Mississippi Moments

Monday, March 31, 2008

Surgery is over. All went well. Better than well. I am on good drugs for a bit.
Home. Squishy is at Camp Alice. Feeling the love from all over.
Waiting for the the biopsy-will come in a few days.
The RV has a new person. He will coem and get her next week.
And Little Feather is going to let me use her truck to take soem things to the dump.
Life is good!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

So I took a break.
I might take another one.
I have really good stick.
And a funny dog.
And I think a buyer came out of the blue today for the RV. They want it as a place for people to stay at a nursery on the peninsula. We shall see. I will miss that wonderful old thing. Happy memories in there. Feelings of freedom and indepependence and being safe while doing what I love with those I love. Looking for an alternative already.
Off to the ocean.
Remember, we are an Easter people. The news is GOOD NEWS.
That's how I prefer to hold things. Except when I fergit. Then I work at remembering again. And it's good.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I'm going to take a break from blogging for awhile.
If there is important news about the adoption or anything really or if Squishy does something really funny or really stupid, I'll be sure to share. Time to bring the drama in and say "take your shoes off, that wig, too, and the bright pink lipstick...settle down...now what is really going on" And we will listen to the story and take it where it needs to go-the journal, the compost, or therapy.
Remember, it's all about the Journey as the Father says. All about the Journey.
And the stick. Be careful what choose. You do get to.

It's been an Adventure. The kind I like. These past couple of days. I can't thank you all enough.
Thanks, Sistahs, for listening and your suggestions.
Thanks for the support and hugs via email, Dear Ones. Looking forward to walking and talking. Listening, too.
The wine was good. The tears moved. I was heard. Did NOT feel so alone.That's a terrible feeling but it's not all there is.
Then Saturday came. Dancing was enjoyable. Only 9 students this week. But started out with 5 am coffee and talk with LIttle Feather. She is up for a weekend workshop on Death and Dying from the Buddhist perspective.
The drive up to Monroe went by so fast or I was thinking on other things I didn't even notice when we were already there. Took Squishy with me. We had a nice walk before. He fussed jsut a little during classes but when you cover the carrier with a coat like a parrot, he's quiet.
Then I went up to the new highschool and walked all over. I just love the openness around Monroe. Yes, the prison is right there, but so are the greenhouses for the school's horticulture program. And a beautiful contemplative garden complete with heather, dancing, drooping cedars, and a PUeblo prayer. Oh, and a statue of Our Lady of Guadelupe with a candle. The air was sweet, the grass was mostly moss and no one was bugging us. Not even me on the inside. We just walked and enjoyed. I liked that a lot.
Went down to watch the soccer match a bit between Sultan and Monroe. Sat with Megs and Dixie. That was a nice time. Morba was sitting with her friends near the lines. Then Squishy and I headed up to check out a part of the area that I haven't been to since before Joe and I were married. Up Sultan Basin Road. Checking out the logging roads that beckon to be walked. There were paintballers up there looking like they were ready to have a great time. I used to love taking long drives into the mountains and woods. And I rediscovered that yesterday. Throw in a couple of checking out properties for sale along the road. The dream is back alive. I want to live in a double wide on a small piece of property with an orchard (or I will put one in). Maude's going to help me with this one. North would work. We will just have our second home down in Gray's Harbor. I need and want to be near my Circle . My Village. Do you know how that felt to be HELD, TO BE SAFE, TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED, to be given space to be afraid, to be loved so intently. With humor. And wine. And tots.???? It all rocks. All of it.

