person. which was fine with me, so i just prayed for her safety and watched for a green light.

i revved my engine--just so i would be ready. but i forgot that i had just purchased this humongous lemon coksi which didn't quite fit in my cup holder. so i had to dial the speed back a bit, because i had to hold my cup with one hand and try to make a u-turn with only one hand on the steering wheel, which left no hands for shifting. (breathe, mom, it was perfectly safe! well, maybe not perfectly . . . )

i finally reached the school parking lot, careened into my designated space, grabbed my snacks, and ran to the building. only to be thwarted by the security door. (why is it that when i am late it takes FOREVER for someone to buzz me in!!!)

as i waited and waited and waited for that door to open, i could think of only one thing . . .

thank goodness i left the top up . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"but aren't you glad you went??"

so today . . . i went to the doctor. i did not get a high five.

i've been coughing for about a month. not a hacking, debillitating cough, just an annoying, intermittant cough. it wasn't keeping me awake at night. it wasn't keeping me from going to the gym. it wasn't even keeping me from singing on sundays (although maybe it was trying to, and i just didn't get the memo . . . ) so i did what i always do--i ignored it. for almost a month. and then, i don't know what happened, but sunday night rollie INSISTED that i call the doctor THE VERY NEXT DAY and go in and see what was going on with all the coughing.

i'm thinking maybe i was coughing more at night than i realized.

rollie and i have a love/hate relationship when it comes to going to the doctor. we both love that we have kaiser insurance and can go whenever we want to for the low, low price of only $5. but we both hate to go. we both love to tell each other when we think it is time for the other one to make an appointment. but we both hate to go. we both resist the nagging of the other one until those fateful words are uttered, "FINE! DON'T LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING! JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO! YOU'RE A GROWN UP!! BUT IF YOU END UP IN THE HOSPITAL . . . " or something to that effect. this pronouncement has different endings, depending on who is saying it. i threaten to leave him at the hospital and spend all his money while he is there. he just looks at me. but he could threaten to tell everyone where i am so they would all come visit me--that would make me RUN to the doctor . . .

so i got online and made an appointment. i haven't been to the doctor in a while and when i got to the office, i noticed a few changes. first of all, they were changing all the artwork on the walls. who even thinks about what is on the walls?!?!? usually when i am there, i am just trying to keep from either throwing up or passing out, and i don't care what i am looking at when either of those things happen! they have also installed these check-in "kiosks" that are kind of like an atm. i thought it was a cool idea and gave it a try. it didn't work for me. and they have gone paperless, which means that you can't see when they mysteriously slurp your paperwork through the slot into the back--my previous indicator that it was almost my turn. now i just have to wait until they call my name, with no warning . . .

so i sat in the waiting room and returned a phone call. as soon as it was answered (of course,) hector (my doctor's nurse) came for me. i love hector. at first i was a little afraid of him, but now i think he is great. he didn't care that i was on my phone, but my blood pressure did! we had to take it three times to get a reading that didn't cause widespread panic--and by widespread i mean hector, me, and my doctor.

when the doctor came in to the exam room, she started scrolling through my records on the computer. "i think you should have a flu shot," she said. "i would love to have a flu shot, but at the front desk they said you are out of them." "oh," she said, and continued scrolling. "what about pneumonia? you should probably have a pneumonia shot." "ok," i said, "i'll be glad to have one if you think i should. i had one several years ago, but it is probably time for another one." "no," she said. "if you already had one, you don't need another one until you are 65."

(ok, here is my question--does this mean that for some people the shot is good for 10 years and for some it is good for 20 years??? because i didn't tell her when i had had it. what if it was 15 years ago?? that shot would be good for 30 years????? i don't know, but anyway she decided i didn't need one today.)

"how about a tetanus shot? when did you last have a tetanus shot?" i was starting to wonder about her almost obsessive need to give me a shot. how long was this going to go on? were we going to continue down this road until i agreed to let hector puncture my arm and then slap a bandaid on it?

tetanus sounded good to me. "oh, i can't remember when i last had a tetanus shot," i said. "i think i should probably have one of those."

she finally peeled her eyes away from the computer screen, smiled, and said, "i'll send hector in when we are done here." good. if my doctor is happy, i am happy. now maybe she will see what she can do about this persistent cough. she listened to me breathe, and not breathe. she looked in my ears and up my nose (which is why she gets the big bucks.)

"everything seems normal," she said. "but i'm coughing!!!" i said. so she laid out my options--drugs or no drugs. i chose drugs--duh! steroids or tessalon pearls. hmmmm. this one was trickier . . .

i have a history with steroids. they help me, but i hate them. well actually, my body seems to love them--so much so, that it becomes dependent rather quickly and rebels when i try to stop taking them. and so i try to avoid them when i can. and yet, i am going to the gym . . . maybe it would jump start that whole muscle development thing . . . but no, i resist. besides, how can you not love a medicine called tessalon pearls?!? just say it out loud--it's fun! and pearls--come on--how could i resist? in fact, if you're not careful, you will be wishing you had a cough with no apparent cause so you too could have some.

my doctor clicked a few more keys on the computer and said my prescription would be waiting for me at the pharmacy when i was done--meaning after hector stabbed my arm. and then she left. and i am sure my blood pressure started climbing again, thinking about the impending injection.

hector came in and said, "which arm do you write with?" i obediently raised my right arm. "ok, we will put this in your other arm." not a good sign. not at all. but hector found the least scrawny part of my arm and artfully gave me my shot. and not a tear came to my eye. he is that good. i told you i loved him . . .

i proceeded on to the pharmacy, where i was told there would be a 25 minute wait. what happened to "it will be ready for you when you get to the pharmacy?" fortunately it was only about 10 minutes until my prescription was ready, but there were 17 people in line ahead of me to pay. seventeen!! the sick people were swarming . . .

when i got home, rollie said, "so, what did you find out at the doctor's office today."

