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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.
Friday, December 31, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What song does Karen play on the organ at Alex's funeral in The Big Chill?
2. TV - What 1982 comedy series were the Naked Gun movies based on?
3. MUSIC - At what temperature are you most likely to find Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What game was originally invented as a promotional item for a shoe polish company? [this was a surprise]
5. BUZZ - Ricki Lake was arrested while at a 1994 protest organized by what activist group?
6. FAD - What actor got naked in a 1972 Cosmopolitan centerfold? [I remember this and was among the ones who bought a copy]

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What are the names of the two syndicated newspaper colums, written by twins who were married on the same day in the same ceremony?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What name is hidden in each of the drawings of famous caricaturist Al Hirschfeld?
9. HISTORY - What is the name of the massive effort by U.S. and British military forces to bring food to a city blockaded by the Soviets after World War II?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What is the name for the atmospheric layer between sea level and the atmosphere?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What would you be playing with if someone told you to "knuckle down at taw"?
12. WILD CARD - What is the more stylish name for New York's famous 7th Avenue?

5:09:00 PM

Thursday, December 30, 2004  
I'm Back!

I got back from Kathy's tonight. We had a good time visiting, opening presents, watching movies, shopping, and eating. We went to see the Lemony Snicket movie, which we all enjoyed. It was properly dark and gloomy. Kelsey has really gotten tall and will outgrow Kathy in no time. Kari has a hair cut which looks really cute. Luke is getting taller, too, and is still so sweet. It was lots of fun. I have some pictures posted in the album, so you can see them. I have some new ones of Brendan with his haircut, too. I stopped by there on my way home to take some clothes and toys Kathy sent that Luke didn't need any more.

10:11:00 PM

Monday, December 27, 2004  
Travel Plans

I was supposed to go to Kathy's today and will if I can get out of my neighborhood. It's still icy with not much traffic on my street. I have errands to run before I can leave since I haven't been out of the house except to scare myself walking to the mailbox and back. I'll either go later this afternoon or in the morning. I don't mind this during school, but it sucks when I want to go places. Right?

10:18:00 AM

Sunday, December 26, 2004  
Snowbound (or in my case Icebound)

My streets are still white and icy, so I can't get out of my neighborhood. I'm going to think about this if I move again; however, I sort of like the isolation at times. It's not so great during Christmas and when there's no school, so I'm not going to enjoy it to the extent I do now when I retire. It's weird to be stranded when most other people can get out. It's the hills in all directions here. Butch's 4-wheel drive truck made it fine, so maybe I need to get a car that has that function on it for future icy times. I don't want any big vehicles like SUV's and such as that, but Earl's Honda had 4-wheel drive which would be fine with me since my next car will be a return to the Japanese. I've had two Hondas which I really liked and have heard great things about Toyotas.

Brendan really racked up on clothes this year. In addition to his gifts, he got hand-me-downs from Patti and will get some from Kathy. Their boys have cute clothes that are just right for Brendan. He can pass them down to Carter. Brendan got some books and toys he likes, too. Janelle and Butch gave him an Old McDonald tractor with a cow, pig, and duck. The farmer sings and when an animal is in the driver's seat, it says, "I can't drive" in that animal's voice. Really cute. I got him Grunt: Pigorian Chant by Sandra Boynton which is hilarious. The pigs chant pig latin and the other animals real Latin. There's a CD with it which sounds like Gregorian Chants if you don't pay much attention to the words - not difficult for me since I don't know Latin - but Brian and Melissa do. I also got him clothes, a pull-toy train, and some other books by Boynton and Brian Wildsmith.

It was so sweet to watch Brendan and Mother playing the piano. She played that Old Saint Nick song about up on the rooftop, and Brendan just watched, listened, and then looked at her and said, "Ho, ho, ho." He sat on the piano bench after she finished and had the correct posture, held his hands right, and had a gentle touch. He has the genes to be a musician as well as the environment, so he probably will. Melissa sings, plays the piano and Celtic harp. Brian sings and plays keyboards. They were both in concert choir in high school and at Sewanee. The biggie is that Melissa's father is a retired music professor (several universities) and former concert master of the Birmingham symphony, and her mother was music director in various churches. Brenda definitely responds to music and has Melissa's talent for remembering lyrics and stories. He requests songs and stories by using key words from them. I'm beginning to catch on but can't remember and perform them the way Melissa does so brilliantly.

