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Monday, January 31, 2011

The saga of my mail carrier

It has been clear for a number of years now that my postal carrier is not my BFF.

She isn't even my Facebook friend.

In fact, I'm pretty certain that she dislikes me greatly.

I have expressed concerns about our relationship before in previous posts.  I have detailed her desire to continuously drive past my house.  Her reasons are arbitrary at best.  I have no more snow in front of my mailbox than any of my neighbors.  However, she decides what is acceptable and what is not and therefore my mailbox is never acceptable.

We had snow last week.  On Wednesday.

I still haven't received mail.

Seriously?  I have had my flag up since Thursday.  And everyday since Thursday she has driven past my mailbox.

I stopped into the post office to complain today and to see if she had my mail in a special "People whom I hate" Post Office Box but unfortunately she did not. 

I explained to the Post Master that I don't want to piss her off even more than I apparently already have but her constant disregard for my mail delivery is really pissing me off.  I told her in the Spring she drives by my house because my flowers are too long or because my neighbors parked on the street "too close" to my mailbox.

She has a four-wheel drive vehicle....we didn't have a blizzard....surely after five days my mailbox is clear enough to deliver mail.

The Post Master promised she would drive by and "take care" of this matter for me.   Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

Whatever happened to rain, snow, sleet or hail, the Post Office will always be there?

Yeah...right.  I think it may be time for a PO Box.
Friday, January 28, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady

This week was filled with wild and crazy and the kids were a little out there too.  I find that I don't really need to watch the weather channel as I can tell when we will be getting snow just based on how the students are behaving.

Here's what I learned this week:

Lunch duties are difficult for those over 70:  My co-worker lost her grandma this week and took a day off to attend funeral services.  We were blessed to have a sub but I must tell you I was surprised by her age.  She seemed to have a lot of trouble performing tasks like cleaning the tables, rapidly putting dishes away and moving faster than 5 m.p.h.

Kids are always honest:  Even when it comes to things that happen in their homes, kids will just tell it like they think it is.  I asked a 2nd grader about his new haircut and he told me "my dad drank 6 beers and then cut my hair...I don't think it was a good idea."

Rotten milk makes for a bad breakfast:  We had a few days off to mark the end of the marking period and for report card preparation.  We thought our milk was going to be fine, the dates were all good and we had no reason to believe they would spoil.   Until breakfast the day we came back and the kids dumped rotten chocolate milk on their fruit loops.  Let me tell you, that is a real gag reflex test.

Early release for weather:  When snow starts falling hard enough to require an early release, lunch time becomes something crazy and sporadic.  I was very thankful that I wasn't in charge and just had to go with the flow.

Picture day and BBQ chicken.  These two days can not walk hand in hand.  Thankfully, picture day was rescheduled.  Hopefully not for pasta and meatball day.

Two hour delay and re inspection day:  We were reinspected as per the state requirement. Apparently a perfect rating on Thanksgiving dinner isn't impressive enough.  We had to get another perfect on a two hour delay while working with a substitute.  What can I say...we ROCK!

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Writer's Workshop: Left Out

I  have felt left out.

I have felt rejected.

I have had my feelings hurt.

Just between you I  I sometimes try hard to get people to like me.  Harder than I should.

My love language is words of affirmation.  I like when people include me in things.  I like when they say nice stuff about me.  In other words, I'm like that nagging little dog that follows you around desperate for you to pat my head.

That being said, I have my feelings hurt easily.  If you make plans with me and cancel that's one thing but if cancel plans with me only to turn around and make those same plans with someone else I can't help but feel hurt. 

The problem is I likely will never tell you.  Unlike my sister, who would call you out on the carpet in a matter of minutes, I will just feel hurt and you will probably never know about it.

This post inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ahhh Winter....when are you over

This morning I woke to about 2 inches of snow and no delay of school.  It was still snowing, my development wasn't plowed and I really didn't feel good. 

Any reasonable person would have shaken the 8 ball and it clearly would have said "GO BACK TO BED".

Sadly, I didn't go back to bed.  Instead I took the garbage out, I took the recyclables out.  I drove white knuckled to school as the snow continued to fall.  Shortly after arriving at school, we learned that we would be dismissing at 1 p.m. and feeding the masses as fast a possible.

Since one of the other lunch ladies is a bus driver she leaves even earlier i.e. 11:30 a.m. to do her high school run as they were dismissing at 12 noon.

