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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.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007  

Mother did really well and is recovering from her surgery. I spent the night there Monday night and all day Tuesday. Butch and Janelle came by, and we all had a good visit. So great news about my mother who continues to amaze me.

Breaking Up

If you ever change phone service from BellSouth to another company, you'll know what I mean about how they are about it. They sent a card and a letter about my breaking up with them. Wow!

5:51:00 PM

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Another Week Goes By

I just had another busy week with another one ahead. Retirement is still good! I've been driving "Miss Tina" to Lipscomb on Monday nights while she's finishing the last semester of her Master's. She's so over-extended and stressed out that she passes out periodically, so I thought this would be a good way to get her there safely and for us to have time to visit as well. While she's in class, Linda V. and I have gone out to eat and had time to visit, too. Linda and I went to see the tour of Dancing with the Stars last Sunday night and had so much fun! It was really neat to see all that dancing in person, and we enjoyed it tremendously. We want to find a way to be at one of those tables around the dance floor next year and will need to find two more people to join us if we can find out how to get the tickets. They go on sale early and don't seem to be advertised. So Linda and I had two nights in a row.

Tuesday I took Mother to Nashville for her eye appointment. Her next surgery on the other eye will be in the morning. I have to get up in the middle of the night at 5:00 am to get her there at 7:00 for her surgery. Since I usually go to bed around 1:30 or 2:00, 5 really is the middle of the night for me. Wish her luck with this and let's all hope it goes as well as the first one did. She's a little more concerned about this one since it's the eye that has had more problems. I'm spending the night with her at her house tomorrow night and will stick around most of the day Tuesday.

At a meeting Monday morning, I got two more homebound students. For those of you not in the "ed biz" what that means is that they are students who are sick and will be out for two weeks or more and need a teacher to go to their homes and help them with their assignments and administer tests. I work with their classroom teachers and try to keep them on track so that when they return to school, they aren't behind. It's a lot of extra work for their teachers and responsibility for the student to complete all the work without classroom instruction. Also, since they are sick or injured, it's even harder for them to do everything. We are supposed to work with them three hours a week which is definitely not the same as being in class. They miss so much. Sometimes the students don't need too much help but sometimes they do, so I have to be able to help them with whatever they are taking in school. Usually that's not too difficult but at times it can be. I taught homebound students for many years when I was teaching because we teachers always need extra jobs that bring in more money, and it pays well. I'm enjoying it now that I'm retired and waited long enough that I was ready to do some teaching again. It's so good to see my friends at school (right now the ones I have are at DCHS which is keeping me busy, but I'll get some at Creek Wood eventually, too) again and get out some. It's always been fulfilling to do this, and I've worked with some students and their families I got close to. As Jim Pass said it satisfies my "teaching jones" to do this again.

Speaking of Jim, I've given him a new nickname, Jimmy Thumbs, since he's a reflexologist. I told him it was his gangster name. He likes it.

Tuesday and Wednesday I met with my homebound students after going to school to get their assignments. Thursday afternoon was my regular day at Feet & More Wellness Center aka Dickson Vitamin Center. Friday morning I took assignments to school and then picked up Mother and met Brian and Melissa in Bellevue to pick up Brendan. We went to the Bellevue Center for him to play while Mother shopped. Then we came back to Dickson and had lunch and toured the special ed office for the ones I used to work with to meet Brendan. We had a full day of fun and activity. Yesterday after waking up at 2:30 am and saying he wanted to be awake, Brendan and I had a long morning! I managed to keep him in bed until 7:30, but he didn't really go back to sleep, and neither did I! We attempted to get his hair cut which didn't work out. Thank goodness, he took a nap yesterday afternoon and was a new lad after that. Last night he went to sleep around 10:30 and slept until 8:30 this morning! Now he's watching the Teletubbies while I'm writing this and doing laundry. We have more fun things planned this afternoon before his parents come get him this evening. They went to ChattaCon for the weekend and are having a wonderful time. My Litte Buddy Brendan and I are, too. It's exhausting when you aren't used to it, but I'm hanging in there!

Friday after we said we were going to lunch, one of the women at the sp ed office asked Brendan what he wanted to eat, and he answered crème brulee. She said he would have a hard time finding any in Dickson. I said that sometimes Jackie made some at the Silver Spoon and that we'd try there to see if she did. Amazingly enough, she'd made some that day, so I got some for him and Mother and me. He couldn't wait to get home and eat it and enjoyed every mouthful. He's a good eater and not too picky. His parents enjoy good food and have exposed him to all kinds.

After The Aristocats tape finished rewinding, Brendan noticed The Lawrence Welk Show on public television and loved it. He named the musical instruments, and we discussed members of his family who played various ones. Melissa's father was a music professor and Concert Master of the Birmingham Symphony, so Brendan said the violinist was his grandfather. He's definitely an entertaining child never at a loss for something to say.

So this next week will involve Mother's eye surgery and homebound students as well as a 12-hour work week at the vitamin place since I'll work all day Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. I do have the occasional Wednesday and Saturday now and then over there but mostly just a grueling 4-hour work week. I really like Jim and Azelia and enjoy being there with them and the customers.

I'll check back with you later. Only one person gave me any HDTV advice. Thank you, Ellen! I want to get my den shaped up and have the TV for the Oscars, so I can invite company over to watch it. Wish me luck.

10:42:00 AM

Sunday, January 21, 2007  
Props to the English Duck!

