Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Time for an update. I am not even going to spout promises of trying to keep it updated and such. Updates will happen when they happen. There is just so much going on during the day and by bed after all the homework and dinner stuff is done, I am usually ready for bed.

I had parent-teacher conferences last week. Those went well. Lydia also was the recipient of Student of the Month for her class. She was quite excited and it was well deserved. She works hard and has a good attitude. She loves her teachers and they like her a lot. Andrew received SotM for his class in November.

I have been riding motorcycle quite a bit lately which is nice. I bought it with 252 miles on it, and now I have 1300 miles on it, so I have put 1000 miles. Not much by car standards, but that is a fair amount on a bike. We are to be getting more rain starting Friday, so that will curtail the riding no doubt. I may ride tomorrow if it looks like the rain will hold off. I have no desire to ride in the rain.

Christmas was good. We took a trip to the Midwest and visited Mark's family in Missouri and Illinois. It was very nice, but alas, no snow on Christmas which was a bummer. We wanted snow. Traveled through Roswell and took in the sites there at the Alien museum which was very fun. The art museaum in Roswell was nice as well. We also ventured to Carlsbad caverns which were absolutely huge! What amazing caves! I have been in quite a few caves now and this definitely was the biggest of them all. It is the biggest because it didn't form the normal way most caves do. Our tour ranger also happened to be a geologist so he waxed on about the formation of the cave, which I am sure bored the begeebers out of most of the group, but was actually quite interesting.

School at campus is back in session. It is just plain busy these days all the time. There is no down time hardly due to the addition of one more lab class. You wouldn't think that would make the big a difference, but adding a third class capability to be running simultaneously creates a lot of extra work and a lot more need for "MELISSA!" moments. This in turn, keeps me away from getting a lot accomplished toward getting labs prepped for the next week. It can be pretty stressful at times now. Sometimes my patience wears pretty thin, and I feel it. I try not to show it, but I know it does. In light of that is the lousy budget here in CA. There is talk of cancelling the summer session of classes all together. I have no idea what that would entail for classified like Mark and I, but we will see. The brunt of the savings would be coming from parttime faculty salaries. They are not happy about the possible proposal, and I don't blame them. Push has come to shove though, so we shall see what happens. There is some decision expected to come about today.

We did manage to see a movie! Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. It was quite good. Lots of "fucks" in the movie, but what can you expect? It is a Clint movie afterall and it involves a gang. It is a pretty good story. I vote you should check it out. I did see a preview for another movie I want to see now as well, but it doesn't come out until April! Dammit. "The Soloist" starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. It could be a pretty damn good movie if it is done well. I hope it is.

