Thursday, October 26, 2006


What do I miss most? Sleep! Real, deep, dead sleep. The kind where you go to bed at 9:30 pm and don’t wake up until 9:30 am. I used to be able to sleep like that. Now I feel blessed on a weekend when I might sleep 9 whole hours. This week I would be thrilled with just a few. This is how it usually begins, the depression. But this time I am really going to work on it.

I will only have school 3 days a week when I get there. So that leave 4 to sleep right? I intend to make good use of it. And who knows, maybe I can fit in a quaint little part-time job. Or not.

My ex is trying to mess with my little world. He thinks Zach aught to move to Boise and work with him. I don’t really know where Zach will end up on this, as I am not much of clairvoyant (darn it!). So I guess I will just flow with it for now and deal with it when/if the time comes. Exes suck. How dare he make waves in my little pond.

So I kinda like this writing thing. I wish I had more time for it. This one is a narrative. I suppose if I really wanted to, I could go back into the narrative and add dialog and more details. But, I think 746 words is enough for a blog entry. Besides, it was just for fun. I do need to work on dialog and descriptive writing, so I will definitely try to make that happen soon.

It Goes That Way

It goes that way sometimes. Just when you think you’ve got the world by the tail and your last problem licked, life swoops in and kicks you right smack in the nose. You hold your face for those first several moments, trying to push back the pain, then you probe your nose for signs of blood and breakage. Once the worst of the throbbing subsides, you open your eyes and search for the source of the blow. If you’re very lucky, it was just a freak accident. But if you Susan, you’d better duck.

It started at lunch. It all seemed so innocent and harmless, and once she had cleaned her burrito topped with mounds of lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and salsa up off the floor, she optimistically moved on with her day. Her pants and shoes were delightfully spiced, but that would not dampen her mood.

She should have ducked.

She didn’t, though. She got into her car and began her drive back to work. She navigated through traffic with grace and poise, anticipating and adapting with ease. For two whole miles she negotiated lane changes and turns, never missing a beat. The guy in the truck behind her wasn’t blessed with her grace. He smashed into the rear of her cute little car, demolishing it in an instant.

She visited the nearest emergency room for a few tests and x-rays. They fitted her with the most obnoxious looking neck brace she had ever seen. She filled out forms, answered multitudes of tedious and redundant questions, and promised to hand over her first born child should the bill turn delinquent. They kept her there for two hours. She wasn’t about to let this get her down, however. She called a cab to take her to work.

She didn’t even flinch.

When she got there she was just 1 hour and 45 minutes late. Which apparently was more than enough time to fill her position with another person. She would have packed her stuff, but someone had already done it for her and placed it quite firmly in her bruised arms.

She was too shocked to even say anything. Instead, she decided to go home. She longed to be wrapped in he fiancĂ©’s safe warm arms. She had spent her last dollar on the cab ride to work, but that didn‘t faze her. She didn’t mind riding the bus.

She didn’t even see it coming.

She crammed herself amongst the other riders, lugging her box with all her treasures. Most of the others didn’t even look at her, making her wonder if she were invisible. The guy with the mustache and fine perfume reassured her that she was most visible. He stared at her, but she refused to be intimidated. She stared back. The contest was on. Neither of them so much as blinked for what seemed an eternity. Her opponent cracked a smile, revealing grey shards of what once was surely a pleasant smile.

Finally, Susan looked away. Not because she was defeated by her challenger, but because someone behind her vomited over her shoulder, down her chest, and into her box of treasures. It didn’t resemble the vomit scene in the Exorcist at all. Oh, no, this made that scene look like a pleasant stroll through a rose garden. It was becoming quite difficult to keep up her spirits, but she was determined. She exited the bus at her stop.

She walked right into it.

Well, she was actually limping when she finally reached to door of her 12th floor apartment. She juggled the smelly soggy box and her purse, and finally got the key into the lock. She turned it, opened the door and nearly fell into the apartment. She set her box down and sat in her favorite chair. Of course, it collapsed.

She was about to give in and start crying when she heard her fiancĂ© in the bedroom. She desperately needed nurturing from the most giving and caring man she had ever known. Not to mention handsome! Hair as black as coal, eyes as blue as the sky, a mouth that begged to be kissed, abs you could do laundry on, a butt so tight… yes, lets just say he was hot. So was the girl he was romping with in Susan’s bed!

