Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free at last

Just kidding.
Although ... I am without student for two and a half months. This can only be construed as a good thing. We are doing the end of the year process. I have a checklist of all the inane things I need to do to be away for the summer. It has to be done by the 15th of June, which is the last day I am supposed to be working until August 1st. Yeah, RIGHT !

I do have 10 days extended employment for which I will be paid. Then, there is the staff exchange, for which I will be paid. Then, there is the trip to New Orleans, for which the state is paying, and I will be paid. as of right now, it looks like I will be off for two weeks during the entire summer. I planned as best I could and got them to fall at the end of one week pay period and at the start of the next week pay period and still be two consecutive weeks. Looks like I will be off the last week of June and the first week of July. the kids will be in Florida (after June 12 until July 17, I think.) Tammy will be working, but we will still have free nights and weekends (Sounds like a calling plan rather than a 2 week vacation.) Of course, Tammy is going with me on the week trip to N.O. That will be cool. I have a conference with classes and such during the day, but nights will be ours in the Big Easy.

Other than that, things around here are comparatively quiet. There isn't much going on in the way of drama. Sierra is in labor. She is 32 weeks. The DR wants to hold her off as long as he can. He is striving for at least two more weeks. By then, Alivia will be developed enough to have the best chance to not be in an incubator. She is just over 3 pounds now, and her lungs have not fully developed.

Other than that, it is quiet. The kids school ends this week. Chella assures us her grades are now up to par. She is jazzed about getting off punishment, or "lockdown" as she calls it. There has been a restriction in her freedoms, but she is nowhere close to locked down. Maybe I can arrange a visit to a real 'lockdown' to show her the difference. I have a friend/fellow teacher that teaches at a womans facility. I am sure we can work something out sometime.

Kyle is Kyle. he is being all of eleven that he can be. I was talking on the phone to a good friend (Hi, Russ) Tuesday night and told him that during the upcoming baby shower, Kyle and I would be out and about looking to pick up some chicks. Kyle, from the back seat, with all the manliness an eleven year can muster, said, "Hey, I'm committed now." (Yes, Kyle has a girlfriend.) Tammy and I both said, "You need to be committed." It was funny to hear him say that. Like he has any idea what a relationship is. Too funny.

Ah, the summer looms before us.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial day weekend

The weekend started with a pain, literally. Tammy had her surgery. The DR did a Hysteronomy. It is supposed to be much less invasive than a hysterectomy. Tammy said it was the most pain she had ever had in her entire life. Considering the fact that she has given birth four times, I will safely assume it was very painful. I have never seen her in such pain since I have known her. She was, or should have been, tied to the bed. It was done out patient with only local anesthesia. She had incredible cramps and pressure. She had Lortab and that didn't even knock the edge off of it. I called the DR. He was on call, but never returned my call. I was not a happy camper.

It highlighted one of the drawbacks to living in a small town. There are only two gynecologists in town. Your choices are fairly slim. As disappointed as we are, there isn't really anywhere else to go for treatment. Rest assured, when she goes back for her check-up, there will be some stern words.

Saturday, she was stubborn and feeling slightly better. I emphasis slightly. She rode with me to Winchester to go to my school and pick up a cover I had altered on Friday. We went to the park then, and put the cover on the new junction box/former panel that we used to change out the service there. When we got back, she conceded that it might not have been the best idea she ever had. Needless to say, when it came time to go out that evening to see some friends, she was still adamant about going. I would have rather stayed home, but she insisted. It was great seeing our friends that we hadn't seen since March. However, it was too much for Tammy. We ate and left after very little socializing. She was exhausted and pale as a sheet at the JC Penney White Sale.