must head out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It Has Been DONE! It is now official! I am the proud owner of a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 500R motorcycle! Yes, that is it above! I am very excited! We just picked it up yesterday! After missing the local bike for sale in Paso Robles several weeks ago now I started to get a bit more serious about looking. I had originally pulled the money out of the bank for this bike above but I never went and looked at it. It was three hours away in Visalia. There was just too much going on to drive that far to look at a bike. Instead, I kept the money in my purse in a sealed envelope labeled "motorcycle papers". That was September 9th. Anyway, I finally called the guy back, assuming he had sold the bike by now, but was pleasantly surprised to learn he had not. He was only available Sunday to look at it. Mark agreed to head on out there so off we went. The bike was touted to be a 2006 with only 262 miles on it. The guy basically never rode it. He had knocked it over once in his garage and scratched up the mirror a little. Other than that he said it was pretty much new looking. The Craigslist ad stated $4000.00. which is right what this bike would go for.
Mark asked me before we left how much did I want to pay for it, and then what was my maximum I was willing to pay for the bike. I told him, I would like to pay $3500, but would pay $3700. So, when we pull up to look at the bike the thing is pretty much as he stated. You couldn't quite call it a brand new bike, but it certainly wasn't qualifying for used either! Funny thing, Mark and I both thought to ourselves (as we later found out talking later) that this guy isn't going to back off of $4000 for this bike. But, we look at the bike, and Mark takes it for a ride. The guy had filled it with a full tank of gas. He had put a brand new battery in it because the old one had died which is normal after two and half years of little use on a bike, and he had his mechanic clean the carburetors to make sure they weren't gunked up from sitting. He wanted to sell this bike. He wanted to sell it because his daughter needed a car for college. She was about 18. Apparently it was she who had put the ad on Craigslist. She said he had been threatening to sell the bike for six months but never did anything about it. Finally he told her if she could do anything about to go for it. So she did, and with all his contact info. Funny thing, there was a friend over when we got there and she said to the daughter, "what is your dad going to do for his mid-life crisis?" The daughter pipes up, "This WAS his mid-life crisis!" She was pretty funny and quite familiar with her dad. There did not seem to be a mother around. I did not ask and it was apparent that kids (daughter and son) were with him full time. I am thinking the mother either passed on early or just jammed out of the picture for whatever reason.
Anyway, after Mark returns from his ride, I inspect the bike some more and there is one tiny chip from the paint in the gas tank. Looks like he dropped the key on it or something. I said, "I could paint this in with my toenail polish, it is the same color!" The guy laughed and said, "That's what my daughter said but I told her I wasn't hiding anything about the bike so I told her she couldn't paint it". So, that told me right there the guy was pretty straight up. Also the bike was out of current registration, it had expired in May. So, I tell the guy i like the bike and it was time to talk money and I plainly ask him, "well, would you take $3500 cash right now?" He says, "Oh, I knew she was going to try and talk me down" with a big smile on his face, "yeah, I can do that" he says. It was done at that point. We went in and signed papers. He then told Mark as we were loading the bike into the truck. "If you were going to give me $4000, I was going to give you back $200 anyway for the bike being out of registration."
All in all, he was absolutely one of the nicest people I have ever bought anything from. we were probably there for an hour total. Looking at the bike and chatting. He and Mark started talking books and then his daughter started talking schools and where she wants to go and that she had friends who attend Cuesta and such. It was good. Our kids were as good as gold the entire boring trip for them.
Anyway, I do have a motorcycle jacket with the body armor. I had before I even had the bike. I have a dirt bike helmet and have ordered a street helmet since my old street helmet is 20 years old and seriously needs replacing. My jacket is pink and white! It is way cool. Will have a pic of me and the bike soon.
I am also in the middle of painting Roo's room. Well, actually haven't officially painted anything yet. I have everything out of his room. He is temporarily in the office. I have the wallpaper border off the walls now, walls scrubbed and clean, baseboard removed (will be putting new in), and I am in the process of spackling holes in the walls. Who knew a seven year old could be so fond of push pins? I will have to put before and after pictures up of that too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wow! Way Way Way too Long

Taking it from here.

School has begun...it has been hectic for several reasons. We have more classes this Fall because we have more rooms to offer chemistry labs in. Melissa needs a clone.

It is hectic because the Roo and Lyd also started school the same week we did this year which hasn't happened before. They started usually two weeks behind us which let the waters settle at the college and then we could get settled with their schedule at school. We switched to public school this year. We did so mainly due to financial reasons and partly due to shrinking class sizes as grade levels increased. By the time sixth grade came around class size was only 13 students (that was total sixth graders on campus period). We thought that was a bit too sheltered. It hadn't been an easy decision because overall we were very pleased with VCA and their education, and we were still pondering over our decision.

Anyway, the transition has been interesting. We met with the principal during the end of last year and the kids did as well. He was polished and slick as a principal should be I suppose. Teachers for the kids weren't posted until the day before classes and that wasn't until the afternoon. This school is a top ranked school in Santa Barbara County. Anyway...when we got there, there were hoards of kids and parents hovering the window glass searching for their names on the assigned class lists. We found Roo's fairly quickly. Room 7 with Mrs. Hooker (gotta love the name). I had met with her during open house the year before and was left with a mediocre impression of her. She seemed a bit reluctant to give out information at first until it became apparent I had any clue I knew what I was talking about.

