Archive | August, 2007

Where did I put that whine?

31 Aug

Okay.  I’m so hot and bothered that it isn’t even funny.  Seriously.  It.  is.  not.  funny.


So, today, it was about 97 degrees.  It’s a cool and crisp 82 degrees right now.  Deeeeeelightful.  When I got to work this morning at 7:45, it was already 70 degrees.  Whine, whine, whine.

I work in a brand-spanking new building.  It is exactly 1 year old.  But, it is not air conditioned.  The powers that be felt that given our close proximity to the coast, we do not need air conditioning.  I would like to cordially invite all the powers that be to come on up to my upstairs classroom any afternoon next week (there is no cooling trend in the forseeable future).  We are running fans and thinking cool thoughts but . . . it ain’t workin’!

Last night, when I got home, the power went out.  There was a big fire in the nearby hills.  It’s really hot.  This is California.  It hasn’t rained since like March.  Fire is NOT our friend right now.  It burned through powerlines and we lost power for hours.  That meant no fans.  It was hot last night.  Blech.

Today, at school, a tree decided to fall behind the school and it took out the power lines.  So, at lunchtime (imagine a line of kids with soup next to the microwave ), the power went out.  (No, I don’t know why kids would bring soup for lunch when it is 97 degrees.  They are 5th graders — they don’t have to make sense.  Sigh.)  It didn’t come back on again before we left for the day.  So, no fans.   A mom brought popsicles to share — bless her generous soul — and that was wonderful

After school, I took my hot, grumpy kids and my hot, grumpy self to my mother-in-law’s for a swim in her nice cool pool.  That was a good thing.  Moods were improved with each splash!  Add McDonald’s for dinner and you have a near perfect evening!

At some point, however, I have to go in and brave that hotbox of a classroom this weekend and get some prep work done.  Blech.  It was a good week but lordy I’m hot and tired.

I’d better go pour some wine to help get rid of the whine.  🙂


Wordless Wednesday

28 Aug

leaf and vine design

Originally uploaded by egret’s nest

Ruby Tuesday

27 Aug

I think she’s missing all of us during the day. She’s home with Greg all day but still . . . it’s a lot quieter around the old homestead!

Poor little girl!

It’s a big day

27 Aug

Raven . . . toe tapping

Today is the first day of school. I’m very excited. The kids are very excited. It’s all good! I’m nervous, too. In a good way! My room is ready and I am mostly so. My lesson plans are done through Wednesday so I’ll be fine!

But, I haven’t yet mentioned one of the main reasons I’m so excited about continuing on at BCE — the Ravens, of course! I would have missed the ravens as much as I did the staff and students, I think. So, the treat for all of you is that I will continue to be able to show you amazing Raven footage like this! (Pun intended!)

Anyway, think good thoughts for me, my kids, my students and the Ravens whose quiet hungry summer is at an end. Don’t worry guys . . . you can quit tapping your toes . . . those messy, food-dropping kids are back!

Saying goodbye

25 Aug

This has been a wild couple of days.  The job of preparing for school is a big one.  I’m feeling MOSTLY ready so that means I’ll spend the next two days working my tailfeathers off.   That’s okay — I knew that when I signed on for the job!  We had lots of staff meetings the last couple of days — most of them reconvinced me that I love this school and the people who work here.  It was a good feeling!

At noon yesterday though, I headed out, let Ruby out for a little air and piddle, ordered some pizza, and headed to the park where my father-in-law’s memorial was.  The workers needed feeding up.  I helped get a few things done.  It was beautiful.  People arrived and there was lots of talking, hugging, and laughter.  Then we got started with the talking part.  The “MC” (for lack of a better term) was a good family friend.  He read a piece that my husband wrote — it was lovely.  Then he wandered the crowd and let people talk and share their memories and feelings about my father-in-law.  It was really nice.  My darling daughter took a turn at the microphone and wowed me (and everyone else there) with her poise and insight.  I sat with Gage on my lap feeling sad and yet blessed.  If you can judge the value of someone’s life by the impact they made on other people, then my father-in-law lived a full and happy life.  Of course, I knew that already.

When it was over, I ran home to let Ruby out again — poor thing.  And, then I came back to my mother-in-law’s house for the continuation of the party with the family.  It was really fun.  By 9:30, my three day headache had gone from simmer to boil.  My kids were starving (despite the vast quantities of food) so I rounded them up and headed home.  We ate a ridiculously late dinner and I bundled them into bed.  I crashed shortly thereafter.  It’s back to “bubbles on the bottom of the pot” now.  I need to aggressively attack it with ibuprofen and decongestant this morning.   Those things — plus getting my classroom ready — will be the best cures!

So, saying goodbye was lovely.  He was a good man and it was a good celebration of his life.

It’s Official Now, Baby!

22 Aug

Okay . . . it’s official. I had the interview. I got the phone call. It’s officially official. I can talk about it — I can trust it — I can do my happy “IT’S OFFICIAL” dance! I can stop worrying that I’ll say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.

