Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Final Countdown Edition

Now officially in the final countdown!

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Sorry, but for most of you that is probably true.  I actually love the commercials with that song in them.  It was a fave of mine back in the day and I think the commercial is hilarious.

But, seriously, I AM in the final countdown.  One of the campuses I work at is done for the semester (other than a pile of grading I have to do in those classes, but I’m making pretty good progress this weekend) and the other is in finals this coming week.  So, three more class meetings and I. am. finished.  So thankful.  I am tired this semester.  More tired than usual I think.  But, I also think that teaching is like childbirth.  If anyone really remembered everything that happened in the process, they would never return to do it again.  So, we have some selective memory that allows us to continue doing what would otherwise seem insane to do a second (or third, or twenty-third time – well, not childbirth unless you’re part of that Duggar family and they really may be legitimately insane – at least some of them. But with teaching, people definitely teach for upwards of 20-25 years and that is 40-50 semesters or more).  So, yeah.  We remember the good, tend to play down or forget the bad and we go back the next time feeling like we have a good idea of what is coming, but not realizing our memories are all distorted somehow.

Well, that took a direction that I didn’t plan on at the start…but, that is the beauty of the Six Word Saturday!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday -Summer is Coming

Joining up at Six Word Saturday over at Show My Face.

Summer is Coming.  End in Sight.

That is basically my mantra these days.  I have four weeks left.  Three weeks at one campus and four weeks at the other.  And then I have some time “off”.  I put that in quotation marks, because although I won’t be teaching and coaching during that time, I have a lot of things I would like to get done.  But, it is so nice to not have to prep for class, go teach and grade.  It really does make a huge difference.

Thursday Thumbs Up, Uncategorized

Thumbs Up Thursday #25

Just stopping by before heading to bed to give a few Thumbs Up this Thursday!

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First, PBS.  Oh, how I love thee, PBS.  You are the soft spot for me to land on when desperate for television, but unable to deal with the reality of TV.  Not just reality TV, although I do detest reality TV in almost every form, but also the reality of TV.  There is not a whole lot that I enjoy watching nowadays (geez, I sound 90).  But, with PBS, I can usually find something worthwhile.  While in Indiana, I watched WIPB every single night as I was dealing with the time change and exhaustion of a tournament.  I learned a lot those evenings.  Tonight I am watching Ken Burns’ National Parks and loving it.  I have been inspired to put visiting every National Park on my bucket list.  I already had thought about it when Bean was a toddler, because we visited Lassen National Park, which is near where we live and she got a passport book for the National Parks.  We have since lost that passport book (which she kind of destroyed – she was going through her “must scribble on every page of every book I own” phase at that point), but we can always get another.  And I would love to fill it all in WITH her.  But, back to PBS.  It is a relatively quiet space.  It offers all that I love – documentaries, British mysteries, British dramas, British comedies, safe children’s shows, local shows.  It is truly the best of the best.  So, thanks PBS!

Second, not being a first grade teacher.  I volunteer in my DD’s classroom on Thursdays.  I only stay for an hour or slightly more than an hour.  And each and every time I go (and when I go on field trips), I am reminded why God stopped me from going into elementary school teaching when I thought about it years ago.  WOW.  First grade teachers are truly amazing.  Seriously.  Can’t say this enough.

Good weeks.  I don’t have them very often. But this week has been a STELLAR week.  I found out that I got my step advancement at work!  And that was on top of the contract we agreed to after the threatened strike got us a better deal than we thought we would get.  In addition, the Great Debate went spectacularly last Friday.  AND we made the news for that and our press release on nationals went live.  AND we won a Civic Engagement award on our campus.  AND we aren’t in a hospital room (my DD’s surgery, for those following along and wondering what the heck happened, was delayed due to rhinovirus, or common cold).  All these are good things!

So, that’s it for this week.  I can only hope that next week is even close to as good.  How was your week?  Any Thumbs Up to give?  Please comment with them!  Good news is good stuff.

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truths

I’m jumping in with some Tuesday Truths this week.  Just tryin’ to keep it real…and truthful!

Tuesday Truth

My first truth this week is ANTIBIOTICS ARE AWESOME!  I woke up yesterday morning at 1 a.m. with a terrible pain in my throat.  Having gone many years in college getting strep throat multiple times a year, I recognized the feeling immediately.  I tried to ignore it thinking maybe it was allergies (they’ve been bad here), fell asleep again for a while, but woke at 3:30 a.m. with even worse pain.  At 4 a.m., I took a Tylenol and started planning my day with cancelling classes and office hours, going to the prompt care clinic and getting this taken care of ASAP.  With an immune-suppressed child (tonsilless thank goodness, I think that makes the strep less likely to take hold, but still) and a national travel trip with 15 students scheduled on Wednesday, I could take no chances.  I got up and started sending emails, dealing with planning, and as soon as I dropped my DD off at school, drove over to the prompt care clinic.  Within an hour, I had tested positive for strep, got a steroid to help with the inflammation and pain, and dropped off my prescription.  Within three hours, I had taken my first antibiotic in a 10 day, 3X a day protocol and settled in for a nap.  By the time I picked up my DD, the stabbing pain had turned to a dull ache.  I was still achy and exhausted, but felt much better already.  This morning, I woke up and am feeling GREAT!  So, yes, antibiotics are awesome!!!

