Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Morning Drive Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

At Al's Garden Center Posted by Picasa

Kentucky Leaves Posted by Picasa

Close up  Posted by Picasa

Day from ...

This has not been a good morning. Well, it hasn't been a terrible morning either, just not a great one.

Our waterbed has sprung a leak. We patched it. It didn't hold. That was Monday night. It did hold long enough to get to sleep and wake up damp. I wasn't soaked, but I wasn't dry either.

Tuesday, Tammy went to work with me and on our way home we stopped at a great little hardware store. The guy working there was knowledgeable and extremely helpful. He had some self adhesive waterbed patches and some vinyl adhesive. We took both. When Tammy asked about chemicals, he told us that humidifier chemicals would work, but he thought he was out of them. He went to look. When he returned, he had the chemicals and gave them to us for $1. I will be back there.

We took that home and tried the self adhesive one. It was useless. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. The adhesive came with a small (approx. 6" x 2.5") piece of vinyl. I cut a piece to work with the hole and patched it. It still leaked. Part of the problem is the top of the mattress isn't flat. It has a quilt like pattern in it, so it has rises and drops. The adhesive is gluing the patch but not filling in all the crevices, and the water seeps out of those areas.

By the time we went to bed last night, I had patched it twice and didn't want to put a lot of stress on the patch. We went to the bottom of the bed and slept there. When we got up this morning, Tammy's knee was damp. There was still some leakage. One more cut, one more gluing, one more chance. This one is going to be on there all day before any pressure is put on the bed. The last thing I want to do is drain this bed so I can patch the hole flatly., but I might have too, if this patch doesn't hold. Fingers are crossed.

the problem with the bed made me later than usual this morning. Being late already, and having already called work to let them know, I decided that a few extra minutes wouldn't matter, and stopped to get some breakfast. I usually stop at a small store near the school, but if I am late, all that is left is fried bologna sandwiches. While fried bologna sandwiches are okay some days, today was not a FB sandwich day. I stopped at McD's. I got a breakfast burrito. It sorta blew up, disintegrated, leaked on my shirt. Now I am on my way to work, late, and I have my breakfast remnants spotting my nice mauve colored shirt.

There was one bright spot. I did manage to catch a gas station that hadn't raised gas prices to $2.25 a gallon yet. It was still $2 a gallon at the Sam's club station. I saved abut $4 on the fill up. That might pay to have the shirt cleaned.

Tammy is home today with a hurting back. I hated leaving her in pain. I almost took the day off. In light of the morning, it would seem reasonable. I figured, however, the day could only get better. So, I went on to work. We will see how my Murphy's law luck holds out.

At last check, the patch is holding.

That might be a corner.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Vindicated !!

Some of my regular blog readers will remember the "Christmas Perfected" post, where I described the perfect Christmas gift. It was a gift so simple, yet so encompassing, that it was the perfect gift for all ages, for male or female, for straight or gay, for tall or short, for pudgy or skinny, for rich or poor, for everyone. This perfect gift, so often overlooked when Christmas shopping, was none other than a pair of socks. You may refer to the original post. Go ahead, I'll wait.

OK, welcome back.

When I told the family about the perfect gift, they scoffed at my idea. They laughed at it. They dared call it (and I) ridiculous.

Yet, each one of them, at some point between that post and Christmas came to me and asked that one of their gifts might be, you guessed it, SOCKS.

Tammy wanted slipper socks. Chella wanted toe socks (you know, the ones with toes like a glove has fingers). Kyle wanted regular tube socks. Chris wanted warm socks.

I am vindicated.

My true genius is shining through. A genius is someone that can take a complex issue and see it in such a way that the answer is simple. This simple answer sometimes confuses those less than geniuses around him. They often scoff at his ideas as lunacy. They make fun of him. They tease him. Eventually, however, they come around. The simplicity of the answer begins to worm its way into their slow to receive minds. Then, suddenly, like a light going on, they see.

The complex problem : Christmas gifts
The simple answer : Socks

Vin-duh-cation !!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Xmas?

Kyle was asking me where the term "Xmas" came from in reference to Christmas.

At first, I was at a loss to explain the origin of a seeming harmless phrase. Later as I was looking at it, it dawned on me. "Xmas" is Christmas, without Christ.

I know that everyone doesn't celebrate the birth of Christ as Christians celebrate it, but the season is still Christmas. The very origin of Christmas is not as most would suspect. Jesus was not born on December 25th. He was most likely born in June or July. The shepherds were watching their sheep in the fields. That doesn't happen in December, even in the middle east. So, you can rule out a winter birth.

