* Murder dinner party!

I can cross “host a murder dinner party” off my bucket list!  And what a fantastic event it was!  We were celebrating our daughter-in-law’s birthday; she invited a riotous group of clever-witted, hilarious suspects.  My dearest teaching widower and I never stopped laughing!  As the planner, I played Bonnie Lass, an aspiring writer but not a suspect.  The guests, dressed to kill, were outrageously clever.

We used “A Taste for Wine,” a murder mystery game set in Napa Valley, California.  I highly recommend dinner and murder!


stage is set.JPG

* Just sayin’

I have been working my patooties off, in case you’re wondering where Teachezwell has been.  What a great time, though!


My sweetest teaching widower gave me such a precious Valentine card today, despite being traditionally averse to a holiday created to sell cards!  And he was nearly showing off his patooties!  He had an x-ray of his knee and while talking to the radiologist in the hallway, realized his special x-ray pants had fallen to the floor!

I’m taking three online classes simultaneously and loving them, even as I lag two weeks behind the group.  I mostly only panic in the early hours of the morning.

Today was special because a certain kiddo I teach had a PLAYDATE!  His first ever! Eleven years old, confined to an ICU-type environment.  A dear friend introduced us to a dear family and he has friends!  He laughed and played for hours.


Do I care that I am also YEARS behind with Facebook?  Would this notification entice you or scare your patooties off?


I am too happy to worry about FB.  They cannot scare me OR my patooties.

* Good news, bad news

The good news is that I managed to get my car parked at school today before it was enveloped in smoke*.  The bad news is that I had to wait for 3.5 hours for a tow truck.

The good news is that the tow truck had a flatbed for carrying my car.  The bad news is that the driver wouldn’t walk near my car because he disliked muddy potholes.

The good news is that the driver said I drove my car onto his truck better than he’s ever seen before!  The bad news is that he nearly plowed into several cars as we headed for the garage near my house, texting and trying repeatedly to reach his boss by phone.

The good news is that he finally reached his boss.  The bad news is that his diesel truck was in a mileage countdown which would end with us traveling 5 mph to avoid emitting toxic diesel fumes

The good news is that I was able to clamber up the flatbed and drive my car successfully off his truck before the diesel engine quit working.  The bad news is that my car’s radiator is destroyed.

The good news is that the garage gave me a loaner car to use.  The bad news is that the loaner had a crushed front end and was missing a wheel.


The good news is that the loaner was sitting next to the wrecked vehicle.  The bad news is that I need to replace my hearing aids.

New radiator: $560

New hearing aids: $4000

*The “smoke” was actually steam.  What good news!  And I was really driving my dearest teaching widower’s car, since he had to travel for his job and took the better vehicle.  Duh.

* New Year’s Revolutions? Got it!

That’s not a typo!  I think New Year’s Revolutions is a far better paradigm for what I typically resolve to accomplish in the twinkle of one year to the next.  A revolution means turning, circling from one thing to another.  Forget the resolutions because I am already adept at spinning my way from point A to M to Z!  In fact, I flitted merrily throughout 2017 and will most likely continue!  What a relief, knowing I am set for 2018.

For the current school year, I happily revolved through 6th grade math, ELA, science, social studies, and economics!  Whee!  I admit that sometimes I felt like teaching was me desperately spinning plates, trying to keep all of them from falling.  But in my heart, I loved the constant stimulation and creativity!


I have revolved through SO many books  this past year (three yesterday!) and will most likely continue in 2018.  I read just like I eat, greedily and wolflike.  Yum!


My primary revolution in 2017 was change through grace.  I am so grateful for every God-given reminder of selfishness, vanity, seeking approval of others, and pride.  I am spinning from grace to grace as Jesus works in my heart to complete the good work He has begun!  My dearest teaching widower is Jesus-with-skin-on, arms of love and patience and yet more grace.

Thank you, dear readers, for following my revolutions.  I will flitter my way through 2018, maybe picking up some of the threads I almost posted in 2017.  My list of unfinished drafts keeps growing, but hey, I am happily spinning along.

Happy New Year’s Revolutions to you!

* Holiday greetings!

