27 March 2011

"summer time"?

It's still snowing.

Still. This time there is no hesitation in my choice of words. So it's been an odd day. Lexi is in a sweater dress and cardigan. But, she spent a long time today trying on summer clothes (Just like in a shop! Just like Ken in Toy Story 3!) in anticipation for our trip to Cyprus.

Yes, Cyprus won. And, looking at the weather forecast, I'm sooooo glad! Now I'm just hoping Lindsay gets her bank card sorted in time to join us.

In case you're wondering, Lexi has plenty of summer clothes. Drat. No need to shop.

Well...except for sandals. We went looking yesterday and met with a very condescending man who, I think, may have been trying to be both helpful and condescending. He repeatedly told me the assistants wouldn't speak English. I repeatedly told him that was fine, I could ask for shoes in Lexi's size. He continued to tell me they wouldn't understand me and offered to translate for me. I actually burst out laughing. And then told him again I'd be fine, thank you. Do you speak Russian he asked, incredulously. Yes, enough to ask for shoes, I replied still laughing.

But they didn't have her size.

We did get new red rain boots last weekend. But, her raincoat that would mathc them doesn't fit anymore. (Aha! Forgot about that. Shopping opportunity seized!)

So today, although it's the first day of "summer time" in Russia (the clocks changed) for the last time (Medvedev has declared Russia will no longer participate in clock-changing), we're watching a steady snowfall and making split-pea soup and oatmeal gingersnaps (from Rhonda)--both foods I find decidedly un-summery.

Still...Cyprus in two weeks!

And, no, we don't have a house or city yet. But, we will. We will!

26 March 2011

spring break

We're headed to Cyprus for four-and-a-half days. I was right. Pebbly beaches hold no appeal to Lexi. And, it's turning out to be cheaper to go to Cyprus than it was to fly to Southern Russia.

Let's hope there's sun!

24 March 2011

a little smile

It was after supper. The dryer and washer were both going strong and I was changing the sheets on my bed. (Yesterday marked my first reported case of lice in my teaching career. Of course, he had it last Thursday and reported it yesterday. Nice, huh?)

I have conferences tomorrow and quite a bit of work to do before then. Lice-boy's mom is going to be a handful. There are many things to mark.

I am still "play-lagged" , for want of a better term.

It's been snowing pretty solidly for the last two days. Notice I said neither it's still snowing nor snowing again. I can't figure out how long of a pause pushes you from still to again status.

I thought we'd go to Sochi for April break, but am less and less convinced the pebble beach will count as beach. Cyprus is a possibility. I'd just like to stay home...but think we need some time away.

I really do like that house, have developed a stubborn sort of internet crush on it, but realized that it's very unlikely that any bank will give me a mortgage--even though I refer to myself as "on sabbatical" rather than "unemployed". They may not appreciate the difference.

I also heard just this afternoon that the program that would let us get Lexi's ptsd therapy free wasn't cut from the state budget.

So which one constitutes a lightning bolt? The house or the budget? I think each cancels out the other, bolt-wise, and God continues to chuckle at me. Fondly, of course, but I think He chuckles nonetheless, knowing how easy this will all look in hindsight.

So, in all, a mind brim-full and whirring.

And then, as I was changing the sheets, I sneezed. Twice.

And a little voice from all the way across the house interrupted her story and called out, "Bless you, bless you."

To which I replied, "Thank you, thank you." and received in return, "Welcome, welcome," before the storytelling resumed.

And that exchange brushed away the kaleidoscope of thoughts (that's exactly it--I'm waiting and watching for a lightning bolt, but seem to have picked up a kaleidoscope rather than the binoculars I thought I was looking through) gave me a little smile.

Just thought I'd share it with you.

23 March 2011

echoes of frances

Me, noticing Lexi sitting with a balloon I'd just blown up and a pair of scissors in hand, "Lex, what are you doing?"

Lexi, in all seriousness, "Popping balloons. That's my job."

Me, a few minutes later as my announcement that it's time to brush teeth overlaps with the sound of crashing cardboard bits, "What're you doing now?"

Lexi, figuring it elicited a giggle the first time but feigning seriousness, "Doing a puzzle. It's my job."

22 March 2011

another house for you to peruse

This one has kateish potential...found by my friend, Nif, in the corn-filled state. ;>

I am leery of buying a house in this economy. I don't think it will be as easy to sell when we want to leave again. And, if we head back overseas, I don't think we can manage a renter.

Still looking. Still praying. Still hoping.

Thanks for joining us!

20 March 2011

wanted: one lightning bolt

Please will you pray that I know,
very soon and with great certainty,
WHERE it is
that we are supposed to be living
for the next year or two?

I am sure it's in the US. I just don't know where.

And, funnily enough, the movers require a bit more specific address than just a country.


13 March 2011

hear me roar

It's 5:20.

