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It took me a while to get to this post, but this is why Day 7 didn't happen.

Picture, if you will, me going to the dojo to teach the aikido kids' class. I brought my camera, intending to take photos, but didn't. I left my camera at the dojo.

Now picture Boris on top of the refrigerator. He has declared war on refrigerator magnets and must knock every one of them onto the floor to bat around. I have moved them out of his reach.

Now picture me mowing my lawn. I even mowed my neighbor's half of the lawn, since I think he did mine a couple of weeks ago. I went over there to tell him what I was doing and he said it wasn't necessary. I told him it was only a few more feet... Our lawns adjoin, so it would look funny to have only 1/2 of it mowed. I also pulled some weeds from my fence that were up to my waist.

Once the lawn was all cut, I noticed the dead spots. I need to re-seed for next year. I also have to water if I want the seeds to germinate. Lawns take work!

My neighbor came home from Colorado, so that was the last day of dog-sitting. I went over there Saturday afternoon, finished the wine she left for me, and read a book. I thought the dog would appreciate the company. I think he did.

That was my last day of Week in the Life. Same as this week. School, come home, take a nap, feed animals, go back the next day.
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Here are the rules.

Today is a sad showing, indeed.  I spent the day working in my classroom.  I only had one scheduled conference.  I got through maybe 3/4 of my to-do list. 

Friday's photos behind the cut. )

I didn't intend to sleep from 4:00-7:00 tonight. I had planned to attend an aikido seminar tonight. That didn't happen. There are reasons other than my narcolepsy that explain this, but I won't go into them here. OK, yes, I will. The drive is several miles north of town on gravel roads. They don't have any real plumbing. That, for me, is a deal-breaker.
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Here are the rules.

First, let me say that the project is becoming even more difficult.  Tomorrow should be more interesting.  I did go to aikido, but didn't get any pictures. I helped teach the kids' class and assisted with the adult class.  If we had one more or one fewer adults, I would have been able to train.  As it was, I spent time helping and talking to the instructor.  Not entirely unenjoyable, but I would have liked some exercise.

Wednesday's photos behind the cut. )

Tomorrow should be a more interesting day. We have Parent-Teacher Conferences from 5:30-8:00, so I intend to stay for the duration. It is also School Picture Day. I have to sit for my yearbook photo.
pamelonian: (Default)
Here are the rules.

This is only Day 3 and it is becoming more difficult.

Tuesday photos behind the cut )
pamelonian: (Default)
Here are the rules that I do not intend to follow:

1. You must take between 6 and 8 new photographs per day.
2. Your WITL must be consecutive. No skipping days.
3. You must post your photographs at the end of that day, sometime after the last picture is taken.
4. Each photograph must have the time taken beneath and a title, with no other explanation. Sorry, but if I want to explain, I will explain.

You must post these rules at your first entry, then link back to it for the other six days so that people will know wtf you're doing.

Your post must say "A Week in the Life of [your name/username], Volume [whatever day you're on]."

Sunday photos behind the cut )
pamelonian: (Default)
I will begin the Week in the Life photo project later today and will repost the "rules," many of which I will not follow.

Last week, I forgot to set my alarm after the busy weekend. Boris woke me up just 10 minutes after the time the alarm would have sounded. I got him a new mouse toy that has a realistic electronic squeak sound. He has been having fun with it. He will never know why I got him the gift, but I will!

Yesterday the owner of the building where we rent the dojo space had an open house. There was a cookout, a display of beautiful custom-painted motorcycles, and a band. They played all southern rock, ZZTop, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Allman Brothers. I was the only aikido person who stayed to represent, but I handed out flyers and drank spiked lemonade with the ladies from the salon. We are an eclectic group in that building: A bail bondsman, landscaper, hair salon, and aikido dojo.

Speaking of the dojo, I have to leave to teach class soon. I am expecting only one, maybe 2 adult students. My regulars are either out of town or on post-seminar aikido overload.