She chased out the little floozy, and threw out the jack ass. She threw a vase at him as he went out the door.

He ducked.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Here we go!

Mr. V. came to our classroom and oogled over the Twisted Bear logo I created. He looked at me - I guess to put an exclamation on that point. He looked at Mrs. W. and asked her "she is going back to school isn't she?" My heart skipped a beat. I told him I hadn't said anything to her about it yet! I looked at him to plead his silence.

The she said "She needs to!" She continued the conversation with him as though she really felt I was wasting my life where I was. So, once he left, and she and I were alone, I told her. That means I can write it here now.

I am going back to school. I have applied and have been accepted, will receive enough financial assistance, and will begin classes in January. So, that's it. I am quitting my job of 13 years on December 20 to embark on this journey. I am so excited!

Mostly. Sometimes I get a huge attack of anxiety when I think of the gravity of what I am about to do. There are no guarantees that I will achieve the desired outcome, even if I get my BS (which I will!). That anxiety always turns and runs when I remind it that the only guarantee I have right now is that I will never fully be me if I don't at least try.

Now, I must successfully navigate through these next several weeks. I'm not good and biding my time when I finally see the course of action. Even if it means NOT getting to go on a cruise around Hawaii. But this is no cruise, and I must stay this course in order to get to where I need to be. God give me strength!

I realized something else today. I can't fix my washing machine. CRAP!

Another thing I learned today is that I can make brownies from scratch better, in not much more time, and without dirtying any more dishes, than if I had made them from a box. Now, that can be a good thing, unless you know me. If you knew me, you would say "what about that 'after' picture?"

Something I learned in October that I wish I hadn't, is that you can't really trust anyone. A co-worker of mine cheered me on while I was making this decision to move on. She kept telling me that if I left, she would quit too. I never thought she needed to quit, but it was the whole I've really got your back thing. Now it appears that she may have had something else in mind. I work an 8 hour day, she works a 7 hour day. If I quit, she will get the 8 hours, so that would mean more money. If it is true that she was thinking that, the joke will be on her. There is no more money for working the 8 hours because uncle sam gets it all. Oh, well.

I've decided that if I'm ever going to write a novel, I need to practice. So today I will post one of those practices. I wonder about copyrights. If I put these here am I saying, "go ahead! It's yours for the taking!"? Wow, do I really think I might actually write something someone would want to steal? Well, I guess I'm hoping I will.

Saying Goodbye

The golden rays of morning rushed through the bedroom curtains illuminating the room and kissing her cheek. The warmth of that kiss sent waves of gratitude to her heart. Slowly stirring, she in drew a deep breath of the sweet springtime air, and a smile crept across her face. Her eyes opened to greet such a wonderful day. She rolled onto her back and looked toward the door, still hazy from sleep, and listened for the sounds of breakfast.

Suddenly the warmth of life left her body as though she’d been caught in the great cold vacuum of space. A heavy frozen emptiness occupied her chest. She gasped for air and tears exploded from her eyes. No breakfast would come today.

She pulled her legs up to her chest and grabbed her toes, squeezing them and twisting them in anguish. Today she would say goodbye. She would say goodbye to laughter, she would say goodbye to hope. Never again would she feel joy or love. Never again would the sounds of breakfast wake her from her sleep.

The thought of having to face all of those people today began to creep into her consciousness. How could she bear to look at any of them, let alone speak to them and accept their condolences? A vision of that perfect angelic face, forever asleep inside that cold shiny box flooded her vision. “Wake up!“ she had pleaded. “Please don’t leave me. Don’t you know my life means nothing without you?“

She had prayed that this was just a wicked nightmare that she would wake from. But, in her heart, she knew she would have to accept this truth. Yes, today she would say goodbye. Oh, why did this dreadful day have to begin?

Monday, October 16, 2006


What is one of the things about your job that frustrates you the most? That is a question an interviewer might ask when you are going after that better job. The thing that frustrates me the most in my job is mediocrity. Working for that paycheck, or that pension, or those hours, or the power, and never for what’s right.