My second truth is God is Good!  I know, I know.  It is a bit cliche.  But, I’ve seen Him working in my life in so many ways this year already.  Life is certainly not all smooth sailing, but His hand touches so many things in so many ways that I don’t always notice.  And this “season”, while starting out tough with news of surgery, financial concerns and job anxiety, has turned into so much goodness.  The surgery is on and I’m thankful that we are with an insurance that doesn’t question the pacemaker placement even though my DD has not been symptomatic (I read a thread online where multiple people had been told no).  I’m thankful I have a job that I can get people to cover for me and make adjustments where necessary when things like this surgery pop up.  I got a raise at my current job, where I would really prefer to stay, so I’ve decided not to apply for the other job (which was a stress in my life, mostly because of insurance concerns).  I also got a grant for revising a class that is going to be really exciting to work on next year.  And I’ve got ideas and plans and exciting possibilities for the coming years!  And I can see where God has had a hand in all those things.  So, I am feeling extremely thankful.

My last truth this Tuesday is travel is stressful.  I THINK I have all the logistics of this trip handled.  Luckily, my DH moved up his return flight today so he got back a couple of hours ago.  Originally, he was scheduled to arrive back home around Midnight and I was scheduled to leave at 3 a.m.  That’s stressful.  Today, he had a two hour delay.  If that would have happened tonight, I would have been a basket case.  So, much better.  I’ve got all the rental cars and we actually ended up with a truck, which will be much easier to fit all the luggage in (as long as it doesn’t rain, which it is projected to earlier in the night – but I will bring some big towels to throw down under luggage and hopefully it will suffice). One of the students was notified he has mono this afternoon, so I had to cancel him.  He was really upset and still wanted to go, but I told him if he put his body through the 3 a.m. departure, time change and long days of a tournament, he might not make it through the semester when he gets back. Mono can be rough and I think he isn’t feeling it right now, but he DEFINITELY would be if he went through this trip.  So, I said no.  So, now there are only 14 students going…but that is still the largest group I’ve ever flown with.  So, it is a bit stressful.  But, seems to be going okay so far.

 

 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Alive

I am joining the Five Minute Friday crew over at Kate Montaung’s blog Heading Home again this week.  I hope you’ll consider joining them as well.  It is a wonderful group of supportive writers sharing their perspective on a prompt each week.

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This week’s prompt is “Alive” – here goes:

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That is my daughter.  The picture is from July 3, 2009, four days before her transplant.  She had not opened her eyes or been awake for days, maybe weeks before that.  She had been on a paralytic in order to keep her from fighting the ventilator and all the other lines she had going into her little, tiny body.  She had just been moved from the PICU to the CVICU because the PICU doctor had basically given up on keeping her stable after days of changing medication levels, plunging blood pressures to elevated blood pressures, bad labs, etc.  The CVICU is typically reserved for those who have already had heart surgery, but they moved her there, I think believing that if she didn’t get a new heart within a few days, she would need to have a Berlin Heart.  Either way, she would be in the CVICU soon enough anyways.  She was probably as close to death as a baby can be without passing away.  It was terrifying and exhausting and depressing.  But, she held on.  Day after day.  Through what had to be painful and frightening situations.  I must admit that I sometimes wondered if we were doing the right thing.  Putting her through all that. But I had to believe that keeping her alive was better than the alternative.

Bean post transplant one month

This photo was taken one month after her transplant.  The difference is pretty amazing.  In four weeks she was off the ventilator, smiling, had lost the puffiness that had been there for months before.  She was taking formula from a bottle.  She held fingers and loved to watch a mobile over her head.  She was ALIVE – not just at the basic level she had been before, but at the WHOLE level.  She was aware, awake and active.

I am now confident that we did the right thing putting her through everything.  She has thrived in the past seven years.  We have had our medical bumps and rough spots, but overall we’ve had it good.  We’ve had great times and we have wonderful memories and wonderful friends and being alive is good.  It is important to remind ourselves of that when things get rough.  Babies even know it. But sometimes life’s hard hits can make us forget that knowledge.  In this season of new life, remember that being alive is a gift.  A gift to us and a gift to others.

 

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday -Spring Break Edition

Well, Spring Break is officially coming to an end.  It went by so quickly, as usual.  And it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, to be sure.  I’ve adjusted to roller coaster rides over the last seven years and I’m pretty good at putting my arms up and trying to enjoy the fun parts and keep my stomach on the scary parts.  So, today’s Six Word Saturday recognizes that:

Fun! fear! Enjoy the roller coaster!

 

The fun was early in the week.  We went to Monterey Bay Aquarium and the beach.

Then we went to the hospital.  Not as much fun or beauty there.  But, it is what it is.

I’ll close my eyes, scream and see what is at the bottom.

 

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Share

Joining the Five Minute Friday crew once again over at Heading Home.  I love the simplicity of this writing “assignment” each week!  And I love the supportive group of writers who participate!  So, here’s to Five Minute Friday!

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The prompt this week is:  “Sharing”

Sharing has a lot of different meanings.  There is the traditional notion of giving to others some of what you have, but there is also the idea of “show and tell” or sharing of information.  I think both are important.  We have a tendency to think of sharing as either based in generosity (giving with no expectation of receiving back) or in reciprocal benefits (expecting of receiving something equal or better in return).  But, in reality, we often share things not out of an expectation of receiving something back from the other person but because of the feeling we get when we give.  I believe that, too, is a gift.  But, instead of being a gift from the person to whom we are giving something, it is a gift given us at birth.  It is a gift from our Creator that has made gift-giving innate in us.  Some may ignore it or even resist it, but it is there.  We take joy from very early ages in giving to others and seeing their gratitude or their joy.  And as long as we are not discouraged by others who use our gifts against us or uses us for our gifts, we will continue to be givers who take joy in that giving.  You can see it all around us in the incredible gifts that humans give each other.  I see it, each and every day, in my daughter.  Someone gave us a gift without even knowing us.  A gift of a heart.  And I hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they gave a gift.  It is who we were made to be – givers of gifts who take joy and comfort in that giving.  So thankful.  And looking for ways to give.

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