I'm planning to go to Kathy's tomorrow if my street melts enough. Once I get out, it will be fine, but I need to check with her to see how it is on Signal Mountain. I hope I can go tomorrow and not wait until Tuesday but will see how things are. Kelsey wanted Lemony Snicket books, Luke LeapPad modules, and Kari I didn't get hints from. She's been reading the Junie B. Jones books for a while now. I usually get them books and some crafts to do. Luke still likes toys, and the girls' interests are branching out. Then there are things I just decide they might like.

Grandchildren are such a delight!

1:22:00 PM

Saturday, December 25, 2004  
Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you are having a good day. We did. I spent the night at Mother's last night and stayed up late talking with Brian and Melissa, while she was working on some free-lance art work she contracted to do. The deadline is approaching! Brendan was asleep. We had a good time playing with him and enjoying Carter. It's fun to have babies and toddlers during the holidays. Butch came after me and brought me home since the streets around my house are still white with ice and snow. So now I'm here. Where are you?

2:50:00 PM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004  

The electricity was off for almost an hour and a half tonight, so I was afraid it was going to be like the traumatic ice storm of '94. Now I'm thinking maybe not. So far we've had freezing rain and are supposed to get 1-3" of snow. Maybe this will be snow over the ice but no tree and utility line damage. Fortunately I have a cell phone this time and have had a gas log fireplace and can stay warm enough. I just don't want to be without the computer, TV, lights, cordless phone, refrigerator, microwave, and toaster oven. A shower with hot water is nice, too. Ten years ago I was without electricity and a phone for a week and had the cats Clancy and Lucy. This time I have Brigit and Columbo. Gosh, so much has happened during this time! I hope the next ten years will be less eventful in life-threatening and dramatic ways.

Hope everyone is safe and warm and doesn't have to get out in this.

11:39:00 PM

Shopping Links

As if shopping weren't complicated enough, here are a couple of links to make it more so. They have to do with which companies donate to certain causes. We can do what we can even though some of these places I probably won't avoid because of lack of availability of alternatives. Check out Buy Blue and Choose the Blue. Mark Morford's article in the SF Gate brought sad news about Amazon from which I order many things. Being informed is the first step, and I'll take it.

5:28:00 PM

Weather and Lists

The rain is beginning to change to something colder. No ice, please! Electricity is vital to my sanity since most things I enjoy doing require it. So wish us luck here!

From McSweeney's:

Songs That Wouldn't Have Been Hits
If They'd Been Grammatically Correct.

- - - -

Lie, Lady, Lie
I Have Eyes for Only You
I Must Be Myself*
Whom Do You Love?
(There) Isn't Any Sunshine When She's Gone
(There) Isn't Any Mountain High Enough
Love Me Tenderly

*I've Gotta Be Me

Can you think of others you'd like to add?

Also this list I pilfered from Brian's online journal is from there as well and will determine if you are in a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Pretty funny.

Also from Brian ... if you really want to support our troops, send them stuff.

1:49:00 PM

Follow Up

Thanks to those of you who let me know you read my blog. There are others who choose to remain anonymous lurkers, I suppose, but I do like to know who you are.

For those who know me, you realize that I will go for the joke and say things for effect at the expense of the facts when I can. While I'm teaching, I have to stick with the material most of the time but do veer off now and then. That being said, I do realize what's going on with Brendan. He's good at making connections and recognizing patterns which is why he thinks his parents are going away when he sees me. He'll probably be good at math. No one told me to look for patterns in math until I was an adult teaching in the gifted program, and I never figured it out for myself the way math people do. Anyway, the more I'm with Brendan and his parents return, the better he'll be about it. He's fine once they are out of sight now. He's also quite dramatic.

1:25:00 PM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004  

It's come to my attention while I'm out in the world among 3-dimensional people that I have readers I don't know about. The only people I know for sure read my blog are Janey, Celia, Michael, Chris, Michelle, and Scaryduck. So if the rest of you would comment or email (if you're shy or a conspiracy theorist) to let me know you read my blog, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

2:20:00 PM

Saturday, December 18, 2004  
Winter Break!

