Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Bee Day 31

Maybe the May Bee wraps up today.  This very day is the first day of summer.  Sage Cohen's writing prompt today is to draft a thank you letter to the universe for future events and successes that you expect to be grateful for.  Here goes:

Dear Universe,
     Thanks for the best summer I've ever had.  I loved having the time to write, garden, slog, and visit with friends every day.  I got to spend time with 20Something and #1 Son and we already have plans for our next family get together.
      Orcas Island was stunning.  We  saw a ton of orcas and hiked to waterfalls and overlooks. 
     My time with my parents in Georgia was a blast.  Ann and Dan guide me in the direction of awesome aging.  The trip down there gave me the opportunity to learn how to use their backyard grill to create some pretty amazing meals, in my humble opinion.   I had never grilled before, but turns out I have a real knack for it. My family says I should start my own "Just Grillin'" vegetarian food truck.  I'm seriously considering it.  
       Husbandman and I just docked the pontoon for the final time.  We saw so many bald eagles this summer and I shared our picnic lunches with a few of them.  I can't believe the great pictures I got of the bald eagle that liked to perch on the front of the pontoon in the early evenings while we floated along, watching the sunset.   
       I should be getting my copies of Back and Forth any day now. That's going to be like icing on the cake. 
       I feel rested and recharged.  Ready for new adventures with a new bunch of fabulous Thirdlanders.  Thank you, Thank you.  



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May Bee Day 30

Maybe I'll get everything done today and then when I walk out of the school site, I won't return for several months.  Or maybe I'll just talk to people all day long and have to go back tomorrow.
We'll see.

Monday, May 29, 2017

May Bee Day 29

Maybe I'm thinking more about Emily Dickinson.  I just read a bunch more stuff about her and I'll probably continue with this inquiry project for several days.

Emily created little books for her poems.  They were later dubbed "fascicles" by Mabel Todd who helped get them published.

Maybe I'll make some fascicles this summer.  Needle and thread.  Cool paper.

First I've got to write some poems.

Memorial Day
Get the garden weeded out
Next clean your classroom

It's a start.  I ask you the same question Emily D asked this guy she liked, "Is my verse alive?"

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May Bee Day 28

Maybe I'll finish up the work related responsibilities soon.  I finished report cards today.  Still working on comments and cleaning the classroom.  It's all coming together. Husbandman brought over a bag of crickets for the tarantula.  Team effort.

Tonight Judith, Husbandman and I went to see the Emily Dickinson movie, A Quiet Passion.  Emily Dickinson died of Bright's Disease.  The movie was slow going, but so was her life.  Husbandman gives it a 2.5.  I'll reach out with a 3.  Might I but watch a more interesting movie about you, Emily.  

Don't like to criticize because I love Jennifer Ehle and Cynthia Nixon is a good one too. Maybe I was distracted.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May Bee Day 27

Maybe my mom's going to be okay, but who knows?  She broke her hip last week and she's in the hospital.  There's a lot of scary lore about the broken hip, but maybe it's all hype.  Maybe my mom will go into rehab and come out even stronger and super-er than she was before.  Which really was quite strong and super.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 26, 2017

May Bee Day 26

Maybe the school year is over.  There are still quite a few jobs to do over the next few days, but mostly it's over.  No more Thirdlanders for awhile.  A fun and funny group.  I will miss them.
My immediate plan is to sleep for a few days. I'll wake up for May Bee blogging in the late afternoons.  Not to worry.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May Bee Day 25

Maybe I'll be in bed by 7:30 if I play my cards right.  This gig is exhausting, not going to lie.  But I'm a day away from a summer vacation, so how can I be kvetching?  It was a pretty great Penultimate Day as these days go.  We worked on our portfolios, then we had a READ IN, where the authors read each other's stories.  We also made tiny houses out of cardboard.  These always come out looking horrible, but they're fun to make.  Most of the kids get excited about the idea of living in a tiny house.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May Bee Day 24

Maybe I would have made it if rain hadn't shown up in the forecast this week, but now we have indoor recesses and probably no field day.  Forget extra recess late tomorrow afternoon. CURSE YOU, UNIVERSE!