We searched, and searched for Lydia's name. We did not find it right away. My blood was beginning to boil. If her name was not on a list the office was about to get an earful and I had my answer as to where they were going to go to school. I had registered the kids in the district well before the end of the previous school year so they had no excuse to have missed one of them. Adding to my irritation were parents who were letting their kids ride scooters under other parents feet without saying a word to aprehend their little urchins. Needless to say, I finally found Lyd's name. It wasn't easy to find because the list was haphazardly put together. The teacher's names were hand scrawled at the top and the class grade was listed as 4th/3rd. We were simply looking for 3rd. So we missed the 3rd several times. Name were not in alphabetical order at all. The list was in a completely different font than any other list posted under the glass. I got the inclination this class was assembled at the last minute.

Upon taking the kids to their first day of school the following day, my suspicions were confirmed. The class was completely void of the normal classroom decorations teachers generally adorn the classroom with and there was only one teacher in the class when there was supposed to be two according to the class roster under the glass. Of course, the other teacher was listed as Dana (The principal), which had a suspicious air to it. After further questioning and Lyd announcing they will be getting a new teacher at the end of the week but they are keeping it a "surprise" for the students, that directly told me that they hadn't even hired one yet. Well, the end of the week came and there was still no new teacher and the class is being taught by one instructor with 4th and 3rd graders with a total of 35 students, my blood was boiling again. I fired off a letter to Mr. Dana basically asking him what the hell was going on and asking why we have not been notified as to the truthful status of this class when I can fully well tell that no new teacher has been hired and in my opinion the children are getting the short end of the stick. He wrote me back the same day announcing that my perception was accurate that there was no teacher when school started but they had hired one and she would be starting on Monday. Lydia should be brining home a letter today, which she did.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday came with no new teacher. She did not start until the following Monday. The entire lack of effective or truthful communication has completely pissed me off and I can hardly stand it. I like the new teacher okay, but again, communication is lacking and homework assignments are vague as they are in Roo's class as well. This is taking some getting used to. It seems that they there is some leeway in the assignments. They assign some, and then there are "challenge" problems which they don't have to do but if they feel up to it they can. This is all the words from my kids mouths becuase there is nothing in writing. So, after several sessions of quizzing teachers of this they say they give general homework and give out the "challenge" problems for those who are more advanced. Well, these advanced problems are sections are not hard mind you, but they kids who can't do them can't possibly feel persecuted because they can't do them so they won't be accountable for them. Basically from what I can gather it is all from the "No Child Left Behind" act. The teachers won't come right out and say that, but it is inferred. I find it frustrating. So, I am making some of my own homework at home for the kids because frankly what they are doing at school is remedial compared to what they were doing before.

Now, I can't completely bash the school because they do do more art and creative writing which I find refreshing and I feel the kids definitely need. However, I cannot say that I always agree with their choice of "art" lessons. Roo came out of class one day and asked if I knew who painted "Starry Starry Night". I told him, "Yes, Vincent Van Gogh". I was excited that they were taking about great artists in school and he was so excited that I knew who he was. He said, "Yes! (And in a very concerned voice he said)...did you know he shot and killed himself?" Okay...I was taken aback, I have to admit, it took me a second to process my son just relayed to me that he just learned about suicide at school today. I didn't want to jump to conclusions as to how he found out the information. I told him that yes, I did know that, and how did he learn that. "Our teacher read it to us from a book today". I clarified that it was in the book? He assured me it was. We discussed the matter a little more. The kid has dealt with a lot of death this year...from his grandfather, close friends, and 3 pets this year, all of which have taken a heavy toll on his tender heart. The concept of someone deliberatley ending their own life was completely uncomprehendable to him. Which, I would think for most seven year olds it would be. Maybe mine is just a whimp, I don't know. I think a seven year old has a right to remain a little carefree and innocent for a little fucking while! geez!

