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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Thursday, October 30, 2003  
New Photos

Melissa sent me a couple of new ones of Brendan drinking from a cup. He looks quite a bit like Melissa's father and brother, I think.

Today was the last day of the essay contest for the house unless she extends it again. Wish me luck!! You're invited for a visit if I win!

10:20:00 PM

Tuesday, October 28, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

New, odd questions. Answers to the other one are on the Squawkbox comment thingy.

1. PP - What Canadian music star uses only lower case letters in her name?
2. AE - What actor played the role of Harvey Weskitt in the 1950s TV sitcom Mr. Peepers?
3. HS - What number of states did popular presidential candidate Ross Perot win in 1992?
4. SN - What natural phenomenon in the 1980s put a finish to land speed racing at Nevada's Bonneville Salt Flats?
5. SE - What lay-out matching game was invented by a monk?
6. WC - What word was once used to describe a stand-up comic?
7. MV - The captain has a Jack Russell Terrier which may urinate wherever it pleases. Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman star in this film. Muntiny erupts on the Alabama, a submarine.

11:07:00 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

Here it is. Yes, it isn't Tuesday when I thought I'd post it, but I'm back at school now. (sigh) So let's have fun again! If anyone knows #6, I'm going to wonder about you.

1. PP - What planet would a jovial Jovian be from?
2. AE - What character name did David Bowie use to sell a million records in 1973?
3. HS - What five countries contain areas where Simon Bolivar fought for independence from Spain?
4. SN - What resin, usually produced in thin, flaky layers, is used to make phonograph records and insulating materials?
5. SL - What national tournament rewards its winners with the "Green Jacket"?
6. WC - What is the name for the apparatus of lights and mechanical arms used on railroads for signaling?
7. MV - "So how exactly do you program a VCR?" This film is a slapstick comedy about three men in a mid-life crisis. Jack Palance won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Curly.

11:21:00 PM

Tuesday, October 21, 2003  

Trivia answers in the comment section below the quiz. Fun and correct answers, you three! Next quiz will be added tomorrow afternoon.

New photos in the album from the Highland Games in Atlanta. Brian, Melissa, and Brendan went last weekend and had a good time. Melissa's brother plays the bagpipes and has the full regalia. You'll see. Quite dashing!

Funny comment from a friend about my blog. It's a real work of work.

11:25:00 PM

Monday, October 20, 2003  
Progressive Recovery

I was thinking recently how about how good I feel now - more energy and stamina. I'm able to get through the day without feeling wiped out and am generally doing pretty well - better than I have in years. The odd thing is that it's all relative. Since I was recovering from near-death a year ago, just about anything was an improvement. I kept thinking I felt good until I felt better and realized how bad I'd been feeling before. So I wonder what's next and how where I am now will look through the rear-view mirror. Somehow this makes sense to me.

Something that's really hard for me but that I need to learn to do is ask for help. It's been offered, and I kept thinking I could do what I needed to get done without whining and being a wimp. Apparently not. There are some things I am going to have to get help with, so I'm going to suck it up and accept it and be glad there are people willing to do it. Somehow I'm able to teach though and keep up with all of that. I'm just not doing any extras.

It's been bad enough to go through all this without beating myself up for not doing better and feeling guilty about it.

It was OK being back at school today. I didn't dread going back but will be delighted when I can retire. It was good to see people again, and I like being there at Creek Wood. I got four new students in that infamous class I told you about who returned to school after being at the alternative school. Hope they've been rehabilitated. I don't know what they did to get in there, but I know what a process it is to have them sent to it. Wish me luck!!

7:19:00 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2003  
Skool Daze

As I'm preparing to return for the second quarter of this first term tomorrow, I've been thinking more about what I hope to accomplish and how to get there. I like this schedule we have - 2 weeks off after every 9 weeks. This makes one grading period four weeks and the other one five weeks. Each term equals a year's course. This is why I'll have new students after Christmas break. We're on a modified year-round block schedule and teach three classes a term which equals six instead of the five a year we taught with the six periods a day schedule. Classes are 90 minutes long. Students can take 8 classes a year which enables them to have more credits but not to graduate early. Some of them have study halls or work in the office or for a teacher during one block. Most of them take four classes but some repeat courses they failed. I have some of those in that infamous 3rd block class with others already on that path. Those are biding their time until they can take the GED while my 4th block class is preparing for the ACT and SAT.

What began as helping children have self-esteem took a turn somewhere into entitlement. Rewarding positive behavior and ignoring the bad hasn't worked too well the way it's been practiced by parents and teachers. Trends come and go in education and parenting, but children need to be taught to think in order to become independent citizens who contribute in a positive way to society. There are cetain

A philosophy I agree with and still use is Hiam Ginott's Between Parent and Child. He believes in letting children realize that they have choices which result in consequences. They understand responsibility for their actions that way. He believes in correcting behavior without attacking the child's personality. It's a kind way to treat people and still maintain boundaries.

