Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Something I wrote .. Found .. Finished


There is no light of hope. There is no glimmer of joy
The darkness bounces the sound and echoes the loneliness
Cold and dark, melded as one
Indistinguishable, as I sit At the edge of dawn

There is no adjustment for my eyes to reach
No matter how I strain, no light to gather in
Not even a fleeting of the diehard idealist
He cowers beneath the growing damp misery

Time is suspended or so it appears
For a moment, for one overwhelming moment
It seems this is to be the only reality left
Without hope of even an illusion

Then it happens, far far away
Whether it makes a sound, I cannot say
But something stirs in that distant land
Is it a break? Again, I cannot say

The sun breaks the horizon tearing the fabric of the blackened sky
Slicing like a sword through the thin velvet veil of misery
Darkness flooded with brilliance's of orange and gold
Washing away the haze of yesterdays grays

Yellows and reds strive to break the bonds of misery
Chasing away the heretofore smothering darkness
light slicing through the horizon, leading the sun's charge
Emboldened by the retreat of the shadows

There is something undeniable about this slicing light
Bringing to the front previously hidden half truths
Exposing suspicions and putting them to flight
Advancing warmth encroaching on the pain

The sun emerges like a drowning man
breaking the surface of hopelessness
but it is too late ....
I am already dead.

Welcome dawn.

Ron S

November 29, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to work

Another week begins. It just has the misfortune to follow a five day weekend. I was off for holiday on Thursday and Friday. We didn't have students on Wednesday, so I took off then as well. It felt kinda strange last night setting the alarms to get up on time. It is funny. Any other day when I am not working I am up at 5 or 6 am, but on days I am working, I usually have to force myself out of bed at 6:30. Weird.

Anyways, the holiday was great. Sierra and hubby Jordan have been with us since Thursday (I think .. recollection is hazy right now.) They were with us on Thanksgiving, that I am sure of. Chris went to Nick-Vegas for the holiday and weekend.

We stay close to home as much as possible. We did get out amongst them on Saturday. We went to a munch and then out karaoke with friends. It was a blast.

Sunday was a stay home day for me. Tammy had to work. I got the kids pizza for supper. It was all good. We missed church in the morning/afternoon because she had to work.

There was car news, but it is still not clear exactly what is wrong with the car. It wouldn't start. When Bobby came to replace the starter, it started right up. He replaces the serpentine belt, fixed the egr tube, and left the starter alone (it is a bear to replace.) Still, no definitive answer on the overheating thing. Tammy drove it to work and all symptoms have disappeared. We are totally confused at this point.

There is more, but students take precedence. Later all.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A litter of new rat dogs Posted by Picasa

Life takes strange turns.

Looking back, I didn't place myself here five years ago. I couldn't. So many pieces were still missing. It is like a large jigsaw puzzle, with an undisclosed ending ..

This day finds me, as most people, considering the things for which I am thankful ..

First, I am thankful for my health. I am overweight and have the problems commonly associated with that. I have hypothyroidism. It sucks. I have arthritis in my back. (that sucks too) However, I am able to get up each morning and go to work. I am able to go where I need to go when I need to go there. My health does not prevent me from doing everything I need to do. It does, on occasion, stop me from doing everything I would like to do, but I still do what needs to be done, and for that, I am thankful.

Secondly, I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for all of my family. Allow me to start with those living with me day to day. I am thankful for my wife and the love she gives to me daily, hourly, and moment by moment. I completely adore her and she returns that adoration back to me. I love the way she takes care of me, even though I fuss about her trying to wait on me hand and foot.

Extending outwardly, I am thankful for our kids, both hers and mine. We have those parent/kid moments where I think they are irresponsible self centered brats and they think I am an out of touch hateful parent (normal stuff,) but I wouldn't trade them for any other kids on this Earth. For all their bumps, scrapes, and scars, they are mine to love, and I do, love them dearly. I am grateful for my mom and dad, my brother and sisters, and all 100 or so it seems, nephews and nieces we have (every year we are adding a couple more through marriage.) There are 50 or so together at Mom and Dad's house for Christmas. It is quite the spectacle. 50 people, from 75 yrs old to 1 year old, all laughing, singing, praying, expressing thanks for the year passed, and eagerly anticipating the opening of gifts and the next year. We are a great support group. We do endeavor for the most part to support most of us. (There is a sour apple or two in the bunch, there has to be, I believe it is a law or something.)