Sunday comes, and I have a singing engagement. It was the day I was to sing the National Anthem at the Lexington Legends baseball game. She was going if it killed her. I offered to stop at the school and get her a wheelchair. She said she was fine. Of course, once we got there, she conceded that the wheelchair might have been a good idea. It was too late to go get it. I had a sound check and then was to sing about an hour later. The singing went well. I couldn't find the exact note I wanted but I found one I could do it in. I found the note in the car, but lost it later. The range on that song is vast. Start too high, and you will croak by the end. Start too low, and you will bottom out in the beginning. I was still a bit throaty from the cold and congestion. Still, Tammy promises me that I did great. I believe her.

We made it home and both stayed in or near the bed for the rest of the day.

Monday, Tammy did something very un-tammy-like. She actually stayed in the bed till around eleven AM. She did get up and change out of her sleeping clothes. She can't stand to stay in them all day. I like it, since most of the time she sleeps (cover your eyes) naked.

She took a bath and washed her hair. We forced the kids to do some cleaning. She folded laundry and wore herself out again. I went on the rampage. I turned off the TV and took away books. I told the kids there would be nothing else done until the house was cleaned. Tammy asked them to do certain things and they took it that those were to be done at their leisure (translated never.) I showed them the error of their ways. The house looks much better now.

My daughter called me this afternoon. She was all apologetic. She was supposed to pass along an invitation to a family cookout today in Lexington. I assured her it was ok, since we wouldn't have been there anyway. Tammy was still in too much pain and discomfort to be traipsing all over town and beyond.

She is sitting on the couch now, because she doesn't have the energy to do the stairs just yet.

That is my weekend. How was yours ?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Setting the bar too high and infection

Seems odd, but then again, it was an odd day.

Yesterday, Tuesday was primary election day in KY, so I got half a day off with pay to go vote. I actually voted before going to work, so my afternoon was clear. The night before, being aware of this, Tammy suggested that I could come to her work, pick her up, and take her to lunch. That seemed like a great idea.

I left my job at 11am. She got lunch around 1pm. Before I met her, I made a few stops. I stopped at K-Mart to get a cheap toss-able tablecloth (I had a plan.) I looked all over and was about to give it up, when I got to the front and saw the clearance shelves. There they were, Table clothes for $2. I grabbed one and noticed there was some perfume there as well. One of them was Raspberry Ice. (Tammy loves raspberry.) I got the cloth and the perfume and was on my way to my next stop.

DollarTree. Everything for a dollar or less. There, I got a small bud vase, a crystal candle holder, a pale lavender/pink taper candle, and a pack of lighters.

China Wall. There I got two combinations of sesame chicken, one extra hot for me. I picked up plastic-ware, duck sauce, soy sauce, and was on my way to Lexington.

In Lexington, I went to Ashland Florist. I wanted pink daisies. They are Tammy's favorite flowers. They didn't have any pink, but did have a very pale lavender. That would work just fine, considering the candle was a pink/lavender.

Next stop: Thornton's. I got two cold Diet Dew's.

since I left work, and I was finally on my way to see my hunny.

I called her as I turned on the street where she works and told her I was on my way. She asked where we were going. I told her I would keep that one a secret for now. I pulled up behind the building as she was coming down the stairs. She greeted me at the truck and asked where we were going (persistent, ain't she?) I told her what I had. She loved it. We set up the table and sat down to eat, much to the delight of her co-workers. Several asked what the occasion was. I told them it was Tuesday, and that only happens once this week. It was a great lunch. Priceless.

Her boss (Frank) told her later that I was setting the bar too high for other men. Aaron, a gay guy that Tammy works with said he was developing a crush on me. He wondered if that would bother Tammy or I. she assured him that it wasn't going to bother either of us. We are both very secure in our relationship and realize that other people can like us, have crushes on us, or even lust after us, without affecting how we feel about each other. It only becomes an issue if that person acts on those feelings. Then, it isn't a jealousy issue as much as it is a respect issue. Respect us, respect our relationship, and don't try to interfere with it.

