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10/11/20 7:52 A

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Good morning! We're both up early today! I'm so happy that you have time off...if anyone needs it, it's the teachers! It's amazing that you are still getting kids and fantastic that you could get the new little boy into 'the system' for testing already! Being virtual, I'm sure there are so many issues that make it difficult to address. I always wonder how parents don't see/hear what teachers can in a very short time. I hope that you get some well needed rest, can take Mike for some outings, and get back to school even partially refreshed!

We dodged another hurricane this week, but Delta hit Louisiana 6 weeks after Laura. Two of my sisters who live near the Texas/LA border lost power and as of last night still didn't have it. Lost trees, debris, ect. Two more months of hurricane season to go....and I hope 2020 will go down as the last one with as many hurricanes as we've had to plan for!

I had a delightful day with my daughter and her family at an RV park in Galveston, TX yesterday. They had to stay inside on Thursday because of the high winds and rain but they did lessons on severe weather and read lots of non fiction weather books! This park has a splash pad right outside their door, two pool and hot tubs, miniature golf, lazy river, etc. They will go again soon! During part of the bad weather they took all their school stuff and went to the secluded picnic tables and had an outdoor classroom! Lots of fun! Today I will go across town with my little sister, visiting the 2nd sister from Georgia who is babysitting her 2 yr. old granddaughter for 10 days.

I will call my contractor---again---today and see if I can get a definite start date. I'm tired of waiting at this point!

Have a wonderful week!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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10/11/20 7:20 A

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And I'm on Fall Break! I am so looking forward to this week, even though I don't have any plans other than a couple doctor appointments. I think I might get Mike out on a couple of day trips, maybe picnics at some State parks. He's pretty much stuck at home so I think ti would be good for him to get out.
I'm glad you got to see family. We've been pretty isolated around here. Mike's son stopped by but just for a few minutes the other day. My son's family is on Fall Break too- they headed to Gettysburg to camp for a few days.
I got two more kids last week. I'm up to 26 now. The last one I got set off all kinds of alarm bells. I emailed his home school and asked to start evaluation on him. They thought I was being a little premature, and then they had him up to school to do K screenings. Now they are fast tracking him- we're looking and probable MMD and MSD among other things. His speech is completely unintelligible. We did a home visit and got papers signed to start speech evaluation. The best part of using Seesaw is the recording feature. I can keep digital copies of his work. They are hoping we can have an ARC in November. That speed is just about unheard of. He is very sweet, but my heart hurts for him.
I hope you get your painting done. I put some Halloween decorations up yesterday. At least it feels a little more festive, but I doubt we'll have trick or treaters this year. No rain. I'm going to have to get out and water.

Karen
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10/4/20 9:25 A

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I'm so glad you got to meet a lot of the kids in person, Karen! That's great. I'm sure many teachers would love that, too, if they are virtual. I hope it all works out. One of my sisters retired a few years ago, having only taken 6 weeks off when her son was born and she met the requirements for retirement. But she immediately became a permanent sub. She is at the school where she taught for 30+ years every day and they send her where they need her now instead of hiring her for specific jobs. I love that you are providing projects for your kids. I hope they parents appreciate all you're doing.

Yes, my daughter has loved this past week SO much more than the previous 8! Not being stuck in front of an iPad, the twins have relaxed and did take on more projects and activities above what she had planned...and she really OVERplanned! Emmaline is 3 and she is ay ahead of herself, too. The preschool had her in a 3-4 year old class when she was 2.5! So far, all is great.

I went to my hometown of Beaumont, TX with my youngest sister yesterday morning, meeting up with sisters #3 and 4 for brunch! We hadn't seen each other since the Coronavirus shutdown and we had such a great time together. The restaurant was only serviing outside on picnic tables but it was great. Then we drove past both grandparents', great grandmother's house, and both houses I grew up in! It was a memory drive. Two of the houses are in disrepair because that part of town has declined a lot, but others are seemingly in good shape and our home we grew up in until our parents went into assisted living is still fine...but they took out all the trees in the front yard and the beautiful azaleas are gone! But it was fun to see all of that.

I'm doing fine. I get out to go to the grocery store, Hobbly Lobby, etc. a couple of times a week. I'm almost finished making my Christmas cards. That's been fun. I will have the cracks fixed inside and the house painted sometime in the next couple of weeks. It was supposed to be this week but I haven't heard from the contractor yet. All is well!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
10/4/20 9:03 A

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I think another 3 years. Here you have to have 27 years in the state, so other teaching years don't count, sigh. But they have an age + years =85 option, so I'm hoping to go that route. I'll most likely have to get another job or sub, but that would be on my terms and not so stressful.

Yesterday was wonderful! Rain is predicted for this afternoon so my aide and I met at the park yesterday. We had 15 of our 24 kids (25 tomorrow, I'm getting another new one) come by. It was so good to see them and they were thrilled to see us and each other. A lot of them chose to play on the playground and I took a bunch of pictures. We are hoping to do it again, although it may have to wait until Spring. I'm hoping for a mild weekend in Nov. I was able to make up a couple of simple crafts for them to take home and do, and I printed off handwriting pages and some little readers. It was good to get some paper things out to them and some crafts. Since I'm in a high poverty school, I wanted to make sure everyone had materials for the crafts.

I am really glad I'm virtual. The in person K-2 kids came back last week. It's a huge mess. I have to do morning and afternoon duty since I don't have kids in my room, which is really cutting into my prep time. This week the bigger kids are starting back. The good news is that next week is Fall Break! I can't believe it's October already.

I bet your daughter is really going to enjoy homeschooling. There are so many resources out now. How have you been? I'm trying to finish crocheting a dinosaur blanket for my great grandson for Christmas and then a friend is expecting a premie grandchild and I told her I'd make some octopus lovies that she wanted. Tiny crochet hook- I hope I can see the stitches! I'm supposed to be reading a book for a book study, but I'm going to ignore it and read it over break lol.

Karen
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9/27/20 4:26 P

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I just had a long conversation with my daughter. A neighbor who was a teacher just brought her over a huge bunch of social studies books and activities . I told her I have all my afternoon kindergarten info about children around the world, too. My lessons go from pre-k through 4th grade, too! So sheís even more excited! I know she will do a fabulous job. She turned her dining room into her classroom in the spring !

Iím so sorry school is such a hassle. The whole idea of you being the virtual teacher was for your and Mikeís protection! I sure hope it will work out. The park meet and greet sounds like fun. I hope that works out, too.

Iím so sorry about the rash and the autoimmune possibility. You have so much to deal with all the time. I sure wish it wasnít so. How much longer before you can retire?!

Try to get some rest. Hereís to an easy transition tomorrow.

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
9/27/20 10:36 A

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That's a lot of rain! For once we could use a little rain. The weather has been fall-like lately. Low 80s in the day but cooling off at night and little humidity. I'd like one good rain so the ground would soften up enough to put some Fall decorations out.

I'm glad your daughter withdrew her kids. They will probably be better off. Distance learning is hard. My parents struggle with all the Zoom times, but most of them have been very supportive. I think next Sunday afternoon my assistant and I are going to hang out at a local park with some goodie bags. We can't do any formal meet and greets, but if some of our students just happen by the park we're at- it would be good to see them in person and hopefully they can meet some of their virtual classmates.

Our in person kids are coming back tomorrow. Mine are all virtual, but I have been assigned morning and afternoon duties every day to help with the in person kids. I am not happy. For one thing, I had to tell my kids that our morning Zoom with have to be later because I'll be busy with other kids. And I don't want to be around a school full of kids.

Yesterday I went to Urgent Care. I broke out with an awful rash that goes up both legs. They decided it's vasiculitis? Shot me full of steroids and Benedryl. I have to follow up with a doctor. Of course I had to look it up on Dr. Google. It's considered an autoimmune disease so that worries me.

