Saturday, April 29, 2006

Winding down

Wednesday evening, we headed for yet another State Resort Park. It was the 2 day follow-up for my New Teacher Institute class. The first part was 5 days of intense broad scattered information. It was very much to be absorbed in 5 days. It created a basis of being able to say, "Yes, I have heard of that," when the numerous things that happen during your first year of teaching happens. It is the beginning of learning. It is the collection of all the things you didn't know that you didn't know about teaching. One can never learn until they admit to not knowing, and can never admit to not knowing when one does not know what it is that one does not know. OR ... You cant ask if you don't know.

This 2 day follow-up was more of us, the new teachers, releasing and sharing with instructors, professors, and each others, the lessons we have learned in our first year. By doing so, we weave together our collective strengths and thereby eliminate our individual weaknesses.

We were in the middle of nowhere. One turn and cell phones were useless. Inside any building, there was no signal. I think the state picks these places just for that reason. I tried to blog through my phone and it was useless.

The trip was great. I was able to take Tammy and the kids. They enjoyed the trip. It was at Rough River Dam State Park. The room was roomier than the last place. The beds were just as uncomfortable and there is apparently a limit on the number of pillows that state will buy for it's resorts. Tammy and I love an extra pillow. We have yet to be able to get more than one. It seems that, at any given time, at any state park, there may be only one extra pillow.

The trip put us together for 4 days. That's a great weekend.

The year is winding down. Only 15 days left. School will be out. Then I work for one more month. Then 11 scattered days until August 1st. And the whole thing starts again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Skipping school

Yes, I took off work today because of my rapidly advancing cold.

Tammy asked me, first thing this morning, was I going to do the smart thing or was I going to work?

The smart thing won. I did make preparations yesterday in the event that this might happen. I felt terrible yesterday as well. I spent the majority of the day curled up in bed (some of that curled and tangled with Tammy.) Our legs intertwine when we are in the bed. We just fit so well together.

It did feel way too good to not be at school today. I took drugs and snoozed. My fever went up a few times, but Tylenol took care of that.

I am sitting here, sweating and chilling slightly.

Kyle got in trouble today at school. We are at a loss with his actions of late. Last Wednesday, he tried to lie his way out of going to school. He took his temperature and tried to say it was 101°. He turned the thermometer off when I asked to see it. I made him retake it. The second time, when I was looking at it, it said 97.7°. We told him that he was going to school and while he was gone we would decide his fate. He, very smartly, said, "I know what you will do. You will take away all my privileges."

Well we fooled him. We didn't take away any privileges. We added to his chore load by requiring him to do the dishes every night for a week, and he has to go to bed at 9 instead of 9:30 for that same week. He also got 3 swats with the paddle. Tammy gave those.

Well, when Tammy and I returned from the movies on Sunday, we brought home a tub of popcorn. It was the free refill. I told Kyle he could have some (he was obsessing.) After he had a bit, I told him he couldn't have any more until after supper. The police arrived and we were outside for a while. When I came back in, there was about 3 inches of popcorn missing from the tub. Kyle decided that it really didn't matter what we had said, he was apparently entitled to more popcorn. For this, he lost after dinner snack for one week. He also got 3 swats with the paddle. Tammy gave those, but her wrist was hurting and she didn't have a great grip on the paddle. He actually laughed when it was over. I informed him that from this point, all infractions considered major warranted 3 swats.

Today, he comes in from school, in trouble. He was running his mouth and told a kid to call a little girl stupid. His teacher threatened to remove him from the academic team. I took him into the bedroom and reminded him of the arrangement. I assured him that he would not be laughing this time. I gave him 3 firm swats. I told him, when he felt like sitting down, he was to sit in the living room. He was to stay sitting until time for bed, except to do his regular chores.

We explained to him that we loved him and that was why we were spanking him. He needs to know that wrong actions bring punishment. Right actions bring rewards. We have always rewarded his right actions. Now, we have to wear the other shoe.

Hopefully, he will get the message. Tammy is threatening military school if he doesn't straighten his act up.

Is there a Cadet Kyle in our future?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday, here she comes ...

