Tuesday, September 18, 2018

On Sunday morning it was fairly cool with no wind. Toby talked me into taking a little bike ride. We rode about 7 miles, which is really not bad. The problem is I am a fair weather rider.  If it is too hot, I don't do it.  In the summer time the only cool time is earlier in the mornings, but if I have to choose what I want to do in that time, well... It goes something like this: Do I want to ride this morning or throw pots? You guessed it. All summer I have chosen to throw pots out in the barn rather than riding. Since yesterday was the first time I have been on my bike in months, I was rather sore yesterday.  Mostly, it was my shoulders and of course, my bottom.  Then there was the catch in my get-a-long.

On Monday as Toby was leaving the house, he thought the water pressure was down a bit. He told me to go check the meter.  As I was leaving the house, I decided that the water pressure was fine and went on my merry way.  When I got home from town around 3 PM, I discovered that the water pressure was really down. Dang. So I went and checked the meter. Sure enough there was a leak somewhere. I turned the water off at the meter. Then I went in search of the leak. I found it easily enough. Big puddle out by the barn.

So, at 4 PM I texted Toby with the bad news. He did not hurry home. He arrived around 6. I fed him. Then we went to fix the leak. First we had to get the tractor out to brush-hog the tall grass in the pasture. Then we had to dig. It was not too bad. We had a bit of an argument on how to fix the leak once we found it. Since I am the gopher (running back and forth to the barn for whatever is needed) while Toby stays in the mudhole, I knew we only had one 2" collar. Toby insisted that we needed two. He tried to explain to me; I tried to explain to him. Then I got the, "You are not listening to me!" So I called my neighbor to see if they had an extra collar handy. They did. I drove down to get it around 8 PM. We eventually got the leak fixed around and got back to the house at 9.

I was one tired puppy. And I am sore in new places. And, just for the record. We only needed one collar. Today I will return the borrowed one. Yes!

Friday, September 14, 2018


It looks like I will be going to France in October for about a week. I am so excited.  My brother  and sister-in-law are there for the fall semester. This will be their last time to teach in France, since my SIL is retiring soon. Because they already have an apartment and know their way around the area, it is the perfect time to go and see the countryside.  Jesse has been over to see them in years past, but it has not worked out for us to go. But now is the time!

Five years ago, I was able to spend a week or so in Paris with my cousins and Jesse.  This time we will be in the Angers, France. We will get to see the country, although we do plan a day or two in Paris.  I speak no French. And there is no way I can get this Texas Twang accent wrapped around the French language. I will do my best, but will let my family do most of the talking. I will point and nod. Yeah right!

Years ago when we spent some time in Italy, we were in a small fishing village on the Adriatic Sea.  The village folk did not speak English, but they were very friendly and wanted to visit with us. Because the previous renter of the house where Halliburton put us up was French, the village people thought we were French too. I thought that was very funny. They would try to talk to us and usually asked, "French-cheesy?" We would answer, "No. Okie."

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Wish for the Moon

When last I mentioned my prospective teaching job in Duncan, they wanted me to watch for a posting of the job on their website and then apply accordingly. Now that has changed. Last Thursday I got a call from the Edge, the school where they asked me to teach one morning a week. They are not going to post the job. But they wanted me to go to the website and fill out a generic application  - they already had me send a resume. Also, I needed to call the admin office and talk to a lady there. She didn't return my call until the next day, but she was very efficient when I did talk to her. It seems she has some sort of rule book to follow - whereas everyone else was just pulling stuff out of their hat. This lady wanted me to provide proof of teaching and my teaching certificates for TX and NM.  She also wanted me to get an official college transcript. You would think that if I have a teaching certificate that wanting a college transcript is just silly, but rules are rules.

Whatever happened to the day when you filled out an application and signed that it was all true. Then if they wanted to hire you, they called your previous employers and talked to them. Oh well. Times have changed. In fact too much time has gone by. Proving that I taught and that I was certified has been a pain. Three years ago I sent requests to the three schools where I had taught some 25 plus years ago. Only one of the schools sent back info. What the heck! Talk about unprofessional! Two of the schools totally ignored my requests. Questa ISD was the only one to send proof of teaching.