I am thankful for my friends. Tammy and I share an eclectic group of friends. They are as varied as they can be. They include, but are not limited to, pastors, lawyers, doctors, executives, teachers, craftsmen, tradesmen, worker bees, retirees, housewives, single dads and moms, business owners, and a host of others. They range in ages from teenagers to ninety year olds plus. They each bring something precious to our lives.

I am thankful for my life. There are days in my past I am not happy with, but I cannot regret them (in their entirety) because they brought me to this day .. and today, I find myself incredibly thankful.

There is a line from a Maya Angelo poem .. "Whatever happens, this is."

I am glad that this is ..

Thanks to everyone in my life .. from then until now ..

Monday, November 20, 2006

Loooooong day !

Today is open house at the school. It runs from 5 until 7. I am off work at 3:30. My principal asked me if I planned to drive to Mt sterling (30 minutes) after work and then drive back. I was thinking, NO! She put me in for comp time from 3:30 until 7, which I thought was a nice gesture.
That makes my day nearly 12 hours at school.

This week is going to be difficult enough without adding the strain of a long Monday. We only have students Monday and Tuesday. We still work on Wednesday. Then we are off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. The students are pretty fired up for the upcoming days off. That makes today and tomorrow more hectic than usual. According to the other teachers, their students are wilder than ever. Either my students are unusually calm, or they are normally wilder than ever, because I don't see much of a difference. The key this week, as it is every week, is to keep them busy. Busy students are non trouble making students.

Still, it is a long day.

The weekend was good though. It was a quiet weekend. Chella had a friend over for what turned out to be most of the weekend. Nate was no bother though. Chris was gone for the most of the weekend. A friend, Bob came to look at TJ's car. He thinks it is the starter. At this point I can believe that. It seems, little by little, every part of the car is wearing out, lol.

I cleaned most of Hell while Bob looked at the car. I am about 2 hours of work away from parking a car or truck in there. This week should take care of that.

I am the SkillsUSA advisor for my school. The students dues are $13. I told the students that could not afford that , that I would work something out with them. One student came to me and expressed his desire to have something worked out. I told him that I would hire him to put insulation in my attic. He was happy with that. I will get him over the weekend to do that. (yes, I will pay him more than $13 for it.)

He is a good kid. He had a few problems before hand, which came to a head last week. We had a conversation with the principal, and then he and I had a sit down. I explained how it had to work. He was quiet for the first time in a while (usually some smart comment.) Since then, he has been a changed student. He always liked the shop part of the class, but didn't like the class part of the class. It takes both to succeed in this field. He is coming around.

My best student is Rebecca. After her, there is a student in fourth, Kris, that is very good. Kris is one of those hyper kids. He was all trouble last year. This year he is a go getter. He still has hyper issues, but is very happy to work in the shop. He also grasps the idea that what happens in class carries an equal importance.

After the two of them, TM is probably one of my top students. It is hard to rank them, as some are better at some things while others are the best at other things. Overall, though, I would have to give those three my top spots. I have smarter students, but they don't want to work. I have harder working students, but they are not too smart. These three are a good mix of both. They are great students, and good workers, or great workers and good students. I would recommend any of them for a job.
It is after 6 now, during another boring, nobody shows, open house.

Y'all have a good evening.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Biding ....

I am just biding time.

Tammy has the truck. She is working until 4:30 ish. We have to be in Lexington for a board meeting at 5:30. There was no need for me to take the truck, drive to Mt Sterling after I got off, picked her up, and then drive to Lexington. Well, at least not until I become a major shareholder in some oil company. So, here I am at school, biding time.

I was going to do nothing while doing my biding, but I just couldn't. I was going to avoid doing any work for the school, but that didn't work either. I came in a little late yesterday. We were running behind. I had to get gas. Chris wasn't going to work, then he was. By the time we got close, he wasn't again (not his call.) I still had to drive him to his job, because his boss was going to give him a ride home. So, I got to work close to 8. I was 1/2 hour late.

I usually stay after work most days a 1/2 hour or more and work on classwork. You know, writing tests, lesson plans, grading tests, etc., the things that all teachers do. I couldn't do that yesterday, as I had to get home to take Tammy to work (this one car things sucks at times.)

