Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Some blog entries have been whiny diaries of my woes and weaknesses during this challenge.  My fave entries are when I really explored a concept that tied in to the letter of the day.  But then I liked the 2 fiction entries as well.  Tonight I wanted to make an entry kind of like Savvy's S, where I learned about Sikhism.  So I read up on the history of the zipper.  Here are some key facts:
Elias Howe, the sewing machine guy, created an early zipper.  He called it the automatic continuous clothing closure.  That was in 1851.
In 1917 a Swedish American guy named Sundback patented the separable fastener.  He worked for a fastener company in Hoboken.  Later, someone at B.F. Goodrich came up with the zippy name of Zipper.  They put zippers on galoshes.  Zippers became popular on kid clothing and were said to promote independence for kids.  When they became used in men's pantaloons, they were praised for excluding "The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray." Before 1937, most guys had button up pants.  

So, this is my report on zippers.  

Monday, August 29, 2011


Yakimoto Mosely lived with his wife in a duplex down on 2nd street.  They lived separately, each in their own half of the duplex.  No one knew this about Yakimoto and his wife.  When they had visitors, everyone assumed that they owned half and rented the other half.  But that was not true.  The place everyone saw was Yakimoto's half.  Neat, tasteful.  The other half of the duplex was his wife's abode.  His wife, a hoarder, lived in squalor.  Indescribable squalor.  Yakimoto accepted this about his wife.  He loved her and deep down in his bones he knew he could not live without her.  At the same time, he also knew that he could not live with her.

Thus, the duplex.  And the yellow, yucky secret they kept all to themselves.

Up to now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


XTRA lots of fun today.  Sat on the Bline Trail XPERIENCING #1 son and his pals playing some fun jazz.  Later, Hman and I walked along a trail at Lake Griffy.  Saw a blue heron and a frolicking deer.  And some turtles.  Next, the not super XCITING, but definitely entertaining Paul Rudd movie.  Finally, we headed out to Scenic View to hear more XHILARATING jazz from #1 and his pals as we looked out at the truly scenic view.

The day came full circle in a most XCELLENT fashion.

Friday, August 26, 2011



Today I kept my eyes peeled for the WOW factor.  The wow was there.  Just hanging out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Vim and Vigor.  Today I did pretty well in the vim and vigor department.  I worked in a bunch of classrooms, helped out in the lunchroom, interviewed some peeps, and worked long hours entering names into a computerized testing program.
The cyst didn't seem too distracting to others, but unfortunately, the littles looked directly at it whenever they looked up at me, as it's on the neck so to speak, so I had to give a ton of explanations about it.  I made it as gory as possible, just to look at their horrified visages.

It's fun to get back to teaching.  I've read Crow Boy to 7 classes. The sixers were really sweet listeners and responders today.  Love the sixers. 8 classes to go.  I can do this!  Because reading to kiddos gives me vim and vigor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Ugh.  I've been feeling a bit on the ugh side.  In the coaching gig, I want to be UPstairs in the classrooms with the peeps, but every day I'm UNDER pressure to get things done on the computer in my office.  Tomorrow I have to get 150 kids entered into a testing program.  It should have been done 3 days ago. That's going to take some time.  I take umbrage at that part of my job.  I actually think I've just been UNDER the weather for longer than I've realized.  The huge gross infection under my neck may have been my body's way of giving me the what for.  Anyway, I know this is rambling, but a breakfast at the UPTOWN and a day on the couch with a Top Chef Just Desserts marathon has me rested UP, if not yet UPBEAT.  I've just gotta stay UNITED with the peeps at school, and not worry so much at the clerical, numerical UGLINESS.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


TODAY TWENTYSOMETHING daughter and I sat out on the deck before I headed to work.  We drank coffee in the cool morning and cried awhile.  I miss THAT TWENTYSOMETHING something TERRIBLE!
THREE THINGS kept getting me down today.  TWENTYSOMETHING headed back to school.  I had a sebaceous cyst that hurt like heck.  And I had to work a TON o TIME on my computer making stupid TIER groups.
By 2:30, I TEXTED my boss and said, "I'm heading to a medical facility to get THIS THING cut off my neck."  I was scheduled to join her to speak at the school board meeting TONIGHT about our artful learning school.  After getting my neck needled, lanced and squeezed horrifically, I backed out of the school board meeting and TEXTED that I'd be a no-show.  After awhile THOUGH I felt guilty, so I TEXTED again saying I could make it.  THE blood had stopped oozing THROUGH the bandage somewhat.
So if you see me on TELEVISION on the school board channel, and you're wondering why I'm wearing a scarf wrapped around my neck in August, just know that it's because of my sebaceous cyst surgical procedure.
And know that I'm made of TOUGH stuff.


