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It's hard to believe this is our last Friday installment. I will provide a year ending piece next Wednesday and perhaps a bonus piece next Friday regarding my first cafeteria management training session.
I've been told it will include valuable lessons like conflict management and a personality test. I hope I dont find out I have no personality.
This week I learned...
Returning after a georgeous holiday weekend pretty much sucks. I was sunburned and tired and Tuesday sucker punched me.
Lunch money vs. cheese sandwich. On sucker punch Tuesday it looked like cheese sandwich was winning...but after falling behind lunch money made a comeback. Somewhere out there a lunchlady is feeding a kid who's parent decided lunch was no longer necessary the last week of school. Do her a favor and make sure your kid has money or send some with a kid you know doesn't.
Cook's choice and random sandwiches. As predictable as the back to school sale is at Walmart, so is the end of the year Cook's choice menu option. Personally, I'd like to see it called Totally Random Chicken Chunk Tuesday or Feed Me What's in the Freezer Friday.
Careful what you ask. Dr. Principal said to a student after a long absence "It's good to see you. Are you feeling better now?" His reply, "Yep, I had really bad diarrhea!"
Better than no one. My dad once told me that it's important to remember that you are better than no one and no one is better than you. I'm gonna let you in on a secret (whispering) it was never a dream of mine to work in the cafeteria. Believe it or not, for a short period in my life I wanted to be an eye doctor. Soon I realized I wasn't really wired that way. Totally a left brain profession and I am clearly right brained. Journalism seemed like a better choice but somewhere along the way I took a detour. I've come full circle from food service, to maid, to legal secretary, to mom and back to food service. In the midst of all of that I have written for many magazines, I've written regularly for the newspaper, I have kept a blog for five years and I have completed two books that I hope to someday get published. I still believe that I am better than no one and no one is better than me yet this week twice I felt like I was looked down upon because I do dishes for a living.
Trust me, I do a lot more than dishes.
What did you learn this week?
Today I stepped out of the cafeteria and headed to a science center with a bunch of second graders, including my son.
Here's what I learned.
In conclusion, I learned that science can actually be fun (who knew) but that riding on the bus is boring. I learned that the ability to speak properly to students is not a job requirement, but it is important to make whatever you're saying entertaining. I learned that kids will never agree and that just eliminating the choice is the best route. I learned that it's important to be punctual or you might be walking home and I learned that pretty much all playgrounds look alike.
Yous learn anything today?
I was listening to my girls cackle on and on tonight about cute boys, swimming, camp and other random items instead of going to sleep.
The total randomness of their conversation reminded me of all the things I miss about sharing a room with my sister.
Bunk Beds. We had tons of adventures that involved throwing each other off the top bunks and building cabins by drapping blankets from the top bunk down. One time we reenacted a scene from Days of Our Lives and another time we pretended to have our own apartment.
Built in bodyguard. If I heard a noise or if she did, were close enough to save each other. I still remember how I held her hand the night our attic was on fire and our mom was trying to calmly lead us outside. I told myself I was protecting her but I am certain I would have cried if she let go.
Someone nearby when you feel _____. Sad, sick, lonely, terrified, confused... You name it, there was always someone nearby. I had the chickenpox over Christmas vacation when I was in the second grade. I almost died. They were in my throat, in my eyelids and in my mouth. I have never been so miserable. My sister slept beside me. She got the pox, but not nearly as bad.
Laughter. I'm a strong believer in laughter, it builds you up when you feel down. It makes you feel complete. Over the years My sister and I have shared a lot of laughs together. Most recently we shared a room together at the beach and even though she values sleep more than just about anything, when I woke her up in the middle of the night because I was convinced someone was in the shower, she graciously checked and then we laughed for hours about it.
Secrets. Someone to share your secret crushes, your secret failures, your secret goals.
My girls fight alot but at night they become different little creatures. They giggle and read together. They talk endlessly about whatever, but yet they claim they want seperate rooms.
My husband thinks they should have them.