Before the great rash breakout, I took time to sew some new masks- gotta have Fall ones lol. It was good to do something I enjoy. I'm going to try to crochet today. I'm working on a dinosaur blanket for my grandson for Christmas. I just haven't had much time to work on it.

Happy Fall!

Karen
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9/27/20 9:37 A

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After two days of unrelenting rain and almost 15 inches for my little town of Pearland (making the national news!) it's sunny and cool! I was fearful that it would be like it was during Hurricane Harvey, but Tropical Storm Beta was milder. My side street and the retention ditch behind my house were flooded but nothing near the house this time, thank goodness! The weather guys said this is probably all we have to worry about until next year...and I sure hope that's true!

My daughter had a great heart to heart chat with the principal and withdrew the granddaughters. The principal knows she will do a fabulous job home schooling and told her she would be welcomed back with open arms if she decides to re-enroll. The girls are already excited about having mom as a teacher and Friday's routine was wonderful for them. She has many resources from her teaching days, a lot of my books and activities K-2 and has ordered a math program to use since she taught language arts for 15 years! They have peace of mind about their decision and are happy to get started on a new adventure.

I hope things have settled in for you, Karen. When do you get your fall break? I hope the parents are realizing you are working hard for them and that you are getting some support. That was always the hardest thing in my last few years: not hearing an ' Atta-girl' when you need it! My former principal 'sang my praises' to my teaching partner after I retired and said how much she missed the great job I had done....but she rarely said that to ME! We need those positive affirmations even when we know we're doing our best!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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9/20/20 7:05 P

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I'm so sorry it's so hard, Karen. My daughter is very frustrated with how it's going for her girls. Not with the teachers, because having been one herself, she knows how hard it is! Although they have been tending to forget about the virtual students since the others have gone back into the classroom! I think she will homeschool the rest of the year and teach them how she 'knows' they need instruction. Sitting in front of an iPad from 7:45 to 3:00 is so hard on the little ones! I had mostly wonderful parents. I think throughout my 30+ years, I had 5-6 who gave me trouble: three in one year alone! But overall people have been very supportive. How sad that the parents are taking the tests for their kids, then complaining! I ope there will be some solution.

I'm not a camper, although my daughter and her family love it. They are on a long weekend RV trip right now. They have a Hot Spot so dad can work wherever they are and the girls were going to do their Friday work at various times. I'm sure they enjoyed it more than being at home. Glad your grandson helped you out. A neighbor called me last night and said she had run to my house when she and her husband were taking a walk (he never does!) and he had shortness of breath and felt dizzy. She was a block from my house and left him on the grass, running to me. But in the meantime she saw another neighbor outside who took her car and brought the husband back home. Whew! Another 'saved' neighbor! You never know when you'll feel bad. Hope you won't have any additional issues!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
9/20/20 8:49 A

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Well the camping last weekend was fun, although I nearly killed myself on a hike. I think I was on the verge of heat stroke (I started getting nauseated, and then broke out in chills). We were near the end of the trail, and my grandson ended up hiking back to camp and bringing me a chair and some water. Next time I'm only going on trails that are marked easy lol. It was still nice to get away and spend time with family.
School is exhausting. I'm so tired by the end of the day that I just don't want to do anything. The in person K-2 kids are starting back on the 28th. And they are making those of us who don't have kids in our rooms do bus and breakfast duty. I'm not sure how that's supposed to work. School starts at 9 and I've been opening my Zoom meeting at 8:45. I turn off my mic and camera and let the kids chat with each other (I can hear and see them so I can monitor it). The kids are very sweet. I have one parent who is not so sweet and complains about everything. I use an online phonics program that does an preassessment and then designs lessons based on where the child is at. I had several parents "help" their child with it and then complain that the assignments were too hard. The biggest complainer admitted doing the test for her daughter and then griped because they were giving her nouns and verbs and she doesn't even know her letters. And she's mad that we ask kids to draw things, even though we also ask them to click the microphone and tell us about their drawings. There's always one, isn't there?
The weather has turned cool this weekend. I am so glad! I am ready for Fall and cool weather. I hope that you are well.

Karen
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9/6/20 9:13 A

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I'm so glad to hear that you're settling in with school, Karen! My granddaughters are using See Saw, too. The technology has been rough...the twins can't sit together at the island to do their work because their iPads, given by the school, 'compete' with each other and there's either an echo or a lag! so they are in separate rooms, which drives my daughter nuts! They have 2 Zoom meetings a day and the girls just can't concentrate on a screen that long. My daughter doesn't let them play on the computer or iPad for the most part, so they aren't used to it!

I hope you enjoy the camping. My husband loved it but it's not my style..city girl, lol! It's still in the high 90's here but a 'cool front' should be here by the end of the week...such a nice thing to be in the 80's for a few days!

Have a good week!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
9/6/20 8:53 A

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I'm glad you weren't impacted too bad by the hurricane.
I am so grateful for the long weekend. Friday was Oaks Day here so we had the day off, even though there were no spectators at it or the Derby. What a strange year. I spent most of Friday and yesterday morning working on lesson plans for next week. It's so time intensive. Lessons that aren't live have to be recorded, loaded to Seesaw, and some kind of work made and attached. And then I have to copy links to the assignments and attach them to daily lesson plans that the students can access. It's an exhausting way to teach, but we are settling in and the kids are all super sweet. Next Friday we're having a pajama day. Parents are finally getting the hang of all the technology. Their biggest complaint is that I don't post all the assignments in the morning. I schedule them close to the time they are supposed to be working on them. I'm finishing assessments this week and then we'll be starting small groups, so they kids need to stick to our schedule. This week we are starting writing and more structured math. I have to do two live Writing lessons and three live Math lessons each week (the others I have to record) in addition to daily morning meetings, ELA lesson and daily wrap ups that are live. After this next week we'll add in live small groups for ELA and Math. Baby steps lol.
Next weekend I'm supposed to go camping with my son's family. Since they bought their trailer, they have a pop up that they aren't using, so my son is going to set it up for me. It's at a State Park that's not too far away so I can run home to check on Mike. I'm kind or nervous but looking forward to it. I love to camp and haven't been in a long time.
Have a good week! I plan on enjoying today and tomorrow. The weather has turned really nice. I'm sure the heat will kick back in, but we're enjoying the lower humidity and temperatures.

Karen
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8/30/20 11:20 A

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Well, Hurricane Laura thankfully passed the Houston area by. Two of my sisters are very near to the Texas/LA border and both lost power. One evacuated and just got home yesterday to find that her generator hadn't kicked on (they never get it serviced!) and now has a houseful of bad food to get rid of!

I hope you will have a good week and are resting up this weekend!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


 Pounds lost: 6.6 
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8/24/20 8:18 A

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i absolutely understand. My daughter just bought a generator for around $400 and it's big enough to power the RV, fridge inside the house, small window unit that they used for a tent camper, etc. It runs on gas and propane, which they have for the RV. I didn't realize the Inogen had such a short battery life. And how awful that the power company discontinued the program. It puts you in such a precarious position.

As for the school, I'm sure you're doing the very best you can. I can't imagine trying to figure out what to do on such a short notice and trying to meet the needs of all the students---and you don't even 'know' them! One of my sisters retired 10 years ago and is a permanent sub. They have her working every day in various classrooms, trying to help fill the gap for the kids who ARE in class and to help while the teachers are also doing virtual learning.

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
8/24/20 6:22 A

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Our power company no longer does lists, although I did contact them and let them know we have someone dependent on oxygen. We have an Iogen concentrator that I bought (of course Medicare doesn't pay for them), but the battery is only good for about 3 hours. It does have a car charger on it, but I couldn't get the car out because the door was shut lol. My son talked me through disconnecting the door so I got it open (and now I can't close it until he hooks it back up). I need to buy a back up battery but they are ridiculously expensive. I think it's cheaper to buy a small generator to keep on hand.
I'm nervous about getting all this technology together this week. And I don't even have my lesson plans done! I've been busy making links for my families so they can find the assignments for each subject. I'm too old for this lol.

