Monday, August 30, 2010

What Teachers Make

The edited version:

The unedited version:

September Is Ovarian Cancer Month

Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones, or blessed, depending upon how you look at it. Back in April, a large cyst was found growing inside my right ovary. By the time I had surgery on May 13th, it had grown to over 13 cm's in length and a little over 2 pounds in weight. But I was very lucky, it was benign.

Yes, I lost an ovary, but I got my life back.

If you show any of the symptoms shown in the video, get a checkup. I'm thankful I did.

For more information:

I will also say I found out who my friends were during that time, and who they were not. Friends and loved ones I grew closer to from School and Church, while I got banned from a fan club site while being tested for cancer. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

Fixing Public Schools

Fixing Public Schools from CNN

Cooties And A Slap In The Facebook

My friend Carol shared this with me.

And from the same group... Cooties.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

For Those Who Think Cross Walk Rules Are A Joke

They aren't. This not only includes the intersections, but especially around our schools.

Touching The Hearts of Our Youth

Ten Year Anniversary

August 14th was the 10 year anniversary of Decker's death. I had some things already planned, but instead I spent time with Mom, playing chauffeur for her with her errands and having lunch together.

That evening, however, I noticed something strange going on at home. It was rather warm and wasn't cooling off. I wasn't sure if it was because of the weather, or if it was the air conditioning, but I soon realized it was at 86 degrees inside my home and it wasn't cooling down. Of course this happens on a Saturday night.

The air conditioner was completely replaced Summer of 2009, so everything was under warranty, and it was VERY nice that the air conditioner men who installed the unit came on Sunday to take a look at everything.

They found that the coils had completely frozen. I mean frozen as there was a solid sheet of ice over the coils. Between that and the electrical malfunction that was keeping the fan running continuously ( they disconnected the power and the fan was still running) due to an electrical current coming in from behind the transformer - which could have burned down my home - the men working on it were scratching their heads. They couldn't figure out how this stuff had happened.

Then I remembered a little something about Decker. Decker liked to play practical jokes, ones that would always leave people scratching their heads to figure them out. Yeah, my husband is warped that way. It appears he was having a little fun with everyone that weekend, just to make sure my anniversary weekend wouldn't be a dull one. This isn't the first time, and won't be the last. LOL.

Baby Miracles

Lately I've been seeing, through friends, family and television that miracles are still happening, particularly with our little ones.

One of my friends at Church brought her new born miracle girl today for the first time. The baby was born with Spina Bifida and was born prematurely as there was fluid building in her chest. She is still undergoing medical procedures, but was such a beautiful little girl, sleeping through Sacrament Meeting this morning like a little angel.

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this story out of Australia:

Mother Nurses Son Back From The Dead

Here's the video:

Diary of A Wimpy Kid

I purchased the Blu-Ray of this movie. It is HILARIOUS!!!! Particularly the "cheese touch" and the red-headed boy asking his buddies if they want to see his "secret freckle".

Writing Class

For my reading class, we have finished the book Me and Mr. Darcy . This is a great read from a plot standpoint, however the biggest drawback are the characters dropping the f-bomb and other swear words throughout the book. If you can get around that, and happen to like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, then you will LOVE this book.

The writing class is going well, however it's very vigorous work, as you need to write at least 1 scene per week, two if you're smart about it.

Last week I wrote, read to the group and turned in the wedding scene. Tonight I wrote the sex scene, which is required for the class, however I have no intention of reading it in front of everyone. Sorry, but I do have my limits. And since it's been 10 years since I've had sex, it's probably pretty lame anyways. LOL.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I guess that guitar I played in middle school could use a good home... at my school. (Sorry, Barry)

Official Statement

Manilow Music Project

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet John Doe

Link for this photo:  Flight Attendant Meets Barry Manilow

I've been away from blogging, Facebook, even my FarmVille lately simply because I'm really busy right now.  I did, however, think I should post this because it seems like history (even if it's fictional history) seems to be repeating itself.

The guy on the right (if you haven't watched tv or read any online news stories lately) is Steven Slater who blew up and left his job as a flight attendant rather abruptly after what has been an alleged argument with a passenger who wasn't following the rules.  I say alleged, because now people who were on the flight are speaking up and saying the argument never happened.  I have no feelings about that part of the story because I wasn't there and don't know the real details.

The past few weeks (which have been the first two weeks of school with the students) has been really crazy for me.  There is usually some amount of "tweaking" with the computers needed at the beginning of the year, plus training and meetings to attend.  This year has reached a new level of craziness due to a staff member's abrupt departure from my school.  I don't know all of the details, I just know that my workload has doubled with a lot of the responsibilities I am handling being things I was never trained in.  I feel bad for this staff member, I really do, but now I feel like I'm barely treading water due to someone else's decisions.

Then I read this on Tuesday:

While I really don't care about this guy, what struck me is that he has a publicist, but is using a court appointed lawyer for the charges against him.  In other words, he's out getting photo ops and going on a cruise, but his lawyer is being paid for by the taxpayers.  I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in paying for this guy's attorney if he's got a publicist.

The other issue here, though, is surrounding all of the publicity this guy is getting right now.  He seems to be all over the place getting all of these pictures taken, some people referring to him as a hero while others refer to him as a villain.  Personally, I wonder if this is the first time he's lost his temper, or just the one time his temper tantrum made news.  All I know is if I were a business owner, I wouldn't be hiring this guy to interact with my customer base given what has happened.

This does remind me of an old movie I know and love.  I love the Frank Capra classic movies, as there was a moral to the story.  These were movies made during the depression and while they aren't the action packed thrillers you see millions spent on making today, these shows have had staying power because of the stories and the morals.

And if you'd like to watch the full movie:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jet Powered School Bus?