I really don't think they need them. They share a HUGE room.
When it isn't a school night, my son sleeps in there too. Sometimes cuddled up beside his oldest sister in her bed and other times just on the floor so they can all be closed to each other. He has his own room and doesn't really want it.
Someday they might all live multiple states away from each other and long to share a few laughs late into the night.
Did you share a room or have your own, what are the pros and cons?
Fire drills in the rain. I was glad my boss was still in charge when we had a fire drill in the rain this week. The fire department was there evaluating our exit procedures and asked what we would do if we had a fire during lunch. Here's hoping that never happens because that would be a nightmare!
Help wanted: lunchlady with common sense and computer skills. Filling the open spot in our kitchen is proving difficult. Seems no one over 50 likes learning the computer and those under 50 asks me things like "Do you expect me to work everyday?". Um...yes?
VIP breakfast. We had nearly 300 people show up for our annual VIP breakfast. We used to do two events Muffins for Mom and Donuts for Dads but it is much easier to just combine the events and let the kids bring up to two guests. I always eat with the breakfast kids that show up without an adult. This year we ran out of seats and me and the kiddos ended up having a picnic on the floor. It was, no doubt, more fun for me than for them.
What did you learn this week?
Yesterday I had an 'aha' moment while reading this post about ADD.
Gina summed up my life in 300 words or less.
Apparently, my co-workers have noticed my disorganization, my forgetfulness. Lord knows I've notice my inability to keep focused and see a task through to completion. My hubby probably thinks I intentionally ignore his requests.
I just figured that was how I was wired, but maybe it's more.
Sometimes staying focused and concentrating on one task is incredibly hard for me. I, often, find myself reading three or more books at the same time and seldom completing any of them.
My hubby talks to me when he is another room and I have trouble listening. He is relaying important information but all I can hear is the TV. However, if he would ask me to make something--a craft, a scrapbook, a bulletin board--I wouldn't rest until it was accomplished.
Also a common symptom of adult ADD/ADHD is apparently disorganization and forgetfulness. I write notes to myself about everything. EVERYTHING. And sometimes I still forget.
This is a picture of my craft room/office AFTER I've cleaned it up. I spend countless amounts of time just looking for things. My shoes. My notebook. A pen. I misplace everything. Nothing I own has it's own place and even if it did I would have trouble putting it back.
Staying organized and on top of things can be extremely difficult for me and may explain the sheer amount of panic I am feeling at having to remember and be responsible for all the food ordering next year in the cafeteria.
I often interrupt. I know I do it and I try very hard not to. Often times I am saying in my head, "wait your turn...wait your turn" only to drowned out what the other person is saying and then appear to not be paying attention.
When I was in school I had this teacher who would call us by our last name and when he did you were expected to repeat his last word. I could never do it. Even when I knew he would call on me, I could never do it.
Turns out, I might have a reason for it after all.
Eight years ago this month my friend, Don, passed away.
He was so many things.
He was a lawyer and my boss.
He was a fan of all kinds of music.
He was funny.
He was honest, and
He was gay.
I worked with him for nearly four years and he never once tried to make me gay.
He did however help me organize and carry out an intervention with his law partner about her drinking problem. It was emotional and difficult but when it became clear that I was practicing law and she no longer was we knew we had to do something.
Difficult isn't really a strong enough word to describe that afternoon.
He let me cry on his shoulder.
When a somewhat violent ex-husband of one of our clients came in causing quite the stir, Don was quick to intervene and put himself in between me and any danger I might have been in.
When I was leaving his law firm for greener pastures in another state, he gave me a recommendation that could have landed me a job in any courthouse in any state.
The things I will always remember about him include his goofy laugh, the way he would encourage me to put love stamps on the envelopes of all the divorce papers, the kindness he showed to everyone, and the genuine concern he had for even the smallest of someones problems.
I also will never forget that his partner, the love of his life, was not allowed access to him after he suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 42. I will always remember that because his "spouse" was male, Don died alone.
