Friday, September 30, 2011

#38 - Ride my Bike 2500 Miles.....

When I put this item on my 50 Things to Do list, I was pretty sure I would get there. I had monthly goals that would add up to 2500, and most months I was ahead of my monthly goal.

I never dreamed, however, that I would reach my goal of riding my bike 2500 miles in a year with three months still to go.

Rozmo and I did a 56-mile ride today, and the weather was gorgeous. It would have been an absolutely PERFECT day except for a relentless, brutal wind for the last 7-10 miles. It wasn't ALWAYS a headwind, but I'm pretty sure it was NEVER a tailwind.

Here is proof about my cycling goal for the year. In addition to a yearly goal, I've had a goal for each month plus a cumulative goal. Yes, I realize I'm obsessive.

My new goal is going to be 3000 miles, which I should be able to reach if I meet each of the three remaining monthly goals.


I have this thing for chimneys. I tried to snap this one my FIRST time by, but I realized I was taking a video. (Does anyone else do that?) So I turned around and went back, but I still snapped the photo from my bike. I'm taking lessons from Rozmo, but she's a pro.


I loved this shot of the cows feeding. What I didn't realize was that as I approached, some of them would abandon eating because I scared them. I can just imagine the locals as they drove by, noticing us with our cameras. "Citifolk. Humph."



What a wonderful way to start my Fall Break.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Break ..... Yeah, Baby!......

For the past few years, our school system has had an entire week off for fall break. This year we started a week later, so our fall break is only 3 days: tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday. We are all so dang ready for a break that I'm not EVEN complaining that it's only 3 days. Being spread over a weekend makes it seem a little longer. Having Friday off is weird, though. I keep thinking I need to go fix my lunch and make sure I have something ready to wear tomorrow.

And then I think, "Sweet! I can sleep in!"

And then I remember, "Dang! Granny still has to pee first thing in the morning!"

Still, I don't have to get up at 5:00, and I can come back from Granny's and enjoy my coffee and read the paper.

Sometimes I try to pack so many activities into a school break that I feel like I need to go back to school just to get some rest. I've tried not to do that this time, but I'm still planning some fun things.

Rozmo and I are doing a bike ride tomorrow in one of the prettiest areas in our state, the same general area where our Spring Tune-Up ride takes place in April.

Saturday is a UGA home football game, and I hope to see my good friend Elizabeth, whom I haven't seen since we both left the same school in 2005. She has two beautiful girls and she's the only PERSON -- let alone WOMAN -- I've ever seen who can match Hubby beer for beer.

Sunday is an organized bike ride south of Atlanta. Katydid and I will be riding the tandem, and Rozmo is riding also.

Monday my only plans are to take Gus to the beauty shop. It's time for his every-other-month haircut and nail trimming. I'll also use that day to grocery shop and drop some pants off to be hemmed.

Tuesday I may have to take my mother-in-law to get a perm, and I'll have to stay there with her to move her from chair to chair. But that will be okay too. I'll take my crocheting or my iPad and keep myself occupied while I'm there. (If I can tune out the old-lady gossip. Which is sort of doubtful.)

We may not be taking the trip to Vegas we had tentatively planned, but I'll take a three-day break from school any old day.

Happy (early) weekend!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

50 Things to Do List - the Update......

I began the year with the lofty goal of completing an average of one of my 50 Things to Do per week, hoping to get them all done by the end of the year. I hit a bunch of them in a row for a while right after the first of the year, then I hit a dry spell. It's funny, though, how often my list is in the back of my mind. Or in the front of my mind.

I'm thinking I probably won't get to all of them. Some of them I will roll over to next year, but some of them have already lost their appeal for me. I may revise some of them to better meet my (current) interests/needs/desires, and I may just scrap some of them. I may add additional things. You can bet what I WON'T be doing is coming up with 51 new things for next year.

So far I've marked 23 things off my list. Almost half, which isn't bad. There are two that will almost definitely be accomplished within the next week, one that has already been done but I'm too shy to share it (yet), one that is in the works but may not officially be finished by the end of the year, and a couple that won't be that hard to do if only I can find time in between watching baseball, watching football, riding my bike, crocheting Luke's baby blanket, reading the bazillion books I've downloaded onto my Kindle/iPad, watching recorded episodes of Dancing with the Stars, and cleaning house. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha on that last one.

I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This is Ridiculous.....

There is no reason in the world that a grown, educated woman should get SO DAMN UPSET over a sports team.

She should not allow her mood to be determined by the success (OR LACK THEREOF) of a baseball team late in the season.

Said grown, educated woman should not awaken multiple times during the night, having turned the baseball game off when it was tied because she couldn't bear to watch, jolting awake to wonder, "Did they win? Did they win?"

Said grown, educated woman should not lie there afraid to get up and check the final score because she knows it will render her sleepless for the rest of the night.

She should not SLAM her hand against the power button of the car's radio upon starting home after Zumba and discovering said team WHO DESPERATELY NEEDS TO WIN TO MAKE THE PLAY-OFFS is already down 3-0, oops 4-0, make that 6-0.

She should definitely not admit that the ran the risk of breaking both her hand AND the radio with such a pathetic display of temper. (They're both fine. I think.)

This grown, educated woman should not allow her blood pressure to skyrocket just because her team needs any combination of at least one win and at least one loss by the team nearest them in the standings, and her team is playing the team with the best record in baseball while the other team is playing the worst.

She should not allow herself to get so upset that she puts three "L's" in the word "allow." She should also not get so upset that she is forced to take a sleep aid.

Said baseball team should NOT be in a fight for their lives to make the play-offs when just a couple of weeks ago they had a NINE AND HALF GAME LEAD IN THE WILD CARD RACE.

It's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game.

In my next life I won't care about sports. It's too late for this one.

Calling my therapist,

Bragger

Monday, September 26, 2011

#3 - Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride.......

I had just about decided this particular item on my 50 Things to Do list would have to wait until next year. Once football season starts, the change in weather isn't far behind, and I didn't think we would be able to work it in. The last time Hubby and I tried to schedule a balloon ride, we got on a waiting list and didn't hear from the guy for a couple of months. This time I decided to try a different company. Duh. He got right back to me and said, "How about this Sunday?"

We were in a balloon with six other people, plus the pilot, Daryl. He was super friendly, and his crew was excellent. They were all so friendly, not only to us the paying passengers, but to by-standers (a hot air balloon in a grocery store parking lot attracts a LOT of attention), and even to people on the ground as we flew over neighborhoods.