It was becoming clearer by the minute that I should have stuck to the "Go Back To Bed" plan.

I survived lunch, I survived clean up and I made it home safely, as did all my children.  Of course, once home I realized that I had to shovel the driveway.  Remind me again why I didn't stay in bed??

Apparently, we are to get about a foot of snow with this storm.  The fact that we have more than 50 days until spring isn't making me feel any better.

I guess I'll post some pictures tomorrow...we better have a delay or better yet a snow day as I really want to stay in bed.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Open Letter to my cold sore

Dear Cold Sore,

I just want to let you know that I hate you.  Many moons ago, my mother told me that I shouldn't hate but I have come to realize that I do, indeed, hate you.

First, you show up whenever you feel like it.  You are never invited, you never ask permission.  Second, you tingle and hurt and lets face it you are downright UGLY.

I have tried everything to get you to go away with little to no success.  I understand that you are a virus and perhaps there isn't anything I can do to make you go away except wait, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

When you show up, I loose common sense.

I buy things that say "Guaranteed to make you go away in 24 hours".  I laugh inside my head, but yet I shell out $18 for 1 oz of goo.

The active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride which apparently should not be swallowed as the directions that came with it say and I quote "administer several glasses of a mild soap solution, milk or egg whites beaten in water.  This may be followed with gastric lavage with soap solution."

Does the warning really say drinking soap is a better idea than drinking this solution?  And does it really indicate that even after performing any of the above I still may need to have my stomach pumped.  Say what?

Against my better judgement I have decided to use this expensive medicine and surprisingly it appears to working though not as fast as it promised too.

In closing, I would like to remind you of a few things before we part ways.  1.) no matter how stressed I get, you are not invited back; 2.) if I want to enjoy either a caffeinated beverage or an alcoholic beverage that is not your cue to return  3)  I know you are friends with Miss Monthly and you guys have worked out some kind of pimple-cold sore combo deal and to that I say "bite me".

Never excited to see you,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Update: Spending a little time with my grandma

My grandma came to visit for a few days.  She is 84 years old and it is a lot of fun to see her interacting with my children.  I don't think they realize how wonderful it is to be able to spend quality time with your great-grandmother. 

There were a few things she did over the course of the four days she was with us that really made me smile. 

I was getting everyone's order for Subway subs.  My kids were rattling off all sorts of crazy ingredients from bannana peppers to black olives.  My grandma's order--a regular.  I asked her what kind of meat came on that and she said whatever they put on it I guess.  I ended up getting her a cold club sandwich with just mayo, lettuce and tomatoe.

At one point my son was having a temper tantrum about not being able to find his shoes.  My grandma's response  "Don't make your mama give you a lickin' on the doopa this early in the morning.  Just get up and find your shoes."  Translation:  Don't make me smack your butt.  My son's face was priceless.  He couldn't figure out what language she was speaking.

We went to a 5th/6th grade basketball game which Big G was cheering at.  The opposing coach was getting all riled up.  A voice from the crowd told him to "Shut up and sit down."  That grandma.  The coach sat down.

On Saturday we had brunch at Perkins.  That will be the last time I ever eat there again.  After serviing my daughter a raw hamburger they decided they would be nice enough to comp. her kids meal but not our entire bill.  My grandma insisted on treating even though it was $28.00 and I didn't really want her too.  She paid with two $20s and only got change for $30.  I called them as soon as we realize and raised holy hell.  First they tried to poison my kid, who ate half the hamburger before she realized that it taste nasty, and then they stole $10 from my grandma.  NOT. COOL.

I took her home early Sunday because she told me she couldn't watch the Steeler's game with us because they make her cuss and she wouldn't feel right about cussing in front of my kids. 

Here's hoping I'm as cool as my grandma is when I am 84.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here We Go Steelers!

Let's Go Black and Gold!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A commercial for furniture

There is a commerical for a North Carolina furniture store that I just have to show you.  It's too much.  Too much!

Tell me what your thinking?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back from North Carolina - safe and sound

The kids and I made it safely back and forth to North Carolina!  I hate driving around Baltimore and Washington, but we did it and we didn't have any problems.  The weather cooperated and the so did the van.  Kids enjoyed A.LOT. of movies.

We watched our beloved Steelers come from behind to beat the Baltimore least favorite NFL team of all times.  That was my Superbowl so I don't even care if we lose next week.  The Ravens aren't in the Superbowl and quite frankly that is all the matters.