What a surprising Christmas!  I was shocked that the Grinch visited my doctor’s office.


I was amazed at the “Joy in the Morning” performance at Colonial Williamsburg, an insightful musical production focusing on the lives of slaves.  It was inspiring and thought-provoking.  I chatted with “Lydia” after the performance and her desire was twofold: to humanize the enslaved (including a better understanding of their joy and resilience) and to continue the discussion on slavery as a nation, recognizing its ongoing effects.

And I was a bit crushed, literally, that I drove our rental car into a dumpster.  No photos needed.  I’ll be sending THOSE to our insurance company.  That backing-up camera on the dashboard was NO help whatsoever!

Hope you had a great one!

* What a relief!

I survived ear surgery- what a relief!

The adventure began with 2 pre-op visits the day before.  The primary focus of the 1st one was accurately saying my name and birthdate.  I did that successfully multiple times- what a relief!  The 2nd appointment was with representatives of the actual procedure (Eustachian tube dilation).   Everyone was kind, professional, and helpful- what a relief!

The anesthesiologist made sure I could twist my head and jaw like a zombie, which I could- what a relief!  The nurse told me I might wake up the next day with liquid all over my face but not to worry, because it would be blood.  (Had she been consulting with the anesthesiologist?)  I had no liquid of any kind- what a relief!  I was given a special antibacterial soap to use twice before surgery, from “chin to toes,” in case any body parts got near my surgical site.  I am unable to touch my ear with my toes- what a relief!

I was first on the surgical schedule- what a relief!  My surgeon’s resident dropped by to tell me that they would be “moving a bone,” which I already knew from insurance papers that listed “nasal bone fracture.”  I laughed and asked if I would still be able to sing like Barbra Streisand.  He looked blank (who is Barbra Streisand and why did she refuse a nose job??)  I trilled a few soprano notes off-key and he said (dubiously) I should be fine- what a relief!

They gave me hot blankets- what a relief!  I was rolled to surgery and I could see their eyes smiling- what a relief!  The anesthesiologist gave me some falling asleep medicine and I said, “I can feel it working.  I’m falling asleep.”  Then I couldn’t breathe so I choked out, “I can’t breathe!”  She asked me, “What did you say?”  I repeated it and tried the universal choking sign, only one hand was laden with tubes.  I managed to make the sign twice with my right hand, desperate for air.  I looked up at the monitors for signs that I wasn’t getting air, but without my glasses, it was too blurry.  No one seemed concerned so why should I be?  I knew I’d be intubated and surely they would do it quickly.  They must have- what a relief!  

I woke up chatty and happy, being told by a sweet nurse that I’d already been talking for 15 minutes.  Apparently I didn’t say anything alarming- what a relief!  In fact, I told her once again about the dream I was having.  And asked her name for the trillionth time.

I discovered that smart surgeons use visual aids, as evidenced by the drawings on my ear and neck.  I teach all my kiddos to use them- what a relief!


* What did you say?

Do you find yourself continuously asking students, “What did you say?”  If you are asking that in response to a smart-mouthed remark, well, all you are doing is drawing attention to inappropriate behavior.  For some kids, especially those with articulation problems, asking that can make them feel self-conscious.  Ditto for shy kids who were uncertain about saying something the first time.  BUT, if you simply cannot hear those high frequency sounds, join the club.  My Hearing Loss Club.

An assistant and I both suffered permanent hearing loss from checking a student’s hearing aid without the muffler effect of a stethoset.  Our ears rang for a year-and-a half until the district hired a hearing specialist.  My own hearing aids were marvelously effective.  Now I could hear a certain rascal say, “Don’t worry!  She can’t hear us!”

Sadly, I suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction, joining approximately 5% of Americans (and 4% worldwide) with an interminable popped ear effect.  I always take antihistamines.  I can’t fly without steroids.  I often have fluid stuck behind my eardrum.  I’ve had numerous tubes and lancings and ruptures.  My ear now rings without cessation.  The good news is that a new treatment is available, inserting a balloon to stretch that sucker open.  My procedure has been scheduled!  I’ll need yet another tube because of fluid but I’m excited about the possibilities!

What did you say?