"i have a cough."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

just get me a BIG jar . . .

so today . . . i again had a classroom full of four year olds before 9:00. and they were pretty good this morning--everyone was engaged in an activity, they were talking quietly, no one was arguing or fighting over a particular toy.

and then . . .

. . . a little girl saw a spider.

"AAAHHHHHHHH!!!! A SPIDER!!!!!!" she screamed.

for a bunch of children who were apparently afraid of a spider, they certainly all ran over to see it rather quickly!

i'm not really afraid of spiders. i'm not fond of them, and i prefer not seeing them over seeing them, but i can kill one if i have to. this is a skill born of necessity--rollie is usually either not at home or not awake when i spot the creepy crawley creatures, and diandra . . . well, let's just say that for diandra, spiders are much larger than life. so i have just learned to "suck it up" and squish them in a tissue. and then flush them. because even though i'm not afraid, i don't want to take any chances . . .

so i walked over to see what the fuss was about, and there it was--the scrawniest, skinniest spider i have ever seen! it was almost invisible, it was so skinny! and yet there was a crowd of 8 small children huddled around, scared to death but unable to stop looking at it.

"oh please," i said. (i would like to say i said it with concern in my voice, but the truth is, there was probably more sarcasm than concern . . . ) "it is a teeny tiny spider. let's just leave it alone and let it find it's way back outside." i'm not a fan of killing things, even spiders, in front of children, so i usually try to foster the idea of live and let live. however, this idea was met with skepticism, but i am the teacher, so they all slowly backed away and resumed their play. although a couple of them were keeping an eye on that corner . . .

pretty soon one little guy came up to my desk, and with a big smile on his face he said, "how about if we catch it and put it in a jar?"

i am not a fan of spiders in jars, especially in my classroom. so in an attempt to discourage this idea, i said, "i don't know. would you like it if we caught you and put you in a jar?"

he looked at me with big, blue eyes and said, "no, not me . . . the spider!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

i thought i could sweat all the germs out--apparently i cannot

so today . . . i went to the gym by myself. it is not as much fun to go alone as it is when diandra is there, but she was busy today. so i went on my own.

i am gratified by the fact that i have been there enough in the last six weeks that most of the staff knows me by name. of course, they all call me ms. miller--probably because they are all young enough to be my children! i am not used to being referred to that way--everyone i know just calls me julie. even my school kids call me ms. julie or teacher or teacher ms. julie. but when the gym employees call me that, it makes me feel like i should pat them on the head and give them a cookie . . . probably not a good idea to bring cookies to the gym though. there are those who would burn me at the stake for even thinking about bringing such yummy sweetness to within 500 yards of them, and then there are those who would knock me down and take the treats forcibly from my fingers. and i am not sure you can tell who would fall into which category just by looking at them . . .

i climbed up onto the elliptical machine and realized i had forgotten to bring water with me! not a good beginning. oh well, i did have my ipod all charged up and ready to go, so off i went. after that i did the stair stepper, and then went to the stationary bikes. although, by then i was starting to feel a little bit like i should just go lay down . . .

i've had something trying to get me for the last few weeks--sore throat, persistent cough--but i've been fighting it off. yesterday i thought it had me in it's evil clutches, as sinus congestion reared it's ugly head. but today was better, so i thought a trip to the gym would be a good thing.

once again, i am wrong.

i am wrong so often, i think i should just start doing the opposite of what i am inclined to do. i think i might have better results that way. but i didn't realize that the gym was a bad idea until i had already parked, changed my clothes, used the elliptical and stair master and was headed for the bikes. maybe a drink would help, so i detoured to the drinking fountain. but you know, it is really hard to slurp up an adequate amount of water from the drinking fountain. it goes down your chin and up your nose and onto the floor . . . i'm guessing only a fraction of the water that flows from a drinking fountain actually makes it into your mouth. and how wasteful is that? it isn't like they are recycling all that water that is going down the drain. i hope.

anyway, the drink didn't help a lot, but i went to the bikes anyway. i like the bikes. you get to sit down while you use them. i started pedaling and put in all the important information--age, weight, program. and that is when i ran into trouble. my heart rate is naturally really fast. so by the time i exercise, it can get kind of high. but the machines don't know that. and so when i get on and it takes my heart rate, it goes ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! THIS WOMAN IS GOING TO DIE!! ANY MINUTE!!! and it adjusts accordingly, making the resistance really easy. you might think this is a good thing, and it kind of is on the elliptical machine. but not on the bike. on the bike what happens is that suddenly there is no resistance at all on the pedals, so they go flying around faster than my feet can go! it is really embarrassing . . .

by the time i got off the bike, i was really feeling bad--hot, headachy, a little congested. but did i go home? nooooo. i know that is just my body trying to take it easy. so i pushed on to the weight room . . .

but it didn't last long. i just couldn't do the weights. i tried, but it just was not happening today. sometimes you have to know when to give up and call it a day.

i went to the locker room, got my gym bag and headed to the car. when i got home, i went straight to the shower, and then curled up on the couch for a nap. no actual sleeping occurred, because you may remember that i live with two dogs who had been alone all day, but my eyeballs did get a little rest.

and now i am headed for bed. because rollie insisted that i make a doctor appointment, which i did, but it isn't until wednesday afternoon. so for now, sleep will have to be my 'drug of choice,' at least until wednesday when i can see an actual health care professional.

if i live that long . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

one of these days, evil julie is going to win . . .

so today . . . my driveway was blocked by an ambulance. my driveway. out of all the driveways AND empty spaces on the street, my driveway was blocked. totally. by an ambulance.