My next-door neighbor is giving me money to take care of her dog while she is out of town. It is too much money, but she is an engineer and can easily afford it. The dog will likely show up in my WITL posts.
pamelonian: (Default)
The dojo Grand Opening is finally over. It was a great success. We made a little bit of money, but more importantly, everyone seemed to have a great time and they enjoyed practicing in our new space. Our Head Instructor took every opportunity to tell people that I was the one who found the location. I would not have broadcasted that fact myself, but it felt good to get that little bit of recognition.

The teaching was great. Kashiwaya Sensei, our National Chief Instructor, was really on this weekend. There have been times I have been less than enthused about attending another of his seminars, but this one was really good. The teaching was helpful, inspiring, and meaningful. People of all levels of aikido training could get something out of it.

As an introvert by nature, I usually cannot wait until everyone is gone so I can decompress. This time, I feel a little empty and lonely. I call it "Post-Seminar Blues."

Plus, my daily life is now returning. I have to do all the usual Sunday things, groceries, laundry, and lesson plans. I have plenty of time to get it all done, but at the moment I am just going to sit for while and be. This weekend I have been Executive Director, Acting Treasurer, Testing Coordinator, teacher, student, comrade, and friend. My head feels so much lighter now that I can take off all of my hats!

And now for my 9/11 post. We observed a moment of silence before starting class. It was appropriate for me to spend this time with my aikido people. When the attacks first happened 10 years ago, I remember that I went to the dojo to train that night. All the usual folks showed up, too. I didn't know what else to do, so I decided to keep on doing what I was going to do anyway.
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One of my teacher colleagues is the Freshman Class sponsor. She had to leave early from work today to care for a very ill relative, she said. She asked me if I would walk with the Freshman float in the Lancer Day Parade, one of those first-game-of-the-football-season events.

All I had to do was make sure they didn't do anything stupid like standing up or trying to jump off a moving vehicle and stop them from pelting little kids too hard with candy. When the kids forgot to bring candy (that's Freshmen for you), I thought I had it made. I walked with them from 75th street down to 71st street and then had to walk back. It would have been a nice stroll if it weren't for the record-breaking 105-degree temperature! When I agreed to this on Monday, the high was in the 80's.

Now I am wiped out and my dogs are sore. I had plans tonight, damn it! I was going to finish up my lesson plans for next week since I won't want to work on them this weekend while I am in Florida. I still may get to the actual work, but for now, I think a nice nap is in order...
pamelonian: (Default)
Yesterday, was Back-to-School Night where the parents come visit our school.  It basically amounted to a 14-hour day and I had to be perky and excited as I presented my program to parents five times.  I got home at 10:00, took about an hour to wind down, and was looking forward to a good night's sleep.  Then a thunderstorm hit.  Normally, I like a thunderstorm when I am all cozy tucked in my bed.  This one had rain smacking my bedroom window so hard that it was too loud to sleep.  It even bothered the cat, who in turn bothered me. 

I got up to sleep in the living room where it was quieter, but remembered that I probably would not hear my alarm.  Power surges or outages caused my clock radio to come on and I had to get up a couple of times to turn it off.  I think i eventually got to sleep around 1:30 and here I am after getting up at 5:00.  This is going to be quite a day.

My friend visiting from the Army wants to see Conan the Barbarian tonight and I was going to go, but I am afraid I will fall asleep during the 13-dollar movie experience.  My main memory of the original Conan movie is that I fell asleep watching it.  I am not sure I will be along for this one. 
pamelonian: (Default)
Apparently, this is the weekend for friends of mine who have moved away from Lawrence to come visit.  Last night was Jason from St. Louis, and today was Owen from the Army.  He was my aikido teacher in the dojo for many years and then he joined the Army.  They are teaching him Arabic so he can go eavesdrop in the Middle East.  It was great seeing him.  It had been almost a year since he had been here, so there actually were changes to report.  You know how when you are living somewhere day-to-day and things don't seem to change much?  Try removing yourself from the picture for a whole year and things change at a pace you can actually see!  It is refreshing to think that life here isn't as stagnant as I might believe. 

I wish I had more time to hang out with him.  After a year in the Army with his room and board paid, I bet he has saved quite a sum of money.  He got a week of vacation and could have gone anywhere he wanted.  He chose to come visit us in Lawrence.  We are more of a family to him than his own biological family, I guess.  I totally understand.  I feel the same way about my Lawrence "family." 

