Monday, May 31, 2010


It was a great long weekend at sanctuary.  The school was closed on Friday.  I had driven down the night before and enjoyed an easy day.  I got out in the yard and did a bit of weeding then treated myself to a trip to the store for some black-eyed suzies to plant in clumps with the day lilies.

Most of the weekend was about the yard.  Saturday found me sitting on that crate up there waging war on the weeds. Its hard to tell, but I pulled 5 large storage tubs of weeds.  We turned on the surround sound in the shop and took turns picking CDs.  Makes the work time go faster.  Randy got down on his hands and knees and trimmed the vinca with his nippers.  Looks great doesn't it?

Sunday was spent coming up for the big stuff that I needed to move down.  I am officially living out of WalMart "green" bags now.  Cool beans.  When we got home, I got a surprise!

Mom and Ron brought it... but Randy bought it for me. Do you recognize it?  That's all I saw of it for a time.  Randy BBQed a couple of Cornish Game Hens and they joined us for supper.  By the time they left, it was too late to figure out the mystery box. So we tackled that together Monday afternoon.

Do you have a clue what it is yet?

It had 34 pages of instructions and a bunch of bits and pieces.  It took us about two hours to assemble it, reminding me of all the bleary hours spent on Christmas Eve trying to put together toys for my kids.

There it is... my composter!  It's the kind that you put stuff in, then turn once a day.  In 4 to 12 weeks, you have great compost!  Randy is making a little patio for it to stand on out of old bricks.  I am very excited to see how well it works. 

After the composter was finished, we sat around a bit, then BBQed sword fish again and split a baked potato.  At that point it was time for me to hit the road back to Dumb Potter's Hell.
But there are only 4 work days in this week, then I will be back at home for a short 2 day weekend... before I begin my LAST week of work.
Right now "soon" seems to be moving in slow motion, but I have a feeling that the last week will go fast.  Here's the count... 9 work days left. Two sanctuary days.

Okay... so any of you compost?  If so, can you offer advice or make suggestions?

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Hi.  I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend.  Today Randy and I are meeting my family for lunch.  He will meet my father for the first time and spend a bit of time getting to know who I came from and who I leave behind.  I am a bit stressed emotionally.

No time for a proper  Funch post... but I bring you this treasure.   You may recall that I found my friend from school through blogging.  He is among many things a writer.  Patrick .  I thought you might enjoy reading a sample of his work.  Enjoy! 

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Talk about gambling!  Listening to the news early this morning... a story about a mom who left her 3 year old strapped in his car seat while she played in a casino for more than 9 hours!!
Poor little thing was soaked through and frightened.

A security guard noticed the child crying, found it alone in the car and an announcement was put on the P.A.
Out walks mom, who says that the child was sleeping and she checked on it several times.
No big deal right?

Yes, the child is now in protective custody.

I am sure that the defense will be along the lines of a gambling addiction.  Is that a valid excuse?

There will be those who blame the casinos for fostering addictions.

I have several thoughts about this.
I do not know if this casino offers babysitting, but I know that many do.  Some give the service for free.
I also know that most casinos offer gambling addiction treatment programs.

As a  mom ... I am stunned by this behavior.  Maybe its because I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley where every year you heard a new horror story of a parent leaving a baby in the car in summer time and the child perished... or of abductions of children from cars... or children left in cars that were running while someone popped into the mini mart for smokes and low and behold, the child put the car into gear.  

You never leave a child alone in a car.  

So many people who can't have kids would love to have a child like that.  Must frustrate the snot out of them to hear stories like this.
That woman gambled on the life of her child.
What a loser.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This is an old fire grate that I planted.  Like my weeds?  I like to find unusual things to plant in.  This one will go in the front yard on a berm.

I began inventory today.  The library is supposed to be closed right now through the end of the year.  However, a sub, who did not know any better decided to bring in a class of 8th graders to work on the year book where there is more space.  I do have space and normally welcome my student visitors.  However, time and experience have taught me that Middle School students and inventory are a disaster.

  True to that bit of wisdom, it was just a matter of time before one of the students... who had been requested to stay out of the area that I was working in... tripped over my inventory computer's cord and wiped out all the inventory I had done for the day.
Lord, give me patience!
I know that accidents happen, but we are talking about the "Easy" section where the books are skinny and many.  I have over 13,000 books in my small library.  All need to be inventoried in the next 10 days if I am to leave as scheduled.  I am the sole scanner of books.  Yikes!