I will always remember the anguish in his best friend's voice when he called me to tell me of Don's passing. I will always feel robbed that he never met my son.
Would things be different today?
Sadly, they would not.
I miss you, my friend, and I continue to believe you deserved better.
So let's recap
I love Kelly! This song rocks. Her dress rocks (although she claims it's pink and I'm pretty sure it's red). Her makeup is fantastic.
Shortly after Kelly, Miley arrived and FORGOT HER FRICKIN' PANTS!!! This is what you wear after sex...not what you wear in front of others...millions of others.
Hopefully Carly Rae will be a one hit wonder too.
LMFAO accepted the award for best duo and I was pretty sure they were high; I wondered why my hair can't look like Carrie Underwoods; Katy Perry joined the cirque du soleil and then Jordin Sparks arrived.
The worst performance of the night came from Celo Green when he decided to do a Beastie Boys tribute to MCA. One word - torture.
Let's do that one old school...
Did you watch? What did you like? Hate?
I smell like noodles? When I was at the office a second grader told me that they were "So hungry!" Then they asked for a hug and told me that I smelled like noodles. Um...Thanks???
Crack really does kill. This is a public service announcement. If you can feel a breeze on your upper ass cheeks when your sitting than you ass is hanging out. Everyone can see it. If your ass crack is large enough to conceal a kindergartener than you really need to pull up your pants. PLEASE DEAR GOD...PULL UP YOUR PANTS.
I am a hazard to myself. Just like P!NK says, I am clearly a hazard to myself. This week, I fetched the silverware tray from the shute and was attempting to place it in the dishwasher to run it through but I didn't have it up high enough and successfully rammed it into the countertop and my chest. Pretty sure I cracked a rib. Today I was traying juice and when I went to grab one to twist it off the cardboard and onto the tray it sliced my thumb as nicely as if it were a metal can lid. Stupid thing is still bleeding.
Gravy can be hot. We poured some gravy into to 2 oz cups to serve with the mashed potatoe bowls. That crazy gravy melted those cups. Um...it realy wasn't THAT hot.
Sometimes the path to enlightenment needs to be traveled in the dark. Let's face it, we all like to hear things that please us. We like to hear things that make us smile. We tell our kids, if you don't have anything nice to say, then keep your mouth shut. This week I learned it's okay to exaggerate, to okay to improvise and it most certainly is okay to go to plan B.
What did you learn?
The idea behind it is that once a day, her niece will pick one of the flowers from the pot and read the little message inside written by her mother or other family members.
We told her mom, who is struggling with the idea of her daughter graduating, to try to keep the messages positive.
No "I will be lost without yous" and definitely no "Please stay a little longers." After she picks all the flowers her graduation will be the following day and then she will get to read the graduation letter that looks like the rolled diploma.
I used the Everyday Paper Doll cricut cartridge for the caps and the Disney friends cart for the pawprints. Each card is a 2x4 strip folded in half. They all have a slit in them to slide the cards on and off the sticks.
I was told that the graduate liked it so much it ended up on Facebook in less than 10 minutes.
Now that's a compliment.
Lately I feel like I'm on this show but when I wait for John Quinones to show up...he doesn't.
Here are just a few examples.
You are in a soon to be crowded lunch room when you notice someone's ass crack is hanging out.
What do you do? Tell them or not tell them.
Remember they are a stranger and maybe they like their ass crack hanging out.
You are in the grocery store when the lady in front of you decides to pay with all quarters. Seriously? Who does that?
On your way to work you get behind someone who is either a) completely intoxicated at 8 a.m. b) lost or c) the world's most incompentent driver. Do you honk or just turn up your music?
You are at a meeting for which you dressed like you were attending a meeting. You realize that most of the other woman are dressed like they are 22 and going dancing at a club. You try to recall the last time you purchased pantyhose, let alone pantyhose with obnoxious designs?
Do you realize you are the only intellegent one in the room or do you stop at Walmart on the way home and pick up checkered pantyhose, 1/5 of maddog and a squirt three sizes to small?