Oh--and Lilith! Oh my. Another blog to come. Love the song. I seem to cry when Coli sings these days. Martha-that--> It's a good thing.
Back to my story.
We came off those windy roads sided with trees draped with heavy layers and ropes of mosses and lichens, edged with lakes to be explored and swum in in warmer days to come. And it's all not ten hours away. It's close. Near espresso. Good.
Down to Claddagh Farms. To heather ale and Holy Grail ale aged over burning witches (hee-hee)-with a tart finish of anise. It doesn't get any better than this--but it did. Squishy played his teenaged-feather butt off with Meaghan and Tara. And more play. And more drinking out of the water thingy ( I forget what they are called) and then the cat came his way. Oh, I was hoping. That cat is on her 7th life, I guess, and she has successfully taught a couple of dogs to be respectful. Ah, but it was not to be. She elected to go up in the tree and talk about the annoyance of this dog for awhile before she darted under the house. Maybe next time. Then it was Squishy meet Maplenut and Molly up close. He kept doing the sideways bounding he does with the low gutteral growling behind Meaghan as she gave the horses apple treats. They just stood there with ears sort of back-like-what is this little annoying thing? It was funny. At one point, Cedar started jumping through the rungs of the white fences for a game and running hell bent for leather around everything (wish i could do that). Then he came to a skidding stop right at Molly's foot. And had an opinion about that, too. It was hilarious. And then we went off with gifts(on top of the beautiful day no less)-a beautiful scarf-shawl which I am wearing to school tomorrow and some great movies. Little Feather and I watched EVER AFTER last night. Oh my! Everything a movie should have--cool old dresses, French castles, Friesen or Andalusian or like it horses--and a grey one at that! (Watch Ladyhawke-you will see what i mean about the horses), hair down the back, balls(the dancing kind), and a strong female lead who rescued herself and kept holding on to her dreams even in the worst of times. Thank you, Dixie.:) Can't wait to watch the other ones. Slept in after 5 am coffee. Still in jamas. Time to get the day started. With hope and back to my usual self. Have come to couple of decisions. I am selling the RV. I am seriously considering eye surgery. It's working for Fuzzy. In all the ways I want it to work. I'm going to sign up for the foster care classes to get certification. I'm thinking on my work situation. A lot. And I did not leave the woodburning tool plugged in. I thought I had and drove back to school at 10 pm last night to check. Everything was a-right. The spring musical was just getting out. I don't think anyone saw me. :)