So I have asked the 5th grade teacher if she can loan me some students to scan.  Here is an irony... 5th grade students are far more responsible and reliable than Middle School students.  They love being given a task of great responsibility and are careful to do a good job.  Middle school students tend to think of chores like this as punishment that can be blown off in a number of ways.  
Give me a 5th grader any day!

But now I am home and very excited.  This time tomorrow I will be on the road home again.
Yay!  Yay!  Yay!
This weekend Randy and I will drive back on Sunday for my big things... my oak table that served as my shelter from thunder storms as a child and three iron beds.
All are antiques.  The full sized iron bed was something I found for $15 a bazillion years ago at a thrift shop... covered in rust and lovingly restored.  It will go in Randy's mom's room.  Yes, she has her own room in our house, though she has her own house.  They often need to come to town and do things.

The twin beds are very cool, with sunflowers on a vine in the ironwork.  Those I intend to refinish and sell.  Originally I got them for my grand daughter, but I'd be afraid that her mom would sell them now that she and Boo have split up.  So I may as well fix them up, sell them and be sure that the money goes into a college savings account for Sukey.  They are hers and any profit from selling them is hers as far as I am concerned.

I find myself in a strange place and mood today.  I walk through the box on rocks and see things that I still need to pack up and take.  Nothing of value to anyone but me.  Things my kids have made me over the years, an antique trunk filled with my Christmas stuff.  Not much really and it can all go inside the way back in the Aspire.

The next time I return here, I will be living out of WalMart eco-friendly bags.  I will have one four day week, a short weekend of two days at sanctuary with the man and then my final 5 days of work.  

That last week will be a killer.  It will be the first full week of work that I have had in awhile with no way of cutting it short.  Drat!
In the middle of the week, the students will have their last half day at school.  There will be an assembly for awards and such.  I suspect that one of the classes will do something as a good-bye to me.  Our graduating class will be given our traditional good-bye, which means the rest of us line the hall and clap as they board the bus.
Watching all of them all board the bus for the last time will be hard for me.  I have had their parents as my students.  Many of whom have spent nights in my home and have been close friends with my own children.  Most of my students I have known since they were still inside their mothers!

That same day is the end of the year pot-luck.  I tried to skip it.  Good-byes are not easy for me.
However, my boss has informed me that my presence is mandatory.  Crap!
On the bright side, we will have it off campus so I can at least temper my attitude with some ale.
There's always a silver lining if you look for it.
Big grin.

Okay.  Enough babble.  I wish all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday spent with people you hold dear.  I may or may not post on Friday morning.  The man will be at work and I will be lazing about, enjoying what time I have there before the long haul begins.

One last thing... if you know a living vet, take the time to thank them.  If you have lost a vet... then know that I for one will honor them on their day.
I know I am not alone in this.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Ha... I found this gem and loved it.  Fits my sense of humor.  Hope you enjoy it!
I am dedicating it to my creep.

I think it may have a commercial in front... ignore that.

Here is an iris I found blooming in my new yard.
How cool is that?

And here is a stump with some great fungi.

Friday fish.

 Yum... BBQ swordfish.

My photo program makes this look squat... it's pretty tall actually.  I collect strawberry pots and stuff them with everything but strawberries.  I used to grow strawberries, but between the birds and too much rain, I gave up.  In the long run it became cheaper and less frustrating to just buy them.

On a sour note... remember the creep that Randy told off?  Well, he showed up requesting to be my friend on FB.  No frigging way!  I am sure that he is bright enough to know that I would not accept him.  That means he is just trying to let me know that he has found me.  Or maybe he contacted everyone with my name on there and hoped for an angry response to tell him which one I am.  I don't know.  But you know that FB is terrible about giving out information. Yikes.

Creepier, the request said we had one friend in common. Now that does bother me.  So a word to my FB friends who are also bloggers... if anyone says that I am their friend and wants to connect with you...
Don't do it!

All the more reason to get to sanctuary as fast as I can, get all my ID etc. changed into my new name and vanish.  Sheesh!  It's always something.


That's the Zack Brown Band with "Toes".

Life is good today!

My weekend was quiet.  The man brought me home to sanctuary for a few days.  
Good company.  Good food.   Dr. Who,  Mythbusters and Firefly.
I got to see the plans he's drawn up for the outdoor kitchen and its looking great.
I drew up my own plans for the yards.
We are both looking forward to fishing soon.
Life is full of plans these days. 

We had a vist from one of his friends and her basset hound... a real treat for me.  We had  5  bassets over the years.  I miss that quirky personality that each has.
I planted a strawberry pot with various flowers.  Millie, the basset walked up, chomped a flower and immediately spit it out.  Gave me a good laugh.  With bassets, if its a good taste, its gone... but if its a bad taste ... tooie! 

