Saturday, January 28, 2012

You Can't Take the Teacher out of the Person...

I am teacher! Hear me roar!
     Definitely, in my case, I am a teacher first and a woman second. I have that Teacher Look, the one that can freeze a culprit in 3 seconds flat. Add to that the Teacher Voice, the one that can carry across a crowded room, or the one that sinks to a whisper to add extra emphasis. Whatever the tone, the statements have  periods on the end of them so that there is no question that I am a teacher. Occasionally I surprise culprits with it.
Freshly hatched!
     Years ago, my sister and I took the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry, (Chicago) which has changed a good deal since I went there as a child. I love that museum, not because of all the wonderful scientific hands-on gadgets. Not because of all the scientific knowledge that you can glean from the experiments you perform. No, it was because of the baby chicks who were hatching from their eggs in the giant incubator.  But I digress. Those baby chicks were so cute. 
There were many exhibits!
     Anyway,when we returned there as adults, I was a little disappointed in one thing. It seemed as though working adults had discovered the value of dropping off their children there, going to work, and coming back to pick them up later. This resulted in children running around and hogging the exhibits. This did not sit well with the teacher in me. 
     We were standing in line quite a while while one little boy played with a race car exhibit. A Japanese family stood in front of us and Cory and I were next in line. The Japanese family had waited quietly and patiently for quite a while, when the 7-8 year old boy decided to play again and not leave the line. 
     I tapped him on the back. "Excuse me, but it is time for someone else to play. You need to go to the back of the line." He gave me the I-can't believe-you-are-talking-to-me-get-out-of-my-face-look and returned to the game. 
     I said "Excuse me!" to the still-patient Japanese family and reached around to grab him by the shirt collar. "Move, it, Bub!" I ordered. "There are other kids here." 
     He left, my sister couldn't believe it and for the rest of the time she checked the area to make sure some gang was not going to jump on me. 
Mailbox Misery
     Yesterday I had an opportunity to use my powers again. We have had complaints of kids vandalizing areas of my neighborhood. One complaint was that a child was flinging open all the mailboxes on our street as he went down the street. 
     So I hid behind a tree till the bus came. 4 Children came off the bus. Sure enough, the cute little guy in the navy backpack started backhanding all the mailboxes. I stepped out, and said, "Leave those mailboxes alone. They are personal property." He seemed stunned at seeing me materialize from the tree. "Now go back and close those mailboxes." He did, and got out of Dodge fast. 
Haven't lost my touch.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stressed? Who, Me?

Stress got me good today!
     Today is probably one of my more stressful days I have had in a long while. In fact, I am sitting here writing this just to see if that will help me relax. First of all, today was my sister's surgery. I am happy to see that they removed the cancer on her leg successfully without complication. So I am breathing easier on that account. 
A different kind of shingles.
     Just about the time she was leaving to go to the hospital this morning, and I was leaving to go to work, my mother-in-law, Jean, called me to tell me that she needed to go to the emergency room. 
     She was in a lot of pain over what seemed to be a bug bite but when I took a look at it, Whoa! No bug did that! It turns out she has shingles, which are very painful and contagious.
     The drive to the hospital would have taken just 10 minutes but it took me 15 minutes to get her not collapsible walker into my Mini-Cooper. The 3 bags of needed items she had swinging from it did not help. When we got to the hospital, she was afraid someone would take it, so it stayed in the car.
     So we saw the doctor, and I took her home and went to get her meds. I went to the wrong pharmacy and ended up having to go to a different one after waiting a half hour in the first one. I took her the meds and some other things she needed, got her into bed, and headed for work. 
Clueless in Tamarac
     Now you have to remember that George is the driver in our house. I hardly ever drive but, of course, I am since he is away at a writer's convention. So I am kind of unfamiliar with the workings of my little Mini-Cooper. As I drove toward school, I accidentally got the wiper blades going in front. As I tried to stop them, I turned the rear ones on also. Then I caused them both to clean the windshields with fluid. I finally got them to stop when I pulled up at school.
     After school, I hurried over to see Jean and see if she was okay. She was, to my relief. As I left to go home, I thought I had left my cell phone at work and drove back to work to get it. Ah, I checked one more time before I went inside, and the phone was now magically in my purse.
     I'm home now, hiding from the world and hoping to have a quiet night!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Buy Buy Baby

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes? Really?

I'll take one of everything!
Baby Bedroom
     The name of this store intrigues me, as I reflect over what has happened in the baby industry over the years. It used to be that the most expensive thing you worried about when you had children was sending them to college. Now I had my babies in the 1977 and 1981 so it's been a while. A rash of new babies has caused me to go baby shopping a number of times and I feel as though I am going into another world. 
A Crib Aquarium for Soothing
     First of all, there is a reason it's called "Buy, Buy, Baby." You buy and you buy and you buy. And your money goes bye, bye, baby.

     There is a selection of items for every task, baby wipes, a warmer so they don't get a chill, diapers in decorative patterns, special sizes, nighttime, daytime, playtime and pullups for that big kid feeling. There are umbrella strollers, jogging strollers, covers for shopping carts, and covers for strollers. There is a seat to go in the stroller with a cover for it. And there is a double set at Grandma's house so you don't have to make do with what she has on hand. 

     There are mobiles, stuffed animals that play music, timers that play "white noise," crib toys that reflect stars on the ceiling, and DVDs to ensure your baby is an Eistein by the time he/she gets his first tooth. Speaking of which, you can get all kinds of precious little mementos for babies for such events as losing the first tooth, going on the potty, taking the first step and saying their first words. (Credit Card)
Get a bigger house!
     I pulled out my baby book I had for Jeff and my baby shower netted some receiving blankets, socks, newborn diapers, crib sheets, some toys, one stroller, one high chair and baby clothes. We had a mobile, no baby monitor in those days, and the stuffed animals were just....cuddly animals. They did not play soothing sounds or spell out words or repeat math facts for them. 