my sunday mornings are hectic. sunday is a busy day around here--it starts early and moves like a locomotive for several hours. and i am always tired, because i always stay up late on saturday night, because it is the last night of my weekend. so when my alarm goes off at 7:30 (which is REALLY 7:30 on sunday morning, because i use the alarm on my phone--NOT the one on my clock, which as you know is set at least 13 minutes fast,) i do not leap out of bed. actually, i don't think i have ever lept out of bed in the morning . . . although rollie tries to trick me into it once in a while by telling me the time it says on my clock, which again, is at least 13 minutes fast! and depending on how deeply asleep i am, i might or might not fall for his evil trick. you see, if rollie is the one telling me the time, one part of my brain says it has to be the right time, because he would never play my time game--just like he would never say the word "mcmuffin" or "cini-minis" when ordering breakfast. but there is another part of my brain that knows he is trying to help me get up, so maybe he would tell me the incorrect time just to jolt me awake and get my adrenaline moving.

but i digress.

so, at almost the last possible minute that i could leave the house and get to church for band rehearsal on time, i set the alarm, throw milk bones at the dogs, dash into the garage and hit the garage door button . . . only to see my driveway blocked by an ambulance. totally blocked.

i look around and see no one. i do see a fire engine parked on the other side of our neighbor's house. this leads me to believe that perhaps that is where they are. but there is no sign of a fireman or ambulance person anywhere.

now i am not completely insensitive to the fact that one of my neighbors is in distress and apparently needs help. i am just perplexed as to why the ambulance chose to park at the end of MY driveway. they didn't park in front of my neighbor's house--and there was a perfectly good spot there. they didn't park in front of my neighbor's driveway--which would have put them as close as possible to their front door. and they didn't park in any one of the other empty spaces on the street. they parked at the end of my driveway.

there wasn't a lot i could do. i was going to be late, and it isn't good for me to be late when i am trying to teach teenaged boys that it is disrespectful to make other people wait on you. so i whipped out my cellphone and texted james (who was already at church, i am sure, setting up sound equipment,) "there is an ambulance blocking my driveway. completely. so i am kind of stuck here until they come." he immediately replied, "what? are you ok?"

yes, i am ok. we are fine. we rarely have medical emergencies, but i fear that our recent bout with hospitalization has led some of you to think of us as fragile. but we're not--we are actually healthier than a lot of people we know. (i know that is hard for some of you to believe, especially considering my copious consumption of brownies . . .) just because we mention hospitals or ambulances, it probably isn't because we are the sick ones. so don't worry!

but i digress again.

so i am standing in my driveway wondering what to do. should i go back inside and wait for them to leave? no, i can't see them from inside my house. and since they came without sirens, they will probably leave without them. should i pull out into the driveway and wait for them to come? no, who knows how long they will be! and then i realize that the engine is running in the ambulance . . . which means that the keys are in the ignition . . . and there is a perfectly good empty spot in front of the neighbor's house just a car length away . . . and a plan begins to take shape in evil julie's mind--no wait, not evil julie--good julie, who doesn't want to be late!

i look around. no one is outside. the neighborhood is deserted, which is unusual because usually the neighbors all come out to see who is being hauled away by ambulance. i mentally move a little closer to the ambulance. of course, all the while i am picturing my evil plan, a voice in my head is screaming, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!?!" but the clock is ticking . . . i text james and say,"the engine is running in the ambulance," and he says, "drive it here (to church.)"

ok, james is the one i am calling to bail me out of jail!

and then the firemen come out of the house next door. they glance my way, get on their truck and try to leave the neighborhood. i say try, because it took them a long time to find their way out. i would insert an evil laugh here, but i hold no grudge against the firemen--they are not the ones blocking my driveway! but they did sort of look at me like, "stop gawking and go back inside." and then i am kind of insulted and annoyed, so yes! let's just insert an evil laugh here--bwahahahaha!! there! just try and find your way out of this neighborhood!

but the moment has passed. it would now be too risky to even contemplate moving the ambulance myself, but i think the ambulance guys will probably be coming out soon anyway. and they do. with an empty guerney. i guess this is good news for my neighbor. but then the ambulance people give me the same look as the firefighters! now i am really annoyed, because after all, they are the ones parked illegally! they are the ones wasting gas and putting unnecessary pollutants into the air! they are the ones making me late! and i am not gawking! i just want to get out of my driveway!!!!

the rational part of my brain knows that i will never see these people again. but the irrational side does not want them to think that i am the kind of person who would come outside my house and wait to see what was going on! the rational part of my brain knows that they don't care what i am doing standing in my driveway at 9:00 on a sunday morning. but the irrational side is imagining the conversation they will be having about people who have nothing better to do on a sunday morning than chase ambulances. the rational part of my brain says i should just stay out of their way. but the irrational side wins again, and so i jump in my car and back out into my driveway before they can leave--just so they know i was waiting for them to move, and not to see what was going on.

they go one direction down our street and i go the other. shoot! i think to myself. i should have gone the same way they were going so they would see i needed to leave. but it is too late. as i sit at the exit to our housing development waiting to turn right, guess who pulls up beside me? yup! the fire engine, followed by the ambulance. i don't know what route they took, but it was not the shortest one. and yet i am pleased, because not only did i beat them to the exit, we all had to sit and wait for traffic. so now they know i had someplace to go. i am not an ambulance chaser or disaster gawker.

i'm just late . . .