Now I am back at Dumb Potter's Hell killing time until  I go back  to work tomorrow.   Still a bit sore, oh well.
I will have a short week... 3 days, then be back on the road home to sanctuary Thur. as soon as my work day ends.  I can't wait.  I'll have 4 days in a row off... and Randy will bring me back up for my remaining things.  Yay! Yay! Yay!

After that... I will have a 4 day work week, followed by 2 days in sanctuary and then my final work week.  It will be 5 full days in a row and will mean that I face rush hour traffic to go home.  But baby, I'll be going home for good and that's a wonderful thing.
You'll hear no complaint from me today.
Life is good!

So what are you all going to do with Memorial Day weekend... if you have one?

Friday, May 21, 2010


I had a little procedure yesterday... and the drugs have made me a bit sentimental.  I got to thinking about a trip to Nebraska in the 60s.

Two adults and five kids in a  Buick station
wagon.  My brother and I in the "way back" reciting lines from To Kill A Mockingbird to amuse ourselves and the family.  I was in third grade.

Nebraska fascinated me.  All that flat full of corn.My great grandmother on my father's side was something else.  She fed us to death!  Foods my mother never would have cooked, like fried chicken.  Desert time brought jello.  I immediately ate all the whipped cream off of my jiggly square.  GG hopped up and declared how impossible it was that she had forgotten my whipped cream and plopped another big blob on top.  This happened more than once.  Not whipped cream from a can and not Cool Whip... the real thing, cream fresh from a cow that day... a heavenly cloud of yum!

GG seemed to have great power in her tiny town.  We walked into the small down town and found a really-o truly-o soda fountain in the general store.  The man behind the counter would not take our money.  He took a photo instead of me sipping my chocolate soda and the next time we went there, the photo was hanging behind the counter on the wall and the sodas were still on that sweet man.

We spent a few days at Uncle Ewald's pig farm.
I learned more than a few things there... such as if you make a mother sow mad, she can tear down a wire fence and chase you all the way to the corn crib and you better be ready to divert her attention with the corn cobs that you threw at her until Uncle Ewald could rescue you.  Boy was he steaming mad!

That was where I learned that cats and kittens were not pets, but needed mousers and you were not to sneak treats to them.

Or that a thunder storm is a violent thing that causes adults to yell at you to "Get inside now!" 

And that baby piglets in mass move like wheat in the wind as you walk through them... but if you stand real still, they will come and nibble at your toes.

Or that there was a stream that ran out back of GG's house where you could catch a few fish every day while pretending to be Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, feet dangling in the water.  GG never yelled at us for getting wet or muddy.  All she ever did was laugh and compliment us on our fabulous catch... then fried them in corn meal and served them on a china platter with the rest of the feast she laid out. 

City girl meets the country.  But the best part was catching fireflies in the warm evening.  I was so surprised to see them looking so ugly in the mason jar the next day.  How could anything at night be so beautiful and just a mere bug the next morning?

Childhood is such a sweet time.  Back home again, there were endless games of kick the can and June bugs every summer.  If you have never seen a June bug... that's one up there, but the photo does not do them justice.  They are BIG for a bug.  They are the color of dried blood with white stripes that run from head to butt.  You can tie thread to their hind leg and amuse yourself watching them fly in a circle.  But the best part is that they hiss loudly and fan those big things on their heads.  Their feet are sticky and you have to pry them off  with care not to hurt them.
Scary and thrilling bugs.  Just the sort of fun for a warm summer evening in the city.

June is coming.  Yay!  I can feel the summer on the way despite the clouds,wind and rain today.
Or maybe its just the drugs.  I don't know.  
But hey...
its a great day.  Hope yours is too.

What is up with your weekend?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yep.  This is where I'd rather be.

I enjoyed lime's post today... you can see it here...
Its about her feelings through her life on baseball.
I love baseball.

I grew up in a Dodger household, both of my folks having graduated from USC, all sports were LA related.  Add to that the fact that I grew up in a neighborhood that did not have any girls my age until I reached junior high school but was chalk full of boys, boys, boys.  I naturally played with trucks and any game the boys wanted to play... if I wanted to play at all.  You bet I did.

The boys played hard ball.  When I was fairly young, I was sent into right field.   We did not have a proper field, so we played on the vast lawn of the college only a block from my home.  My brother, who was protective... out of fear of my parents blaming him for any ill that might befall a little sister... would tell me..."Further!" until I was way out of range of any ball happening into my area.  I'm sure the desire to win and not be blamed by his friends for any little sister screw ups played a role in that as well.