So, we drive home, my mind is spinning 80,000 miles per hour. Mrs. Hooker is already gone for the day. I wanted to know what really happened in class that day and how the topic came up. I went in the following Monday before class and approached her about it. I informed that it was to my understanding they had studied Van Gogh. She smiled her patronizing smile and agreed they had. I then asked about the topic of his suicide and if that was an appropriate topic for second graders etc. She immediately put up the defensive umbrella of, "it's in our curriculum!" I could care less where it came from lady in all honesty. I said kids this age are really just beginning to get a grasp on death and you throw this at them. Her reply was, "well I did gloss over it but we do talk about real every day things in this class". Then she grabbed the book and proceeds to tell me how she discussed it at she read it and this is almost verbatim what she said, "first, we talked about how gloomy his paintings were. then we talked about how sad he was and how he was never really happy himself, we even talk about that Gogauin (sp) lived with him and how they argued a lot, and that he was just never really very friendly and that he cut off his ear, and then finally he shot himself." She showed me the very last two sentences of this children's art book..."He shot himself. He died two days later". She insisted the kids always want to know why he died so young and how. I am sure they do, but not once did she mention his contributions to the art world or anything of that nature. Perhaps that was because my beef was with the topic of the suicide so she was addressing how they led up to that but all I got out of it was that it is okay to bump yourself off if you aren't happy. I am surprised every kid didn't go home and put their head in an oven. Anyway, all the kids did paint copies of the "sunflowers" painting which were displayed for back to school night. So, all and all the kids are adjusting better than the parents are with the school transition save for the Van Gogh history.

One huge difference I have noticed with teachers and the principal at this school vs. the previous school is that they treat you at this school like they are social workers. Looking for that alterior, hidden secret you aren't letting out, treating you with kid gloves like you aren't intelligent enough to be raising your own kids. Whereas at the other school they treated you as an intelligent equal and recongnized fully well that you, as the parent, had the final authority with your own child, not them. I have so far ran into two parents with kids who the school wants have put on medication becuase their kids are "hyper". Bullshit. I have seen these kids...they are normal boys, they aren't ADD nor ADHD, they are boys, albeit perhaps a little busy, but some just are. but that doesn't make them an automatic label for ADD. That is just a cheap copout so they get a zombied kid in class who won't occassionally disrupt a class. Hell, by today's standards I would have been recommended to be put on lithium in grade school and I can tell you I was not ADD. I was obstinate, but i was fully aware of what I was doing, or what I was not doing. They were direct choices made by me and I knew it. Okay, getting off my school soap box.

Now, I will be heading up to San Jose this weekend to treat my friend Leah for her 40th birthday party to a Neil Diamond concert! I found it on a whim several months ago. Saw something about a new album out and then saw him on American Idol and I knew enough to know that this is usally associated with a concert tour. Well, I went to his website and concert tours were listed with one in San Jose, where she lives, on the Sunday two days before her birthday! Tickets went on sale that morning! A total whim! so I went for it and bought three tix. One for my nephew (who I have brainwashed since he was in diapers to listen to Neil) since he was supposed to be back in Cali by that time, but won't be now), and one for Leah, and one for me. The unused nephew ticket will be used by our friend Denise, so it will be a girls night out. I have no idea what they are calling this tour, but I am calling it Neil's Wheel chair tour. LOL. I am sorry, his voice is shot half the time these days, but I just had to go. I have seen Neil three times previously. The first time for my graduation in 1983. My brother Greg took me and we saw him at the infamous Greek Theatre. Awesome. What a fabulous show. The man is an entertainer's entertainer. I cannot say enough. The next two times have been at the Forum in Los Angeles. Once with my afore mentioned nephew when he was about 4 years old. We were not telling him where we were taking him or he would have pestered us the entire way down to the show. Well, we pulled into the parking lot and he sees posters of neil diamond everywhere and asks, "can we go see Neil Diamond?" We tell him that is his surprise. He squeals with delight and we rock out all night and the majority of the night he is on my shoulders. We had a grand time.

