* Dord and sharing my world

Oh, what a joy to rejoin Cee and her Share Your World blogging challenge!  Check out the adorable Miss Mackenzie in Cee’s photo!

A piece of clothing from my childhood that I still remember:  This one is easy because I remember lots of my clothes, probably from photographs.  I do recall that my sister and I were often dressed as twins and my mother would even sew herself a matching dress.  For this photo, my curly hair had been pasted into place, giving me temporary bangs and braids that were hanging almost vertically.  I probably remember more about the agonies of getting my hair braided than any clothing!

1956 visiting Jeanette PA on way to Germany_0005

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.  I have long pursued my desire to do a cartwheel.  I could run and jump but never managed a cartwheel.  When I took a gymnastic class at college, my instructor was thrilled with my passion and told me she would make it happen.  I was a bit anxious, having had a number of falls in previous attempts (seriously, how do you fall while doing a cartwheel?).  She lined up all the participants on both sides of me, placed a lane of mats in between, and said she would also spot me.  After watching my first attempt, she encouraged me to start with more “spring.”  I sprang and flew over the line of spotters, landing with a crash on the hard gym floor.  On my ambulance ride to the ER, I decided I would never attempt another cartwheel.  Maybe in heaven….

In a car, would you rather drive or be a passenger?  Having “conquered” my driving phobia (thanks to the Lord), it is hard for my dearest teaching widower to wrest the steering wheel away from me.  It’s a sign of how far I’ve come that I do let him drive us occasionally, no longer needing to practice and practice.

And dord?  This is a ghost word that made it into the Merriam-Webster dictionary for a surprisingly long period of time.  What do you think it means?

 

* Finally!

Finally!  I am well again!  After months of the flu and battling secondary infections, I am healthy and invigorated.  Plus I just slept for almost 12 hours!  A recent article on sleep habits suggests that younger and middle-aged folks can make up for lost sleep during the week by snoring away on the weekend.  Too little and too much sleep are both associated with increased “mortality risk.”  But my age group?  The ancient ones?  The researchers said I am likely to get what I need.  They don’t know how hard it is to close a thriller in the middle of the night!

I do feel older today.  My dearest teaching widower and I attended a special dinner at church last night for the ancient, 60+ age group.  I secretly thought that most of the folks cheated to get a delicious meal.  Now that I am officially REALLY old, I’m thinking of some one-liners: Old teachers don’t die, they just lose their class.  Or this one: Old teachers don’t die, they just wipe the slate clean.  What about this?  Old math teachers never die, they just reduce to lowest terms.

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Whatever our age, we are thrilled to be alive and well!  And looking mighty strong!

 

 

* 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.

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

* 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!

 

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* Just sayin’

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

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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.

laughing

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

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

* Moving chestnuts

Color Your World: Chestnut

This is a detail from a gorgeous antique sideboard that my dearest teaching widower and I bought way back in the days of disposable income.  We can pretend that the carvings represent chestnuts, no?

chestnut 2

Here’s the backstory of this chestnut beauty and all our other belongings in 1983.  We hired a moving company to ship everything from San Francisco to North Carolina.  The driver and his wife, both quite short and slight of build, arrived with their gigantic van on its maiden voyage.  We were their very first clients!  My husband and I helped them as much as possible, hauling everything out to the yard for them to load into the van.  Hours later, as we drove off in the icy wind and fog, those novice movers still had ALL our possessions on the lawn, uncertain about how to best organize the load.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  It seemed a long shot that we would ever see any of  our belongings again.

What a shock!  Three weeks later, the van pulled up in Chapel Hill.  Not one item was broken or missing.  We helped them unload all of it, this time in the muggy heat of the south.  They were extremely reluctant to talk about their experience.  I often wonder about them.  Were we their first and last customers?  Did their marriage survive the vicissitudes of the moving business?  To this day, I appreciate their integrity and care.

* The sweetest man

Color Your World: Indigo

My dearest teaching widower!  Wait.  No, he’s not indigo.  The wall was painted indigo, but color me in love.  After my widower had quintuple bypass surgery and 2 heart attacks, they said he’d be dead in 2 years.  That was 2011 and here we are.  Color us both delighted that the doctors were wrong, that God had other plans for us.  Sadly, this sweet man was sick during our entire trip to WIlliamsburg and is still coughing up a storm.  On the other hand, he missed my collision with a dumpster in our rental car.  But if he had been there, he definitely would have warned me.

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I think it might have gone like this:

Dearest Widower:  Be careful, Katharine.  You’re close to that dumpster.

Me:  What?

DW:  You’re getting too close to the dumpster.

Me:  Where is that guy we passed?  I don’t want to hit him.

DW:  You’re going to hit that dumpster!

Me:  What?

Bump.

 

* Awesome almond!

Color Your World Challenge: Almond

This picture means a lot to me!  Remember that I drove a rental car into a dumpster on our vacation?  My dearest teaching widower snapped shots of the van before he returned it to Enterprise.  I chickened out.  I should call him my dearest accident widower.  Anyway, his hands created a nice almond color on the Chrysler “wings.”

Guess what?  Enterprise did not charge us for the damage!!  GO ENTERPRISE!  What an answer to prayer!

almond

Look for it!  A divot to the right of the &…..

* 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!

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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!

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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!

* Cee’s Share Your World challenge

Before reading my responses to Cee’s Share Your World challenge, check out her favorite photos of January 2017 for a spectacular moonrise.  It’s the kind of photograph I sometimes imagine I could take.  Truly beautiful.

So here are this week’s questions:

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?  That’s a tough one.  I am so far behind in cleaning that my dust bunnies have grandbabies.  The yard is coated with leaves.  And I often eat in the car.  Where to begin?

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain.  

  1.  I would hang on to my photo albums, with those carefully captioned pictures that have randomly turned blue   When did I have time to write all those clever captions?  Going digital certainly makes it easier to roam through past events but who has time to tag photos?  I appreciate Google’s ability to find “dogs” without tags.  On the other hand, the Google photo app and my iPhotos do NOT speak to one another.  I think the problem goes far beyond poor social skills.
  2.  All my digital “toys,” as my dearest teaching widower calls them.  Humph!  They are more than toys!
  3.  My bed bears.  ‘Nuff said.

What calms you down?  Chocolate.  Or chocolate.  Probably chocolate.  Mostly chocolate.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  This kiddo and his family continue to inspire me.  Unfortunately, I “inspired” this young man with the flu and he was perilously ill.  Oh, how grateful I am for answered prayers!

Mama and Y