Friday, December 30, 2016

The Freaks

What a difference a day makes.  Case in point.  Two days ago, my mom and my little sister and I went to the zoo. There are baby pandas at Zoo Atlanta and this is the first week that the public could possibly see them.  I kept explaining to my kin that I was going to freak out if I got to see the baby pandas.  I didn't want to have high expectations because the web page said we would be "lucky" if we saw the panda babies.  So I told my mom to keep praying that we would see the pandas as we zipped around looking at binturongs, bustards and bush dogs.  When we got to the panda exhibit, we could see proud PandaMOM showing off one of her twins. It was crowded around the exhibit but because my mom's in a wheelchair, many people stepped aside and let us get up close.  SCORE!  I was shaking inside as I tried to take the photos of the panda baby.  I'm not kidding, I was hyped.  I felt like everything on earth was going my way.

Fast forward to yesterday.  My poor mom takes a fall in her bedroom.  Sister and I take her to the emergency room.  CAT scan. MRI.  3 stitches.  Everyone at the hospital was friendly and professional and actually made me wonder about trying to get a job at a hospital some time. But on the bad side, it took several hours to get the stitches into my mom's head and she continued to bleed profusely.  They had to change the bandages on her head several times, but the blood just kept pouring through. I worried that she was going to bleed out.  I decided to take some pictures because how often do you get a photo of your mom with blood all over her head?  After my mom got stitched up and an all clear report from her tests, I showed her one of my photos.  She stared at it for awhile and sighed, "What a freak."

We're all home now, doing our best and forgetting the rest.  But we're keeping in mind that a day can make a big difference and I'm hoping that today is kind of in the medium zone.  Nothing too exciting, nothing too horrid.  Just basic same old same old.  Let's stay calm and carry on in 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Puzzle

This puzzle took a long time to complete.  Not going to lie.  But because we're awesome puzzle builders, we got it done.  We just stayed focused because that's how we roll. You probably are amazed at this puzzle's complexity and beauty.

 Every year we bring a puzzle to Mom's house.  We never fail to complete it within 8 to 12 hours.  It's really quite an accomplishment, when you think about it. If you can complete your puzzle in fewer hours, I challenge you to prove your prowess and report your successes publicly here on alittleleeway. The gauntlet has been thrown down.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Eve

It's the day before Xmas
and all through the AIRBnB
Not a creature is stirring
'cept Husbandman and Me.

The adult kids are nestled
all snug in this rental
We'll wake them up soon
so our day can turn mental.

We're in charge of the supper
so get ready for clatter
We've never made gravy
But what does it matter

We're off to McDonough
with a trunk full of loot
to see six sweet dogs
and our family to boot.

Hi Lupe! Hi Minnie!  Hi Tejas! Hi Rudy!
Hi Karl with a K and Hello to you Gurley!

Let's watch some Fox News
and try not to get hateful
Our holiday's here
and for that we are grateful




Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Choices

I was looking over the Santa collection on the mantel last week.  "I wish I could find another great Santa for the collection," I mused to Husbandman.

"You have enough Santas," he illogically replied.  "In fact, I've been thinking that you should choose one each year to get rid of, and then when you get down to zero Santas, you should start collecting them again. You should start now.  Which one do you choose to throw away first?"

This kind of comment from Husbandman is really not helpful. For a sad moment, I felt the pain of the main character in Sophie's Choice and a devitalizing sensation of glumness and dismay surged through me from head to toe.

Then I pulled out of it.  Obviously there are some great Santas out there and I just need to work harder to track them down.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Justiciness

Foto Credit:  Nancer
Last week we read about Woody Guthrie.  Did you know he wrote over 1,000 songs?  And did you know that This Land Is Your Land has 3 extra verses that have been left behind?  I asked the Thirdlanders how the 3 verses change the tone of the song and Quiet Kid said, "I don't know.  They just make the song more justice-y."  I loved this.  He's so right.  Sing along, my friends:


In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

See? Did you know that Woody Guthrie wrote a song that's not too complimentary of Donald Trump's dad? You should check out the lyrics here.  Woody Guthrie lives on.