Saturday, October 17, 2009

three starts, one finish

so today . . . this is my third blog. maybe i will actually post this one.

my eyeballs are scratchy. it has been a long day, and promises to be an exceptionally busy week, and it is 11:30 and i want to go to bed. but i need to blog.

so i started a blog about how my thoughts are turning into blogs--about how i no longer have normal random thoughts, everything ends up in blogspeak. but as i was trying to explain what goes on in my head, i got confused . . . and it is my head!!! so it needed some clarification, and my brain has already gone to bed. and without it, it is hard for me to write coherently.

so then i started another blog about the latest sign that i am becoming a california person. i think it is going to be a really good blog. when i write it. but not today. today i got the first sentence written, and then quickly put down a couple of thoughts that i will work with later to write something that i think will make you laugh. but i am afraid that if i tried to write it today, it would just make you yawn--the creative juices are all bottled up. (hahaha, get it? juices? bottled up? ok, i know it is a little lame, but certain of my readers enjoy a good pun, so there it is for you honey!)

actually, while i was at walmart today, i thought i could write a really good blog about saturday at walmart--complete with pictures!! but i had two big bags of dark chocolate m&m's trying to slip out of my arms as i also wrestled two big boxes of milkbones to the nearest cash register. it was impossible to snap any pictures. i decided that blog would have to wait for another saturday . . .

so here i am, with nothing to blog about and no brain power to manufacture something. but at least there was no whining in this one. and yet, yesterday's whiny blog got more comments than i have had in a while, so maybe i should go back to whining . . . that seems to be where the rewards are. and you know how i need rewards . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

cholesterol wars

so today . . . once again, life is not fair.

i'm going to whine here a bit, but it isn't serious whining, so it's safe for you to read on. well, i mean i am seriously going to whine, but it won't be gloomy. i don't think. unless you are married to my husband, which i am pretty sure none of you are . . .

this morning rollie brought me a diet lemon coksi (that's what we call it when he goes to 7-11 and mixes the diet coke and the diet pepsi with lemon syrup in a big gulp cup--it is my favorite drink!!) and a brownie while i was at school. he occasionally does this just because he is thinking of me or because he knows my day is not going so well. but today he did it because his cholesterol is low.

his cholesterol is so low, his doctor said it was "awesome" and high fived him. seriously!! and his doctor is a woman! (i think the high five may have something to do with the fact that rollie plays basketball with her husband on tuesday nights, but still . . . ) she said his cholesterol was so good, that on some scale they use to calculate your risk of a heart attack, his cholesterol numbers worked IN HIS FAVOR!! his odds of having heart attack are slim to none.

so why the whining?? shouldn't i be glad his numbers are so good?? well, yes and no.

i am glad that he is not going to die of a heart attack. i am glad that he is healthy, especially after his close call a couple of months ago. but you should see the amount of fat this man consumes!! he eats eggs every day for breakfast, sometimes sausage. he eats double cheeseburgers and steak. in his defense, he also eats a lot of chicken (remember rubio's? he always has the chicken quesadilla--several times a week!) but usually the chicken is surrounded by a mound of melted cheese . . . and double sour cream! he does exercise regularly and eat lots of fruit and whole grains. but every time i see him make a snack and walk out of the kitchen with a tower of sliced cheddar cheese, i think, "you are slowly killing yourself," and i nag him, just a little.

but apparently i am wrong. apparently his body thrives on fat.

my body does not. i have cholesterol issues. my numbers are not dangerously high. yet. but they are high enough that every time i have a blood test, i get "the letter" from kaiser. you know, the one that says something like "diet and exercise are important. eat better food. exercise at least three times a week. come to a class that tells you how to cook healthier."

cook healthier? maybe they should send that letter to jack-in-the-box.

i have started going to the gym. i am not consistently going three times a week yet, but i think i will get there. but i don't know how much it is going to help. fatty foods call to me . . . i've pretty much given up french fries and ice cream, but i love eggs, cheese, and meat. real meat, not that sissy poultry stuff. i do try to be aware of how much i am eating and balance it all out. and yet my numbers remain high . . .

the real problem here is that i am not the disciplined one in the family. i am much more likely to give in to that little voice that says, "it's so creamy and smooth . . . mmmmm . . . just have a little bit . . . well, maybe a little bit more would be ok . . . it's almost gone now, you should just finish it off . . ." and every time i am faced with a forbidden food, i have to make the decision whether or not to quickly scarf it down (because you know, if you eat it FAST then it can't hurt you . . . ) whereas rollie would just not eat the forbidden foods--it wouldn't even be a choice for him. he would just say "no, my doctor said i can't eat that." no compromising, no justifying, no
rationalization. (i don't know how he does that!! it is so annoying sometimes . . . ) some foods would just not be an option for him. but wait, HE HAS NO FORBIDDEN FOODS!!!

when he gave me this wonderful news yesterday, i was not as happy for him as i could have been. fortunately he sent me a text message, so i could respond with the right words even while my face was saying, "you have got to be kidding me!!" and then this morning i was grumbling about breakfast, because as usual i was in a hurry and didn't have time to stop and make something to eat. and my dear husband offered to make me breakfast--eggs and sausage--and then he said something like, "no wait, that would be MY breakfast. hehehe." you do not even want to know the words that were parading through my head at that minute. the man was living very dangerously, especially since it wasn't even 8:00 yet!!

when i got to school, i made a cup of peppermint tea and ate 3/4 of a graham cracker that was left over from yesterday's snack. that was breakfast. i had 10 four year olds in a very small room, all wanting something, and a child who would not stop saying, "but i WANT to play with the legos," after being banished from the lego table for continuous tattling. it was my day to lead music time (the bane of my existence) so i was trying to make a list of songs i thought would keep the kids interested, while also coming up with different responses to "but i WANT to play with the legos," that didn't include duct tape.

and then, the angels sang! rollie walked through the door of the chaotic cubicle i call a classroom with diet lemon coksi and a brownie.

he said, "well, i did promise you breakfast . . . "

yeah, ridiculously low cholesterol and all, ya gotta love him!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the king?!?!

so today . . . i have a new student. his name is elvis . . . and no, i am not making that up!