Karen
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8/23/20 12:48 P

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Oh, Karen, check with your power company about being on a list for getting power back ASAP. We had that when Dave had a CPAP machine. Or what about Entogen like they advertise on TV? That’s so scary!!

My granddaughters are using Seesaw. Not the Scholastic books, lol! I’ve been retired for 5 years and can’t imagine trying to do everything virtual now. Keep me posted!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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8/23/20 12:17 P

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I hope you are safe from the hurricanes! Two at once is crazy. My son and his family live near San Antonio now. They just moved into a beautiful house. I hope everyone stays safe.
Our kids start on Wednesday. I didn't even get a contact list for them until Friday afternoon, and 4 of them I still don't have information on. We are all supposed to do a Zoom at 9am every day. I imagine everything will crash. I don't think they thought that through. We have to do two taped lessons every day. and then pull kids for small group and individual instruction in ELA and Math.
I'm trying to learn Seesaw, Loom, Screencastify, Google Slides, Padlet, and a ton of other apps that are supposed to make my life easier lol. Our kids are using Seesaw for assignments. I figured out how to post activities from the library, but I don't know how to make my own yet, or how to link the lessons to my google slide lessons (bitmoji classrooms, which are fun to make but time consuming). I'm so worried about getting instruction out that I've had little time to actually think about what I'm going to teach. It's an adventure for sure.

Our power went out at 4 am and was out for 4 hours. I was starting to panic because Mike is on oxygen. We used up the battery in his portable unit and he was on his last tank of portable oxygen and the car was in the garage and I couldn't open the door. My son talked me through how to get the door open so then I heaved a sigh of relief because Mike's portable unit has a car charger. I need to look for a small generator. It's amazing how dependent we are on electricity. We were under dense fog advisories so it was really dark lol.

We have to go in to school, even though we don't have kids. It's been nice to be back around people again, even if we are all socially distanced and wearing masks. I don't have to wear one in my room though, so that's good. I have a virtual open house tomorrow night for my school and one Tuesday night for the cloud academy. Strange times.

I hope you have a good week and stay safe!

Karen
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8/23/20 8:43 A

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Well, it's hurricane season in Texas....and it looks like both hurricanes are heading this way. Probably will land in LA. Good for us and so bad once again for them. But everyone here is preparing anyway. We had a food truck come last night---in the rain---and instead of a 'socially distanced' gathering on the vast lawn around the pool and pavilion area, everyone just got their food and went straight home. But it was great to see some of the people we haven't seen in months!

My daughter was so frustrated with online school for the twins. SHE was prepared but the first 3 days were not as hoped. The girls could sometimes hear the teachers but there was no video, and at other times, no audio. Everyone tried to get online at the same time and the site crashed the very first day! I hope things will settle down soon. How is yours going , or have you started yet? Did you get the new bathroom in? I can't remember! Here's to a good week for you, Karen!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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8/16/20 12:20 P

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Wow, Karen. That's such a mess! I also wonder why they would give you kids from other schools, much less with no instructions yet on what you'll be doing! My daughter said her district had a 'drive-by' Meet the Teacher and the girls got to see the team teachers and get their iPads. The school has sent the first week's lesson plan/timeline. They will do work online from 8-11:00. Then there is a break for 'lunch, recess, art, and music...' I wonder how those last 2 classes will be?! Their math lesson is at 1:00---I guess it's like scheduling a big teacher workshop for after lunch to ensure that the teachers will come back and attend, lol! I sure hope they give you some sort of instructions! One of my sisters taught 1st grade for 30 years and retired about 5 years ago, being a permanent sub at her old school. She's back in the classroom as of last week and said they haven't yet been told about virtual learning....they are just teaching the ones who have shown up. It's a crazy time. I wish you well, my friend! Stay in touch!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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8/16/20 9:04 A

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We ended up doing all of our PD online last week because my principal and instructional coach went to a district thing where someone tested positive for COVID. Tomorrow is opening day though, and we have to go in person. I'm not too thrilled. I got my class list on Friday. I have 22 kids so far- 6 from my school and 16 from another school. What I don't understand is that 6 kids from my school are in another school. I don't know why they didn't give me all the kids that should be going to my school. And I have no contact information yet, we haven't been given our schedules yet, and don't even know when the kids will be able to pick up their Chromebooks. I'm supposed to do a virtual open house, but I don't know anything to tell anyone. It's all very frustrating. It's kind of scary that the kids will be starting in a week and we have no idea what is going on, who we are going to teach, or how. We are using Seesaw, but haven't gotten any training on it yet. Our PD last week was spent on things like trauma informed care (again) and making lesson plans and assessments for social studies. Really useful.
I finished crocheting a baby blanket last night and may start another one today lol. I found a pattern that I really like and it's relaxing to do. I figure I need some relaxing time before it gets crazy this week.
I hope you have a great week!

Karen
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8/9/20 2:02 P

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Oh, Karen, it sounds like at least a 'version' of answered prayers! I sure hope it works out. No more half/half for K-1 and no germs in your classroom! My lower elementary coach son started back this past week. His team spent all day Thursday sorting kids with numbers/names assigned to particular teachers...and at the end of the day was told that the program had errors and on Friday all the kids needed to be un-sorted and placed back into the 'pot!' so much negligence and wasted hours! I hope it won't be like that once he has to start online PE! Good luck with all you will be doing! Prayers for as good a year as you can have!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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8/9/20 8:07 A

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Well, on Thursday my principal called me and told me that I'm now the Cloud Academy kindergarten teacher. I will be teaching all online until January at least. My former teammate got is now the first grade Cloud Academy teacher, so I don't know who is teaching in person kindergarten when kids are allowed to go back. I will still be going in to my school every day- I just won't have kids in my classroom. So I get to try to figure out how to make learning fun and engaging without being in class. And I guess I'm going to get a lot better at technology. I am a bit relieved though. I've been worried about bringing home germs that will kill Mike, so this cuts that risk down. I will miss having kids in my room, but it takes away the temptation for hugs and I don't have to deal with trying to keep 5 year olds socially distanced.

We start PD days tomorrow. The kids come back on the 26th (or rather log in I guess). We are using SeeSaw as our learning platform and I know nothing about it. It's going to be an interesting few weeks.

Karen
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8/2/20 10:14 A

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I'm so sorry, Karen. It sounds awful. I had that situation at a new school in '97 when we were in temporary buildings. Only desks for the kids, a desk for me, and a chalk board! No shelves, no cubbies, etc. My husband made me a huge rolling cart with an easel for the big books and those big 'tablets' to write on. Once we moved into the newly built building we didn't have much more. It's not fair to the teachers or the kids, especially right now. I know you'll do your best. Hugs!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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8/2/20 8:47 A

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Well we are starting school virtually for the first couple of weeks. Their current plan is to start having kids come back Sept. 14. I hope that will change. I went to school Thursday and saw my classroom. It is literally wall to wall desks. There isn't 3 feet between the front row of desks and the wall with my active board and white board. The only place I can teach from is behind my desk. And I have nothing- they took all my carts with books, big books, manipulatives, school supplies, etc. Just a big, empty room with the window sills and cubbies piled with stuff that I no longer have a place for. I'm going to have to bring a lot home. It's all very depressing. We will have to come in to school to do distance teaching because they don't trust teachers to be professional and work from home. The schools in my town have already opened, and cases of Covid are beginning to pop up.
It's been raining here too. The sun is actually out today and cooler temps. I need to get out and exercise more and start tracking my food again. I'm back at water aerobics 2 times a week, so at least that's something. I hope you have a great week!

