Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Curious Who's Visiting Me

A couple of weeks ago I got one of those Feedjit widget things that tracks when and from where there are visitors to the blog. It's interesting to watch. I don't have a lot of traffic, which I knew, but I am curious as to who some of the visitors are. I know who is visiting from RI--Hello, Karen; from Seoul--Hello, Carolyne; from the Phillipines--Hello, Rovie; from Kentucky, Hello, Uncle Al; from Washington, Hello, Mel and Josh and from FL, Hello, Katie. There are a couple that have me wondering though. Albuquerque, NM, is one. There are several people I know in NM but I am curious as to who it might be. Please check in and let me know. You're a regular visitor and it would be nice to know which of the NM people I know is stopping in. Another place that has shown up once or twice is Latrobe, PA. I have relatives in PA but as far as I know, nobody in the Latrobe area. If you see this, please check in and let me know who you are. I'd love to know if I have cousins stopping in. It would make me very happy--and VERY surprised.

Nothing of note going on in our corner of the world, other than curiosity as to who is visiting here. I hope everyone is having a nice week in their corner of the world.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Little Update From Our Corner Of The World

I thought this week might be one of those long weeks but it turned out not to be. Sean was out of school at 12:30 instead of 3:45 Wednesday-Friday as it was parent-teacher conference week in our district. We didn't have to go to a conference this year. That is a change from elementary school when they pretty much insist that you go to the fall conference and then the spring one is only if your child is having problems. So we've gone from parent-teacher conferences coupled with IEP meetings to plain parent-teacher conference with no IEP last year to nothing this year. Quite a change. He did bring home a progress report from his science class which indicated that he is getting 102.75%. He was so beyond proud to show it to us. I had to sign it so he could take it back to Teacher. I could tell he didn't want to part with it though.

We had quite a bit of rain this week which was nice for a change. Unfortunately, our roof leaks which isn't a good thing obviously. It wasn't too bad though, other than the fact that I had to pull Sean's bed further out from the wall than it already sits because the roof has sprung a new leak over the foot of his bed. John called and got our name added to the list of houses in here that need new roofs. It is beyond patching. That only sort of worked when it was on the edges but it only worked through one or maybe two good rainstorms. Sean was very pleased with all the rain because they are studying weather in science and they use Accu-Weather from the computer and he was very pleased that it was right most of the time. It annoys him no end when the weather report is wrong. He is of the opinion that all they need to do is step outside and they could predict it much better than they do. I suppose he has a point.

Made a new friend this week. My downstairs neighbor. She is very nice. We've been chatting a lot the last couple of days. She has a son who is just a year older than Sean but he's two years ahead in school. He goes to a different school though. The boys haven't met yet but they would probably get along really well because they like a lot of the same things. They're both shy when it comes to going out and meeting new people though. They have just immigrated here from Canada. It is so nice having somebody living around here to talk to. It is also nice to have people living downstairs who are not constantly fighting and who know how to close a door without slamming it.

Sean is having a hang-out with his best friend, Lawrence tomorrow. They go to different schools now so they don't get to see each other that often anymore since L lives pretty far from us. They usually talk on the phone either on Friday or Saturday nights, sometimes for over two hours. Those two are such chatterboxes. Tonight Sean called him and they only talked for about an hour since they decided to get together tomorrow. I'm glad they have kept up the friendship. Sean has some friends at school and there is one boy in particular that he usually meets in the morning and they talk at lunch as well but he says it's just not the same. I fully understand what he means since my best friend moved away when I was in 4th grade and she was in 5th. I've never had another friend like her again and that's been almost 40 years.

That's about it for what's going on in our corner of the world. I hope all is well in everybody else's corners. Have a great weekend and a good week to come. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years...Wow!

Wow! Hard to believe it's already been ten years since the tragedy of 9/11/2001. I probably shouldn't share what we did on that day because I'll be opening myself up for attack for being an insensitive person, however........I'm gonna do it anyway.

I would normally have been at work in the mailroom at Mileage Plus which is United Airlines frequent flyer program. However, I had quit on 8/29 so I was at home. It was early in the morning, around 6:30 or so. Sean was just a little guy then, about 21 months old. He was watching Bear In The Big Blue House. John was inside with him and I was outside on the porch indulging in my nasty habit. At about 6:45 our neighbor's 12-year old son came running over to our house hollaring, "My mom says to put your TV on CNN!! A plane crashed into the Pentagon!" At that time we thought it was an accident. While he was there with us we saw the planes hit the WTC. He stayed there for quite awhile and we all sat there watching in awe and shock. He stayed until he had to leave for school. We sat there watching and we saw the towers fall. All of this was undertaken while listening to Sean throw a fit because we had changed the TV from Bear. He was not a happy camper. He wasn't talking yet but he was definitely making his displeasure known with lots of foot-stomping, flapping and yelling. Eventually we gave in and switched it back for him. Of course, he was mad because Bear was long since over but he got over it. We sort of felt bad about changing the channel back but on the other hand they were just showing the same footage over and over by that point.

