Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grey hair

I have grey hair.  Grey hair is under my crazy red hair.  Only my sister, who is my hair stylist, knows how grey my hair really is.  She knows, but she would never say.  She would never say because a) it's against the hair stylist code of ethics (I assume there is one) and b) because she also hides some white stuff with hair dye.

The difference in our hair is that she inherited my mother's mutant early-grey hair gene.  Neither one of us have forgiven mom for passing that on.  My grey hair is not my mother's fault though.  It is Boy and Girl's fault.

How do I know they are responsible?
I know Boy is responsible because tonight I actually felt one grow from the top of my head, just to the left of my right eye (the one that was twitching.)  Boy was in the shop working on his tractor.  He came in the kitchen with an unidentified brown/red smear across his face.  The dirt didn't turn my locks grey, his question did.
"Mom, how up to date is my tetanus shot?"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

End of the season

The horse show season ended last Saturday for Girl and I. 

Girl and Strawberry Shortcake placed in every class they entered -- usually first or second in the games classes.

This is Keyhole.  You run your horse as fast as you can down the length of the arena between the pails.  At the end of the pails is a circle drawn out in sawdust.  You have to turn your horse within the sawdust circle then race back down the arena to stop the clock.  The circle isn't all that big, especially for a large horse, so the horse needs to pivot on his hind legs to make it around.  It's a fast game -- usually under 15 seconds, I would say.  Girl and 'Berry like it 'cause 'Berry's a bit smaller than most so she has some extra room to make the pivot.

While games are my favourite, I haven't done them for years.  I think I'm too old to start again now. 

Darryl and I did well in our Walk/Jog Pleasure Class.

But I have to say I was most proud of the last Showmanship class we did.  I don't really like Showmanship, and I suspect if you asked Darryl he would say the same.  The horse is on a halter and you walk beside the horse and complete different patterns.  Each show has a different set of patterns that you have to memorize.  I am not good at that.  I write it down, then walk it out on the grass many times and then still aren't always sure I know at which pylon to pivot or to jog etc. 
The pattern might say:  Set up at A (pylon); jog to B; do a 360 degree pivot; walk to C; back up 5 steps; do a 300 degree pivot; walk to judge; set up; jog into line. 
See lots to remember; never mind which side of the horse to be on when the judge walks by. 
I've got a ribbon every show -- but don't get excited, it's usually 6th out of 6 or 7 horses (so I was last, or nearly last.) 
My goals all year were a) not to trip and fall down  and b) not to be last. 

So guess what?  I didn't fall down (in the ring) once AND last show I got 3rd out of 6 horses!!

HUGE accomplishment. 

Darryl wasn't as excited as I was though.   I could tell. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boy's project

This is how you know your kid is going to be busy all summer....

He comes home with a tractor -- a real tractor -- but most of it is in a variety of boxes.
Can you call it a tractor if it looks like a collection of parts and is not recognizable as any entity itself?

All summer Boy has worked on this tractor.  DH would give him instructions at night and the next day Boy would complete whatever job it was that his dad had left him.

This is where he was at on Saturday...

see -- you can kind of tell it's a tractor.

Boy's got the motor running, fixed the brakes and replaced the transmission.  He did the sandblasting on Saturday, so DH could paint the chassis in the afternoon while Boy did the rims.

I have teased Boy about his hunka junk but I am really proud of his hard work.  He tells me it starts and runs now, but I have yet to see it move.
DH tells me we should buy one tractor-in-a-box a summer 'til Boy moves out.  It keeps him busy, happy and out of trouble.
The difficulty is that Boy says he's not selling his tractor, and since we don't have vast acreage in need of farm machinery I am afraid we'll just end up with a yard full of shiny red tractors that we'll have to move to mow around.
And yes, they would all be RED tractors!  (that's assurance for my John Deere friends!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

How our Stewy has changed

Stewy then  (beginning of August)

...all skinny, with wiry thin hair and a sad abandoned look in his eyes.
He was a bit skittery and untrusting.

Stewy now  (beginning of September)

He's filling out.

His hair is thicker, soft and shiny.

and he's cuddly.

Only DH can resist him.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

new learning

There is a list of things I can say "I am" -- wife, mother, principal, maid, cook, chauffeur, maid, friend, blogger, tweeter and now tedster. is a site I've heard about a few times in the last few months.  I decided to check it out after hearing a great speaker at my last Principals' Meeting.  As I understand it began at Harvard.  Guest speakers, the great minds of our times, are video-taped as they speak to the audience.  These tapes are then streamed through  The speeches are all under 20 minutes in length, most at 10-15 min. that I've seen.  I watched a video last week on the importance of compassion.  Last night I watched two -- one from the creator of the "Awesome" book and blog (which I will post about another day) and one by Ric Elias entitled "3 things I learned while my plane was crashing." has now gone global, so the speakers are not limited to those who present at Harvard.  There are conferences world-wide presenting truly great ideas and inspirations from great minds.  It's so exciting to have the opportunity to hear Sir Ken Robinson or Steve Jobs speak for example, or a buddist monk from Tibbet, or a  neurophysicist.  There are over 900 speeches now, and that number is growing.  My plan is to watch at least one a week.  How amazing that such opportunities to learn from amazing people from around the world can come right into my office.