The day we currently use to commemorate the birth of Christ was a Roman holiday. When the Christians were in captivity to Rome, they were not allowed to have their own holidays. They were required to celebrate the Roman holidays for pagan gods. This was not acceptable to them, as they considered it heresy to worship another god. So, they celebrated their God on pagan holidays. Easter, Christmas, and other religious holidays were created by this tradition.

To me, it isn't the day that matters. It is the presence of Christ in our celebration. His presence is needed every day. His will is to be our guidance in every season. His love is to be the beacon we shine to the world in every hour of every day.

It is a pity that there are those that try to celebrate Christmas without Christ. The season, the day, is empty without Him. Even more empty, is the life that is devoid of His grace, of His love, of His will, and of His purpose.

Tomorrow is Christmas. Celebrate the love that created a day of hope and a way of hope. Celebrate the love that brought a God to a manger and much farther. Celebrate the love that took a man to the cross and brought him out of the tomb.

Celebrate Christ.

Celebrate Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Getting close

It is getting close to Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve is at mom and dad's house with nearly 50 of the close family. There is a dinner. There are presents. There is singing. There is Bible reading. There is praying. There is singing of Silent Night in German.

Today was shopping for last minute and forgotten gifts. It was an exercise in aggravation. There were big crowds, big traffic, and big headaches. It was great to see mans inhospitality to man in action. Have people never heard the words, "Excuse me?" they never use it and when hearing it they seem oblivious to its meaning or intent.

There will be more news later. We are going back out later to shop and sing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Catch up

It has been a while since I blogged, so there has to be some catch up.

Monday was a work day. We had a long long staff meeting. Then the principal took us out to lunch. When we got back to the school, it was just a short while until the beginning of the Advisory Committee meeting. That took til the end of the day. Pete (upstairs) got a job and needed a ride to work at 10:30 PM. We dropped him off and then went to Fayette Mall to pick up Angie (upstairs) from work. We got home around 11:45.

I didn't work at all Tuesday. I took some comp time and missed a day. We spent the day running errands. We paid taxes and got license plates. We had to take Chris to his new job to fill out paper work. Tammy had to go to Nicholasville to get Heather and take her to work. We got Pete a bus schedule so we do not have to go out and take him to work.

I told Tammy she needs to learn to say one simple word ... "No"

There are people out there with genuine needs and no way to go that just have to have the help, but some folks will never try to make their own way as long as someone is there top do it for them. When it came down to having to ride the bus, Pete found a ride. When our taxi service stopped, he found a way. The same is true of many folks. Not that they are users, but if you are always there to do for someone, they will never learn their own way.

That is part of being a good parent. You have to let your kids grow up and learn to do things for themselves. I remember an incident that happened when I was 17. I had a '67 Mustang (it was '75). I had a little trouble with the front end and took it to a garage. They told me it was the ball joints and fixed it for me for $60. Dad told me, when he got home from work that I could have fixed that myself (I have several times since then) and saved about $30. I told Dad to let me make my own mistakes. I appreciated all his help, but it was time to let me learn my own way. My immediately older sister was somewhat sickly and Mom and Dad doted over her. To this day she calls them for the slightest problem. She is 51 and still can't take care of herself with any assurance. She has to check it out with Dad to be sure it is right. I didn't want to be like that.

Anyway ... We stayed busy Tuesday as well.

Today, I went to work. I tried to get some things done, but there was a problem with the line between Frankfort and Clark County. There was no internet or email. My computer (State) has to have me signed into the email system in order for it to get past the sign in screen. With that not being possible, nothing else worked. So, there was not much work done. Well, not much on the computer.

There ya go. Now you are caught up.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today has been a Christmas kinda day.

No, there hasn't been any snow.

The giving spirit of Christmas has been here. This morning at 6:30, we got the kids up to go to Walmart in Winchester, where we were going to 'Shop With A Cop'.

"Shop With A Cop" is a charitable program sponsored by the several law enforcement agencies in Winchester. They collect monies through-out the year and at Christmas time, they give under privileged kids a chance at a few Christmas presents. Volunteers go with the kids and guide them to clothes and toys. We, my SkillsUSA students and I, were there to volunteer. So were the Cheerleader, and the FFA, and others. It was a grand time.

Kyle was not able to go with it. It was sad. He started getting the coughing crud Saturday and was still hacking this morning. He, reluctantly stayed home. Chella had a great time and found that she really likes helping others. She wants to volunteer other places. I think it is a capital idea. She needs more outlets. She needs to be more places than hanging with the local hoodlums. She needs to meet other kinds of kids. She gets all the hood rats that she doesn't need around here.
We will see what becomes of this spirit after the holidays.

