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my first day of retirement

March 8th, 2011

“What I wanted to be when I grew up was in charge.” — Wilma Vaught

did I mention that I retired? I know, I know — always with the big news around this place.

Yeah, yeah, I thought I needed grad school, but what I really needed was to retire and write. So I retired! (Seriously, I was all, BRAINSTORM.) It’s my friend Dan, he sets a bad example. Technically, my last day was Friday, but due to the fact that I am nice… when my principal asked me if I would please come in and train my replacement (who didn’t start work ’til yesterday), I said, Sure! Thus confusing my students beyond all belief and making them cry.

“They told me you left, but you didn’t you’re right here!”

Oh, geez, kids. They break your heart and they fill your heart, every day.

here’s my day, so far, starting with last night:

1) WENT TO BED EARLY and got a good night’s sleep. This is something new. Goodbye, stress and work anxiety and having nightmares about cafeteria duty and kids throwing food at me. (Teaching: The Dirty Secrets Come Out, Today on Wacky Mommy…)

2) told Steve to sleep in. I think he started to ask, Really? But he was snoring halfway through the word so I can’t be sure.

3) Here’s the thing… I don’t know what my kids eat for breakfast, or lunch, so much. Not so much. OK, woke up the kids, and after brief fits (this is normal, right?) they got up. (Usually I’m out the door and Steve deals with all this. That’s the way we’ve done it for a looooooooong time now. I work out, ignore everyone, get ready and go; he deals with the rest; they go to school. Then at 3 o’clock, I take over.)

4) After some skepticism (“You’re fixing our breakfast and lunch, really? No. Really?“) The kids did some, No, not like that, like this, etc. and gave me pointers, we dealt, and I got them out the door.

5) Whew ;)

6) Then got Steve out the door.

7) Whew ;)

8) Tended to a) cats b) laundry c) dishes d) computer tech stuff with my ma — Updates from Steve, Computer God as well as Hockey God e) my son’s room f) resisted urge to tidy up daughter’s room, having been told by almost-teenager to stay out, Mom, please?!!!??!!! and next…

9) I’m going to do some yoga and…

10) write!

11) my (former) co-workers are joshing me, Let us know when you have your first book written! me: Uh, I have two written. I’ll let you know when they’re published.

12) dinner? How about potato soup and green salad? I’m going to do a simple one, but this sounds good (sub vegetable broth). Or perhaps you would prefer cupcakes? (writing again, feeling superstitious and doing all my weird writing habits, so i have to skip the next number…)

14) my hair looks crazy — I chopped it all off and now it will just look crazy for 2 years until it grows out again. just fyi.

15) interesting random fact, from my internet browsings this a.m.: Have you ever heard of a leafy sea dragon? I hadn’t either, what a quincidence.

16) my daughter’s middle school band is doing a play-a-thon, how awesome is that? It will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — the kids sign up for shifts. Great idea, eh? please support the music and art programs at your local schools, you will not regret it a bit. Books are always welcome, too. Just drop off a bag of books with the secretaries at the front office and say, These are for the teachers to use in the class or send home with the kids, and they will say, Thank you. And you can say, You’re welcome. And it is just magical, really.

17) I’m still going to keep writing my library blog. Send me a note if you don’t already have the address, or I bet you can figure it out if you’re a girl sleuth. Or a boy sleuth, for that matter, ha.

18) Steve and I started talking about moving out to Washington County a long, long time ago. Like, about ten minutes after we moved into our new (to us) 100-year-old house and I realized I’d bought a “vintage” house that would need more than I would ever, ever be willing to give it. That house, honestly — it was like a demanding old woman who wanted some nice new cosmetic surgery every week or so. Also, there were the pitbulls. And the serenades. And the Nasty Neighbor. And the Other Ones.

19) Yesterday, to celebrate my Last Real Day of Work, I took myself out for coffee. Someone ordered the following (this is verbatim): “A three-shot grande pumpkin hazelnut latte extra hot with no foam!” Jeez. People. Plus, that doesn’t even sound good.

20) Did you know that this Thursday, March 10th, is International Women’s Day? How cool. Celebrate your hero. No, I don’t mean me. I’m gonna go get another cup of coffee (it will contain a) coffee b) milk) and avoid the heroics.

happy, happy, happy, happy Tuesday.

— wm

quotes from my student

March 3rd, 2011

She’s funny, this kid. Two weeks ago she snuggled up next to me, looked at me adoringly and asked me, “Ms. Nancy, why don’t you ever have any good books in your library?”

