Home > Archive: October, 2011

Archive for October, 2011


October 30th, 2011 at 03:26 am

So Thursday and Friday I stayed after school -Thursday til 5:30, and Friday til 6:20 - helping with preparations for the Halloween Festival which was today. I could have left at 5 on Friday, but felt like I should stay til the last dog died due to not being there on Saturday (since I go to church on Saturday.)

My feet were SO tired! I had a good bit of fun though - especially on Thursday helping the mid-schoolers pick out costumes. There were a couple of boys -- man, did I ever wish I had my camera with me! They were a hoot! However, I ended up getting into major hot water because I let the mid-schoolers into the costume closet - and they made a royal mess. I had no idea they weren't allowed back there - all I was told was to help all the kids find a costume! I also realized they'd left a mess, and was planning on cleaning it up on Friday - which I told to one of the other staff. However, on Friday I didn't get back there till nearly 4:30 because I was put on other tasks ... I apologized to the people's toes I had stepped on, and helped finish the last bits of clean up. That was more than a bit frustrating to me - trying to be helpful and a part of the team, and getting into hot water. Frown I know I should have probably just cleaned it up on Thursday, but my feet were *killing* me (though they were worse on Friday ...)


Anyway, this was a LONG week.

Next week I have morning prayer duty. That means I have to lead out in prayer each morning. To me, praying is bowing my head and closing my eyes (out of respect) and just talking to God - whatever is on my mind/in my heart. From what I've seen so far here, prayer is making the sign of the cross and then reading a prepared prayer or singing a song - and then sometimes adding an Our Father or Hail Mary to it.

I really wish I wasn't having to lead out in prayer on Halloween day and All Saints Day. But, have to deal with what I have. I'd kind of been thinking of just doing songs all week - but was told that there are special prayers for some of the days coming up this week ... Will have to get that figured out tomorrow.


Tonight after sunset I *finally* got busy and washed my dishes - I've been pretty much out of clean dishes for a week ... I soaked dishes in the sink and washed them, then dunked and rinsed them in a large pot of boiling water (well, water doesn't necessarily *boil* here ...) -- About a week ago I put a bunch of dishes in a sink full or hot soapy water with the full intention of washing them .... and there they still sat tonight. Blush Now though, all dishes are clean, dry and (mostly) put away.

That is a good thing, because tomorrow after I do lesson plans and put in a few hours cataloging, I need to make a cottage cheese roast for the staff Halloween get together at our principal's home. The tradition here is for all the staff to gather at one place, and the kids all go there to get their candy from us.

I plan on putting Kari in her kennel while I'm cooking. I absolutely do not trust her around any food right now. The other morning I was making a sandwich, and before I'd put anything on the bread, she'd jumped up on the counter and taken a bite of one of the slices!!! Crazy cat!!

Tonight I also have finished 3 loads of laundry, and need to go put in the last one. It's funny, even with a washer and dryer right in my own home, I still tend to go as long as possible between doing laundry ...

I think it's partly my laziness, and partly just being so tired from school .. mostly my laziness though. Smile

Inventory finished - mostly

October 27th, 2011 at 03:18 am

Yesterday was parent teacher conferences, so I spent a bit over 8 hours doing *just* inventory. I went from about 70% finished, to 88% finished! I also had two helpers - one who dusted and cleaned the shelves (badly needed), and one who put books back in correct order and started processing lexile levels for the new books.

Today I kept inventorying every spare moment. I even stayed at school til 5, even though I really had needed to stop by the PO and get into town earlier than I ended up doing -- I just couldn't stop when I was so close!!

There are 499 items missing (really more like 485, because some of them are at my house Big Grin ). Most of them I think are either just plain lost, or were farmed out to various teachers classrooms by the previous librarian. I'm going to do some searching over the next few days, and then just mark them all LOST. If they end up coming in at a later point, it is easy to unmark it as Lost. But until I have the inventory at 100%, I can't get new barcodes!