 8:45 to 3:50 X 2. That's a lot of hours. Maybe I'll bring in a movie.  When #1 Son was young, he liked to watch Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs over and over again.  Sometimes we'd watch it 3 times a day.  Maybe we'll watch a movie twice tomorrow and twice Friday.  I've never seen Frozen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May Bee Day 23

Maybe I'll stop procrastinating and grade the lit. logs.

I just don't feel like it though.

This is a good idea I had recently. What if, about 4 weeks before school ended, we started incrementally shortening the school day for the kids?

4 weeks left, we work until 2 pm each day.
3 weeks left, we work half days.
2 weeks left, we work until 10:30.
Final week, kids come in for 45 minutes a day.

The teachers would stay and work for the remainder of the days.  That way we wouldn't have to grade papers after school and work on school tasks on the weekends.  This would give us time to grade final projects and get the end of year checklists completed in reasonable time.
We could all start the summer like normal human beings instead of mere shadows of our former selves.

Monday, May 22, 2017

May Bee Day 22

Maybe we're going to make it.  Maybe we're seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel.

These Thirdlanders really make me laugh.  The stories were a little rough around the edges, but through the back and forth of the revision process between author and editor, they really are great fun to read now.  My favorite rough draft was about
 a young woman who  

gets bullied in college by a guy, so she studies karate and beats the heck out of him.  Then he keeps bullying her so she beats the heck out of him again. 

Some changes were made and the story now really hangs together, without losing any of its powerful active spirit.  Today we were a publishing house revising and illustrating our books.    Tomorrow we have the big collage book cover design session.  It's going to be epic.  Friday.... the publishing party!  Ooh La La!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May Bee Day 21

Maybe we're all rocking the May Bee. Here I am on a rainy Sunday morning, blogging for the 20th time this month.  Keep it rolling, Heffernan.  FINISH STRONG!

 Today is a bustle of activity as the mighty brother team eats breakfast and packs up for their trip to Birmingham, Alabama. They play tonight and Tuesday, so tomorrow they have a day off.  I planned an itinerary for them, visiting various museums and historic parks.  #1 Son seemed slightly interested.  I wish I could always plan their down time for them as they go from town to town.  They don't have time to do it and planning fun activities is one of my fortes.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May Bee Day 20

Nicholas Cage's Bones will be in here one day.
Maybe you should go see the NORMAN movie with Richard Gere.  We liked it quite a bit.  Four point five on the fist of five for me.  Husbandman says a four.  High praise indeed.  Check it out why don't you?

Friday, May 19, 2017

May Bee Day 19

Maybe the May Bee is just a big pain in the neck.  I'm tired and I want to go to bed, but here I am trying to think of anything interesting that happened.  I taught a lesson about fractions today.  It was lame.  Mostly we worked on our social stories.  I have to praise the Thirdlanders because they worked on their stories without interrupting me too much during writing conferences.  I'm supposed to write up a bio for the publisher, where I write about my "edupassions."  This is the wrong time to think about the "edupassions."  I just want to think about taking a yoga class and jumping in a lake or two.  That's all I want.  But maybe I'll get my act together during the hypothetical weekend R and R.  It's sure to happen.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May Bee Day 18

Maybe I shouldn't have cried when I read John's Secret Dreams to the Thirdlanders today.  I wish I hadn't, but when I get to that one page about John being murdered, I do cry every time.  I love the book and I love the ways John and Yoko protested war---with Bed-Ins and billboards.  I am going to have a Bed In soon.  Bed In for Impeachment. Maybe Husbandman will be at the Bed In too.  We'll stay in bed and sing songs together---- "All we are saying is....Impeach Trump Now" and "Imagine the Impeachment, It Isn't Hard to Do."  I'll probably live tweet the Bed In, so if you can't join us, you can still be part of it.  I can't have the Bed In this weekend, but soon.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May Bee Day 17