Yes!! We got out of school yesterday for our two-week break! Brian, Melissa, and Brendan came to school for the choral and band concert and other activities but didn't get there on time to see the concerts. Brendan didn't get to sleep until after midnight, so none of them had enough sleep. They did get to see the school and saw some people Brian hadn't seen in a while - teachers he had and others he went to high school with. Brendan loved the wide open spaces of the halls and enjoyed running in them. There weren't that many kids in school (probably around 300), and they were scattered in different places participating in art projects, the movie Elf, open mike, computer labs, cookie baking, and playing games and chess in the library where I was. We teachers had to sign up to oversee them, and that one was easy. So Brian, Melissa, and I were there in the library a while and in my classroom quite a bit.

After this we went to Mother's for lunch. They were all so sleepy that Melissa took a long nap while Brian and I took Brendan outside to play. He loves being outside. Then Brendan joined Melissa for a nap, and Brian fell asleep in the chair. I'm glad they got some rest. We put something together for supper, and visitied some more now that Brendan and Melissa were energized.

I didn't get home until around 8:30 since I stopped by Sheena's for a few minutes to return The DaVinci Code to her. I'm reading his other novel Angels and Demons now. Same main character and format as the other. I'm still trying to imagine Tom Hanks in that role. That's not how I visualized him. It's an interesting novel with all the symbols and mystery. There are so many things people get carried away about and fight over. I'm not a fan of organized religion since it's caused more guilt, hypocrisy, fantacism, division, hostility, and abuse than it's been of benefit. I really don't like missionaries who have ruined what people had in Hawaii, South America, and other places that worked just fine before they bothered them.

Now that I'm in the Christmas spirit, I'll go shopping with Mother.

10:01:00 AM


from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What TV sitcom dad played Billy Bob Thornton's father in 2001's Monster's Ball? [outstanding acting job being so dispicable]
2. TV - Which news anchor did CNN briefly advertise as "just a little sexy" while playing a zipper sound? [I didn't know this happened]
3. MUSIC - What rapper was in jail when his 1995 album Me Against the World entered the charts at No. 1? [a bigger question might be how many rappers haven't been in jail]
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What comedian was an anchorman for Monday Night Football for two seasons? [caused quite the controversy, didn't he? not that I watch MNF]
5. BUZZ - What body part did Rosie O'Donnell almost lose due to infection? [I restrained myself from commenting]
6. FAD - What 1972 best-selling novel had a bird as its protagonist? [well yes, I read it]

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What city was the home of the country's tallest building in 1885? ["the country" in this question refers to the U.S. - they didn't qualify that]
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What twentieth-century British author created "Jeeves" the butler?
9. HISTORY - Who was the chairman of the "Long March" in the 1930s?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What term was formerly used to indicate a bipolar mental disorder? [why do they keep changing the names of disorders? to keep us guessing?]
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What sport activity is primarily played by young girls as well as pugilists? [wish I could still do this the way I used to but I say that about many things]
12. WILD CARD - What are the names of the three men associated with the auto parts store Pep Boys? [haven't we had this question before? who would know this?]

9:40:00 AM

Sunday, December 12, 2004  
Most fascinating people?

I watched the Barbara Walters special with her list of the 10 most fascinating people of 2004. Depending on how the word "fascinating" is used, I'm not sure that's the adjective I'd use for Karl Rove. Slate's article on the show expresses how I felt about her selections better than I can. Here's a link to it if you want to read it.

4:21:00 PM

Saturday, December 11, 2004  

My condolences to Michael and his family. This is mfblogger who answers questions regularly on our trivia quiz and has such a wide range of knowledge. His grandmother died, and he wrote the most beautiful tribute to her on his blog. You might want to read it. I'm glad you had such a close, loving relationship with your grandmother, Michael, and know you will miss her. I was fortunate in that way, too, and know how it is.

2:01:00 PM


from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - In Mr. Holland's Opus, what song does Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) sing to his deaf son in the school auditorium? [love this song and cried during the movie - those inspiring teacher movies get to me]
2. TV - What superhero did Fat Albert and the Cosby kids idolize?
3. MUSIC - Who originally recorded Tiffany's 1988 hit "I Think We're Alone Now"?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What state was the site of the first Ironman Triathlon in 1978?
5. BUZZ - Carmen Electra began her career as the protege of what musician?
6. FAD - What, in Valley Girl speak, should you bag?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What political leader was often photographed next to a spinning wheel, to signify his resolve for his country's self-sufficiency?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What fictional character had relationships with Vesper Lynd, Tiffany Case, and Honeychile Rider?
9. HISTORY - Who was the "Iron Chancellor" who united small German states against France after the Franco-Prussian War?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What is the largest joint in the human body?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - Who led the Major Leagues in home runs in 1997 while playing for one team in the National League and another in the American League?
12. WILD CARD - What kind of book did Linda McCartney publish to promote a particular lifestyle?

