Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hard Hats Required

 I went to the construction site today. Tours were being offered.  Here's my boss Vicki, in her office...
 The lunchroom...
 Adult Education office.
Me in my hard hat!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Killer Tortillas and the Paper Anniversary

Chuck and I finally got a chance to sleep in our tepee.  We have furnished it with a futon pad, and  added some romance last night with candles.  It was fun, but I woke up with a cold nose and a reluctance to jump out from under the blanket and start my day.

Things have been so nuts lately!  It seems a bit relentless.  I keep thinking that tomorrow will be calmer.  Or the weekend.  Maybe next month?

The hallways at Guadalupe School are filling with packing boxes.  As the school year winds down from the children's programs, the teachers are pulling everything down and putting it all in boxes marked "BAILEYS MOVERS" with tags, color- and room-coded.  Adult Education's packing has not yet begun, and won't get to happen until late in the summer.  Our school runs year-round; so the plan is to go, go, go, take-a-quick-night-off-to-do-the-move, go, go, go.  Today, a bunch of us cleaned out the school garage.  If you think your garage is an issue?  Pffft.  Bags of burlap, chiffon, little paper cubes, tissue paper flowers, old Christmas lights, glue bottles left open to dry out, broken computer monitors that can't be thrown away because the grant that paid for them won't allow them to be thrown away.

Three weeks on the Grand.  The trip of a lifetime! Can't wait!  EXCEPT, my boss got wigged out when I told her.  Here I was thinking:  I'm giving over three months notice; I have four weeks of vacation coming to me; we will have completed the move by then; I have already fixed up the rosters, master calendar and staffing for Adult Ed to cover all the contingencies....  She was just...not happy.  I think this is mostly emotional - the move is draining us all and she doesn't want any key staff gone before, during or after.  She did not me want me to go at all.  I offered her a compromise:  I will hike out of the canyon at Whitmore Wash at about Day 13.  There's a dude ranch at the top, with an airstrip.  Chuck says I can be flown in a light plane back to the put-in, or to Las Vegas.  However I want to do it.  He says not to feel bad about it.  I will miss the last 5-6 days, but according to him, all the best rapids are before Whitmore Wash anyway.  He'll finish it up without me and follow me home a week later.

I think Chuck and I will be doing the food for the trip as well. The trip-leader is still deciding whether to have me handle it or to have prepped by an outfitter. The food is a huge undertaking.  Three meals a day for 18 days for 16 people, all of it packed and organized in advance and needing to stay fresh and edible the whole time.  Actually, I have organized food for river trips before.  Not for this long or this many people, but I can do it.  As long as I start planning now.  Then the trip leader told me that his wife will be coming along, and that she can't eat wheat, soy or lactose.  No cheese, no bread, no pasta, and a hell of a lot of freeze dried meals etc.. have soy in them, I am discovering.  She's going to need to help me out with this a bit, and bring some of her own stuff.  I can just picture myself accidentally killing her with a rogue tortilla.

We were in court again yesterday.  His Protective Order, her Stalking Injunction.  This is starting to get old for me.  I took a book.  I am reading "Dies the Fire", a dystopian fantasy, to distract me from dystopian reality.  We have affidavits from witnesses that Chuck is not a stalker.  Now her lawyer wants to cross-examine them and has  asked for a TRIAL.  So there we go.  I'm imagining a game-show:  would the real creeper please stand up?A two-day trial in August, beginning on our first wedding anniversary.  Super special.  Think the ex will bring us a gift?  Shit!  The first anniversary is the "paper" anniversary, after all; and she has already provided us with scads of it.

But.  It was a beautiful day today, and I am happy.  The weekend is going to be full:  soccer tryouts; Sara's giant Capture the Flag party with all her classmates; Chuck's birthday party on Sunday.  I'm making tamales and a rhubarb cake.  And in a few minutes, I will walk up the driveway and say hi to Chuck and he will hand me a whiskey.  And we'll go to bed, but probably not in the tepee.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Time to go hang out on the Farmhouse Porch with Patrice.  I’m bringing some sun-tea with me, today, and a hazel nut Bundt cake.  Yum! 