It is Monday morning and my week is starting just fine. First thing when I get to work, the Principal hits me up for a favor. It seems the Auto Teacher won't be in today, and I will have his class. That is an extra 15 to 20 kids added to mine, with nothing that he left for them to do, and nothing my class is doing pertains to them. Add to that that, the cold I am fighting and it promises to be an eventful day. I am starting this post around 8AM. No telling when I will finish it. I will work on it a little at a time as time permits. Fortunately, I do have some new DVD's about workplace principles, interviews, resumes, and stuff like that. They wont pay attention, but they should sit quieter.

Afternoon now ... Morning has gone fine .. Afternoon is progressing about the same. My sniffles are increasing in spite of medicating them. I have warned the Principal that I may be the next MIA.
There is the incident of yesterday to report.

Tammy had to take Chris to work yesterday at 1PM. She picked him up in Nicholasville and delivered him to Winchester for work. When she returned, we were going to the movies to see " Silent Hill". There were 2 boys on the porch visiting Chella. One was a friend of Chella and the other was a friend of his. (one of my pet peeves is friends of the kids bringing friends of theirs to the house. They know them, but they are strangers to us and I don't care for strangers hanging around the house.) The two kids, we will call them D & C, were told they had to leave. No one is allowed at the house when we are not home. They left as we were leaving.

We had been at the movies for about 5 minutes when the kids called from the house wanting to know if they could go walking. "No." They didn't have a key, and I didn't want the house left unlocked.

About an hour later, the phone rings again. Chelsea relates to me what has happened.

D & C came back to the house under the guise of D retrieving his lighter. While there, Kyle was outside and said something to C. C replied that Kyle was getting on his nerves and he needed to shut up. Chella told C, "you aren't supposed to be here anyway so you don't need to be getting on my brother." C responded that he "would kill Kyle and rape her."

Kyle went back into the house, while Chella tried to get rid of the unwelcome visitors. C tried to grab Chella's butt. She stopped him. He grabbed her and bit her neck. Yes, I said he bit her. She slapped him, He came toward her and D stepped in between them. He told Chella to go into the house. She did, and they both left. She told me that they were gone and she and Kyle we inside. We finished our movie and came home.

It was about 45 minutes from the call until we looked at her neck. There was a clearly visible bite mark. There was no broken skin, but a red imprint of teeth. We called the police and issued a report. We will file 4th degree assault charges against this punk. I cannot imagine where some kid could get the idea that behavior like that is acceptable. Even if he isn't convicted, I hope he gets the message. Otherwise, he is well on his path to a life of hardship and prison.

I cannot reiterate to the kids enough how important it is to know who is at our house. I cant reiterate how important it is to follow the guidelines we set down. They are for their protection. They think we are just trying to make sure they don't have any fun, but we are thinking of their safety.

Chella was having issues with the whole incident. Tammy called the rape crisis center and is scheduling an appointment for Chella to talk to them. She was not 'raped' but she was violated. She took several showers and still felt filthy, she said. We assured her that it wasn't her fault. This will give her more positive reinforcement.

That was our weekend. How was yours ?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Is that my nose ... I'll just cut it off

You have probably heard that old adage about cutting off the nose to spite the face. Also coming to mind is the military adage about crapping in your mess kit. Well, I have seen them both personified.

December, January, and February, just passed, the tenants upstairs did not pay their rent. They would call the Property Owner, hence known as Dad, and tell him some story, and make a promise to do certain things, which they never did. There were a couple reasons that Dad did not evict them.

First, it was Winter. This reason was a two part reason. Dad didn't want to put a family out during the cold months of Winter. He also did not want the apartment empty during the winter months, because he would have to pay to keep it warm.

Second, they said they would pay all of the back rent with their income tax refund.

The refund came and the rent was paid through March.
April came and there was no rent. Dad asked me to give them a 7 day notice to pay rent or move, which I did. They paid the rent late and did not pay the late fees. Then, the wife of the team decided to call Code Enforcement to report a broken stair rail (that she herself broke.)

Code Enforcement came out and made a report and created a list of repairs that needed to be made.
Then, the dufus made threats against my honey and threats about doing damage to the apartment. Therefore, I wrote and delivered 2 letters yesterday. One stated that, pursuant to the terms of the lease, we would be entering the apartment on Saturday to do an inspection. The second stated that due to the nature of the repairs to be done, the apartment would be uninhabitable for a while, therefore they needed to be out of the apartment by the end of May.

