Monday, March 31, 2008

Save Reading is Fundamental!

I am writing to ask that you show your support for saving Reading Is
Fundamental's funding in the FY09 Federal Budget. President Bush's
proposed budget eliminates the Inexpensive Book Distribution program,
which is managed by Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The Inexpensive Book
Distribution program is authorized under the Elementary & Secondary
Education Act (SEC.5451 Inexpensive Book Distribution Program for Reading
Motivation) and is not funded through earmarks. It has been funded by
Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975.

Unless Congress appropriates $26 million to fund RIF's book distribution
program, this program would be unable to distribute 16 million books
annually to the nation's youngest and most at-risk children. This would be
devastating to the children in our community as well as the 4.6 million
children and their families who receive free books and reading
encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 20,000 locations throughout the

Click here and write to your legislative representative!

Why can't there just be one application, one form, one background check?

Why can't there just be one application, one form, one background check, one fee, one fingerprint check?

When you are applying for a teaching job?

I mean really, I have filled out between 5 and 10 different teaching applications since we found out for sure we were moving here.

One for the county we live in.

One for the state data base.

One for the county just north of us.

One for the county just east of us.

One for the county just west of us.

One for the on base school.

Plus several others for non-traditional schools. I am so tired of filling out applications and answering the same questions over and over again.

Plus all of these places want their own official copies of my transcripts, at between $5 and $10 a pop.

Then you add in getting my background check/fingerprints done each place, at between $15 and $50 a pop.

And this is getting expensive...

I just wish that someone other than me could see how frustrating this system is. I know each of the districts needs their own information, but in this day and age of computers and information technology there has to be a way to make this process run smoother. The state database goes a long way to providing this, but not all of the counties accept just that application (three out of the four around here, don't). You can search for available positions, through the data base, but when you go to apply for them it either directs you to the schools electronic application (which is a blessing), or in the case of today, it doesn't send the information to the district.

You see today I decided that I needed to figure out where the one county was, and how far I am considering driving if I am seriously interested in working there (smart, huh?) So the girls and I took a drive out there.

When I got out to the district office, the personnel office was closed for lunch. No big deal, we will just go find the schools and I can drop off my resume to each of them. Only to learn that in that district, this practice is taboo. (insert giant sigh here)

So the girls and I drove out to the peach farm, just outside of town, for handmade ice cream (peach for me, strawberry for Kelsey, and chocolate for Natalie). I also picked up a jar of local honey, to take every day, in hopes to combat my allergies with out medical intervention.

We will be going back to pick strawberries, and during peach season. YUMMMMMMMMMMMYYYY!!!!! I want to go back down this week and take pictures while the trees are still in bloom, so so so pretty. If I do I promise to share.

Okay back to the true story...

We go back to the district office and I go in. Once I got there I explained to the personnel secretary that I have applied on Teach Georgia, but I wanted to see if there was anything else that I needed to do.

The personnel secretary goes to look up my application, and tells me that they don't have it on file.

So I spent the next 30 minutes filling out a paper application, because they don't offer it online.

Then before my application can be considered active they require that they have official transcripts, AND a background check. Cha ching! $$$$$

Plus since my application from the database did not go through, I have to get three more reference forms filled out. The saving grace there is that the one I got from Mrs. A and Mr. C the other week, will count for 2. I just need to find a third one. Which is not that bad, except I feel bad asking the people I have used in the past to fill out more reference forms.

It was kind of a frustrating time. I am hoping that my frustration didn't show through, though.

Speaking of frustrating. The lungs were not a "match" for Tricia. Please join me in keeping her in your thoughts and prayers, and also for her almost donor and their family. Just because they were not a good match for Tricia does not mean that they were not a good match for someone else.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pray for Tricia, Nathan and Baby Gwyneth

Nathan just posted about 7pm eastern that the have gotten "The Call" that Tricia may have a new set of lungs!!!

Please join me in praying

For Tricia, that this is a match, and she does well both in surgery and post surgery.

For Nathan, that he continues to be a rock through all of this.

For Gwyneth, that she continues to do well and gets stronger and bigger every day.

For the donor and their family, because this gift of life for Tricia (and possibly/probably others on the transplant lists on the east coast), is coming at the cost of another life. For more about this go read Rick's (Nathan's dad) blog here

For Tricia and Nathan's families that they are able to be at Duke with Nathan and join him in prayer while Tricia is in surgery.

I have been praying and hoping for this for them for the last 3 months, so I am hoping that this is not a dry run for them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How many of me....

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I just thought this was neat. Here is the rest of the family:

Jerry (which is really funny since the first time we were stationed in Florida there were two SRA stationed there with the same name.)
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I knew he was one in a kind. ;) No seriously the information in the data base must be more than 4 years old or else he would have popped up. ;)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

About 2 weeks ago, Kelsey received a letter in the mail from the BOE about a program called the Georgia Youth Apprenticeship Program, that locally is done in cooperation with the technical college, and the Air Force Base.

The program that she was invited to was for a program that is centered around Avionic Maintenance. Which for those of you that know Kelsey, know what a hoot that was to even hear that she was invited, let alone wanted to go and hear what the program was about.

But she wanted to go, so I arranged to take time off of tutoring (Tuesdays are one of my scheduled nights), so we could go and hear what it was all about.

Well that was, how to word it?




Yes, all of the above....

I knew that this program would probably not be Kelsey's cup of tea, but she expressed an interest so I made sure to take the time out of my usual tutoring schedule to take her.

The program GYAP sounds great, and probably is, but this one on Avionic Maintenance definitely is not for my daughter.

We sat a listened for about the first 30 minutes of the presentation, where the director of the program for the BOE explained about the program, how to get into the program, what they need to do as Freshmen, etc. Then he launched into the guts of the program, and talking about working with planes and such, and my girlie girl, rolled her eyes.

I knew at that point she was lost, and asked her if she wanted to stay or leave (since they were not even 1/2 way through the agenda at this point).

Now I have to give it to her, at least she didn't ask to leave as soon as...

The Director started talking about the commitment to the program that they have to make. (2 years in school, plus several after they graduate.)


When he started talking about the gpa that they have to maintain. (3.0)


When he was talking about the work hours after graduation they have to commit to. (2000 hours)


When he was talking about attendance, how they have to attend school, can not miss more than 2% of days, and 1% of work days.