Tonight I spent just a bit over $100 at Walmart. Only $44 of it was for personal groceries. $32 of it was for a new pair of shoes which I hope will work well in the snow (predicted for tonight). The remainder consisted of 3 dozen Halloween cupcakes for the Halloween Festival the school is having on Saturday (which I won't be participating in since it is my Sabbath, but I am doing all I can to help out in other ways) and a bag of Smarties to hand out on Halloween. It is a tradition here for all the teachers to have dinner at SrN's house on Halloween, and pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. In fact, some of the Navajo families take a bus to come to our mobile home park!

I am really hoping that my next grocery trip will be kept under the $50 mark (I'm trying to go just every other Friday - save on gas and wear and tear.

So tonight when I got home, my lovely cat Kari played a trick on me that my previous cat Monkey did way too many times. When I was coming in the door with my hands full of bags (and cupcakes I didn't want crushed) she pushed her way out the door! I was sorely dissapointed because I thought she wasn't going to get into that bad annoying habit.

I put all my stuff down on the floor, and ran out after her. I kept calling her, and she was ignoring me. I managed to get her before she got very far. Ugh!

Today was my first elective class. I'm teaching journalism (i.e. newspaper and yearbook.) I have 6 6th and 7th graders total. I told them that we are going to do a couple issues of a newspaper, then concentrate on the yearbook, and then it would be up to them whether we do bookclubs or learn how to design a website (which we'd put a newspaper edition on.) Being middle schooler's, there was no visible reaction to any of it. Oh well, I think over all they enjoyed class today - I know the time flew for me!


October 24th, 2011 at 04:10 am

Those of you who have Netflix streaming, I would highly recommend the movie Cyberbully. The acting isn't that great, but the storyline is really well done. It would be really good to watch with your young/older teens and discuss why it is so important to be careful with what you post online -- that there ARE consequences - real life consequences.

I had wanted to watch this when it came out back last April or May - but my ex-stepdad didn't have that channel. (He actually got married on Saturday!!) I'm glad Netflix has it. I'm thinking of suggesting our guidance counselor here watch it, and then maybe show it to the eighth graders. We did a couple lessons on online predators at the beginning of the year, but then got busy with other projects, so I didn't get to the cyber bullying lessons I'd planned on doing. They really need both.

I put in about four hours of book inventory today. Have roughly 3,500 books to go ... It isn't hard, it is just *really* time consuming. And as I'm going along, I'm finding so many books totally miscataloged and my problem book pile grows steadily larger.

I really hate not having a dishwasher. I've been procrastinating SO badly about washing dishes - finding anything to eat that doesn't require a dish ... because I'm completely out of clean ones. Blush It's not so bad if I keep up with it, it's just when I let it go for a few days and it starts piling up ...

Ugh! I *still* have not received my new driver's license. It was supposed to be here by Sept 22nd. I sent the DMV an email several weeks ago, and have had no response. On Tuesday we don't have to be at school til 12:30 - so I think I may go into GR to the DMV and see if I can get this straightened out. My temp license expired on 9/22, so considering I'll be flying in a few weeks (Thanksgiving) I really need to get an unexpired one!!! (My TX license isn't expired, but it is deactivated since I got the NM once ... almost wish I hadn't bothered ....) Ugh!

I ordered a book on Amazon on Thursday, and as soon as I hit "proceed" I realized it had the wrong shipping address -- my ex-stepdad's! I tried to cancel right away, but it wouldn't let me cancel - not even 30 seconds after I placed the order!!! Luckily my ex-stepdad hasn't moved out of that house *yet* (it closes contract on the 27th) so he'll forward the package to me. I really must delete that address - it isn't the first time I did that, just the first time I couldn't cancel!

Like I said yesterday -- must put a moratorium on ordering books!!

Ugh - Logged Out

October 23rd, 2011 at 04:37 am

I typed up a nice long post and forgot my typical advice to copy it to a clipboard before posting ... just in case. And of course I'd gotten logged out because in the middle of typing I got into a text convo, so it took awhile. So nice long post -- gone.