Now, my next adventure of late is I want to buy a motorcycle. It is partly my coworkers fault and partly my husbands. I have ridden bikes for years, but haven't ridden a very long time now and my actual street experience is limited. My coworker is getting a bike. She took the riding class and someone gave her a bike. It was a bit of a beater and it was too big for her. She has no experience other than the class. Mark bought the bike from her. He has lots of experience. So, of course I want one now too. I am kicking myself for missing out on a good deal for the bike I have been looking for. A Kawasaki Ninja 500. Couldn't go look at it right then and it sold quickly. Oh well, there will be more. I have signed up for the class but it is really backlogged. I guess there are a lot of people taking the class due to gas prices. that is not why I am taking it. I am in the pursuit of pleasure. LOL.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cats Tremble in My Presence...

Well, technically, they don't tremble, but I am sure they will soon if my luck doesn't flip for the better. Let me back up a bit now.

Back in September of 2006 we got a new kitty for Lydia. The story is here under dogs, cats and other things. Anyway, Jinga grew into an absolutely fabulous cat! So friendly and fun with a great personality. However, his downfall was love of crossing the street to obtain gophers from the hillside. Unfortunately, we could not disuade him of this activity and he was generally pretty good about crossing the street and such. However, in April of this year, the night before Roo's birthday he was hit by a car a killed. I was completely thrashed about the entire thing and cried over it for way too long, I am sure. I think it was the final straw to a culmination of too much death for me in one year perhaps.

Anyway, as part of Lyd's healing we went and chose a new kitty from the shelter. She picked out a Tiger stripe cat who was about 7 months old and quite playful. Named her Kelsey. Now Kelsey hid for about the first week or so but then became much more comfy and open. She loved to play and had acrobatics moves like that of circus solei folks. Pure fluid movement in the air. We decided to keep her in the house just due to the busy nature of this street. She would go out occassionally, but was in the yard and want back in within 10 minutes.

We had to have our old kitty (claudine) put down not too long ago...just in July. She was just getting too weak and feeble and when she couldn't get out of bed to go to the litter box, it was time. her bed was soaking wet. Of course it was sad to see my kitty of 19 years have to go, but she was ready and we were too. Kids did great, though I didn't specifically tell them I was taking her to the vet to have her put down. I had prefaced it for a few days with, "Claudine isn't feeling too well" etc. Then when the day came, I told them I was taking her to the vet, and that she may be too sick to come home etc. They immediately asked if she was going to die (They had been asking that question quite a bit lately anyway, just because she was looking poorly). I told them, it was quite likely and that they should spend time with her that morning. They did, and did a great job with her. Well, I took her to the vet and had the process done. I had never done that before and of course I was crying the entire drive there and in the waiting room. The vet and staff were wonderful and Claudine stayed true to form...she did not want the vet near her. Never did she like going to any vet. LOL. So she was too feisty to do it straight away, so he first gave her a sedative which was supposed to take about 10 minutes to take affect. It only took 3 minutes or so and she was pretty subdued. He prepped her leg to get a vein and I think if left alone the sedative would have been enough on its own. However, he started to give her the shot, but her 19 year old vein collapsed and before he could get a vein in the other leg to finish the shot, she was gone. It didn't take much at all and it was quick. I held her for a while and then it was time to go. I got home and the kids were gone to a party. when they came home they asked about the cat and if she died. I told them that she had...didn't tell them how precisely when they asked. I told them the vet gave her a shot to relax her and take her pain away so he could examine her and it was enough for her to relax enough to take the final steps here to leave. She was in pain here and the pain was making her stay rather than let her move on into death where she was ready to go. I don't believe any of that was far from the truth. They did really well with news and we all trucked on.