I'm doing S again because I had a sebaceous cyst cut out of my neck today.  The doctor didn't think she "got it all."  NO picture because if you google sebaceous cyst images, you'll get fairly grossed out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Guest blogger:  #1 SON (I'm taking dictation).

Just got my SPIROCORES.  They're the quintessential jazz STRINGS for bass.  They give a warmer SOUND.  Good for jazz, but people don't like them in orchestra because they make you STAND out too much.
In the past I've used helicore and obligato STRINGS.  But now, I like SPIROCORES best.
Will that SUFFICE?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Kinder kid was in trouble for threatening to punch peeps.  He argued that he wasn't threatening anyone.  He was simply asking the kids if they'd like a red apple.  When asked what it meant to give someone a red apple, he replied, "It means to put a red mark on someone's face."

So now I have a great new threat to use when someone's riling me up.  I'll simply ask them if they'd like a RED apple.

I learn a lot of useful stuff at schoolapalooza.

Friday, August 19, 2011


#1 Son is now quite a grown up person.  He's quite fun to have around.  Quite pleasant in his demeanor.   Quite interesting with his opinions.  Quite funny with his witty retorts. Quite talented with his music.  He's quite a keeper.  The kid's high quality.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Project Runway.  Love this show.  Catching up tonight.  I'm a couple of weeks behind. I'm watching this episode where the models are wearing stilts.  Geez louise, the stilt models make for v. compelling viewing.  Project Runway.  A perfectly reasonable show to watch.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Me:  What should O be?
20 something Daughter:  O B tampons?
Me:  I've never been able to use those.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today I worked at schoolapalooza for 11 hours straight.  I stayed at work til NINE pm.  Working into the night getting necessary materials ready for tomorrow's early meeting.  NINE is too late.  I came home feeling pretty nasty, not to mention negligent toward my family.  Nine is not fine.

Monday, August 15, 2011


We have a guest blogger for M:  Husbandman.

So obviously M is for mathematics. From matrix multiplication to monomials to maxima and minima, math is more than marvelous. Making room in one's mind for manifolds, monodromy and martingales,
most of us would maintain that math is magnificent.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today I read an entire novel.  It's called Lover's Dictionary and it's written by David Levithan.  Already wrote about getting this novel as a gift here.  I decided not to go into work today.  Instead, I reclined on my sofa and just read the heck out of this lovely novel about a troubled but fun relationship.  If you want to read it, you definitely should.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Lover's Dictionary has kerfuffle and kinetic for K words.  I will make up a short story with these words.

 Kim and Kip got into a kerfuffle at the state fair.  Both wanted kinetic motion.  They wanted to dance and kick up their legs.  But the storm was abrewin and the concert was cancelled.  Kim freaked out and threw her cell phone at the head of the tall thin man coolly announcing that no one would be watching Sugarland that evening.
Nervous about what would come next, Kip said, "Look, Kim.  We've got to get back to the Kia."

Friday, August 12, 2011


I think when I get too hyped up about life at schoolapalooza and/or at my old country home, I need to just hum a few bars of Jimmy Crack Corn and I'll be set to rights.  It's jaunty, with a subversive subtext.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Got to see a few imps this week as they came in with mom and dad to register for school.  I talked to two imps, one new one old.  The new kinder imp reached out to shake my hand and said something like, "Who is your name and I am?"  Clearly the kid is whacked.  After some intros, he showed me the 100's of mosquito bites on his legs, which were ghastly.  But I adored this new kinder friend from moment one.

The other first grader imp was an old pal.  He said, "I'm not going to ever forget your name!  You're Dr. H.!"

I remarked on his new height and buzzed his buzz cut a bit.  I asked him, "Are you getting excited?"

He said with a huge smile, "I wasn't excited at all, but then I heard about all the stuff."