Yeah, well, you asked for it.

Is that my nose ... I'll just cut it off.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

CATS testing !!

The students are CATS testing ... Hold on, I'll find out what CATS is ... OK ... Commonwealth Accountability Testing System ... Wow .. That's a mouthful.

Anyway, my students are all CATS testing this week. This means that I have no students until after lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It is a paperwork catch up time.

Oh yeah, by the way, I finished my internship yesterday. Dr Davis observed me teaching. He checked out my portfolio. He gave me 3's across the board. My internship is completed. Now I just have to finish my New Teachers Institute class and my year is done. The NTI class is all the classes I needed in the first year. Next semester, I have to begin classes in earnest to complete my teaching degree.

Other than that, the weekend and week were quiet.

We are still awaiting word on the mortgage thing so we can proceed with the idea of buying the house in Mt Sterling.

I'll keep ya informed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Digging out my soapbox...

Stepping up to the mic ...

recently, in my beautiful home state of Kentucky, a student was ejected from the University of the Cumberlands for being gay. UC is a 1700 student institution in Williamsburg, KY. It is a Southern Baptist University. It states in its policies that homosexuality and premarital sex are not consistent with the Christian lifestyle. Regardless of how you or I feel about this policy, it is not my place to make such policies or rail against them.

It is a private university. It is a Baptist university. They have the right to make the rules for their university. They own it. I make the rules at my house, mostly. That is my right. No-one can tell me that I have to allow certain kids into my house. No-one has the right to tell me who I can refuse to hang out on my front porch. This is the same right that this school has.

It was spelled out in the policies in the admission forms that this student signed upon entrance. He knew the policies. Even knowing this, he opted to post in his MySpace that he was gay and discussed his homosexuality. I do not agree with the policy of the university, but it is their right.

He discussed his desire to leave the school on his MySpace as well. He stated that he hoped the school would kick him out.

This is all about the money, as usual. Avarice rears its ugly head. Greed talks the loudest. This kid, for whatever reason, was ready to leave the school, and figured he would bring it down and make a few bucks along the way. Look for a lawsuit. He is already bathing in the attention.
It doesn't matter if you are pro or anti gay. It is a fundamental right that the government seeks ways around everyday. All these liberalists calling for the school to lose funding or change the policy will be to ones screaming the loudest when the federal government invades their homes and tells them what they can and cannot do behind their doors. They are the loudest detractors when he government tries to invade our bedrooms and tells us what sexual games are allowed and what is not. Then they turn around here and call for that same Big Brother to step in here.
To me, the answer is simple. It is a private college. If you don't like the rules, do attend. Don't send your kids. Don't support them with your donations.

they are not alone.

Wayland Baptist University, Plainview TX: "The following behaviors may be grounds for probation, suspension or expulsion from the university: ... Premarital or extra-marital sexual relations or cohabitation on university property or in conjunction with university activities or functions."
Asbury College, Wilmore KY: "Certain behaviors are expressly forbidden in the Scripture and therefore are unacceptable in the Asbury community. These behaviors include theft (including plagiarism), lying, dishonesty, gossip, slander, profanity, vulgarity (including crude language), sexual immorality (including adultery, homosexual behavior, premarital sexual intimacy), drunkenness, immodesty in dress, and occult practices."

California Baptist University, Howard Payne University, Cedarville University, and Palm Beach Atlantic University, all have similar policies.

They are private universities. They can make their own rules.

My daughter attends a public magnet school. They have a dress code that I do not agree with, but she abides by it. She does because we want her in that school. I can disagree. It is my right. They can impose the code and enforce it. It is their right.

I do not need more government butting into my life and telling me who I have to allow on my porch any more than I want them to tell private colleges how to run their affairs.
Sliding my soapbox back under the bed.

Monday, April 10, 2006

side view 2 Posted by Picasa

side view 1 Posted by Picasa

Tammy's Toy Posted by Picasa


Trying to upload pics to my blog ... tried 2 programs already ... no luck ... will keep trying


It was a quiet week end and quiet weekend.