On another note:
Boy and I were talking about my blog this morning.  The conversation went like this:
Boy:  Your blog is my second favourite blog.
Me:  Second.  SECOND? What is the first?
Boy:  The one about firearms.
Me:  silent
Boy:  Maybe you'd have more followers if you incorporated some of that into yours.
Me:  still silent.  Boy leaves.

So here's the thing -- should I be more disturbed about being second place, by the fact that boy reads "firearms blogs," or by the fact that I'm wondering how to incorporate weaponry into mine so it goes up to Boy's first favourite????

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

random list

1.  Guess who is sitting on my lap, in my office, right now?
Stewy.  Stewy is sitting on my lap. I smuggled him in and closed the office door.  I know that no one will bother us because no one wants to see me working.  'Makes them feel guilty about watching TV...
I debated taking a photo of Stewy resting so peacefully, but then there would be photographic evidence that I smuggled him further into the house.
So far Stewy has been only allowed in the back porch, or in the kitchen when it's cold.  My argument is that it has been cold all week, so he comes in around supper time and often stays the night in the back room.
My rationale is that the office is only a hop and a skip from the kitchen, and it's cold and my lap needs to be warmed up.

Rocky is not a good lap warmer.  He's too wiggly.  Stewy is still and calm and will give me a reason to sit here very quietly for at least an hour.  I will get work done, my lap will get warmed up, and so will my soul.
My dilemma is how to sneak him out of the office past DH later on.

DH has not warmed to Stewy.  He's stubborn that way.

If you know anyone who would like a near perfect cat -- Stewy is looking for a forever home where he will be appreciated for his near sainthood.  I would consider offering Rocky, though I've blogged enough about him that you will know that "saint" and "Rocky" can't be uttered in the same sentence.

2.  I have been back at school for a little over 2 weeks -- 2 days of that have been with students and I am TIRED.  I went to bed last night shortly after 9pm, and will likely do the same tonight.  Funny how having students at school changes everything.  I get so much more done at a much better pace when there are no kids there!  It's not much different than home in that respect, I guess!

3.  It's been cold this week.  I've put my Birkenstocks away and got out closed-toed flats.  Not heels, just flats -- and my feet are aching.  I miss my Birks and my runners.  I miss summer.  I miss bare feet.  I miss a cold beverage on the deck after my afternoon nap (this has nothing to do with shoes, just a random wish that popped into my head -- it happens sometimes.)

4.  Did I mention I was tired?  It's 8 o'clock and me and Stew-Stew are debating a nap before bed time.

Good night

Monday, September 5, 2011

The dream

This will be my 16th year of teaching.  Every year, every single year, I have the same dream on Labour Day Monday.  The dream will wake me in a cold sweat panic and I will lay awake the rest of the night telling myself that it is only a dream...

My dream goes like this:
I have prepared the  perfect classroom.  Everything is organized and tidy. The room looks welcoming and comforting for my students.  My bulletin boards are bright and colourful.  Name tags label desks and coat hooks.  I have tons of great books, some pillows and bright posters.  I am extremely pleased with my room and I have worked really hard.  (This part of the dream mimics reality -- that's what makes it so scary...)    Then, on the first day, as students come into my room I notice that the bulletin boards have all fallen down. Name tags are missing or misspelled.  My pillows are gone and the new books are gone, replaced with old, ripped ones.  The room smells terrible and it looks so messy and dirty that I am ashamed.  
I try to get the students' attention to explain that this is a mistake, that the room was perfect for them because I can't wait to be their teacher.  The students won't listen.  They are talking and not paying any attention to me.  Then I start screaming at them.  Screaming.  Like a crazy person.  I hate that I am yelling at my new students but I can't stop.  Some of them start to cry.
Then I wake up with a big pit in my tummy.

Now that I've become a principal I usually have a second dream or the first one morphs into this:
I am in the gym addressing students and parents to welcome them back to school.  They keep talking amongst themselves and I can't get the microphone to work.  I start screaming.  Screaming.  Like a crazy person.  I hate that I am yelling but I can't stop.  I can't figure out why they won't listen to me.  Then I look down and I see that I don't have any pants on.

Nice visual, I know.

I have resigned myself to these dreams.  It won't matter how "seasoned" I become.  I will still dream of crazy screaming and no pants -- probably I will still dream this into my retirement year in 2026.

It crossed my mind this morning that maybe I should have a couple of shots of something before I go to bed tonight; maybe I will sleep more soundly.  Then I figured I might just add "screaming drunk with no pants" to the dream and I don't want to add any more elements of crazy to it.

Sleep tight.