I am still wondering what the stuff is that he heard about.  For various reasons, today I truly need some of the stuff.

 I'm missing that classroom space, that space I used to create and share with a posse of weird little imps.  Seeing all those nervous looking imps and knowing that none of them will belong with me, that was hard today.  I'll borrow them from time to time, but mostly I'll just be a friendly visitor.  Not a teacher to anyone.
 A downer post I know, but this has been a shattery kind of week.  Bear with me. I'll pull out.  You know I will. Just in time for J....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Husbandman is in Germany and I can't stand it for one more second.  Husbandman is kind of our manager.  He keeps track of stuff, keeps the household running.  Tonight #1 son asked, "Is there anything to drink?  I finished the milk yesterday."  He knew the answer to his question so we both started laughing.  It's a disaster here.  Husbandman, please come home and help us.  Besides the scarcity in the food department, we're just plain old missing you.  I'm lonely without Husbandman.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Today I GOT a GIFT on G day.  A GIFT on G day!  When I found it on my door step, I GLEEFULLY GALLOPED around the home singing, "I GOT a GIFT!  I GOT a GIFT!  I GOT a GIFT! From DOROTHY MENOSKY!"  Then I sang it a bunch more times as I opened the packaging.  Twenty Something Daughter didn't really look up from her email, so I just kept singing to beat the band.  So this is what I GOT! Listen UP, blogger pals!  I GOT a novel called The Lover's Dictionary, by David Levithan.  All told through dictionary entries, written in ALPHABETICAL ORDER!!!!!  I'm GLOATING about this GENEROUS GIFT, which is perfect for me as I plug along each day, looking for material.  G words in Levithan's novel????  Gamut, Gingerly, Gravity, Gregarious, Grimace, and GUISE!  Next August we should probably write novels on our blogs, using this GRAND tome as a model text.  Or we could do this in November, for Write a Novel in November????
Thanks, GPM!  I love GIFTS (and you) VERY MUCH!

Monday, August 08, 2011


Today Judith sent me my new school year note pad in a big brown school mail envelope.  This has become a pleasant ritual. Each year a notepad arrives around this time, reminding me that it's school time and I better hang on to the small sillinesses that keep time moving forward.  This year's version was a notepad with just the letter F on all the pages.  Judith wrote, "This F can stand for whatever you want it to."  Pretty neat that the F pad ARRIVED JUST TODAY on F day, wouldn't you say?  Obviously I may want to use it to write down items on my FRICKIN to do list that I'm FREAKING out about.  Or I may want to write down some ridiculous FLIM FLAM note to hand to a colleague while we're engaged in serious professional development, just to lighten up the spirits.  Or I may walk around the  building handing out EPIC FAIL F's to people I'm not too thrilled with at the moment.  If I see someone doing something annoying, I could just rip an F off the notepad and hand it over.  "Here you go Noodlehead!  Here's an F!  EPIC FAIL! Just what you deserve!  Poorly done!"
However I use it, the F pad has obviously stirred some powerful imaginings today.  Thank you, Judith!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I'm EXASPERATED with poor 20 something daughter still having a fever.  And congestion and EXHAUSTION.  Why, God, Why?????

Saturday, August 06, 2011


This evening we had a little real world DRAMA here.  Husbandman took the shuttle to the airport.  He's heading to Oberwolfach in DEUTSCHLAND.  Hours later I got a text from him that said, "Never seen the airport."
"What does that mean?" I texted back.
A little later, Judy (who was with me) said, "I'm getting a little nervous about that text."
"I know.  It sounds like he's been kidnapped, which would be a huge DRAG to DEAL with tonight, not to mention DEVASTATING, but I'm remembering now that he always says he's never seen the airport so empty whenever we go to the airport, so that's probably what this is all about."
Sure enough, I got a text 30 seconds later that read, "Sorry.  I forgot to add 'this empty.'"
So Husbandman's predictability became a virtue in the end.  His text was not a cryptic plea for help after all.