When I got to work this morning, there was a note for me, from the principal, that I needed to fill out a leave slip for that 1/2 hour. OK, I understand that I was late. I was here before any students were to be in class. I have given oodles more 1/2 hours than I have taken. It ticks me.

I decided, that even tho I had to be here late today, I was going to play games on the computer, listen to the radio, or anything else to avoid working on school stuff. Yeah, like that is going to work. Here I was, until a few minutes ago, working on a test for my second year students. I usually try to write my own tests, as I know better what I have emphasized than a group of test writers who took it straight from the text.

It just isn't in me not to do it. It doesn't hurt the state. It doesn't hurt the administration. It hurts the students, and that, I can't do. It just isn't in my makeup.

Tammy is in my ear. She is on her way. She is behind a slow poking truck that, as she says, can't decide if he wants to drive or play tiddly-winks. Life is never dull with her.

I am heading off. I will get all my stuff together and meet her outside.
Y'all have fun.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No to the Jeep

The Jeep was ragged out. The body and interior were fine. The engine was great. The tranny was crappy and there was a roaring grinding thing in the right front tire. So, no go for the Jeep.

Tonight, I find out about a 91 Mazda 626 with a turbo.

The car search continues.

Other than that it as a typical day around 35 hormonal teenagers.

Wanna trade jobs ?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Taking a minute to catch my breath and catch up

It has been a fun filled weekend.

Friday night was uneventful. We did go look at a 93 Jeep Cherokee sport. We are looking for a 'back-up' car for when or if one of our vehicles breaks down. Tammy's car has been in the mood lately to be off the road and it strains us to use just one car/truck. The Jeep was ok, but there is oil on the engine. It has a leak somewhere. The place of the leak is important. It can be something simple or something serious.

We stayed in Friday night.

Saturday morning, I was up around 5 am as usual. I had a friend coming to pick me up around 9 to go to Morehead KY to pick up a washer for my daughter (A). She called Friday. Her was broke. I made some calls and found her a used one, with a warranty. It was in Morehead. OD arrived about 8:30 and off we went. We picked up the washer and another washer and stove. OD has an auction house/furniture store in Carlisle KY. He got the others to sell. He gave me the one for my daughter at his cost, $50. A was worried about the cost. She didn't have the whole $50. I told her that I would pay for it and call it an early Christmas present. We brought it back to Mt Sterling. I told her I would bring it to her on Sunday.

We went to look at a cavalier and a Toyota at a friends car lot.

Saturday night was a class/party at a friends house. It was fun. Tammy made up 5 trays of goodies (meats, vegies, crackers, cheeses, deviled eggs.) We were there from 6:30 until midnight. Great company. Great conversation. Oh yeah, we took Brewer home to Chas. YEAH !!

Sunday was a great morning. I was up around 6 am or so. I went back to bed around 8:30 am and tried to get friendly (LOL.) Tammy was sleeping soundly and as much as she wanted to wake up, she couldn't. So, I settled in for a little more shut eye. She woke up a little after and my idea came to fruition.

We got up around 10. We did the hurry and got dressed and headed out for church at 11 am. Church was good. The pastor is OD (yep, same guy with the washer.) After church we came on home. Around 3, we loaded the washer, Chris, Becca, the pregnant Lacey, and headed for Nicholasville. We unloaded and hooked up the washer, visited with grand kids, and off we went again.

We stopped in Lexington to show Lacey to Chris and Chas. There, we helped Chris install a ceiling fan and then off to Mt Sterling.

It was dark for a while by the time we got home. We settled in for the night.

And .. How was your weekend?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Plague Warning!!

The plague stopped by my house this week in the guise of a sweet little blonde freshman. Chella brought something home from school this week that no-one wanted. She came in feeling poorly. By the end of the evening, she was worse. Then came the puking, pooping, fever, blahs. This was Tuesday evening.

Tammy took her to the DR on Wednesday. She has the PLAGUE, more commonly called the stomach funk, or stomach virus, or intestinal flu. By then, Tammy was feeling it as well.

Thursday, it got to me. I missed work, but didn't miss many opportunities to go to the bathroom. Chella still had it. Tammy still had it. She went to the DR and was diagnosed with the stomach flu PLAGUE.

