A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, April 09, 2010

Roses! Roses! Roses!

Come into my garden...

I want my flowers to see you.

I'm trying to get back into posting more here. Not all the news is fit to print but I do appreciate you coming by to check in.

I attended a very good staff development session yesterday that only reinforced what a lousy teacher I've been this year. Frankly, I was in survival mode for most of the year. I hope to incorporate some of what I heard yesterday - next year. I do have a problem, though, with the NEW emphasis on spending days and days of instruction making sure kids understand what the prompts mean on tests (so that they raise their standardized test scores) when I have dozens of American History standards (and reams of interesting history outside those boring standards) that I can never get to.

I'm managing to get to the gym three to four days a week, aiming for five to six. I guess I'm losing weight (people are starting to comment) but my classroom scale is stuck at about 20 pounds lost. My trainer told me not to weigh on anything but his magic scale that is supposed to figure out how much fat I've lost when calculated against how much muscle I've put on by working out. I'll have to get him to weigh me again.

Dad seems to be holding his own. Hasn't lost any more weight, color is good. Has his pain meds managed for optimum result. Still has problems with nausea and can't eat much, but manages enough. I spent the day with them Saturday. Mom and I were SUPPOSED to be scrapbooking but all I did really was sort some pictures, then went to Joann for papers (and was held captive and forced to go to the fabric department for Disney and Fancy Nancy fabrics). I had stopped at the local DoIt Center for garden supplies and brough home some Gerbera Daisies. Spent an hour or so (I think less) weeding and raking leaves out of a bed and planting the three new plants. It looked nice when it was done.

Bought a back issue at Joann of The World of Cross Stitch but there wasn't much to tempt me. Maybe once summer gets here, but since I'm still teaching, still going to the gym, still gardening, still spending WAY too much time on facebook, stitching is pushed to the side. (Really takes too much thinking right now, being as I'm so distracted.)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Spring Break...

... is coming to an end.

"Just Joey" smells like a rose.

Just wanted to check in to say that all is going as well as could be hoped for right now.

Dad is feeling better. He's loaded down with prescriptions for pain patches and other meds to help him be comfortable. One side effect of the meds is that his BP went WAAAYYYY down. They have reduced the dosage of his BP medication a couple of times with no effect so last week he went off the rest on his own. The nurse warned my mom that they worry a patient will have a stroke if they go off too fast, but Dad decided since all the other meds were causing the lower pressure anyway, he'd take the chance. He is feeling much more normal, although he still can't eat much without feeling nauseous. He hasn't lost any more weight in the last couple of weeks, though, so that's a good thing.

Seems unfair, but even after all the radiation his back still hurts as much as it did when he went to the doctor (who found the cancer) in the first place. Now it looks like his back pain is just the same old problem he's had for the last 40 years. He is only comfortable in a reclining position, and has to get there several times a day to make it through the day. Since he can't take his big recliner with him everywhere he goes, we've been looking for some alternative. I remembered that a friend had bought a zero-gravity patio recliner when she moved into her new home a few years ago, and that she really liked it. (She also suffered from back problems.) I went on an internet search to see where he might find one. The only place in his town listed on the Zero-Gravity website was the local Walmart ($82). I only shop the Hiawatha, Kansas Walmart when I'm there (my cousin works there), but Dad went over immediately. Three employees in three different departments had no idea what he was talking about. By the time he'd finished his run-around he was tired and came home. That was on Sunday. On Wednesday I made my weekly pilgrimage to Costco and found what he needed for $39.99. I delivered it yesterday, then took my mom to a quilt shop and out to lunch. By the time we got back Dad had mastered the chair and proclaimed it a keeper.

Now, if they'll let us take it into Disneyland for the All-American College Band in June he'll be in good shape.

I've been released from physical therapy. I've gone from three hours a week of PT to a prescribed five hours in the gym. Since that does not include cardio or any of the arm work that I was already doing, I'm really looking at closer to ten hours a week. It's such a gift to be able to walk again, however, that I'm not complaining. Just have to figure out how to tell life to stand aside so I can get my gym time in.

I've been on Spring Break this week. Finally got some flowers in the ground that have been languishing in pots, some as long as a year. Had a perfect day at Disneyland on Monday. Picked up Mom yesterday and took her to a new quilt shop (to her, anyway) and then out to lunch.

Had a nice experience at the restaurant. I live in one town, Mom lives in another and the restaurant was in a third. The server recognized me as having been her teacher WAY back. She said she hated history but loved my class, then proceeded to describe part of my Civil War unit in detail. Teaching is hard, sometimes, because you never see a result from your work. They come, they go. They act like they hate every minute. The rewards come rarely - and sometimes years later (yesterday's young woman was 25 years old!) - and it's particularly rewarding and appreciated when they do.

Speaking of which, I have a stack of Civil War projects to grade today. I hope I can get them all done so I can enjoy tomorrow's events. More gardening, coloring eggs.

Remind me I'm supposed to buy strawberries for Sunday. I keep forgetting.