You are forced to work a substitute who continually pulls her pants up and blows her nose while wearing disposable gloves. She apparently believe the gloves harbor some germ shield. Hello! Change your damn gloves!!!
What would you do?
IN FAIRTALE LAND
Charming escapes from the clutches of the evil queen with a little help from the huntsman. It was fantastic to see hotty pants Graham alive and well even if it was only for a brief moment.
The huntsman paid for his transgressions with a nice beating by the queen.
James runs into Rumple in the woods and we all know that nothing good can come from it. He offers him his mother's ring, enchanted to find Snow in return James must plant a locket type egg in the belly of a beast.
He gives him the egg which contains the bottle of true love he manufactured and sends him to see Maleficent. Now I must admit something here. I love Maleficent. In typical James fashion, he is confused and asks to see her beast. She quickly turns into a dragon and as wrong as it seems I sort of hoped she'd eat him.
I mean I am not a team Charming/James/David fan. He's just so whinny.
Anyway, of course he is successful and when he returns to Rumple he is given not only the ring but also his stately robes. He finds Snow in her glass coffin and when he leans down and kisses her...well you all know the story.
Once awake, Snow decides that the must take back the kingdom together.
The real action took place in Storybrook. After Henry collapsed from the poisonous apple tart, he is rushed to the hospital. Regina is not far behind.
Emma picks up the fairytale book and flashes through all the stories in her mind. OH yeah! She believes. When Regina shows up she shouts at her, "It's all true, isn't it. I was leaving town. Why would you do this."
Surprisingly Regina admits it but when Emma asks her to fix Henry, Regina is heartbroken because she cannot. "Magic is unpredictable here."
They go to Gold who offers little help but tells them that he planted a safeguard inside the belly of a beast. Regina takes Emma to see Maleficent who she has imprisoned underground somewhere. Emma is given her father's sword and told to kill the beast and return with the egg.
Surprisingly, she is successful.
But Gold tricks her into handing over the egg and Regina is disappointed by her naivety. The duo takes off after him just as the are both paged by the hospital. Something is wrong with Henry.
In the meantime, poor August turns completely to wood and Jefferson becomes even more angry with Regina for not keeping up her end of the bargain. He decides to take matters into his own hands by breaking into the crazy farm and letting Belle out. He tells her to seek out Mr. Gold and to tell him that Regina was keeping her prisoner.
She does but he is not as elated as I thought he would be.
Emma and Regina get to the hospital only to find out that HENRY IS DEAD.
When Emma leans down to tell him goodbye she kisses his forehead and he awakens. True loves kiss.
But not only does he awaken so does everyone in Storybrook. David has been planning on leaving. He is packing but once awakened by the kiss he seeks out Snow and they share a tender moment before the purple smoke comes back.
Regina flees the hospital and heads home, certain that her lynch mob will be following.
Gold takes Belle to the wishing well and he proceeds to drop the true love potion inside. It starts to release the purple smoke almost immediately. Belle asks, "What are you doing?"
"The magic is coming," he replies, "and magic is power."
We flash to the smoke encompassing Snow and Charming and we see Regina smiling at her window. She seems to know that her lynch mob will no longer be approaching.
Emma says to Henry, "What is that?"
He replies, "It can't be good."
We had a full week of school that included the dreaded grandparents day lunch.
It felt like it would never end.
Here's what I learned:
Mexicali Corn: Kids don't like bits of pepper in their corn. Nope. Nada. We served a lot more corn on Monday without the added fiesta.
Cheese sandwiches: The dreaded cheese sandwich is about to make a comeback because of the lack of lunch money. it's a problem we see at this time of the year. That being said, it doesn't make much sense to hand them out on toasted cheese day. Does it?