So, the big news is that I am now a 5th grade teacher at the elementary school in my town. The one that I have worked at for the last two years in temporary, part-time, while-I-am-still-a-student kind of way. The one where my kids go to school. The one where I love the staff and the atmosphere we’ve created there. The one that is the right choice for me.


The good news is that while this announcement remained UNofficial, I was kind-hearted enough to volunteer to set up a classroom and help out the school to prepare for the new 5th grade teacher. Wasn’t that thoughtful and altruistic of me? (Sheesh! Talk about your basic selfish gene! 🙂 )

So, tomorrow starts meetings for 2 days. However, I also have my father’s memorial service on Friday. Then I’ll spend most of the weekend getting ready and then school starts bright and early Monday morning!

Don’t feel bad for me. They also had to hire a kindergarten teacher who also starts Monday and she didn’t have a kind “volunteer” setting up her room for her. Although, I think all the other kindergarten teachers chipped in all afternoon and worked on her room. But, that’s the kind of thing we expect around here — we help each other out! It’s part of the reason for the happy dance!

Wordless Wednesday

22 Aug


Yard art of terrifying proportions!

Ruby Tuesday

21 Aug

I have a bazillion reasons to adore Ruby — no doubt about it. However, even if I didn’t, this one would be enough. My son adores her.

I knew that Ruth would love her and bond with her and play with her and that Ruby would love her back. And, they do — they are great together and it’s all good.

But Gage is not a dog person. He can see a 10 week old Australian Shepherd puppy with soft, silky fur and a sweet look in his eye and think, “Hmmmm. No, I don’t want to pet him, thanks.” He’s just not a dog person.

But he loves Ruby. They are buddies. He’ll throw toys for her for hours. He can walk her because she’s not big enough to pull him over. They cuddle together on the couch or in bed. He feeds her her dinner everyday. They are buds and it is so wonderful to see.

So, rock on, Ruby! You are a great family dog!

One Deep Breath — Daybreak

20 Aug


Barefoot in my cool kitchen
I make my coffee by rote and watch
The birds eat their breakfast

More Daybreak poems at One Deep Breath.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2007, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Yard Art, cont’d.

19 Aug

So, we still needed that other pot. So, today, after Greg and I sensibly started off getting edger boards for the pathways and pvc pipe to run water out to my rose garden, we stopped and looked at the work ahead of us and said, “Heck, let’s drive another 2 hours one way to another pottery place and while we’re at it, let’s get the iron arch for the front of the rose garden! The kids will love it! ” (Our self-delusion knows no bounds!) So, we loaded our horrified children in the truck and headed off. Ruby was the only small creature in the vehicle who was pleased.

Our first stop was another import pottery place in Gilroy, California — Garlic Capitol of the World. The air is so pungent in Gilroy that it immediately makes me think of pesto and fettucine alfredo. Personally, I think I gain a few pounds just imagining eating all the good food with all the good garlic on it. Yum! But, anyway . . .

There were no pots that I liked at the place in Gilroy. But, we did find an absolutely beautiful arched trellis with a beautiful vine theme. And, I’d have been happy with it and brought it home and considered myself lucky. But, I had made the classic mistake of bringing my architect with me — it’s one I almost always make as I married my architect and thus tend to go places with him a lot. He noticed the matching gazebo. Oh. My. It was lovely. And, as it only cost about $1 billion more than the trellis, clearly, we had to have it. And, so, it will go OVER my rose garden. Suddenly, our garden design changed dramatically. I never would have done that without my architect along. We did beat the poor woman down on her price and got it for only 3/4 of a billion over the price of the trellis. But just look at it . . .

My new gazebo
Still in situ – imagine it in an actual yard with actual landscaping and roses and stuff!

There were lots of other entertaining things there. This was a favorite picture I took of Gage posing with a gargoyle. I joked after I took it — asking him which one was the gargoyle. He totally didn’t get it and said, “Mom, that one is the gargoyle!” I love that my kid wouldn’t consider that I’d tease him about being as ugly as a gargoyle but still, it was way funnier after he said it.

Which one is the gargoyle?

We stopped at one more place on the way home and we bought the last big pot for our yard. It’s beautiful but I forgot to take a picture of it and now it’s in my truck, upside down, with a blanket around it, and the parts to my iron gazebo all around. Not at its best, shall we say? The kids were so unbelievably grumpy on the drive home that I couldn’t believe it — well, yes I could. I do remember being 9 years old and stuck in a car for hours. All I can say is I wish my parents had gone to interesting places like pottery lots with all sorts of interesting things to look at. All I remember is being dragged to fabric stores and hardware stores on the weekend. Is there anything worse than watching your mother look at pattern books? I didn’t think so. My 9 year old daughter will tell you different, however! Just give her the chance!

Oh, if you stuck with me this far, you’ll be pleased to know that I saw my first Western Meadowlark in Gilroy at the pottery place. Yippee!

Last minute edit . . .

Here is a picture of the new pot and the new gazebo in place and well, some assorted silliness!

Both pots together

Gazebo in place

Gage trapped during gazebo assembly Ruth with new pot

leaf and vine design