Welcome to the tightrope.

Why must raising children be such a tightrope walk?

We teach our children to defend themselves when it is necessary in word and, if unavoidable, deed. Then, we have to balance that by teaching them to respect those in authority over them. After all, in most accusations of wrongdoing, it is an adult in authority bring the accusation. Then we defend our children vehemently when we feel they are wrongly accused. We have a responsibility to our children to take their word on some things until we have evidence to support that they are lying to cover up a misdeed. Our children see the passion of our defense in their stead and know we are their champion. They also learn how to defend themselves, but not the place where they need to back off and let another fight for them. That is part of the tightrope walk for parents.

Children don't see the times that we hold our tongue, because we did just that. We didn't erupt into defense. We choose our battles. The kids see only the battles and think it is appropriate to use this defense every time.

We teach them to speak up for themselves and then we teach them to hold their tongue. We teach them to defend themselves and then teach them not to fight.

Growing up is all about taking your place on the tightrope.

Friday, December 16, 2005


ok ... Sorry to keep ya waiting ...
The assessment of Cycle One is completed. In my internship, there are three cycles. In each cycle, I am to be observed by another teacher, my principal, and the professor from EKU, Dr. D. Yesterday, Dr D observed me teaching. We had a meeting with the two of the three (my teacher observer had a class to teach at EKU and couldn't make it) to discuss my strengths and weaknesses. My strengths were good and weaknesses were just a few. This is a good thing. Assessments are one of 4 choices. N/A for 'not applicable', 1 for not 'progressing toward the standard', 2 for 'progressing toward the standard with room for improvement', and 3 for 'meets the standard'.
Most of my marks were 2's with one 3 and one 1. The single one was only because I did not provide enough evidence of one of the standards in my portfolio. Principal K says it was a good first assessment. There were no overriding concerns. They felt I was on track. I am doing the happy dance.

Today is the final day of school before Christmas break, and half of my classes are taking finals. I am looking forward to a slow day with little drama (at least at school).

We did a staff Christmas lunch thing yesterday with so much left over that I don't need to bring or get lunch out today. I thought I would take off on Monday to finish a few things and start a few things, but I remember, I have an advisory committee meeting on Monday (sorry, babe).

Still ... It is FRIDAY ! ! ! !

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today is the day

the professor made it today. I am awaiting the meeting with he and my principal to discuss their findings. I will post later about that report and the rest of my day ...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Today, this morning, I was to be assessed by the professor from EKU. It didn't happen. He didn't have it on his calendar. We are scrambling to reschedule. According the the Kentucky Professional Standards Board, we have to have this done this week.

The problem exists in that tomorrow and Friday are finals days for the students of GRC.
We will see what will be ..
stay tuned ...
Same bat time, same bat channel ...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lazy weekends and lesbians

It has been a lazy weekend so far. I can't afford another one of these for a while.

On Friday night, we didn't go out anywhere, except to drop Chella and Justin off at the movies and pick the up 2 hours later. We did make a side excursion to the house of Ronnie turner, owner of Amteck Electric to see his outrageous display of Christmas lights. I will take the camera next time to post a pic or two. Trust me when I say it is outlandish.

Saturday, I didn't even put on clothes until suppertime. I saw no need of pants until then. We went out afterwards to sing. I knew I would need to be wearing pants for that anyway. Although, the thought of throwing Tammy on the waterbed for monkey sex did cross my mind and enter our conversation. She was all for the monkey sex and forgetting the singing part. We went to sing anyway. We had a good time, met new people, and sang our little thumping gizzards out.

Tammy sang one song just before we left, Patsy Cline's "Walking After Midnight." It impressed a couple 'lesbians' at the first table. We talked about that. I think, while allowing them to make that choice, that many lesbians aren't really lesbians at all. I listen to their conversations. They are just man haters. Nothing done by a man is a good thing. All ideas brought forth by the penis bearers of the species are bad, or at the very least, flawed. They hate men so much that nothing a man does will suit them in any way. They form romantic relationships with other women as a way to 'get back' at the objects of their hatred.

What they really don't understand is that we, as a rule, don't care. Why should I care if a woman has a relationship with another woman and excludes men from the chances ? I do not care if you love another woman any more than I care if a guy loves another man. These 'man haters' are never really pleased in their relationships with other women either. If they are romantically involved with a true lesbian, then they don't share the hatred that is such a fundamental part of themselves. If they do find an equally obsessed 'man hater', then the relationship is based on a common hatred and that never brings happiness.

Love who, and what you wish, but do it for the right reason. Do it because you have a love for someone, not a hatred for everyone else.