Maybe this was one of the funnest nights of my life.  Lots of friends.  Pizza.  Mighty Brother. You make the call.  Funnest night ever?  I'm pretty sure you're going to vote in the affirmative.  I wish I could stay up for their next set at Blockhouse, but here's the thing.  I need to educate our nation's youth, my friends.  Someone has to do it, and I'm pretty sure it's probably me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Bee Day 16

Maybe seeing a blue heron flying overhead is good luck.  Nancer told me that once.  Husbandman helped me type some of the social stories the kids are writing. That was pretty darned lucky because I really am down to the wire this time, people.  I'm going to need a miracle every day for the next 8 days.  Maybe it will all come together.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

May Bee Day 14

Maybe I'll blog twice today.  Better late than sorry as they say.  #1 Son is here.  Playing on Wednesday at the Trail Head around dinner time with Mighty Brother, so make your way over there. I hope they have enough tables for all the people that I've told to come over there.  Trailhead, you've been warned.  Ready or not, here we come.

 Today #1 gave a kid size concert to the Thirdlanders as they had writing workshop.  The Thirdlanders loved having him in Room 200.  They've been requesting this all year long.  The school system really should provide live music in all classrooms during writing time.  There was a super nice vibe in there.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May Bee Day 13

Maybe it's been a great day after all.  The streptococcus is responding to the z-pack.  Better luck next time, streptococcus.

My brother and sister in law, and my parents and my sister and my nephew and Husbandman were all here for a fine lunch.  We ate cake and sang to my Dad, who turned 88 this week.  Here's an interview with my dad.

How do you feel about turning 88, Dad?
I feel relieved.  I'm looking forward to 89.

Favorite time in the last 90 years?
The 1960's.  You kids were being born.  I was working, going to night school, I was married to a wonderful woman.  The world seemed optimistic at the time.  America was riding high.

Who's your favorite child?
(laughing) Shirley Temple.

Tell me about an early job you had.
I worked at Walter Baker's Chocolate.  We made chocolate bars for K rations.  Ration Bars.  My first day there, I was working diligently and came break time and I reached in my shirt pocket for my cigars.  They were gone, As I reached over to put the concoction into the chute, I was bending over and my cigars must have fallen into the chute.  Some lucky guy got a candy bar that tasted like chewing tobacco instead of chocolate.

Thanks, DAD!  You're my favorite DAD ever.  NO doubt about it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

May Bee Day 12

Maybe these antibiotics will kick in soon.  I have strep. Streptococcus took down six Thirdlanders before he got me in the headlock as well.  I'll get you next time, Streptococcus. Revenge will be sweet indeed.

A guest teacher arrived this morning as I scribbled out some brilliant lesson plans, so I was able to head over to the walk in clinic for the strep test. The Physician's Assistant didn't think I had strep, but ordered the test anyway.  As usual, I was right about my diagnosis.  Maybe I should just be given a prescription pad to save everybody a lot of time and hassle.

Heading down to Georgia to visit my mom and dad.  My dad turned 88 yesterday.  Husbandman's coming too.  I feel sorry for the people on the plane who might get strep because of me, but there's not much I can do.  If I had my own prescription pad, I would pass out some prescriptions to people in our aisle. Alas, you're going down, flight mates. But maybe not.  You might be fine. Don't be pessimistic.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Bee Day 11

Maybe I have strep but maybe I don't.  Six Thirdlanders have been out of school this week with strep.  Today my throat started hurting a bit.  I'm also super tired.  Maybe I'll just go to sleep and not worry about it.  Then maybe I'll wake up tomorrow in great health.  Or maybe I'll wake up with strep and my dreams for a fun weekend with family in Georgia will be dashed.  Here's the thing though.  Whenever I felt sick or upset about stuff when I was a kid, my dad would look at me and say, "Remember, We don't break!"  He said it about a million times.  I always felt like it was a bit on the unsympathetic side.  But maybe it made me tough and resilient.  Hard to tell.
I recognize your power, streptococcus, but you don't know who you're dealing with here.  If you think you're taking me down, you better talk to your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May Bee Day 10

Maybe this crawfish loves being in a tub in our science lab.  Maybe she'll love having kids watch her. But here's something she might not love.  When the school year's over, she's supposed to go in the freezer to die a cold and lonely death. She might think that's beyond the pale. Who can say?

