Friday, June 29, 2007

This Friday or Next Friday?

Yesterday, being Thursday, the day before Friday, the scheduler of my doctor's office called. I had been put on a waiting list for cancelled appointments, hoping I might get in before Brian leaves for California. The scheduler said she just had a cancellation and asked if I could come in on Friday. I excitedly told her yes and she gave me the time.

Later that day I needed to call the nurse due to some symptoms I was having. During the conversation I told her I had an appointment for tomorrow. She said that was the best she could have done anyway. But later called back to say that my appointment wasn't for this Friday but for next, July 6th, two days after Brian leaves. :(

I guess I assumed if she was talking about Friday, as in July 6th, she would have said next Friday, since we still have to go through a Friday before we get to that one. Maybe she was thinking since is was Thursday she would have used tomorrow for the closest Friday, making it clear that by saying "Friday" she meant July 6th.

Either way they can't fit me in today and Brian will miss our first appointment.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Trudy Philosophy

Trudy after a day at Tails-A-Wagging
Trudy goes to doggie daycare sometimes. I know...our dogs are spoiled. But really when you have active dogs and no fenced yard, Doggie Day Care is a life saver.

Before Otis, Trudy didn't like to eat in the morning before daycare. (Now she will eat just to show Otis she is boss.) So we would leave some food with her. But the food bag would often still be full at the end of the day.

One day, the owner of Tails-A-Wagging (her Doggie Daycare) said that they try to feed her, but "Trudy thinks eating is stupid."

It was an epiphany! That is exactly what Trudy thinks. These days I have been thinking that Trudy might have a point...

Monday, June 25, 2007

School's out!

Well, I have finally finished grading finals, turned in my paperwork, and cleaned my room enough for now. Year 6 (YEAR 6!) at Bellingham High is complete! Thank goodness. This one had a tough ending, but thankfully we'll get a fresh start in the fall.

I've been thinking a lot about the rhythm of the school year lately. I think people long for the seasons of the teaching profession. Granted, for our education and demands, we take a paycut to enjoy the new beginning each September. I don't know how we would survive without it. Maybe we would be a healthier society if more jobs were designed with seasons, to mix things up and keep us fresh.

Most teachers work a second job or attend conferences in the summer. I have driven busses for the cruise ships in Alaska, cleaned houses, and attended various conferences and planned professional development for teachers. This summer will be filled with the latter. I have meetings tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. Then off to a conference Sunday and Monday. Another conference for a week in July and I start back up in the middle of August. I'm not complaining. Though my plan for this summer doesn't bring in any extra money, it will be a refreshing change of pace (I hope) for the sprint of the school year.

What do you think? Should all jobs have a season to do something different? Not necessarily a "vacation", but a chance to mix it up and refresh. Or do you like the consistency of your job?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Puppy Kindergarten!

Tonight was Otis's second puppy kindergarten class. He is a fast learner, just like his big sister, but he is much more mellow than she was. He is quite content waiting for our turn to try the next lesson or while our teacher is giving instructions. My mom is bringing her new dog Murphy to class too. They definitely are buddies! I feel like a proud mom most of the time. How cheesy! Here are a few pictures...

Otis and Sofie couldn't wait for the off leash playtime!

Otis and I practicing Sit, Down and Stand while Murphy looks on...This is Solie. She is cute, but very timid. When most of the dogs come near her, she yelps. Otis always comes over slowly to check to see if she is okay before continuing to play. He's a nice guy.

Otis and Murphy were thirsty after class and did a nice job sharing the water bowl, but...

they were still a bit spunky and got each other soaking wet! Murphy is trying Otis's one ear up look.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cool Tip #1: Hiccups

Today, while working in my office, I started hiccuping. After awhile my colleague that was working in the office with me started laughing, then giving advice on how to get rid of them. I tried holding my breath, trying to yawn, trying to burp, drinking water really fast, etc. I didn't try drinking water with my head upside down, like my colleague suggested, because I didn't want to end up with water all over myself.

After about an hour, I stopped by another colleagues classroom and asked him to come by the office at some point to try to scare the hiccups out of me. It was my last resort. As I was making my request, he told me to tell him when my next hiccup was going to be. Thinking that he was going to try to scare me right then I didn't take him seriously. He told me he was serious and to concentrate. So I did and found that I didn't know when the next one was going to come. Then I realized I had stopped hiccuping!!

He says it works every time. The act of concentrating on when your next hiccup is coming makes you stop hiccuping. Try it! Let me know if it works for you and it wasn't just a coincidence today.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day Brian!

So if you didn't catch the big news in some of the previous posts, Brian and I are expecting our first child! It is still very early. (I'm six weeks along as of yesterday) If all goes well, our baby will be born around February 10th.

In celebration of Father's Day, I made Brian a card with the dogs' paw prints and a sesame seed, all with "thought bubbles." In case you are wondering why the sesame seed was included, it represented our baby that is currently about that size.

In the evening, we went to Tsawwassen to Brian's parent's house to celebrate Father's Day and see Brian's brother Kevin, sister-in-law Melanie, and meet their new baby Jamie. (They live in Calgary and were just briefly in town) Brian got some baby practice; calming her down using various techniques and strapping her into her car seat. He's going to be a great dad!