1:49:00 PM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004  

I read that Mary Travers is going to have chemotherapy for leukemia. I hope everything goes well for her and that she has a complete recovery. I also dread what she is about to experience and wish her the best. Peter, Paul, and Mary have been entertaining me for many years. The latest concert I saw on TV showed her singing to her granddaughter. When I went to see them at TPAC she showed a poster-size photograph of her granddaughter. Her daughter married a Republican who Mary said was the first Republican in her family since they voted for Lincoln. She also commented on the philosophical distance between Greenwich Village where she lived and Grennwich, CT, where her daughter's husband was from. I've seen them in concert 3 times over the years and have enjoyed their albums and spirit. Best wishes to her and them, too.

7:36:00 PM


Well, this article explains a lot. Now I know. So I just need to get more sleep. I can do that but can really do it better when I retire.

6:26:00 PM

Monday, December 06, 2004  
Field Trip

Today Vicki Drobnis and I took 45 students to the Opry House to see plays performed by the repertory company The Chamber Theatre. Vicki teaches English at Creek Wood, too, and organized the trip. They performed five plays based on short stories and were entertaining and well-organized for school trips. The plays were in the Encore group: "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Monkey's Paw," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Necklace," and "The Celbrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (which in our lit book is "Notorious" instead of "Celebrated." We had a good time, and the kids were well-behaved. It was fun to be with them in a different setting like that.

6:19:00 PM

Sunday, December 05, 2004  

I read that Candace Bergen will join the cast of Boston Legal as one of the partners. I can't wait to see what her character will be like since David E. Kelley has written some of the quirkiest characters on American television. I've missed Murphy Brown and looked forward to watching it every week. Now she'll join James Spader and William Shatner who have roles that must be a hoot to play. Alan Shore and Denny Crane are hilarious to watch and would be interesting to know. Not sure about working with them, though. Whew!

11:01:00 AM

Friday, December 03, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What is the name of the hotel in The Shining?
2. TV - Who sang the Moonlighting theme song?
3. MUSIC - On which night of the week did Sheryl Crow's Music Club meet?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What team did Boston College's Doug Flutie beat with his "Hail Mary" pass in the 1984 Orange Bowl?
5. BUZZ - What outdoor activity was a passion for publisher Malcolm Forbes?
6. FAD - What coin was unveiled in 1979 and promptly rejected by the American public?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What was the popular name of Anna Mary Robertson Moses of Eagle Bridge, NY?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What actor played the dinner guest in the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
9. HISTORY - What city undersiege in 1992 was also the scene of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand that set off World War I?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What powerful bird is being raised on farms for its eggs and feathers?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - Who is "The Intimidator," the seven-time Winston Cup champion pictured on gold foil collector's cards honoring NASCAR's 50th anniversary?
12. WILD CARD - What three shows had the largest viewing audience for their TV finales prior to the last episode of Seinfeld?

I knew 6 2/3 of these - numbers 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 2 out of 3 on 10. I thought that might be the answer to #11 since I'd heard of him. Does having read Faulkner and not knowing NASCAR drivers make me a Southern elitist or just an English major/teacher? We're a category all our own.

5:32:00 PM

Another Week

I realized I haven't posted on here in a week. It's getting close to the end of the term, and I have research papers to grade, as well as the usual papers, tests, and assignments. We get out for winter break December 17 which will be here too fast. I have material to cover, tests to give, and then final exams to prepare the students for. It's easier to grade them now since I'll probably use that scanner and the cards for answers. The computer program I have (Gradekeeper) averages the grades as I enter them, so that's helpful too. When I started teaching, it was all done by hand - no calculators even! I was talking with a young teacher today who has never averaged grades without a computer. She looked horrified when I mentioned the pre-calculator days. It's conversations like that that make me realize I really am the oldest teacher at my school.

5:18:00 PM

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