We celebrated my niece's 7th birthday at a bowling alley.  Noisy party but a lot of fun.  I am a much better bowler on the Wii than I am in real life. 

My sister highlighted my hair.  It looks surprisingly good for $6.49. 

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady

It's Friday and it's time for me to share with all of you what I learned in the lunchroom this week.

  • Pea Soup:  Kindergarten children do not picture peas when you say the word Pea Soup.  In fact, that is about the farthest thing from their mind.
  • Two Hour Delays and Half Days:  Equals 3 hours of pointless "education".
  • Lunches aren't for swinging:  My son spent part of his morning whacking his lunch box against the wall only to find out that it is not brick proof.  Lunch ruin = lesson learned.  Now he is in charge of packing his own lunch.
  • Winning Trays.  We played a game on Friday that involved a ticket taped to the bottom of some random trays.  Taping tickets to to the bottom of trays makes kids spill their milk trying to look.  Also, they will check them every day after "just in case".
  • Spoon bending:  I thought kids didn't start bending spoons until the upper grades.  But surprisingly I had two second grade girls admit to ruining some silverware this week.  It's always the kids you least expect.
What did you learn this week?
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writer's Workshop - a moment I felt relieved

I've posted before about my good buddy B.  She is the one I call when I want to complain about the things in my life that push me over the edge.  She is the one that I call when I want to celebrate the fact that it's Friday.

She is the one who makes me laugh when I feel like crying.  She is the one who laughs at all my jokes.

She is the one that picks up my kids when I can't get there.

She is the one who brings me wine when life doesn't go the way I think it should.

She is the one who sends her husband up to snow blow my driveway when my husband isn't available.

Last year after her routine mammogram the doctors office called her the next day and told her she needed to come back for a different more elaborate mammogram--that there may be a problem but they weren't sure.

Lots of things ran through my mind as I assured B that it was most likely nothing.

I imagined her without hair.  I figured I would shave my head too.

I thought about all the things I could do to help her with her kids if it turned out she was ill.

She called me shortly after her second appointment and told me she was fine.

No Cancer.

She was fine.

I was very relieved.

Now if I could only get her to stop looking at me like this every time I take her picture!  She thinks of me as the paparazzi.

It's my only flaw.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My son is Jewish and I found out from his teacher

First let me be clear....I know that Chanukah is over.  However, I am not clear if it is spelled Hanukkah or Chanukah.

Second, as you are aware, my kids attend public school.  That means when the holidays roll around my kids learn about each and every one of them.  Personally, I think this is wonderful.  I realize some people do not agree with me on this and to them I say bah humbug. 

Lessons always include the big three--Christmas, (C)Hanukah, and Kwanza and may or may not include Festiva, Winter Solstice, Frosty the Snowman's birthday, First Snowfall Friday and Return Unwanted Presents Day.

After receiving a wonderful lesson on the Jewish celebration of (C)Hanukkah, my son's teacher asked "Does anyone have a menorah at home?"

Little G's hand shot right up.  "Yes"  he told her. "I have a menorah at home."

He proceeded to provide his teacher and classmates many details about this menorah and was so convincing that his teacher came down to the cafeteria later that day to ask me if we were Jewish.

The entire story made me smile and I didn't really think much about it.  Until later that week when the boy and I were at the Target getting some last minute presents and he proceeded to have a nervous breakdown in the middle of the isle because I wouldn't buy him his own menorah.

"I need this!" he said.

"It's so pretty," he said.

"I don't know why you won't get this for me."

It was so sad that I actually considered putting a menorah in his stocking but then I realized how bizarre that was.  Of course, the looks I was getting during the meltdown were priceless.  After all, I'm sure they weren't thinking there's a boy who just learned all about (C)Hanukkah.  Most likely they were thinking how sad it was that I wouldn't buy my Jewish son his own menorah.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Phone has arrived

After much debate my husband and I decided to let our nearly 12 year old daughter have a phone.  After the initial excitement of receiving the phone on Christmas day she really hasn't used it much.  In fact, I'm not sure she has talked to anyone on it, but she does enjoy texting.

Hubby and I upgraded our phones in November.  He went from the free flip phone that his friends often made fun of to the Iphone 4 which in and of itself is somewhat funny and I went from the Pantech Matrix to the Pantech Pursuit

I really like it but I'm still not sure exactly how to work all of the functions.  I learn from doing and not from reading how to do it.  It's gonna take me a little while to figure it all out.

