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The news of your passing came like a swift kick in the gut.
You were just here last weekend. You were goofing around with the kids. You took your oldest grandchild to the bookstore.
I don't think she will ever enter a bookstore and not think of you.
I will miss many things about you, like how you always said, "and then you said."
I will miss the way you let my kids just climb all over you and how you would tease them that they were messing up your hair.
I will miss the way you always teased me about having stuff all over my kitchen island.
I have known you for more than half my life. We've shared weddings, graduations and, lately, far too many funerals.
We've shared birthday dinners and Christmases.
We've even shared an occasional dance... Although that was very occasional.
I will miss talking about conspiracy theories and football with you, even though I'm pretty sure I had the upper hand.
I will even miss the way you never wanted to make a decision about where to have dinner.
We are all trying to find comfort in knowing that one day our paths will cross again.
With a portion of my family down with the flu this week was a lesson in juggling work duties with home needs.
Thankfully Middle G is back on her feet and ready to tackle the three day week we have on the horizon.
Here's what I learned:
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name: When my co-worker's second grader went down with the flu and she went home, it was a sight for sore eyes to see my former boss, who popped in to have lunch with us. She slipped back into a hairnet and helped us serve. It was a win-win.
Mac & cheese took a right hook this week. The thing about lunch count is we desperately need them to stay pretty high. I mean, with school districts cutting everything, it's not uncommon to have the cafeteria staff outsourced. I really don't want that to happen and as of this writing it doesn't seem to be a discussion item. That being said, I can't figure out how the minds of our customer base works? Mac & cheese used to be one of our most popular meals....this week not so much.
Everybody likes s'mores... We had a campfire themed lunch on Friday of hot dogs, baked beans and a low fat s'more. The key to increasing lunch count, may simply be adding chocolate. We had a lot of new faces in line.
Where's the sub? One of the days I had to leave early, the sub filing in would complete her work and then sort of shadow one of the other girls until they told her what else to do, It was similar to the game we have all played with our toddlers. You know the one...(insert high pitched voice) Where's little G? Even though you know he's right in front of you, he thinks you can't see him because his hands are over his face and he can't see you.
Reason #3,546 why the flu virus loves elementary school. Kindergarten student to another kindergartener: "what does your cheeseburger taste like?" Other student, "I don't know what does your cheeseburger taste like. You try." They then proceeded to swap cheeseburger and try a bite of each others. Afterwards the first boy said, "Wow, my cheeseburger tastes just like your cheeseburger."
What did you learn this week?
Hello... My name is Broderick Broccoli and I'm here today to tell you what a day in the life of school broccoli is like...
As you can see, I'm good for you... I build bone strength and keep the immune system healthy.
Unfortunately, no one cares because I also make you gassy and I am green. If I were yellow like corn more elementary kids would eat me. If I were rainbow... Well then I'd be everyone's favorite. But sadly, I'm green.
Here I am with my cousin Cogsworth Cauliflower who is even more despised than me.
Personally I think I look pretty good in Saran Wrap.
Ready for the tray! Cup me up and serve me with dip...
This is going to be a great day...
What I think will happen!!!
What usually happens...
How can I get more kids to enjoy all I have to offer?
Does anyone have a rainbow marker I could borrow??
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I watched a good portion of the Golden Globes last night and I couldn't help but wonder what they would be like with a little less glitter and a little more hairnet.
I present the Golden Corncob awards...
Hosted by Jamie Oliver, the naked chef, the Golden Corncob awards are for those food service employees who remind kids every day that they need to take a veggie or a fruit.
The award for earliest riser goes to...our high school chefs who often arrive as early as 5:30 a.m. just to make sure the kids in their buildings have something hot to eat for breakfast.
The award for veggie least likely to be eaten goes to...refried beans. We know you're not supposed to judge by outwardly appearances but...dude...you look like baby shit.
The award for vegetable most difficult for elementary students to pronounce goes to Ass...Pear...Guts. And yes Refried, even asparagus beats you.
The award for best fruit mix has to go to orange and kiwi slices because orange and green make me happy and I'm handing out the awards.
The award for most creative cafeteria shirt high school level goes to ....
And best shirt elementary level goes to ...
The award for worst place a student could possibly vomit goes to the milk cooler.
The Golden Corncob for best place to have a nervous breakdown goes to the walk-in freezer. It's a wonderful place for a cool down.
The award for craziest thing the milkman has ever said has to be "Please contact your customer service representative. I just don't know anything about the strawberry milk."
We close our first ever Golden CornCob awards with a nod to sexiest hairnet...wink wink...
Thanks for stopping by...
