Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pain in the Back

I don't know who in Hamilton decided it would be a good idea to offer teachers and students the entire week of Thanksgiving off...BUT I'm glad they did! I am loving this!!!! I even decided to get back to my blog...I  think the last time I blogged was in April!
Loving this time off but I'm hating the pain in my back! About two weeks ago, I bent and reached for an item and something pulled in my back...left side just above my hip. Anyway...it is feeling better, but it is really getting in my way of what I want to do! Dillan is coming for Thanksgiving dinner and I'm ready to start baking but I just don't feel like it. Ugg! However, I'll allow myself to have this pity party for my hurt back until noon today and then I'll get busy! These are the things I have planned for the week.
  1. Clean the house today!
  2. Start taking plants to the "makeshift" greenhouse.
  3. Get hair cut and colored tomorrow!
  4. Bake for Thanksgiving Day.
  5. Attempt to make dressing on Thursday morn.
  6. Enjoy the aromas of baking.
  7. Hope my hip/back isn't bugging me!
  8. Watch TV.
  9. Shop
  10. Play with grandkids!
I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with friends and family! Eat, Laugh, and Shop!....That's my Thanksgiving motto!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

STAAR Nightmare

For all of you non-educators or "non-parents" (is that even a word???) or non-Texans....you may not realize that next week IS the week of the STAAR test. This is a test that the "experts" of education have created. Ha! Hahahahahahaha! Oh, well....these people seem to think that by testing children on a rigorous test that it will prove how much they have learned or how smart they are. Now let me remind you that as teachers, we have NO STINKING IDEA what is on this test! Honestly! And we won't. I spent 30 minutes last week watching a video instructing me on the "do's and don'ts" of the STAAR test. We have been give strict instruction not to look at the test, read the test, or if by chance a child asks us to read a word on the math portion (which is allowed)...that we delete that word from our memory forever and NEVER mention the "word" as long as we live. We sign an oath, where we swear we will NOT disclose any of the "secret" information! An oath!!!!!!! HONESTLY! Our fear of going to the new STAAR prison (last year it was TAKS prison) increases greatly this time of year! It causes a great deal of stress in teachers, students and parents! What if they don't pass????
I know of all the amazing things I've taught my 3rd graders this year! We have studied the Solar System where in class each child made their own model of the Solar System as well as a book they created by researching information about the Solar System on the Internet. We have studied rocks and volcanoes and plants and heredity. We are getting ready to study biomes and ecosystems and food chains. My 3rd graders know about the continents and oceans! They have created maps! They know who Pierre Charles L'Enfant and Juan De Onate are! They have learned the word entrepreneur and they can tell you about at least five well known entrepreneurs. I have tested them daily on their multiplication facts...yes...the old kill and drill. MEMORIZE THOSE BABIES!!! They are learning them! I have shown them how to draw pictures to help them with the dreaded "word problem"! We have written in journals and edited. I hold them responsible for spelling words that they have had and I MAKE them spell words correctly! We have learned to be kind to each other. STOP BEING A TATTLE TALE all the time. Work out your problems! If there is a problem, the two (or more) must sit and talk about it and decide what they could have done to prevent it. I have tried to teach compassion...don't make fun of others. Be understanding when some one's parent has been put in jail. Love each other. I tell them that we are a family....I used to be like a momma to my students, but now I'm like a grandmother! None of that will be on the test....I'm sure. (Not that I know because I don't!!!)
All of this leads to the STAAR nightmare. I had one last night. In my dream, I passed all the STAAR booklets out to my students and read the instructions (word for word...it's in the book...word for word...don't stray or you'll go to STAAR prison). They began working on the the 4 hour timed test. As I "monitored" my students, I realized that they were working on the math portion of the test and NOT the reading portion! I began to panic!!! OMG! I have violated the test instructions!!!!! I ran to the hall screaming...violation #2...do not leave the students unattended while testing. I told the class to erase their answers because we were taking the wrong test....violation #3!!!! I fell to the floor in a fit of convulsions....let's just say it was sort of like an old time gospel fit...where I shook and screamed and spoke in tongues...my legs were quivering and words that normally aren't spoken at school were screamed! Our counselor finally came to my room to help me. In calming me down, we realized that the probable reason for my blunder was due to my......get this....PREGNANCY...and that I was going into labor! Oh, dear Lord.....what is worse???? STAAR Prison or a baby at my age??? My dream ends....with a baby in my arms.
Are there any dream analyzers out there??????

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kids (and Nanas) say the darndest things!