Ohhhhhhh, let me count how many books (new and new-to-us) I put on the shelves in the past six months: A ton. That’s right.

So she heard I was leaving, Due to Tendonitis and Exceeding Need to Publish My Own Writing (and perhaps start a new internet project, with Stevie. More on that later ;)

Today she gave me a really sweet goodbye card, another big hug, then shoved me away and had a lil fit.

I want to be a writer. I want to be WRITING!”

My response: “Do it.”

I (heart) kids. Writing. And books. Today? In that order.

“oh you can’t scare me/i’m sticking to the union…”

February 25th, 2011

standing today in solidarity with my sisters and brothers in Wisconsin. All power to the people.

in anticipation of a snow day…

February 24th, 2011

…don’t you I think I should stay up all night reading? then in the morning the kids can toast some Eggo waffles (which I always call Eggo Waffos by accident, because to my way of thinking, that just sounds right) and make instant hot cocoa? And i can sleep in!

who’s with me?

of course, it’s not that funny if we end up not having Snowpocalypse again and i have to work tomorrow, after having stayed up all night reading. (just joined a new book club it’s rilly rilly good, the reading list. and most of the titles on the list are FREE on my KINDLE and you know i like FREE.) also, did I mention that i gave notice at my job? again?

because I wanted to, that’s why. i’ll work this week and next, then done, all done.

Honest to mike, those of you who have been following this blog since its humble beginnings and right up until its riotous present, fucking how many jobs have i had since i had kids? Seriously. Search under “work” or “jobs” or “starting next job” or “finishing this job and packing up both of my offices I’m done with this shit” and see what you come up with. At one point I worked in three different offices, in three different buildings — Tigard, Hillsboro and Beaverton, too. I could never remember where I was supposed to be is why I quit.

This latest job is good, but the arm thing is making me nuts. Too much typing.

And am somewhat whimsical girl, damn. That’s fine.


edited 6:46 a.m. Thursday to say……….. SNOW DAY! for both school districts :) So the kids are off and I am, too. hallelujah xo me

you realize, of course, that all this reading is cutting into my TV viewing time?

November 14th, 2010

Because it’s true, schools really are political places:

“…and we SHUT THEM DOWN because we CAN!”

July 18th, 2010

Ooooooh, that Rizzo. (wiping tears from eyes.) I find that pep talk highly… peppy, whether it’s Herb Brooks giving it or Rizzo. And now, an update on grad school:

I’ve been meaning to do my grad work for… 21 years. Since I finished my undergrad work, if you want to get specific. Which I don’t, so let’s move along. I still don’t know if I have a job for next year, but I love working with kids, I love my library work, turns out teaching is a good fit for me. I like the order of it, the volatility and unpredictability of it, the way the kids blossom and grow and it’s like time-lapse photography or something, watching it. It is breath-taking. I don’t like to get into the specifics of it here because you know — it’s my students’ lives we are talking about, I’m just a bit player in their production.

But I will say this — when you can get an entire class of 7th grade boys reading, that is more than just a beautiful thing. That is exquisite, and it makes me feel like a superhero. Like a librarian superhero. And I can say, yes, this is why I’m here.

But I have been working as a classified employee (clerk) and that’s what I’ve done my whole life, pretty much. Gotten paid half as much as everyone else (except the other clerks, and man have we grumbled about it together) for doing the same work. Or sometimes for doing more work, when you run into people who want to lord it over you.

How clever, to wiggle out of work and dump it on someone who makes half as much money as you. What a smart, smart person you are to figure that one out. Yuck.

I finished my grad school application last week and mailed it Monday. Went to an information night at my institution of higher learning (as RSG, my little academic all-star friend, calls it) on Wednesday. Yesterday I took the first of many tests I will have to take on the road to becoming a certified language arts (English) teacher (for middle school/high school), a reading specialist (or English Language Learners specialist) and a media specialist (librarian). It will take me about three years to finish all of that, and I’ll be… (I don’t want to say how old) when I finish. (It’s like Dear Abby used to ask, How old are you going to be if you don’t do it?)

I passed my test. It made me feel like a huge success. This week I have my final interview, and the powers-that-be will decide if this cohort is a good fit for me, if they want me, basically. I think we’re all good, but it’s still a little nerve-wracking. Especially when I think of working part- or full-time, taking care of my own kids and my students, paying some attention to my husband (which I’m sure he would appreciate, occasionally, although he’s not a demanding type of guy), cleaning, cooking… oh, wait. I don’t do much of those last two things, anyway. I think it will be fine, but it does seem a little daunting.