Karen
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8/2/20 8:31 A

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After 2 weeks of almost constant rain, here comes the sun...do do do do! And I feel....alright, lol! I've been tracking my food intake once again after SO long of not doing it and walking more, sometimes twice a day! I've lost about 4 pounds in the last couple of weeks. Much better than gaining! One neighbor at 80 has had leg surgery and needs to walk more. We try for a more brisk walk in the morning. She's not terribly steady on her feet yet and has severe back issues so it's still hard to go as fast as I'd like, but it gives me more minutes to walk a little slower! An 83 yr. old saw us one day and asked if we'd let her come with us....but it's like a stroll down the aisle at a wedding! She can barely walk. I've been trying to 'take' her for a walk in the evening. I usually hit my step goal on the way home from 'dropping her off' at her house! The sun is out and I will walk in a few minutes with the one who's recovering from surgery soon.

I feel for all the teachers who are caught in the dilemma of school opening, school online, and everything in between. My daughter loved teaching her girls at home this spring and has already re-set her dining room up for her fall classroom. Between all the things she kept from teaching and what I still have, she has more than enough to get her 2nd grade twins and 3 yr. old preschooler ready. I hope your school situation has been worked out, Karen! Let me know!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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7/19/20 12:04 P

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Iím so very sorry for the school stress. Here, many of the districts will be virtual...some for the first quarter. Many people are being shamed for both sides of the issue. Parents who need to work, teachers who want to work have screaming bouts online against the ones who say they are endangering everyone by going back...itís such a sad time for everyone involved and who knows how things will turn out?

I hope your dog AND Mike will be fine! TKe care to get as much rest as you can, Karen!

Off to stop a tussle over who gets to Swiffer.....

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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7/19/20 9:48 A

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Enjoy babysitting! I've been doing the rounds of doctor appointments for Mike and one of our dogs, who had a mass removed from his face last week. He's doing great, but I need to take him to get the drain removed tomorrow and the stitches out Thursday. Mike sees his kidney doctor tomorrow and foot doctor Thursday. I have a google meet with my principal Tuesday to discuss Kindergarten back to school night. They are going to send in groups of one parent/child for 10 minutes just to see the class. There really won't be time to discuss anything. I'm really dreading school. 24 socially distanced desks and 1 teacher desk. What a fun class. I don't know how we're supposed to keep the kids at their desks all day and in masks. The big school district in Louisville is going virtual for 6 weeks. I wish we'd do the same, but parents need babysitters.
I've got a good crop of blueberries this year. I'm going to make something yummy and probably not too healthy lol.

Karen
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7/19/20 7:59 A

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Happy Sunday! Itís my daughter and son in law! 12th anniversary so Iím babysitting all weekend. Iím enjoying it, but will welcome my own bed and solitude tonight! Today will be clean up day...lots of things to pick up, lol. I will clean the bathrooms and mop as an extra gift...and get Fitbit minutes, as well!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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7/13/20 8:52 A

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I have had 3 machines in my lifetime and this last one has been greatly underused! I did find the instructions but haven't attempted it yet. You Tube does come through!!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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7/13/20 6:31 A

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LOL Mary, I had to pull up a You Tube video on how to thread my sewing machine. You Tube is my best friend lately!

Karen
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7/12/20 11:16 A

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I cut out two masks over the weekend and if I can remember how to thread my machine, I'll make them, lol! i'm sure yours with the school logo will be darling. I think it would be very prudent to apply for the distance learning. You certainly have extenuating circumstances and that would provide an income but keep you safe. It would also probably relieve some anxiety. My son's district will be all virtual at the beginning of the year. I told him he needs to buy 'coaching PJ's!' I sure hope it works out.

I went for a fairly quick walk this morning, showered, and watched Mass on TV. I started reorganizing in my craft room yesterday and got a lot of papers sorted. Small victories...and I don't dare snack when I'm crafting!!

Hope the week is a good one. Stay safe and cool!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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7/12/20 9:14 A

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Nothing much going on here either lol. It's not too exciting when you just stay home day in and day out. We are starting August 26. Full classes, but parents have the option to choose distance learning. They took all the furniture and carpets out of our rooms. We are only allowed individual student desks, one teacher desk and bookcase. No kidney tables, no housekeeping, nothing but distanced, same facing desks. Doesn't that sound like fun? I am really worried about going back, especially about bringing the virus home because it will kill Mike. They are starting sign ups for online classes next week and will start accepting applications to teach the classes once they know how many students choose that option. I'm really thinking about applying. I love being in school with my kids, but I don't think it's a very safe choice, especially with 24 kids in a room all day (they will be eating in our rooms too). And they are making our days longer, but we don't get paid more. We will be working an extra 20 hours for free.

My water aerobics class in back on, but only 2 days a week. They only allow 12 people in class and you have to sign up for each session. It feels good to be back in the water, and everyone is spread out. My beagle mix is having surgery to remove a fatty tumor from his face on Wednesday. That will be my excitement for the week. I've been making face masks for the staff at my school. I'm proud of myself- I bought some heat transfer vinyl and I'm putting a school logo and teachers' names on them. I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

Karen
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7/12/20 8:17 A

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Nothing new here, really. I am happy to say that so far, we have had only two 'reported' cases of Corona virus in my neighborhood of 841 houses. And after these 2 tested positive, a doctor told them they never had it. False reporting has been an issue in some of the drive through testing places. Such a bad thing if you really DO or don't have it! I hope you and your family are staying well. When does school start for you? Some districts here haven't made ultimate decisions. My son's district will start with a virtual program. I told him he needs to buy some coaching PJ's!! He's happy to stay home for a while!

Edited by: TEACHING1ST at: 7/12/2020 (08:18)
Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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6/22/20 7:29 P

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I think about the health issues Mike and so many people have. It's a huge 'inconvenience' for most of us but a huge risk for others. I know being with the grands sure does lift your spirits!

I took me daughter to a local restaurant we both like for a belated birthday celebration. Hers was yesterday but they did a Father's Day celebration with a shared cake at home. There was a torrential downpour with thunder and massive lightening. I came home to another power failure...the 4th in 3 days. It's SO annoying. These last times it's only been blips, but that's enough to have to redo the clocks and TVs. My yard is a swamp once again~

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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6/22/20 7:21 P

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We are going back to school Aug. 26th, two weeks later than usual. For some reason, the kids have to go x number of days, but if you don't start until the end of August they have to go x number of hours, so time can be made up here and there if we have to take it off. We are going back full time, full load of kids, except they have the option of home distance learning if they want. Masks in common areas, but not in classrooms for littles How we're supposed to space them out I have no idea. And they are eating breakfast and lunch in the classrooms. We are going to have 1-1 Chrombooks that the kids will take home daily so if we have to close, we can transition to distance. We already had to make 20 days of distance learning instruction.
I giggled at the thought of one person playing ping pong. That's just silly. I'm glad you go to have the grands over. I am seeing more of my grandson and granddaughter. Got to expand our circle a little bit anyhow. Since Mike is so high risk we mostly stay home, but I do get take out from restaurants to eat at home once in awhile.

Karen
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6/21/20 10:25 A

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Hi, Karen! It's great to hear from you. I'm fine...I got my house leveled inside and will get a new door going from the kitchen to the garage in a couple of weeks. I wll have to get all the cracks fixed and the rooms painted after that. I bought a completely remodeled house and never thought I'd have to be redoing most everything within 3 years!! Such a huge hit on my savings!

My over 55 community of 841 homes has been so fortunate. No one has been sick with the Corona virus! We are prohibited in many areas from 'doing things' like we used to, though. Only 2 people in the pool at one time, ONE person playing pool or ping pong...I wonder how THAT is working out, lol? Even getting a book from our clubhouse library, you touch it, you take it! So silly. But they say they are 'protecting us!' We neighbors get together once or twice a week but not too many people. And mostly, we're sitting outside. Everyone is so tired of restrictions.

Today is my daughter's 45th birthday! We will go to lunch tomorrow. Restaurants are allowed 75% capacity and you still have to wear a mask until you eat. But it will be nice to be with her. I had all 3 of her girls with me last week overnight. Chasing after the 3 yr. old wore me out!! I did enjoy having them here, though. It's been since Christmas that they spent the night and never the little one without her mother!