Thursday evening the PLAGUE hit Chris. Thursday evening late and all night, it attacked Kyle. He spent most of his time after 8:30 puking and sleeping. He did not go to school today. Chella did go to school, but with an uneasy stomach. Chris went to work, as did I, and as did Tammy. We are hellbent on spreading this PLAGUE.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One of my favorite days

Today is one of my favorite days, Election day, the 'right to gripe' day, the best way to be heard day.

We, as individuals, have largely lost the ability to control much in our day to day life.

It tickles me when I get the emails about taking charge of controlling gas prices. If we band together and buy gas only on certain days, or from certain companies, we can send a message to the oil/gas producers and effect a change. That is purely idealist BS. If you thought that worked, I am sorry to have to be the one to pop your bubble. If every citizen bought a bike and we stopped using gasoline, we might make a dent, but the Gov't and big business is still going to buy gas and ship products. We sent a message to the gas companies a long time ago. We told them, by our buying habits, that we will pay whatever they charge and drive where ever we go. So, we really don't have a voice in gas prices as a whole. We can affect how they affect us. We can change our driving habits and lower our usage and affect our own pockets.

We grumble about prices and then write the check. We are sending a clear and concise message to the industries of corporate America.

However, today I get to make a difference. I get to cast the one thing I have, that no-one can do for me. No illegal immigrant can take this task away from me. No governmental body can stop me. No police will prohibit me. Today, I get to cast my vote, my voice, into the sea of millions and it carries the same weight as each other voice. Is that great, or what ?

I was told, this morning, that I could not vote. I moved and didn't change my registration in time. I have registered to vote in Montgomery County, but I am not on their register. BUT, I found a way. I can't go to Lexington to vote, I don't live there anymore. I can cast a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot was introduced nationwide in 2004. Provisional ballots are to prevent wrongful disenfranchisement. So, I will be going back to the polling place to cast my provisional ballot this afternoon.

Yeah !

In August 1974, I was 16 and a senior in high school. I took a class called Current Events as part of my History credits. Our textbook was Newsweek Magazine. I studied the Vietnam war. I studied the Nixon Presidency. I got hooked on the news and hooked on being a part of our nation. My part is my vote. I am hooked on voting.

It was November of 1975 before I could vote. In KY, 784,157 votes were cast in the gubenatorial race. Of those 784,157 votes, 3318 votes were cast in Woodford County. The votes were 470, 159 for Julian Carroll and 277,998 for 'Bob' Gable. In Woodford County, the votes were 2262 for Carroll and 1056 for Gable. I was one of those 3318 votes.

I remember the polling place. I remember the railroad tracks just beside the little building used. It was a magic time.

It still is.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The workweek begins ..

Here it is Monday again. For all its bad press. It isn't really such a bad day. Any day you return to work after a few days off seems much worse.

I worked for a contractor once that killed the magic of Friday completely. We worked every Saturday on a job for 10 months and they paid us on Thursday. So Friday wasn't
pay day, and it wasn't the last day of the week. It was just another day.

I imagine that people that work swing shifts and different schedules weekly feel the same about Mondays as I felt about Fridays then. It is just another day. Fortunately, my current job does not require many weekend working days.

The students come back, for the most part, with the same Monday blahs. The weekend is over. Time to sober up. Time to put on our learning caps. This week will be different. Tomorrow is election day. There is no school for the students. I have to be at work. We have an inservice day. I do get 4 hours comp time for voting, but I will still be at the school. So, Wednesday will be a Wednesday for me and it will be a second Monday in the same week for the students.

The weekend was great. We got to see an old friend, Russ, who was in town from Owensboro. We went to lunch on Saturday. He loved the new house. He is considering a move back to this area.

On Sunday we went to church in Flemingsburg to hear my dad preach. Dad is 76 years old, retired from pastoring several years ago, but still goes to churches, preaching and teaching. He and mom are still very active. It was great to see them and fellowship with them. Afterwards, we went to Blue Lick State Park Lodge for a 50 yr wedding anniversary celebration of the pastor of the Flemingsburg church and his wife. There were 2 other couples there that also had 50 or more years in marriage. My mom and dad have been married for 53 years this month. Rev. Plowman and his wife celebrated 50 yrs earlier this year, and he did a reaffirmation of vows for OD and Glinda at the celebration.

How was your weekend ?