Is there one person who can drive you nuts, even when they are not doing anything? 
No, truly!  I have a pretty high “nuts” threshold.  I drive myself nuts, but that’s about it. 

When you were a small child, how did you answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 
A deer.  I think I was a little unclear on the concept. 

Do you drink more sodas, iced tea, or water?
Drinking is a weakness of mine.  I need to be reminded to hydrate.  Of the three things listed, I would usually choose iced tea; but that’s because coffee and tequila are not on the list. 

My favorite flavor of Ice cream is:  ohboyohboyohboy!  I love EVERY flavor ice cream!  Don’t make me choose!  Uhhhhh….  Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate?  Burnt Almond Fudge?  Banana?  Bubble Gum?  Moose Tracks? 

Do you like to dance? 

Yes, I love to dance!  I dance with great enthusiasm and no skill.  I am officially too old to care.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stocking Injunction

[Spice alert.  If you are under the age of 16 and happen to be one of my kids, turn back now!  Don't read this, or you will go, "Ewwwww!  Mom!  TMI!"]

For about a month now, Chuck and I have been granted a Protective Order, sheltering us, our family members and my workplace from Chuck’s ex-girlfriend.  We sigh with relief and exchange high-fives if we don’t hear from her / her attorney / her home-building contractor / agencies to whom she complains about us for a whole week or ten days!  

At first, when the police officer showed up at our door to serve Chuck with a Stalking Injunction, I thought I had stepped through the looking glass.  We don’t know where the ex lives, haven’t been in contact, haven’t laid eyes on her in weeks.  So it can’t possibly be a Stalking Injunction. 

Silly me (and thanks to a quirk in Utah pronunciation)!  It was in fact a STOCKING Injunction.  Now, a Stocking Injunction?  Chuck NEEDS one of those.  No stocking is safe from him, especially when it is being held up by one of those cute little garter belts.  He’s nuts about them.  Black, fishnet, taupe, nude, lacy tops, plain tops, tops with the rubbery self-grip stuff…  If I had realized there was such a thing as a Stocking Injunction, I would have filed one AGES ago.  He totally deserves it. 

Which gets me to Restraining Orders.  Isn’t that when I say, “Baby, tie me up?”  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Six Word Saturday

We've named this boulder "Flower Smasher".

[Chuck's ex-girlfriend wants to make sure that we understand clearly:  the triangle of property where half the driveway used to be is HERS.  For a time, she claimed that her driveway was going to go there, and that was why she wouldn't sell Chuck's driveway back to him.  But one of the workers told Chuck that she was just going to put a boulder there.  Indeed.  Chuck did ask the workman if they could salvage my spring bulbs that were planted there.  The boulder makes that clear as well:  no.

Sara and I think is a really  funny metaphor.  Some people rain on other people's parades.  Some people pee in other people's punch bowls.  Marianne drops a boulder on my daffodils.] 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Once a Linguist...

 I'm sitting here on the sofa with a margarita perched next to me, enjoying my Friday Bloat and Sloth Night. To quote Master Yoda, “Sitting upstairs, watching Star Wars the children are.” Chuck is on the phone with his mother. It has been a good day: my greens are all sprouting; the sunset is gorgeous; Guadalupe School's PTA treated us to a beautiful lunch (FLAN!) for Teacher Appreciation Week; there are grosbeaks and tanagers in the yard. I think the day's high point was standing on the edge of my greens bed, looking carefully at the soil and seeing that faint green mist in rows that means lettuce! Cilantro! Spinach! Cabbage! Now, if only the peas would sprout.