I hope you can get to the pool and enjoy your workout. They have overruled us and no water aerobics this summer, period. No line dancing, even though we are at least 6 feet apart when we danced. A whole new world, and not in a good way!

When do you start back to school? I talked with one of my sons last night who is an elementary school coach. His school has the teachers coming the last week of July and the kids the first week in August...except that they don't have a plan as to whether or not it's going to be 5 days a week or part time virtual. My daughter loved teaching the girls at home. Her district hasn't said anything about when or what will be going on. She is seriously thinking of home schooling them until people 'get their acts together.' No one seems to know.

I hope Mike has a happy Father's Day and you both are doing well!

Mary

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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6/21/20 8:41 A

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How are you? It's been pretty much the same old same old around here lol. We are still basically staying at home. I have started going back to my chiropractor and have been taking Mike to various doctor appointments. Most places you have to call when you get there and they tell you when to come inside. It's kind of nice not having to sit in a waiting room forever. The Y is opening the therapy pool this week. They changed our water aerobics class to 2 days a week and 6-7 pm. I'm not a fan of that. Only 12 people allowed and you have to sign up in advance. I'll be glad to get back in the pool. I don't know if it will be open to sign up to go in to work out individually or not. There is one class in the cold water pool on MWF. I think they are just starting off slow to see how it goes. Hopefully I can get back in the habit of exercising. I"m trying to be a little more mindful about eating. It helps that its too hot to bake right now lol.

Karen
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5/31/20 8:43 A

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I'm glad you're safe, Karen. Such a scary time. There were protests here in the last few days, too...some not very far from me. It's all so terrible. I can't see where destroying the very area one lives in will be of any benefit to anyone.

I'm not a gardener! I had my yard crew cut my rose bushes down a bunch this past week. They were so overgrown and two were dead. So here goes to something easier to manage! I hope the gardening at your son's will be wonderful and productive! I've tried with tomatoes and lettuce but haven't had any real success!

I got a pedicure, facial, and haircut in the last week. It was the first in 3 months and felt great. Restaurants are reopening and people are starting to get back to not-quite-business-as-usual! I actually ate in a restaurant on Thursday night. We had a 4+ hour power failure...the 3rd in the week! One of my neighbors knocked on the door around 7:00 and said they were going to drive until they found a restaurant...either to go inside or do take-out and they wanted me to go with them. So I did! We ended up about 6 miles away in an Italian restaurant. It was great. People were spaced out, the food was wonderful and they gave us extra rolls to take home with our leftovers. I probably will still only drive through places for a while. but it was an unexpected nice night.

My sweet daughter has finished her home-schooling for the year. She loved it. She made anchor charts for each week and did many extra activities to correspond with what the first grade objectives were. Both twins are reading on an end of the year 2nd grade level now! They enjoyed being at home but do miss their friends. Who knows what 2nd grade will be like in the fall?

I hope you have a restful summer. Did you get all the bathroom stuff taken care of? I think you said earlier that you did! Take care!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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5/31/20 8:29 A

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Well the world has gone crazy once again. I'm just a few miles from downtown Louisville, but things are quiet in my neighborhood. So many businesses destroyed. It's very sad.

I've been doing a lot of crochet. Working on granny squares so hopefully I can finally finish the blanket I started a couple years ago. I think I have about 8 more squares to go and then I can join them to what I have done and then make a border around it all. It'a a mish-mash of squares from various crochet alongs. I took a break earlier in the week and made some crochet ear savers for masks. I made a dog, frog, minnie mouse, and yoda. They were fun. I'm thinking we are probably going to have to wear masks when we go back to school, so I may make more of them this summer. They are fun to make. I'm also going to try making some of the masks with the clear panels- I think those would be helpful for when we are teaching sounds.

I'm going up to my son's house this afternoon to help pull weeds in the garden. Lots of fun lol. I got a spaghetti squash plant to add (I think my granddaughter will enjoy that) and some of his pepper plants got frost bite so I got one of each color -red, yellow, orange, green and purple. Rainbow peppers. I'm glad he's interested in having a garden this year because I love to garden. I don't have the space here for much, just herbs and a potted tomato. I do have blackberries, grapes, and blueberries on the side of the house though.

I hope you have a good week. Stay safe!

Karen
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5/24/20 8:32 A

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Great news all around, Karen! I'm glad the end of the year was a success and that you got your room cleaned up quickly. It is certainly time for you to take off your Teacher Hat and have some summer fun! My daughter and her family took their RV to the family farm for the Memorial Day weekend so the girls will finish up their last day of school on Tuesday. They will go turn in the iPad that the school gave each family for the last part of the year. Then on Wednesday I am invited for a make-shift Splash Day! It will be fun to be with them.

I'm glad the shower is done. Mine has a rain shower head and one of the other heads that's on a hand held thing. You have to actually turn a knob to use it, though, and it won't go as far as the seat, so it's a waste of time. I miss the old pulsing shower head at the old house!

A change of scenery should be great for you and Mike. I hope that turns out! I was supposed to go to Nashville with a bunch of Spark friends last week but that was cancelled. I don't have any summer plans, but that's fine. I had the foundation work done last week and did have my eye surgeon's follow up appointment. All seems to be well with my eye, so that's a good thing! I still have a twinge or two near my abdominal incision and found out my surgeon is leaving Houston in June! Hope there is nothing else 'going on!'

Here's to a wonderful, rejuvenation, and relaxing summer for you!

Mary

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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5/24/20 8:16 A

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I survived the end of school! Last Tuesday was our closing day We had to go in in shifts to do end of the year stuff. Our custodian is on a roll- I didn't even have a chair to sit on in my room lol. Fortunately I'd printed out all the paperwork that needed to go into cummulative folders at home so I didn't have to stay long.
I need to get started on an exercise program. The warm water pool at the Y won't be open until June 15. I've been doing way too much baking since I've been home. I forgot how much I enjoy it. I've got a sourdough starter going and I've been baking break and English muffins. And yesterday I made doughnuts (although I did cook them in the air fryer- that's healthier, right?).

We got our new shower! It's really nice. The only thing I don't like is the shower head- it's one of the water saving kinds, and I like the kind that come out good and hard lol. At least I don't have to worry about water splashing out onto the floor. My son got me a Lowe's gift card for Mother's Day, so I've been looking at new faucets and lighting. I'm hoping I can get him to put them in for me, and maybe get my grandson to paint the bathroom.

A couple years ago I started a "crochet along" for granny squares to make a blanket. I got it out again and have started working on it. I have a huge square (24 inch) for the middle that I finally finished. I've got one row of squares sewn together all the way around, and I'm working on squares to do another row. I forgot how long they take to make. Each one is different, but I'm trying to stick to a flower type pattern on each (my middle square is called Sophie's Garden). At least I can't eat when I crochet!

I hope you are off to a good summer. I'm kicking around renting a cabin in Gaitlinburg for a couple of days maybe the end of June or first part of July. It would be nice just to have a change of scenery, and I think a cabin would be pretty safe. We are still not going out much. I took Mike on a drive last weekend just to get him out of the house. Daisy has been thrilled that I'm home so much. She's going to be lost when I go back to work in the fall, whenever that will be. We still aren't sure what that's going to look like.

Karen
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5/10/20 8:53 A

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Oh, Karen, what blessings...the year from #%ll is ending and next year will be a great one with 'only K' and your good friend! Teaching with someone who is on the same page as you are is soooo wonderful. I'm thrilled for you!

Happy Mother's Day to you, too. I had a wonderful lunch/visit with my younger son/family yesterday. They brought food from our family favorite Thai place and my son power washed my front walkway before they left...such a fabulous gift! We sat outside with cool breezes, too. Such a rarity for May in Texas! Today my daughter and her family will come for dessert after the youngest wakes from a nap. My heart will be full. And maybe I'll get a call from the CA family...they don't keep in touch as much as I'd like!