First the crew has to put the basket together....


Then the balloon part is stretched out. And out. And out. And out. And out. (Man, I thought a parachute was big.....)


Then they use two high-powered fans to direct air into the balloon...


I loved the American flag touch...


This is me standing in front of the balloon, just to give you an idea of its size. I'm short, but I'm not a midget...


Then Daryl fires up the burners to direct hot air into the balloon, causing it to rise. We were certain he was going to catch the balloon on fire. Then we remembered he had done this a time or two...


Skies were a little hazy, but you can see Lake Lanier in the background...



We cruised along at about 3000 feet above ground, then we started descending. Hubby asked Daryl if we were going to land in this field. Daryl said, "Nah. I'm not ready to land yet." As we got lower and lower, Hubby murmured to me that Daryl might not KNOW it, but we were definitely going to land in that field. Trees were getting closer and closer. Then when it looked certain we were going to have to land, the balloon eased upward and the basket brushed the treetops. Yes, Daryl has definitely done this a time or two.


I loved the shots with our balloon's shadow in them. I have about a gazillion of these, in case you're interested. That's Sawnee Mountain in the background...


We landed in a field behind an auto parts store (Daryl says you're ALWAYS trespassing, and most of the time the land owners are friendly), and the crew van took us back to where we left our cars. They had cheese, strawberries, brownies, cookies, crackers with cream cheese and pepper jelly. And champagne. Even though I swore after our last trip to the Dominican Republic that I would never drink champagne again, I did have a little bit. Apparently it's the part in the BOTTOM of the bottle that makes you sick. Who knew?

video 

Riding in a hot air balloon has been a lifelong dream of mine, not just since I put it on my 50 Things to Do list. I've been obsessed with hot air balloons I believe ever since I saw The Wizard of Oz for the first time when I was about 3 years old. I would go back again and again if I could. I'm so, so, so, so, so, so glad we did this.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not a Real Blog Post.....

Not a real blog post, just an apology for not having one.

But trust me, I have a very good excuse. Hubby and I just got home from marking one of the BIG things off my 50 Things to Do List. I didn't dream we would be this late getting home, and we still had to put his mother to bed. Poor thing, she was worn out, and no way to go to sleep until we got back.

Oops. Sorry, Granny!

I promise to write something a little more substantial and have some (I hope I hope I hope) beautiful pictures to go along with it. Perhaps even a video. (Fingers crossed.)

AND it's only a four-day work week this week. We have next Friday and the following Monday and Tuesday off for our mini fall break. We are used to having a whole week, but we're so disausted we won't be greedy. Much.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#15 - Attend a Play at the Local Theater.....

I've been trying to get this item marked off my 50 Things to Do list for a while. Well, at least since I .... wrote the list. I've asked the Warrior Princess a couple of times, but our crazy schedules never matched up. And if she couldn't go, I didn't make the effort to go alone.

We had originally planned to go to tomorrow afternoon's performance, but the stars have aligned themselves correctly and if all goes according to plan, Hubby and I will accomplish a different item on the 50 Things list tomorrow afternoon. For that one I'm missing an Atlanta Falcons football game, so you know it must be big. I hope to have pictures. Lots of pictures.

Tonight's play, though, was called Delval Divas. "Delval" is short for Delaware Valley Federal Correction Facility, a "low level security prison for white and 'pink' collar criminals." The cast was all-female, and the script had some wonderfully funny lines. One of the characters was played by a woman who taught drama (what else) at one of the high schools in our county, and she is marvelous. She even improvised when one of the other ladies began to cough during her lines, bringing her a bottle of water from the refrigerator in her "cell."

I think I will go see another performance at this wonderful theater. I'm not sure what the building used to be, but they have beautifully renovated the inside into a charming facility. I think I will make a point to attend future performances on Sunday afternoon, though. This is way past my bedtime, even on a weekend.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Whack-a-Mole......

I was on the phone with my dear friend the Warrior Princess last night (whose son signed with the Texas Rangers but then decided to go to college after all, and I'm sorry I haven't updated THAT story lately), and I was trying to explain my level of exhaustion and puzzled about why.

It suddenly dawned on me why this school year I've been so tired so often and to such an enormous degree. (Can you have an enormous degree of tiredness? Please let me.)

I said to her, "I'm not teaching. You know that game at the kids' pizza joint? Whack a Mole? That's what I do. All. Day. Long."

If you're not familiar with Whack-a-Mole, here is a video clip to demonstrate.


Only in MY world, there are 20 moles. And they pop up with alarming speed and frequency. They also team up and pop up in twos, threes, fours, and fives.

"No, you can't go to the vending machine. You just came from lunch."  **WHACK!!**

"I don't know if the tampons Mrs. K____ has are 'super' or not, but you're welcome to go ask her." **WHACK!!**

"Please stop throwing Stephen's bookbag across the floor. This is a HIGH SCHOOL." **WHACK!!**

"You made a 64 the first time you took your topic test and a 48 the second time. The goal here is for you to get smarter." **WHACK!!**

"Please tell me that is not dip spit in that bottle. Are you out of your mind? That's an automatic suspension. Please enjoy your day off." **WHACK!!**

"Your mom is coming in Monday morning for a conference. Do you want me to base my comments to her on today's performance?" **WHACK!!**

"Get off that internet site and do your work." **WHACK!!**

"Please stop singing while you work. You're not one of the Seven Dwarfs, I'm not sure that is really singing, and you're getting on all our nerves." **WHACK!!**

"No, I will NOT look through your quiz with you and tell you which ones you missed BEFORE you submit it to be graded." **WHACK!!**

 "You must do your homework/practice if you expect to get a retake on a quiz." **WHACK!!**


This post cannot possibly convey how rapidfire all these things are happening in my room. And I promise you I did NOT make these up. This was just during the last period of the day! I feel like a whirling dervish. And this is only a small sampling. It was Friday, so many of our students took the day off. My colleagues and I are seriously considering getting some of those big inflatable Whack-a-Mole bats. Surely they can't fire us ALL.....

I'm disuausted. And it has nothing to do with the 18-mile bike ride home.








Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wordle........

Here's a Wordle of my blog from the last few days. In case you're not familiar with Wordle, the size of the word is determined by the frequency of its appearance in a list of words, a body of text, or a web address.

If you haven't tried Wordle yet, have some fun playing around with it. 


It's not very exciting, but it's much better than the Wordle that would be created if I listed all the names I thought about calling my students today.