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

May Bee Day 9

Maybe it seems weird to put up a cool new bulletin board when there's 14 days of school left, but that's just how I roll.  I was assigned the May bulletin board and I got the job done.  9 days late, but as we say in the Hoosier State, better late than never. I honor my commitments. And maybe that's a pretty amazing character trait that I have.

Also, just fyi, when I got home from my book club tonight, there was a SKUNK walking around in my backyard. A SKUNK!

Monday, May 08, 2017

May Bee Day 8

Maybe I got a lot done today.  Maybe not.

I had some writing conferences.

I read about a school bus in India where the bus goes to the bus stop and the kids get on and study for a few hours.  They go to school on the bus.

I taught about the distributive property of multiplication.

I watched an episode of The Leftovers.

I made the most of a Monday. Did my best, forgot the rest.  That's how we roll during a May Bee Monday.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

May Bee Day 7

Foto Credit:  The One and Only Stan Alama, taken near Lake Louise.

Maybe we'll get a canoe instead of a pontoon.  We went to Lake Griffy today and rented a canoe.  Super pleasant.  We saw a heron and about 50 turtles. The barn swallows were fun to watch as well. We also saw a bear, over near the dam. We were surprised to see a bear at Lake Griffy, but I guess they're making a comeback. We felt safe in our canoe, but then the bear started swimming toward us.  We high tailed it out of there.  Husbandman, in the front of the canoe, provided the power, while I steered.  I'm sure the bear meant no harm, but better safe than sorry. 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

May Bee Day 6

Maybe I'll work at my editor job today.  Husbandman's flight was delayed so he won't be home until late this afternoon.  If I head to school, I can pick up some manuscripts and work at a coffee shop. Doesn't sound too fun, but maybe it will be. Probably not, let's face it.

The sun's showing up after days of drizzle.  Maybe I'll look into buying a pontoon boat.  When Husbandman comes home, it will be a big surprise.  We'll pontoon around the lake in the late afternoon and maybe we'll see some unique birds and maybe our pontoon will have a hammock, where I can recline as I read manuscripts. I'll wear big sunglasses and a floppy hat.  I'll sip on fizzy water and munch on cucumber slices and a cheese tray.

In the evening, Husbandman and I can picnic on the lake and drink some artisanal cocktails.  The moon will come up and we'll hear owls calling.  Maybe we'll hear the barred owl asking, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?" I'll respond with my own song, "Husbandman's the cook, He's home at last.  Husbandman's the cook.  He's home at last."  It does have a ring to it.  I feel a plan a'hatchin' my friends.  I feel a plan a'hatchin. Maybe this day is looking up.

Friday, May 05, 2017

May Bee Day 5

Maybe this weekend will be fun.  Tonight I worked the carnival.  I sold pizza.  Our cool music teacher sat next to me adding up the totals which was great, because I get kind of brain dead on Friday afternoons and adding up the pizzas and drinks and bread sticks did stymie me from time to time. But making change I could do.  I told all the kids, "High school jobs.  So important.  Working at Taco Bell made me an expert at making change.  Get a high school job. You'll be happy you did."
I wondered if some of the parents didn't want their kids to work at Taco Bell. I just got a wee bit of a vibe from some of them when I talked about my BELL experience.  Like they didn't think it was that great to work at the BELL.  But maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe I don't need to be reading in to stuff right now.  Maybe I need to go to bed and get some sleep so I'm in good shape for my weekend.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

May Bee Day 4

Maybe this May Bee is going to be a pain in the neck.  But at least I'm here today and the blog post is getting written.