Friday, June 15, 2007

BHS Class of '07

Today, the class of 2007 graduated from Bellingham High. At the beginning of the ceremony, the teachers create a tunnel down the hall leading to the gym (where graduation takes place) and cheering, high-fiving, handshaking and hugging students as they enter. I think it is one of our coolest graduation traditions. This class was really special to me. As many know I did not enjoy teaching my first few years. The turn around happened when the class of '07 were freshman and I was teaching 5 periods of Algebra 1. The next year I taught a couple of sections of Geometry during their sophomore year and Algebra 2 their junior year. For a handful of students I was their math teacher for three years. All four years I served this class as their advisor for ASB activities, including fundraising, decorating for homecoming, and planning and chaperoning Junior and Senior proms. As the students walked by me, I was amazed by how many I knew and how grown up they looked. I think they will always have a special place in my memory. Congratulations Class of 2007!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Your Grandma finished 5th!

Today ended our spring outdoor soccer season. Our team, your grandma, ended the season with 5 wins, 3 losses and a tie. Our friend, Ryan kept stats for the season:
  • Mike Couto: 6
  • Eric Frazier: 6
  • Eric Meyer: 5
  • Brian Rush: 4
  • Jocelyn Meyer: 4
  • Jeff Haley: 2
  • Christy Wilson: 1
  • Chris Eltrich: 1
  • Ryan Kennedy: 1
As you can see, no goals for me. I am absolutely useless as forward. But I make a pretty mean wall on defense.
In case you don't know the story behind our name, Brian, as team manager came up with it. He said this way if we win we can say "Your grandma beat you!" and if we lose it takes away some of the bragging rights for the other team to have to say "We beat your grandma."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Special Pants??

While visiting the Rush family today, they had a belated birthday celebration for me. After all the family presents had been given Brian brought out a gift bag. I opened the bag and pulled out a pair of jeans with a jersey panel top and said "Thanks Brian! They don't fit me now, but maybe soon..." We continued to talk about the pants, while the family looked on confused, until Brian's sister, Lori asked "Those look like special pants...are they?" The adults started laughing, Noah and Ella looked to the adults to see what was happening and then started laughing too.

Too Much Dancing with the Stars???

Today, while visiting the Rush family, our niece Ella wanted to show us her ballet routine that she will be doing at her upcoming recital. She loves ballet and is quite a natural!

Then Noah wanted in on the action. First, he needed sunglasses. Then he set up the music on his electric piano and rocked out to the wedding march! It was hilarious and he loved every minute.

Then Noah and Ella decided to do a duet. (First, Ella had to get the right shoes!) They danced beautifully, ballroom dancing style, complete with spins and this move to top it off! My sides ached from laughing.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Big News in Whistler

When Brian and I got engaged, his family was staying up in Whistler for the weekend. We drove in the middle of the night to tell them the good news and then turned around an drove home because Brian had to work the next morning.

This weekend we took my parents to Whistler for a joint Mother's day/Father's Day present. When we sat down to eat lunch, we gave each of them a gift bag. My dad's had a baby frame in it and my mom's was a baby album. They looked at us confused for a minute and then my mom started screaming in the restaurant.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Yesterday was my first funeral. I'm lucky, some would say. It has caused me to reflect quite a bit on death and how we deal with it. I was surprised to learn that they have a room for the family off to the side so they can cry freely. That really struck me. Why should the family who loved the person the most hide away? As I heard more people apologize for their tears throughout the day I concluded the tradition must have started out of our shame in tears. For some reason, our society got the idea that tears are a sign of weakness. I disagree and not just because I cry easily. During college, one of my mentors taught me a lot about grieving and I have come to believe that tears are an important part of the process. For those times when tears are a part of weakness, why do we try to pretend we are something we are not? In dealing with death, there is an element of weakness. So I say we should do away with those back rooms. Let there be tears (and laughter) as we deal with our losses. Another thing that struck me was a few comments about protecting children from funerals. My uncle died when I was four and I did not attend his funeral. I wish I had. I think children need to see all seasons of life and that they can handle a great deal more than most adults give them credit for. Not only that, I think by not allowing children to attend these key ceremonies we perpetuate our society's fear of death. I think if I have to attend a funeral for a close loved one while my children are young, I might ask a close friend to come to the funeral with me to watch over my children so I can grieve freely, but they can still witness this important part of life.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Catherine May Robbins

Today would have been my great-grandma, Catherine May Robbins' 94th birthday. I took the day off of school and drove to Ellensburg to attend her memorial service. It was a time of mixed emotions; there was happiness at seeing extended family, sadness as the realization I would not see grandma again sunk in, and bittersweet moments reminiscing various memories. She was a woman who loved her family, served her community, and overcame great obstacles. I remember visiting as a kid and her not wanting me to call my parents because of the long-distance costs. The grown-ups told me it was because she grew up in something called the great depression. Every birthday and Christmas for the last few years I have fondly opened and treasured away a card from grandma. Even after her stroke and relearning how to write with her left hand, she painstakingly wrote her own name. The memorial service and birthday party were a great tribute to a great lady. Grandma, you will be missed!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Congratulations Lach and Kari!

Tonight we attended Lachlan and Kari's wedding. It was a fun evening wedding complete with dessert bar and photo booth. Throughout their relationship they have had a running joke with red balloons, so between the ceremony and reception everyone went outside to release a red balloon. It looked really cool, but our camera battery died right as the balloons were released, so you will have to use your imagination.

A bit of R & R

Brian and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and free couple of hours today by taking the dogs to Camp Firwood for the afternoon. I've spent a lot of time at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal this week; an all day district math meeting on Thursday, Senior prom set up and supervision yesterday, and we are heading back for our friends' wedding tonight. It was really nice to get outside! I took Otis out on the lake in a kayak and Brian called him. Eventually, he jumped out and went for his first swim! He did great, but he enjoyed playing with all of the little girls digging holes in the sand much better. Trudy spent the entire time playing fetch. She never tires!