When he was talking about the job commitment they have to make (30 hours a week at least during the summer, 15-20 during the school year).

During each of those segments he lost at least one and up to three families. And at least we were sitting in the back row, right by the door when we sneaked out (the blessing of getting lost on the way there is we were late :lol: ) , unlike most of the others who were towards the front (one family was in the front row even, had that been us, I would have stayed till the bitter end, for fear of embarrassment!)

After we left we went to go see about getting the ink refilled for the printer (the one place was closed, and no one else will fill them). Then went to Books a Million so she could get her Skip-Beat book.

It was nice to just go out and have a bit of relaxing time with her. We were able to joke around about the program (not that the program was a joke, just the thought of her being interested in it was.) Plus talk about the kids at school, her "interest" at school, who is just a friend, and only wants to be friends because he is moving this summer. We also talked about her having a job this summer, other than babysitting (she wants to go to California to work with Angela/Mer at Ihop, we will see, that depends on how Angela is feeling and how much Matthew is scheduled to be out of town).

Once again corporate greediness takes over

Walmart sues brain damaged woman over health benefits.

I understand that the health plan has a clause in it that if you get a settlement from an outside source they get some of the money they paid out back, but this is just plain stupid.

I think all of the former co-workers of this woman, as well as everyone else who works for Walmart needs to stand up and be a caring person and tell Walmart, and their insurance carrier how evil they are being in pursuing this case.

My favorite line from the article is this one from her now ex-husband (who divorced her by the way so she would receive more benefits for her care, not because he didn't love her any more, but because of this law suit, he can't take care of her the way he wants to!)
"Who needs the money more? A disabled lady in a wheelchair with no future, whatsoever, or does Wal-Mart need $90 billion, plus $200,000?" he asked.

I really hope that Walmart and the people that run the place stop to think about what they are doing to this family. This to me is worse than the sexual discrimination, forced overtime, This is a company that makes around $20,000 a MINUTE Thats profit people, not before expenses (including wages)!!! Talk about corporate greed! There are people out there in the United States that can not afford to go grocery shopping for their families today, because Walmart keeps raising prices, and this family who Walmart is suing can not afford to send their younger son to college, or even stay married, because of this greedy place.

They make me sick!

Tricia, Gwyneth, and Nathan

The local ABC Station in Durham did a news story on this amazing family. If you haven't seen the clip yet, go check it out!

Staying home today

I was all set up to go to the small school in the town south of us today to go sub for one of the parapros today.

DJ changed those plans for me.

He was croupy coughing off and on all night last night.

Then this morning when Natalie went to get him dressed, the cough was worse, and he was warm.

So I called the sub line and canceled the job through that, and then called the school and let the secretary know that I had to cancel and why.

Then I called and made him an appointment at the peds clinic. Normally I would just give him his inhaler and go on with our day. But I have not seen his inhaler since we moved. Oops.

Since I have a few minutes that I didn't plan on having, I want to share a couple of stories and prayer/positive thought requests.

If you have not been to check on Tricia, Gwyneth and Nathan lately, go to their page and check it out. Nathan has the story of what they have gone through in the last 3 months up in video form, plus a condensed version of their story at the page I linked to. Tricia is on the double transplant list, and needs for this to happen soon, and Gwyneth needs to keep gaining weight and keep going strong.

Life with My Special K's This is Renee's blog that tells about her journey with 4 kids, while her husband is deployed. Kennedy is her precious little girl, who has gone through so much in her little life, and is about to undergo surgery to fuse part of her spine. Please keep them all in your thoughts.

Alice over at Living Life Breathlessly is doing great! She is home and getting stronger every day!

Ok that is all I can think of for now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just a Monday

I hope everyone had a great Easter, or at least a better start to the day than I did yesterday.

I woke up yesterday morning with a raging Migraine. Bad enough to where I was sick to my stomach and crying. I called in sick to Lowes only to be told that I either came into work, or had a doctors note, because it was Easter. This would not have upset me, except for the fact that they had seen how I was on Saturday when it was setting in.

So I spent the next 30 minutes or so calling Tricare, and then the on call doctor to get approval to go to the Medstop here in town.

Luckily the Medstop was not busy and I was seen within the first 10 minutes of being there. The doctor gave me a shot of Tramadol, and a prescription for a pain killer, plus my note for work.

By the time I got my prescription filled I was feeling a lot better, and came home in time to watch the kids hunt eggs (that the girls were nice enough to fill and hide).

Then I took a nice long nap.

Jerry took my note up to Lowes, and then he made our Easter Feast. Since he was in charge of dinner, we had an Easter BBQ, with steak, crab legs, shrimp and corn. Not exactly traditional Easter fare, but since I wasn't cooking I was not complaining! ;)

Today was my first day not subbing, since getting my paperwork approved.

Not that I didn't get the calls to...

But I had an interview lined up, in one of the surrounding counties.

The interview was done by a panel of the principal, assistant superintendent, lead grade teacher, media specialist, and assistant principal. They asked the usual questions, as well as some about my subbing and some of the things that were referenced in my letter that Mrs. A and Mr. C gave me to take.

It is a small school, and every one knows everyone. The kids walked into the office and the secretary called them all by their first name, and if she needed to call a parent, was able to do that almost without looking up the number. Plus if a parent came in to get a child she called the room without looking it up.

It is a bit of a drive, so while I think the interview went well, I will not be super disappointed if I do not get offered the job.

If I get offered it, then that is great, and when we are in a position to look for houses then we would look out that direction, rather than here in town.

Tomorrow I already have a sub job lined up. It is for a parapro again, this time down in the south of the county. I am going to make sure to take my resume and give it to the office, just in case they have something open for the fall.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter, end of subbing in Kinder,

Yesterday was my last day in the kinder class. Mrs. M is to be back to work on Monday. It was a very nice day, with sugared, hyper kids. LOL

I took in the bird for the kids to see and learn about, since earlier in the week we had read a Scholastic reader about birds. Oh boy did they (both the kids and the bird) enjoy that! And the bird was perfectly behaved (surprisingly). She can be very territorial at times, so I wasn't sure that she wouldn't try and nip one of the kids, so I kept reminding them no sudden moves, no sticking your fingers near her face, no fingers in or near the cage, etc. etc. The only time she came close to nipping any of them was when one of the boys came at her when she was walking around on the floor and startled her (we were at circle "show and tell" time), and then when I was walking around with her so they could pet her feathers, one of the girls came at her from the front, and the bird went to step up, using her beak, never made contact with either kid though.