Every day I go to work in an environment that is riddled with mediocrity. Teachers who are there because they love the hours, summers off, and tenure. The coworkers I fear most are the ones who love the power their position gives them. Very few are there to teach the next generation what they need to know to succeed in life. Our children are graduating from high school knowing how to pass tests and little else.

Teachers in Special Ed. are no better than the rest. I would argue that some may even be worse. It is much too easy to abuse a child with profound mental disabilities because they CAN’T tell. It is so easy to write meaningless contracts that do nothing more than serve the interest of the school that is supposed to serve. Parents are easily badgered into compliance with the will of the school. The students never reach their full potential. How can they when classrooms are inflated by returning seniors just for the sake of numbers, forsaking a quality education?

I see the same complacency when I look to the community for services. A psych-social rehabilitation specialist needs only have a bachelors degree in a human services field. Here, people are encouraged to complete the Human Resource Training and Development program so that they can get 32 credits for 5 years work experience in order to become PSRs. What does corporate training have to do with helping a person control their behavior in order to fit into society? By the looks of the people who have done it, not much. It is the blind leading the blind.

We live in a society that is so driven by money that we have lost our ability to see what really matters in life. People go to work and go through the motions day in and day out. They go just to pick up a paycheck. How sad they are, the ones who cannot see their own hearts, the ones who do not know their own authenticity. They are so lost, and in being lost, they cannot do more than mediocre work in their lives.

Am I being too harsh? Ask someone with autism who has come up against people who get paid to help them, but fall horribly short. Ask the college student who is drowning because he doesn’t have the skills necessary to think through a problem. Ask the professionals who actually are doing the job for intrinsic motivators. Any one who has gone the extra mile to do a great job knows how frustrating it is to have to fight against the mediocracy of the people they have had to work against.

I stand high above the croud on my giant soap box and shout out to the world "I hate your mediocrity!"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Uncle Hank

What I remember most is his love for Halloween. I was actually a little afraid of him when he came to the door. He didn’t dress up, but he was the crankiest old man on the block. “Why are you knocking on my door?” he would scream. Aunt Lois was always on his heals to invite us in and offer us enough treats to fill our bags. They gave us popcorn balls, candy corn, chocolate assortments that far exceeded our hopes and a welcome so warm we always knew we were loved.

When I grew up and had kids of my own, Uncle Hank and Aunt Lois were always our favorite place to stop. He still demanded to know what we wanted, knocking at his door at such a late hour, but as an adult, I was able to understand that he was having more fun than anyone else. Even as an adult, I had a hard time not feeling as though all of their efforts were just for me, to make me feel wanted. I wonder how many people out there felt the same way?

Halloween will never be the same again. Uncle Hank died Tuesday, and was laid to rest Friday. He received a 21 gun solute from the Veterans Association. He had joined the navy when he was 16 (he got some woman to falsify his paperwork) and because of something he experienced serving the navy, he spent the last 34 years of his life disabled with brain tumors and such. Aunt Lois was by his side, taking care of him the entire time.

No one really knows how the death of her husband will effect her. At his funeral, she actually looked relieved and strong. I hope that’s how she carries on. I hope she has some idea as to how she will fill the time now.

She looked at me and asked in amazement “isn’t it wonderful that we have so many friends?” Of course there were a lot of people there who loved her. Aunt Lois didn’t have a nasty bone in her body. Everyone who knew her loved her. Of course she has a lot of friends. She would have a lot of friends. She will not find herself alone now.
Uncle Hank and Aunt Lois were two of the people that helped me survive my childhood. I never felt judged, just loved. I think Aunt Lois is the embodiment of unconditional love and acceptance. They also had a major impact on my autistic son. He always had a place to go to feel ok. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel genuinely welcomed.

Uncle Hank is gone now, and I think the best way to honor him, is to find a way to pay forward all of the love I got each and every time I visited. And to take care of Aunt Lois and make sure she has anything she needs to be happy, anything I can do will be done.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday Dear Universe!

Has it really been a whole year? Has it only been one year? It’s true, my blog is one year old today. It has seen me through some hard spiritual growth, and has charted the paths I have taken. I’m glad I chose to chart this past year, and I plan to write even more of the next year.

My goal for last year was to explore my spirituality. I was exploring some of the new age spiritual ideals in an effort to feel less alone. I still feel alone, but I guess everyone does to some extent. I didn’t find any answers in that particular exploration, and I am glad I stepped off that path.