Make a decision: "Do you want a cheeseburger or a hamburger?" "a cheeseburger.". *places cheeseburger on tray* "I don't want cheese on it?" *tries not to roll eyes. Removes cheeseburger and places hamburger on tray. Student asks if there is cheese on it. "Um no, you just said you wanted a hamburger." "Good." *takes ten steps and drops the entire tray on the ground. New book idea: if you give a student a cheeseburger....
Grandparents Day should be renamed to grope the lunchlady day. Why do older people insist in touching me? Just put your ticket in the basket and answer the thought provoking question, "Would you like Milk or water?"
They're called disposable gloves because they're disposable. We had a substitute on Friday that thought that as long as she had gloves on her hands were clean... Um no. You can't touch your face (staph), you can't blow your nose (staph), you can't wash dishes and then serve food (gross) and you certainly cannot pull up your pants and mess with your shirt while wearing your gloves. GET A NEW PAIR!
In conclusion, I learned that making over 300 bagged lunches is exhausting, that old people are very touchy, that it's hard to decide between cheese and no cheese, that it's best to keep the peppers out of the corn and sometimes you have to point out the obvious.
What did you learn?
Week 10 is upon us.
Did I tackle my goals?
I wanted to finish my NANOWRIMO novel and I succeeded. It's complete but as of yet, I haven't shared it with a single person. It's too rough. I need to flesh some areas out and I need to tweak a few others. Then and only then, will I let my BFF read it. She'll give me some honest feedback and I'll go from there.
I planned on getting a little more physically active. I planned on walking/running on the treadmill a few times a week. That lasted about three days. What can I say? In my defense, i have a rather active job. I rarely sit at all in the 5.5 hours I am there.
I am not sedentary, but I am not exactly marathon fit either. I am watching my calorie intake and trying to move more and eat less. For now, I am happy with this. Soon the lessons from the lunchlady will end for summer and be replaced by Poolside Perspective. Maybe swimming will excite me more than tread milling.
I kicked ass on my ServSafe Certification. I retained useless information about a legthy list of foodborne illnesses and their causes which include things like Bacillus cereus gastroenteritis, Shigellosis and Cryptosporidiosis. Sadly, I haven't been able to forget any of it so now I eat even fewer things than I did before.
I have had a few mental breakdowns over the course of the last ten weeks. Some worse than others. I am trying to focus on my blessings as they are abundant.
When my children fight, I need to remember that they are healthy.
When my husband retreats to our room instead of watching TV with me, I need to remember that he took the laundry basket with him.
When the kids at school forget to use their manners, I need to remember that a positive influence is a strong deterrent.
When I am exhausted, I need to remember that I haven't really felt true exhaustion.
When I am feeling lonely, I just need to recall my beach trip.
How are you doing with your goals?.
This might be one of my new favorite cricut cuts. It is off of the Spring Cottage cartridge and it it too stinking cute.
I made a bunch of these for the teachers in my building. I was looking for those yummy strawberry hard candies to put in them, but alas, I couldn't find any so I had to settle for caramel Hershey kisses.
I cut them at 3.25 inches, tied them with twine and added a little label.
Simple. Easy. Cute.
The show opens with Regina dreaming of a lynch mob that included all of our favorite characters. Henry tells her, as she is strapped to her dying apple tree,that she did this to herself and then Emma says "Off with her head".
That will wake ya up!
Regina visits with Gold who tells her that while he is sorry about her dilemma (mostly Emma), he cannot help. She cannot take her out or the curse will be broken. In essence, just like in her dream, her hands are tied.
Regina puts a white rabbit card on Paige's bike, who I thought was named Grace in STORYBROOK, and the Mad Hatter returns. Jefferson visits with Regina who offers him a deal. A trip back to their world and then upon their return she will let Grace remember him. He says no. She doesn't remember, he forget. Done. Deal.
So after scrounging up some magic, including the ring Daniel gave her. They are able to activate the hat just enough to retrieve a poisonous apple. This was slightly past my realm of believability but I am willing to go with it.
August has giving up. He is slowly becoming wooden again. He shows Henry and tells him that he plans on spending whatever time he has left with Marco, his dad.