Since we were doing an egg hunt Mrs. A sent me at lunch time to get DJ to come and join us for the rest of the day. Spoiled kid that he is. ;) We paired him up with the one little boy, and they worked together to collect the 14 eggs that they could collect. I was "in charge" of the basket for the two of them, and double counting. It was so cute the way they helped each other and "M" enjoyed being the "bigger" kid for a while (he is the student that all of the others "take care of" all of the time.

I was so blessed with this job for the past 6 weeks. I learned so much, and met some great people.

I got a couple of really nice things, for having my last day, and all of the work I did. Which I so did not expect.

The para-pros from the other classes gave me a card with a gift card to Olive Garden in it.

Mrs. A gave me a card, a pretty pair of earrings, and a glowing letter of recommendation, that both she and Mr. C signed. :)

I kept telling them all that they were going to make me cry!

I am really going to miss them all, and hopefully I will be in the school subbing again soon, so that I can see them.

Today was a super long day.

I was scheduled a 9 hour day at Lowes.

I want to know when I got into management, that I had to work that long, and where is my raise to reflect it? Because last I heard, really a regular old cashier, like myself, is not really supposed to work more than 8 hours.

Thank goodness this is my last schedule that A did, she has moved back to the floor. I guess someone some where realized what poor people skills she has, and that being the front end manager was NOT a good thing! Especially since today when she came in she completely ignored me. Oh well.

Our new store manager started some time this past week. I think I have only said 3 words to her in the two days, so I don't know what she will be like.

It is going to be interesting to see how things play out. I am going to be interested to see what her stand is on the people that constantly are late to work, No Call No show, or are constantly late back from lunch. I really hope that she does not put up with some of the crap that goes on around there.

Our district manager was in the store today, doing a walk through. Which was different from how it was down in Florida. It was the first time I have ever seen this district manager, where as the one in Florida was in the store at least every 10 days, if not more.

When I first got there, he called a code 3 (three people waiting in line) to Outside, and when the one cashier got out there there was no line. Then about 10 minutes later, they called one for lumber, I went running down there (because I knew he was in the store), and there was a short line, but also he was right there. Then when I got back down to the front end (after covering the lunch break for the lumber cashier), he called one for the front end. I wonder if it has anything to do with the customer complaints that I am sure were filed the other weekend?

All in all it was a pretty smooth day though. We were BUSY! Which made it go by fast, thank goodness! But I have been fighting a sinus/allergy migraine all day long. It woke me up about 3:30 and I took the last of the sinus (daytime) that we had here at the house.

I made my first Craigslist sale!!!!

We sold the trailer that my parents gave us last year. :) The guy came down from Atlanta this morning and paid for it and picked it up. He and his buddies are planing on painting it red and black, and using it for tailgating. Something about Go Dawgs.....

It made me laugh though later on today. I had a customer come through getting lots of plumbing supplies. He said he is redoing the interior of an older motor home.....

That he and his buddies are going to use tailgating...

And guess what colors it is going to be done out in?

Yup black and red.

I couldn't believe the luck that he came through my line and just happened to mention what he was buying it for.

I hope everyone has a nice Easter tomorrow, whether you are enjoying the bunny's visit, spending the day at church, spending the day with family and friends, or going to work (like I am)!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thirteen for Thursday

Its been a week or two since I did one. Oops...

Thirteen things I love about being a teacher....

1. I love watching them "get" it.

2. I love stopping and thinking how can I rework this so they "get" it.

3. I love being able to show them how much I care about them.

4. I love the hugs when they do good, and the hugs to encourage them to keep trying.

5. I love that 99% of the parents are supportive and want to help their child become the best that they can be, and have not as of yet, just given up on their child.

6. I love the fact that learning is still fun for them.

7. I love when one of our "struggling" kids has a GREAT DAY, and I am able to express that to their "parents".

8. I love hearing from a former student, about what is going on in their life now, my social site pages have lots of former students who are now in the military and in college who are still in touch.

9. I love changing lives one child, on family at a time.

10. I love the challenge of reaching each child.

11. I love taking a step back at the end of the day and reflecting on the positives of the day.

12. I love summer! ;)

13. I just love teaching.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

another day, another story

Mrs. J and I were talking today and I mentioned Mrs. M returning on Monday.

Mrs. J said not to count on anything, and that Mrs. P, still has me in the system until May.

This is how Mrs. J explained her thinking to me:

Mr. M, is feeling really good, but his cancer is actually spreading. Mrs. J said that his cancer is in his brain, spine, liver and lungs. The only vital place it is not is his pancreas.

Mrs. J put it like this, "the living before you are dying syndrome". Where you have a period of feeling great right before you go down hill, fast.

She said that is why she didn't say anything to me, or call me last night about it (she had to leave early yesterday, because her daughter was sick at school), because she doesn't really expect it to happen, or if it does happen (Mrs. M coming back), that I should be prepared to be asked to come back in within a couple of days, at the most a few weeks.

I told her that I understood that all too well, since it sounds like how several people I have know that suffered from Cancer have been right at the end.

I also told her how last night I was happy for Mr. and Mrs. M, because with the way she was talking it sounded positive, but that I was going to miss "my babies" if I had to leave them. Mrs. J giggled and said "they grow on you quick don't they?" That they sure do, that they sure do.

Mrs. J also told me that she keeps telling Mr. L and Mrs. H, and Mrs. B that she feels I am not being utilized the way that they should be using me, and that she is keeping her eyes and ears open, and constantly asking her fellow teacher friends at other schools to let her know if they hear of anything coming open, because she "knows a great teacher looking for a job." Smile

Rumor mill has it that if the teacher across the hall that has been out since before Christmas, does not return next week, she will be "let go". I guess next week she will pass the ____ days of missed work (she had some surgery, I think). And is giving the school the run around about when she will return.