Now, on to the infection. When I got home my tooth was hurting. It had been coming and going for a couple days, but a lot more mildly. Today, it was talking loudly. I decided to lay down for a bit. When I got back up, when Tammy got home, it was swollen until my eye was almost closed. I called my DR because I have Mitral Valve Regurgitation and infection is very dangerous to me. To put it in the simplest terms, one of my valves leaks a little and blood pools behind the valve inside my heart. If I get an infection in my bloodstream, it will pool in my heart and it can kill me. It isn't likely, but it is possible. With that in mind, I called my DR. They suggested that I go to the ER and get a shot of antibiotics.

We went to the local hospital and went to the ER. The nurse was great. We chatted about politics (it was election day) while she got my vitals. Then back to the admitting clerk. She was nice. Then back to a room to wait. The DR was cool, checked me over, and concurred with my DR. Another nurse came in with a hypodermic and the meds. I pulled up my sleeve. She smiled and shook her head, no. She then pointed to her bottom. OH ! One of those shots. I exposed my cheek and she plunged it right in. It eventually got a little sore, but that passed. They gave me a prescription and we were on our way.

This morning it was swollen a little more than last night, but went down during the day. Tammy tried her best to get me to stay home, but today and tomorrow are our last days with students. I have finals to give (school rules) and the park job to finish. Someone asked what happened to my face. I told them that Tammy said, 'shut up' and I thought she said 'get up' and the rest was history. It was still a fun day. We will finish up finals and the park tomorrow and then I will have no students until August.

I was slightly worried that I wouldn't be able to sing on Sunday. I was talking with a little lisp. I can hear it now, O thay can you thee, .... However, I sang it this morning in the truck on the way to work and it sounded fine, no lithp.

And there ya have it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

splotches and other fun things

It has been an interesting week.

There has been a cold, an allergic reaction, a day of sleep, a cancelled cookout, and a Bible Study.

I got up on Monday with a cold (sniffle sniffle), but just a slight one. I still went to work. On Monday night, as the cold threatened to get worse, I decided to take a cold remedy. The cough was trying to keep me up all night, and that wasn't a good thing. So, I took some pills my wife gave me for cough and congestion. In the night, I was not coughing but not sleeping right either. Tuesday, I get up and leave for work after taking one more pill. My hands are itching. My palms are itching. My lips are tingly.

I stop for gas a couple miles from work and see in the mirror that my lips are swollen slightly. I call work, get gas, and head home. On the way, Tammy calls. I tell her what is going on (sorta.) She tells me that she has benadryl in her purse. We meet in the middle and she gives them to me. By this time, my arms have started to splotch. I am breaking out in hives.

I get home, take the benadryl and sleep away the most of the day. By Wednesday I am good to go. I am still slightly itchy, but manageable.

Thursday, I go to a State Committee meeting. We are developing a Career Pathways document for HS Counselors.

Tuesday night, I did the Bible Study thing. It was OK. I was still nervous, but I think I handled it well.

We were to have a cookout on Friday for the Students. One of the other employees picked up the meat for which my club paid. He was supposed to bring it on Friday. I get there and he isn't there yet. He is supposed to be at work an hour before me. I call his house (40 miles away) and he is still in bed. He is sick. His wife will bring the meat, but cant leave home until she takes daughter to school. The meat will not get to our school until second period. So, I postponed the cookout till Monday.

That was the short version of my week. How was yours ?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

mothers day

That special day

When I consider all you have done
Throughout all of my life
And continue to do as each day comes
The idea of a special day for you
Make perfect sense

It is impossible to keep count
Of the knowing and reassuring smiles
No way to measure the courage
That existed because I knew
You were behind me, somewhere

You have done infinitely more
Than wiped my nose or bandaged my knees
Your support has made the difficult easier
And the impossible manageable

You smiled, reassured, and held my hand
Through my pains and heartaches
You hid the tears that you refused to cry
At least, in front of me

You didn’t hide your disappointment
When I was wrong
And believe me, I was wrong many times
You still held to the belief
That I would learn and you would wait

You never made it right
When it was wrong
But when it was right
You were my strongest ally

You made all my successes a mountaintop
You made my failures stepping-stones
For these, and a million other reasons
You have a special day to say
How much I appreciate and love you

That day
That special day
Is everyday

Happy Mothers Day, Mom

Ron Simpson Jr.