Okay. SO things are better. Way better. Or at least they feel that way. Which is all that really matters to a 4. this 4 anyway.
The first part of today's entry is for those of you who are already doing it or contemplating becoming teachers of children, amazing but real and youngish children-say of around 6 and 7 years old-you know, the kind that keep a tooth hanging on a a flesh thread until you think your eyes are are going to bug out watching this kid twirl that hooked tooth every day for two weeks or more during morning entry task and even during Creative Choice Time and you think it is finally going to twirl off and right into the azul pool in the paint tray....this is for you:
1. DO IT! Join us. We need you. Especially if the female part of you is hidden on a shelf somewhere-(speak to Uncle Fuzzy about this-he can help you with the description of what is needed and helpful)
2. Someone tuned in needs to help with this task we have. These young-'uns will rule the world. They already do. They just need guided discovery by good people to know how to use words instead of "sock-ems", how to read better (everyday, all the time), and when is it socially acceptable to pick your nose and wipe it on the underside of the desk or center table (Never.)
3. Don't mind my rantings about firstgradeland. Most days are gems. really. and the human beings-yup. I mean, who else do you know that would loan you their Wookie Cookbook for two whole weeks and then let you keep it for another week when you forgot to copy down the Jabba the Hut lasagne recipe?
4. It's a great job. You will stay young. Even when you are going off on your blog about being a person of a certain age--really, at heart. You will keep your kid-heart. it will remind you how to laugh, play, and see with that same "get out of my way-i'm livin' here-and-it's-our-Big-Toy-Day" spirit even on Tuesday mornings in the middle of winter and you can't find clean socks to go with your school pants and it's early faculty meeting day. You will keep so many things inside you that people who work in the Big Peoples' World lose or forget they have. Like the importance of snack, bathroom breaks, and pair- share on the floor.
5. Duck Walks can improve anything.
6. And something I learned on Friday. First graders CAN safely and creatively use a woodburning tool on their hazel walking sticks with careful guidance, They become incredibly careful and focused. Even though the parent volunteer who was doing it with them gave up after two kids (You should have seen the eyes of the one she was working with when she said "can't--it was awful). And teacher said -CAN! quietly to firstgrader with sad eyes-and inwhisper-just wait until after reading adn it's quiet work time. we did it at camp and we can do it here.----and we did. Teacher-to-Be-COME! BE WELCOMED! Wish you could see the cross designs they burned into their walking sticks. You see, we are on a pilgramage, a sacred journey to find God in the world and in ourselves. And it is amazing when you are taking Duck Walks in the rain around the neighborhood with these walking sticks and a pastoral associate drives by, stops his car in the road, gets out with tears in his eyes (And you, the teacher are watching and wondering what this crazy man is going to say to you in front of the children about walking in the rain, singing and smiling) and he stammers-"the archbishop did that, you know, years ago, with the RCIA candidates (people who were studying to become members of the Church) and Look! You are doing it! With the children! You know what Life is...and before he can get a breath out the five kids nearest him answer clearly and matter of factly-"It's a pilgrimage. And you need a stick."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yes, I'm in therapy.
How can I not be?
Cedar isn't. He has Dave.
All hats are off tonight and the one I am wearing on one line might just as quickly be switched to another. So I don't apologize for the "crazy" stream of what's to come.
Fire going. Christmas music on. Nice glass of cranberry juice. Squishy working on a bone and I just pee'd outside in my backyard in the one place that I can without being seen (so I think and hope but really don't care). Kind of in a "gonna do what I want" mood but not too sure what that is in big ways--more sure in little ones. Like, (inner dialogue) "I would like to do the dishes now. And by golly I will." Dishes get done.
"I don't want to walk the dog right now. But by gum, we will 'cause it's good for both of us. Dog and my butt get walked. And I enjoyed it once I was out there. "I want a cup of tea and then I want to read some la-la alternative-green r us magazine in bed instead of do yardwork or anything else after school today". Tea, some stuff read, and snooze (as opposed to full out nap) occurred. So did listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio.He's a financial common sense Christian guy who gives advice. Which brings me to some of my first thoughts.
*The more I work and the harder I work, it seems that the more I get dumped on by playing by some f*@#&$^$ rules I don't even know about. Just feels that way. And everything feels that way. right now. everything.
*I have sooo outgrown where I am working. I don't really know why I am staying. FOr some Dream that doesn't exist anymore. And because I like the drive and the mountains and the water and the library there and the big open playground. I am perceived as an "oddity". Old fashioned. Not understood. TOday-field trip to Sea Tac with the other first grade. Our first one of the year. At the last minute, I didn't know that it was my job to check and make sure that the new background checks have been completed on all the drivers and chaperones. MY JOB?!?! Well, no they hadn't. And so we are f&^&%&****trying to round up drivers who are cleared at the last minute. It worked out. ONe of them was 15 minutes late. She had been running off a Spanish assignment that her older child had not been able to print off for his class today (instead of letting the kid deal with the consequences). Anyway we got there. It was a busy and long route all over the airport. Cool really. But the kids had been forewarned that it was long and to eat snack before etc., etc. There was a lot of complaining toward the end which I stopped. Then at lunch, one parent (who was not in my class group) let her kids climb all over some rock art. The airport folks asked us not to climb on there but to eat our lunches on the benches or at tables. She actually questioned me in front of the children when I mentioned that they needed to get down and why. I even helped bring over a chair for her to have a seat with the kids at a table. Three seconds later they are back climbing on the rocks. And I heard her talking to one of my parents as to how I was so controlling and uptight.One of my students went over to join the other first graders and she made eye contact for about one second from me and quickly got down and returned to her table to finish her lunch. Nothing was said. Nothing was needing to be said. She got it. She knew. She made a good choice. She reaped a good consequence for her choice. I just can't believe the blatant sense of entitlement and disrespect that came out today.