I know every week since I have been in the school (and for the three weeks before I started) we have heard she will be back on Monday, and then Monday rolls around and they have the sub again. Of course I have heard every week since "winter break" that if she didn't return "the next week" she would be let go, but this time it supposedly came from the "horses mouth".

The sub that was in there from Christmas until the week before the job fair, and now this week again, told me to day that I should have gone in there this week, and then I could have just walked into the job when it opens. Problem there was no one told me that the teacher wasn't not coming back, so I couldn't put the bug in Mr. L's ear about it. sigh Plus I can see where they wouldn't want to have that happen in case she did come back next week, then they would have disrupted the routine in two classes for nothing (giving both classes yet another sub.) I asked the para-pro in there why Mrs. S was encouraging me to go for that position, and not going for it herself and she said that Mrs. S already has a position for next year. sigh yet another position that "hasn't been released yet" that is already filled.

I am really surprised that none of the parents have not been up in arms in that classroom over all of the changes yet. I know if it were one of my kids in there, I would at least be asking some serious questions, about the situation. But hey its not my kid...

Jerry said that I had a phone call today from one of the other counties schools. I tried calling them back after I got home, but there was no answer. I will have to try in the morning before I go to take DJ to preschool.

Oh and speaking of DJ and preschool...

Ms. M the new teacher in his classroom said that he had a rough day again today. So I explained to her all of the changes and adjustments that he has gone through in the last year.

Jerry being "gone" for 6 months.

P, N, J and W moving in with us for 2 months.

The move here.

New school.

My working 3 jobs trying to make ends meet.

The fact that his old preschool was a much smaller class (6-8 students), and much more structured. Everyone colored, and did arts at the same time, everyone played blocks, everyone did whatever on the schedule.

I think he does better with structure, and I explained this to her. Hopefully she will start to take this into account (Ms. D never did, and knew all of this, but its worth a try.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Well this could be bad, or it could be good...

I heard today that Mrs. M (the parapro that I am subbing for) is planning on coming back to work on Monday. Her husband is doing well, and she wants to try and come back to work.

Which is great for them, because it means that his cancer is under control, and he is feeling well enough for her to come back to work.

But I have mixed feelings about the whole deal...

In a way this could be bad because I was thinking I had a sub position till the end of the year.

In a way this could be good because I can go and work at other schools and get to know other staffs and administrators. So that hopefully I can get my face and name out there for jobs.

I am trying to focus on the positive of it.

I have not heard "officially" that she is coming back, from Mr. C, Mrs. A or Ms P. The only reason I know that Ms M plans on coming back is that she was in the lounge when I went up for my break, and all of the para-pros were excited that she is coming back and that Mr. M is doing great.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Deep breath

I am trying to remind myself...

To breath.

That everything happens for a reason.

That we can get through anything that comes our way.

That all that matters is that we are all healthy.

That we have a roof over our heads (for now).


This morning Mrs. A encouraged me to go and talk to Mr. C again about the chances of a job at the school where I am at, expressing my desire to work there next year.

So I did.

And while Mr. C told me that he was making sure that he would look out for me, he also said that jobs here in the county this year are going to be few and far between, because growth has slowed.

Which made me want to cry...

But I didn't I went back to the room and had a good day.

But now I want to cry again...

I have put in applications in the surrounding counties, and with several other education establishments, but I have not heard anything so far.

I keep hearing that they will not know much of anything until May, when preregistration is done, and contracts have come back. And I keep trying to keep that in mind, but with the financial state we are in right now its tough.

What is the most frustrating is that I am loving working with the little kids, in the kinder class.

I love watching them "get" it.

I love stopping and thinking how can I rework this so they "get" it.

I love being able to show them how much I care about them.

I love the hugs when they do good, and the hugs to encourage them to keep trying.

I love that 99% of the parents are supportive and want to help their child become the best that they can be, and have not as of yet, just given up on their child.

I love the fact that learning is still fun for them.

I love when one of our "struggling" kids has a GREAT DAY, and I am able to express that to their "parents".

I love the fact that being in the classroom I am in, I am learning how to love to teach again, and that I am learning how to teach the "littles" again. There are days when I feel just like I did when I was in college and doing my internships, where I just sit in awe of what is going on in the room, and how Mrs. J is doing it. Mrs. J truly is a "master teacher", and I have learned so much this last month, and I am sure that I will only learn 1000 times more before June.

I told Mrs. A tonight after school just how much fun I had on Friday when she was out. How wonderful Mrs. F (the other sub was), and just what a great day it was (except for one potty "accident", and I use "accident" lightly because it was really an on purpose so the child could go home early.) It was a totally different atmosphere and feeling than the week before.

I know after a few years teaching primary would get tiring, but what I would give to have that job (or a similar one) next year, is amazing.

Mrs. A told me tonight that she really wants to move to an API (assistant principal of instruction) position next fall, but right now there are none available, so she is in the same position that I am in, in that regard. But I think that is why she was encouraging me to go talk to Mr. C today, so that if it happens for her, it can happen for me.

I am so frustrated because they "can not interview" for positions yet for the fall, but the student teacher across the hall has a job, in the school that I am in. And she brags about it almost daily, never to my face, but she brings it up when ever I am around. I would love to be able to think that she is just excited about the job, but a lot of the time, there is no context for her bringing it up, other than to bring it up.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patricks Day!! and a contest to enter

Don't forget to wear green tomorrow!

Which reminds me, I have to find DJ's John Deere Shirt before bed....

Go Enter the contest at Old Red Barn Co. She is giving away a quilt, and some more goodies to celebrate her 200th post!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I am beginning to wonder if DJ is color blind. He constantly confuses red and green which are the two main ones that if you are color blind you can not see. If it is something that he has been asked about several times, and he recognizes as us saying it is red, or green he can tell you its that color, but if it is something knew he mixes the two. I have a couple of experiments that I am going to do with him next week to see if I can figure out if he is or not. And if he is, then I have to see where we go from there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gas prices....

The gas prices are out of control! Its affecting everything that we are and due as Americans.

I drive a hybrid, Toyota Prius to be exact, pretty good on the gas mileage.

Jerry drives a Chevy Trailblazer, definitely not a gas friendly vehicle.