I'm having foundation work this week and I hope it will solve the cracking issues once and for all. I have a REAL appointment iwth my eye doctor, too. That will be nice to get a clean bill of health from that surgery, I hope! My abdominal incision is finally healed, I htink. That's a huge blessing, too. All is well, at least for now!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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5/10/20 8:43 A

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Happy Mother's Day, Mary! The sun is shining here this morning, but thunderstorms are due to start rolling in. I downloaded a new book on my Kindle so I think I'll celebrate the day by reading. I usually by flowers and work in the yard.

Stores opened up around here this week. Not all are open. I live just across the river from Kentucky, where stores are still closed. I think everyone from Louisville came over here to go shopping. I tried to go out to get some yarn from JoAnns and it looked like Christmas. JoAnns had a sign saying they were only allowing 16 people in the store at one time, but when I opened the door, there was a line for the checkout that went halfway back through the store. More than 16 people in the checkout alone. So I turned around and left. I'll just stay home. I miss curbside pickup.

No shower yet. They called Wednesday afternoon and said the materials hadn't come in. Apparently the supplier was closed for awhile. So we're scheduled for Wednesday- if the materials come in.

Monday is our last day with kids. I made a slide show for them that I'll show during our last Zoom meeting. What a way to end the year. I did find out that I'm going to be straight K next year. I'm so happy! And my friend (we started together at this school 15 years ago) is going to be K for the first time. She's going to do great and we are going to make a fantastic team- we are going to bring fun back to K! We still have to work until the 19th. Apparently the first part of the week we're supposed to figure out what our kids missed out on standards wise and how to assess them at the beginning of next year. Then we have to work with our new teams to plan the beginning of next year, but we don't know when we're going to start or what it's going to look like- distance learning, in school, split days, etc. It's going to be interesting.

Karen
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5/3/20 10:22 A

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I'm so glad your school year is coming to an end, Karen. It's been such a hard year for you! What a great idea for the end of the year 'party!' And I'm glad you were able to have a big family get together. I'd love to do that for Mother's Day but so far my kids haven't said anything!

i know you and Mike will enjoy the new shower. Mine is huge...I do wish they would have left the big tub and still would have had plenty of room to have a bigger shower but it was here when I bought the house. I have way too many other things that need to be redone so another new bathroom is out!

Your plants sound great. I have had such a hard time bending over with pain and weeding, planting, etc. has been tough. Maybe now that I am actually healing, I will do more! I took a nice walk this morning and am getting ready for Mass on TV. Some of the area churches have opened for limited capacity but mine has not, and being in the over 65 category, I'm content to 'attend' in my easy chair!

Have a blessed week and a great end of the year. You deserve so many great things!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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5/3/20 8:32 A

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That sound so nice! We had a "socially distanced" party for my granddaughter last week. My son had a bonfire in their very large backyard and we all sat about 10 feet apart and took turns roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. It was so nice to be around family, but hard not to give hugs!

I'm sorry your incision isn't healing right. Hopefully they'll get it right this time so it heals.
This is our last full week of school. I'm ready for it to be over- everyone is. It's just hard and stressful. We are going to finish out our teacher work days working on what our school is going to look like when we go back in August. I don't know if it will be distance learning, rotating days, or what, but I'm looking forward to smaller class sizes.

I took a mental health day yestetrday lol. I went to my favorite nursery (which practices the best social distancing I've ever seen), waiting in line for my chance to go in, and bought way to many pretty flowers. I went home and spent the day planting things. It's supposed to rain this afternoon- I hope it does because everything needs a drink of water!

I'm working on a slide show for my class since we didn't get a chance to say goodbye. We'll have a virtual party on the 11th. And I think we're going to have a school car parade which will be fun. It was a sad time in the Louisville area yesterday since there was no Derby. When I'm not busy with school I'm staying busy sewing masks. This weekend I'm working on more "manly" ones lol. I've been keeping JoAnn's in business.

We're getting our new shower put in on Thursday. I'm really excited, although there are so many other things we need. But Mike will be able to get in and out of the shower, and I plan to enjoy having a bigger shower. I'm looking at a new faucet for the sink and new light fixture- I figure I may as well update the rest of the bathroom. Now if I can get my grandson to paint it for me...

Indiana is slowly opening up. I think the pool at the Y may be open the end of May. I sure hope so. I've missed the pool and my aching bones really need it. I go in the adults only pool, so it's a bit more controlled than the bigger cold water pool.

Karen
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5/3/20 7:50 A

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I hope you are doing okay, Karen. I had to go back to my surgeon this past week because my incision was infected again. Hopefully, this time, all will work out. I'm ready to be 'me' again! Some restaurants and stores have opened here at 25% capacity. I'm not in need of anything other than fresh food, milk, etc. so I'm content. I had a new garage door opener installed since the circuit board was fried. But all in all, things in Pearland are good. My neighbors have started back to having 'social distancing' happy hour on Friday! We took our chairs out under a neighbor's tree and really enjoyed each others company. I hope we will be getting back to some semblance of normalcy soon!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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4/19/20 8:18 A

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Karen, yes, it's so strange to be 'doing things' but not feeling like you've had activity! I still have another week of restrictions on 'activity' so no exercising other than walking. I still have twinges when I bend over and don't want to undo something that I can't see! But I'm feeling fine and ready to be more active.

Texas is doing a rolling 'getting back to normal.' It's interesting that the local news talks about 'the Houston area' when saying now how many new cases there are, etc. That encompasses 19 counties, many of which no one I know would EVER consider some of those 'in the Houston area!' I went to my daughter's house yesterday for the first time since the Super Bowl! I had eye surgery followed by my abdominal surgery and wasn't driving...then once I got out of the hospital, the world shut down! We were going to eat outside but it rained so I just decided not to worry. We've all been careful about going to the store, etc. Hopefully this will be over soon. Parks will reopen today or tomorrow, then retail for pick up only. We'll see. I have lost a tremendous amount of money in the last quarter after doing well...we'll see on that, too. No stimulus check yet, either!

I think it's wonderful that you're making masks. I gave elastic that was old (39 cents for a package!!) but unused and a piece of polished cotton to a neighbor who was making masks 2 weeks ago. I gave one to my daughter. Most people in stores here ARE wearing them. I don't have gloves so I take an old washcloth with Lysol and put it in a baggie to wipe my hands and cart handles...so far, that seems to be working well.

I'm proud of you for all the technology things going on! An old friend of my daughter's gave her an overhead last week and she was thrilled! She had a whiteboard in her classroom but never learned to use it. I told her if I could, she could, lol...but she never did. Now she has the overhead to cut down on making copies for the twins and she can project their books on the wall and they can circle, point out words, etc. They have both gone into 2nd grade reading levels and it's April! Home schooling has been a joy for her.

Let's continue to check in. Hope you are feeling well!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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4/19/20 7:28 A

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Happy Sunday! The days tend to just blur together lately. I've been busy sewing, sewing, sewing. For someone who had to google how to thread her sewing machine a couple weeks ago, I'm getting pretty good lol. I made 2 dozen more face masks this week, and now my FRC needs 80 child sized masks to hand out to our kiddos who get Blessings in a Backpack. I have 2 dozen Disney princess ones almost done, and I'm picking up fabric for boys (dinosaurs and cars) and some gender neutral material this morning. I'm keeping JoAnn's in business. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt. Right now I can't find white thread. Ribbon comes and goes. Elastic is non existant.

I'm getting the hang of Zoom meetings finally. I've learned how to do the white board, so I do an afternoon message. And I've learned how to share videos, so we do some of our sight word videos and go noodles together. It's not really school, but I hope it gives the kids some sense of normalcy to do familiar things. We are slowly getting more students participating. It's always so good to see their smiling faces.

I need to start getting more exercise. I take the dogs out, but that's been about it. I need to carve out an exercise time and make myself do it. I keep busy all day, but I'm not moving enough. Being on the computer all day for school and then sitting at the sewing machine wthen I'm not doing school is doing nothing to help. It looks like the sun may be coming out today- maybe I can get Mike out for a walk this afternoon.