We eventually made it home around midnight.

Sunday was a lazy day as well. We did take Chris and Becca to Nickel-Vegas to help my oldest daughter and hubby move into their finally finished new place. For me it was a great opportunity to visit with the grand kids. The youngest of A's sat on my lap and we had a blast. We sat on the couch and clapped every time the guys brought something in from the truck. (they needed Chris to help with some heavy stuff. Washer and dryer, large TV, entertainment center)

We came home and finished the night by watching "Dragonslayer" which I bought for Tammy last week. It is one of her favorite movies.

How was yer weekend ?

Friday, December 09, 2005


Yesterday's Chinese blog said:

The snow is on the way. So says the weatherman. We are expecting up to four inches of that sweet white powdery stuff. I love snow, I love it on the trees and the yard. I love it in the fields and covering houses. It just needs to stay off the roads that I need to travel on.

However, the big predicted snow never showed up. It did snow a little, which was enough to throw the city into white powder panic. To really screw up traffic in Lexington, just add water, in any form, rain, snow, sleet, ice, or even fog.

Last night, we went out to return movies (gotta avoid those late fees) and the roads were not bad at all. People were still in a panic, but it was easily passable. There is school nearly everywhere in KY. There are a few counties that have called off school.

EC has called off school. Clark County has not. I will have students.
The fun is beginning.

Thursday, December 08, 2005



Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Nerve raking number 2

Just take a rake and run it across my nerves.

Today, my principal sat in on one of my classes. She chose my 4th block class. My 4th block class s one of the most chaotic classes. The students from GRC (which now number 2 with recent drop outs) are in there for about 40 minutes when the students from ECHS (which now number 3 with recent drop outs) arrive. There is a moment of pandemonium as the two classes merge into one. The girls from ECHS have to say their hello's to the boys from GRC. This take a few minutes and is not so much different form the regular class changes, except that it happens in the middle of one of the classes. GRC students in 4th block are here from 11:55 til 1:33. The ECHS students are here from 12:35 til 2:20.

I have to spilt my lesson. Ideally, I would continue the lesson after the break when GRC leaves, and teach the GRC students what the ECHS students learned after they left, the next day before they arrived. That is what should happen, ideally. Since when do things go as they ideally should. The girls from ECHS are distracted after break/and or the learn at a faster pace than the guys at GRC. Well, either they learn faster or get bored faster. Both are a possibility.

The guys from GRC are not hurting, as they both have averages in the low 90% range. The girls from ECHS aren't hurting as they all have averages in the upper high 80% range (85% to 87%). Either way it goes, both are learning.

Well, anyway, back to the Principal being in my class. This class has not one, not two, but three students with hyperactivity issues. They feed off one another as well. So, if one goes outside the box, the other take it a step further, and then another step further. It can be quiet comical at times, and to the casual observer, seem to be chaos. It really isn't. I have to let them vent it from time to time to allow them to focus back on the lesson at hand, otherwise, they would explode, or amuse themselves and lose everything I say.

I haven't heard from Ms B. What she thought of the class. One student was literally bouncing in her seat (not real noticeable) to keep from bursting out talking. One student was doing his best to stay awake, with the help of one of the girls poking him to alert him. The most ADHD one of the bunch did well. He will raise his hand and start talking about the same time. If it pertains to the lesson at hand, we discuss. If it doesn't, I either answer his query in short form or tell him we will go into that in more detail later. If I tell him we are not discussing that now, he will keep it in his mind and lose focus on what we are doing.

These are not book taught responses. These are actual trial and error responses. I have tried other methods. These are the ones that currently work. I am open to suggestions at any time.

I am now calmer. I know I can teach. I know I can reach the kids. The important thing is that I do it to the most effective level I can. I have told my Principal that I appreciate her advice. I appreciate the advice of anyone that wants to help me be a better teacher.

I have one more observation/evaluation to go. It will be by Dr. Davis, next week. He is a EKU professor and former teacher. Keep yer fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's a fat one

I read this report online and couldn't resist adding my comments to it.

MINNEAPOLIS - Schools that run bake sales and let teachers reward students with candy risk having more overweight pupils, a study in Minneapolis suggests.

Suggests ?? Have we become so politically correct that we can only suggest that eating baked sweets and candy causes obesity in children? Come on, you know it is true. Eating sweets and candy adds to obesity. DonÂ’t be afraid to say so.

That offers some vindication to the schools across the country that have cracked down on cupcakes and cookies on campus.

As if we need vindication. Kids, left to themselves, will not eat correctly. This is just the way it is with kids. Let to their own devices, they will screw it up most of the time. I know, I know, your kids would never do that, I am talking about my lids.