After having a true mother and daughter spat, Emma seeks council from Dr. hopper, which strikes me as odd, but he tells her that she doesn't stand a chance trying to take Henry from Regina.
Emma decides to leave. She offers a parlay of sorts to Regina, who graciously agrees to allow her to remain in Henry's life. Regina gives her an apple tart as a going away present. A poisonous apple tart.
Henry comes over to see Emma at her house and Emma tells him she must go. Henry says why won't you believe. He warns her about the tart. She doesn't listen. He tells her that he didn't want it to come to this but it has too and he eats the tart.
In FAIRYTALE land
James is captured by King George. It looks like he is about to be beheaded, but at the last moment the guillotine is turned into water by the EQ. She offers whatever Midas would have given the kingdom and more.
Why? Asks George. So he can help me destroy Snow White.
Snow has quite the army of misfits. There is Granny and Red and all the dwarfs. At one point she has all the fairies in the land and they decide to rescue James.
Of course, it is a trap and after some much cheesy fighting scenes, Snow reaches Charming James in the prison, but alas he isn't there. It is just him in the EQs magic mirror.
The queen offers a parlay and tells Snow to meet her where it all began. They meet at the stable and she tells snow that Daniel is dead and that it remains her fault. Snow is shocked. She says, you took my father. Can we call it even. EQ says no. We can't. Se offers her the same poisonous apple that is later retrieved by Jefferson.
Eat this and remain trapped in your body forever or I will kill your true love. Um... Are those my only choices?
Just like the traditional fairy tale, Snow eats the fruit and collapses.
Next week is the series finale... What will become of Henry?
This week was overflowing with knowledge...
Hotdog day is always good for a laugh. It is hard not to laugh when making those little weiners but when your coworker takes the temp of one and announces that she just catheterized the hotdog and it's 190 degrees, you can't help but laugh.
Put your shorts on right. I learned from a kindergartener this week that wearing your cargo shorts backwards and putting bouncy balls in the front pockets is never, ever, a good idea. I also learned that it's possible to get gum in your underwear...that was a 1st grader.
Crying over spilt milk isn't helpful. I found this milk in the top crate of a stack of five. What a mess. I know you're not supposed to cry over it but I kind of wanted to.
Working with the elderly. Sometimes I forget my boss is 67. She was ill this week and I worked with a 70 year old sub and was reminded again just how amazing Sandee is. Does she really only have 22 days left???
Mind your manners. It still vexes me how frequently I have to remind students to be polite. Seriously? What's so hard about treating others the way you'd like to be treated?
Oh... Wait... It's that apple doesn't fall far from the tree thing, isn't it????
What did you learn this week?
I know what you are thinking... "What in the world is a Double B?"
Let me explain. No there is too much. Let me sum up.
Our elementary grades are A=advanced, P=proficient, B=Basic and BB=below basic.
When said daughter came home with the BB, I was curious. How does one receive a below basic in music? Is she not participating? Is she refusing to sing? Is she causing a problem?
As part of my parent/teacher conference, I scheduled an additional meeting with the music teacher.*
I was told that my daughter marches to the rhythm of her own drum.
Seriously? Apparently, like Maisy, she too was a twiddler, a dreamer, a silly heart, and a jabber box.
I concluded from that meeting that there are worse things than a BB in music.
*please note that said music teacher is no longer teaching in our district and that our current music staff is fantastically gifted and appreciative or dreamers and silly hearts. Especially on an elementary level.
It is often difficult to come home from my beach weekend.
The trip is so fun that my stomach actually hurts from laughing. It is truly an abdominal workout. We left on Thursday and after a tiny little detour around Baltimore...
we made it to our destination... relaxation.
After a quick stop at the store, we were set for the weekend.
I could tell you more about the failed attempt to sneak into a waiting limo, about our all but flawless plan to crash a wedding, the flaming baton and what my sister was going to ask the neighbor, but....
How was your weekend?
- I'm a 40 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.