This week can't drag to a merciful end fast enough.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If I Could Do College Again.....

I try not to have too many regrets in my life. Still, if I had the opportunity to go back and do some things differently, and have (at least some of) the knowledge I have now, I might make different choices. Not necessarily wiser ones, mind you, but different.

I had just turned 17 in April when I graduated from high school. I felt compelled to go straight into college during summer quarter, which started just 10 days after my high school graduation. I'm not sure I would do that differently, because summer quarter was more relaxed and classes were smaller than the rest of the year. It gave me a chance to ease into college life without all of the 24,000 other students there. I became familiar with the bus system, and because it was summer quarter, there weren't many people watching when I sat for about 30 minutes at a bus stop waiting for a North-South bus. That particular bus stop was only for East-West buses. I can only imagine what the folks on those East-West buses thought when they kept pulling up to the stop and I kept not getting on the bus.

I don't think I would have gone EVERY summer, though, as I did. I finally took one quarter off, a winter quarter, after a painful break-up, but I went to school every summer. We had about a month off between the end of summer quarter and the beginning of fall, but I never took a summer off. It would have made a lot more sense financially, too. I was drawing social security after the death of my step-father, and they would keep paying me until age 22 (I think) or until I received my first degree (which I did at 20). My mother couldn't understand why I was in such a hurry. Looking back now, neither do I.

I THINK I would choose to live in a dormitory and experience more of college life, but I can't be sure about that one. I lived at home and commuted the 10 miles or so to school, so that meant I didn't meet as many people as I would have if I had lived on campus. I made a few friends, but none of those friendships turned into the lifelong relationships a lot of people have from college.

If I could go back and do it again, I would get into cycling while I was still in college and not wait until I was 31. That might also have led to my quitting smoking a lot sooner. It would have also saved me the $98 in parking tickets I had to pay my last quarter before they would let me have my diploma.

I would try harder to appreciate the learning process instead of going through the motions from quarter to quarter, collecting my credits and jumping through the hoops but never sure exactly what I was learning. I would take more classes I was truly interested in and not schedule them just because they fit my schedule. Believe it or not, I preferred 7:50 AM classes. I wanted to be finished by noon so I could work in the afternoons. My brain doesn't learn very well after lunch.

I would know myself better than to think I should even imagine traveling the road through a pre-med program and medical school. I would have chosen something like literature from the beginning, or perhaps physical fitness. Or Women's Studies. Or French. Or math. Or a double or triple major in some combination of all of them. Maybe I could have just gotten a degree in going to college.

I won't even talk about my social life or studying or bad relationships. I think those are all part of the college experience. Or maybe I just don't want to talk about them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Mother-in-Law.......

Since she broke her arm almost seven weeks ago, my mother-in-law has been pretty much helpless. She has used a walker for the past few years, and she can't even do THAT with a broken arm. Forgive me if I'm repeating myself; I don't remember how much of this I've already blogged about.

Mother-in-law is pretty much trapped on her sofa. She can't stand up without someone there to help her, and she can't get in her bed. She has a portable potty chair in the living room, and one of us has to be there to help her use it. She has terrible bed sores from sitting in one place all the time. Thankfully her sofa reclines, so the last thing we do at night is "put Granny to bed," putting pillows under her legs and helping her recline the sofa so she can sleep.

She can't see the clock, so if she wakes up in the middle of the night and has to go to the bathroom, she calls us. I guess it wouldn't matter if she could see the clock anyway; if she's gotta go, she's gotta go. Thankfully she's only called in the middle of the night twice, once at 3:05 AM and this past Sunday at 3:30 AM (at least I got to "sleep in" after that).

Hubby and I went down there yesterday evening, and she was asleep. It was the first time that she has looked like an old lady to me. Her mouth was open, her jaw was slack, and we stood there for a moment to make sure her chest was moving. I had a horrible thought, which I shared with Hubby on our walk back home. I am the one who goes down there first thing every morning. (I let Hubby sleep, because I don't see the point in BOTH of us having to be up, even if it is his mother.) I have a horror of walking in her house one morning and finding her dead. I'm not sure how I would handle it.

I've never seen a dead person, other than in a casket, and I don't even handle THOSE very well. When my step-mother died and the family was viewing her in the casket, my father realized the funeral director hadn't put her earrings on her. The director brought the earrings to me and asked me to put them in her ears. I didn't want to refuse, with my father standing there, and I meant no disrespect to my step-mother, but I just don't do death very well. I think it may stem from the experience of touching my brother in his casket when I was only 11 years old. I asked for permission to touch him, but I wasn't prepared for the fact that he would be cold. It pretty much freaked me out.

My mother-in-law will be 82 years old next Friday, and she has overcome double pneumonia, two broken hips, multiple other broken bones, and a heart stent they inserted a few years ago. She's a tough old bird, but I realize the odds of her living to be 90 aren't very good. She appears to be going downhill, and she isn't any more able to stand on her own than she was seven weeks ago. She seems to think that once her arm is well, she will be able to get around on her own again. But her legs won't hold her up, and I don't think her arm is going to bear enough weight on her walker to give her any degree of mobility.

I just realized how shallow I sound. Here this woman is nearing the end of her life, and I'm worried about being the one to find her if she dies in her sleep. That would actually be better than my sister-in-law finding her, though, because I would have my suspicions for the rest of my life.

Sorry to be so morbid tonight. It's sad watching someone you love suffer. My mother-in-law has been good to me, and I hate to see her helpless and dependent on others.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Drivers Can Endear Themselves to Cyclists....

In response to one of my blog posts a couple of weeks ago, one of my regular readers, my dear friend Maggie, asked for some tips for non-cyclists to help them get along better with cyclists. I've been writing this post in my head for the last several times I've been on my bike. This probably isn't everything a driver needs to know about the idiots on bicycles cyclists he or she might come into contact with, but it might be useful information. Some of this is based on the law in Georgia, and it might be different in your state.

Slow Down - The most comforting sound I can hear from behind me is a car engine decelerating. Not only is it safer for drivers to be going slower, but it lets me know the driver has seen me and is not hell-bent upon killing me. I promise it won't be the end of the world if you lose seven seconds out of your life while you wait for the chance to pass me.