Short of it -- Long, busy week at school. End of first quarter, major hiccups with online grading program that computer tech person and I got to handle. Look to be worked out now. (cross fingers!) Parent teacher conferences on Tuesday - hope to finish book inventory and get started on processing new books. Must put a moratorium on my buying books for the library. MUST.

Frown Co-worker who found out she was pregnant, miscarried last Thursday night. No support from family - taken to hospital by brother, then he left. I didn't find out til Monday morning. Frown

Really missing my Texas church family. I do like my life here, my job, my home, etc. Just if we could transport my Lew****** church family to here ... then it would be perfect. If I wanted the stress of it ... I'd offer (make a strong suggestion) to be worship leader/coordinator. Today they mentioned Nov 5 is supposed to be "community church" day - where we invite coworkers/friends. HAH! I'd be seriously embarrassed right now to invite anyone. Not that they aren't good people - because they are good people. But they are seriously organizationally challenged. It makes it *really* difficult for me to talk myself into going to church each Sabbath - let alone invite someone who knows nothing about our church (other than what they might see in me.)

Busy Busy

October 23rd, 2011 at 04:22 am

This past week was quite busy. Between teaching classes and trying to do inventory (still!) and then the end of the first quarter ... Yikes!

The computer tech and I are in charge of the online gradebook program. This is the program that at the beginning of the year I ended up spending a LONG day with classes canceled putting together the data files. Computer tech printed a sample report card on Wednesday and discovered that student name and teacher name did not show up. The tech help for the program convinced her to reupload roster files (which I'd been told could *not* coexist with the data files I'd uploaded at beginning of year ...) First grade teacher became the guinea pig and opened up her gradebook ... all her students were gone, along with all her grades. Panic ensues.

Spent most of Thursday on the phone and/or trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Finally convinced computer tech to tell gradebook company to delete roster files *again* and go with the data files and figure it out from there. That worked - got kids names back AND grades. But then had to write out instructions for teachers to fill out class info for *each* gradebook. (we could have done it for them .. but 15+ teachers times 6 - 10 gradebooks each ... much more efficient to have them do it, and then we troubleshoot.)

So Friday was teacher inservice day. At breakfast I realized that most of the teachers had completely misunderstood the instructions I hurriedly handed out at the bus waving (end of day everybody waves the busses home). So I had to stand up and reexplain exactly what they were supposed to do. Then while teachers were completing their grades, numerous problems kept cropping up, so both computer tech and I were kept on our toes til about 4 p.m.

What a week!

A funny though ... Friday afternoon a couple of the teacher assistants were assigned to help me in the library. Only one of the 6 assigned actually was there the entire time ... but that's another story. Anyway, the PE teacher is good friends with this one teacher assistant. She needed to leave early due to "babysitter problems." PE teacher was giving her a ride home. She offered to come in and help me with doing inventory on Sunday afternoon. PE teacher got this shocked expression on his face, and then said, "You come in on Sundays?!" LOL!!! I told him that yes, I come in on most Sundays. Big Grin

Shoot - I could use another 30 hours a week, and still not even come close to getting to all the projects and things that need to be done.


Tuesday is parent teacher conferences. It appears that I'll have that entire day to work in the library ... and do inventory and hopefully start on processing the new books (books I've personally bought, and those donated by others). Sister N posted a sign up sheet for teacher assistants who'd like to get a few hours in that day by helping in the library ... only one person signed up. Sigh. At least the person who signed up is a darn good worker (he actually owns his own computer business in Phoenix, which he goes to every other weekend ... he's here now only due to family, we so LUCKED out that he was willing to be a teacher assistant!!)

Err... speaking of books I personally bought ... I really need to get a moratorium on that spending ... I haven't really put much away in savings yet. Frown

Between the books and Kari and food ... yeah, not saving much yet.