Tomorrow I start the school year.   I have posted about this for many years.  In fact, I went back and reviewed.  The first day back is a piece of cake, as it is Freshmen orientation and we only have to see them for about 90 minutes.  The rest of the time we can finish getting ready for the real first day of school, which is Tuesday.  I am feeling pretty good about it.  Those 12 days of lesson plans that I worked so hard to assemble in July will come in mighty handy now.  Finally, I get to reap the benefits of early preparation! 


Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:48 pm
pamelonian: (Default)
I treated my cats with Revolution tonight.  It's like Frontline that kills fleas and ticks by applying it to the back of their necks.  (I wish there were something like that for humans!)  The vet prescribed Revolution when I first got my kitties because Boris had ear mites.  They are highly contagious and Beatrice would likely get them, too, if left untreated.  In addition to fleas, ticks, and mites, Revolution also kills parasites including heartworm.  I didn't even know cats could get heartworm!  Not in my house, they won't... 

So I give them the monthly treatment because I love my cats, but I feel so guilty when I do.  The medicine totally knocks them out for a day.  I know that by tomorrow they will be their usual selves.  I couldn't skip this month's treatment, especially after my experience at my brother's house with all their fleas.  
pamelonian: (Default)
I went to hug my nephew Ethan yesterday when he informed me, "I have fleas!"  I said, "You do?"  Needless to say, that was a very brief hug. 
Turns out their dog has fleas and they have gotten into the house and are biting the humans.  Ew!  

Later, I was playing with the nephs and their dinosaur toys.  It is well-known that I loves me some dinosaurs and having pre-school aged nephews is a perfect excuse to play with them.  I asked the boys where they got their robo-dinosaur.  "Mommy found it in the dumpster."  

This is a great age for the boys.  They don't really know how to lie and they don't withhold affection. 

We took the older boy to get his school supplies.  He is starting kindergarten this year.   I think he's a little nervous about it, too.  He has been with Mommy 24/7, so being away at school will be a big change for him.  I hope he adjusts to it.  He needs speech therapy really badly.  His Mommy is the only one who can really understand what he says.  I hope he has a positive experience rather than a frustrating one.  
pamelonian: (Default)
Is this thing on?  I don't want to bother with an entire post only to have it time out when I hit the button...

Truck Love

Jul. 20th, 2011 04:36 pm
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I FINALLY got my truck fixed.  I have been pretty much letting it sit parked in front of my house for a year.  It made so much noise that I was embarrassed to drive anywhere.  Having to jump start it every time quickly took the fun out of it.  My brother replaced the battery over Spring Break, but taking it in for repair is a hassle since I would have to arrange for rides to and from the shop.  

Now it is all fixed.  The horrible noises were coming from the brakes.  The good news is that replacing all the needed brake parts wound up costing much less than what I was planning to spend.  So now I have a truck!

Perhaps it is foolish to love an inanimate object, but I do love my truck.  I love driving it around and sitting up high.  I love putting my bike in the back and taking it on an adventure.  I drove with my bike in the back all the way to Moab, Utah in 2007.  

It will take some time to get used to driving it again.  Driving a truck is much more physical than driving a car.  It takes more oomph to push the clutch and to shift the gears.  My hip is a little sore after driving it around some today.  I will also have to re-learn the physical boundaries of an extended cab truck.  Parking was a challenge. 

Now that I have my truck in good running order, I will not let it fall to neglect.  The Purple Tacoma rides again!
pamelonian: (Default)
Yesterday we celebrated my nephew's 4th birthday.  His parents wanted to take him to the Powell Gardens since the boy loves flowers and butterflies.  My other nephew loves dinosaurs and  the botanical garden was having an exhibit called "Jurassic Gardens," which featured large dinosaur sculptures throughout the park along with displays identifying the plants known to be present during the Jurassic Period.  I had fun pointing out the "dinosaur trees" to my nephews.  The boys loved the outing.  I imagined they would become bored and tired very quickly.  My brother wisely brought a wagon for hauling the kids in case they wore out, but it turned out they didn't need it much. 