Now, it was my turn for another kitty. I had been looking and was ready for another even before she passed, but I wasn't going to traumatize her with another kitten addition while she was still here. So, I found one I liked. He actually looked similar to Jinga and with similar personality. I had to have him. Andrew named him Two-Face because his face is black and white. I simply call him Two. He and Kelsey got along famously after her first days of rejection towards him. They run and pounce, and tackle one another all over the place. Completely crazy cats. Well, unfortunately, Kelsey slipped out lightning fast a couple weeks ago, and you guessed it....she was hit and killed as well. I felt sick. I wasn't as upset over losing her, but I was sad. She was a really good cat and was such good buds with Two. Two missed her like mad for a few days and it was hard to watch him roam around the house looking for her searching all her old haunts. He was depressed. Well, we got another kitten about the same age as Two to play with him. This kitty is really nice and friendly, though not as playful as Kelsey nor as rough when he plays as Kelsey was and Two is quite rough. So, it may not be the perfect match Two and Kelsey were, but he does pretty darn good. Lydia named him Patches because he has one gray patch on his left shoulder. He is gray and white similar to Two's markings. They are a cute pair.

Well, that's it for cats now.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tons going on 'round here!

Wow, I just don't know where to even start. I guess I will start where I left off last. Stitches. The best part of the entire incident was the very quick trip to the emergency room! I was out and back home in an hour. I know that has to be a record. Later that night we walked in the Christmas parade of lights on December 1st with the kids as they walked with their school. Overall the parade was pretty, shall I say, Santa-Mariaish. Just local businesses and such with lame lights on cars or whatever. Lots of schools with terrible brass band sections, but it was fun nonetheless. However, by the end of the walk, my arm was hurting pretty badly and we were all happy to get home. I took my own stitches out ten days later. I was going to have the nursing department at school do the honors, but I ended up having to miss that day of work because dad wasn't acting quite right the night before so I needed to stay home with him and I couldn't take having them in there there any longer. Contrary to apparent popular belief, I did NOT put my own stitches in. I do own a suture kit by the way. The bill for said stitches came in and it was 850.00! Thank goodness for insurance is all I can say. Although, I have actually paid that several times over in out of pocket payment for insurance above and beyond my fringe allotment. sigh.

Now, on the home front. Mark interviewed at the College on the 30th of November for the physics lab technician. He did well and was offered the position! He was very excited but very nervous about it, naturally. I implored him to call his supervisor at his current place of employment ASAP so he had time to think about Mark leaving. Good thing. At first his supervisor was pretty mad because he knows how good a worker Mark is. And he just said, "We will talk about it Monday". Well, when Monday came around Mark told him about the job, the benefits etc and his supervisor was stoked for Mark. The school job is quite a different environment than automotive mechanics. He got his fingerprinting all done and passed with flying colors. He began work on the 11th of December. He likes it so far, and is getting more used to it every day. He is in the throngs of getting the new physics labs all set up and such. He is having fun will all the new gadgets and such that physics has to play with. He walks away from work every day saying, "I can't believe they are paying me for this". I am so happy for him that he doesn't have to be working himself physically to the bone every day. On the good note, his fringe will now count toward our insurance at Cuesta which I have carried and still will, but now the out of pocket money will only be 100.00 for medical, dental, and eye insurance. Before he joined the crew, it was over 600.00 a month out of pocket! So, it will be like an extra 539.00 added to his paycheck every month! Woo Hoo!

We have not done any Christmas Cards yet. I am hoping to get them done sometime this week, but I really want to include a family picture. It will be home grown variety in front of our Christmas tree which we did manage to get up this past weekend. It is lovely I dare say. The kids are quite anxious for Christmas this year and are unbearable with restlessness excitement at times. LOL. I am sure I was the same as a youngster.

The kids had their Christmas Program at school last week. It was very good and they all did an excellent job. The finale Hallelujah Chorus was excellent with all grades K-6 singing their hearts out. The kids were so funny. Andrew was the leader for his first grade class as they took stage and you could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the part. He strutted up to the front and center like he owned the place. It was comical. Lydia was gorgeous in her ruby red satin dress and did a great job singing. We waived to her while she was up on stage and she looked right us and shook her head, basically telling us she was NOT allowed to waive back. LOL.

