Sunday, August 16, 2009

Touching Base

Hi friends! Wow! It's been a busy two weeks. My summer break has ended and I'm back at school - back in the media center. Because of budget problems, many public school teachers in Georgia were furloughed (like Gretchen and other state workers) our first two days of work. Preparing for our students to return to school still had to happen so we either worked those two days or have been working non-stop to compensate. It's wonderful to see our students, teachers, and parents. I'm zipping through with my media center orientations. Because it's our third year as a school, my students know our procedures and expectations. Most of it's a reinforcement and review. Tomorrow, I'll finish second grade orientation. That will leave my first grade and kindergarden which should be completed by the end of the week. I also meet with a kindergarten group each day as their Special. This is the first time ever in my career that I've worked with kindergarten on the first day of school. I had a super group on Monday. We read Slippers at School by Andrew Clements. It was a great choice for students to examine the illustrations. Starting back at school is always like "hitting a brick wall." I go from a relaxed, easy life to a day beginning at 5:00 a.m., driving 20 miles to school, tending to duties, teachers, students all day and home by 5:00 (if I'm lucky) The first week back, I'm pretty useless when I get home so I didn't even try to do anything. I had all my clothes ironed and assigned for each day. Lunches were made each evening. I didn't even read many blogs. I was just too tired. This week should be better. My mind and body are beginning to remember the routine. The sad part is that I have 6 or 7 blogs in draft mode ready to write and post. It's good to be back in blog-land.

In addition to returning to school, we have been preparing our youngest son for college. On Thursday, DH and I drove Michael to his college dormitory. We helped him set up his room and met his roomate and parents. His college is 91 miles from our housei. It's in middle Georgia. It took us about an hour and a half to get there Thursday morning. The university did a fabulous job of easing the pain of move-in day. There were about 50 students in green T-shirts when we drove up (streets were blocked off, campus police were friendly and helpful). In minutes, they had the truck unloaded and hauled Michael's things up to the fourth floor. We were especially worried about the television that weighed about a "ton". It was a challenged for DH and son when they moved it downstairs at our home. We weren't sure we could move it by ourselves. These green shirted crew members were indeed a blessing. I even chatted with son's advisor who was helping on move-in day. I recognized her from orientation.

I was worried that the day would be a disaster, but it was a celebration. Our neighbors were also bringing their daughter to the same college. Our kids are even in the same dorm. It was fun to see friends experiencing the same event. We visited their daughter's dorm room. They checked out Michael's digs. Thursday evening, our neighbors came over. We visited on the screen-in porch with a cold beer and shared our experiences - shared the big step of leaving our kids at college.

I thought my quilt friends would enjoy seeing that DS did bring a quilt to college. He decided his T-shirt quilt was too heavy and hot for now. This is a quilt his grandmother (DH's mother) had a friend hand quilt for him. She pieced and hand-quilted quilts for the older grandchildren. She was no longer able to hand-quilt a bed quilt for Michael. It's actually not pieced. It's a printed cloth that has been quilted. It was made especially for Michael. It's an old favorite. He would have liked to taken his blue and white Blueberry Pie, but I asked him not to bring it. It's a very special quilt for me. I learned much in the process of making the top. It's on his bed in his bedroom for whenever he makes a trip home.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Home, Again

Knowing that my Summer break will soon be over, last week we headed to Louisiana to visit with my Dad and Marion's Mom. They both live in assisted-living facilities, but in different areas of Louisiana. We spent a bit of time in both places wishing we had more time to visit. Michael made the trip with us, too. With his college schedule, it may be some time before he is able to visit again. We were blessed with my cousins who helped us during our visit. Many thanks to Bob and Niki (also a quilter) who introduced us to an awesome pizza restaurant very near Dad's facility. It was wonderful visiting with them again. They had never met our son, Michael. He loved connecting with family. Bob's brother and my cousin, Glen, welcomed us into his home. We normally have to sleep at a local motel because Dad no longer lives in his home. Relaxing at Glen and Mary's home was absolutely perfect. It helped us to feel connected to family. We talked, laughed and ate lots.

While in Lafayette, I made a quick detour to Bourne Quilters. It is one super shop! I visited with Renee, the owner. They are in the process of moving to a larger location (wonderful news) in the same strip shopping center. The week previous to my visit, they celebrated their first year anniversary. Many bolts of fabric were on sale for 40% off. Because of their anticipated move, the sale was still in process. I purchased a white with black dot print from Lakehouse and Beatles fabric to make Michael a pillowcase. He is enamored with the music of The Beatles. He's also anxiously awaiting the new Rock Band video game featuring the music of The Beatles.

While visiting Marion's Mom, we were also able to visit his childhood friend. Mike was best man at our wedding. Most trips we're not successful in coordinating a visit so this was a treat for all of us. We normally book rooms at the Casino that is near his Mom's place, but the Casino was completely booked. We tried a local bed and breakfast. This was a first for us, staying at a B & B. Honeysuckle B & B was quite nice. It was very quiet which is not the case at the Casino. It was truly in the Country. I don't think I could find the place on my own.

Our Rusty stayed home with our oldest son, Jason. He was over-joyed to have us return. He's a bit neurotic. I'm hoping that he relaxes. I don't think he ate the entire time we were gone. He's definitely off his schedule. I found it rather amusing that the pastor of the local church near Marion's Mom's assisted living has the same name as our dog, both first and last name :)