Friday, August 05, 2011


Critical literacy is all about looking at ways reading and writing are used as tools to empower and disempower, to shape who we are and what we do.  Critical literacy is my passion, but here's the problem.  Now that I'm a literacy partner, I've been moving away from critical literacy and in to just plain literacy.  Literacy's great and all, but critical literacy's where I live.  I've got to figure out how to get back into the work of critical literacy, reading the word and reading the world.  It seems possible, but it's going to take some sassafras.  Wish me luck.

ps.  Life As Per Usual is joining us.  Yeeha!  Read her blog to learn more about HUHOT.
pps.  One WOMAN is joining us as well. Visit her blog to see a giant bee sting on her face.  Great stuff!

This is the best challenge ever.  We have to do this every August.  So we have Pronto the founder, WordSavvy, Slapdash, Leeway, IndianaRock, In Other Words, Miscellaneous Missives, NickelforYourThoughts, LifeasPer, Onewoman.... Who am I missing here??? Is UL in???? Does Oberliner wanna give it another try????

pps.  the great blogger, Big Henster's in as well.  Give him a visit!

Thursday, August 04, 2011


For the past two days I've BEEN learning about BOYS town BEHAVIOR management model.  We need some help in the BEHAVIOR department at artful school, so I've BEEN extremely open minded. BUT I've never BEEN a great one for following scripts, so I I'm struggling a BIT.  Tonight #1 son and Husbandman and I sat outside at a BEAUTIFUL eatery, named after a BIRD.  I tried my hand at effective praise with #1 Son.  "#1," I said, "I like how you're talking with us right now.  You are making eye contact and sitting nicely in your chair.  When you participate in our dinner conversation, we all have a more enjoyable time together.  Here's a special pat on the BACK for you, #1!"
"This feels pretty manipulative," #1 responded.
"True that, BUDDY, True that," I responded.  BUT who knows?  I'll try anything.  That's what my job's all about right now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Pals, there's a new ALPHABET challenge, thanks to PRONTO.  So remember your great ALPHABETIC comments last year?  Get in on the ACT, AMIGOS!

This is me ACTING like I'm playing a saxophone.  My ARTFUL learning group was re-enacting scenes from the life of Jacob Lawrence.  I don't want to be immodest, but my group rocked the ACTING ASSIGNMENT, which was to depict:  Departure, Journey, ARRIVAL.  In this scene, Jacob and his family have ARRIVED in New York City. I'm ACTING like I'm playing sax in Harlem and I end the scene with a jubilant, "Welcome to Harlem, Baby!"
ACTUALLY, ACTING's not my forte. I get nervous and my stomach hurts whenever we have to do these ARTFUL learning ACTING scenes. BUT... my friend Peggy ALBERS told me once that these feelings are part of the ART of ACTING.  AND I can see that this might be true.  BTW, I did find out that I was holding the sax incorrectly, so don't feel you need to tell me ABOUT that in the comments.  Just give me ACCOLADES.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Jar

When my brother Glenn was still somewhat healthy, he told us that he wanted to be cremated and he wanted his ashes placed in an Aunt Jemima cookie jar.  We weren't thrilled by this idea, but this was just the kind of thing Glenn would want, so we just went along.  He shopped for the jar himself and came up with one after some time.  A few months later, my mom transferred Glenn's ashes to the cookie jar.  We tried to see the humor in the whole cookie jar deal, as we all knew Glenn would want us to do, but I've gotta tell you.  It was tough.  We mostly didn't look over at it too much.

The cookie jar got buried in the backyard under a beautiful pink dogwood tree.  The dogwood tree died this year, so we're getting a new tree.  Brother Bar called me yesterday to tell me that they were having a hard time finding the jar.  He said, "Spent the day looking for Glenn.  To no avail."  This made me laugh, but deep down I was a little sad.  But tralala! Come to find out, Brother K found the jar today and the fam sent a photo via cell phone. I cried when I saw that dumb cookie jar.  But I was relieved.  Glenn's ashes are found and the Aunt Jemima cookie jar has held up well lo these 20 years.

Another great story from the Glenn Man.  He's chuckling somewhere as we shake our heads in disbelief.  That's how it went most of the time with that kid.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Funerals

Today I told a friend that I don't go to funerals as often as I probably should.
She said, "My parents taught me it was important to give respect."
So then I felt like a jerk.
I should go to more funerals.
I'm not sure why I avoid them.

The New Blue

Our home is being painted .  I love this new blue.  It used to all be the red brickish color of the deck as shown above.  For various reas...