Monday, October 12, 2009

i have a several track brain, and it still isn't enough . . .

so today . . . i am swamped yet again. i'll bet you are getting tired of reading that . . .

fall is such a busy time of year, and my october is just crazy! i have another different classroom configuration to deal with (which means writing lesson plans again.) i'm trying to go to the gym at least three times a week (which did not happen last week.) i have band issues (yeah, some days those 17 year old boys could just leave their attitudes at home.) i'm trying to help diandra with photography business trivia (which is hard when i don't really understand how to use my computer data base, and i can't find the answers to my questions, and there is no time to try to learn something new!!) we have a retreat coming up in two weeks (which is generating a lot of work for me.) and there is still laundry to do and garbage to put out and bathrooms to clean . . .

and blogs to write.

usually blogging is one of my favorite parts of my day. but not lately. lately i am scrambling for something to write about. i'm sure you have noticed--my subject matter hasn't been all that scintillating recently. it's because even though my brain is always clicking along, it has a lot to keep track of right now, which doesn't leave much space for it to think in bloggy ways.

usually as my day progresses, something will happen that will get me thinking bloggy thoughts. but now, things happen during the day, and i barely notice. my brain is busy making lists of people to call, emails to send, things to check up on, stuff i need to do, and worrying about all the details that i am sure i am forgetting about that will come back to bite me! in fact, there have been a couple of days where i have actually forgotten to blog! that's how crowded and distracted my brain is right now.

so for the next couple of weeks, my blogs may be few and far between. i think maybe there are days when i just shouldn't write. again, my purpose here is to write things that make you laugh or think, and whining about how i am drowning doesn't do either of those things. so i'll try to keep a small portion of my brain open for blogging business, but if i don't blog for a couple of days, don't panic! it doesn't mean i'm sick or rollie is in the hospital. it just means the blogger portion of my brain won't come out and play.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

random thoughts on a typical sunday

so today. . . is sunday. that means we go to church in the morning.

my sunday starts with band rehearsal at 9:00 a.m. i say we start at 9:00, but we never start at 9:00 . . . i have tried everything short of paying the band members to be on time, but they just can't seem to make it happen. and on those rare occasions when everyone is there on time, we inevitably have sound issues . . .

actually, we have sound issues almost every week. it is probably amazing that we don't have more problems than we do. fortunately, we have james--yes, james my computer wizard! he also does sound for me at church, and he is also amazing at that! but as amazing as he is, we can't seem to avoid having sound problems--james is just excellent at fixing them.

the sound problems aren't always his fault. one morning we spent 10 minutes trying to track down why we couldn't hear the guitar through the sound system, only to finally discover that the cable wasn't pushed all the way into the guitar! and this morning, the drummer lost my vocals in his monitor, and we discovered his cable had been kicked loose. cables and connections--the bane of my musical existence!

today, the drummer was on drugs. not the bad kind--the kind you take when you don't feel very good. and they made him a little bit loopy. it was pretty funny. he came to church wearing a bandana around his head, and with his dark hair and big eyes and the vacant stare that was a result of his cold medicine, he looked a little like a deranged ninja--and it didn't help that he kept popping up unexpectedly from behind things . . .

church starts in the main sanctuary at 10:15 a.m. promptly. church starts for us between 10:20 and 10:30ish, depending on how long it takes us to locate the whole band and get them on stage. there are only three musicians and two vocalists, but some days it is like herding cats to get everyone ready to go! we have to look outside, and in the bathrooms, and in the kitchen . . . they are all there, we just have to find them.

then after the music, diandra and i sat together on the floor in the back during the sermon, as we do every week (remember, our service is in the church gym, and it is dark . . . ) the deranged drummer sat with us this week, because his cold medicine was making it hard for him to focus and he didn't want to distract his friends--at least, that is the motive i am giving him--maybe he just got lost on his way to the bathroom . . . so the three of us were sitting there listening to rollie preach. he was preaching about loneliness today and was talking about how people try to fill the emptiness in their lives with all kinds of things, but nothing works, because as he said, "it is like there is a God-shaped hole in each of us that can only be filled by God." and i leaned over to diandra and said, "i think i also have a brownie shaped hole . . . "

this was a mistake. she started laughing--quietly, of course, and thank goodness we were in the back, but still . . . then javvy (the drummer) looked at her with his vacant eyes, so she told him what i had said and then he started laughing, and that made me laugh too . . .

it reminded me of a time when diandra was about six years old. we were sitting in church, again in the back (because that is where i like to sit,) and rollie was preaching, and she was playing with my hand. she was being quiet and just sort of absently holding my hand and tracing along the blood vessels on the back of it. i have very prominent blood vessels on the back of my hand, and at one point she kind of pushed on one. i don't know what possessed me, but when she did that, i abruptly stiffened up my hand into a "claw" position. it startled her so badly that she jumped. it was so funny! so i laughed--i couldn't help myself. and then she laughed. and neither one of us could stop. and we were trying to be quiet, and again, thank goodness we were in the back . . . but that is still one of my favorite memories of her childhood.

(lest you think we are being disrespectful when we talk in church, rollie told me today that it doesn't bother him when he sees people whisper to each other during the sermon. he says that just means that he has said something that has made them think, and they want to tell someone what they are thinking, so they whisper to the person next to them. that is usually what happens with diandra and me--although usually it is when he says something that makes us think of something funny to say. and so we do. and then we laugh. but we are still listening!)

i wore my new gray ankle boots to church today. it was the first time i had worn them out of the house. maybe sunday morning church was not the best choice for their first outing, as i am on my feet from 9:00 until the music is over at about 11:00. and standing in brand new shoes for two hours has it's drawbacks . . . so my feet were not happy by the time church was over. rollie and i went to subway for lunch, and when we pulled into the parking lot (i was following him,) i kept thinking "leave the closest parking space for ME! my feet hurt!!" of course, since we were in separate cars, he couldn't hear me. and he had sore toes from an injury yesterday. so he pulled into the close space and i drove around the parking lot. then i sat in my car for a few minutes working up my courage to hobble into the restaurant.