Treat a Bicycle Like a Slow Car - In my case, a VERY slow car. If there is enough room to pass, and there isn't an approaching car, feel free to go around. No need to honk; I know you're there. If a car IS approaching, then wait behind me (at a safe distance, please) until it has passed. Please don't feel the need to squeeze past between me and the other car. Like a woman did on my way home from school today. She was clearly in a hurry to get to the middle school and wait in line with a jillion other people trying to get into the football game. (A middle school game causing traffic problems? Really?) She was still in the turn lane when I got to the middle school, so I rode past her, made eye contact, and held up three fingers. "Three feet! Three feet!" I don't know if she knew what I was talking about, but it sure made me feel better.

Allow Enough Room When You Pass - A new law in Georgia regarding bicyclists and motorists went into effect July 1st of this year. It states that motorists must allow three feet of room when passing cyclists. (It also said that cyclists can now wear cleated cycling shoes and signal turns with their right arms, both of which I have been doing for years. Who knew I was breaking the law?) The old law, which may still be how it's worded in other states, said simply that a driver had to allow a cyclist "sufficient" room (or some such term) when passing. The three feet law gives us something specific. It doesn't mean drivers will abide by it, but my family members can use it in court when a driver kills me. Just kidding. Sort of.

Headlights Are a Huge Plus - My favorite kind of cars are the ones with daytime running lights. You wouldn't believe how much headlights on cars help cyclists. Most of us ride with some sort of mirror, either attached to our helmets or our handlebars, but they aren't the best in the world. They are especially deficient when it comes to determining how far away a car is behind us. Seeing headlights makes it much easier to judge the distance. It also makes the car more visible. It is amazing to me how many cars appear to be the same color as the road, even in bright sunlight. And most of us don't have a lot of time after hearing a car approaching from the rear to make a decision, such as whether or not it's safe to make a left turn. The headlights are wonderfully helpful.

Don't Honk - I've mentioned this before, but drivers who honk out of anger not only piss us off hugely, but they put us in danger. One sudden movement could throw us into the path of a car, or into a ditch. Depending upon how deep the ditch is, that could be just as bad as the car. Unless your engine is completely silent, we know you are there. A friendly beep from a hundred yards back is okay, but it's still not necessary.

Careful Making Right Turns - Again, treat a bicycle just like a slow car. You wouldn't pass a car, then slam on brakes and turn right in front of it. At least, I hope you wouldn't. Don't do it to a cyclist either. Wait a safe distance behind until the cyclist clears the intersection, then make your turn. It won't cost you more than 15 seconds out of your busy life.

Don't Assume We Are All Rude Jerks - You might be one of those who think bicycles don't belong on the road. If that's so, please contact your legislator. As long as the law allows us to ride on the road, cyclists have all the same rights, rules, and responsibilities of drivers. I realize there are some cyclists who don't serve as good ambassadors for cycling, just as there are some drivers who aren't poster children for safe driving practices. Please don't kill me with your car just because three days ago a group of cyclists hogged the whole road and made you late for your dental appointment. We aren't all like that.

Give Us the Right to Avoid Things You Can't See - There might be a sliver of pavement just outside the white line, but it doesn't mean it's safe for cyclists to ride there. Particularly in cities, the space outside the driving lane is fraught with hazards. Sewer grates (wheel gobblers, they are), potholes, and all kinds of debris hide there. We aren't trying to be jerks by riding in the middle of the lane. Even where there's a right-hand turning lane, we are likely not to get in it if we are going straight. This is especially true around my neighborhood, when there might be a turning lane into a subdivision. If I get into the turning lane to allow cars to pass, then the lane runs out, I am hung out there in no-man's land. I have given up my right to the lane, and it's dangerous for me to make my way back into the flow of traffic. As nervous as it makes me, the safest thing for me to do is hold my own line among the cars and hope they get a chance to pass me safely.

If you are a cyclist and can think of something I left out, please feel free to leave a comment letting me know. And if you're a driver and wonder about a particular situation, feel free to ask. If I don't know the answer, I'll find out.

Happy driving and happy cycling!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Famous Trestle.......

Last weekend, when Hubby and I were in Athens for the UGA football game, we had time to walk along the nearby greenway. Truth be told, we had time to hike a large portion of the Appalachian Trail, because I'm sort of extremely fanatic anxious about getting to the tailgate area early. Shortly after we began our walk we saw this trestle from the path:


It's a semi-famous trestle from a railroad that has long since been abandoned. Its fame comes from the fact that it appeared on the back cover of R.E.M.'s album Murmur.

Image courtesy of Sleevage.com

I am not familiar with the music of R.E.M., in spite of the fact that we are from the same hometown AND I used to teach with the sister of their lead singer. (She was the teacher for the hearing impaired, and she was hilarious. I was appalled when she had one of them out in the hall one day, and she called him a name. She looked at me and said, "What? He can't hear me.")

There has been much discussion in the newspaper and online about whether or not to attempt to salvage the trestle. There doesn't appear to be a very good reason to save it, other than the fact that it was made famous by one of the local bands that happened to become very popular.

I'm guessing it will eventually be taken down out of concern for public safety. Either that or it will fall of its own accord.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#44 - Ride my Bike in a New County........

A while back I wrote a post about all the counties in Georgia in which I've ridden my bike. Out of the 159 counties in Georgia, I reported there were only 25 in which I had not ridden my bicycle at some point. It should have been 24, as Rozmo corrected me when I told her about the map. She reminded me that the Silver Comet Trail goes through Cobb County, one of the counties I thought I hadn't ridden in.

As of today, the count is down to 23. Katydid and I did a ride in our hometown, and it went into Greene County. I found it odd in the first place that I had never ridden there, since it is A) only one county over from where we grew up; and B) not far from where I live now.

Today's ride was called the Teardrop Metric Century because of the shape of the map. It only took me about twelve trips to their website for it to dawn on me why the ride was named that. I'm so glad I went to college. Imagine how dense I might have been otherwise.

The county lines aren't visible (at least not readily) on the map, so I offer the following as evidence that we did indeed travel into Greene County.

Rozmo told me to point at the sign with my left hand. My left hand was busy saving me from falling off the post.



In addition to these pictures, Rozmo also took a VERRRRRRRRRRRY flattering one of my backside as I was climbing/stepping up onto that post. Don't think there won't be some payback for THAT. I'm so glad there's a "delete" key.

Katydid and I always wear our UGA jerseys when we do a ride on game day. I was a goober and forgot to wear the matching shorts.