I have really enjoyed teaching this year...especially because I get to teach my grandson, Denver! The first week of school he called me "Mrs. Jordan" and that just sounded weird for my grandson to call me that, so I told him he didn't have to call me that...he could still call me Nana. He came up with "Mrs. Nana"! I loved it!
We've been studying the Solar System during science for the last month and they have loved it. Each of the three classes made a scaled model of the Solar System and we shared those with NASA during a video conference. Later we made our own models. Some made dioramas using shoe boxes and my very own "play-dough". (FYI...the play-dough wasn't nearly as easy as the directions stated! The kneading made my arms for hurt for days!!!) Others made posters of the planets. All of these were done in class. I had posters, play-dough, constuction paper, markers, pipe cleaners, beaded trim and glue scattered all over the room. It looked like a disaster area but the kids loved it and I enjoyed seeing them be creative...adding little details...the Asteroid Belt...rings around the outer planets...dwarf planets, such as Pluto, Ceres and their favorite Makemake!
As we were discussing the sun, I told my eager little listeners that the outer part of the sun was called the "corona". I asked one of my Hispanic students what "corona" meant in Spanish and she replied "crown". I repeated (in my horrible Texas drawl), "Yes...corona means crown!" Obviously, it sounded like I said "crou-on" because my adorable, smart grandson raised his hand and said, "Mrs. Nana...Do you mean if I go to Mexico and I want to color, I should ask for a corona?" Well, that took me by surprise because honestly, I was just waiting for someone in the room to announce that their parents drank Coronas! I know I must have looked somewhat puzzled...I tilted my head and looked at him and asked him to explain. He said, "You know...I need a crayon to color with! Do I say I want a corona?" OMG!!! I started laughing when I realized I had pronounced "crown" with such a Texas accent that my own grandson misunderstood me!!!! We all had a good laugh and I started trying to say "crown" the correct way!
Crown-Crayon-Corona....After the week full of projects, I think I'll take the Corona but a "crayon" and coke might be a good choice, too!!!!
Happy weekend all!

Monday, November 28, 2011


It is beyond me that anyone can take a perfectly normal positive conversation and completely turn it around to make it negative. Long time...no blogging....but I just had to get that off my chest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shocked by the Clothesline!

I grew up in a large family...3 older brothers, 1 older sister and a younger sister. Barbara was 17 when I was born, Terry was 13, Larry 10 and Richie was 7. My family had endured lots of hardships before I came along. In fact, the week before I was born, the doctors at Warm Springs Gonzales had called my parents to come get my brother, Terry and bring him home. The news was...he would not walk again. You see, Terry had polio. He came down with it when he was only 8 years old and he had been in hospitals for five years. One day he was a healthy boy, running around the farm and the next day he was paralyzed. Terry almost died several times during his first few months with polio. It must have been a frightening time for my parents and my siblings. I can't even imagine! During this same time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she had one breast removed. Children were shuffled to aunts' and uncles' homes and they were without parents and a brother. Through all of this, they survived. Mother lived for another 46 years and Terry lived for about 50 more years. And I had an extremely normal childhood...with the exception of a mother with only one breast and a brother who could not walk and who slept each night in an iron lung. Lots of pranks were pulled in our household....some quite funny...some quite dangerous!
One prank was pulled on me by my brother, Richie when I was only about seven. I was a small child. At age seven, I may have weighed about 40 lbs.....I was a "shrimp". I was a whiny shrimp at that. I never ate. Most of our family meals were devoted to trying to get me to eat so that I wouldn't "blow away" in the West Texas winds! This caused me to cry and my cries prompted my brothers to recite the old saying..."Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm going out to eat worms!" More tears would follow until I was in a rage! On this particular summer morning, Richie had gone out in the backyard to bring some clothes in off the clothesline for Mother. In the process, the clothesline had shocked him.....You see, Terry was an avid Ham Radio operator and his radio antenna was attached to the clothesline poles. Evidently, something had happened and his antenna was not grounded properly. So, Richie thought it would be funny for the "shrimp" to get shocked!
I ran to the backyard to fetch the clothes....I was so small that I barely even reached the clothesline. So I tiptoed and stretched to reach the clothespins, but once I did, the electricity caused me to grab the line. My other hand shot up to pull my other hand away and both hands were glued fast to the line. Electricity was flowing through all 40 pounds of my skinny little body! Richie was watching out the bedroom window....hoping to see something funny...only to see his little sister shaking and screaming! I could feel my toes digging into the soft damp ground...I knew I would soon dig to China if someone didn't save me! Richie ran from the house and jumped off the ground to tackle me. We landed on the ground....I was lifeless. I couldn't move at all. He carried me as I screamed and wailed into the house where Mother promptly lay me on her bed and began to put clean clothes on me...(including clean panties...Heaven forbid I go to the hospital without clean panties!). My fear was that I would be like Terry...confined to a wheelchair the rest of my life! However, by the time I got to the hospital, I was moving my arms and my legs.....Luckily there were no burns on my hands....just a scared little girl and a scared and very sorry big brother! Daddy quickly grounded the antenna, but it took me years to be brave enough to touch that clothesline again. It was....just a prank....and we lived through it...giving us another story to tell as we grew older! I still tend to avoid clotheslines..........