the rest of my afternoon consisted of a nap, followed by a meeting at the church, which was followed by dinner at rubio's! and still, rollie and i were in separate cars--we just could not get our timetables synced today! and as i was slowly and carefully walking toward rubio's, rollie said, "you are still wearing those shoes?!?!" and i said, "yes, they go with my outfit! and they are so cute!!" and he said, "but they hurt your feet!" and i said, "yes, but i planned my whole outfit around these boots today. i love them!!" he just looked at me like maybe aliens had invaded my body . . .

maybe they have. but if they have, they certainly have good taste in footwear!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

this blog does not even deserve a title. or a label.

so today . . . is saturday. nothing blogworthy happened. so sad . . .

but, as scarlett o'hara would say, "tomorrow is another day . . . !"

Friday, October 9, 2009

but isn't indigo blue?

so today . . . my fuse was short. luckily i have good self control . . .

when you work with small children, some days you either laugh or scream. or put your head down on your desk and picture white, sandy beaches . . . i try to choose to laugh when i can, but today, screaming almost won out.

four year old brains do not function like adult brains. duh! but when you spend way more of your time with four year olds than you do with adults, it is easy to forget that. you kind of start to think that they think like you do. they do not.

it is sad to say that my "peeps" are mostly four or five years old! and most days i enjoy being with them, but i admit there are some days when i just want to throw paperwork at them, and sit at my desk until they bring it to me all neatly and correctly completed. because there are days when it is really hard to embrace all that being a four year old means. like choosing just the right crayon. even if it takes FOREVER!

today i was working with the pre-k kids on number concepts--you know, how much is the number "two," really . . . and what does the number "three" look like, in terms of quantity . . . and why is "one" a lonely number . . . ? these are the burning questions four year olds need the answers to. my solution, before handing them the requisite paper to complete, was to work with their crayons.

crayons seemed like such a good choice. they use them all the time, so it wouldn't be like a new toy that they would want to explore. they each already had crayons within arm's reach. and they had more than three--perfect, i naively thought . . .

so i said, "ok, today we are going to use our crayons to show how many," and then proceeded with the lesson. they seemed to be with me. they were listening (at least, they were looking at me which i took to mean that they were listening--but maybe they were thinking about white, sandy beaches . . . or legos) and then i said, "show me two crayons."

you would think i had asked them to build a nuclear reactor.

two crayons! that is all i was asking for. take two crayons out of your pencil box and lay them on the table so i know that you know how many two is. but apparently they couldn't pick up just any two crayons. apparently there were two crayons that would result in the right answer, while all others would be wrong. ok, i can wait. and wait. and wait.

finally the chosen crayons are presented, and thankfully they have all chosen the right number. i would love to just call it a day right here, but i still have the numbers one and three left. it's a toss up, but i ask for one crayon. that goes pretty quickly--they put their little hands in and pull out a crayon. now THAT's what i am looking for! ok, let's move on to the number three. and let's do it quickly, because it is almost snack time . . .

"quickly" is not even in the building. they paw through their crayons. they make as much noise as possible pawing through their crayons. they choose one. but that isn't enough, so they look some more. "is this crayon blue?"


i don't actually scream these words. oh yes, they are careening around in my head, but i have enough self control to keep them in there. all that escapes my lips is, "no, that is indigo. did you want the blue crayon?"

no wonder some days my head feels like it is going to explode. all those upper case letters and exclamation points are trapped inside . . .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

usually "because i hit someone" is the right answer

so today . . . the relative ineffectiveness of "time out" was demonstrated once again . . .

i spend the first hour of my day at school monitoring pre-k kids who are mostly not in my class. since our facility is open for 12 hours a day, teachers' hours must be staggered to adequately cover it all. so i end up with a mix of kids until their regular teachers arrive.

i am a good teacher, but i am firm. i have clear boundaries in my classroom, and i expect the kids to stay within those boundaries whether they are in my room for an hour in the morning or all day long. most children adapt really well to this structure, but there are always those who think the rules don't apply to them--even at four years old. one of those children is janelle . . .

janelle and i have issues, the main one being i think she should listen to my words and do them; she thinks she will do them if she feels like it. which she never does. this creates a problem.

today, i had just had it! she has been ignoring my words all week. i have tried in many different ways to communicate to her that it is important for her to listen to my words and then do them, but nothing seems to be getting through to her four year old brain. so i finally put her in time out.

i am not a big fan of time out--i think it is highly misunderstood and generally used incorrectly, but i was out of ideas. when i took her over to sit in a chair i said, "janelle, you are going to time out now because you are not listening to my words. i will be back to talk to you about it in four minutes."

as i walked away, she was looking at me like, "what did i do?"

when i went back four minutes later (because to her credit, she did a good job of sitting there quietly,) i gave her the speech.

"janelle, why did you have to go to time out?"

"because i hit someone?" she did not hit someone--this time. but the kids have learned that if they hit, there is no warning--they go straight to time out. and since hitting is really the only offense that usually results in a time out, this was a reasonable guess--it was just wrong. this time.

"no," i said, "you are in time out because you did not listen to my words and do them. when i say stop, you need to STOP. when i say come, you need to COME." i was trying to keep it very simple, because my goal really was to help her understand something she clearly did not. to check her understanding i said, "so, janelle, the next time i say stop, what are you going to do?" and she replied, "stop."

"yes, that's right," i said. "and when i say come, what are you going to do?