May 12, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

life goes on

It is just one day past 2 months since Dad passed away. I read an article once about all the euphemisms we use to prevent ourselves from having to use the "D" word. Rest assured, I know Dad died. Saying 'passed away' does nothing to ease the pain of that.

I am amazed at how quickly we fall into the new routine of living without him. For me, it is because I am aware every day that he is gone. I don't find myself seeing something funny and thinking how much I want to share that with him. I know that I can't do that. Perhaps some day, I will forget that he is gone and think, "I can't wait to tell him." It wont happen this week.
In one week (subtle gear shift) I will be doing something I haven't done (formally) in about 10 years. I will be teaching Bible Study at the church. Our Pastor likes to involve the laity in the bible studies by letting everyone have a chance at doing it. Next week is my week. I must admit, I am a bit nervous.

Now, teaching is what I do every day. I teach electricity to my students day in and day out. A friend of 30 years, now the assistant Business Manager of the Union to which I belong, stopped by yesterday while I was talking to a small class of 5th graders. He brought me an absentee ballot for our union elections. He watch me interact with the kids and explain our program to them. He commented that I had found my calling. Teaching is one of my passions.
Still, I am a bit nervous. we will see how it goes.
We have 10 more instructional days left in this school year. Then it is a month of work at the school, a month of work away from the school, and 2 weeks vacation. then the next year starts and we do it all over again.
You are all invited to come to Applebee's Stadium on May 27th, at 2:05 PM, to hear me sing the National Anthem at a Lexington Legends ballgame. It was a blast last year.
More to come .....

Sunday, May 06, 2007


It has actually been a week since I blogged ???

What has happened in that week that robbed me of my time for blogging ?

Well ......

This week has been CATS testing week window number two. It is the make-up week for those that missed a day the previous week. The students are all still out of whack. Whenever you do something to mess up their routine, it throws them all off. Weekends seem to do that too. One of my students told me once, on a Monday, that they shouldn't have to work because it is Monday. My response? In the real world, work happens on Monday. It happens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays too. Some folks even work on Saturdays and Sundays. Let's start learning that here.
The dreaded BOX had to be completed on the 1st of May for my self assessment. I turned it into my principal last week for her to check it. She did, and gave me a list of the things I needed to add to it. This week, I did that. Based on the documentation they require, I got 81 points out of a possible 84. That is 4 points possible in 21 categories. My box score, the average of all those, with 4 being perfect, was 3.86. Pretty good I think. One of the other teachers offered me $50 to help him with his.

We are finally released to go to the park to finish our project.

One of my students came to me to ask what he needed to do to pass my class, with 13 days of school left. He has a 34 in my class because he skips and doesn't work. I don't understand those that do that. I understand the goofing off part. I did that, but I did it after I had the first half in with an A and could afford to get lax. I actually graduated 3 months early because I was counting my credits to see what I could flunk and still graduate. To my surprise, I had enough credits to graduate already. Bye-bye High School.

At 17, while most of my same aged friends were juniors in HS, I was a freshman at UK. Here it is 32 years later, I am nearing 50, and I am back in college at Eastern Kentucky University. I am 31 hours toward my Associates degree (64 hours) in Technical Education. I am taking 6 hours over the summer. Oh yeah, that is also what I have been working on this week. I had a 5 page term paper due, a portfolio due, and a final test to take. I don't know about my scores on the term paper or portfolio, but I do know I made an 88 on the final (took it online today.) That is a B and I had a B on the midterm, so I think I am ok.

Tuesday evening was the final night of the night class I was teaching to adults. Wednesday evening was a ribbon cutting ceremony at Bluegrass Community Technical College (Leestown Campus.) Thursday was the final meeting of my CTE261 Foundations of Technical Education class. Yes, it was a busy week.