We have cut back on driving just to drive somewhere, but since we live 8 miles from Lowes, 5 miles from the school, and 5 miles to Jerry's work, we can not cut back all the way.

What I want to know is how is everyone else dealing with the gas prices? What have you cut back on?

Monday, March 10, 2008

For Tricia...

Tonight, when I was doing my daily check in on Tricia, Nathan and Gwyneth over at Confessions of a CF Husband, Nathan posted a link in this post Nathan sent everyone over to Crazy in Love where she lists all of the experiences that she can not wait to read about Tricia, and Gwyneth (and Nathan) sharing, with all of us mommies! (and daddies!)

Crazy in Love invited everyone to join in and post things that we can't wait to hear about Tricia and Gwyneth sharing.

So here is my list....

I can't wait for you to experience....

2 am feedings

3 am blow out poopy diapers

4 am I scared, can I get in your bed?

5 am waking to toes in your neck...

6 am pancake breakfasts on the first day of school...

7 pm bed time stories....

8 pm just one more story? Peas?

9 pm I am thirsty....

11 pm I just can't fall asleep.....

Watching Little Mermaid so many times you can sing every song in tune and along with Gwyneth.

Crying as you drop her off at kindergarten the first time.

The first time Gwyneth comes home crying because a friend says that they are not friends any more.

Sitting at the kitchen table doing homework

The first parent teacher conference when the teacher tells you what a bright wonderful sweet daughter you have.

Hearing her sing her abc's the first time...

Letting her pick out her own clothes, and biting your tongue when what she wants to wear doesn't match...

Going the entire day without realizing that you have spit up down your back, until you get home from evening services and change into your pjs, and thinking to yourself , how long has that been there, and praying that it was just since her last feeding 2 hours ago, when your loving husband tells you it has been there since 8 am.

Flashlight races...

Hearing those three little words... I lub you...

The first date with a boy....

The first heart break...

The first big school play....

The first sleepover...

Graduation from high school...

Graduation from college...

My Challenge to all your blogging mommies...

If you are reading this and you are a mommy, I encourage you (for fun) to do something like this for Tricia on your blog. Tell her all the special, frustrating, wonderful moments that you hope she gets to experience just because she's a mommy now too.

(Leave a comment on here, and at Crazy in Love if you do it so that we can link to your blog.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

And then we give poor customer service this weekend

At Lowes!

I am really put off right now with my store.

After my Rant about the shoddy customer service at Walmart here in town on Friday, I have been keenly aware of how my store needs to improve in this area as well.

I realize that not everything that has happened this weekend could be helped but there are a few things that could have been.

My store, it turns out, is afraid to call a code 3 (three customers in line), when it is needed, over the intercom. Which by the way is just stupid!

Plus, it turns out, that my store, not all CSA's are aware of how to run a register, or even think that it is their responsibility that if they are not busy with a customer that they should come up and jump on a register if the code three is called.

Friday night, I was asked to clean all around the self checkouts, get all of the dust bunnies, papers, everything that had fallen down next to the main register, just all out spring cleaning. So I was on the floor trying to reach some papers (that were dated last November) out from between the register and the wall. When L yelled at me to get up and get some of these customers, because they were being swamped.

Hummmmmm... all four self check out lights were on, so all they had to do was mention it and they would have come down.

But what ever... I walked to the end of the self check out area, and said, excuse me I am open down here and can help you. The customers all came straight down.

Then K gets on her high horse about it a while later when she walked by, "sitting on your a$$ while we are getting slammed. I corrected her, but it did no good. K thinks that she is god's gift, oh and since she gets away with showing up an hour late to work, and ignoring customers all the time, she must be.

Yesterday we had more cashiers on a Saturday than I have ever seen in that store. So it wasn't too bad. Every now and then the garden center got slammed and had to call a code 3 but not a big deal.

Today, someone screwed the pooch!

To open the store, there were 4 of us, and a head cashier. That is one person for customer service, one for self checkout (that is broken again), one for garden center, and one for commercial sales. Until 10.

Oh wait back up, K "overslept" and was 90 minutes late! So there were 3 of us this morning plus the head cashier.

Now for the first couple of hours we were not too busy.

But then 3 rolled around, and for some reason when A did the break schedule she did it so that all of the assigned code 3's, and 2 of the cashiers all went to lunch at 3.

Oh and K, L and S were all working customer service, and none of them could be bothered to move out of customer service and open another register.

So I was getting SLAMMED with a million customers in line, who were all complaining at me, about the lines.

I called code 3, not knowing the aversion that the store has to calling code 3's.

I called it 3 times, because I was getting my butt kicked, and was getting chewed out by customer after customer, and hum, everyone in the store should know how to run a register, so if they are not with a customer they should have hopped on a register.

Then K strolls down and screams at me to stop calling code 3, because there is no one to come do it, and I am just being a "stupid, f'ing, idiot".

I looked at her and said then get out from behind the damn desk and get on a register.

W was walking by and later said she thought we were going to come to blows over it, and then also apologized for not being able to get on a register, because she was getting a wheelbarrow for a customer.

I ended up having to apologize to about 30 customers for the wait.

I was told when I was getting off work that not everyone in the store was shown how to work a register.

Which I am pretty sure is against Lowes policy.

To say that I am not a happy person being a cashier, is an understatement.

It ticks me off that I have had enough training from Lowes that is going to waste, and I am stuck on a register. I have worked 5 months in home decor, and 9 months in Lawn and Garden, and have level 2 in seasonal, and level 1 in mill-works, flooring, plumbing, and appliances, and I am stuck working a dang register, where I am treated like I am lower than dirt.

It ticks me off that the CSA's and sales specialist think that they are too good to help out on a register when they are needed on one.

It ticks me off that I have a masters degree in education, and I am stuck working at Lowes. I keep getting told to keep my chin up and that a teaching job will come open for the fall, but after weekends like this one, where I just want to walk out of Lowes and never go back, the fall seems like such a long time away.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Walmart ticks me off

If I can help it I am never going back to the local Walmart closest to us here!

I am tired of waiting in lines 20 people deep, and if you complain about the wait the CSM looks at you like you are inconsiderate of her needs!

Stupid cow! I am the customer, you are the service person, doing a service and without my business you do not have a job!