And I later fielded tow complaints from other grown-ups about the trip. I sort of agreed to make it easier for myself to get out of the conversations. And I can't help thinking-what a load of SH*t! What a sense of entitlement. IF they only knew what the kids in Jonestown would have done with a tour of the airport like that. I remember what a big deal it was to just go down to the airport to watch them take off adn land and taxi and get loaded with the cargo and the people. I can't remember which kid mom used to take down there. I remember what a unremarkable but special time it was to take our dinner out to Golden Gardens or down to the humpyards and watch the trains or to that park by the tower down near SPU and the canal. I had a parent actually tell me today that she heard from her daughter that I liked "old fashioned" things. I said yes, I did. And that was the only thing we had in common really to talk about. Next whe was in a conversation about international travel and the sorority that another mom had belonged to in college and a Ramrod Marathon Biking Event she was signed up for. I don't fit here. I know it's a 4's saga but I really don't. My students were fairly well behaved today. Only one was made my "special friend" for a portion.
**I had a conference this morning before school with a set of parents. Their darling is "bored". I said "bored spitless". They both looked surprised and said yes. I said I knew. I listened and then I outlined all the things I have been doing to offer her choices. All she does is set her chin and look at me with defiance. (It's her job. At this age. I know it. I expect it. And I know what to do about it when I am in my power and wisdom and confidence.)I showed them all the progress that she has been making. I described to a f&*(&*^%$$ T everything (at least 12) things that I have been doing to give her choices. There have been several complaints from other students and parents about how mean and selfish ("Strong-willed and assertive") this only child is. The mom mentioned that she was put in a gifted program at this age. I then mentioned that I was doing all that I could and I mentioned that I also had a tumor and was a little distracted. Oh, and lice twice and was basically exhausted by how much energy that was taking away from my energy for my job. Low shot, I know. But I was being honest. I also outlined that they had options she could bring from home. Apparently my books at school are not good enough for her so she wants to bring her own. GO FOR IT. She won't write to extend for me at the moment.So maybe she wants to bring a special journal from home. GO FOR IT. I DON'T CARE. Here's a funny though. After weeks of offering good rich literature for her to try and getting "THE CHIN". I left out a copy of The Hundred Dresses on the edge of the library and didn't say a word. She picked it up. And she has had her nose in it for three days. Her parents already have tickets to the SCT version of this later this spring. Sigh. They mentioned that she was bored in math. I showed them the Match Challenge booklet and all the 3rd/4th grade grammar, main idea, problem-solving, and spalding work she has. I also showed them the marks to show how she is consistently growing and areas of improvement needed. In 20 minutes. WHO IS WAGGING THIS DOG???Since when do 6 year old children run the world and the grown-ups are supposed to jump because they "ARE BORED"?????? Get your ass and head in a GOOD BOOK! Draw something. Write something. Daydream. IT IS NOT MY JOB TO ENTERTAIN YOU OR TO FIX YOUR BOREDOM. WHAT A BRAT!!!!! THERE ARE SO MANY!!!!!!!!
*On to accreditation. After having had to do the work for two subs and the work of a committee that needs 6 -12 people on it, I spoke up for my committee members and myself. There are 3 of us. We have been doing a bucketload of work and to out it mildly, WE GOT DUMPED ON. And the other committee members know it now. Feel it now. Since I'm on a roll, let's keep on with it. I tried to TELL THEM. NO ONE WOUL DLISTEN TO ME. DO you know how that feels? AWFUL! BLOODY FRICKIN'AWFUL! And I felt a low grade depression coming on because of that. And other things. So anyway. I spoke up. To our principal. IN those words exactly. She acknowledged that we had in fact had. ANd that we had been given the wrong indicators for a whole day of wasted work. And that we had not been given the data we needed or even the survey guidelines to go ask to get the data we needed, yadaydayada. And here's what she said: I PICKED THE THREE STRONG, QUIET DEPENDABLE PEOPLE I COULD COUNT ON EVEN THOUGH I KNEW YOU HAD BEEN DUMPED ON."
What do you think when you hear that? Again, I didn't care. I stated what we wanted to have happen as a group-we wanted the entire curriculum committee -12 strong back to finish and complete the section we had been given , us three. I also said that I wasn't going to take any more time off to do that work and that I wasn't going to work on it in small group anymore." I don't know if she heard me. I think she did. But I said my piece. I'm done. When I don't feel part of the vision/dream of a thing anymore-whether school, marriage, dancing--we're done.
And I'm in a world of grief about all this. I don't know what to do with myself. Physically, I have turned into my worst nightmare. And it isn't what a nightmare could be--but I didn't want to be a square, plain, (ugly to me), fat middleaged woman who is past her prime. That's how I feel. It is bordering on the ridiculous for me to be performing dancing now. I never thought I would get there. But I'm there. Not because I want to be but just because it is. I wish I could say I was a Wild, Succulent Woman who just Danced Her Dreams...I am seriously asking myself what I have to live for these days? And it isn't because I am in a midlife crisis. I know how to take care of Squishy. I know how to take care of the minutiae. I just don't know what to live for. This isn't enough.