This week was a sprinkle of snot and vomit wrapped around a pesky little flu virus. My middle daughter is down and out with the flu virus. Sickest I've seen her in a long while ;-(
Here's what I learned:
No matter how you slice it, kids are all alike. While having lunch this week, I listened to a coworker complain about how humorous her kids find flatulence all while slicing her orange as daintily as possible. Clearly, farting is funny. No matter how you slice it.
I wallowed my toof. A kindergartner was crying at breakfast. That pancake and sausage did the trick with his loose tooth. Of course, he wasn't expecting it and promptly swallowed it.
Breakfast and blood. A kindergartner came through the line at breakfast with a bloody gash over his eye. Me: "do you know your bleeding?" Him: "Yep... (Nameless) accidentally hit me with a wooden block in my face." Hmm... I didn't realize I could accidentally hit people in the face with wooden blocks. Thanks for the tip. The school nurse patched him up and all was well.
Happy birthday! I said to a first grader whose name was announced in the morning as having a birthday that day. Her facial expression was complete confusion. Me: "Isn't it your birthday?" Student: "I don't know? I'm not sure when my birfday is? Now that I'm 40...I've decided that's an excellent approach.
Beans kids will eat. I've been charged with coming up with a kid friendly recipe that elementary student will like. I'm leaning towards jelly beans. What will Michelle Obama think?
What did you learn this week?
I'm blessed to have awesome friends.
Friends who give you love even after you write a letter to your tonsil.
Friends who tell you normal is boring.
Friends who support you when you start a ridiculous adventure.
Friends who help you through the boring moments of life.
Friends who share a glass of wine with you.
Friends who read your writings.
Friends who know when you need a hug.
Friends who get your jokes.
Friends who share lunch with you.
Thanks for being the best!!!
Dear right tonsil:
I don't even know where to begin. I thought we were friends. I thought I treated you well. I thought we were on the same page. Then Christmas Eve happened.
I mean seriously? You got to wig out on Christmas Eve. There are no doctors working on Christmas Eve and yet this is the day I wake up and feel like there's something stuck in my throat.
That is a terrible feeling.
I tried hot tea.
I tried milk.
I tried alcohol.
You just couldn't chill out. You just had to keep looking weird and puffing up, decorating yourself with a nice white spot. I mean I was traveling. That whole Christmas thing. Remember?
So I ended up at a clinic.. You know one of those open all the time come see our "doctor" places. My husband touched the magazines and ended up with a sinus infection but that's another blog post.
The doctor insisted it was strep. I insisted it was not. I didn't feel sick. I felt like I had something stuck in my freakin throat.
Of course, I took the antibiotic. It did nothing and you knew it wouldn't. Didn't you?
I reached my breaking point.
My lets take my absessed tooth out with an ice skate moment. You know the one.
I went back to the doctor. This time I went to my family practitioner and said, "I'm not leaving until you fix my tonsil."
He looked in there and said, "I see the problem and I'm gonna take it off."
After three tries of stabbing me repeatedly with a Popsicle stick cleverly disguised as a tongue depressed, he removed a narley looking tonsil stone.
I mean why? Why tonsil? Is it because I'm 40? Is it because you just felt like shaking things up?
Let's come up with a truce. I'll gargle with warm salt water and a crushed aspirin at least once a week if you promise never, ever, ever to do this to me again.
I mean I thought we were friends.
We eased ourselves back into the kitchen this week with a long three days. Kids were a little deflated after all the hubbub of Christmas and seemed to have forgotten even the basics of instruction like how to form a line.
Here's what we learned at the start of 2013.
Be careful where you place your scratch and sniff sticker. My co-worker went to a pickle drop for the new year (another blog post entirely) and she brought us all back scratch and sniff pickle stickers. I proudly placed it close to my....um...heart only to have an entire class of students attempting to sniff it. Um... That too close to my.... um... I took it off and passed it around. Crisis averted.
That haircut makes you look... Taller??? My co-worker told a third grader that they looked like they grew an inch or two over the holiday. Her response " Well, I did get my haircut." I suppose she has a point. If I make my neck look longer than people might think I'm taller. I'm seriously considering it.
Whole wheat pasta sucks. When I say sucks I basically mean sucks all the Alfredo sauce out of the pan. Next time... More sauce....
Most popular Christmas present... (Drumroll please). The iPad and the iPad mini. Wow. That seems like a pricey present for a 1st grader. Remind me to ask Santa for a MacBook next year.
The strawberry milk is AWOL... again. I returned to work on Monday to take down the holiday decorations and to make sure the milkman delivered some goodness over the break. Again the strawberry milk was replaced with chocolate. Curiouser and curiouser.
What did you learn the first week of the new year?
JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and I will accept those I cannot.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearence, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I will refrain from improving anyone but myself.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I will quit. If I'm overweight I will eat healthfully -- if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk even if it's only around the block.
JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.
What will you do today???
~adapted from the original Al-Anon credo by Pauline Phillips
- I'm a 41 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.