But if I don’t do it? I know right now that I would regret it.

No regrets, they get in the way.

Wish me luck.

— wm

everything i’ve loved about this week…

June 3rd, 2010

* my students. I don’t write about them that often, because they need their privacy. They’re kids, and they’re not “my” kids (even though I possessively, constantly call them “my” students). from the daily hello’s to the drop-ins, from the “i love you” notes in my desk to the way they’ve changed, grown, blown my mind in the two years I’ve known them… they are the best.

* I don’t think any of them read this blog (they rarely read my library blog, even though I keep shoving the url at them), but if they do happen to stop by… I’ll miss you guys, you are great kids. They tell me, You are the best librarian, and all I can say is, With students like you, it’s easy to be good at my job.

* okay, enough, i’m getting all bummed out now.

* i may or may not land a gig next year, who knows. “it is what it is” — anon.

* i’ve been loving all the nature out in our new neighborhood — the greenspaces, parks, frogs, green, green, green, snakes and tons of flowers, trees, flora and fauna. i feel bad i’ve been slamming on the west side for so long. it’s alright out here.

* i tried to make dinner tonight. I really did, i swear to you. you know i’m trying to be better about that, and not giving up and getting pizza 3 nights out of 7.

* But there was a meeting after school, and I spaced and forgot my phone and had to fetch it, so by the time we got home, it was later than usual, and blood sugar was low. It was a hit/miss thing, dinner. Hit: Fed the kids in courses — baby carrots, apples, crackers (what are they, horses?), yogurt and… they didn’t want what we were having, frozen roasted vegetable lasagna (store-bought), and Texas burgers. (Amy’s for both of those items.) Miss: everything else. Oh, wait — the big bowl full of sugared, sliced strawberries was a hit.

* the kids opted for cereal. not hot oatmeal (breakfast for dinner = yes, let’s do that). smart kids. the lasagna was awful, but the Texas burgers were good, once I doctored them up with relish and mango chutney. i would do breakfast for dinner more, but they don’t eat bacon. or fake bacon. sausage. or fake sausage. it’s waffles or pancakes or nuthin’ around here, and Steve usually fixes those on the weekends so…

* red wine was good, at least ;)

now steve’s making music and i’m getting ready for a shower and bed. end of the school year has got me by the throat, but that’s okay.



i love this so much

May 27th, 2010

this one just made me happy Wacky Mommy.

that’s the way it goes, folks

April 8th, 2010

My problem with jobs is as follows: You look for one, you find one, then you gotta go there everyday. Until you work for a school district. Then you get unassigned in April, possibly get a new assignment by September, possibly don’t. Or you find a new job in your new county of residence, instead of commuting twenty miles a day (one way).

Either way, it kinda sucks when you buy a new house one week, then lose your job the next.

We’ll be fine. Don’t be crying for me out there — my job buys the groceries and that’s about it.

Oh, wait…

Ha, just kidding. We’ll be fine. Steve is The Man and you know how that one goes — if you’re just a girl you make half the money, work twice as hard, and people demand blow jobs of various sorts.

(Is it OK to say that here? “Various sorts”???)

Then eventually you get kicked out on your ass. The End. That’s the life of a girl. Man, do I want better for my daughter.



Lelo’s Cabbage Salad

September 5th, 2009

Oh, yum. Just harvested cherry tomatoes, big, juicy slicers, zucchini, and about four pounds of GREEN BEANS from the garden. It rained all over me, I’m drenched now. Dripping on the keyboard. (Kidding, I grabbed a towel as soon as I came in.)

The flowers are so happy — they’re all dusted off now and shiny. Steve pruned the honeysuckle way, way back about six weeks ago, I think it was. It has rebounded like a mofo and just finished eating the fence. Nom, nom.

I love my garden.

Just got my first tuition reimbursement, too, from my work, for that Human Development/Psych class I took. This is the first time ever I’ve gotten PAID for going to school. (There was that Pell Grant, too, that one time. That was a lovely day when that check arrived, all $1,100 of it. Still remember, 20 years later, haha.) So thank you, union and school district. I feel so extra-intelligent now. That master’s degree is just going to earn itself. And my students arrive back on Tuesday, can’t wait. So many great books to share with them. When they talk-talk during library time, you know what I say?

“Shhh! Hang on! I have a lot of information to tell you and a very short time to do it!” Works like a charm.


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