In one area that did not matter.  They still had to have me at bat.  But that was where I excelled even in the earliest days.  I was so short that I had no strike zone.
Very cool beans!   As time passed they even let me come closer and field a few rolling balls. 

When softball sign-ups arrived in 6th grade, I was right in there.  No one wanted to shield me.  I got clobbered enough to make me weary of the ball.  So I was thrilled to be placed in right field once again... secure in the fact that no one hits into right field very often.  

I could stand out there and watch the game or gaze off into the inner space of my own mind filled with epic baseball action... on my part of course!

Generally speaking that was the way that it went my first year playing.  The team was a tight group who all attended the same school, though it was a community program.  I got to hang out with girls for a  change.  Albeit, they were tom boys like me, but that made it even better.  I was content.  I had a real uniform and everything.  I slept with my glove under my pillow.
Yet, it was still more fantasy than action.
Then came my big game.  We were in the last inning and things had gone well.  I'd been walked every time and managed to make it home three times.  All was golden in my world.  But it was tight.  They were one run behind us and had two outs.  This could be a win or it could be the kind of loss that makes you crazy... snatched from your grasp at the last.  For them and for us.  

You could see the stress on JC... our pitcher's face.  She wanted desperately to strike this girl out.
The girl at bat was to our thinking a real ringer.
One of those girls who bloom early or were held back a few years.  It was hard to tell.  She was tall and she was well muscled.  She had obvious boobs!  We all watched her with dread as she took a few practice swings, then nodded at JC to let her know she was ready to bat.

I admit that I was less nervous than the rest of the team.  Heck... I was out in right field where I was safe.   Then coach pointed at me.
Me?  Why me?  
She motioned for me to come closer.
Grumbling under my breath, I did as she wanted and took a wide stance, bent over and smacked my glove to show I was ready.  Yeah... here we go baby!  
I'm all over it.

JC let fly a perfect pitch... if you were the girl at bat.
I wasn't at all nervous when the ball cracked and began to fly.  Then...
Holy crap it was coming right for me!
  All the times I had been bashed by the ball flashed before my disbelieving eyes.  The ball arced up, I squatted down and covered my head with my glove and right hand.
I could see my coach's mouth drop open... a look of horror lit her face.  I could not hear her words, but I knew she was yelling "What are you doing?"

Well, being a coward came to my mind.  But then, the ball hit me square on top of my head and thought vanished through the stars and shame.
Because of the pain, I reacted quickly and stood up. 

As I did a miracle happened.  My legs came together and I caught the fly ball between my knees.  I grabbed it with my hand and stood there just looking at it.  How was such a thing even possible?

I was still starring at it when my coach grabbed me in a bear hug and my team mates began pounding me on the back. 

I looked at coach and asked the question every player wants to know...
"Does this mean we get pizza?"

Monday, May 17, 2010


Freaking Mondays are about to drive me mad.  I wake up and find myself still in Dumb Potter's Hell and that's enough to make any day go sour.  I am more than ready to be gone from here.

I admit that I was in a snit most of the day.  Not a good day to hassle me on any issue.  Worse, I am one of those people who smile no matter how crappy I feel and give no warning that I will not be usual pleasant me. 

I think there is a lot of emotional stuff at work in my head right now.  Trying to detach from my long term job and still be professional is difficult.  When I met with my prior coworker last week, she said it best.  "Aren't you sick of all the politics and personality flaws?"

Why yes... yes indeed I am.

One of the things I do is one on one in special education.  This time of year all the paper work has to be wrapped up and there is a lot of testing going on to measure the growth of the students.  You may think that this makes perfect sense and it does, but the groups that I have make it a real challenge of my patience.  All my groups have to be tested right now.  

My first group of the day were my 1st graders... seven of them.  Out of those 7, two are very obnoxious attention seekers and two others are constant chatters and arguers... otherwise known as "best friends forever".
So as I am trying to test them one at a time, I am supposed to have the others read out loud and keep track of their mistakes.  It is an exercise in frustration.  What a way to begin a day at 8:00 A.M.  Top that with an absurd lack of coffee because the pot was already drained...
One group after another.

That was what the first half of my day was like.  The rest was worse.  At the start of every year, I let the teachers pick their story times.  They pick them.  Suddenly, today everyone is unhappy with their story times and want to switch around.

Naturally, they choose times that I am committed or my lunch.  So I give up my lunch for the sake of getting it done and eat when I can manage to slip in a few moments to eat soup.  Then the middle school classes show up unannounced and of course need help finding things because despite years of careful training how to use the computerized library catalog, they cannot type in keywords that get them where they want to go.
Example: "armageddon" was entered as "the end of the world" and panic ensued in the heart of that young man.
My soup got cold.  I ate it anyway... eventually.