Here is the layout for the Adult Education office in the new Guadalupe School.  I'm not totally done working with the designer (this may be the only time in my life that I have said "working with the designer"), but it is getting closer to what  I want.
Also very pleasant was working in the office with Mel and Elisabeth this afternoon.  Mel had her Queen album playing, so we were jamming to "I Like to Ride My Bicycle" and "Someone to Love".  Elisabeth and I were talking about the possibility of her going to graduate school.  I'd like to see her go for an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language.  I kind of miss being a student.  There are times when I regret not having pursued a PhD.  I decided not to after discussing it with a former professor from my graduate program who volunteered at Guadalupe.  I told him that I was considering it, and he raised his eyebrows.  He looked around our kind of dumpy little school and asked, "Would a PhD get you a significant raise?  A major promotion?"  Well, no.  "Then be practical. Don't bother.  Don't spend the money unless you're going to get a return on the investment."   So, I didn't.  But I regret the decision sometimes. 

Last night, very late, Chuck and I were curled up in bed, dozing and telling each other bits and pieces about our day.  We got on the subject of languages somehow.  Next thing I knew, our lights were back on, I had found my glasses and was scanning the bookcase for an old text book.  We talked about the  lineage of Arabic.  Chuck read aloud from his book, "Guns, Germs and Steel" about early writing systems. We had to drag ourselves away at 1 AM. Chuck and I love to talk about language. Maybe I should go back and re-read some of these old books. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

OK, enough of this nonsense.  I have been so bad about writing in my blog.  I need to reclaim what little creative life I have.  Geeze.  I think I will go and visit Patrice, today, over at the Farmhouse.

Here are her questions.

1.  Do you ever watch YouTube?

Only if someone shows me something.  Our Internet is so, so bad.  Plus, there are always things to be done.  I'm like a hummingbird:  short, infrequent landings.

2. How are your photography skills?

Oh, this is a sad thing for me.  I suck at making beautiful things.  I have had occasional success with photos...  But my point-and-shoot camera is 12 years old, and I  think even my phone now has better technology.  I had a Cannon SLR, but it was so bulky and fiddly that I gave it to Sara.  This was a good idea, as you should see that girl's SPECTACULAR photography.

3.  What''s your "go-to" meal to prepare when you're in a hurry?

I love to cook and will usually make time to cook a meal no matter what.  But in a pickle?  Snowstorm?  Medical emergency?  Spaghetti, with "marinara fromagiarra".  Or scrambled eggs.

4.  Do you like shoe shopping?

Hooooo, Nelly!  Yes.  So much so that I almost never do it.  Camel's nose under the tent and all that...

5.  If you could be royalty for a day, would you try it?

Sure!  Why not?  How much scandal could I cause in just one day, after all?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April Ends in Pictures

Somebody is still half asleep...

Chuck's ex-girlfriend is building her dream-home right next door.  In the settlement with Chuck, he ceded her some property (there was a dispute about the property line).  As you can see, she has really enjoyed claiming every inch of what is hers, to the point that we have half a driveway at the moment.  She plans to put a big boulder there. Chuck offered her $5,000 for that little triangle of land, but she refused, so she could put a boulder there.

Chuck helped me by taking Sara to school, so I just have to drop off Nate.
The rec center is right here...
...but I'll run outside today.
Time to collect rents.

Still in the old school building for a few more months.
With the same old coffee machine.
I am working on my big federal grants today, tot he exclusion of all else.  I'll change into something comfy.

Same old teachers' room, but only until August, everybody!

So, there is a glitch with Adobe, which is the form that my grant proposals are in.  Adobe shuts down without warning, instantly losing any unsaved work.  I wrote a whole section about Professional Development of the teaching staff, and then, BLIP, it was gone, and my screen looked like this.  I had been on a roll, too,  and hadn't saved...

Guess the grants will have to come home with me over the weekend.

Nate was waiting for me at his dad's house.

And here's Sara, done with track practice.
She's going to hang out with her friend Jamie.

Planting my lettuce, cilantro, etc...
Here is my bed-spring trellis!

Clearing a trail to the tepee.

Chuck is making tie-down loops for it.