This is the part where I'm probably going to come under fire but I can't help it. We were sitting out on the porch talking while Sean was watching his show. We had been discussing trading our car in on something larger because the Escort we were driving was quite crowded when we carried my folks or John's mom with us and was even worse when our dog Betty accompanied us with them in the car. So we wanted something larger. Yes, folks, we went car-shopping on 9/11. There was nobody at the dealership and they treated us like royalty. It was one of the best car-buying experiences we have ever had. We bought a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis. She was a wonderful car. We named her Betsy and she was a part of our family until 2009 at which point we had to let her go because she could no longer pass emissions. Not to mention that she needed new oxygen-sensors and the back passenger-side window wouldn't stay up anymore and I had to put packaging tape on it to keep it from falling and if I forgot to replace it quickly enough when it started drying out in the sun it would fall down again. (Notice I said packaging tape not duct tape--less obvious. LOL)

Just because we went car-shopping doesn't mean we didn't care. We did/do care. It's just that us sitting there watching the same footage over and over wasn't going to accomplish anything beyond getting Sean into a full-blown berserk and that wasn't productive for anybody. So we figured we might as well go ahead and do something we had been wanting to do anyway. And, yes, I admit we figured it would be a good day to go car-shopping since most people would probably feel compelled to be sitting at home glued to the TV and we were right. Life did go on that day regardless of what the terrorists wanted to happen. My cousin's granddaughter was born that day so not only did life go on, for some people it began.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and enjoy a window into the lives of other people. It is amazing how we can make a connection even though we have never actually met or even spoken to one another. One of those people is Rovie, the lady who writes Anything About Bella. 

Rovie just awarded me a Liebster Blog Award. I have never received anything like this before. Thank you so much, Rovie!

Liebster is a German word which means favorite or beloved. The recipient of this award should link back to the one who gave it to her and pass it along to 5 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

My Liebster Blog Awardees are:

Carolyne of Asia Vu

Tina of Allyn's Alley 

Rovie, I had to give you one for the blog that led me to your blogs. Thank you so much for the award.

Thank you to all my blogging friends for sharing your lives and your friendship with me and with others. Keep on blogging!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Open House

Hard to believe it's already Open House time. When John and I were in school they didn't have Open House until October. I remember that clearly because I remember making black cats and Jack-O-Lanterns to decorate the classroom for it. That being said, Sean's school is actually one of the last to have theirs.

I think I've mentioned before that he goes to a fine arts magnet school. His school is in Las Vistas (or The Vistas as us gringos call the neighborhood *grin*) and it is the pride of the neighborhood. The people who live there are very happy that their children are now allowed to go there without waiting to get a lottery spot since the de-seg order on our district has finally been lifted. They make a big deal of the Open House there and when we got there it was unbelievable the number of cars. They set it up by academy to help with congestion but it didn't help much. Sean is in the Blue Academy and they were last at 7:20. We finally got to see the auditorium. It is very nice. It seats 400 and is very professional. Sean says his friend Nathan is in drama and he said they get to go up on the catwalk to learn to work the spotlights and everything. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm quite impressed by this school. It is fancier than any school I've been in, much less attended.) It's very strange going to this school after him being at Corbett for so many years. It was like a second home to us since John had worked as a monitor there for several years as well. We knew all the teachers and most of the students in the higher grades. Here we know absolutely NOBODY. Until last night the only two people we would have even recognized were his guitar teacher, his science teacher and the attendance clerk and out of the context of the school his science teacher is probably the only one I would have recognized. Now I am at least familiar with who some of the faces are.

When we first arrived there was a big crowd in front of the gallery that's next to the auditorium. When we got closer we realized that it was because the students from one of the dance classes were performing. After they were finished a group of kids from drama stood on the stage by the gallery to make an announcement about shutting off phones and proper etiquette in the auditorium. It was really funny the way they did it. At the beginning of the presentation in the auditorium some of the students from the advanced band performed. I don't think it was the full band because it was a fairly small group. I wish I knew what they were playing. We recognized it but we couldn't put a name to it. They are good though. That giant bass drum really sounds good in there with the acoustics too and I was incredibly impressed with the girl playing snare. She was holding them together really well without any direction from Teacher at all. I am still trying to figure out why the baritone player was carrying his backpack though. LOL I had to laugh at Sean when the principal stood up to talk. She spoke and then she handed the microphone to Miss Lisa because she doesn't speak Spanish. Sean turned to me and said, "She's translating, Mom." Yeah, I kinda figured that one out, son. Sometimes he's a great master of the obvious.

