Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Early Christmas Gift

One of my orchids has bloomed just in time for Christmas!  Oh how I love a Florida Christmas!


The bud has been developing for a few weeks, but I brought him inside just before he opened so we could enjoy it.  Yesterday I went to get some close-ups of the flower, but another little beauty decided she wanted a close-up too...


It's Morgan!!  She is very fascinated by the noises the camera makes and always comes running when it's out.



...easily distracted cat...



Today when I was leaving to run some errands, I noticed that the flower had opened even more, so I made a mental note to take some more pictures when I got home:



Even more beautiful than before!  But if you look at the bottom left corner of this picture, you can see the ear of someone else who was waiting for a close-up of her own....




It's Brooklyn!!  Soaking up the sun in our greenhouse window, no doubt.  She's always ready for a photo session!



"I can't help it if I'm beautiful..."



"Here, let me show you my best side..."



"Okay, that's enough...I need my beauty rest!"



Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice!

Our heating system decided to celebrate the shortest day of the year by going KAPUT on us last night.  Actually, we don't really know when it stopped working, because we've been trying to go as long as possible without turning it on, but Mike and I spent the day debating on whether or not it was actually out or not.  All I know is that I slept with socks on my hands last night....and and I WAS RIGHT!

So today I've been wearing my long underwear, making good use of our space heater, doin' the Santa Claus Boogie while I give my poor, neglected house the cleaning it needs.  However, I'm starting to really feel the cold, so I think this may be me for the rest of the day:




You can't tell me I haven't earned it!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Darn Those Little Disease Vectors!

Somehow I wound up making it all the way to December before getting a cold - usually I'm out by October, so I'm quite proud of myself.  However, I could not have waited for a more inopportune time, because this week was the last week before school lets out for the holidays.  And lemme tell ya, trying to take care of first graders while hopped up on cold meds is no fun.  Even less fun when it's the last week before school lets out before winter break, a magical time when every parent of a December baby wants to bring in cake for their precious darling's birthday that will be missed during break....a time when telling the kids that you have Santa on speed dial is no longer a good enough threat to suppress their holiday "cheer."

Anyhoo, I was trying to read my first graders a book yesterday...trying being the operative word, because what I was really doing was sneezing uncontrollably.  But I didn't realize how bad it was, until one of my girls asked me, "Mrs. Wolfe, are you allergic to books?"

That day, I went to CVS and bought the GOOD cold medicine - the kind behind the counter, where they take down your driver's license number, mother's maiden name, and dental records.  Much better.  No longer allergic to books.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thrown Under the Bus...

A few weeks ago I was thrown under the bus by two of my first graders.  Literally.  Almost.

I have two girls who ride the same bus.  One of them is the same girl who got my name mixed up with the name of her bus on the first day of school, calling me Mrs. Hyena and thereby missing her bus.  Shall we say that she has....carried on with her initial display of....flightiness.  And the other one is not too far behind.  The two of them have missed the bus together twice, due to their flightly powers combined.  Now, this is a bigger deal than it may seem to those who are outside the world of elementary school.  When one of my students misses the bus, I get a nice little note in my mailbox from the principal.  The parents are usually pretty upset, too, requiring me to take the time to make phone calls to them.  So it goes without saying that I do what I  to make sure it doesn't happen again.  After the first occurrence, I sat the girls down for a problem-solving meeting.  We came up with a strategy, which basically took the statement QUIT BEING SUCH A DINGBAT and put it into constructive words.  We agreed - no detours, no waiting for someone...I told them that when they miss the bus, I get in trouble, and they swore up and down that it would never happen again.

Fast forward to a few weeks later.  The final bus had been called about 10 minutes earlier, a time that all teachers look forward to - peace at last!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............and then suddenly...

[BEEP!] MRS. WOLFE PLEASE REPORT TO THE OFFICE...MRS. WOLFE, PLEASE REPORT TO THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.

Crap.

You never know what to expect when this happens, but it's usually not good.  I had a hunch about what would be waiting for me, and surprise, surprise!  What did I see but two very guilty looking girls sitting in the front office!

Weeeeeeell, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!

But I knew that wasn't really why I was called to the office.  And I didn't have to wait long to find out the real reason.  Turns out the girls co-conspired to keep themselves out of trouble when they missed the bus and decided that they would tell their parents, the office staff, AND the principal that *I* was the reason.  According to them, it was all MY fault because I wouldn't let them leave the classroom when the bus was called.  So I had an office worker demanding to know why I had physically prevented the girls from leaving the classroom, holding in one hand a telephone with a parent on hold angrily wanting to know the same thing, holding in her other hand a memo to see the principal immediately.

Hoo boy.

Needless to say, I was LIVID with those girls.  And I was even more livid when I talked to both sets of parents and realized that they really could care less and still pretty much blamed me for the whole thing.  So I did the only thing I could do: I took every single solitary fun thing we did away from them for a whole week.  And I will just say that I put a lot of fun in my classroom.  And I relished hearing them whine about it, because then I got to channel my mother and say:

"Well you should have thought about that before you tried to throw your teacher under the bus!"
Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the holiday that my dear Aunt Faye usually handles, and this year was no different, despite her having a humdinger of a bad week.  My mom beat me to posting Thanksgiving pictures, but I wanted to share my perspective:



A banana spider



My dad's hand....and the banana spider.  I can't really give a reason why he put his hand that close to a spider...



My uncle Randy and his daughter Rachel on our traditional after-dinner walk.  It was a beautiful day for a walk outside!



My crazy Uncle Jerry was TRYING to stick out his chest, his reason being so he looked slimmer.  I think it just  made him look silly!



We walked along some train tracks in Dunnellon.


Hey look, mistletoe!  I had no idea that it grew in Florida.


My cousin Rachel in some deep thought.  As usual.  She is one of the deepest thinkers I know.  Which is weird because I still fight the urge to think of her as a little kid.


She's so observant - she finds things that I would never notice, like this cool mushroom.


But I DID notice this awesome caterpillar!  I love his green fuzziness!