So if I have my OK teaching certificate, which I do, why does Duncan need all this other info? Well, they said they had to configure my pay. Geeze Louise! We are only talking about my teaching one morning a week! When I taught at Comanche three years ago, they dickered with me over my pay - not using any sort of professional pay scale. So I know that Duncan can do that too, but won't. They said they were more professional being a larger school district. Pffftt.

Anyway, I have been on the phone with folks in NM and Mission, TX trying to prove that I was a licensed teacher. I have my TX teaching certificate, which is a lifetime certificate.  NM is a whole 'nuther matter. I don't remember ever holding a NM certificate in my hand. I took a National Teacher Exam and then NM hired me. I taught for 2.5 years in Questa and one year in Taos. Although I can prove my teaching experience, Duncan wants proof that I was a licensed teacher. NM does not keep records that far back and if they do, they are not sure they can be located - certainly not by looking things up on a computer. Duncan might as well ask for the moon.  I told them so yesterday.

So here is where I stand. I have a TX and OK teaching certificate. I have taught in public schools for seven years, but can only prove that I taught under a certificate for four years. That may have to be sufficient. Figure my pay accordingly and leave me to teach my little class. Good Grief!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Post Labor Day

My friend, Robin Egg, told me that sometimes I forget to tell her things when we are together and she has to read my blog to find out what is happening in my life. What can I say? I think that when I am visiting with someone live and in person, there is lots of talking and I have to concentrate on what is being said around me. That means my brain is focused on the discussion on hand and often forgets what I meant to say. I do know that I often interrupt people while talking or jump to another subject, because as my brain kicks in, that is when I need to say it or lose it.

Last week I dropped by the alternative school, The Edge, where hopefully I will teach. The art room was great with everything I need or want. The principal/person in charge was great too. Very friendly and helpful and on track with all that I am thinking.  The principal of the high school, hmm, well, he was a nice guy, but not too very interested in me or what we are trying to do with art and the Edge. He said that the job needed to be posted, I needed to apply for it, etc. Maybe he will get around to posting it....sigh.

Jesse and I went to the Lake Texoma last week. Our friends with the cabin on the Okie side of the lake invited us and Lindz and her mom. We had a really nice time. We drank coffee on the deck, we played games, we took a boat ride and swam, but mostly we just visited and enjoyed our little vacation.

Labor Day weekend started off with the usual hot of the summer.  Then on Sunday we got a little thunderstorm in the afternoon. The thunderstorm knocked out our electricity for several hours. When it came back on, the air conditioner did not work. Great. At least it was fairly cool after the storm.  Monday morning was cool and breezy. I spent several hours in the barn throwing pots. I invited Frank and Robin Egg over to throw pots too.  They stayed for lunch - leftover pizza, and Frank helped Toby put two little window units in the house windows to keep us cool until the air conditioner guys can come. It started raining soon after the units were installed and kept the day cool. The window units worked great, especially with the cooler weather.  This morning (Tuesday) it is still raining.  I have ten jillion things to do today. I love the rain, but I am hoping it lets up a bit so I can get out and about without getting soaked.

I wrote down some goals for myself while sitting around over Labor Day eating bon-bons. I read an article in Watercolor Magazine on breaking through creative blocks. I don't think I have creative block right now, but I do have serious lazy butt. One of the things said by an artist was that she decided to be a serious artist and forced herself to paint two hours every day. Another artist said he goes to his studio at specific time and works there every day. Duh. I knew that, but I don't do it. So, I wrote it down as one of my goals.

Another goal is to lose another ten pounds. I have lost 25, but have been on a plateau since July. The good news is that I have lost a pound or two and have not gained back weight.  One of the quotes from the Natural Slim lady (videos I listen to) said that the difference between maintaining and losing weight can be a few bites. Also she encourages you to walk.  How hard can that be. Stop eating and leave a few bites and walk - not kill yourself at the gym - but walk.  Surely I can do this. Maybe not in the rain today...maybe not in the heat...sigh.