This is the phone oldest G ended up with (my old phone) and so far she has been very responsible with it.  She loves taking radom photos of random things and texting them to me.  I may have to up our texts to unlimited.  LOL

I must say that so far I have been pleasantly surprised by the level of responsibility my oldest has shown with her new technology.

Here's hoping she continues to be responsible.
Monday, January 10, 2011

Close or Distant? What are you?

After reading a recent post by my good blogging buddy Jenner's about the the unexpected death of her mother I began to long for a closer relationship with my own mother.

I tend to be the mediator in my family.  I am the one that everyone calls when they are annoyed with another family member.  I am the one that make amends.

I am the one that acquiesces so peoples feelings don't get hurt.

I am the one that keeps my feelings deep inside.  Even on this blog I rarely go into what I'm truly thinking...what I'm really feeling.  After all, who knows who could be reading it.

It is not as if I'm not friendly with my mom, but we do tend to go quite a few days without talking.  I don't often ask her for advice.  A lot of times I feel like I am the last to know what is going on in her life.  Often I feel like she has little idea what is going on in mine. 

A good example of this happened 7 years ago.  We lived in Ohio then.  It was October and I was due to give birth to my third child within a few weeks.  Little G decided to come early.  He wasn't due until November 1st but instead came in mid October.  It was understood that hubby would take the first week off but then my mom and my MIL were to come out and help me with the kids for the following week.

After all, at the time, I had three kids under 5.

When I called my mom from the hospital to tell her that Little G was here and that he had arrived early she told me that she'd been meaning to tell me that she quit her job and was moving to Virginia to live with her boyfriend.  She had a new position there and would be starting the following week.

Surely I could understand why she couldn't immediately take any time off.

I guess I was surprised that I didn't know she was considering moving three hours further away from me.  When I lived in Ohio that was not an easy day trip.

So as a point of reference, what do you talk to your mom about?  What does she talk to you about?  Why are you close?  Why aren't you close?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady

I thought returning from Christmas break would be relatively easy.  After all, my boss would be back to work, there would be significantly less demanded of me and I would get a chance to be on register instead of behind the dreaded counter.

Ah, no.

As you know, I had a small nervous breakdown on Tuesday.  Which, I might add, was only my second day back.

That being said, here is what I learned this week in the cafeteria.

Don't ask a question you don't want the answer too.  I asked a second grader how he was doing and he said "Better than this morning when my brother hit me in the nuts with a light saber."  In the nuts.  That's really what he said.
Nothing is surprising.  A 1st grader told me today that on a recent trip to Mexico she tried some beer and it was very yucky.  I told her to remember that when she started middle school.
Budget talk brings out the ugly.  We had a meeting this week about the fiscal status of our district.  I'll spare you the details, but it isn't pretty.  When the superintendent starts dropping phrases like "pay freezes" and "teacher contract renegotiations" you can pretty much be certain that things are about to get catty.
Two hour delays.  Lunch doesn't change on a two hour delay.  It's still served at the same time.  We just have two hours less to make it.  Last year we changed the menu to PBJ and soup.  However today my boss insisted that we make the pizza.  She showed up at her normal 7 a.m. hour.  I showed up at 10:15, two hours late (hence the delay).  I have kids I need to put on the bus.  I can't just leave them behind.  My boss is completely aware of this.  The other lunch lady is a bus driver.  She also can't be there until 10:45, after her bus runs.  Lunch starts at 11:40.  It is what it is.  That's why, in my opinion, PBJ and soup is a better choice.
Honesty Rocks.  I told my principal about  my previously mentioned nervous breakdown and she had a 3rd grade intervention.  It was awesome.  She specifically told all of them that if they wouldn't say it to her they shouldn't say it to us.  All adults in the building must and will be treated with respect.  Then she told them that if they weren't polite they wouldn't be served until they could be.  I. HEART. MY. PRINCIPAL.

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wake Up

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” ~J.M. Power

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to write a book.  As a child I wrote short story after short story.  Many of them had illustrations.  I wish someone had kept them, but alas they haven't been seen in years.

These days my computer is filled with stories.

I used to feature a short story on this blog every Tuesday.  I can't remember why I stopped.

What is holding me back?

Why did I write a 51,000 word novel in November and then promptly file it away never to be looked at again.