On a sad note ... my single coworker who found out she was pregnant recently, miscarried about a week ago. Frown She miscarried on last Thursday after work, and came back to work on Monday (even though she was told by doctors to take week off.) I've really tried to be supportive, though I don't know if what I've said has been helpful or not ... mostly just tried to listen when she needed to talk. The worst part of it is how utterly unsupportive her family has been. I know if it was me, as soon as family (mom, brother - dad if he could...) heard I was in the hospital, they'd be either driving or flying here to be with me - no matter what else was going on. She was *alone* in the hospital Thursday night and Friday. Her brother took her there -- and then LEFT!!! Totally inconceivable to me ... but then as nutty as my family is, the one thing we are is we are there for each other. (She has at least 4 family members in the area - mom, brother, two sisters, and a best friend.)

The Escape Artist

October 14th, 2011 at 01:37 am

This afternoon I took Kari to the vet. What an adventure that was!

First of all, I had to borrow a cat carrier from a co-worker. The one I had for Monkey had seen better days towards the end of his life .. Well, the one I borrowed, was a soft sided carrier with zipper enclosures.


It took Kari all of one minute to figure out how to get out of it. At first I though maybe I had left a zipper open, but she repeated the performance. Next, I realized that there was a velcro tab thing to hold a handle type thing for the upper zippers. So I did that up. This time it took her ten minutes to escape - though the majority of that time was spent yowling and complaining.

I had to pull over to put her back in the carrier twice. Finally, I decided to try to see if she'd be a good lap traveler like Monkey had been. Not so much.

Finally made it to the vets office. They put us in a room right away - no wait. Upon the vets advice, I let Kari out of the bag so she could explore the room.

Such a strange cat. When she got both of her shots, she had no reaction ... at first. Then 20 - 30 seconds later it was like the Tazmanian Devil broke loose. Yeow!! I've got multiple scratches and claw marks to prove it.

Then the vet tech started clipping her nails. Yowie! You would think WW3 had started or something. She was going to show me how to do it - to make sure not to cut the quick -- but she ended up having to take her to another room to finish. The whole clinic could hear her vehement protestations. Frown

When it was over, I asked the vet if they had any plastic ties so I could secure the zippers for the trip home. They had some, and put 3 on. Kari tried her darndest, but could not manage to get those loose!

The vet told me that we'd wait to clip her nails again until when she gets spayed ... in other words, when she is asleep.

I'll definitely be needing to get a real (plastic) cat carrier for future visits/car rides. I also can see that she'll probably need a tranquilizer if I take her with me on any road trips. The entire 35 minute drive to the vet she did not stop bellyaching once .. except for when she was out of the carrier. (When my previous cat Monkey was a baby and I was taking him home for the first time, he also cried pitifully in his carrier. I took him out and put him on my lap. He fell asleep. That is how he rode with me the majority of the time ... on my lap. Kari ... I don't see that is gonna happen - she couldn't settle down.)

Kari seems to have forgiven me for the torture I put her through today. She is fast asleep on my lap. Smile

Interesting Day, Considering iPhone 4

October 12th, 2011 at 12:10 am

My morning had a lovely start. While I was cleaning out Kari's litter box, she decided to do #1 right next to my foot - outside the box. I'm not sure if she was expressing her frustration with me because I hadn't fed her yet, she saw me cleaning her box and realized she *really* needed to go, or if it may be some kind of an UTI. I cleaned out several clumps of #1, so I think this was a first (I hope!!!)

I realized this morning that my vet appointment was for today, and not tomorrow -- which was impossible for me to do. So I called the vet this morning to let them know I needed to reschedule. I got their voicemail. About 2:30 they called back and left a voicemail saying that the next available appointment would be Oct 26, and that I'd be charged a $15 holding fee.

Considering how old Kari is getting, I want to get her shots done ASAP so I can get her spayed. Waiting another two weeks isn't going to cut it. So I called another place, and can bring her by on Thursday afternoon before 4:30. They are quite a bit more expensive, but it is worth it so I can at least get in and see someone!!