After checking my site meter, Scaryduck is still the #1 referral page for my blog. Thanks, Scary and your readers! When my friends Paige and Carl were here last week, Carl perused the books on the table beside my chair in the living room to see what looked good. He picked up Scary's book and started reading parts of it while laughing and reading passages to us. He loved it, so I let him borrow it. More and more fans for the Duck!

1:50:00 PM

Consumer Info

Within the month, I'm planning to buy an HDTV and know some of you have one. From what I've read, I want an LED, right? It's for my den where I watch most of the TV I see, so I want one that gets a good, clear picture from fairly close to farther away (5' to 15'). Those are approximate distances based on how many of me it would take to measure, and I'm 5'2" and eyeballed it - just in case you thought I might have been lying on the floor to do this. Anyway, this will be my reward for organizing and cleaning the den and will be paid for with money I earned teaching homebound students. Win-win! That will keep me motivated. The other money I make from homebound teaching will be used to travel. I'm saving to visit Janey in Australia.

So back to the HDTV. Which brand do you recommend? I've read Consumer's Report and online reviews of some and have looked at several in person. I'm not sure which size to get. Mother's is 32" (I think) which is a good size, but I wonder if I'd like one larger than that. I don't want one that's too big and takes up the room but think maybe 37" to 42" might be better. Not sure. What do you have and are you happy with it? For those of you who don't comment on here, email me and let me know. Otherwise, comment away! :-) Thanks!

1:27:00 PM

The Innocent Man

John Grisham can make non-fiction as compelling as a novel even when I know how it turns out. I'm listening to The Innocent Man and am amazed and horrified. I've been against capital punishment for quite a while and would refer you to Steve Earle's play Karla if my archives were still on my blog, but it's about a real person as well who was put to death in Texas. As long as we have the imperfect judicial system that we do, I don't want a death penalty. Grisham's book is about a rape and murder in Ada, Oklahoma, which you can read about on his website as well as check out some interesting links. If I'm ever arrested or called in for questioning, I'll have an attorney. I had to be a witness one time and hated it. Being on a jury wasn't as bad. In fact, I didn't mind that since there's time to think and no one is trying to trip you up. Watching that happen is different from being in the spotlight.

12:08:00 AM

Wednesday, January 17, 2007  

OK, it's now official. I've gone from being irritated with Google to being pissed off with them I've used Google for searching to the point that it's now a verb in my active vocabulary. It was fine with me when they bought Blogger and made changes. I switched over to the new format and was pleased with that except for the big problem with my archives disappearing. I tried to contact them and thought I did. It's impossible for me to find a way now to get in touch with them. I realize they have millions of customers, but that means they should have a good customer service department for tech support. Blogger had a way for us to contact them and responded helpfully. Not Google! I haven't heard anything from them and am not even sure that what I sent got to them. I want my archives back and can't access them or let Google know. This is so frustrating. If anyone knows what I can do, please let me know. I've gone to the "help" part and followed leads to get answers. Zip! I can't find a way to contact them now. I've been with Blogger since 2002 and did save the lymphoma posts but thought all of the posts would stay with my blog. That's what they said. You know Google saves everything somewhere, so what about my archives and why can't I get in touch with them? HELP!!!

Oh, and while I'm at it, I didn't switch the collaborative blog Observations from the Knee-Deep South to the new one earlier and can't figure out how to do it now when I want to. Grrrr!!

12:56:00 PM

Changes We've Seen

I'm sure many of you have read this email that's made the rounds, but I thought I'd post it and see what comments you have about it. Some of the changes have valid reasons, but it makes teaching and parenting completely different. Some of that is good and some of it ridiculous. I wish I could find Shirley Schmidt's closing statement from Boston Legal last night. Did any of you see that? Candice Bergen plays her, and David E. Kelley has had my loyalty and gratitude ever since he wrote speeches like this and others I agree with about teachers and citizens. In Boston Public his series portrayed some of the financial difficulties teachers have along with all the responsibilities and expectations that can be overwhelming. I'll always be a big fan of his because of his understanding and support.

Now here's the email that goes uncredited since I don't know who wrote it. My apologies for that, but I'm not taking credit for writing it. For all the people who inspired these laws and regulations, there are so many who never did it and are now hampered by and penalized for the actions of others. That's how it is about so many things, isn't it?

Then and Now!!

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

1953 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car
and gets his to show Jack.

2006 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never
sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and
Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1953 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best
friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them
with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1953 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still
in class.

2006 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra
money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a

1953 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and
becomes a successful businessman.

2006 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and
joins a gang. Billy's sister tells state psychologist she remembers being abused
herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.
Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

1953 - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal who has a headache also.

2006 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car
searched for drugs and weapons.
Scenario: Mary turns up pregnant.

1953 - 5 High School Boys leave town. Mary does her senior year at a special
school for expectant mothers.

2006 - Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood, who notifies the ACLU.
Mary is driven to the next state over and gets an abortion without her parent's
consent or knowledge. Mary given condoms and told to be more careful next time.
Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts
them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1953 - Ants die

2006 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic
terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers
confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to
fly again.
Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is
found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary, hugs him to comfort him.

1953 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2006 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3
years in State Prison.

12:43:00 PM

Thursday, January 11, 2007  
New Year

Apparently I'm beginning 2007 by not writing my blog. I've been pretty busy and haven't been on the computer as much as I used to be. I'll try to do better with this, though.

I'm irritated with Blogger because they haven't replied to my request about my missing archives. It's frustrating not to be able to find any answers in the Blogger Help section and not to hear from anyone about this. As Brian said, Google saves everything, so how do I retrieve my archives?

11:19:00 PM

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