Thursday, March 31, 2011

Facts of Five and Updates....

If you are a new follower let me give details of Facts of Five. It was a model I used when I taught students with special needs in a self contained classroom. I presented a category such as ‘Five Cartoons’ or ‘Five flavors of Kool-aid’ and the students had to consider an idea that fit the group. It was fun and thought generating yet in the meantime, I was able to get to know what was important to my students.

So our category for today is ‘Five Updates from happenings in my life~ okay, I’ll begin…

1.) Thank you for the well wishes, good thoughts and prayers regarding the biopsy of the lump on my tongue. The oral surgeon indicated it would be 7-10 days until results were available-- thankful? …that the continual tenderness and soreness is taking my mind off the results, although he ‘felt’ positive. So at this point all I have affirmation of the positive and hope for the best.

2.) When I had to submit my final manuscript in January of Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane: Doggie-Dog it necessitated me including an acknowledgment page, which I was excited to do. I won’t tell you all of my tributes; you’ll just have to read to find out. However, I did recognize my high school English teacher, Mrs. Linda Stoner and went on a search to locate her where-about. I ‘think’ I have found her and penned a note to her….I hope it is her and I hope she responds.

3.) My team is NOT in the Final Four…darn! ... I know I already told you that, but bummer, just needed to say it again--CRAP!

4.) Did I tell you I am doing Weight Watcher’s? No, of course I didn’t as a result of my fear of failure. You know that ‘perfection’ piece of me? Last week’s meeting topic was the importance of sharing this journey with others so you can be supported. Well there’s a novel idea… So I’m sharing it with you. My goal is 30 pounds, however I’m halfway there (almost) I’ve lost 14.6 pounds.

5.) I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge of 2011 which is exciting in that there are already over 700 participants. The task entails daily blogging correlating with the given letter of the alphabet. I’ve been wracking my brain as to my ‘plan’ but really when it comes to blogging I write from the heart so there is no plan…stay tuned~

"If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much of anything.”

by Win Borden

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Adversity, as described by Merriam-Webster dictionary means a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune.

Good to know, although I truly didn’t need the dictionary to update me of what a complex week it had been or continued to be over the weekend; my team lost  -beat by Jules team, Kentucky. “Hey thanks there old friend, appreciate you!” (…just teasing! NO hard feelings!)

However, what I refrained from also sharing was I also had a lump on my tongue that necessitated being removed to be biopsied. Monday afternoon was my appointment for it to be detached.

CRIPES! …that sucker hurt! Boo Hoo! AND I got three stitches on my tongue- NOT a pleasant way to ease into a new week.

However, it’s finished. D-O-N-E! Today was a positive day!

Progress reports-check! A few errors made last week corrected-check! Tongue healing-check!

And support of friends and loved ones-double and even triple check!

You all amaze me with your kind expressions, support, reminders of which I require to hear from time to time, that life is, well, life. Lessons are to be learned and you reminded me the positives of being human.

So I thank you ALL from the crevice of my heart and please recognize:

“In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends”

By John Churton Collins

Sunday, March 27, 2011

...a difficult lesson...

Did you imagine I was missing in action?

Actually, in a number of ways, I have gone astray.

I’d be denying you ‘truth’ if I said anything else other than it was a hard week. No, not ‘life and death’ difficult, but one of those weeks where you know that there is something to be learned and with happening after happening you think, ‘Geesch, what is it I’m just not getting?’ kind of thing. Yes, it’s been one of THOSE weeks!

I am thorough. I am conscientious. I am dependable. I am meticulous. I dot my i’s and cross my t’s. Basically said, I am a self-proclaimed AND therapist noted ‘perfectionist’ and in today’s modern psychological babble; anal-retentive.

There, you have it, although if you are acquainted with me, it’s not fresh innovating news but it is startling, even to me after all these years, how it heaves my world into a tizzy.

At work we have a new program for developing IEP’s and it has been anything BUT Easi-as it is so wrongly named. It requires valuable time and of course in the realm of education, time is indeed precious. I want to teach kids! NOT expend countless hours at the computer ful-filling obligations of paperwork.

Anyway, short version being—I was presented with two notebook sheets of errors necessitating immediate corrections as well conduct meetings with parents, blah, blah, blah…very time consuming. I was mad at myself; just livid! Already, a multitude of tasks to perform: progress reports due, scheduled meetings, blogs to be read; will my blog friends think less of me if I haven’t visited their homes and read their thoughts? Nor have I even written anything in days and I haven’t responded to my friends’ e-mails, especially those experiencing hardships, extending a hand in need.

How will I make that time up with my family? This was all on Wednesday-thoughts of inadequacies permeated my mind while the usual sense of ‘calm’ I hold closely was G-O-N-E!

So to add insult to injury? Our neighbor parked his SUV on the street at the end of our drive and in pulling out to go to work, what did I do?

Yep, you guessed it! I ran right into the side of his vehicle. He’ll need a new door. We’ll need a new bumper, light and side panel.

Punishing myself at the ‘accident’, my husband’s rants and raves didn’t help out. Although my son tried to sprinkle humor on the situation when he remarked, ‘Nee Nee, if we’d been on TV you would have been ‘bleeped’…thank you Nicholas, NOT what I needed to hear!