This afternoon I was in the middle of teaching one of my third grade sections when SrN came by. The 3rd grade teacher and I were working together on a Saints research project. The kids were working on researching their different Saints. SrN unfortunately came in while I was running around the room helping the kids put their Saints name in the search engine. She started telling me she thought it was way too hard for the kids and that they'd get overwhelmed. I told her that the Monday section had done it, and had done quite well with it. I probably was quite a bit more short with my response than I would have been if I hadn't been in the middle of class and on the third week of working on this project ... She also told the 3rd grade teacher the same thing - 3rd grade teacher had done the same project last year with her kids, and it was in her lesson plans she turned in a few weeks ago ...


One thing I'm having to get used to here is never knowing when people will just waltz through your classroom. This week so far we've had at least three groups of donors tour through campus. Then today we also had one of our more major donors/fundraisers/volunteers make a presentation from pictures he and his group took during the Summer School program. Never a dull moment!


I had been planning on getting an iPhone 5 when it came out. Of course, that didn't happen. So now I am thinking about getting an iPhone 4 -- if, as I've seen reported, it will sell for $100 (w/2 yr contract.) My current phone could then become my defacto iPod touch Smile for a 50% less than getting a 4S.

Or ... I suppose I could wait til the 5 comes out, and possibly get the 4 for free ... (like the 3GS will now be ... only the 8GB one though)

Inventory, Youtube and Cold Weather

October 10th, 2011 at 01:10 am

It sure has gotten cold here. Very different from Texas .. there we'd have shorts and sandals weather til nearly Thanksgiving most years. Here, we had a low of 27 degrees Friday night, and I imagine last night was even colder, because at 8 a.m. it was only 30 degrees!

I slept most of yesterday - still trying to fight off whatever this bug is that I got.

Today I spent about three hours picking out appropriate youtube videos for my 6th - 8th graders to watch on their various plagiarism topics. I couldn't find a good one for citing music MLA format (well, I did find *one* but not exactly appropriate.) I used quietube to make the links devoid of any advertisements or links to other videos.

Then this afternoon I spent about five hours doing inventory at the library. I made it through A - F in the E Fiction section. Before I can process any new books, I have to complete a full inventory. Our circulation system (Destiny) was purchased in the middle of last year, and merged with the old circulation system. So until all the books are accounted for one way or another, there is something called a "barcode filter" in place. I can create my own barcodes for new books, but by doing that I run the danger of using a barcode already assigned to a book. Once the inventory is complete, then the barcode filter will be removed, and the barcode field will fill automatically with whatever barcode is next in line.

I have a bunch of new (or newish) books that are ready and raring to be processed. I forsee a number of Sundays going forward spent doing inventory, then a number more getting the books processed ... Oh well, not like there is all that much else to do around here. Big Grin

Tomorrow after school all the teachers are riding busses with the kids. Two teachers per bus. I'm glad I didn't get put on the super crowded bus - though I did get put on the one with the longest route. I will need to be sure to dress warmly!

Wednesday after school I have a vet appointment for Kari. I'll hopefully find out how old she is, and then get her started on her shots. (She did have some shots already, but her previous owner can't find the paperwork, and the vet clinic (she'd gone to a free clinic) didn't keep any records! I hope to get her through all her shots and fixed before she goes into her first heat! (One reason I think I/we've always gotten male pets ...)

Probably on Tuesday after school I will go get my oil changed. I really should have done it last week when we had the half day instead of going to see a movie, but oh well. Smile

Oregano? The Cure all?

October 6th, 2011 at 04:52 am

Over the last two weeks I've been progressively feeling yuckier and yuckier. I was even beginning to think I may have caught strep or an ear infection. I took some Mucinex D (two doses) and my throat and ear started to feel better ... but then I realized that I most likely had a sinus infection.

Our school nurse suggested a Neti Pot. So Tuesday was Pet Day (half-day). I went into the town with the Walgreen's (only one in a 90+ mile radius ...)and got a Neti Pot and some OTC Allegra D. I took the Allegra D last night, and got some relief. Then this morning I tried the Neti Pot for the first time .... still need to practice with it (swallowed more than I cared too ..)

