Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bringing Lazarus Back...

Hey Y'all...

Guess what??? I brought my laptop back to life!!! By last Wednesday I was dying without my home laptop. By the time I would get home from school... I lost any inclination to climb my stairs and get on the computer. Also, Paddington would whine everytime I went upstairs to surf the net... so I was OVER IT! So, me being me... I took my laptop apart. Literally. Then I took out the battery and re-inserted it. The laptop came back on, but it was apparent the only thing I could do was reimage it. I did a factory re-image and Ta Dah!! I am back in business! I still lost all of my files, but oh well. Backup. Backup. Backup. Next time.

Paddington graduated last Monday from Puppy Kindergarten! We have had a good week, except that I am exhausted. We lost several people this year due to budget cuts, so that means that we all pay for it with extra duties and one day without a special. My day is Tuesday. No break. I was ready to commit myself by the end of the day! Also this year, I don't sit down EVER. And. I have no time to go to the bathroom. At all.

It's going to be a LONG year folks. At least next weekend is a 3 day one!!
:) JKP

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Goodbye Summer....

Hey Y'all,

As I type this, I am getting ready to go to bed early in preparation for the big day tomorrow. I went to the beach this afternoon to enjoy some sun and the ocean breeze. I NEVER sleep the night before school starts, so I am hoping that the salty air will do the trick tonight.

Saying goodbye to this summer is bittersweet. In some ways, it was a very good summer, and in someways it was not. The summer started off on a sour note of course, because I lost Zorro on the 3rd of June. I was sitting on the beach today and just started crying. I still miss him so much. I love Paddington and so happy he is with me, but I am still grieving for Zorro. Seven years is a long time. I really just miss having my little companion. Although, I have to say, I think Zorro has been visiting. Paddington is doing some things that only Zorro did, and I have to shake my head. Zorro used to leave his bones by the door for me. Paddington just started doing that this week. Very interesting. Of course, getting Paddington was a definite highlight. I don't know if I would have said that two weeks into having a puppy, but now things are better! Puppy Kindergarten has helped! :)

Of course most of the summer I was busy with summer school. I am glad now that I did it, because I don't have the anxiety about starting school tomorrow like I usually do. I think since I had a "first" day about two months ago, I am better able to roll with the one tomorrow.

A neat thing that happened to me this summer was my trip out to California and Lake Tahoe. I was able to connect with some professional techie people and that was something I really needed. Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in our jobs, we forget what we really enjoy. Technology is one of those things for me, so I need to make sure I do a better job of networking and staying in the loop about things.

The last few weeks of summer were nice. Paddington started Puppy Kindergarten (he graduates tomorrow!), I saw some old friends and hung out at the beach. I also read a little and got some knitting done.

Whew! I still don't think I am ready or looking forward to the stresses that this school year is going to bring, and I definitely am not looking forward to all of the stress we as teachers face about test scores, etc. At least I have Mr. Paddington to come home to!

Well, I am off. Tomorrow marks my 13th year teaching. Who would have thought that????
Nighty Night!
:) JKP

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Booties and Bonnets.....

Hey Y'all!

I have been knitting... there's something in the water at work.. so my needles have been VERY busy! :) Here's some pics of a prezzie I have for a friend of mine who had twins in the middle of July. Yes. I know. My present is late, but just for the record, the twins were early!!!!! :) The twins were a boy and a girl, so I made each one a bonnet and booties.
I got this pattern out of the May issue of Creative Knitting. It is called the Butter Cup Baby Set. There is a sweater that goes with this set, but I thought just the bonnets and booties were a nice touch. I still have one more set to knit for a shower on Thursday. The nice thing about this pattern is that it knits up in a jiffy and I can probably knit it by heart now!
Wow, 2 posts in 1 day! Time to feet Paddy......
:) JKP

Play Ball!!!!!!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I am not blogging much, but I have WAY too much going on right now! Paddington graduates from obedience school on Monday! I have a video of us practicing our tricks.... BUT something MAJOR happened this week. My laptop that I use downstairs in my house literally fried itself. It won't even turn on! I lost a ton of videos, pictures and work. Oh well. I am so sad. So now, when I want to use the computer, I have to go upstairs. At least I still have 1 working computer at home, but I loved that laptop. I am going to save for a "netbook" I think. Those are the tiny notebooks that you have been seeing around. They are small, portable and wireless. So I think that I will save for one. I still need a computer downstairs so I can keep an eye on Paddington!!!

On the 19th I officially had Paddington for 2 months! He is still being puppy silly, but has done very well with his training. The training has helped him with his listening skills!! He has adjusted OK to me going back to work, but I have been able to come home some during lunch and visit with him. I get my 24 munchkins on Monday. These past few days have been hard for him because I have had to work late hours at school. He has done well, but we haven't been able to do our training as much as we should. If we can make it through the first week, I think we will be ok. The beginning of school just wears me out, so it is hard for him because he wants to play ALL of the time! He has gotten better about playing in the kitchen, so he doesn't require my attention ALL OF THE TIME! Although, he would if he could!

I just got home from school, I went in to make a few last minute changes for the first day. My class keeps growing! I have 24 right now. Some schools in the district have 27 in each class! That's just crowd control!

Well, I am going to leave you a video of Paddington and I playing ball.... He is just too cute!!
:) JKP

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life in My House

Hey Y'all....

