* Mighty Slow Florence

We knew that Hurricane Florence was huge before she arrived, but her 5 mph speed is a nightmare for the coastal and sandhill regions of North Carolina.  Some areas have been drenched with two feet of water and the worst is yet to come, as rivers continue to surge over their banks.  We are so fortunate to be north of the hardest-hit areas (see blue dot below).  The current band of tropical rain has put us back in a flood advisory, but I’m more concerned about our pine trees with their shallow root systems in this saturated soil.

Florence 3

My dearest teaching widower just showed me a clip that urged safety for North Carolinians who have lost their power- because someone doesn’t want to go to a bunch of baby showers!  I think we are safe on that front, at least.

* Silver Resurrection

Silver Resurrection sounds like the name for Terminator movie, right?  I thought my Subaru was dead and gone, but a used engine was cheaper than buying a new car.  So I shed unnecessary tears and my precious wheels are back.  My daughter-in-law has told me you never name a tree (I shed tears over losing Baby), and perhaps that holds true for cars as well.

If only we could have a Floor Resurrection!  We’re digging out under yet another thick layer of sawdust but our subfloor in the kitchen has been covered with plywood!  Who knows?  Eventually we may have a new floor and new dishwasher.  Baby steps, baby steps.

On the other hand, I had just painted the kitchen this past weekend and now… yuck!

painting kitchen 2

Well, it’s only sawdust.  Better than what Hurricane Florence may drop on us!

 

* Waiting for Florence

As hurricane Florence slowly approaches the North Carolina coastline, most of us are constantly checking for updates, comparing previous hurricane experiences, and bemoaning all manner of things.  No water, bread, or milk in the stores, gas stations drained dry.  Schools closed as we look out a calm, gray sky.  We debate which spaghetti model best predicts Florence’s path.  Yeah, spaghetti.

Meteorologists are debating the merits of the American versus European computer models.  We have this centuries-old rumble with Europe, you know.  And while the rest of the world measures kilometers, we are talking about wind speeds of 140 miles per hour.  And degrees Fahrenheit.  And inches of barometric pressure.  A hurricane event could be a terrific way for us to segue into the metric system because we need immersion, not random lessons.  Opportunity lost.  I guess no one at the beach wants to hear about immersion.

Florence has been a wonder of nature, though.  Whether seen by infrared or from the ISS (below), she is a magnificent storm.  If only she could stay in the Atlantic!

 

Florence

Watch a video here

 

* On our vacay

My dearest teaching widower and I are actually spending quality time together!  So nice to leave the ruined kitchen floor, piles of laminate for upstairs, boxes, missing car, and general debris.  We are also both “working” and loving it.  I mean, if you have a passion for something, it’s pure joy to do it.  The first day of school is next Monday and I can’t wait!

In the meantime, we’re together all day, which is awesome.  I’ve been sending daily videos to a student of mine and asked my widower to join is.  He has now become the star, the celeb of the beach.  He is clever and funny!  Just one of the many reasons I love him so.  We go out when the sun is setting, the crowds have disappeared, and the temp is perfect. beach 2 2018

* Siri and me

Siri and I have a complicated relationship.  Sometimes she helps me call my dearest teaching widower and other times she has no idea who that is.  It drives me nuts when she calmly tells me, “You’ll need to unlock your iPhone first.”  What??  My dearest widower has not changed his name or number!

Recently I was stuck in a snarled traffic mess for what seemed like forever, so I forgave her (that’s good) and chatted with her (that’s bad in a car, I know).  But I was not moving!  Not an inch!  For a long time!  OK, I was impatient (also bad).

I started with some important questions but the conversation went downhill from there.

 

* Another farewell

Yesterday was our last full day with the kiddos for the summer.  Again.  It was a fun day, with lots of laser tag, enjoying the Beatles’ Help movie, endless SpongeBob episodes, and many ventures with Roblox and Minecraft.  Poor Christopher had the toughest time with goodbyes, but we were all very sad.  Their friends who joined us and became part of the gang also mourned the end of movie nights.  We hope they will all be able to return next year!

SpongeBob

The folks at Walmart always breathe a sigh of relief when we leave!

* Things that leak

Ok, I am starting a list of things that leak.  Feel free to add your own.  I am not including body parts other than the brain.

  1. Complex instructions to kiddos spoken in the midst of asides and other students’ comments.
  2. Classroom lectures that last 30 minutes.
  3. Classroom lectures that last 20 minutes.
  4. Social skills instructions that are not practiced in real world situations.
  5. Tips for dealing with bullies that don’t include adult supervision and support.
  6. Phonics instruction presented by teachers who have no scope and sequence.
  7. Phonics instruction presented by teachers who never learned phonics skills.
  8. Ditto #6 and #7 for phonological instruction.
  9. My brain after less than 8 hours of sleep.
  10. My words after a strong cup of tea.
  11. Dishwashers.
dishwasher

Even this dehumidifier leaks- but into the sink, not the subfloor, like our dishwasher.

* Who wears short shorts?

If you are old enough, and most of you are not, you might have heard a song called “Who Wears Short Shorts?”  More a bit of jingle than anything, I was reminded of that song when I saw this Belk back-to school ad for teachers.  It says a lot about something, just not sure what.  Are all teachers really that young (because you don’t want to see me in these)?  Do some schools really allow their teachers to wear these skimpy shorts?  And if so, what is the dress code for kids??   If these shorts are simply summer gear, why is it advertised as a back-to-school sale?  Mine is not to ponder why; mine is just to shop and buy.

back to school 2

 

 

* Day 20

It’s been 20 days but feels like a lifetime of H3N2.  My doctor said I am still contagious so don’t lean too close to read this.  Now I’m on antibiotics for a rough ear and sinus infection.  Secondary infections, courtesy of this Mutating Monster.  I know this is TMI, but how does an ear produce so much gunk?  Fortunately, I still have a tube in there.

A dear one sent me this and made my week.  My biggest heartache is that my precious student and his parents are struggling mightily.  We text throughout the day, survivors’ lifelines.

Get well soon

Another lifeline from Jesus:  Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me (and my student and his family).  Yet not my will but yours be done.  

* Day 15

Today is Day 15 with H3N2, a mutating monster of a virus.  One step forward, two steps back.  I am sharing daily progress, woes, and prayers, with a dear student and his family.  The kiddo is on Day 18 and his parents are just behind.  This is a killer of a virus.  The mortality rate for my age group is hardest hit (see that red line?) but my medically fragile student, at age 11, has suffered enormously and his situation is far more precarious than mine.

CDC flu

We spent some agonizing time in the ER, but my dearest flu widower always has clever jokes to make us laugh (and then we cough like crazy).  And what a joy to love and care for one another in times like these.  My student’s parents are the bravest, kindest, most determined people I have ever met.  They are fighting minute by minute to keep their son alive.  Sleep deprived, flu-ridden, heart broken, and clinging to faith, they are simply amazing.  I do not know how they have survived these weeks.  I am barely crawling along and I don’t have to take care of my sweet student throughout the day and night.

ER 2

I know the Lord is holding us in his hands, whatever the outcome.  Better times await.