I wished that I could have ridden in the wagon, though!  The botanical garden was huge and yesterday was extremely hot!  We started out early, but by 10:00 it was already rather steamy.  I was worried about how my parents would hold up.  Luckily, no one suffered heat stroke.  I still feel the after-effects of dehydration today.  I just can't seem to get enough water!  We all agreed that going in the Spring would be a better experience, but the dinosaurs are only out in summer.  We are tentatively planning another excursion for Mother's Day so we can actually linger a while and enjoy the experience a little more. 

Today I threw my bike in the back of my truck so I could take it in for repairs and bike home.  I may need to get up early more often, especially during this heat wave.  The bike ride wasn't that bad with temps in the 70's.  There were many other people out exercising at that hour.  It makes sense.  
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And the Twelve Days of Lesson Plans for Spanish 1 & 2 are DONE!  I emailed all the teachers I thought might benefit from them to encourage them to take a look.  It was a lot of work and I want some kind of pat on the back.  I probably won't get one.  Now that they are online for everyone to see (everyone with login credentials, that is), they can be taken for granted.  They should be good for another 7 years when we adopt new textbooks again. 

Even if no one else uses them, I intend to use them.  That means the first three weeks of school are all ready and I will be able to concentrate on setting up my record-keeping and preparing the classrooms.

Now that the task is completed, I can resume loafing in earnest.  Well, reading, biking, and learning to cook real food.  I wouldn't refer to those activities as loafing, but it's nice to know that I don't have any more "work" to do for about a month.
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Today I sat myself down and cranked out three weeks of lesson plans for Spanish 2.  I had all sorts of excuses not to do them, but today I ignored the excuses and sat down to work.  I set a goal and I achieved it!  It was too damned hot to do anything outside, anyway, so I stayed in and worked.  Even if the new teachers don't use my plans (and why wouldn't they?), I have them to use for myself!  I was amazed at the amount of explanation and prep these lessons took.  It's one thing to write a list of activities on a page.  It is quite another to assemble and copy everything the activities will require to make them happen.  

Tomorrow I will go through a final edit and upload them.  Maybe I will upload them all, but more likely I will only get to about half.  Still plenty of time before the new school year starts.  I would like to do it tonight, but I think I need some time away from my work so I can look at it with a fresh perspective.

For the record, the project so far has taken about twice the amount of time the district is willing to pay me for!
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So we met with the owner of the space we would be leasing for our new aikido dojo.  No one was put off by the fact that it is next to the jail.  He gave us an offer we couldn't refuse, so we signed a 3-year lease.  It is a brand new space, and he is going to build the insides to suit our needs.  I think it will be a great space.  It has big garage doors that we can open when weather permits.  Our current space has inadequate ventilation and in the last five years, there is a funk in the air that hits you when you first open the door.  It costs two-thirds what we are paying now and is only slightly smaller.  I think we can make it work, at least I hope so.  We have been hit hard by the economy in the last few years, but we are starting to see new interest.  

Finishing that project gave me some new motivation.  I made an appointment to get my truck fixed.  That's a project I put off until summer when I would have time and energy to take it in.  I can throw my bike in the back of the truck and bike home.  It is so difficult taking vehicles to the shop being a single gal.  I either have to sit and wait while they do the repairs, try to arrange someone to pick me up twice, or get a rental car.  I am glad during the summer that I have the bike option.  

So that task got put off until halfway through summer.  Better late than never. 

I am still biking, reading, and working intermittently on the lesson plans for new teachers.  My enthusiasm for that project waned a bit when I learned they would only be paying me half what I thought they would be paying me.  It wasn't that much money in the first place, but half that amount I found a little insulting.  No wonder no one else would do this job!  Ah well, it's still an honor to be asked. 

My parents called and wanted me to go to visit with the attorneys who did their estate planning.  Never a fun way to spend an afternoon, but the thing is, I already went to that a couple of years ago.  I asked them if they had made changes to their plan.  (I think they just didn't remember that I already went.)  That was rather sad.  I know my parents won't be around forever, and I admire them for getting their affairs in order while they still had the presence of mind to make sound decisions.    They are only in their early 70's, but they are getting forgetful.  Sometimes it's amusing to watch them bicker with each other over who forgot what, but it is also a little sad.


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