Here's what we have been up to!!!!!

This is Paddington playing with his toys. I have a constant "squeak, squeak, squeak" going on in my house these days! I think that is the way that Paddy talks to me. We have moved on to week two of our puppy kindergarten. Paddington is working on sitting, staying and laying down. So far with me going back to work this week we have had to work extra hard to get in his training. But, he is doing well!!!! I took the above video with a video camera that I got this week. It was $30 at Big Lots. I am not sure I like it, but it does an OK job for $30! It also beats the $150 ones that are on the market now. So we shall see if I keep it!

Anyhoo, this weekend I hope to do some reading and finish up some knitting. I also hope to make it to the beach at least once this weekend too. It has been SO rainy here that this afternoon is the first time the sun has been out in a while.

My classroom is basically finished! I had so much stuff to hang this year! I discovered these wonderful things called Stikki Clips. They are fantastic! They have a wax adhesive on the back to they really hold things up and don't take the paint off of the walls!!! They also make Stikki wax dots that work great as well! I wish that I would have had these years ago... it made putting up my classroom so much easier!

Well, Paddington is ready for his supper and then a walk. He finally got a bath today after three weeks. Since he had his "surgery" I had to make sure he was well before I could bathe him. Well, add all of this rain and three weeks with no bath, and I had one stinky boy. So, I don't know who was more soaked, but my boy is clean!

:) JKP

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Note From the Supreme Court......

Hey Y'all!

Well Paddington (or Pitty Pat, which is his current nickname for the week) and I have been VERY busy learning to sit! We had our first obedience lesson on Monday, and ever since then 3 to 4 times a day we have been practicing, practicing! Pitty Pat is a very smart student (if I say so) and is doing very well. We are still having issues with the potty training.... and I am a little worried since I go back to work next week. Our main issue is that he is being silly and wants to eat his poopy. I have some remedies that I am going to try and see if this helps. It is REALLY gross, but according to several experts, puppies do this. UGHHH!

Pitty Pat had a birthday this week! On Tuesday he turned 5 months old! So far, I haven't noticed a difference, except that now he will nap a little bit more than usual. I don't know if this is because he has been neutered, but he has calmed down a bit! He still has his wild and crazy moments, but overall he is growing up. He is cutting 5 teeth right now, so he is chewing like a silly boy. :) He is also growing! He is gaining weight, but he is also growing longer! His face has changed too! His hair is still thin, and hopefully in a month or too his coat will come back in.

Anyhoo... you may have heard on the news today that they confirmed Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. While this is exciting news, it brought back a memory to me that I just had to share!

When I was in high school, we had just moved to Columbia, SC. I was a freshmen in a class of just over 1,000. Gulp. My freshmen year I had an English teacher who was wonderful. Although I had to hike way across the parking lot out to her portable every morning...she was always beaming and ready to see us! Her name was Mrs. Hefner. (She is still Mrs. Hefner. Her husband is now superintendent of Richland School District 2!) She was so very kind to me. I think she saw something in me that other teachers hadn't noticed. Maybe she noticed how much I LOVED to read. She also loved the way I wrote. One of our first assignments was to write a letter to someone famous or someone that we admired. Of course, most of my classmates wrote to rock stars and football heroes. Andre Agassi was a big back then! The writer in me was curious to write to someone who had accomplished something extraordinary. Since that really limited me, and at the time, we had NO INTERNET, I had to use an encyclopedia. I settled on writing to Sandra Day O'Connor. For those of you who don't know your American History, Sandra Day O'Connor was the FIRST WOMAN appointed to the Supreme Court. Ronald Regan appointed her in 1981. In my letter I indicated to her that I was curious about how she came to be a lawyer and then a judge. I asked her what advice she had for me as I was just beginning to think about my career path. My thoughts were writer, teacher, maybe lawyer. I was also curious as to what her days were like and if her family supported her during her rise to the top court in the nation. I finished my letter, shared it with my teacher, we put a stamp on it, and mailed it. I didn't expect a response. About a month went by and several of my classmates received autographed postcards from their folks, but no true response.

One day I walked into class and I had a fancy envelope sitting on my desk with the return address OF THE SUPREME COURT! Mrs. Hefner was BEAMING!


I rushed over to Mrs. Hefner and we held our breath as I carefully opened the envelope. I wanted to treasure this, even if it was your standard reply form letter. I mean it had been sent from the Supreme Court and I wasn't being subpoenaed! Y'all. This. So. Wasn't. A. Form. Letter.

Mrs. O'Connor said she was delighted to hear from a student and she said she was honored that I had chosen her to write to. She explained to me that she had to study very hard and had wonderful teachers to support her, especially in law school. She encouraged me to do what my heart told me to and that I would always be happy if I did something that I loved. She said that she loved being on the Supreme Court and that she was challenged and learned something new everyday. She ended the letter by thanking me and she wished me well in my future. She signed the letter "Sandra Day O'Connor." She didn't use her title, just her name.

To this day, I always think of her kindness in replying to me and taking the time to share her thoughts on how she was successful. Needless to say, I got an A+ on my project. I still have the letter today. It is a cherished memento.

So today's thought is, always take a moment to help someone out. You never know how much you may end up influencing their life later on. Mrs. Hefner and Sandra Day O'Connor taught me that!

:) JKP