In talking with the school nurse again at lunch today, she suggested taking oregano. I was like, I have some of that at home. She told me you have to take it in the pill form - that supposedly it does wonders for all kinds of illnesses. Kind of an all natural antibiotic. She had a bottle at school (unopened) and gave me 6 pills for me to try.

I took one around 1:30, and by 2:30 I was already feeling much better!! I unfortunately left the other pills at school, but am still feeling better than I was last night (or this morning.)

Who knew that an herb used to spice up sauces could possibly clear up a sinus infection?? Smile

I have to tell you about Pet Day! Tuesday was the celebration of Saint Francis - patron saint of animals (or something like that). I'd guess that about 50% of the students brought an animal -- lots of dogs and cats ranging from maybe 8 weeks old to adult; hamsters; turtles; guinea pigs; hermit crabs, etc. There was going to be a horse and a donkey, but they didn't come due to the rain. (We've been getting LOTS of rain!)

All the animals that were in cages or smaller than the kids knee (and on a leash) were allowed in the cafeteria while the kids ate breakfast and lunch. It was simply *amazing* to me that there were NO dog fights, and that the cats were overall pretty darn calm with all the commotion. At 10:30 we had a "Pet Parade" where SrN picked up the PreK from their classroom (PreK-K only had stuffed animals) and then picked up all the other grades. Originally we were going to have the blessing of the animals outside ... but well ... it was raining. Smile So we all went into the gym. Big Grin Pets and all. There was one dog that was going a little haywire for most of the time we were in the gym, but otherwise, the animals were pretty quiet.

Before the Pet Parade though, we had other excitement. A particular charity came and gave a free pair of shoes to every student!! SrN had been panicking about how we were going to do the shoes AND Pet Day in a half-day ... so we were very very well organized. We managed to get 200+ kids fitted with their new pair of shoes in about 90 minutes flat. Every kid as they left said thank you to the truck driver/organizer. He (truck driver) said to SrN that our school was the most organized and the kids some of the most appreciative (we were school #57 on his route.)

The shoes really are more of a water shoe type, so probably won't be usable till summer - but maybe would be good for indoor wear before then ...

This coming Monday all the teachers are going to be riding the busses out on the reservation. I rode one bus when I was here for my interview, and I am very curious to see how this different bus route will look. Somehow I don't think we'll get quite as far out (or up) on the rez as I did when I went on the food run -- but it still will be a good experience to see where the kids live.

One of our teachers was posting some very drunken posts on FB this past weekend. Saying some very incindery things about Native Americans. Apparently a couple of the people he has been "hanging" with and drinking with busted out his back car window and stole a couple things (not sure what.)

The big problem with what this teacher was posting is that one of their "friends" is a parent of a student at the school. A Native American student. So not only could his posts cause problems for him, but also for the school.

Anyway ... especially with the new format on FB (UGH!!!!) one must be *really* careful about what they post AND what they comment on/like. No telling WHO might see it.


Like many techies, I was really disappointed that what was looking like the iPhone 5 turned out to only be an iPhone 4S. My protective cover for my iPhone is on its last legs, and I was just waiting to get a new iPhone/new cover. Now though, the upgrade really isn't all that much over the 4. So ... as long as this phone works, I'm going to keep on chugging with it. I will however *need* to get a new protective cover ASAP. My current one opens up if you blink at it.

Oh! Tuesday when I was in town for Walgreen's, I also finally saw Contagion! I thought it was really quite good. I saw it with the middle school science teacher (who has a Master's in Ornithology I think). She lived in Taiwan (teaching ESL) near the end of the SARS outbreak. So the movie seemed all too realistic to her (face masks, grocery stores, etc.)

I think I've decided to not do the Af * Lac secondary insurance. If I had a kid, then I might be more interested in the Accident supplement ... but even as Klutzy as I am, I don't think I'd get my money's worth.

RIP Steve Jobs Frown