We rode 64 miles, and it was a lovely ride. It started out cool (almost too cool for comfort, but we toughed it out), but the sun FINALLY came out and warmed things up. To make things even better, UGA finally got a win today by a score of 59-0. Okay, so we didn't exactly play a REAL team. But a win is a win. And we hadn't had one since last Thanksgiving, so we'll take it.

This ride was a perfect combination of pluses. #1 - It was closer than the ride we were scheduled to do on this date, which is about two and a half hours away and has a bear of a parking problem. #2 - It had a later start time. #3 - It was in our home county. #4 - Its route took us into a county I wanted to ride in.

The only downside was that the OTHER ride, the one we DIDN'T do, started and ended at the Budweiser plant.

Further proof that you can't have everything.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weird Thing to Do on a Friday Afternoon.......

I had Hubby take me and my bike to school this morning, as I try to do on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. At least as long as the weather holds. Having him drop me off means I can't change my mind in the middle of the day about riding my bike.

On most Fridays (most DAYS, actually), I am a horse headed for the barn, taking the quickest and most direct (at least by bicycling standards) route home. Today, for some reason, I didn't do that.

I wanted a different route than my usual way home. That turned into a VERY unusual way home when I missed a turn and wound up in a county I didn't mean to be in. I still wasn't too very far off track, and I let Hubby know I would meet him at the golf course.

The weather took a strange course today also. Temperatures were in the 90's yesterday, something to which we've become very accustomed here in the South. Today temperatures MIGHT have reached the 70's, but were mostly in the upper 60's. We don't have all four seasons here; we just have hot and cold, and we can experience a switch from one to the other and back again in the space of three days. It was also windy today, which is NOT something I prefer on my bike rides.

My timing worked out perfectly. Hubby texted that he was finished with his round of golf, and I texted back that I was about two miles away. Then I realized I was headed straight for a ditch, and I stopped texting. I was happy that my bike ride was going to wind up being almost exactly 20 miles. It's all about the miles, people.

Then instead of waiting for me like he said he would, Hubby headed my way and picked me up in his truck. Oh well.... I guess 18.95 miles on a Friday afternoon is still okay.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons.......


You may be able to guess how fast I read this book based on how soon I'm posting a review of it after I posted my last review. (I never read two books at the same time.)

**This review contains some spoiler information, so stop reading at the **** below if you don't want to know some of the things that happen.**

I have a hard time being objective about any book written by ARS. She's one of my favorite writers, and I don't even care if it's because she's a Southern Writer (capitalization not an accident) or if it's because she writes about places I can recognize and identify with, sometimes on a personal level. (Terry Kay is another one - check out To Dance with the White Dog if you get a chance.) One of her best-known novels, Peachtree Road, is one of my favorite books of all time. I intend to read it again.

In Burnt Mountain, Thayer Wentworth (if I ever have another child, I'm going to name her Thayer) is sent to summer camp, where she discovers a love of horseback riding, storytelling, and Nick.

Thayer's strained relationship with her mother is balanced by her nurturing one with her grandmother.

One thing that I have long admired about Siddons' books is that the setting almost becomes a character itself. Burnt Mountain is no different, even though most of the book takes place in locations other than Burnt Mountain itself. Siddons also has a knack for getting us inside the characters' minds and souls. Even if we don't particularly LIKE a certain character, we certainly can't say we don't understand him or her.

I almost always cry during and after reading one of Anne Rivers Siddons' books. Sometimes that becomes a lasting sadness that I can't shake for days. I don't mean to imply that her books are depressing; they are just so fraught with emotion that they stick with me. Kind of like the adrenaline from skydiving used to last for several days, only in reverse. Sometimes I think the sadness comes from the fact that I may never aspire to be the kind of writer that Siddons is. And I really, really, really, really would like to be.

****

I do feel compelled to point out, however, the thing about the book that disturbed me. I hope this won't come across as nit-picking, but some errors in time sequence appeared to me to be true structural flaws.

Thayer falls in love at camp the summer before she is to go on to college. She is later subjected to an abortion arranged by her mother (could she really have been that ignorant?), from which she gets an infection that ultimately leaves her barren. That smacks of the 1950's. Or maybe 1960's. Yet when Thayer marries one of her college professors immediately after her graduation, they get caught up in Atlanta's preparations for the Olympics. That was 1996. Siddons mentions contemporary makes and models of cars (I'm not savvy enough to know when some of them came along, and I'm too lazy to look them up), and one of the characters has a cell phone. I realize cell phones were in existence in the years immediately preceding 1996, but they were still novelties, they were expensive, and service was unreliable.

Thayer marries immediately upon her college graduation, and while she is on her honeymoon she learns that her beloved grandmother has died, leaving her a magnificent house on Bell's Ferry Road. Yet when she runs into her camp love, Nick, a short time afterward, he has married, had two children, earned an advanced degree, and divorced. Nick was to start college the same year she did, so they were the same age.

Even with the flaws, I was able to enjoy the book immensely, and I may even read it again immediately. That's the highest endorsement I can give a book.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rest in Peace......

I have just come home from the funeral home, attending the visitation of a friend from high school. Another woman who died way too young. She would have been 50 tomorrow, and I swear she was just vain enough to die on purpose before that milestone birthday. I mean absolutely no disrespect by that either.

Kim struggled with anorexia for years. I wasn't even aware until tonight that it stretched back into our high school days. I thought those problems only started after high school. She had an ugly break-up with a boyfriend (and he was no prize, let me tell you), and she was never the same after that. She married, adopted a son from Costa Rica (she was unable to have children of her own), divorced, remarried. We lost touch over the years, although I do recall running into her one day several years ago.

The pictures showing on the t.v. set at the funeral home were haunting. Kim's smile was too big, too plastic, as if she were trying too hard to appear happy. I remember her being that way from school, but apparently it continued into adulthood. It was like there was no one there behind those beautiful blue eyes. Thin. She was so thin.

I'm not even sure how she died. Amanda said she had heard Kim had a stroke a while back, which may be related to the anorexia or may be a separate issue altogether.

I was dismayed to see no one else from school there. Amanda was trying to make it from Atlanta, but she got stuck in traffic on I-85 and wouldn't have made it before visitation was over, so she turned around. At first I thought I was in line for the wrong person, because I didn't see a single person I recognized. I'm not sure Kim's mother realized who I was, even though I told her my name and told her Amanda was on her way. (Amanda and Kim were much closer than Kim and I.)

No one cried. Not a single tear was shed in that funeral home. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. But it felt weird.

I'm glad her demons can't get to her anymore.

Rest in peace, Kim.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not the Usual Police Blotter Blogger Fodder.......

