Day 9 #SOL20 #26/31

@RascalDurrin

“Oh, thank goodness,” I mumbled to myself, “I got a story!” I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t felt a story lately, not one that makes you smile and feel good (for me). Everything changed 5 minutes ago. I read an email and something caught my eye. I know that symbol. Yet it still took a second to register what I was reading. It took me back…


It started three nights ago. I agreed to share my CUE presentation at the virtual SpringCUE 2020. I’m new to Zoom. I don’t have the buttons and options down. I haven’t embedded my slide presentation into Nearpod in like hmm… maybe never. This was before leaving the brick and mortar for the remote learning era when I agreed to this. And still, I decided to do it. It would be easy to send an email and cancel. Lots of people I know did just that. These are crazy times, but I’m mad like that. I asked my partner if she was interested. I told her about how I want to change my approach. She gave me hints that she would be involved. The day before, I texted her to find out if she was joining me. No response.

To host a meeting in Zoom, you get specific numbers to join a meeting and another number if you’re hosting the meeting. I tried to test my meeting identification number out minutes before to get set up and orientate myself around. You know, before any big presentation, you are an hour early, or at least I am. I learned it doesn’t work that way with zoom when there are so many other presenters back to back. 15 minutes before I was to go on, I still couldn’t get in. I started to go numb. What if I can’t get in and show up to my own presentation? My stomach ached, and my chest grew tight. A panic attack was about to occur. I emailed one of the support staff pleading for help. I wanted to bite my nails right off, but recently I’ve been getting them to grow. That wasn’t an option. Oh, did I mention, my partner never got back to me? I’m on my own. What have I gotten myself into now?
While I tried to log in, I checked my emails. Again, I attempted to log in and checked my emails. I tried and tried. Still, nothing was working. The universe was not lining up in my favor. Now I have 5 minutes left. I write a reply, “Maybe you should cancel this session. I’m feeling so anxious. Yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Before I hit send, in the bottom right corner, I was informed I had a new response. A brief wave of relief came over me until I automatically hit send before I read her response. She said she fixed it. Oh, no! I clicked the link, typed the host number into the box, and away I went. I made it in. Could she cancel the meeting once we’re in, and we would all disappear? I wondered.

In the meantime, she got my email. She didn’t think I was in. She canceled it. However, for myself and the other many participants that barely made in, we conversed over writing possibilities around remote learning for 50 minutes. No one else could join because she deleted it, per my request.

Once this was behind me and I could breath again naturally, I tweeted a big thank you to the CUE Staffer. That symbol is my tweeter profile photo. Today, I noticed they put my tweet in their daily updates. It made me smile. I haven’t felt a story lately, not one that makes you smile and feel good (for me). If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed out on an opportunity to be extremely vulnerable and grateful at the same time. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I heard from my partner, “Oops, sorry, I just saw this text.” It’s okay. I fumbled; I stumble; I even mumble at times, yet I did it.

#SOL20 #26/31

Springtime #SOL20 #21/31

She takes her position in the back seat. Before I shut the door, her front paws planted on the armrest, and her toenails hold her place in the back. As we move down the road, her slobber smudges all over the window. The rear seat safety windows are barely enough for her head to hang out. It’s doesn’t stop the need to have the wind blow through your hair. All the smells are too much for her to endure.

The Cherry blossoms litter the pathway as she drags me toward another scent. Peddles waffle back and forth like gravity has no pull. Others aim for your mouth and eyes. Everything is pink and green. Six feet away, a family sways on the swings with blurts of laughter with a push. Another tosses the ball high aligns his racket and aims for the square just behind the net. Stretching our limbs does a well after a week indoors. Behind us, I left the reminder that we are ‘safer at home.’

The ride home was a repeat. Resting on the couch, she ready to drift away to lalaland. I hear the sniff. Then she begins the tugging on blankets to create that perfect bowl, and finally, the plop up against your leg. It’s like she wants you to know he’s present.

Week 1 #SOL20 #19/31

Things are so different. I really don’t know what to write about, or maybe I’m not feeling the connections to my stories. It seems like a struggle to keep the routines I did before March 13th alive.

As spring came closer than before, I picked up my exercise routines. Things were falling back into place. Our books arrived, and the club was underway. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a book club. I was up and moving all day long.

Things have changed. I have to learn how to get up and get active while working at home. It’s been one Zoom meeting after another. I barely have time to get some tea. Usually, the water is boiling away. I do love the feature to hide my video. They don’t when I need to get up and take care of something. The harm is that I miss information. Information I may need.