The Last Ft. Worth Stock Show

We braved the icy conditions of the roads Friday morning to venture out to the Ft. Worth Stock Show. I worried that we wouldn't make it. It began snowing about 8:30 on Thursday night. We had made taco soup and invited Jenifer, Colton and Tracey over for a hot bowl to warm us up and some buttermilk pie to fatten us up. I love my Crossfire buddies....I would have loved for all of them to have come over...we always have such a good time! Anyway, Tracey slipped on my front steps as she left and she ended up getting SIX staples in the back of her head....I felt so bad even though I (I'm ashamed to say....) LMAO when she fell! So...after the fall from the ice and snow, I was worried that we wouldn't make it to the stock show. However, Donald heated up the pick-up at 5:00 a.m. on Friday morning and we began our adventure in the ice and snow. Lauren had even sent me a message on Facebook and gave me a thumbs up on the roads (thanks!). He put it in four wheel drive and we headed up north on the icy roads! Luckily the roads had enough snow on them for some traction. We seemed to be the only ones on the road until we got to Weatherford and just like magic...there were more cars/trucks on the interstate. The snow fell on us all the way to Ft. Worth. We made it and hurried through the mud and slush and ice into the cold, smelly barns to find Dillan. He was just coming into the show ring when we got there....Those judges don't mess around...if they like your steer, they send you to the middle....if not, they send you out the door and unfortunately, Dillan was sent out the door! Donald and I browsed in the exhibit hall where I found a concho belt and some delicious dips. We also chowed down on some stew in a bread bowl, giant baked potato and a delicious, famous Ft. Worth Stock Show cinnamon roll! Kevin, Cari and Tristin had made the trip up, and they bought Tristin a cowboy hat. Dillan did NOT ask for money to buy fake cigarettes or sand art this year!!!! I guess that's one of the good things about being the parent of a senior!!!! It is a little bittersweet.....our last big show at Ft. Worth for Dillan. However...there are the grand kids and Denver will be old enough to show next year. I only thought I was through with the stock shows! I guess there will be more early morning trips....more smelly barns....more muddy boots....more cinnamon rolls....more good time and good memories!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

VOMIT=$8.00 tip?????

Last night was a busy evening at Crossfire Cafe....to say the least! Customers were filling the seats and I was the only server. In the midst of all the bustle and hustle, the hostess came running to me telling me that the little girl at table 32 had barfed! Well, I knew exactly who it was, and she wasn't little...she was about 10 and pudgy at that. LeAnne assured me SHE COULD NOT CLEAN IT UP, so I ran to the back to get my "safety gloves" and found some old towels and a black tub! Great...just what I needed. I put my smiley face on and went to the table to find the daddy sitting there with a big grin on his face. Vomit had covered the table. This child had spewed all over the table and all three plates! Obviously she had thrown up her entire dinner, plus her breakfast, lunch and some of her Christmas dinner as well. I began wiping the slimy goo off the table...trying not to add my own vomit to it. There were about 6 tables sitting around me, watching me as I tried to clean and make small talk to dear old dad. He informed me that he and his 4 kids all have a gagging reflex problem. (Really???? Take a barf bag with you, dude!)

Me: I have four children...and I teach school. I'm used to vomit. (NOT like this though!)

Dad: (Leaning back in his chair...sporting a smug look while chewing on a toothpick) Yea....all four of my kids have a gagging problem. One of my sons hates the dentist. All he has to do is see the dentist coming his way and he starts gagging and throwing up.

Me: (I'm sure the dentist hates your son, too!) Oh, really? Well, let me have your plate and I'll clean up underneath it. (He doesn't move....just lets me pick up his plate of vomit, along with his wife's plate and daughter's plate)

Dad: Could you bring me the check and a to go coke for my little girl?

Me: Sure.....Do you need anything else? (like a giant plastic trash bag in case her gagging reflex starts up again in the car?)

I haul the black tub of puke to the back porch....cursing under my breath! The cook staff gave me a look of dismay as I rushed toward the trash bin! I take back the bill and a to go coke. The "little girl" and mom had returned at that point. None of them said "Thanks for cleaning up Donna's puke!" They just left.......and graciously gave me an $8.00 tip. Now normally that is a great tip....but for cleaning up someone else's body functions....I DON'T THINK SO!
I began disinfecting the table....wiping it over and over....spray and wipe...get a new towel...spray and wipe....repeat, repeat, repeat!
Luckily, the restaurant began clearing out....good...hopefully no more pukers were left!

Honestly folks.......................................................$8.00???????

Oh....Happy New Year!