1:43:00 PM

Saturday, October 18, 2003  

I added a new link down there below all the other links in the blue column that calculates the cost of the war. That's the financial cost - there are many other costs that are also too high. I've also added one that shows the phases of the Moon because I think it's neat. I can never keep up with the moon phases. Been reading blogs and tweaking mine again.

11:05:00 PM

Friday, October 17, 2003  
More than Nasal Strips

I just saw another commercial featuring "Dream A Little Dream of Me" but for a Nissan Quest. It was nice to hear Mama Cass again even briefly.

5:26:00 PM

Thursday, October 16, 2003  
Quiz Clarification

The answer to #5 was Mickey Mantle on the Trivial Pursuit card. After Michael pointed out what he did about Mantle, I did a Google search and found that he was not in fact the subject of an FBI investigation but had received threatening letters and came to the attention of the Feds. Here are a couple of links since that made it sound as if Mantle committed a crime and was under investigation. FBI Files and Mantle's File.

6:27:00 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2003  
How do you spell relief?

RETIREMENT! One year and eight months! The countdown begins! I had a massage today, and Debbie commented that it was amazing how rested, relaxed, and happy I look now that I'm on vacation. How about that?

12:30:00 AM

Tuesday, October 14, 2003  
Bad Movies

C'mon let's hear from more of you about bad movies you wasted money to see! There are many I didn't bother getting near because of what I heard about them. I do wonder just how bad Gigli is and will see for myself if it gets to cable.

Have any of you watched Coupling who haven't seen it on BBC-America? I can't be objective about it since they use the same scripts, and I've seen it done first, better, and cleverly by the Brits. It's just so bad watching the American version, so I wondered what some of you think about it since it's new to you.

11:16:00 AM

Trivia Quiz

1. PP - What youngster took a few swings with Jimmy Stewart and Bob Hope on the Mike Douglas Show in 1978?
2. AE - What is the name of the fictional kingdom created by C. S. Lewis in his series of children's book?
3. HS - What number of 20th century U.S. Vice-presidents went on to become President? (How many can you list without googling?)
4. SN - Where besides its abdomen, does the Gila monster store fat to live on during winter?
5. SL - What famous New York baseball player was the subject of an FBI investigation during the height of his career?
6. WC - What word meaning a "mix-up" originated in the military as a designation of characteristic disorder or normal condition?
7. MV - This film was based on the book Lost Moon. Ron Howard directed this 1995 Best Picture nominee.

11:13:00 AM

Monday, October 13, 2003  
Monday, Monday

Trivia answers are posted. Thanks for the answers and well done! I always enjoy reading them. What are some horrible movies you've paid to see that were popular and even received awards? Titanic is at the top of my list which that song by Celine Dion only makes worse. All the false endings and running up to gated hallways while water was rushing through and then throwing the necklace in the ocean ... it just goes on and on. I was glad Linda Hamilton divorced James Cameron and thought his Oscar acceptance speech was grounds in itself. I didn't agree with the Scaryduck Florida-type election about Apocalypse Now. What are some movies on your list? Perhaps they need to be in categories.

10:00:00 AM

Saturday, October 11, 2003  

While listening to Comedy College on NPR, I just learned about Ruth Draper, who performed one-woman shows from the 20's through the 50's. I didn't know about her. Lily Tomlin introduced a few of her monologues. You can listen to excerpts here and enjoy what she does. The ones I heard on NPR were a German Lesson to a Class of Children and this hilarious Class on Greek Poise. Her dialects and characters are impeccable. I can't believe I never heard of her. Have any of you?

She must be a relative of Cindy's, who is one of the funniest people I know.

12:36:00 PM


There are some photos in the album from the birthday brunch at Ellendale's. I've edited the albums and put all of the ones of Brendan in one album and the ones of Kathy and her family together. When I get new photos, I'll put them in the New Photo album and move others around. I'd almost reached my limit of photos to put in there and had to rearrange. Enjoy! I just love the ones of Mother with the children.

It's obvious that Earl needs to give me more lessons. The background shows up really well while the people I was taking the photos of in the gazebo don't. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. He's also going to show me how to do more than resample and crop photos. I've learned how to do those and am ready for more knowledge.

11:40:00 AM

Friday, October 10, 2003  

After all this time I've spent complaining about wanting to get some things done with my house, I made a start this week. There is so much more that needs to be done, but I've made progress. This last week off had been great, and I'm glad we have another one next week. What have you been doing?

11:57:00 AM

Thursday, October 09, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

I just realized that I forgot to post the Trivia Quiz. This last week has been distracting and unsettling, but now here it is!