It’s the first week. I’ll need to look into self-care to weather the storm. I need to give myself some grace. I am embracing the learning curve. It possesses challenges both positive and not so much.

#SOL20 #19/31

A Gem in the Rough #SOL20 #16/31

Image by sipa202 from Pixabay

It was my first time in a grocery store in a while. I didn’t go to my go-to-store. It’s too small. It’s too crowded on what was once known as an ordinary day. Tomorrow’s St. Paddy’s Day. I must have the traditional corned beef and cabbage (potatoes, carrots & onions too). That’s all I wanted. I’m okay right now with supplies. With my half-pint shopping cart, I wheel across the store.

CB & C! Stay focused.

There are bare shelves sprinkled all over like a dog with hot spots. When you see it, you feel pain in your belly. Looking forward, I wondered what was on that shelf that I needed? “Keep your eye on the prize!” I reminded myself. It’s real. People are buying everything they can get their hands on except the fruits & veggies.

Straight ahead, I stared at the empty butcher counter, and an empty shelf stared back at me. It’s true. The meet was gone. I couldn’t register this. Maybe I was with the crowd that wasn’t invited to the panic. We were just witnessing the results. In the far corner, I see an elderly couple scanning over something. I steer the cart toward them. Corned Beef! Yes. Oh, hurry, move, I thought as I waited.

Then something came over me. I grabbed two, one giant cabbage, two bags of potatoes, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. I’m thinking about oatmeal and pancakes, and…

My train-of-thought was broken by a text. “Can you be ready for a conference call in 15 minutes?” I turned and headed for the check-out. I don’t know if I’m allowed to go shopping during the day. Ordinarily, the answer is no.

As I waited my turn to check out, I saw the cashier take a step back like the reoccurring thought popped back into his memory, social distancing. His jaw tightened as he took a quick flash downward. It was my turn. We did the usual chit-chat. I stopped. I had to thank him.

“I’m so grateful you are here and taking this risk, so I can have a meal in my home.” I continued, “I hope you know this.”

He said, “I haven’t heard that lately, thank you.”

“Please know you are appreciated.” We shared about our elderly relatives and other bits. He offered some excellent advice. That wasn’t an ordinary conversation but we all need to have them more often, especially now.

We need to stop, see the good, and thank them.

#SOL20 #16/31

‘Water You Up To?’ #SOL20 #14/31

Early to bed means early to rise. I’m not sure I appreciated this on a Saturday morning. Emotionally exhausted yesterday, I did just that. This morning I woke up early. No surprise.

As I drank some coffee, I caught a glimpse of my nails. The pretty pink ‘nail polish’ had worn out its welcome. There are chips, peels, and the fingernails have grown, showing the gaps of polish and the cuticles. I decide to pick another color.

I gather up the clamps, cotton balls, and nail polish remover. Gently, I pull apart the cotton balls to make two pieces. Strands trapped between the nails and old polish. I soak them in acetone, place them on my nail, and clamp the nail thingy-ma-gigger down. A minute later, I swap hands.

Knowing I can’t get my nails wet for 30 minutes, I do the dishes. I’m ready for the next phase. I wipe down each nail with the alcohol. At first, I thought it was more acetone, but the smell tickled my nose. A-C H-O O!

Looking through my opinions like Warrior, Full Sale Ahead, Rule of Plum, or Charleston Blush, I decide on Water You Up To. Who makes up these crazy names? I love it. Before I ever read the names, I scanned over my choices of color. These ones made me think of a mermaid. Thoughts of mermaids brought me to the Bahamas. The Bahamas gave me flashbacks of my wedding day. On this day, I stood next to my husband. The idea of my husband made me smile. After that trip down memory lane, how could I not pick this color?

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The alcohol has evaporated and is ready to receive the 100% Real Nail Polish Strips made in the USA. I’ve never been patient enough to paint my nails and wait for them to dry. I always smug, smear, or dent them somehow. This press-on strips were meant for someone like me. I’m not much of a girly girl, so these help spice of life, and my nails tend to grow more when I have them covered. Maybe it’s the weight of polish that reminds me to be gentle. Perhaps it’s the sparkles that catch my eyes. It could possibly be the comments from others. Whichever it is, I love it!

#SOL20
#14/31

Unfamiliar Territory #SOL20 #13/31

Things are going to be a bit different. I wonder for how long?

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

It was rough today. A plethora of events caused this day to begin with a bumpy start, and it continued throughout the day.

