Monday, May 31, 2010

I Remember...

I remember the lists that would run on the evening news, listing the names of the casualties and MIA's during the Viet Nam war. We would watch, praying that there wouldn't be a name we knew in that list. I remember standing on the four square court the day that President Nixon declared the end of the war. I was in 6th grade, and I remember thinking, as I stood under a blue sky in the shade of a large almond tree, "So this is what peace feels like" and savoring it, the knowledge that there wouldn't be any more lists of names of young men who had lost their lives for a cause none of us really understood.

I remember the day I told my youngest daughter that the young man she considers her big brother had shipped out to Iraq. I remember her sobs and how helpless I felt as I watched her succomb to her fears of losing her brother to a war she didn't understand, and I remembered...

Today is a day to remember. I still have a daughter in the Air Force and a future son-in-law in the National Guard. I am incredibly proud of them and their service to our country, but I pray that they will never be called on to defend us again in a war that doesn't make sense. Because I remember...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random Thursday...

I am cooking a pot of beans for dinner. We had ham for Easter and I had the bone in the freezer and it sounded good, so I scrabbled everything together and threw it all in the crock pot to simmer for the rest of the day.
As I was feeding the dogs the fat and rind scraps from the left-over ham that I added to the pot, I couldn't help but feel at peace. Each dog sat so politely, waiting for their handout, and I was over come with a great sense of well-being. What is it about having pets that makes one feel so good? I don't know, but I have plenty to keep me happy, that's for sure!

My husband says we have way too many pets. If I am forced to look at it from a practical angle I have to admit he is right. Who in their right mind has SIX dogs, as well as three cats, a couple of rabbits, birds, and a tortoise to boot? Well, um, that would be me, but really each one of my critters has their place in the family and there would be a hole if I was to lose one.

I have been home now for almost four months. I haven't had that much time off at one time since my last daughter was born almost 17 years ago! It's going to be hard to go back to work full-time next month, and the dogs are going to have to readjust to not having Mom home with them all day. I think it will be hardest on my littlest dog Jaz. She is my baby in more ways than one. If I am sitting down she is usually in my lap. When I get up she follows me throughout the house, and when I go to bed she is right there next to me. If she thinks I am leaving for any reason she is trying to leap into my arms and begs to go with me! Yep, it will be hard for all of us...

Besides spending quality time with the dogs I have been re-discovering the joys of cooking. Since having the gastric bypass surgery last month I am limited on what I can eat, but that doesn't mean my family has to suffer! So I have been poring over recipe books looking for things I can cook for them that I, too, can eat. It has been a challenge! My crock pot has been getting used a lot because meat that is cooked in liquid becomes very moist and is easy to eat--very important to a gastric bypass patient!! The great thing is that I can still cook nutritious and satisfying meals for my family without feeling the need to indulge myself in what I am cooking. This not being hungry thing works for me, let me tell you!! And since I am now much more conscious of what is in the food that I cook I am really cutting back on my family's carbs and sugars, which means we ALL benefit from my surgery!

I am home by myself today--well, that is, I am home with the dogs by myself--and I have to admit I love the quiet! No kids, no husband, no TV blaring in the family room. When I am home alone I don't even listen to the radio. I just savor the silence. I clean a little, find a new recipe to try out on the family, read a book, play on the computer, and just enjoy the peace... When I go back to work I won't get these days any more, and truthfully I need time to myself. No one really gets that because everyone in my family are people-persons! My youngest refuses to stay home by herself, my oldest gets bored, and my husband--well, he just hates being alone period. Me, I love it--always have since the first time my folks let me stay home by myself while they took a little over-night trip when I was around 16. Truth be told, I never saw myself getting married--thought I would live near a beach with a dog or two and be a writer. Thirty years later I have two kids, a mortgage, a husband, and chaos around me pretty much all the time! Life is good--unexpected, maybe, but good. Just not quiet! And still working on the writing thing. Lots of ideas, even some good stuff, just nothing published...

At least I still have my dogs... :~)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catching Up

Wow--so much has happened since I blogged last! So how do I catch it all up in a few paragraphs? Let's see...