1. PP - Whose song "Dream a Little Dream of Me" provided the musical background of a TV commercial for Breathe Right Nasal Strips? (is nothing sacred!)
2. AE - What tongue-twisting poem by Lewis Carroll introduces a "Jubjub bird" and a "Bandersnatch"? (just taught that in class and often call Brian "my beamish boy")
3. HS - Where did Thomas Stafford and Alexei Leonov first meet in 1975?
4. SN - What is kinesiology? (take this one, Michelle)
5. SL - Which property on a Monopoly game board is spelled differently than the original Atlantic City street? (who on earth will know this? Michael?)
6. WC - What do you call a territory or a country ruled by a grand duke or a grand duchess? (what about a grand duck, Scary?)
7. MV - Lawrence Fishburne debuts alongside Martin Sheen, Harrison Ford, and Marlon Brando. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." This Vietnam War film was inspired by the novella Heart of Darkness.

9:41:00 AM

Introspective Break

It's great having this time off. I'm getting some things done and preparing for the rest of the semester. It was a good decision to teach at Creek Wood, and I'm glad I'm there. Janie is doing a good job as principal. This time off will help me go back with renewed energy and plans.

The weather is great. Fall is my favorite season. I hope we have colorful leaves and a clear blue sky we get sometimes. The leaves are just beginning to change. I feel so good in the fall and spring since I don't like it too hot or too cold. Last fall I was just glad I was here and alive but am sort of foggy about it all.

This year I feel good, have energy, and am trying to get my life back under control. Recovering from chaos takes time. I'm going through the top layers of it now and realizing how far I've come and how much farther I have to go with it. The Fab Five said that clutter was evidence of a life that was out of control. As I sort through what needs to be done and make some progress while I quit hiding out and avoiding emotions that are too powerful to face, I know it's going to be so much better once I am on this path. All I have to do is look around and see evidence of how I feel inside. Right now it's not so good. Making outer changes helps the inner ones and vice-versa.

It’s all a spiritual journey anyway with lessons to learn as we go. I’ve been trying to process all that while taking care of paperwork, cleaning, sorting, and organizing. It will come together, and I’ll be back on track soon.

9:22:00 AM

Monday, October 06, 2003  

I forgot to mention yesterday that Brian and Melissa got me the Dead Parrot (he's only sleeping and pines for the fjords). It's a plush toy and the first of all of them I hope to collect. We laughed and laughed about it and quoted lines. Monty Python has provided so many of those for us.

12:01:00 PM

Sunday, October 05, 2003  
To us!

Mother, Brian, Melissa, Brendan, and I went to Ellendale's for birthday brunch. This was the first day I've had their omelets, and they are delicious! They make them right in front of you and have so many ingredients that the possibilities are amazing. I'll have them everytime I go there for brunch now. I'd like to go again soon. Anyone want to go too?

We have a fall break for the next two weeks. We get two weeks off after every quarter and have finished the first one. Semester break is at Christmas and spring break will be in March. Not bad. I hope I get a lot done during this time off. I have plans, appointments, and obligations. On the way to school Thursday morning I was involved in a fender-bender. A boy changed lanes and his right rear bumper clipped my left front bumper on the corner. His bumper was bent out and the hole in my bumper flared out toward the front of my car, so it's apparent that he cut in too short instead of my pulling out in front and into his truck. No one was hurt, and our vehicles are driveable without much damage. That part is good. It made me nervous, and I don't seem to handle stress too well now, I've noticed. I've had enough drama in my life to last a while and try to keep things on an even keel.

I'll post some photos of Brendan soon from today. He's really growing and is a tall baby. He adores Melissa and she seems happier than I've ever seen her. Brendan recognizes his name and nicknames they call him, too. I'm glad she's staying home with him and taking such good care of him. All my grandchildren have good parents, and I'm so proud of them. They are fortunate children!!

9:39:00 PM

Friday, October 03, 2003  
To me!!

Trivia answers have been posted. Well done, my clever friends! :-)

Today is my birthday - a major decade one. Yesterday I erased the board and wrote the date on it for today. This morning my first class asked me what was going on with the year. I looked over and noticed I'd written 10-3-43 on there. I laughed and thought about how much of a habit it is by now to write my birthdate. Then they gasped, "You're SIXTY?" I told them not to rub it in. I keep asking myself how this happened so fast. All of a sudden, here I am! After this last year, I'm glad to be here and am not complaining though!

Kathy sent flowers to school, which was sweet and thoughtful of her. I got some neat and funny cards from cousins and friends - always wonderful when that happens. Thank you very much!! I had a massage after school which I desperately needed, and now we have our fall break for the next two weeks. Yes!! I need that, too.

7:02:00 PM

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