It's not like I don't have stuff to write about.  My dad got out of the hospital today.  2 days ago he had a massive seizure that left him almost dead on the ground.  My sister had to pump on his chest and follow the directions of the 9-1-1 people.

Then my brother drove up from Florida to help my parents and he hit a dog with his vehicle.  The dog just ran out on to the highway.  My brother's car decapitated the dog.  He told me he saw the head just flying up in the air.  

Then today I didn't eat breakfast because we had a faculty meeting scheduled and I was running late so I didn't eat because we always have bagels at faculty meetings.  Then the meeting was canceled so I had no food.

So between the seizure, the decapitation and the lack of bagels, yeah, I have stuff to write about. But maybe this stuff is too negative.  I don't know what to tell you. Maybe some days you've just got to tell it like it is.  And maybe that's what the May Bee is all about.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

May Bee Post 3

Maybe I need to get one of those fidget spinners.  Today a kid brought one to school.  It was my first encounter with the fidget spinner and I've got to say I liked it a lot. Man Alive, that thing can spin like there's no tomorrow. I don't want the kids to have the spinners though.  Just the teachers.

Today a woman walked into the classroom well before the bell rang and handed me an empty vase.  Because of Teacher Appreciation Day, the PTO requested kids bring flowers to their teachers.  It was a very wonderful way to start the day.  I received a lot of beautiful flowers and filled up several vases with them.  GO PTO!  THANKS BE TO PTO!  One of my sweet Thirdlanders saw how happy I was as I arranged the flowers and said, "Maybe we should have a Dr. H. Appreciation Day just for you, where the whole school brings you flowers."  Come to find out, I thought her idea was top notch and I  told her to please talk to Mr. Principal about making DHAD happen soon.  Maybe I'll send a few Thirdlanders up to the office tomorrow to get DHAD on the calendar. Not too many days left, so Mr. Principal's going to have to get crackin'.  STAT.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

May Bee Day 2

Maybe other people are enjoying their day off today.  But maybe I'm not and maybe that's because I'm working on 6,000 copy editing queries that are embedded into the chapters of the book.  I'm committed to finishing this today, but remember I've told you I'm not detail oriented?  Why can't people just get this about me and stop asking me to do things that require extended periods of focused concentration on my freaking day off?

Because I've committed to finishing this copy editing torture, I'll probably have to stay up all night and just drive to school tomorrow without showering, wearing these same clothes.  Maybe I'll just start smoking cigarettes today. For some reason I feel that smoking cigarettes could really get me through.  Maybe I'll smoke Marlboros in the red box. That's what my mom used to smoke when I was a kid. Mrs. Diemers across the street used to buy them for her at the army base store where she shopped because her husband was in the army.  Cigarettes were cheaper there.  Every week, my brother Glenn and I would go to Mrs. Diemers' house to get my mom's carton of cigarettes.  Mrs. Diemers would give us candy that looked like ribbons.  I never liked that candy, but I always ate it anyway. If only Mrs. Diemers could be here today to give me cigarettes and candy and friendly encouragement. I wonder where Mrs. Diemers is right now?  Maybe she died.

Monday, May 01, 2017

May Bee Day 1

Maybe we're going to get through this school year, but the jury's still out to tell you the truth.  It's always tough when it gets down to the end.  Stories to publish, research projects to finish up, novels to plow through.  It gets kind of crazy.  It's weird and unnatural to think that we're supposed to keep learning until we stop on that final day, when we head out to summer. I wish I didn't care about time on task as much as I do.  If I could lighten up on that, life would improve considerably for myself and for others.   Sage Cohen says we need to recognize that we "can exit the loop of overwhelm."   I see the last day of school as my exit ramp.  Until then we're going to keep plugging along. Every time someone tells me we only have X days left, I feel like screaming out, "Make it stop! I can't get it all done! We NEED MORE TIME!"  Maybe I should just go teach at a year round school, where there's no beginning and no end.  Or maybe not.  It's going to end and I'm going to be happy.  My dad tells me, "You're on short time now, Kid."  I've just got to do my best and forget the rest.

The May Bee has begun.

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...