A New Job

Well, in my last blog I mentioned that I had become a bonafide Auburn School District employee, although the hiring process left me feeling not so sure about that status. Yesterday I got my confirmation - I was called in to work!

At just a few minutes before 8AM my phone woke me up with an assignment to go to Chinook Elementary on Muckleshoot hill ASAP. So just about an hour later I arrived and informed the school Office Manager, Lisa, that it was my first time to sub in an office. Fortunately for me, she has been on her job just over a year and did sub work before that so she was sympathetic to my situation.

I had to figure out where to park, remember to hang my parking permit tag on my mirror, then once I was inside find the correct sheet to sign in on. Then Lisa showed me the absence and tardy list that she had begun to compile, as well as entering them all on the computer in the special software the district uses. It was all fairly easy and I picked it up quickly. The one thing I have to get used to is deciphering what people are saying when they're calling in on the phone, telling me that their child will be absent. Names aren't what they used to be. No more "Billy Jones" or "Suzie Smith". This school is located on the Muckleshoot reservation so there were some Indian names. There are also just about everywhere now Mexicans, then the sporadic Samoan, Vietnamese and whatever else. One name I remember was Tuilata. The first names were just as confusing as Tuilata so when a parent called in and spouted "so-and-so and what's-his-name Tuilata" were home sick from school I could figure out what they were saying. But the majority of them just dump the name on you and it's up to you to decipher what they just said. I began to just write down what it sounded like, then go over the student list until I found it. Like one kid name "Ford" I wrote down as "Forbes".

So I mastered the attendance aspect of the job. I had to answer the phone also and that wasn't difficult either. Nearing the end of the day I found myself sitting in the health room with a cute little 2nd grade boy that reminded me of Denny, being small and very talkative. There were about 4 other kids that came and went while I was there with Joseph. One had a sore finger and put ice on it, one bumped her head so put ice on it also, another just felt nauseated so he sat and rested while I took his temp. There was one girl in 3rd grade who came in to give herself her insulin shot. She was so cavalier about the whole thing, it was impressive.

Some of the other interesting albeit very typical events that happened throughout the day:

- a girl pulled out her loose tooth while her class was walking to recess

- a kindergartner was sharing how she lived with her Grandma because her mom and dad    were in jail for shoplifting

- my little health room buddy, Joseph, was in there because he was not allowed to go to the   bathroom in time and ended up "having an accident" and needing clean clothes

- a group of 3 siblings missed the bus and had no other way to school, hmmm, how did that happen?

All in all a great first day at work. I know it'll be about as different as can be when I go to a middle or high school, that's why I check-marked elementary schools as my schools of choice.

Hey!  I just got a call to go to another school tomorrow and Friday!  This job may just work out after all!

January and February Noose

I don't know if it's just me or if my life has just become less interesting. Whatever it is it's making it difficult for me to feel inclined to blog. Hopefully when spring hits I'll be out of this funk and back to blogging. In the meantime here's the latest for January and the first half of February:

Both of us are getting close to finishing up our 365s, our picture-a-day projects.  Rick has been good about getting a shot every day but not me, I've missed about 5 days.  But since some days I've posted about 3 I don't feel like I've failed.  It's so hard to be inspired this time of year.  I've been reading a lot of photography sites and see that I'm not alone with this problem of uninspiration.  My project will end the day we leave for Iceland, but you know that I'll be posting pictures for days at that time!  I would definitely suggest it to someone who wants to improve in their photography.  It makes you see things around you and strive to take better and better shots.  It's just part of that "practice makes perfect" thinking I 'spose.

Kevin and Shirley decided to find a house that they could be happy in for a number of years. They decided to stop moving on an annual basis. I concur, it's what I did as soon as I bought this place. I set down roots and said "I'm NOT going!" No more moving for me. Well for me it's been nearly 20 years in this house and it's great. Kevin and Shirley found a very nice place 8 miles further into the sticks from here, in the little hamlet of Black Diamond. Joe's school is about a mile from home and he's student number 18 in his kindergarten class. The house is on a dirt driveway off the highway about 1/4 mile and has just the right size yard. The house is only 8 years old and has the right size rooms for Shirley's needs. It also has a large attached garage and even came with a pet turkey! Well, they haven't seen "Rock Star" for a couple weeks now but I'm sure he's nearby somewhere.