"come," she said.

ok, i was on a roll. i know i had just told her that, but she was responding appropriately, so i decided to go for broke and throw in something we had talked about the day before. "yes," i said, "good for you! and when i call your name, what are you going to do?"

she thought for a moment, tapping her little index finger on her chin, and then said, "that's a tough one!"

i couldn't help myself. i laughed. and she smiled. so i agreed with her that, yes, that was a tough one. and then i reminded her of what she should do when she heard her name called, gave her a hug, and told her to go play.

i have no doubt that tomorrow when i tell her to stop, or come, or call her name, she will once again ignore me. because stopping and thinking about the appropriate response is not what four year olds do best . . . what four year olds do best is smile.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

we try something new . . .

so today . . . rollie brought me lunch as he usually does on tuesdays. usually he gets our lunch at subway. usually i have a six inch tuna sandwich with double swiss cheese on honey oat bread with lots and lots of lettuce. and a gigantic soda. and sometimes even chips! usually he has turkey with double swiss cheese on wheat bread with lots and lots of vinegar. and a soda. and sometimes even a cookie. or three!

today as i was heading out to his car to eat, i received this text--"i'm here and i have something new and yummy for your lunch." had i read this message earlier, i am sure i would have had all kinds of thoughts about what new and delectable treat he had found and brought me. and i'm sure chocolate would have been a main ingredient. but i only had about 10 seconds to think about it before i saw subway cups in his car. ok, whatever new and yummy thing he had brought me had come from subway . . .

i got settled in the car and saw chips--a good sign. then he said, "they had a new kind of sandwich at subway today, so that's what i got!"

we eat a lot of subway sandwiches, but they have this terrible habit of creating new sandwiches that we fall in love with only to discontinue them a few months later. the last time this happened, the sandwich was called a "pizzioli" and had pepperoni and marinara sauce and cheese and i don't know what else, but it was heavenly fare!!! we ate that sandwich several times a week. and even after they discontinued it, "our" subway would still make it for us--they put it on the menu as a "local favorite," until their regional manager made them stop . . . (i don't like him or her very much anymore, whoever he or she is . . .) so now i tend to avoid the new sandwiches because i know a couple of months down the road they will just break my heart by uttering those terrible words, "i'm sorry, that sandwich is no longer on the menu."

but there it was. the newest sandwich. rollie said, "it is barbeque chicken with ranch dressing. and i got foot long ones, because i am going to play basketball tonight so you can have the other half for dinner!"

see how he takes care of me? when rollie plays basket ball at night, he doesn't eat dinner. he has found that eating shortly before running up and down a basketball court for a couple of hours is not a good thing. so on basketball nights, i am on my own for my evening meal. but not today. today i was going to have the other half of my new sandwich. i sure hoped i liked it!

i took a bite. mostly bread and lettuce. i took another bite. mostly bread and lettuce and dressing. at this point, rollie has had a few more bites and he says, "this barbeque sauce is hot! it is not what i expected--less sweet and more peppery!!" i love hot flavors as long as they are not flaming--but rollie does not. what does he order when we go to a mexican restaurant? cheese quesadilla, no salsa--just a tortilla and some cheese! but now he has this foot long sandwich with hot barbeque sauce on it. i take a few more bites and then i taste it too. it is pretty good. but it seems to get hotter with every bite. and rollie has twelve inches of this stuff to eat!!

i know he is suffering, but he keeps at it. finally he takes the last bite and slurps some soda. i notice that our sodas are disappearing much faster than usual. i continue to eat my six inch sandwich because, as many of you know, i am kind of a slow eater. as he sits and waits, he says, "my mouth is still burning!" that sauce was pretty hot, even for me. i ask him sweetly, "do you want some of my barbeque chips?" he is not amused. so i say, "maybe you need some ice cream." he probably thinks maybe i just need to . . . of course we do not have any ice cream. but he breaks out his chocolate chip cookies and seems to think that is helping . . .

and it probably is. there isn't much that a good chocolate chip cookie can't cure.

except maybe a smart alecky wife . . .

Sunday, October 4, 2009

a conversation . . . (yes mom, i posted it . . . )

so today . . . i was not going to post, because i was gone all weekend, and i am exhausted. i haven't even unpacked, and yet here i am on the internet . . .

my mom was gone all weekend too, and so tonight we were talking on facebook a little bit before deciding we should maybe head for bed. and we had this conversation, which made me laugh. so instead of posting nothing, i am going to share it with you. (yeah mom, i didn't go straight to bed--hehehe . . .)

mom: have a good day tomorrow and hopefully the week will go fast. As far as I am concerned, October can go fast. Then it's put up the christmas stuff, have thanksgiving and then christmas shopping. I'm tired just thinking of it all.

Enough whining for one night. Off to bed!!!!! goodnight.

julie: oh golly yes--i can't think past this week. although, maybe i will get out some fall decorations this year--i've narrowed it down to one box, so it doesn't take too long. otherwise we don't know it is fall, because the leaves don't change color, and it doesn't rain, and you can still drive with the top down.

mom: Fall?? I was thinking I should get out Halloween tomorrow.

julie: well, i don't technically have halloween decorations--i just go straight to the leaves and turkeys :):) oh, and pumpkins.

mom: Are you bragging? Whine along with me!!

julie: hahahaha!

mom: No raking leaves? Think of the exercise.

julie: that was southern california whining!

mom: hahahahahahahaha

julie: no, we have people to do that (raking leaves)

mom: We have people too. ME

julie:hahahahaha! ok, i may have to blog that conversation!

mom: No blogging. Time for bed.

julie: ok. good night. catch you tomorrow.

and then i blogged . . . because sometimes we just crack me up!