I don’t know how I know it, but I do know I have purpose and that truth surrounds us. I know that I am being guided in the directions I need to travel. I may step off the main path from time to time, but I always learn a little more about myself when I do. Nothing has been wasted, nothing is an accident. I will never stop exploring my spirituality, I just don’t think I need to question it the way I did last summer.

This next year will find me living my own life for the first time. I had started this journey 15 years ago, and stopped 12 years ago to take care of my children. They no longer depend on me the way they once did, so now I will continue with my education.

Oh how sweet the thought of completing my education! I have an AA in psychology, and, at one time, had considered the possibility of becoming a special education teacher, but have recently decided against it. Instead, I will continue with the psychology. My first goal is to get my bachelors and do some psycho-social rehab work. In just two years, I will double my hourly wage, and will still have the option to work toward my masters, then doctorate in psychology.

There are so many different options to choose from with this degree. I can continue to work with the profoundly disable people I currently work with, I can work with autistic children, I can work with mildly disabled people and people who have personality disorders. But something has been kicking around in my head for a while. I think it would be so much fun and so fulfilling to work with troubled teens. I love the outdoors, and adventure sports. I have an extensive knowledge about what it is like to be a troubled teen. I know what child abuse feels like and how it manifests itself into maladaptive behaviors. I have some experience with alcohol and drug addiction. I would love to find a place where I could put all together to help kids find their own worth.

Well, of course that won’t happen in this next year, but I will be taking classes that will help me toward that end. I plan to attend ISU, and have done enough research to know that they have an awesome outdoor program. Couple that with the psychology classes (how do I choose which ones I won’t take?) and the option of getting IBI certified and I’ll have it made. So many doors will open up for me.

Going back to school is going to be an absolute blast! I am so excited about this. Do you know how slowly the seconds tick by when you finally decide what you want to do, but did it a few months too late, or too early? If I had made this decision during the summer, I would already be doing this exciting learning! Now I must wait for the right time. I’m not much into waiting, but I can do this time. It’s kind of like being in prison, waiting out the last few months of your sentence. At least it’s not a life sentence!

Ok, what else for this year. Yes, I will train for the City of Trees marathon. I can’t actually compete in it by the second birthday of my blog, because it takes place in November. But I will train for it with the intent to compete, and compete well. That’s right, my goal is 3½ hours.

Oh, and since I will be taking rock climbing classes, I am setting a goal to be able to at least top rope 5.12s consistently. With really cool moves. Which means I will have to have an awesome strength to weight ratio. But I’ll be running, and biking, and climbing. So of course, I’ll be awesome.

I’ll have to do before and after pictures. Wouldn’t that be cool? So I guess another goal I have for this year is to lose some fat and gain some muscle, arms, legs, abs, butt and brain muscles.

Sounds like a good year already.

Another goal is to write twice as much in this blog it’s second year as I wrote in it’s first year. Which would be 200 posts. Not a real hard goal to meet.

I also plan to do more with my art. Of course, that just means I will do something at all with my art. I will finish the four paintings I have already started. I will start and finish three more paintings that I have promised to do for other people. I guess I better take some art classes at ISU while I’m at it. Did I just hear another door open?

I absolutely REFUSE to make housekeeping a goal. I fully expect that my house will be at least as dirty a year from now (if not more so) than it is right now. (you don’t really want to know, so there will be no before and after pictures of that.)

I absolutely REFUSE to find a significant other. I will not even try until my new wings are fitted and tested. Once I am the person I know I can be, I will then have the ability to attract the right guy for me. I’ll be just fine until then.

In the spring I will get my novel off the ground. I’ll get a laptop for school, then I will have no excuses. It should be fun. It will be enlightening. It will be toll free. (hey that’s what the caller ID says right now, ok?)

Oh, and I will get over this over-achieving cold in record time, because I am actually going to use a few days of my 2 months of sick leave! I haven’t actually done that in the 12+ years at the school district. It’s taken a while, but I do learn eventually. Sick leave is there to use when you are sick. No, you don’t have to be in the hospital to be considered sick.

So, I’m off to take my nite-time cold and flue medicine, and I will pass out for 12 straight hours and wake up well. Hopefully feeling well.

Isn’t life great?