There was a funny (at least to me, but I admit I have a warped sense of humor) item in the police blotter in yesterday's paper. This is not the paper I usually get my police blotter stories from, but a newspaper in the college town down the road that actually approaches real journalism. Whereas the stories I usually write about are funny because of the crimes that are committed, this one was funny because of the way it was written. I can easily picture the person who is assigned the inglorious task of writing the police blotter stories grinning as he or she typed this jewel, one of several items highlighting arrests from the weekend. There are always lots of arrests over the weekend of the first home football game, particularly one that kicks off at 7:30 PM.

A 24-year-old Athens man trying to open car doors in the court house [sic] parking deck. When police approached him, he said he was searching for a place to sleep, according to the report. He then tried to get into a car filled with people he did not know. The driver refused to unlock the doors and police let the man sleep at the Clarke County Jail after charging him with public intoxication.

You gotta love someone who can (purposely, I'm sure of that) inject some humor into a routine story about just another routine drunk.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank.....





I was drawn to this book because of its title, because I've been to Folly Beach twice. In December. On a bicycle. One time it was cold and rainy and miserable, and the other time the temperatures were in the 80's. Welcome to winter in the South.

I love books about the Lowcountry. I guess I like the Lowcountry in general, since I came thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to buying a house on the marsh there just last month.

Cate Cooper is what I would call a socialite, the wife of a wealthy man, living a comfortable if somewhat ostentatious life in New Jersey. The book opens with her standing at her husband's graveside following his suicide. Shock follows shock, as a woman claiming to have had a child fathered by her husband shows up at the funeral, and then she discovers that she is broke. Forced to leave her house and give up all her possessions, Cate returns to her roots in the Lowcountry, where she and her sister were raised by their Aunt Daisy. Cate moves into Porgy House, the cottage where Dubose Heyward supposedly wrote Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin, and she becomes increasingly curious about Dubose and his wife Dorothy.

The book alternates between Cate's new love interest (whom she meets when he rams his car into hers at the supermarket - too stereotypical?) and the play she begins to write about Dorothy and Dubose. I don't usually like books that switch back and forth between narrators or between past and present (although I am writing my own book just that way - so sue me), but this unique approach worked well for this book.

I enjoyed reading this book, and I was pleased with the way it ended. What I could have appreciated more of, however, would have been details of the setting. Frank mentions the waves and the whitecaps occasionally, but I would like for the Lowcountry setting to become more important to the events of the book than just being where the Heywards lived while collaborating with Gershwin.

Overall a very good read, with some genuine human drama and interesting relationships.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later......

First of all, I hope I don't have to apologize after every single home football game we go to this year. This time it wasn't the clock that got me, but the Internet demons. I couldn't get my connect card to .... well, connect .... in the RV last night. I couldn't even post something stupid on Facebook from my iPhone. I was in a college town, for Pete's sake. Did those college students use up ALL the internet in Athens?

I went for a bike ride today, and I rode with a heavy heart. Not even the perfectly blue skies and pleasant temperatures lifted my mood. I was gloomy. I wore my American flag cycling jersey, hoping that at least on this particular day it might deter motorists from hating me just for riding my bike on their roads. Or at least keep them from running me over. I think it worked.

The only time I sort of smiled was when I rode near the tiny airport in our town, and a small airplane was taking off. Its shadow passed directly over me, and I thought that was cool. I rode 35 miles, wanting to get home in time for kickoff of the pro football season. I was aware that every game would feature some kind of memorial to those who lost their lives on 9/11/01, but I wasn't prepared for how profoundly they would affect me. I've even cried watching the commercials. Particularly the one with the Budweiser Clydesdales. Search for it if you haven't seen it. I haven't seen many commercials on television that can be so moving without a single word being spoken.

Even during last night's debacle football game between Georgia and South Carolina (which didn't USED to be a rivalry), the two marching bands combined for a tribute. It was very powerful. At the end of the halftime show there were some chants of "U-S-A," but they lost steam.

I've already written about where I was and what I was doing when I got the news about 9/11. The thing that always sticks out in my mind, though, is saying to a group of students, "This is going to change life as we know it." But of course I didn't really have any idea how, or to what extent.

Damn the terrorists for making me gloomy on what should have been a perfect day.

I mean, damn them for a host of other reasons too.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Of COURSE I Will Remember.......

I was riding my bike home from school today when I thought of something I could write tonight's blog post about. It was something ironic, and it was from way back in my student teaching days. In fact, there were two different stories, and I was going to call them something absurd like "A Tale of Two Ironies." I thought to myself, "There's no way I'll forget that one."

You can probably guess where this is going. I have no idea what was going to write about. I guess I could go get on my bike and try to recreate the scene in the hope that I might remember, but it's awfully dark outside. I don't think it had anything to DO with bike riding, though. That's just where I got the idea. Maybe it will come back to me next time I'm on my bike. I will know then to stop and put a memo on my iPhone, because clearly my memory isn't to be trusted.

I took a different route home this afternoon, leaving school and going in the opposite direction from my usual route. It seemed like a Friday thing to do. It was a good route, with the exception of having to go through a busy intersection that is usually pretty tame, except for Friday afternoons. It made the 5-mile trip home a 13-mile bike ride, which was just about perfect. The weather was noticeably cooler today, with the first hint of lighter, crisper air. It was still on the warm side, but not like breathing through a wash cloth, as Hubby has described it.

I had a moment of zen when I turned onto our little street. It was the sudden realization that it was the weekend. This four-day week stretched on FOREVER.

Happy Weekend, Y'all!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Monk Moment #5..... and #6......

I took a picture for tonight's Monk Moment blog post, then I was afraid you would be distracted by the obvious dirt on the light switch plate and think THAT was what my Monk Moment was all about.

You silly thing. To think my Monkness would extend to things like dirt and germs. Pshaw.


This is the light switch just inside our front door. The far left switch operates the outside light, the middle one operates the ceiling fan and lights, and the far right one operates all the outlets down the wall of the living room. Including the television and satellite receiver, which take FOREVER to reset themselves if one is stupid enough to inadvertently switch it off while cleaning the light switch plate. Hypothetically speaking.

One (I guess actually two) of the switches stopped working a couple of months ago, and Hubby bought new ones. I'm impressed by anyone who can do household repair jobs like this without calling in an "expert." There aren't many repairs I would feel comfortable doing (but I suppose I could if forced to), and I absolutely abhor doing anything remotely involving electricity.