I have:

  • taken a shower (that counts)
  • read Lexi two books while she ate breakfast
  • driven to Mega. and back.
  • shopped at Ashan (groceries, play props and a possible costume), Children's World (new rain boots for Lexi), Lush (no Angels. drat.), and the fabric store (for a brown boa)
  • taken Lexi out for her favorite lunch while at Mega--IKEA hot dogs and ice cream
  • stopped by school for glue gun and orange felt
  • ran into principal at school and chatted a bit about snarky parent strategy
  • called the snarky parent, was kind but very clear, and left her with no case--and her child gets to finish the show
  • spray painted slippers, a "goblet" and an egg gold (and glittered the egg)
  • started the wolf's hat...but ran out of hot glue sticks
  • made Lexi's chicken costume
  • done spelling homework
  • made pasta sauce, cooked chicken and potatoes, set beans to soak and put pizza for Lexi in the oven (we have to pack lunch for us both as always AND dinners for Lexi this week as we'll not be home until 6:30 at the very, very earliest)
  • watched admiringly as Lexi rode her bike in the living room, had a pretend picnic, and danced--all in her getting-too-small bikini
  • listened to her tell me 15 times that her belly is showing and it's okay that her belly is showing in her bathing suit because it is still modest
  • filled and ran both the dishwasher and washing machine
  • finished the brownies (with help)
  • found the green blanket and turned it into a princess "dress"
  • typed this up

Still on the cards:
  • make soup
  • bath/hair wash/blow for Lexi
  • dry and fold clothes
  • empty dishwasher
  • polish Lexi's toenails (I have just been informed of this.)

What we didn't do today:
  • get to church. (I know.)
  • bump in to my neighbor (oh yeah--the possibly-bullied child is a. new-ish and b. living two flights up) to find out more about the given circs

12 March 2011

not a good 24

I am weary.

Our musical opens Friday. And, suddenly, I've got a parent telling me her daughter will be leaving rehearsal early on Tuesday. I replied, very, very kindly that this was a crucial week. I explained why we needed everyone and asked (I asked--didn't tell her) if we could please have M the whole time. I'd bring her home if transportation is an issue.

In reply I got a snarky e-mail about how much children have had to give up to be in this play, that some of the fees were not refundable for these activities. And, I was told that M would be leaving early.

In my defense, let me say that it was CLEARLY spelled out before you could even audition (both child and parent had to sign the form) that you must be at every rehearsal for the last two weeks. I worked around conflicts before then, but the last two weeks I can't. Both angry mom and M signed. I give out the schedule at the first rehearsal and stick to it. I don't add rehearsals. I let students out on time. Really, I am pretty amazing at this--especially for someone with an artistic bent.

And now...I get this. Does she think her child is doing me a favor by being in the play? I've done hundreds of plays. I been in this show! This is not for me. This is for our students, for her child. And, I've dragged MY child to every rehearsal but one in order to do this. For our students. For her child.

I suspect she's mad about something else and taking it out on me. (She send another rabid e-mail to the office staff Friday to complain about the lack of advertising--which was completely untrue, so she's obviously on a tear.) But it's still rotten. And it still means I've got to make a phone call tomorrow and tell her that if M isn't at that rehearsal for the full time on Tuesday she can't be in the play. And I hate confrontation. LOATHE it. I'm awful at it.

And if she holds her ground it's going to generate baaaad feelings. And poor M will be caught in the middle.

AND a parent came to me Friday morning and told me his wife was keeping their daughter home because she'd been teased and had her hair pulled. I casually asked the second graders and the students all seemed genuinely puzzled. I called and left a message about that and asked for names. The reply was that two girls in the classroom had ripped out her ponytail and threw the bands in her face. In the classroom? Where was I? How did I not know? I feel just awful. So there's that, too. And we're going to go look for it on video. Seeing myself fail, even if it isn't in living color, isn't going to be fun.

And grades have to be on report cards by Wednesday morning. And I haven't started. Or given the math assessment to everyone yet. Or to anyone.

And I have a new student who is a very...entitled child. He is relentless in trying to find out if the line has any give in it. It doesn't, but I'm the one who drew the line and has to keep it taut. (I guess the line is a bit of a rope, then.) Fortunately my little class (I was so cheered by them until I heard about the bullying) is more shocked by his behavior than amused, so that will help it end sooner. (His mother proudly, proudly told me he was the class clown in his old school. Great. Thanks. We don't really do that here.)

Next week the show will be over, the bullying will be sorted, and the new prince will have found out that the line doesn't budge.

Oh. New student tomorrow. No English.

So. For tonight will just focus on the little chicken (she the giant's chicken in the play) in my own house. She's currently digging through the utility box while wearing a bikini and sparkly flipflops. She's just discovered some 3M hooks I got last summer and never put up. I told her when we bought them that we could use one for her backpack. Unfortunately, she remembers that. So now I've got to go and find a place to hang the hook.

Hope your weekend--and the week that preceded the end of it--is better! May there be no snarky e-mails and safety for all.

06 March 2011


the Appalachian postmaster position would come with housing. Then I could stop looking...

(Read this post if you're confused.)

01 March 2011

wanna see some houses?

I don't plan to buy. It just doesn't seem wise in this market to commit to a house in a location that I'm not mad-keen on and know I want to settle there. For a loooong time. And, I'm still trying to get excited about the Midwest. But, I can't help looking. ;>

Here are two houses that are near two good friends. The one in Cinci belongs to friends of friends and *might* be able to be rented.

Both have excellent libraries and park 'n' rec activities nearby. Both have nice backyards.

I'm not sure I can take the weather in Iowa or the bureaucracy in Ohio. But, I also think it will only be for two years...and then we'll have to dive back into the international teaching scene. It's not like we're moving somewhere forever. We just need a little tower to get us by for the next little bit of time.

This is in Fairfield, Ohio just outside Cinci. (Doesn't it look like Kerry's old house, friends-of-Kerry and Kerry Herself?)

This is just outside Ames, Iowa in Gilbert (aka the 1950's). I wonder if I have to wear heels and pearls to homeschool if I live in the 50's...

I saw some in Chattanooga (near you, B!) that are possible, too.

And so the search continues!