I'm afraid of rejection.  Like most bloggers I thrive on words of affirmation.  I want everyone to love everything I do.  But let's face it, life isn't really like that.  In fact, it is often the words of criticism that help us grow the most.

I need to find a way to get over my fear of rejection and wake up.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Third Graders Push My Buttons

I had a minor nervous breakdown today at 3rd grade lunch.  We were serving popcorn chicken, fries, assorted fruit and a roll for lunch today.

We went out of our way to make special chicken for the two kids in the building allergic to the popcorn kind.

We put out carrots and ranch dip even though they weren't on the menu.

We put out sweet and sour sauce.

We put out honey mustard sauce.

We put out BBQ sauce.

We put out mayo, ketchup and mustard.

And what do the kids say? 

"Get me some butter!"   "Do I need to tell a teacher on you or are you gonna get the butter?"  "Why ain't their jelly?"  "Where are the knifes?"  Knifes?  Really?

To top it off they don't even ask to leave the cafeteria to use the restroom.  They just sort of tell you.

"Hey, yo I'm going to the bathroom."

Hey, yo???

Surely you aren't talking to a grown up are you?

After everyone was seated the aide blew her whistle and we loudly explained to them that if they continue to be rude they will not be given any condiments.  Last time I checked that stuff wasn't on the menu.  So in other words it can be removed at anytime. 

Ask nicely, yo!  Or you ain't getting no butter for that roll!
Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas By The Numbers

Christmas lasts FOR. EVER. in our house. 

It starts in mid-December and doesn't end until days after the actual holiday.  Just as it gets to the point when I'm certain my kids are going to expect gifts from the waitress at the Eat 'N Park it ends.

I am truly grateful for the amount of family that feel blessed to dote on my children, however, it gets to be quite overwhelming and I often pray that they would just stop.

That being said I thought I'd break it down for you by the numbers.

Number of Christmas celebrations including Christmas Day:  6
Number of presents each of my kids received:  25+
Number of repeat presents:  3
Number of outfits oldest received: 15
Number of batteries needed:  21
Number of fights refereed over winter break:  32
Number of smiles:  833
Number of breakdowns:  27
Number of Excedrin needed:  12
Number of nights spent away from home:  3
Number of presents my dog received: 8 (seriously?)
Number of Red Bulls I drank:  6
Number of times I laughed:  1,498
Number of times I counted my blessings:  over a million

Starting the celebration at my Aunt's house December 11th

The weekend before Christmas at a park near my  mom's house

Celebrating with my mom.

Oldest on Christmas Day with her pogo stick.

Middle G with a new outfit on Christmas Day.

Little G with some mighty beans and a new DS game.

Grammie G opening a gift.

My three kids with their great-grandmother.

My dad and Nana.

Here's hoping your Christmas was just as crazy as ours.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Citar - Happy New Year

"Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right" - Oprah

join in or read more quotes at Tabitha's blog

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Let's talk Resolutions.

Happy New Year Bloggyland!

We bounced from one Christmas to another Christmas and spent New Year's Eve with some great friends.  Personally, I'd like to see Christmas downsized but with split families it is really hard to do.  If I'm being perfectly honest with you all, which I always am, it looks like Christmas vomited all through my house.   I have no idea where we are going to put any of this stuff!

That being said, I thought I'd come up with some useless thought-provoking 2011 resolutions goals.  Here's what I'd like to accomplish in 2011.

  1. Edit.  This one is at the top of my list.  I am going to edit my NaNoWriMo novel and, perhaps, actually let someone read it.
  2. Organize.  I write this one down all the time, but I rarely ever accomplish it.
  3. Purge.  We need to get rid of some stuff in this house.  One way or another I will accomplish this one.
  4. Write.  I had a lot of fun participating in NaNoWriMo.  I would actually consider doing it again.
  5. Craft.  I want to make at least 10 scrapbook pages a month.  Whether or not I can actually accomplish this depends on my ability to turn of the computer.
  6. Unplug.  Spend more time playing Uno with the kids than messing around with my Facebook.
  7. Stress Less.  This should be my motto.  I need to stop stressing the small stuff.
  8. Laugh.  I am usually pretty good at this one, but it doesn't hurt to remind you.
  9. Visit.  I need to see family more than just during the holidays.  Especially, now that there are health concerns for some of them.
What are some of your goals for 2011!
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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 meant some comments.
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