He bought the new switches, switched them out (I'm hilarious), and everything works as it should.

Except I have to walk past this every day. Several times a day.

I'm sure that, being a man, it never occurred to Hubby to see if they had any beige light switches. If they didn't, it would never have occurred to HIM to replace ALL of them, along with the switch plate face, so that they would match.

Trust me, I'm not going to nitpick.  I won't even let him know I have noticed the difference in color in the switches. I will, however, be forced to get a screwdriver and even up those screw notches now that I've been staring at the picture for a few minutes. That will also have to wait until Hubby is gone, or I risk yet again giving him more evidence that he should have me committed.

For Monk Moment #6, I'm simply going to post the pictures and see if you can guess why this situation causes me to have a Monk Moment. It won't be easy, even for those who know me well.



The pictures aren't very good, so you may need to enlarge them to see the detail that drives me crazy. Leave your guesses in the comments section, and I'll try to respond and let you know if you're on the right track. The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize. Or not.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#23 - Random Acts of Kindness.....

I feel awkward talking about random acts of kindness. If you publish them, they aren't really random anymore. This one wasn't all that random anyway, since it wasn't something I did for a perfect stranger. But it's been a while since I ticked anything off my 50 Things to Do list, so I'm by golly counting it.

Hubby's great-niece is a very sweet girl who just started high school in our county. She couldn't wait for school to start back, unlike most teenagers. She loves school, she loves reading, and she loves learning. She was born the day Princess Diana died, and she has a brother almost 10 years younger than she. Yes, I realize those two things have nothing to do with one another. In addition, they now have another youngster in the household since this unfortunate incident, so she gets called on a lot to babysit.

She told my mother-in-law the other day that she didn't have any money to eat lunch at school. I realize teenagers are prone to exaggeration (and outright lying, if you can believe that), but I don't get the impression that this girl would resort to that. It wasn't like she was trying to extort money from her great-grandmother, and she's not one to play the sympathy card. Both her parents work, but they haven't always managed their money well. (Who has?)

It didn't bother me so much that she said she didn't have lunch money. It was the fact that her daddy, Hubby's nephew, spent Sunday afternoon at the golf course. Playing a round of golf probably cost him around $70. That would buy her school lunches for more than a month.

What is WRONG with people?

I sent a check to her school via a co-worker, and I emailed her English teacher asking her to tell the girl that her lunch account would have money on it starting tomorrow. I don't want her to know where the money came from, but I realize there may be too many people involved to keep it a secret forever. I don't care. I don't want her to have to go all day without eating lunch.

Maybe it doesn't fit the true definition of random acts of kindness, but I felt better for having done it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reason #412 that Getting Old Sucks......

It seems to me that all I've done lately is whine, and for that I apologize.

But I'm afraid this is going to continue the trend, at least for tonight. I promise I'll try to be perky and chipper tomorrow night.

When I went to my doctor three months ago, she was delighted with my weight loss and how well my blood pressure is being controlled. She commented that my cholesterol was high, though, and said she wanted my next blood work to be done without eating. My "bad" cholesterol was 145, and she said she wanted it closer to 100.

I don't do well without my breakfast and coffee. I know I can drink black coffee, but I'd rather do without than drink it black. I'm not grown up enough for that.

She said I could try lowering my cholesterol for the next three months using diet and exercise alone. To be perfectly honest, I didn't do much different during the last three months. I figured there wasn't much more exercise I could do, since I exercise almost every day and twice a day many days. I don't eat many of the foods on the "bad" list anyway, just because I don't care for them. I don't care for steak, I don't like eggs, and I don't typically eat bakery goods and other bad stuff.

The leftover doughnuts Katydid bought for tailgating notwithstanding. I don't know what got into me on Sunday. But I digress.

When I went back to see the doctor this afternoon, she said my cholesterol had gone from 145 to 175. And she insisted on giving me a prescription for medicine to lower it.

I don't WANT to take it. I'm pretty sure my cholesterol situation is due to genetics, since both of my parents suffer/suffered from high cholesterol. (Gee thanks, parents!) The last time I was told my cholesterol was high, I had just lost 50 pounds and was exercising like crazy. I was in the best shape of my life.

Sound familiar?

I remember in my first year of teaching, I was telling some of my co-workers how much I loved quiche. I said I could eat it three meals a day, and one of my colleagues said, "But just think of the cholesterol!"

I replied, "I smoke, I drink, and I jump out of airplanes. If cholesterol kills me, it will just be a joke."

I don't smoke, drink, or jump out of airplanes anymore. And I'm not finding it very funny.


Monday, September 5, 2011

The Downside of Three-Day Weekends.....

I really, really love three-day weekends. While I don't dread Mondays nearly as much as I did when I taught in the traditional school setting (i.e., lesson plans, grading essays, tests, making copies, controlling a classroom), I still get that Sunday-afternoon feeling of, "Ugh....tomorrow I have to go back to school."

When I have a three-day weekend, though, on Sunday afternoon I say, "Oh goody. I get to stay home again tomorrow!" And then I take another nap or three. I wanted to ride my bike yesterday because I knew the weather was going to take a turn for the worse today and the rest of the week, but I was too disausted to move out of my recliner. Hubby came home from playing golf yesterday and found me in almost exactly the same position I was in when he left that morning.

Since I didn't have to get up this morning, Hubby told his mother just to call us when she woke up and we would come help her use the potty chair. She let us sleep in..... all the way to 5:24. This is getting old. And every time I think that, I want to kick myself for being uncharitable. I know she can't help the fact that her arm is broken and her legs are too weak to hold her up, but she has these moments where she's... demanding... complaining... argumentative.

The predicted torrential downpours never materialized, at least not until after we ate supper. I could have ridden my bike today after all, but I wasn't a total slug. I did four miles on the elliptical, I went to the grocery store (onerous chore that it is), I changed the sheets on our bed, and I washed a load of laundry. I also crocheted some on baby Luke's afghan and played a gazillion games of pinball on my iPad.

I didn't even mind (much) that it rained and spoiled what would have been our last swim of the year. The pool folks are coming to cover it up and winterize it this Thursday.

What I really hate about three-day weekends, though, is the fact that they leave me wanting another few days off.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Note from My Mother.....

Dear Readers:

This is Bragger's mother, also known as the Barracuda, writing a note excusing her absence from blogging last night. (By the way, I'm also known by a few choice other terms, but this is the cleanest one I can put in print.)