After they finished we went down to the classrooms. Sean wanted to show us all of his work that's in the hallways. He has been very secretive about a science project he worked on with his friend and seatmate David. I knew it was something made of clay because he let slip the other day that he was upset that Jose had kept taking their clay even after Teacher told him to stop. (Jose isn't normally in their class but the class was double that day because there was no humanities teacher that day so they had to double up the students and extend the science and math to make up the extra time.) Anyway, the project was a model of neurons made out of clay. I am not a scientific person so I don't know how accurate it was. To me it looked like fireworks on the end of a chain so if that's what neurons look like then they did a good job. He also showed us a beautiful picture he took of a flower in the garden in media arts class. He did a wonderful job on it. It looked like something you would find on the internet. It was perfectly centered and everything and he wrote the description next to it. Then there were several displays for the math class. One was a math autobiography that they had to write and it was mounted on construction paper with a picture of themselves and another sheet which had information about themselves--how far they live from school, how long is their foot, how wide is their arm-span, how tall are they, all measurement stuff. There was also a graph of number of pets each student has but the 3rd period graphs didn't get posted in the hallway. We saw it when we went in to talk to Teacher though. And then there was the personal shield they had to make in science class. He had to bring that one home to re-do it as I mentioned in my previous post. He wound up making two because after he finished the first one he got worried that he hadn't done it right. When he took them to school Teacher had the class vote to decide which one to put in the display. He didn't tell us this but she liked the other one so much that she kept it for herself and hung it up on the wall by her desk. We introduced ourselves and talked to her a little bit. She's very nice but she is very demanding which is a good thing. She told us that she doesn't expect perfection but that she expects everyone to do their best. I explained to her that with Sean there is an issue with time which she has probably already noticed. She nodded and I explained to her that it is possible to get fast OR it is possible to get neat but not necessarily at the same time although that is dramatically improving as he gets older. She understood and explained that the way they do most of the work in all of the core classes it will probably not be too much of an issue. He showed us the humanities room and the pyramids that he drew when he was studying Egypt. No teacher there since they don't have one, just a sign explaining that they are in the process of recruiting a teacher. Then we spoke to the math teacher. She is very nice and says Sean is doing quite well in math. That is a relief as he sometimes has issues with that. I put my email down on the sign-in sheet and told her that if he starts to have problems to please email me since he will never tell me. He's rapidly reaching the point where I can't help him much but we have the internet and since their school had low math scores on AIMS last year and is under a re-structure because of it they also offer free tutoring. Hopefully that won't be necessary though. By the time we finished talking to her it was a little after 8pm and everything was closing up. We didn't get to meet his media arts teacher. We had seen her in the hallway earlier and he said hello but, in typical Sean fashion, didn't bother to stop her and say he wanted to introduce his parents to her. He was disappointed that he wasn't able to show us the room though because it is all set up with the Macs now and when we saw it before school started there was nothing in it at all.

After we left the school it was like the Rapture had happened and we missed it. When we got there there were so many cars in the street it was unbelievable and we were just lucky to get the one space in the lot that opened up as somebody was leaving. When we got out there were absolutely NO cars on the street and ours was the only one in the lot. It was eerie.

We didn't feel like heading home so we decided to go to 7-Elephants (as 7-11 is called in our house) and get Slurpees. At that time of night it is doubtful to be able to find a working Slurpee machine as that is their defrost time but we managed to find one at the third store on the route. Then we took a quick run to Bookman's as Sean wanted to look around. I didn't go in with them as I generally avoid that place like the plague, especially at night, as it has a tendency to make me sick. They had a good time though. They felt compelled to take the sign from one of the displays up to the counter and give it to the clerk though. Apparently the sign was in there last time and drove them nuts and they had expected it to be gone when they went in there but it wasn't. The sign said, "Super Heores." Nothing like paying attention to what you write when you're making display signs.

All in all it was a fun evening. Now we are getting ready to start the long Labor Day weekend. It got off to a very rocky start this morning but it seems to be improving. That's about it in our corner of the world. I hope you are all having a great weekend in yours.