This morning, I dropped DJ off at school early so that I could stop at Walmart, before going to work. I left the base and arrived at the Walmart with about 40 minutes before I had to be at school.

PLENTY of time!



Since I knew what I wanted (cupcakes, napkins, Green Eggs and Ham (the book) and small candy), I figured I would be in and out in no time.

I grabbed everything I needed and headed up to the check outs at 7:30, only to find a LONG line. Then I noticed that the register next to the one with the light on, had a gal checking out someone. So I stuck my head around the end of the end-cap and politely asked if she was going to still be open when she was through with that customer (since her light was off).

She said yes. So half of the line proceeded to follow me to that register.

Now at this point both check outs (the ONLY TWO in the ENTIRE STORE OPEN) have lines back to the womans clothing section.

The gal in front of me had one purchase she was making with a check, and a smaller group that she was buying with WIC. No problem, except that the cashier had NO IDEA how to run a WIC purchase.

The other cashier, called for a CSM, and then talked her through it, but there was a problem with the type of eggs the woman had gotten. The poor new mother, was like, and egg is an egg, what the heck! The cashier told her that she would have to go back and find the correct eggs, and that she will wait for her. (With 10 people in line!)

I expressed that she could suspend the transaction or void it out so she could check some of us out while we waited, and the cashier looked at me like I was an alien asking the impossible of her. The other cashier suggested that she void the sale, and re-ring it when the woman came back. The cashier in my lane then followed her instructions, but OH WAIT! We have to wait for the CSM that was called to the register 8 minutes prior! (yes I was watching my watch!)

Finally 9 minutes after the CSM had been paged the CSM came strolling up like she had all of the time in the world, and like there were not 20 people wanting to check out. When I expressed my displeasure in the wait, and in the fact that it had taken her so long to walk up to help, the CSM had the audacity to GLARE at me, a paying customer.

EXCUSE THE HECK OUT OF ME! I thought that in retail the Customer is always right?!? But that not the point, the point is that there is 20 registers in this particular Walmart and they have no system in place for calling for additional cashiers to come and assist in getting customers out of the line when needed.

They have NO consideration for the needs of their customers, who at 745 in the morning 99% of them are on their way to work, or on their way home from an over night shift.

I was within 1 minute of being late for work, I clocked in at 7:59 this morning, when I should have been early, had I not had to wait in a line for 20 plus minutes!

I can not express to you how often this type of thing has happened to me at this store. I am done, I am not going back to this store. I will drive to Publix/Kroger/Winn-Dixie and pay higher prices, I will drive further to the other Walmart in town if there is something that I really really have to get at Walmart.

They NEED TO TEACH their cashiers and CSMs that without the customers they do not have a job!

I guess that is the problem when I work in retail at night, I know how hard the job is, but you know what? To keep my job I am expected to be polite, and if there are more than 3 or 4 customers trying to check out, I am expected to call for someone to help check them out, or jump on a register myself. Our head cashiers are expected to haul butt if they are paged to a register, not to take their time, and if something delays them, then they are expected to call the register that needs help and find out if there is something that can be helped with over the phone while they are getting there, and if need be call for back up.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Very long couple of days

It has been been a very long couple of days.

The teacher that I am working with has been out at a training yesterday and today and will be out again tomorrow. Plus she was out on Monday, sick. No big deal.

The principal and she decided that since I am a certified teacher that yesterday I could be on my own.

Cool, rock on.

The thing about subbing, especially in the lower grades is that routines and such are the lifeblood of primary classrooms. You do the same thing day after day, in the same order and you have success. As the students get older, they are more adaptable to changes in routine (with exceptions of course). Little changes throw off the primary aged kids, just like a change of schedule upsets most babies and toddlers.

It was a LONG day, but we got through it. They pushed the buttons that they thought they could push, since I only have two hands and can not say 18 names at once. The only real problem was that a couple of them took it and misbehaved in the media center, and got into trouble there. So I got the fun and excitement of telling parents that. The one little boy was crying as he told his mom she had to wait so they could talk to me (at least he told her), I explained what had happened in class, and what happened in the media center, and told her that his behavior in class was not the best but it was to be expected since I was on my own. But his behavior in the media center was horrible. He told me today that he got a spanking, and no tv/toys last night (today he was an angel).

Today and tomorrow we get a sub to help out.

Which is great!



The sub is 8 1/2 months pregnant, which would be ok, but she has no patience, so it was a LONG day. I pretty much taught everything there was to teach and ran it all, while she sat in the rocking chair and watched, and chewed out the kids for being kids.

Yes, they were talkative, but it was another new body, another new face, and it in my mind was expected, since they are creatures of habit, and having this new person changed the routine for them.

Every time I left the room another student had turned a card (lost a privilege).

I went up to take my break and came back and there were 4 students next door in think time (time out).

They came in from break (recess) and two more had to turn cards (two that NEVER get in trouble), for pushing. I was inside with the ones that had already lost their breaks. The one's mom works at the school, and when I came in from taking the car riders out to their rides, she was waiting for me. He was in her room bawling! The first thing out of my mouth was I wasn't there, I don't know what happened, I just wrote what I was told happened. (yes, the mom scares me!)

Tomorrow it is more of same. Part of me hopes that since she was having really strong contractions off and on all day today that she calls in for tomorrow and that I end up on my own again. Mrs. C and Mrs. D (the teacher and parapro next door) have both said they would help out if it happens (and I believe them since they helped both yesterday and Monday).

I really hope that Mrs. A (the head teacher in the room) doesn't stop by the school tonight after her training, since I didn't take the time to turn the cards back, or to finish up a couple of things. I was frustrated and flustered, so I left, and I will go in early and finish up what I didn't do today. (Of course I am not sure I should since I am only getting paid para-pro sub pay and am doing the teacher sub work, but deep breath I am hoping that this all pays off with a job for the fall!)

Speaking of creatures of habit, and disruptions of routines making little ones behave differently...

The change of living situation, change of preschool, and parental stress is really affecting DJ. :(

He is acting up at school and not listening to his teachers, plus he cries every day at drop off, which he cried in Florida, don't get me wrong, but this is EVERY DAY, which down there it was once a week when he was over tired.