Bragger had excellent intentions for posting last night from inside the Georgia Dome. She thought she would do a "live" blog post as the football game progressed, a la Aunt Joyce and his reporting of skating or gymnastics events. (Don't bother looking for his... he's a little over-the-top.) She had this cool idea that she would update her post as events at the game progressed, and you could follow the game vicariously through her blog. Whether you wanted to or not.

What Bragger didn't anticipate is that being inside the Dome would preclude any electronic form of communication whatsoever from the outside world. She could receive texts but not send them; her ESPN app on her iPhone did NOT update her with the bazillion teams she has entered as "favorites" so she could follow their progress too.

She also did not anticipate that her view of the field would be blocked by an obnoxious Georgia fan in front of her who insisted upon standing for the entire game, beginning with the pre-game ceremonies, continuing with the entrance of Herschel Walker (BTW, someone needs to tell Herschel that we don't "raise the roof" in sports anymore), and lasting throughout the entire game. When she gently tapped the "gentleman" on the shoulder and asked couldn't she be allowed to see just a little bit of the game, his bitchy wife turned around and said, "He can stand up if he wants to!" (Yes indeed, he can if he wants to, or he could be a decent human being and allow like-minded fans who also paid $55 for a ticket to the game to actually see it, but clearly the choice is his and we know what his choice tells us about him. And his bitchy wife. Who then proceeded to stand up HERSELF, just to prove her point.) We are just eternally grateful that neither Bragger nor her Hubby had to be granted a single phone call from the confines of an Atlanta jail. Shudder.

To make this long-winded note to the teacher as short as possible, suffice it to say that our team lost the game, Bragger lost her voice, and when she returned to the RV at 11:45 PM, she just couldn't bring herself to write a coherent blog post. Or a blog post of her usual characteristics either.

Please excuse her absence. We hope she will be back to abnormal tomorrow. We will make better plans for next weekend's game, which has a 4:30 PM kickoff instead of 8:00 PM.

Bragger's Mother,

Barracuda


Friday, September 2, 2011

Busy Weekend in the ATL.......

I'm guessing there are always a bunch of activities going on in Atlanta on any given weekend. This weekend's itinerary of events looks insane, though. That may be because I happen to be involved with one of them, so I'm paying more attention than usual.

Last night - MLB baseball, pro football, and college football (Georgia Tech)

Tonight - MLB baseball and college football (Georgia State)

Tomorrow - MLB baseball and college football (UGA)

Sunday - MLB baseball and a NASCAR race

To all of the above you can add the additional wild cards of two weekend-long events, Dragoncon and Black Gay Pride.

I wasn't familiar with Dragoncon (I don't get out much), but it's a convention of sorts where participants dress up in various science fiction costumes. That's the extent of my knowledge, and even that may be wrong. One of my students told me she wouldn't be at school today because she was attending Dragoncon. She spends most of every day in my class sleeping, right after she does me the favor of collecting lunch orders from all the teachers and delivering them to the cafeteria. Poor thing....I guess she's just tuckered out from that. Perhaps I'm wrong and Dragoncon is actually a convention at which they hand out high school diplomas. For her sake I hope that is the case.

Hubby and I are leaving at 10:00 tomorrow morning for a one-hour drive in the RV to attend a game that kicks off at 8:00 PM tomorrow night. It's the way I roll. And for some reason Hubby is going along with it. Since our usual Gus-sitter is out of commission, Katydid is going with us. I felt like a louse, inviting her to go to a football game and tell her she can't actually go to the football game. But she will tailgate and party with us, and we'll have the television and satellite hooked up so she can watch the game. I hope she doesn't look for us on t.v. though; I don't think the cameras reach up that high.

Seriously, this is the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game, and it's in the Georgia Dome. We were there for a Chick-Fil-A football event one time when they dropped little beanie cows with parachutes (like in the commercials) down into the seats. The only way we could have gotten one of the toy cows was if they defied gravity, because the place from where they dropped them was BELOW us. If any of you DO decide to look for us on t.v., we'll be the ones wearing red.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crazy Dream #14.........

First some background for this particular crazy dream:

Our phone rang at 3:05 this morning. That's 3:05 AM. Middle of the night. It was my mother-in-law, as I knew it would be.

MIL: Bragger, what time is it?

(I thought to myself, if she has called me just to ask what time it is, we're going to have a serious come-to-Jesus meeting.)

Me: It's 3:05. (Heart pounding)

MIL: I hate to ask you to do this, but I've really got to pee.

Me: I'll be right there.

I wonder if our neighbors have wondered why we are walking up and down the road at all hours of the day and night, accompanied by Gus.

I was only gone about 15 minutes. I've gotten to be quite a pro at putting her on the portable potty chair, putting her back to bed, and emptying and rinsing the pot. I may turn out to be a decent nurse yet. Not.

Anyway, it took me FOREVER to go back to sleep, having been snatched awake so suddenly. At 3:30 AM I came up with the names of two former students we were trying to come up with yesterday at lunch. My co-workers will be eternally grateful that I didn't call them to let them know I had remembered.

When I finally went back to sleep, naturally I dreamed about school.

I dreamed that we were outside, and suddenly some buses drove up to take our students on a field trip to a college. I was confused because I didn't know anything about a field trip. I asked a co-worker, who said to me curtly as she continued walking away, "Yes, we discussed this last week." (You would have to know her to appreciate this fully.)

I didn't remember discussing ANYTHING, and there was mass confusion among students AND teachers about this alleged field trip. When I realized some students wouldn't be able to go on the field trip, I started RUNNING back to the school so I could be the teacher who stayed behind with them. One of our male co-workers (the father-to-be I referenced last night) realized the same thing, and he and I were sprinting at break-neck speed to see who could get back to the building first. He's 28 and a coach, and I was holding my own. I told you it was a crazy dream.

When I got back in the building, there were two parents fighting in the front office. (Oddly enough, this dream took place not in our new building, but in an entirely different school where I taught with Neena eight years ago.) The parents were fighting with each other. Hitting each other with their fists and kicking each other. (Sadly, in our county that isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility.)

Once the police were called and things calmed down in the front office, I was standing outside with some of our students, and they were smoking openly. (Sadly, at our school that isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility either.) One of my advisees is a girl who is way pregnant, due in two weeks. And she was smoking in my dream. I was FURIOUS with her, and I asked her, "Why are you trying to kill your baby?" I was so angry. Then the alarm went off, and I was really, really angry.