Well, it is a new month and a new start.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Busy Week

It's going to be a busy day - maybe a busy week.  I have made my list and I am sticking to it.

After I rob the bank, I will go by the Edge alterative school to look in on my new classroom. I will be teaching there one morning a week. That should be simple enough. I need to get a few lesson plans under my belt, but first I need to see the room and do a bit of inventory - what is there, what is needed, what can I work with, etc.  This morning I looked online and I seem to be a certified teacher, but who really cares :) I also have lots of questions about when I start and what my schedule will be. Well, I know I start next Wed week, but I need specific times and such. I probably need to fill out some forms so I can get paid and the government can get its share.

After my classroom visit I have a CTAC board meeting. Last weekend I spent the morning with the CTAC board learning new stuff. Well, I'm not sure I really learned anything, but it was okay. I like the people and the food was good :) The CTAC board is the biggie, but then I am on two committees that seem to take up lots of time. I need to get myself organized.
I am trying to be better about putting dates and times of meetings on my phone. Since I am a visual/physical sort of person, I have been keeping a calendar of events and lists of to-do's. It really helps me to look at that calendar each morning. Last week I went by the CTAC office to pick up some forms. Darsy, the CTAC director, said, "Oh you are early for the meeting." I got that deer-in-the-headlights look, "What meeting?!" Darsy laughed, but I think she thinks I have few brains.

At some point while I am in town, I have to make a visit to the tag agency or motor vehicle dept, as some would call it. It seems that we have been driving our truck for a year without new tags ! I know the ultimate responsibility is on us, but the tag agency put our address down wrong last year and we have not been getting notices. I am willing to forgive them, but they do not reciprocate my forgiveness. I am sure to pay a big fine. I hate doing this sort of thing.

While I am in town I will make a stop  at Wal-Mart. Nothing new there.  Maybe I will have a taco at Taco Casa along with a big iced tea.  Quick, easy, and cheap - if you are what you eat.

One of the reasons for the Wal-Mart trip is to buy groceries for my weekend at Lake Texoma. We are having a mother-daughter weekend at a friends lake house.  It should be fun. I am in charge of making dinner one night. I chose fajitas. So, I need to get all the ingredients and maybe some dessert of some sort.

And with that, I must get myself showered and dressed and on the way.  Have a good week!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Summer of Stress

The summer has been stressful to Toby.  Halliburton is out-sourcing his department and sending it to India. Of course, they give big bonuses to those who stay through the change and then big severance packages.  Still, people jump ship quick enough.  Toby has been hanging in there. The stress comes from wondering what we will do next. Being of an age close to retirement, but not quite there yet, he kind of needs to work. Insurance is a biggy at our age, too.  Our thoughts had been on sticking with H until the change over, taking the severance and bonuses, and making due or possibly finding some other sort of work and finding some sort of cheap insurance - all of which is stressful enough. But then there was the stress of staying due to the amount of work caused by the change over. In the midst of all of this, his bosses have been wanting to keep him somewhere within H. and have been looking for him another job here in Duncan. More thoughts, more decisions.

My part in all of this: I've been trying to be supportive in whatever Toby wants to do.  He has worked hard for us through the years and has made a good living.  He has more than put in his time as provider for us, while I have been holding down the home front and playing with my art.  At this point in our lives, whatever he wants to do is just okay with me. I want him to be happy.

So last week when he said, "I don't think I can do this much longer. Don't be surprised if I come home and have quit my job." I answered, "Whatever, honey." The very next day, he came in and said, "I accepted the manufacturing job at Halliburton." Knock me over with a feather!

And so, today starts a new era in our lives.  Toby has gone to work in manufacturing - doing something new - not accounting.  He has been concerned about learning new stuff and new people. But this man is a farm boy, not just some desk jockey. He can fix anything and do most anything.  He ran a trash company in New Mexico and southern CO dealing with trucks, drivers, mechanics, accountants, bosses, city and county governments, etc. He can do this!

I'd like to wish him the best today and thank him for taking good care of me and our family. I know he will ace this, but if he decides that it is not for him at some point, that will be okay too. Maybe we will get an RV and hit the road.