I am not sure how much of it is that he is used to a smaller classroom situation, or just the personality of his teachers, and how much of it is that he is feeding off the stress that Jerry and I are feeling with the money situation right now.

Then you add in the fact that I am never home, or if I am home I am working on the computer. He told me on the way home tonight that he wanted to go to bed and cuddle when we got home, and I had to come home and get on the computer to teach all night (from 5-11) cry....

Sigh... I need a full time teaching job...

Or heck a full time job that pays decent money and has benefits would be nice...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Extended family prayer request

I have a prayer request for my extended family tonight, my older cousin's step grand-baby is in need of some prayers. She is in the NICU and having some problems. I am not sure of all of the details, but if you could just say a prayer for Kloe, her mom Sarah, dad Trent (my cousin's step son), and her brother Braden, I would appreciate it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Home from work

I called into Lowes tonight. I was not feeling well, just over tired, and grumpy. We really can not afford for me to take the night off, but we can't afford for me to get really really sick either.

I was "the" teacher again today. Mrs. A is sick, I believe. There was a sub assigned to work for her, but the class across the hall's parapro is out due to a death in the family. So I thought to see if the office wanted our sub to go over there and help. I am tired, from being "on" all day long, but it felt good to be "the one". We didn't follow the lessons exactly to the letter, but I did my best. I think I gave them the wrong morning work, but that was because I wasn't sure what she meant by what was in the lesson plans, and Mrs. B agreed with me on what I chose to do (Mrs. B is the teacher right next door.)

Mrs. A had left a message on her voice mail for the sub saying not to do literacy circles and to give them free centers instead. Which I did, but not the entire time that was alloted. I expanded on the math lesson instead. We were working on addition and number stories and sentences. So we play acted out a number story, and discussed it. Then I put them into pairs, and had them write their own number stories. We had turtles and rabbits, raccoons and rainbows, and all sorts of things adding together. I think it went well, hopefully Mrs. A will too.

I discovered more today that Mrs. A does her own thing as far as her class goes. Which I already knew, but it was more obvious when I was out looking for a master of something and was told by three different of the teachers that they "don't do that" part of the day like we do. What makes me giggle, is really Mrs. A's class is run how I remember being taught that a kinder class should/would run.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Dale Jr ALMOST won today!!! He was _ this close! Jerry and I were both screaming at the tv.

I wish we had the money to go to Atlanta next weekend for the race up there, but oh well.

Today was a better day. I spent time talking with both S (Ops manager) and B (admin manager) about life and what is going on. They both were very understanding and caring. They said if I need to scream or to talk or to cry just to go into the office and shut the door, and to let them know what is going on.

Turns out that we are not to go to summer hours until next Saturday, which means that I am ok for this week. Next week B said that I can get off at 930, and not to worry about it. The following week we will do my new availability.

I am still stressed out beyond belief, but at least this takes a bit off my shoulders.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Frustrating LONG day, plus a new prayer request

First my prayer/positive thoughts request, because I think its more important than anything about me and what is happening in my life right now.

Today, at Lowes I was checking out an older woman (maybe in her early 50's so not OLD), and I noticed that she had a hospital wrist band on her arm with the pink and blue baby carriages on it, so I said oh someone has a new baby in their life! She said "Yes how did you know?" (LOL)

I pointed out her wrist band and said I have had three similar to that over the years.

She just laughed and said, oh yes, I forgot about that thing, its been a stressful couple of days, do you want to see her picture? Its my Granddaughter Jordana, she was born on Thursday morning.

Of course I said yes, and out came her cell phone. :)

Then she tells me that, she is on her way to pick up her daughter at the hospital here locally, to drive her to Macon to see the baby and meet with the baby's new doctor up there, because the baby isn't doing so well.

Jordana was born at 36 weeks via c-section, and while she was a good weight, she is having some serious breathing issues that have stumped her pediatrician here. So her had her transported to the children's center in Macon to have the doctors there see if they could figure it out.

I told Jordana's grandma that I would keep her in my thoughts and prayers, and I decided that I would ask all of you too do so as well. I also told her to google Nathan and Tricia and that their story would give them hope, because I believe that if little Gwyneth Rose can make the strides she is making, Jordana can too! I am sure I will never remember who this grandma is, even if she walks through my line tomorrow, but perhaps she will remember me the next time she sees me at work and will give me an update, if she does I will pass it on.

Also if you can say a prayer/think thoughts for...

MH from Lowes who lost his dad this week.

EP from Lowes who lost his sister this week.

K from Lowes who lost her Granddad this week.

And C from Lowes who lost her Aunt who raised her this week.

(wow its been a rough week at Lowes)

Also for my Great Aunt Fern and her family who lost my Great Uncle Jake this week (he was in his late 80's and has had Alzheimer's for several years, so it was not a shock to my system, but I have been too busy to blog about it).

Ok on to what is happening in my life....


It has been a frustrating, long day, and its not over yet!

I got into Lowes to open this morning, and that is where it all started. As I said last night, they have changed the opening hours of our Lowes to "spring/summer" hours. At my old store we did not have such things, we had the same store hours 52 weeks a year, so I had no warning that this hours change was even a possibility until Wednesday, and even then it was a this may happen by the end of March, but right now it doesn't sound like it will.

Then last night BAM! Our store hours starting tomorrow are 6am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 8-8 on Sunday.

Which if I was not subbing during the day would be ok, but I am subbing and have to be there at 745 or so, which means leaving my house around 7 to get DJ to school, so I can get to school. Working until 10:30, getting home around 11, and then getting up to work the next morning at 6 is out of the question. I have been practically killing myself trying to sub all day, and work at Lowes until 9:30, and then add an extra hour each day to that? SURE... NOT...

Now I am not egotistical enough to think that this is all about me, and I know I am not the only one who having these opening hours changed effected. But right now, its all about me! ;)

Last night, like I said, I put in a new availability form, pulling Wednesday completely off the board, changing the weekends around a bit (just to see if they would let me, really, because there are a couple of people who have limited availability on weekends), and then saying that on Mondays I had to be out by 10 (I did it to Friday too, but I wasn't thinking about Fridays, being Fridays when I did that).

As soon as I walked in the door this morning I let A (the department manager) know that I had done a new availability form, due to the new hours of operation, and that it was in D's box. She said OK, D has to approve it first, then I will come talk to you about it.