How are you doing? I saw that Texas may be opening up more things. I know here they are talking about a slow roll out, starting out with medical offices. I can see them opening retail businesses if they use the same precautions they are taking for grocery stores- limited numbers of people and social distancing. The whole thing is just very scary.

Karen
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4/12/20 8:27 A

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Easter blessings to you and Mike, too, Karen! It certainly is a different celebration but we do have so much to be thankful for! It's been pretty nice here. Some rain, some sunshine, and some blustery winds to come later but all in all, great walking weather. It's great to see friends and neighbors working in their yards or out walking---across the street from each other, but able to talk! Hooray for getting the shower approved and under way. That should really be a blessing for Mike and a big help for you, too. I wish mine was 'walk in' without a step up. I guess if needed, it can be adjusted later in life.

My granddaughters have Zoom classes a few times a week for first grade and the 3 yr. old has them EVERY day, lol. My daughter told that director that, as much as the idea is great, the attention span lasts through the Calendar and sharing time and that's it! I hope this isn't too much for you. I think the very best outcome will be that parents now understand how hard it is for teachers to cope with what their children 'bring' to the classroom!

Keep in touch!

Mary

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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4/12/20 8:18 A

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Happy Easter! It sure is a different one, but still good. I'm grateful that we can be hunkered down safe at home. We are having a Thanksgiving dinner lol. I had a turkey in the freezer so I got it out. Carrot cake instead of pumpkin pie for dessert though. :)

We got approved for financing for the shower. It's going to be so nice to get it done. They are going to take out the existing drywall and the shower walls will go straight against the studs, so the new shower will actually be about 4 inches bigger all the way around than the existing one. Zero clearance floor, a magnetic hand held showerhead, bench and grab bars. It's going to be nice for both of us.

I have been busy making fabric masks. I've been using ribbon ties since elastic is nowhere to be found. I made 4 dozen of them and handed them out. Now I've switched to crochet "ear savers"- kind of a crochet strip with a button on either end- you can hook the mask elastic around the buttons instead of your ears. I have 4 nurses so far that I'm making them for. I just mailed off a dozen to New York. They are easy to make, but buttons are getting scarce too.

Our superintendent said that he wants us to send home more project based assignments and not so many worksheets. My parents are not going to be happy. They want worksheets that the kids to do- they don't want to spend time looking for materials and making things. We've been having fun with our Zoom meetings. I have about half of my class participating. On Friday we all made bunny ears and had a virtual Easter party. It was fun.

I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Easter!

Karen
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4/5/20 11:12 A

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I agree, with schools here usually letting out before the end of May, it seems like they should make that decision. We all have AC in all schools here and have for 40 years so going back to school in mid summer would be an alternative. I hope you and your team can figure out how to handle all of this.

I haven't seen rats or mice in a week now. The pest control guy came out again on Friday and said that a lot of the bait had been eaten but there's no way to tell whether or not it's recent or from the rats/mice who have already died. I can't wait til it's gone!!

I sure hope you can get the shower taken care of. My house has wide paths and the doors in the master bedroom and bath are wheelchair sized...but the small 'entry room' to get into the master bedroom has a regular sized door! Not great planning there! My shower is huge, with a bench seat. But there is a lip to get in. When I broke my kneecap and was still in my old house, maneuvering that small step was insurmountable when you only have one leg/foot. I'm sure the adaptations will make a difference.

Here's to a week of getting more organized and some peace of mind...eventually! Happy Easter!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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4/5/20 9:51 A

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Ugh, rats! We get mice because we have a field across from us, but the cat does a decent job taking care of them. I don't think I could handle rats. I'm glad you had some help.

My son and grandson came over last week and put the barn door together, so we now have a bathroom door once again for the master bath and Mike can get his wheelchair in and out. We have someone coming on Tuesday to give us an estimate on replacing the shower in there with a roll in shower. They are having really good deals right now and are supposedly taking extra precautions. Mike normally uses a transfer bench in the other bathroom but it's too difficult for him to get in there.

I've enjoyed this week. I dusted off my sewing machine and started making headbands for masks for our local hospital. I had some material that I'd gotten to make dresses for my granddaughter that I never used. Elastic is nowhere to be found, but I got some elastic headbands that I'm cutting up and I ordered some more from Walmart. I made my first mask yesterday. It didn't come out so well- I tried a suggestion to use strips cut from an ace bandage and they fell apart. So I just sewed ribbon right over top. Not pretty, but functional. Today I'm going to try to make more masks using ribbon. Just for me, Mike, and a couple friends who need them. Sewing is out of my comfort zone lol, so I'm challenging myself. I have sourdough starter going and looking forward to baking some goodies with it.

Tomorrow it's back to school. Ugh. We now have NTI extended to May 1st, but I don't see us going back at all. I wish they would just call it since out last day is May 18th. We had work done up until April 20th. I'm going to call my teammate and suggest that we get things together to take us to the end of the year. I think we can both pull stuff together at home and go in one day and get it all done. I hope. I went to Walmart yesterday to get more buttons for the headbands. I think that will be my last trip out. It's scary. They are only letting in so many people at a time and there are police and employees outside counting who goes in and comes out. I'm going to stick with grocery deliveries.

One thing I know- I've got to quit eating! I keep cooking and baking and there's no one to send it home with, so we eat it lol. I've been trying to make some good things like cucumber and tomato salad to munch on. I hope you have a good week.

Karen
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3/29/20 9:29 A

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Karen, you DO need to take the whole week off! My daughter has been home schooling the twins and the 3 yr. old for 2 weeks now and although she taught and was also a language arts specialist in her district, it's hard! The twins are in different classrooms...and have different assignments and expectations! The teachers are not coordinating with each other and that makes it so hard. One twin has so many extra assignments that the other doesn't have and needs the iPad for 2 hours more! Not fair or fun for her! I hope the time off will help you refresh and renew. I'm so glad Mike has the oxygen machine now. Hope that will make life easier.

I now have RATS as well as mice!! I put out sticky traps after the pest control guy came last week. I saw a rat Friday morning and when Ken came Friday afternoon, he found that the rats/mice had eaten through a 24 pack of water bottles, cut holes big enough to get a flow going, and had drained 5 bottles!! No water was standing anywhere so he figured they used it like a water fountain!! More baits and traps and lots i nthe attic were put out again. Yesterday my daughter, SIL and the girls came to help a little. They swept the garage some and we found an almost dead rat, threw him out and put out more bait. I'm SO tired of this! On top of everything, the pest control guy put a large bait trap too close to the door sensor and the garage door wouldn't close! My SIL figured that out so I called off the garage door people. My stresses are small but wow, I'd like a break! The good thing is that my daughter loaded an app on my iPad and I've ordered groceries for pick up tomorrow morrning! I've never done that.

My incision is healing now. I had a video chat with the surgeon's nurse and she said one more month of no lifting! That's so contrary to what they told me in the hospital! But since I'm not going anywhere, it's fine! I'm not taking naps anymore and walking almost every day. Today is cool and sunny...it's been 90 for several days---crazy for March! I hope you can rest up and will be fine for a long time, too!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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3/29/20 8:42 A

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We are on Spring Break! I am so looking forward to it, even if we have to stay home. I plan on ignoring all school stuff. Non traditional instruction is surprisingly stressful. I'm basically tied to my computer all day. The one thing I do like is our daily Zoom meetings at 1. On Friday we did bring your favorite stuffed animal and everyone got to share, then we did our daily read aloud. The kids love having the chance to see their friends and catch up with one another.

I got a portable oxygen concentrator for Mike. Now I can take him out for walks and he can still be on oxygen. It's small enough to strap to his wheelchair and can be battery operated and charged from the car as well. My son is coming over to put our new bathroom door up. We took the regular door off and are replacing it with a barn (sliding) door. It made the doorway larger so Mike can get in and out of the bathroom easier. We still have OT, PT, and the nurse coming out. It's a bit stressful for everyone to have people in and out, but everyone is taking precautions.