I wonder how many of the students at my school would ride something like this?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Very Nice...

Google's logo for the 71st Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.

And here's a link with more Google Doodles...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Do You Have A Favorite Disney Movie?

If we are talking animated movies, my favorite is Cinderella.  Decker and I had a Cinderella type of story, where we first met in the kitchen at a Church Single's Conference, and later that evening we fell in love on the dance floor.  We sang The Power of Love to one another while we danced.

My favorite live action Disney movie would have to be an old classic, The Absent Minded Professor.  I loved Fred MacMurray in this role and loved the wacky science even more.

The 1988 version was not bad...

An Opportunity of A Lifetime

This is so nice of Barry to spend some time with the students.  I would have loved to have gone to something like this when I was in high school:

Barry Manilow Invites Local Music Students Behind The Scenes

Tonight's The Night

This is a show on BBC1 in England, apparently where wishes are granted... after a serving of humiliation.  It's kind of like a surprise Harpo Hookup if you've ever watched Oprah.  On this show, a man who dreams of performing in front of millions of people gets a little help... from Barry.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New On My iPod

And something a little more current...

The Start of A New School Year

This has been what I've felt like this past week as my summer ended and my adventure into a new school year began.

If you are unfamiliar with education, all I can tell you is it's an entirely different world than the world of business. It's the most similar to retail, however your pint sized "customers" don't really understand the big picture of why they are there. They do have goals, they do know they need to learn to read, write and speak English, learn math and it's crazy rules, get taught about a bunch of old dead people, see and read about really cool science stuff (if that customer likes science, it's cool), run around a lot and learn new games (PE), learn how to sing on key (a challenge for some), and play on the computers (that's where I come in).

This retail experience is also where the "customer" must be monitored at all times and the "customer" doesn't always "want" what it is you're trying to "sell" them. By monitoring that also includes crossing the street and eating meals. Because of this, in addition to the normal job requirements there are what are called "duties" where staff are monitoring the "customers" getting on and off the bus, crossing the street, eating breakfast and lunch and playing on the playground. Staff members don't get additional pay for it, it is considered to be part of the job.

In addition to pleasing the customers, the staff also make attempts to please the families of customers (ie parents) with how well the end product (knowledge) is being given to our "customers" and how well they are receiving it. The staff must also please the local, district, state and national administrators, and most importantly, the voters in the area, most of whom have never met the staff at all.

Other differences from a traditional retail "world" is that the majority of the staff are highly trained and educated people. If you want to know what kind of strategy you need to assist a "customer" with a math problem, there are people trained to help you with a higher degree of assistance than on the job training.

There is just one problem with this scenario. You see, there are families out there with "customers" who are demanding Saks Fifth Avenue quality on a Wal-Mart budget. As with the real world of retail, it doesn't work that way. If you want the best quality, you should be willing to pay for it.

In the meantime, I'll be busy working with our little "customers", attending meetings into the evening (this past week I had crossing guard training and we had meet the teacher night) and doing homework to try to keep up with the demand, and doing my best to help our little "customers" who are sick, crying, having accidents or just having a bad day. :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Is This World Coming To?

So what kind of government official shuts down a 7 year old's lemonade stand?  What's next, Girl Scout cookies?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It Was Only A Matter of Time

I love this.

Crossing Guard Training

Bundling up for a bad winter morning.

Today was the annual crossing guard training class, this time it was presented by Maricopa County rather than through our District.

You meet the greatest people at these meetings, people from all walks of life and at different stages in their lives willing to work part time for meager wages to get children to school safely each day, rain or shine.  We carpooled to the convention center where this was located at by school bus and I was remind of just how my 5'7" body doesn't fit in those seats.  :-)

There was a lot I learned about today, but there was also some humor as well.  Some of it planned and some of it, well, just experienced.  LOL.

Among the crossing guards working this school year are two older gentlemen who are from the "greatest generation" in age.  And, as with two old war horses, they like to talk.  And talk.  And talk.  Are you getting the idea?  One of them was the spitting image of one of the Statler and Waldorf muppets from The Muppet Show.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Widow of Zarephath

With all of the work I've been doing around my home to prepare for the upcoming school year, I pulled my back out over the weekend and was unable to attend Church today.

The Sunday School lesson was on Elijah, After The Fire A Still Small Voice .

A part of this lesson contains the lesson of the Widow of Zarephath. She was in the midst of grief, in despair had resigned that she and her son would die and was making these preparations when she came upon Elijah.

In a selfless act of giving, she freely gave away what she believed would be the last of her food to save a stranger in need. What she didn't know was what would be in store for her, her son or this stranger.

Much like the widow giving of her two mites to the treasury, these are acts of women who have made sacrifices in their lives, continuing to give and contribute to others, no matter the consequences.

What many don't realize is these widows had already been schooled in sacrifice by the loss of their spouse. Widows and widowers today also receive that education.

Unfortunately there isn't much I can tell the uninitiated if they haven't experienced it themselves, but, trust me it's a club you don't want to belong to.

August 14th will make the 10 year anniversary of Decker's unexpected passing, I can tell you there is a lot in my life I've found I have no control over. I have to leave it in God's hands, which I learned beginning the day I came from the hospital in total shock and the first of many traumatic events I experienced as a result of Decker's death.

I do know, however, with my life in God's hands, things will work out. I don't know what will happen and what additional changes will be required in my life, but things will work out. God chose me to be among his widows, I can only pray for the faith and strength to live a life worthy to be in the eternal company of widows such as these.

If you are widowed yourself, particularly an LDS (Mormon) Widow or Widower, I have a blog I've had going for a little while to help with the grieving. The Widowed Connection. Feel free to stop by and take a look.

This artwork hangs in my home.