Lead author Martha Kubik, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, acknowledged her research doesn't prove that such food practices contribute to adolescent obesity, but there does seem to be a connection.

Seems to be a connection ?? did we just fall off the turnip truck or what ?

"I think we all have to step back and look at what we're doing to contribute to practices that might not support children developing healthy dietary behavior," she said.

Her study's results make sense to Kevin Miller, principal of Fair Haven Middle School, which banned bake sales and went junk food-free as part of a districtwide program in the New Haven, Conn. Miller doesn't allow vending machines, and his cafeteria promotes healthy food.

Kids are actually eating apples and oranges instead of throwing them away. And because there aren't any candy wrappers around, he said, "our hallways are impeccable."

Can we say, Duh !?!?

I know that we need to tiptoe around everyone in the world so we donÂ’t damage the fragile psyche of kids now days. We need to encourage them. I agree with all that, but too much is too much.

Attack of the colds

Sorry to be absent. We have been battling the colds over the weekend and yesterday. I didn't go to work. Chris didn't go to work. Kyle didn't go to school.

Today is better. Head is clearer. I am back at work. I don't know the condition of the others as I left as they were getting out of bed.

I will try to catch up as I get more time during lunch and later this afternoon.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Let the fraternization begin.

One of my students has invited me to go to a place close to his farm for a pool tournament and to sing karaoke tonight. It is a restaurant as well as a bar, therefore, the kids can come. The pool tables and bar are in the back. We will be in the restaurant portion of the establishment.

Tammy wasn't too thrilled about the pool playing part (nor am I), but loves the karaoke part. I have nothing against pool playing except that I am not good at it. It is ok as a fun game, but I would never presume to compete. That would be a waste of my time and anyone else in the contest. My brother in law (an excellent shooter) says I am a slop shooter. My balls fall in by luck in a pocket completely across the table from where I am shooting.

We will see how this goes this evening. It will be a good opportunity to talk to this students parents. His dad is close friends with the owner. K is a good kid. He has a lot on his plate. He works the farm before coming to school and is also a volunteer firefighter. He has a high "B" in my class. This morning he was tired, after rescuing a calf before coming to school. The calf was stranded in a lake.
I'll keep ya posted.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas perfected.

I have perfected the entire Christmas experience. We (the family & I) were having an in depth discussion about Christmas. Tammy asked me when I wanted to go Christmas shopping. (We have done some preliminary shopping.) I told her, “December 24th.”

Here’s what you do, I explained. You go to the sock aisle at Meijer and walk down the aisle shoveling socks into the buggy. You do want to make sure you hit a few different colors for those that have favorite colors. Let me ask you, sincerely, who can’t use a few new pairs of socks? What person, rich or poor, married or single, man or woman, can honestly say that they do not have any need for a couple more pairs of socks?

They are the perfect gift. They are universally worn. They are unisex. They come in one size fits all (except Godzilla feet.) They are more than just made for the feet. They had multiple uses. A nice fluffy sock can also be used as a mitt for car washing. They can be a bank for your loose money. Extra socks can be used as mittens when the tide of the snowball fight is going against you and provide the needful protection to allow you to double your output of firepower.

They are enjoyed by young and old alike.

They eliminate the “you gave him more than me” crying, so often heard this time of the year. Everyone gets socks. They are the great equalizer of today’s society. They eliminate the need to shop for days and stand in line for hours after and before fighting maddening crowds on the road and in parking lots. As a gift, socks reduce stress (always a good thing this time of the year.) Think of the hours you can spend with the kids when you don’t have to be out in the weather, out in the traffic, out in the crowd, fighting for an X-box 360°.

Not being out in the weather reduces your chances of getting sick.

Not being in traffic reduces your chances of being in an accident.

Not being in a crowded mall or department store reduces your exposure to germs and idiots.

Socks, as a gift, lengthen your life. It is comforting to know, the years you add to your life by avoiding stressful times and places, will be spent enjoying the socks you have accumulated over the years.

Even though the Bible doesn’t mention it (and I hope I am not being sacrilegious here), I am sure one of the wisemen, along with the gold, frankincense, myrrh, thought to bring socks.

So practical. So easy. So thoughtful. So simple. And yet, so overlooked.

The gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Who would have thought, Christmas could be so simplified, as giving and receiving socks.

Keep those Christmas thoughts flowing, and your toes warm. Have a sock today.

Shop early, shop often. Keep a few extra pairs around for unexpected visitors. Your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a nice warm pair of socks.

This message brought to you by the Association of Sock Sellers.