I will catch you up later.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wonderful !!

The hectic-acism has returned to my life.

Tammy, with all her usual drama in tow, has made it back for Florida. I say this 'tongue in cheek', as I knew trials and tribulations of raising kids before we married. I had a slight inkling as to the drama associated with her family (although it was from the outsider looking in standpoint.) You must understand, while my family is not perfect and we do have our little dramas here and there, Tammy's family is drama central. Someone is always going thru something that they think we need to be involved in or at the very least, know all the details of.

So, Tammy is back and has hit the ground running. I think the running part just helps keep her own natural nervous energy from driving her completely insane (partial insanity is required.)

This morning she had her usual running minus a bit (kids are out of school.) She still had to meet Chris across town and bring him back across and take him to work just inside Clark Co. She, then went home, showered, and headed to the courthouse to appear for dad in an eviction (it is actually the wrong term) hearing. ** According to one of the Real Estate instructors that taught in the school I attended (Yes, I have my RE license [in escrow]), eviction is when the house in not able to be lived in by reason of damage or lack of working utilities (ie. No heat or water.) The process of removing a non-paying tenant is 'ejection.' We have used the term wrongly for so long that most people (except the educated readers of blogs like this) think the wrong use is the right one. (Just a little FYI.)

I am seriously looking at what work I can take home and thinking of not coming back in after today until Monday. I like the idea of sleeping in for 4 days and spending more time with my drama magnet hunny.

I reviewed the bills for the trip to Florida to help Jim move. Not counting food and lodging, which were all by our choice, the cost was $972.13. In my reckoning, Jim owes at least half of that. Deducting the $50 he gave Tammy in Florida (and saying that made he and her even ... In his dream world) that leaves him owing us $436 (dropping the odd cents because we are just nice like that.)

He has furniture in the U-Haul that will be moved into the storage. When he comes up with his half, he can have his furniture. Until he comes up with his half, all assistance will come to an end. He will be finding his own apt. He will be finding his own DR. He will be making his way alone in this world (unless he can find someone else to con into doing it for him.)

Tammy has already called the nursing home where her mom is and warned them that he is in town and is still on the 'no contact' list. They assured her that he will not be allowed to see Carol. If he tries, he will be informed that he is to leave the building. 'Pitching a fit' about it will result in legal intervention.

OK ... Shaking off the drama.

Last night, I got to sleep beside that sexy red head. She was exhausted, even tho she did try to rest during the day. There were no activities that Russ couldn't know about. She told me this morning that she slept like a rock. I tend to disagree, cuz I have never heard sleeping rocks snore, but ....

She will tell you that I have no room to talk about anyone snoring, but I am not the one that claims I do not snore or fart, you know?

Let me tell you, I snore, and I fart, and I vote. (just thought of that bumper sticker I see in KY ... I smoke ... and I vote.) I do all three with exuberant passion.

Back to the grindstone ...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Slower than expected ... Complications

Tammy is almost home. It is about 9 o'clock Tuesday morning. She had to stop last night. We were on the phone until 2ish. She was nervous, and pissed. The truck was really wearing on her. Jim and Deanie left her long before. She was in the mountains with a 23 foot truck pulling car hauler trailer with a mini van on it, with 3 kids and a little dog in the cab. She was on her own, almost. I was her voice in the night. Cell phone reception in those mountains sucked. We got cut off a dozen times. It would take 5 minutes or better before I could get back through to her. They were very very long five minute stretches.

By 2 ish she had made it inside the state line. She tried to stop at the rest area welcome center, but it was already welcoming too many folks. She drove on down another 10 miles and stopped at the next exit.

I told her to stop and rest. She said there wasn't room in the uhaul truck. I was like, ok, sleep in the minivan. They did. They got in the back of the van, bundled up, and got some much needed off the road time.

Through the mountains, the weight of the load kept trying to push her down the down slopes. She had to hold back on it. She couldn't brake all the time or the brakes would get too hot. She had to use the brakes in conjunction with the transmission. I am quite proud of her. She was scared. She had two panic attacks, but she stayed together until she could stop.