Friday, October 2, 2009

a retreat?!?!?!

so today . . . i am not home, i am at murrieta hot springs for women's retreat. i am actually writing this on thursday night and scheduling it to post on friday, because i am pretty sure i will not have internet access all weekend! but my blogging has been somewhat sporadic lately, between battling evil viruses and feeling cranky instead of funny, and i didn't want you to go all weekend without any new posts. however, since i am writing this on thursday night, i don't know what will happen to me over the weekend, so what to write, what to write . . . i thought about making something up, but then i remembered about last year . . .

usually women's retreat is fairly uneventful for me. i work friday morning, eat lunch with rollie, sit in bumper to bumper weekend traffic for three hours (to make a one hour trip,) arrive at the retreat location, stay there all weekend, and come home on sunday afternoon. and then my weekend is gone. because although we call it a retreat, i usually come home more tired than when i left. while most people think of a retreat as being in a quiet, secluded place where lots of resting and relaxing happen, that has not been my experience. it seems like most of the "retreats" i attend are not restful at all. actually, it would be much more restful for me to stay home . . . but i digress . . .

anyway, last year was not restful (as usual,) but it was eventful. and i blogged about it the following tuesday, on october 7, 2008. here's what happened...

so, this weekend was our church's annual women's retreat. while i am not much of a "let's get all the girls together" kind of person, i usually enjoy it once i get there. this year, however, there were a few bumps in the road on my way to a fun weekend.

it started off great! beautiful weather, a chance for a road trip in my convertible, loud music on the stereo, and leaving early enough to avoid most of the traffic (my usual lunch with rollie being sacrificed on the altar of a quick trip.) my plan was to eat after i got past corona and most of the traffic--i had my book and i figured i could spend a while eating, and reading, and refilling my soda cup. then i would head on down the freeway a few miles and spend some more time at the outlet mall before arriving at the retreat center in time for dinner. it was a perfect plan!

and then i missed the exit--the one with all the food places . . .

it is a little hard to exit when you are zooming along in the far left lane, which is where i was.

ok, plan b. i will just eat at the dairy queen at the outlet mall. but then i almost missed that exit too! either i needed to slow down or start driving in the right hand lane where all the exits were! (when you only go someplace once a year, i guess you kind of forget where things are . . . ) thankfully the traffic was light, so i just quickly cut across three lanes of traffic and made it off the exit at the outlet mall.

ok, mission accomplished. i ate at the dairy queen, but without my book, because i didn't want to schlep it around all afternoon. so lunch wasn't quite as relaxing as i had pictured, but the cheeseburger was still good and there was still shopping to be done!

and then it happened. for the first time EVER, i did not find anything to buy at the gap! nothing!! the gap is my go-to store at this outlet mall--i ALWAYS find great stuff there at ridiculously low prices. always. so it was a little disorienting, but i soldiered on and did have some success at old navy and the guess store. still, nothing from the gap--this was not an auspicious beginning . . .

i checked in at the retreat, unloaded my car, had dinner and went to our evening session--all good. but before i went to bed, i decided to go out and get the new jeans i purchased at old navy to wear the next day. and guess what i found? my car battery was dead!!!

now my car is only two years old, so i'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this, but it is the only explanation i can come up with for why the beeper won't unlock the car. so i went back inside to get ready for bed, without my new jeans, and wondering about my car . . .

the next morning my alarm didn't go off, as i had set it for sunday not saturday, so i got a bit of a late start but still managed to make it to breakfast. and then our morning session began. i saw someone without a chair, and since i don't mind sitting on the floor, i picked up my chair to offer it to them. and managed to tip over my diet soda onto the carpet in the process. i rushed to the ladies room to get paper towels to clean up the spill, but the dispenser didn't work. so i knocked on the men's room door, and when i got no response, i bravely entered and retrieved a handful of paper towels. of course by now most of the soda had soaked deep into the carpeting, but i did the best i could (thank goodness for dark carpets!)

i finally settled down on the floor at the back of the room to listen to the speaker. she was very good by the way (but she had these really cool glasses on that kept distracting me!) pretty soon i was not feeling too good--i got really hot and sweaty and thought "i should probably go to the bathroom now" which i did. and i got sick! and it wasn't fun! i finally came out and laid down on the stone wall outside the building we were in and waited for someone to help me back to my room. there was no way i was going to get there under my own power. and the cold stone of the wall felt so cool to my hot head . . . soon someone realized i had gone missing and came and found me nearly asleep on the wall. security was called, and they came and rescued me. in a golf cart.

a few hours later i was feeling better, which was good, because i still had my dead car to deal with. fortunately we have AAA so i called them, and they said a truck would be there within the hour. fifty-five minutes later the truck arrived. he checked the battery. he jump started the battery, and then he checked it again. the car was running, but he informed me that it wasn't charging and if we shut it off, it probably would not restart. i needed a new battery! luckily he had a battery that would work, and he would be glad to install it for me. so i pulled out the plastic and soon my car was running again.

i went back inside and took a nap.

i managed to eat dinner without incident and made it through the whole evening session without getting sick. thank goodness.

then it was time for me to go home--i was leaving early because i have responsibilities on sunday morning. i'd been looking forward to the trip home, as i really enjoy driving my car at night with the top down. but guess what? it had been raining! the ground was wet and the air felt damp. and it was dark and i couldn't tell if there were clouds in the sky or if it would rain some more. so i got in my car, cranked up the heat, stopped for a giant soda and headed home.

i kind of think i've retreated enough for one weekend.

let's hope that this year is less interesting . . .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

i miss my bed . . .

so today . . . i am swamped. again.

lately, this seems to be where i live rather than an anomaly of circumstances. but added to my normal swamp were a staff meeting at school tonight (two hours i will never get back,) packing to be out of town all weekend (and no, not for a restful getaway--sigh,) preparing for diandra's big photo shoot on saturday (paperwork, and unpacking headpieces for the brides,) and figuring out how the washing machine repairman is going to access the back of my washing machine, since it is crammed into a corner of the garage with very limited access (let's just hope he is slim and agile!) and it is already 9:35 . . .

maybe sleep is not all that necessary . . .