Dane is the first of my kids to have a part on a Circuit Assembly. He played a young man anxious to get in to his street clothes for dinner while he was also hoping to be able to witness to people he may meet. He was the hit of the weekend, the idiot that wore shorts at the assembly! As usual he did a great job!

It looks like Mark's family will be moving in less than a month as well.  His landlord needs to work on the house so they have to move.  But while Mark was doing some work for a homeowner he found a house in the SIR neighborhood not too far from here.  They all seem to like it, it has enough rooms for everyone and one more bathroom than their current place.  It also has a  detached garage and fully fenced yard.  All for the same rent they're paying now. 

Our ongoing battle with our neighbors over their barking dog (we affectionately call him "Bark-Bark") got slightly out of control a few weeks back when the dog who barks out of boredom decided to break out of his yard to go play with our other neighbors' dogs - via our back yard! He actually broke the 2x4s! We talked with the neighbor and let them know that it's our fence but that their dog broke it so they needed to repair it. They got on the job quickly and admitted that they can't care for so many dogs so are trying to find a new home for Bark-Bark. They also supposedly got the chihuahuas that live in the house fixed.

Rachyl had an episode back in November which pointed her doctor toward problems that she had to have repaired surgically. Female problems. She had her surgery at our local Auburn Hospital and all went well. The surgery was done laproscopically and she was able to go home the next day. Recovery wasn't too bad, she worked about half time the entire next week and by the week after that she was back to her old self. They biopsied some of her "parts" that were removed and discovered more problems so she's on a hormone therapy to balance things out and hopefully make her healthier, feel better and maybe be able to conceive her own "lil dude".

Just before Sarah left for India in January Rick's parents' dog, Jake, had a run-in with a raccoon. They were in bed and heard him screaming in the back yard. All they needed to do was flip on the light and the raccoon left but the doggy was damaged. I decided I wanted to take him a get-well gift so I picked up a little doggy toy at the "Mexican store" in Auburn for $1.29. I tried to give it to him but he's very shy so I visited with Bob and Arla and just left the toy. A day or 2 later Arla called to tell me that Jake just loves the toy! It has a hidden squeaker in it and he loves finding it and running around squeaking it!

Speaking of Sarah's trip to India - well, she's back already.  She was there 3 weeks.   What a neat thing to get to do, especially in the name of education! She visited a number of Indian schools to compare their education system with those here in the US.  Some of the schools were for very poor children and some were for the affluent.  Some were very structured and others were more lax. She got some wonderful shots of the students in the schools as well as sights of the eastern part of India, Chennai and Bangalore.  She saw a beach where the tsunami hit back in 2004, temples, marketplaces, a zoo, a park and even crashed a wedding! She's quite fortunate to have been able to go on such an exciting trip, definitely a once-in-a-lifetime expedition!

I jumped through all the hoops to become a substitute office worker for the Auburn School District.  First I got an application.  Then I turned it in and set up an appointment to take the 4 hour test.  It was a 15 part test that covered a variety of computer applications, spelling, grammar, math, customer service, etc.  It was HARD!  But I passed it and the next step was having all my references contacted.  Once that was done I got a call to go to "Orientation" on Thursday.  I was one of 8 persons there and only 2 of us were there for office jobs, the rest were all para-educators.  So now I just wait to get a call on any school morning between 6:30 and 8AM.  This should be interesting.

Our trip to Iceland is nearly here!  Woo hoo!  We're really looking forward to the first of our travel goals.  No, we haven't made an actual list or anything but we do intend to go visit lands that we've always dreamed of seeing.  Rick mentioned Machu Picchu in Peru so that's our next target.  It's tentatively set for May of 2012.  It'll be the most expensive trip we take so the sooner the better.  Back in the 70s Rick spent time in Italy and Turkey while he was in the Air Force, when he was young and dumb.  I say "young and dumb" because he was in each place for about a year and didn't explore anywhere on his time off!  So another place we'd like to go is back to Italy (he was actually in Pisa and didn't go see the tower! What a doof!) and other places in Europe, maybe Germany and the UK, Ireland.  He'd LOVE to see the Baobob trees in Madagascar but I don't think that's gonna happen, just out of curiosity I was looking and had a hard time even figuring out how to get there!

K, that's pretty good catching up for now.  If not before I'll definitely be blogging while (or right after) we're in Iceland.  See you then!

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.