She is within 30 to 40 miles of home. The road is better. The sun is up. She is pushing along now about 65 to 70 MPH. She is going home and crashing in the bed. Jim brought the car to work. I told him we could do the exchange tomorrow. He said he would just come to the house and pick the van up there. Way cool.

My baby will be home and safe soon !!!

We will deal with Jim and Deanie leaving her in due time. We will deal with Jim's lack of effort in funding this adventure as well, in due time. He needs his furniture. He needs Tammy's help finding a place. None of that is going to happen until he forks over the money due. Even then, he will get the help he needs and then he can forget our numbers. Tammy has raised herself since she was 10. She doesn't need this tadpole in her life bringing his drama.

Enough on that one. I don't need to waste any more of my time on him.

Tonight, I will sleep beside my hunny again. Life is good.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Still here

Seems I am reminding you lately that I am here more than usual. Life has caught up with me and has intruded on my blog writing time. The nerve of real life butting in like that. Here is the short list (maybe) of what has been happening.

Tammy was leaving for Florida (and did) on Saturday morning. We were trading vehicles with Jim, one of the teachers here at the school. He claimed to have a full size cargo van. We were leaving him the Camaro. When we got to Jim's place to do the swap, we found out that it was a Chevy Astro mini van, extended version. It wasn't what we had hoped, but still could haul much more than a '95 Ro. So, we made the swap. He informed us that the window on the drivers side quits sometimes, and several other quirks about the van. He did mention that the brakes (according to his wife) had just started making a sound.

OK. The sound was the sound of metal rubbing on metal. The pads were shot. We considered returning the van and having Tammy drive the Bravada. She didn't think that was necessary. She got used to the van and figured she would drive it. When she got it to FL she would have friends there fix the brakes. The gas gauge in the van is yelling. We stop and fill up. Even with our 10 cent per gallon discount, and the lower prices in Nicholasville, the first fill up is $55.

The gas mileage wasn't too bad. She filled up again in South Carolina, where the gas was $2.39 per gallon. She topped the tank off just before leaving SC to enter FL.

Along the way, she picked up her uncle to help with the driving. He was a tremendous help along the way. He did comment that she and I talk more to each other than any couple he knows. We did talk a few times during the drive.

Once in FL, she discovered that Jim (dad) had lied (surprise surprise). He didn't have as much done as he had indicated. As usual, there was more to do then he said, and he was still trying to get out of paying for anything.

There wasn't enough room to bring all of Tammy's furniture back, so we began looking for storage units. Tammy looked in FL and I looked online. I gave her a list to check out. The cheapest she could find was over $300 for three months. This also precipitated that we had to make arrangements in 3 months to retrieve the furniture. I told her to find a one way rental to bring it here. If it cost us $400, we would still be money ahead.

She went to the U-Haul place. It turned out the girl working there was a distant cousin. There were some bobbles, couldn't rent a pull behind because of no connector for lights, but we finally settled on a 14' truck with a car hauler for the van. We got 5 days rental, 1041 miles, and a free months storage at the U-Haul facility here in Lexington. That was right at $600. Still, it was cheaper than storing it there and returning to get it. Also, by hauling the van back, we didn't need an extra driver, we could load it full, and there was no gas expense for it. Mission accomplished.

She and the kids got everything loaded. Jim wanted to put some things in the U-Haul. She told him he had to pay for part of the rental. He gave her $50 and said they were even. Yeah, he is out of his mind. When we get to KY, we will store his stuff, and when he pay up, he can get it back.

I want to give a shout out to I did find her a cheap nice room thru them. They even called the motel to make sure there was no additional charges that might surprise us. I booked it and paid for it, so all Tammy had to do was check in.

I talked to her several times last night. She was tired but much better emotionally. The loading was done. All that lie ahead was the drive home. She is nervous about the drive. I told her to let her uncle, a former trucker, drive the truck hauling the van, and she could drive Jim's F-150. She will work those details out today.

I called her this morning. Man, she sounds sexy in the morning. I have missed her like crazy. I got new pillows for the bed while she was gone. They didn't help much when aching for her kept me awake.

Today, I am working on establishing a lesson plan database for the state and missing her. Seems my day will be full.