I have been cooking and baking. Not necessarily a good thing lol. I need to up my exercise. I have been able to do some yard work and am taking the dog out for walks. It's nice to look out and see more people out walking, and people ask how you are doing as they go by. Maybe we'll all learn to be kinder to one another.

Karen
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3/23/20 8:17 A

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I'll tell my daughter about the website, Karen. Thanks a bunch. Today she will go to the girls' school to pick up a loaded iPad...every 2 students gets one. It should have all they need for 1st grade instruction but she's set her dining room up as a classroom and has pulled down all her teaching stuff and reorganized. She's in her element!

Glad you got some well needed rest. I hope this enforced time away from school will help you get your strength back. So many teachers are SO overworked. I hope the parents will end up realizing that the teachers try SO hard to help their children and that what you say is going on DOES go on!!

Keep in touch!

Mary

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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3/23/20 6:47 A

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Technology is frustrating, isn't it? I don't know if your daughter knows about this resource, but it's one of my favorites www.themeasuredmom.com She has tons of stuff for toddlers on up and most of it is free.
I feel more rested after a much needed weekend away from school. I'm planning on going in to school today to work on packets for the two weeks after spring break. I want it taken care of so I can just take next week off of school and work on crafts, crochet, do puzzles, garden, etc.
Have a good week!

Karen
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3/22/20 8:49 A

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For now, just getting that videochat thing organized took everything out of me, lol! I cried when it didn't work last week. My incision was 'weeping' and I wanted someone in authority to tell me I wasn't literally falling apart! I was able to upload a picture that I had taken and the surgeon got the picture from my doctor and said I was okay. It's still not healed, but it's on the way. I FaceTimed with the California kids yesterday, my daughter and her family will be back from an RV trip to a large campsite where they were pretty much isolated in the big outdoors, and my son an hour away has the flu but is on the mend. My mental and physical self is pretty much wiped out but I'm hoping from here on out, we are on the way up!

I found out Thursday that I have mice!! I set glue traps and caught one Friday morning. My pest control guy came over yesterday and put out traps, sprayed for roaches, etc. They are dtredging the ditch behind me and I'm sure 'critters' have been disturbed. As I pulled my car out onto the driveway so Ken could put traps in the attic of the garage, my battery died! So I called AAA and someone came out within 45 minutes. Not that I'm going anywhere, really ...but having a dead battery along with everything else sent me over the edge!

I hope you get the school things taken care of and will get some well needed rest. Spring Break was 2 weeks ago and this past week for practically all of Houston so the kids, parents, and teachers are all on their own now. My daughter is enjoying home schooling the girls, making her 4th grade lessons adaptable for 1st grade and 3 yr. olds! I have so much to give her once we can see each other...I think that will be something that works itself out with very little problems.

Hugs to you and Mike!

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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3/22/20 7:45 A

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I'm glad you are able to stay home and video conference with your doctors. Have you tried the Marco Polo app on your phone? It's a video message thing. It's a lot of fun because you can make your voice make different sounds- my granddaughter loves it. You record a message and they get it whenever they get on and then can leave you a message, or you can chat back and forth if you are both on.
Yesterday was a very nice, and much needed day. I did some cleaning, washed lots of laundry, crocheted, and worked a jigsaw puzzle. No school, although it's constantly on my mind. I will go in on Monday to get things ready for the next two weeks after spring break. We have NTI school this week, and then spring break, and I plan on totally getting away from school related things next week. I need to stockpile a few more puzzles lol.

Karen
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3/21/20 1:23 P

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I've been 'laying low' as much as I can, Karen. My incision is still 'weeping' a little and I'm not going out unless it's necessary. I have my pest control man here right now...I have mice and possible rats!! I caught one in a sticky trap yesterday and when I opened the garage door just now, something scurried from one part of the garage to the other! I hope he can get a jump on this! I was in the hospital for almost a week and the house was undisturbed. I guess it was a chance for 'something' to gain control!!

SO glad you can be home with Mike. And you needed extra time for your recovery, too! I hope the oxygen gets to you. Inogen? Or something like that? I see the commercials.

I am stay8ing close to home. Neighbors are wonderful and we are close to 'trading' for what one has that another needs! I love where I live and feel great about being here. My incision isn't quite healed yet. I have a videochat set up for 2 doctors in the next week. Hope that will suffice.

Hang in there. I am so sorry you have to get with all your students on a daily basis. That seems extreme. Hope that evens out. My daughter is now homeschooling the granddaughters and is 'in her element!' She's making anchor charts and using the Scholastic program online. Their school system is organizing take home laptops and such starting Monday.

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
3/21/20 8:09 A

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I hope you were able to get your crown fixed and that your incision is healing. They have cancelled everything here- no dentist, eye doctor, checkups, etc.

Well they have extended the school closure through April 20th, but I have a feeling we won't be going back at all this year. I am exhausted. We are making packets of work weekly that parents can pick up and drop off. We are required to communicate with every parent every day and document it. Most of my parents have been pretty good and a lot of them will shoot me a quick message in the morning so I don't have to call. But then there are those few... I am learning how to do Zoom video conferencing. I'm holding a class conference every afternoon. I do a read aloud and the kids can visit and share what they are doing. It really helps.

Mike is doing okay. He's pretty much on oxygen full time now. I just ordered a portable oxygen unit for him. It's supposed to be here Wednesday and it will make it much easier for him to get around. We still have home health, PT and OT coming to the house. I'm really glad that I can be home with him right now.

I have been eating my feelings- I've got to change that mentality. This whole experience is surreal. I can't even find any yeast. Of all things, last week when I was at Walmart I bought flower bulbs. That's my therapy lol. If the weather cooperates, I want to get out and do some work in the yard.

Karen
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3/15/20 9:06 A

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Karen, I'm so glad you were able to get Mike home. I'm sure this is an extremely scary time for both of you. Is he doing okay? Sorry you are having to go into school. How in the world would you do lessons online for these little ones?! I'm so glad to be retired!

I am 'up and down' with how I feel and my recovery. I don't see an improvement with my incision after my doctor started me on massive antibiotics last Wednesday. But it's not as tender so I hope that's a good thing! I had a temporary crown and had an appointment in 2 weeks to get the permanent one cemented....and it started to 'rock' on Friday! So I will go tomorrow to have that fixed. I hope my doctor will see me to inspect the incision. the only good side effect of major surgery is weight loss!!

Here's to everyone staying safe and being healthy!!

Mary

Mary
Pearland, TX.


All in good time...and with the help of my friends.

Today: I pray to shift the way I approach life, to move deliberately and consciously, to become attentive.

SparkPeople editor Stepfanie says:
At some point you realize that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline you is no way to live.


 Pounds lost: 6.6 
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BLUESTARMOM's Photo BLUESTARMOM Posts: 4,324
3/15/20 7:53 A

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Welcome Onethm! My name is Karen and I am teaching a K-1 split this year. It's been an interesting experience. I'd been teaching K at this school for 15 years and then they moved me up to 1st grade and sprinkled in some Ks to keep life interesting

Well, our school has gone to "non traditional instruction" for the next two weeks, followed by a week of spring break. So the kids are out until April 6th. We are still required to go in and have to file lesson plans for online learning, and make up work packets for those that do not have internet access. We also have to call every parent every day and log our calls. I guess they caught some flack for making teachers come in, because we just got notified that they are working on having us telecommute starting midweek.

I was able to pick Mike up from rehab on Wednesday. I wanted him out since they had to close to visitors and I wasn't comfortable with him being in there without someone keeping an eye on things. He's glad to be home. It's going pretty well. Home health came in Thursday and will be back tomorrow. I'm just paranoid about bringing germs home since he has every single comorbidity for complications from Coronavirus. I hope everyone is staying safe and well, and I hope everyone was able to find toilet paper!

Karen
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