We had a good rain yesterday. We dearly needed it. We got 2 inches total according to our backyard rain gauge. I think we are supposed to get more and I am ready. I love the rainy weather. I would love a good storm with lots of wind and heavy rain though I suppose that could cause some real problems in light of recent burned out areas. Perhaps I should rethink what I would like.

Off to bed. So much more to say, but my eyes are getting heavy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Stupid is as stupid does! A pair of scissors to the forearm always wins!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Okay, I added the pictures after I wrote the post. It defaulted them to the beginning and the picture captions didn't match up, but oh well.

Picture # 1 Part of my new prep room!

Picture # 2 just to left of picture # 1. Note, the first door on the left is the entry to my office.

Picture # 3 My office (as seen through my side window into the office) note my reflection with required safety hat.

Picture # 4 General Chemistry Lab

Picture # 5 Chemical Storage Room. It may not be too exciting for you, but I am thrilled about this room!

I did fall off the face of the earth for a long time

Okay, so I am a total slacker and haven't updated this blog in forever, or any blog for that matter. I am not even going to try and rehash anything I have missed. I will pick up where life is currently.

Hubby and Roo are out of town visiting his family in Illinois and Missouri. They go chasing rabbits and raccoons with the dogs. Roo is having the time of his life but told his dad last night that he was ready to come home. He is such a home body. They come Saturday evening into Santa Barbara. I can't wait to pick them up. I miss them like crazy, and so does Lydia. Of course, there are the up sides too, like not being told I should be going to bed...but, hence I then end up staying up too late! LOL It is all good though. Thursday Mark is heading to Columbia Missouri to talk with the Service Manager at Machens Ford and then to look at a few houses I put on his agenda for him. House # 1 , House # 2 , House # 3 , and finally House # 4 if he is willing by this point. He got laid off from Lompoc Valley Ford because they closed their doors at the beginning of September. He hates his current job which he took on quickly. If we had been thinking at all, instead of thinking panic "Get a JOB!" He would be collecting unemployment and painting a friends house who offered him 6000.00 to paint their house! Of course, I didn't hear about that until after he started this other job. Anyway, we will see what happens with all that. I doubt we will be moving to the mid-west, but you never know. I am also filling out a few applications for him at Cuesta. He will apply for the physics technician job )my same job but for the physics dept) and then also for an HVAC job on campus. Perhaps there will be some big changes coming around the bend for the Sparlin family.

My dad...hmmm, not sure what I last shared there, but he is not doing chemo anymore. The last round back in September worked him over something fierce. He was just wanting to die about 2 weeks after the solid week of chemo. He hasn't done a whole lot since then, but had been getting a bit stronger, but I don't know about that anymore at all. Hospice is working with us, bless them! I don't know what I would be doing without them beside losing my mind. So, each day ticks by for him but his mood is much better than it was when this all started. Guess a little anti-depressant has something to do with that.

Kids are doing great in school. Andrew had a bit of adjustment time. He was just being a bit chatty in class, when he wasn't really at all last year. Of course, last years teacher was a bit of a drill sergeant and this years is very soft spoken so perhaps he wasn't taking her seriously. A couple time outs seemed to do the trick though. LOL. Penmanship continues to be a battle for both of them this year. Lyd got her normal C, which is just fine. I think her writing is better than that, but whatever. Andrew slipped this year on his penmanship. I think partly because grading is a bit tougher this year than last, and partly because they are doing more work with not as much time complete the assignment so hurry up and neatness don't go hand in hand. Heck, that doesn't even work for me! He got a C as well in his penmanship. He was pretty disappointed with it, but rebounded quickly.

Work is going okay...labs are ending early to get ready for our big move back to our newly remodeled building! I am excited and a bit nervous. Lots to do, a few things weren't made as requested by us, but the planning committee on campus signed off on them so they are ours now. Minor stuff really, so we can deal. Overall, I think I am going to be very pleased with my new digs! Here are some pictures I snuck with my phone when in the building with the computer crew people. Technically we are not to be in the building at all, but computer services needed to know some info about where stuff was to be so I invited myself on the tour too. LOL!