I'm trying to get myself out the door to the library to pick up a book called Which Side Are You On?  It's about a song that was written in support of some coal miners.  Not sure I'll go because it's cold out there and the roads are icy and I want to stay extra safe until Thursday afternoon when I get off work and leave on my trip to the South. Mom made some haystacks and they're a'callin' my name. 
            In conclusion, don't be a scab.  Support Workers.  Sing out! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Nights


It's time for vacation, but our school district wants us to work for four more days.  It's discouraging because, come to find out, I find it difficult teaching our nation's youth during the Xmas season.  Yesterday a Thirdlander smacked another kid in the face with a tissue box because he "couldn't get his attention" during an indoor recess game.  They're playing a game called Five Nights at Freddy's based on a video game.   It's all they can think about right now.  They play it at indoor recess.  We had four indoor recesses last week.

When the Thirdlander repeated, "He just wouldn't listen while I was trying to tell him something," I felt like saying, "Dude, I can't get anyone's attention right now, but I'm not getting physical about it!" Instead I just asked him to write an apology note.  From his note, I could see he felt some remorse. I guess that's all I can expect right now. Outlandish behaviors followed by tearful regrets.  That's how we're going to roll out the final days of 2016.   Ho Ho HO!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Cards

I'm now feeling ill.  Sore throat, runny nose, exhaustion. Sundry aches and pains. You get the drill.  Ho hum.  I could hardly get out of bed this morning, but get up I did.  Because of my bravery.

 I lingered a little at home, hoping for a 2 hour delay.  Snow was falling and I heard some other schools had cancelled.  No luck, so I sucked it up and headed in.

After 2 hours or so, someone came in and whispered, "School's closing early today.  12:30."  I swear I could see golden light radiating from this visitor's glorious crown.  I was in such blissful shock at my good fortune, I was rendered speechless.  I thought, "I'm going to make it.  12:30 is 120 minutes away.  I can do this.  I can be back in bed by 12:50 if I play my cards right."

About 20 minutes after that, the visitor returned and whispered, "Hey, I was wrong about the school closing.  It's only one school in the district, because they're having a power outage.  Sorry. I read the email incorrectly."

Again struck dumb, I lowered myself into a nearby chair, forcing myself not to hold my head in my hands and begin wailing.  The Thirdlander writers continued on with their work, and after a few minutes, so did I. Again, my bravery came into play.  I made it through the day. After doing my oblogatory posting of Santa,  I'll be in bed by 8:15 pm.  Maybe Husbandman will make me a hot toddy if I play my cards right.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Moonlighting

Yesterday I saw a couple playing Santa and Mrs. Claus at Fountain Square.  They did a great job.  I wonder if they're married.  Maybe they don't even know each other.  This could be a job for me one of these days, but I'd prefer to do the gig solo.  In other words, sans Santa.

When kids ask where Santa is, I'll tell them various imaginative tales.

"Santa's dealing with a massive goiter at the moment, so I'm here by myself today.  He's going to be fine, the antibiotics are kicking in, but things are kind of a mess right now. These giant goiters can linger on like nobody's business.  Ask Mom and Dad to help you google 'goiter' when you get home and you'll see what I mean. You can leave your list, but honestly,  have low expectations.  This year, we're doing our best and forgetting the rest, and you should try to do the same."

 I'll slip a few extra candy canes to them while their parents are paying for the polaroids.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Cold

It has turned blustery cold these past few days and the Thirdlanders aren't too happy about it.

When I planned for an extra recess one morning this week, several Thirdlanders argued that they would rather stay inside.  I for one wanted some fresh air so I made the decision that we should venture out.  Most Thirdlanders were happy; a few grumbled bitterly, making comments about frostbite.