A few hours later A comes by the self checkout (where I was chained, I mean stationed), and says Patty, you can not have these requested hours. To close during the week you have to stay at least 30 minutes past closing, so Monday and Friday you have to work until 1030, and on the weekends you HAVE to have open to close on your availability.

I got kind of upset with this whole conversation, because of the way she was saying it, with an attitude. But I handled it, and said ok, change Monday to unavailable then because I have to be up and sub on weekdays at 745, and can not possibly do it if I don't get home until 11, Fridays, I just wasn't thinking about it, Saturday open to close is fine, but Sunday I have to be off by 7 as I teach online at 8 so I have to be home by 750 in order to do that.

A, just looked at me and said well we will see about all of that!

If she would have been at least a little bit more sympathetic to what I was saying I would not have gotten upset, but she made it seem like she was saying that my job was on the line because I can not work until close on Sunday and because I need to pull my Mondays and Wednesdays off the availability.

When I went to lunch I called Jerry and told him about it, and said that I was going to try to talk to D (our HR manager) about it all, but it felt like A was telling me either to shut up and color or to quit. Jerry said well what are you going to do, and I said I guess if they wont work with what I can do and not kill myself, I will just have to work until I kill myself, because we can't afford for me to quit. I was still calm and ok with it all, but mad at the same time. I finished up my lunch, went out the car to take out my bowl and cup, and then went in to see D. She was doing an orientation and asked if she could come get me in a few minutes, and I tried to say yes, but then started crying, so she asked her orientation group to give her a couple of minutes, and we walked in her office.

When we got into D's office, I unloaded on her, which I know is the last thing she needs (considering our store manager bailed last week), but I couldn't help it. I explained what happened with A and my availability form, and that I couldn't afford to loose this job, but I also can't afford to kill myself working that many hours. She got upset with A's attitude, and told me that she would talk to S (the ops manager) about my situation, but she didn't see it being a problem, and that she wanted to see if perhaps I could go in and work with her on weekends for the spring (which I don't think is going to fly).

Then she asked me what else is going on, because she could tell I was frustrated with something else with work. I told her that I had already brought it up to A, and she said tough cookies tell me anyway.

In our department (the cashiers that is) there is a BIG problem with favoritism, between both A and several cashiers, and the head cashiers and several of the cashiers. One in particular, who was working today, the same shift as I was. Since I have been there, she has been late both to work and from lunch, not shown up and not called, changed her lunch and break times on her own, walked away from her register and left someone else to handle it, without permission, and no one writes her up or reports it, not even the admin manager.

Today though was the straw that broke my back, so to speak. This morning "they" decided to do a McDonald's run, which was fine by me, I didn't have any money, but I don't care if they go and get some, as long as everyone still pulls their weight. SV, volunteered to go to McDonald's for everyone. Ms. G told her to get me a sausage biscuit. SV, clocked out to go, and clocked in as soon as she walked back in the building, before she even put the food in the break room (she used the register next to mine so it was easy to see). Ms. G came out from the cash office to cover self checkout and sent me in to eat, and said just be quick because I am behind. So I ran in and ate, then came back out. Ms. G said you didn't have to eat that fast, silly. Which I knew, but since she did me a favor and bought it for me, and then was watching my register I wasn't going to take advantage. This whole time SV was in the break room, leisurely enjoying her breakfast, for the next HOUR! I probably would not have realized how long she was in there, except for the fact that I got a couple of the customers from the area where she was supposed to be checking out customers, who said that there wasn't a cashier down there, and then I noticed when she went beebobing by. This entire hour A (remember A? the department manager?) was in the break room with SV, talking about their pregnancies. Plus SV took about 3 more breaks for 15 minutes or more before I went to lunch at 10.

I had tried to bring up the favoritism to A when she came by self checkout a while later, and tried to be very tactful about it, saying that as a teacher and a former manager I know how favoritism can happen without a person realizing that it is happening, and that I had heard other cashiers complaining about it, and that I was also frustrated by it. A knew exactly who I thought was the favorite, but thought I was just referring to the head cashiers, as the ones playing favorites, and then made excuses about letting her eat and drink on the floor (which I didn't even know about, and really didn't care about).

So all of this is what I told D today at lunch. Because it is hard to work 7 days a week, 8 to 15 hours a day (because even when I am not working nights at Lowes I am teaching on-line), and to sit there and watch someone get paid the same as I do (probably more, because it seems that starting pay at this store is a bit higher than it was in Florida), and not do what they should be expected to do, just ticks me off. D said that they had already talked to A about it earlier this week, but if this happened today then obviously they didn't get through, I didn't tell her that I was pretty sure that B (the admin manager) knew that they were in the break room talking for that long.

D came by a while later and told me that S (the ops manager) was ok with my availability change. I "think" I have to work the two schedules that are already on the board, I have to ask tomorrow to be sure, which if I do means very little sleep will be had these coming weeks.

After I left D's office I had a few people come up and ask me what was wrong, and if I was ok, because I was not my usual chipper self. Which was nice that they noticed, and a couple of them went out of their way to stop and say something each time they came to the front, just to cheer me up (thanks M and T).

When I got home my frustrations continued though. I nominated to pick up 3 teaching hours today after I got off from Lowes, starting at 4 pm est. I know that I double checked before I submitted the nomination that I had not accidentally put in for a time that I would not be home (because that is my biggest fear when I self-nominate for hours outside of my normal ones). I got home today and told Kelsey to give me the computer so I could see if I had picked up the 4 pm session, and had an email saying I was scheduled for the 3 pm session. (WHAT?!?) I logged into the program right away, and didn't have any students yet, but still. GRRRRRRR So I had to send a IM to the team leader, and an email about it to the program.

Then to add insult to injury I had tech issue after tech issue, with students tonight. I sent 5 emails other than my one about the 3 pm session to the program about students, which is something I rarely do, but a couple of them needed to have attention brought to it.

Thats all I need is to get in trouble and loose that job, over something that stupid. We really would loose the house, car, truck, everything if that happened.

I really really am praying for a full time teaching job for the 2008-2009 school year, with full benefits, and a full salary so that I can stop stressing out over the money situation.