     What alarms me about all this is that I am getting to the age of "Grandmotherhood." I guess I had better be prepared for "Bye, Bye, Baby."

Friday, January 13, 2012

French Technology

Minnie Cooper
     Just a short update today to tell you of my latest technology debacle. My husband and I have discovered that on our comes-with-the-car satellite radio (for one year), we can get stations that play music entirely in French. Normally, this would be of no interest to me, being that I do not speak any French other than oui, croissant, and petit. But after spending some time with my sister in the fall, I was able to develop a new appreciation for the French.

     Why would that be? Well, my sister loves anything French. A fun thing she planned for us was to watch some French movies, some with subtitles and some with nothing. Despite her comment that we would be able to follow most of the action and would find it very humorous, we did experience a bit of a culture gap. But I digress.
   Once I found that station on the radio I had to see if she knew of it. 
     "Diana!" I enthusiastically phoned her from the car. "Do you know of the station L'Oasis?"
     "Well, no," she said. 
     "Well, we have been listening to it. Either all French songs have "dum dum de dum" in them or they keep playing the same one." I then told her that we had recognized an Elton John song in French.
     Then I had a great idea. I turned up the radio, held the i-Phone to the speaker and let her have a listen. After, I asked her, "Could you hear it?" 
     "Well, I heard something. A little bit like music."
     Then George interrupted my conversation to tell me, "You were holding it up to the A/C vent, not the speakers."
     'Twas true. Embarrassing but true.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

E-Shopping Blues

     Since I was recovering from pneumonia just before Christmas, I did most of my shopping on-line. On-line shopping is a great invention. I heartily recommend it, as long as you are careful what you are shopping for. My family makes out wish lists on, which is very helpful when you need a gift. I imagine that started in this way: 

Oodles of Underwear

     Cory: Hey, Jeff, what did you get from Mom and George for Christmas? 
     Jeff: Socks, underwear, a new toothbrush, shirts, pants. The usual. 
A Trove of Toothbrushes

     Cory: Yeah, me too. I have a pile of underwear that could rival the landfill near Quiet Waters Park. 
     Jeff: Me, too. How much underwear can you wear at one time, anyway? I have an idea. Let's do an Wish List for Mom to look at. Then we can get cool electronic stuff that we REALLY need! 
Another good idea is born!
     Cory: Great!

     And the wish list was born. So now shopping is easy.

These toilets are made from dollar bills!

For that personalized traditional ornament.

      It's  easier for my sister, who likes anything tacky like horrible movies and things with toilet-related themes, such as tree ornaments, etc. 

     This year, I had no more than the usual shopping stress online. Of course, there are the ratings to fill out so that the vendors can get their online compliments. I must admit that I felt a trifle weird filling out the survey on my sister's gift, a computer mouse pad with "Paging Dr. Doody" on it, a steaming picture of dog doody on it. It was from the Mr. Poo Company, in case you are interested.
     The hardest thing I tried to do was to find a dress for my son's wedding online. Whatever possessed me to do that I don't know. I think I was still on some heavy duty meds from my hospital stay.
     I searched and searched for a dress that would make me look like Jennifer Aniston or even just Phyllis Diller, but it was an uphill battle. Finally I found a 2 piece dress that looked good, was the right size and was pretty. 
     I took a gamble on it.  The dress was beautiful. The chiffon skirt was very pretty and the beaded top lovely. And the price? Excellent! I oh'ed and ah'ed as I removed it from its package. I hurried to try it on.
     I could not get it down past my neck without severe respiratory difficulty. So sad. 
A Cardinal Ruler
The Cardinals Rule?

     So I packed it up and sent it back to the seller, explaining my dilemma. (You can see the letter in an earlier post). Today I got not one, but 2 strongly worded emails from the seller. Not only had I broken a Cardinal Rule by sending it to her without permission, but it now had magically developed a stain on the unworn skirt.  So she wanted to charge me a 20.00 restocking fee and have the dress cleaned. If there was any refund left, she would send it to me albeit grudgingly. 

     Oh, and...she hoped that I would give her a good rating on the E-Bay listing. When pigs fly, baby!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ellen Degeneres

     One year ago today, I blogged about the fact that the only thing left on my Bucket List was to go on the Ellen show and meet her. I gave some good reasons for being considered:
Number 1 on the B.L.

     1. She has way too many young people, especially kids, on her show. They have plenty more time to develop their talent. I am 61 and the clock is ticking. There is a sense of urgency.
Lil' P' Nut has lots of years ahead.

Ellen Rocks!
2. Ellen and I could be best friends. I know that because she is quirky and loves animals. She is not afraid to speak her mind. (She does dance better than me but I could learn.)

     3. The Baby Boomer segment of society is being under-represented on her show. She needs me. 

      4. I have many talents. I can, um...write books and speak humorously. I cannot sing but am willing to try if that is what she wants. She seems to like singers a lot. 

     5. I blog. 

     6. I have been a teacher for 32 years. I love working with kids and new teachers. Most of all, I love seeing kids when they are grown up and seeing who they have become.

     So my annual BLOG for ELLEN is out again. I hope she remembers that I was able to accomplish my Number 2 on my Bucket List a few years ago: Meet Dave Barry.

Me n' Dave

     One out of 2! Not bad!