I wrote to my mom yesterday, telling her that I made some kiddos mad about going out in the cold.  She wrote back, "Well, 24 degrees really is cold, so I don't blame them.  And please don't make the kids mad.  Many families have handguns now and something bad could happen."

My mom always puts a new spin on things.  As usual, she makes a good point.  Thanks, MOM!  Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Blues

Sounds of South came by yesterday to sing some holiday classics to our entire school.  I was rockin' around the Xmas tree with them when I suddenly realized that I have not been hearing enough Xmas music.  What's up with that?  It's December 8th, People. Is this somehow related to the war on Xmas?  I should be sick of the Xmas music by now, not craving more. Let's crank it up and kick it into gear.  I want Xmas music blasting from every street corner morning, noon and night.  If you aren't shoving Xmas music through my eardrums and into my brain 24/7 via radio, TV, store speakers and tornado siren amplifiers, you are now dead to me.

Remember, the sky's the limit when your heart is in it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Jail

We had indoor recess today.  Indoor recess is kind of a drag.  The kids get very hyper.  I usually stay with them during indoor recess.  Otherwise, my afternoon really suffers.

Today I told them that I could not handle the screaming.  There's no reason to scream, I explained.  And then I added, "If you scream, I will give you a warning.  You will get two warnings.  On your third screaming episode, you will come and sit in this chair next to me, while I play Connect 4. You will sit in this chair for 5 minutes."

The first kid went down about four minutes after my announcement.  I told him that he was now in Heffernan Jail and that his five minutes would feel like 5 years especially since all he could have was bread and water.  I handed him an "air plate" and said, "Here's your bread and water. That's it, Prisoner."  He thought that was pretty funny and soon began giving me hints on how to win Connect 4.  The next two went down soon thereafter.  After consuming their air plate of bread and water, they asked me, "Do you want to play UNO?" I said yes. "Sometimes I do interact with the prisoners," I told them. I looked at my watch and said, "You have three more years in your cell."    They beat me handily at UNO.  

I can't say the afternoon ran smoothly after that.  I probably should have let them scream a lot more during indoor recess. If we have indoor recess tomorrow, I'm going to put on the big headphones that we use in the computer lab and focus only on Connect 4. Or mancala.

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Regret

I have a pretty good Santa collection.  Not the best in the world, but pretty good.  Come to find out, I'm having a hard time finding new Santas and it's been a few years since I've found one I loved.

I almost loved this guy pictured here, but he's actually kind of stupid looking so I left him behind.  Now I'm filled with a little regret.  Look at his cool vest. And his charming walking stick.  AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE LEFT of HIS PERSUASION!

Alas, but here's the good news.  We saw an awesome movie last night called Little Men.  Hoosier Greg Kinnear is the star.  You should see this film if you feel like it.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Cheer

We drove to May's and we got the tree yesterday.  The whole tree enterprise took us 5 hours, from beginning to end.  This is good information for next year.  Last year I didn't put a tree up because I thought it would be too much hassle.  WRONG!  5 hours is not much time to create a festive mood, no matter how you think about it.  Especially when part of that 5 hours is watching a movie while decorating. MASCOT is a Christopher Guest movie and quite funny.  It's a pseudo documentary about the folk that dress up as team mascots.  God bless them, every one.

I think I'm going to try to post all holiday photos during the month of December.  Perhaps with a specific focus on Santa Claus, but I'm not sure about that part yet.

I have been feeling down because the editor has not contacted me for awhile and whenever that happens I start fearing that she hates my manuscript and everyone else will too.
Here's the thing.  It's holiday time, and we don't have time for negativity right now.  We need to focus on the lights and the gifts.  I've told Husbandman that I would like one gift for each night of Hanukah.  He didn't make much of a response, so he's probably already in deep reflection on how to make the holidays of 2016 extra special.  HOORAY for Husbandman!