Jordan is now in her second semester at MJC. She had to take some random courses her first semester, which is pretty normal I guess, but her second semester she actually got some good core courses that will transfer to a four year college. She goes to classes 3 days a week (M-W) so that she can keep her Thursdays free to help my sister with her grand babies. She hasn't had to pay for ANY of her classes yet--I'm not really sure why other than she may have gotten a Board of Governor's Waiver. I was told she could get it her first semester, but both? I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth!

Sierra joined cheer leading this year at RCHS. Well, actually, let's back that up. I stepped up and volunteered to be the coach because there was no cheer leading team at all at the school. Sierra and several girls signed up last year but when she asked about it this year she was told since there wasn't a coach they couldn't have a team. I called the athletic director and scheduled an appointment, for which he was 20 minutes late. I had to practically argue for the chance to do this and then he said we could only have a cheer "club" since I wasn't a qualified coach. Ok, whatever. The first day of practice 13 girls showed up, and it turned out that one of the girls' mom was a former professional cheerleader. She offered to help and the next thing I know the AD is fawning all over her and offering to PAY for HER to take classes and be the coach. Hello? Why wasn't this offered to ME? I was offended, but let it go. I settled for assistant coach and did what I could to help. She made her daughter, a freshman AND new to the school, a captain which didn't sit well with most of the girls. Supposedly they "voted" but when the girls were asked about it later only one of them had voted for this girl to be captain. Hmmm. Granted, she has experience, but when the girls asked for a vote for new captains when basketball season started they were told "no". It was when they decided to add dance/stunts into their routines that trouble really started.

Sierra has had almost ten years of dance. She got frustrated by the way the coach tried to count out the dance steps and voiced her frustration out loud in front of the team. The rest of the girls would then agree that it was confusing or whatever, and the coach would then do it the way Sierra said it should be done. By then many of the girls didn't much care for the coach and her attitude--she definitely had favorites and treated them as if they did no wrong but either put the other girls down or just ignored them. She didn't have a clue how to deal with my daughter and chose to suspend her for being "disruptive", etc.

What pissed ME off was that at no time was I informed of this decision--I didn't get a phone call, a letter, a face-to-face --nothing. I gave it a week, and when Sierra went back to practice I made sure I was there also. The coach benched her and two other girls for being a few minutes late and then completely and utterly IGNORED me. I mean, back-to-me, never made eye contact, ignored me. I decided that it was time to beard the lion in its den and asked for a meeting, especially when I found out the coach had suspended Sierra AGAIN for a another week. When confronted with all of the facts, the coach really didn't have much to say in her defense. Sierra looked her in the eye and fronted her on everything. It was the coach who backed down finally, not Sierra. Sierra wanted to quit but we persuaded her to try one more time. When she went to practice that Monday all the coach did was have a couple of the girls teach her the new cheers. She didn't offer to make room for her in the new stunt routine nor did she say she was glad to see her. Sierra quit the next day. There were only two more weeks of games left, but she couldn't handle being around the coach another minute.

Out of the 11 girls left on the squad, at least 8 of them won't cheer next year if she is the coach. They all want me, but I have to get my coaching certificate first and then I don't know if the AD would even let me. I did have a long talk with him about what I saw going on this season and how I felt the coach could have done a much better job of handling issues with the girls. Her way was to ignore the problems or just go over it like there wasn't a problem. There were no fun days where the girls just got together and bonded as a team over a pizza, no team meetings about how they wanted things to go or cheers they thought would work well for the team, nothing. Her daughter taught all the stunts and dances--she merely observed. Hell, I can do that!! LOL! I guess we will just have to wait and see what next year brings.

Anyway. What else. I got swine flu in October--on my way with a friend to pick up some heifers in Payette, ID. Yeah, that sucked. Then right before Christmas I fell off the second to the bottom step in my MIL's basement and fractured/sprained my right ankle. Since then I have been off work sitting around the house waiting for my ankle to heal. And now I am on my way to pick up the letter from my primary physician to get my gastric bypass surgery final approval from my insurance company. Yay! I have been pursuing this for over a year now and I am SO ready for this! So now I am putting in for a 6-8 week leave of absence since I used up almost 8 weeks of my FMLA already and I want to save some for when I go back to work in case I need to take time off for what my friend calls "gastric bypass days". Not sure if I will need them but I want to have them just in case.

Wow--this doesn't cover everything but good grief! I've written quite the novel here already! Time to go get stuff done. Ta ta until next time...