I tried hard to keep it positive. It didn’t work. Two kiddos were ready to record our first podcast. We started in the book room, and it was great. Everything was off to a fantastic start until the custodian started pulling down the tables and chairs in the cafeteria. The shared wall vibrated through. Crash! Bang! Boom! It became too much. Next, we received an email that the librarian wasn’t coming in. So we thought that was a good idea, and we headed on over. Thirty seconds more and done. Nope! A third-grade classroom came barreling in. Running out of ideas, I came up with another room we could go to. P-1 is an empty portable. I ran to the office to get the key, and we dashed over, dodging the raindrops. Quiet and no interruptions. We will get this done this time. Nope! The air conditioner was humming loudly with no way to turn it off. I’m frustrated by now. I suggest our last possible location, my office. It’s raining good now. We have to go all away across the campus. We hustle out of the room. I want this done. I encounter our tech lady. She asks me to leave the door open, and what came out of my mouth was rude. I tried to sound “funny,” but it was far from that. I apologized later, but I feel terrible. We made it to my office. It was quiet, and the recording went smoothly. With minutes to spare, I had to rush off to a couple of classrooms. When I came back, I was excited to listen to it. Nope! One student didn’t hold the mic close enough, and it sound terrible. I was planning to try again after lunch. It never happened.

At the peak of the day, we were told at lunch to watch a video clip from the superintendent. We are one of many schools that will keep students off-campus for two weeks and an additional week for spring break. I’m full of mixed emotions, sadness, confusion, and worrisome.

For teachers who are experiencing a similar situation, Kristine Mraz @MrazKristine will be tweeting an “at-home lesson-ish thing a day.” We have to report on Monday. to create a plan to push out lessons. I’ll be looking into this.

Happy Birthday #SOL20 #12/31

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Rain, rain, and more rain came down toward the end of the school day. All I wanted to do is get out of my wet tennis shoes and curl up with a blanket and book.

“You are staying to help decorate her office, right?” Deb asked before I got out of the office.

“Yup! Call me when she leave.” Arg! I forgot I mumble to myself as I head back to my room and wait. And wait. Finally the text came through. So I grab the air pump and off to her office I go. Deb opens the door, and I plug in the machine and turn it on. BUZZ! BUZZ! HISS! Let’s get this business done. For a tiny thing is was noisy. We had to scream and yell back and forth. “YEAH THAT LOOKS GOOD!” I’d holler as she hung the banner. Thumbs up to place the stars here and there. POP! We’d jump. BUZZ! BUZZ! HISS! It’s like a day with kids. You just have to turn it off to hear the sound of nothing but there were more balloons to go. BUZZ! BUZZ! HISS! POP!

I was in charge of the balloons. There was no way I could blow up 75 balloons. I’m full of hot air but not that much. We joked that she would come into her office in the morning and we’d be passed out sprawled on the floor with a balloon stuck to our lips from a lack of oxygen. Now, that’s a birthday present.

An hour and half later were closed up and were done. We only wish we could be there in the morning when she opens her door and sees a room full of balloons to kick and dance around and pop! And a big sign saying Happy Birthday! It’s wonderful to make someone smile and feel loved. If one balloon doesn’t do it, then maybe 75 balloons can do just that!

As I put lotion on my fingers to sooth the pain from tying all those knots, I remember the shared stories about our families and our spring break plans. I plop in my chair, grab my blanket and book.

Tough Choice #SOL20 #11/31

“Can you come and see me? I have something important to talk about.”

“I can’t now. I can come by after lunch”

“Kk”

I stroll into the lounge looking for her. She’s not here. I trot over to her room and just as I’m about to knock, the door swings open. “I have to get my kids. Want to walk with me?”

“Sure”

The conversation breaks free. The fear of the Coronavirus is showing up everywhere. “Are you worried about going to the CUE?” Her voice cracks and her eyes avoid mine as she holds back the tears. Awe!

“Darling, you need to do what is right for you. It is your decision to make and select the one that is best for you and your family. There will be other events like the ISTE. We still have that.” Each of us have different circumstances for attending or choosing not to attend CUE.  I feel strongly that each of us should make our own decision to attend based on our personal needs. Whatever works for us and is in our best interest is what we should do.

We work well together. I love planning and presenting at these kinds of events with her. However, we might not make it as a team this time. Back at my office I get an email. Respond Immediately. Select one response and send it to us.

 ______I do not plan to attend CUE due to the Coronavirus.

_____ I want to attend CUE but given the circumstances I am hoping that this event is

         cancelled. In other words, I would prefer not to attend.

_____ I am still up in the air as to whether to attend. I’m following the news and will

         make a decision just before the conference.

_____ I plan on attending.

I plan on attending… click send.

#SOL20 #11/31

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