I am enjoying reading the letters of Paul while he was in prison. I enjoyed reading Educating Waverley again. It was like taking a long walk with an old friend. I am enjoying listening to Flicker in our neighborhood. I am enjoying spring springing up. I am eating too much to fill the hole. I am sick of having dreams about making love with my ex-husbands but I can't fathom taking the energy to get into the mode to date again. no way.
And I am thinking to myself-why be responsible? Why do things around the house anyway? Who cares? I don't. The only sanity I feel is when I am doing something familiar and then it feels like a dog and pony show. In the long run, I don't believe it will matter. Except I can see teh power of the positive in the eyes of certain learners and friends and dogs. And that matters. This is a really difficult place to be in.
Maybe a haircut and an eyebrow wax will help. Someday this month.
Do you know they never followed through at school with the subsequent lice checks like they said they would? Like they told us? See what I mean? Why bother? It's so disheartening. And I just don't want to add another thing to my schedule to get busy and distracted. What's the point? I can't seem to find mine these days and nights. So I just correct papers from school, pay bills, build slow-burning fires, and try to remember to brush my teeth. I hate this. I really do. This is not how I want to live. But what for?? What for??
*Word came from the Vietnam MOU talks today. There has been no formal agreement or even anything in writing between our gov't and theirs. If there isn't anything 6 months out (by the end of MArch), then there isn't an agreement and what's next is literally a BIG ????. I am not making this up or feeding drama. They have asked us not to pass on the newsletters from the agency but I have the latest one and it says jsut this. So does the official website of the adoption agency. And I have this gut feeling that there is going to be a deadend.
And on top of this--the RV. What represents freedom and one of my most simple pleasures. And an act of empowerment and defiance to the man who said to me that I would never get out and do anything. (Like holding down a job, doing Waldorf training, learning to be a good dependable friend and sister, buying a house and taking care to love it, believing in a Dream and a Relationship for as long as I did, like traveling to Jonestown and doing the good work there is nothing)...the RV does have this flaw. A big one. I am hesitant to take it out again. And after I just had tons of work on it. And I don't have the energy to find someone to fix it. Or even save to have it done. Or do I sell it as is. How do I explain what I know? I won't be dishonest. I wish someone would help me understand what my choices are here. It is just taking up room in the backyard if I am not going to use it and enjoy it. Another dead Dream. Not good for this 4. Not good at all.
So alot is going on-seems like all or nothing--no school, no dancing other than teaching, no Rv, no baby, no strong, healthy me,.
Yes Squishy. Yes, walks. Yes, Subaru. Yes, washer. Yes, baths. Yes, reading some. Yes, good dancing work in Seattle and Monroe. Yes Jonestown.
I want a T@B trailer that I can pull with the Subaru. I don't want to be alone so much. At least in my own head. It isn't much fun these days. I tell my thoughts to shut up and sit down ALOT. Alot. Time to go do dishes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I found a picture today. One of my students drew it during SSD (Silent Sustained Drawing) which happens on Friday afternoons or whenever we need/want it to happen. Her picture had a large heart on it. In one half of the heart was a drawing of Herself facing another drawing, of a smiling Jesus. And underneath it: I *heart* MS. R.

Kind of made my day.
This particular student never says boo to anyone about anything. Until she is in the car with her mom and then we hear it as she is pulling out of car line.

One other thing made my day:
There is a boy in the class who usually can't wait to get out of school. He is one of the eager learners of how to tell time so he can quit asking how many more minutes 'till (you fill in the blank). We were Irish dancing. They are learning the "OLF Circle Jig". It's a jig. In a circle. With students from OLF. We came to the "split steps" part. One is a hopscotch step. One is a "ski jump" step. One is a melange of both. We are dancing away. Get done with that part. And he has this look on his face. I don't have much to lose these days, so I looked at him and said,"Whatcha thinking?" He looked at me-same look-and he said matter-of-factly-------"I love school."

Now what am I supposed to do with that?

Share it with y'all.....