Then the classes that invaded my lunch arrived late.  One was still finishing when the next arrived... and teachers are really weird about "This is our time!"  It also left the students in the stacks unattended... so the shelves were trashed. The time issues snow-balled and made me late for my last group... which made that group's teacher mad.  I got the lecture about how special education time is guaranteed and my responsibility as a professional... blah, blah blah.

I truly wanted to say "Bite me!" but said 
"Sorry... unavoidable today but you can complain to D if you want".
D is the principal.  What are they going to do... fire me in the 11th hour?
I think not.  No one else has bothered to learn the library computer program.  Inventory is not yet completed.

Enter the next problem... inventory begins with a list of ALL books out.  The list was given to the secretary, as usual.  She's new and took one look at it... it lists all the books, their cost, etc.  She panicked and showed the boss how many dollars worth of books were "over-due."
She was wrong.  Only about a 5th of the books on the list are actually over-due by a few weeks.  A few over-dues are long term and in multiples... because of a split between family where one is afraid to get the books from the other.  These we will have to eat.  That is all part of the usual deal.  

In comes the boss with the list and wants to know why I have let so many books become "over due".  Fortunately, he is a calm and sane man.  He listened and understood that it is not an over due list, but a list of books that we need to get back.  I still have kids checking out books until this coming Friday.  The list will grow and shrink as books come back,go and come back again... and super shrink as parents freak out over the cost of replacing books that are out.  A miracle happens and books are found under beds, in toy boxes, etc.  They will even filter in on the very last day that I work... two days after we start holding report cards for ransom.  All normal.  All expected without panic, thank you very much!

I know that it will get better soon.  Tomorrow is another day.  I've got my eye on Friday and getting the heck out of here.  Nothing new there either.
Well the man is online and my blood pressure is finally dropping.  I think I will go and have a happy evening now.
I hope you all do the same.
But you know, it's a good thing they pay me.

By the way... Ronnie James Dio passed away yesterday.  He had stomach cancer.  Hard to believe he was 67.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Fun weekend, as usual.  I was kind of busy with the yard at sanctuary.  See the tub of weeds I pulled?  I also sawed dead wood out of the Japanese Maple trees and did some pruning.  Then T dropped by with the bulbs that Randy bought from T's son's school fund raiser.  Add to that the veggie plants that I bought from my school's science class... and we have a ton of yard stuff to do.  Next weekend we go get the stuff so that Randy can build a nice raised bed for my veggie garden.  I'm pretty excited about that.

We had some fun figuring out where to put the outdoor kitchen and what kind of cabinets we want.  There was of course a BBQ for two... Saturday we split T-bone and today we split a jalapeno and cheddar burger.  I can't even recall eating on Friday.  Now that's odd.  Oh well, the rememberer is broken.
This morning he made the eggs again.

More Firefly episodes.  We started at the first and are making our way through them all.  We also like the Merlin series on SciFy.  Both of us were very excited about seeing this week's episode.  Merlin was finally going to get caught using magic and possibly executed.  We opted to play it on the surround system in the bedroom, but neither of us can recall seeing more than a few minutes.  Both of us went out like lights. Oh well, it will be repeated.

There you have it.  Probably sounds like a dull weekend.  Nope.  Normal and sane is good for me.
The drive back went fairly fast now that it is staying light longer.  It feels faster anyway.  Squeaky was here with X and Boo and Max when I arrived.  That was a nice treat.

I did what I always do when I get back to Dumb Potter's Hell... checked my email for my good night from Randy.  Yep, it was there.  So was another email.  This one very unexpected.  Larry contacted me.   Things did not work out with the ex.  He wondered how I was.  So I sent one back and told him that I was happy and about Randy, my moving in with him, etc.  I doubt that I will hear from him again.
I suggested he try eharmony.
Randy and I still laugh every time an eharmony commercial comes on the TV... because we both thought that it wasn't working... and we were both each other's first eharmony contacts.
It really does work... how corny is that?

I took this a few hours before I left today.
Well, you can't tell by the photo... but there are a bunch of crazy little black birds in the trees and the yard.  I mean an entire flock of the silly things and they were cheeping and hopping like mad as they picked through the bark dust.  I've seen Sparrows do the flock orgy thing, but never little black birds hunting bugs in packs.
They were pretty entertaining.

Well, hope your weekend was fun.  Did you do anything special?  Hey... Red Sox and the Yankees are playing!  Any bets on who wins?