Move forward to Friday. I met with a parent to inform her of a mistake I’d made and needing to correct it; very difficult to acknowledge and feeling horrible; I sought a hole to creep into.

However, prior to the meeting, as I sat contemplating my words to this parent, a thought perched on my shoulder and slapped me in the head…

I am a human. I make mistakes. I will continue to make errors. No one was hurt and no one died as a result of my inadequacies during this stretch of time. ( I wish I was convinced as I wrote this...)

Forgiveness is a powerful gift; you have heard me articulate that before. Although I learned a more powerful lesson--the ability to forgive youself is even more fundamental.

I’m not there yet, as I’m still ‘wishing’ I hadn’t accomplished the faults, desiring to turn back the clock. However, I suppose God has special ventures for me this week; humility, being humbled and forgiving myself, perhaps loosening the grip of perfectionism; HAH, good luck with that one!

I anticipated a strenuous week with my extensive TO-DO list, but it appears even more daunting then I originally thought. I presume I’ll come proficient in admitting my defectiveness.

…prayers and thoughts appreciated~

as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.”
by Mahatma Ghandi

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Awwww, that’s not true, because I haven’t even gone to Kindy-garden yet. I’m still too little, but seriously, all I really need to know, I learned from my brother Hurricane!

Now, THAT’S true!

In the crack of dawn I recognize to get breakfast REAL early, because every now and then I get a slight rumbly in my tummy prior to the alarm buzzing. So, Hurricane taught me to plop myself down on Big Daddy or Nee Nee’s pillow. They’ll gaze at me to see who is disturbing their slumber then I swiftly give them a lickie-licky on their cheek. Yep, works every time; thanks for that tip big brother.

Next, he teached learned educated me on how to greet my family at the entry after their day out, which by the way, I don’t understand why they leave us. I’m certain if they knew what we get ourselves into during this time, they’d reconsider…HeeHee!

But whoever hears the ‘click’ of the door we hastily leap off the couch as if we had never been on it to begin with because really, we aren’t suppose to be on the sofa, so SHhhh, don’t tell anyone. Hurricane will grab a toy, any toy and I clutch my security string and we sprint to the back entrance. While Hurricane dances, knocks everyone over and smacks his tail into the wall with all his exuberance, I sit calmly like a lady, wait to be caressed and conversed with…ahhh, this feels marvelous!

I go behind everyone through the house, dodge in between their legs as we descend the stairs and nearly trip them, although I don’t mean to. I sit patiently and gawk for just a parcel of food and take a seat at the back door to go outside. But heck, no one ever lets ME go out to engage in recreation! DARN, but I’m still operating on that angle.

The most significant thing I’ve been trained to carry out if I want to claim a first-class spot to sleep, it is imperative I climb on the comforter as they are brushing their teeth and tucking Little Daddy into bed. They say prayers and sing so I have ample time to park myself right in the middle, bathe and feign sleep so no one will disturb me.

They utter, ‘awww, look at Angel-Kitty!’ so I keep my eyes closed while they scootch, scootch scotch ever so carefully under the covers to not disturb me from my slumber.

Ahhh, this is the life.

Thanks Hurricane for teaching loving me~

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dear Diary...

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special. I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going."
Jim Valvano

Dear Diary,

It’s Sunday, so I presume it’s time to glance back over my week to review what has transpired; where have I succeeded and where have I fallen short? While I am not an NC State fan, I am a supporter of Jim Valvano--in the last stages of his life with cancer, he spoke the above words; I try my best everyday to live by them.

I was just wondering if a chuckle is the same as a laugh. Regardless, I did laugh a great deal this week-with my students as well as with my family so I can check that category.

Let’s see, did I cry? Yeah, tears fell watching the news of Japan and all the suffering by the citizens. I wiped my eyes as I inscribed the post on my Grandpa and once more when I read all the heart-felt comments about my Grandpa. It really reminded me that I have grand people in my life. I shed tears for Kim who had to put her beloved golden retriever, Tanner to sleep.

And gosh, there’s no doubt I was able to think. I once heard that teachers make hundreds of decisions throughout the school day. I would agree, although most are meaningless; can I sharpen my pencil? In my job alone, I am forced to think. I also thought of the scores of people in my life; their heartaches, their obstacles, their devastations and their challenges. I devote deep thought as to how I might respond to these friends and loved ones to best support them. At times, all I can offer is prayer so I know I haven’t fallen short in that regard.

And Diary, I also worked hard. Remember that pile of mulch and top soil placed in the driveway on Friday night? Well, it didn’t get moved by any little fairy-plus I was coerced to cheer for my teams of the Carolina Men’s and Women’s basketball, and don’t forget the Carolina Hurricanes.

So I guess I did okay, and next week will be filled with fresh opportunities and new experiences. I pray I am found worthy and capable as well as compassionate and sensitive. I ask for occasions to laugh even if it means chuckling at myself. May I enjoy the precious moments I am given with all the emotions I encompass.

PS Diary, if my teams could keep on winning that would be an added bonus 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On this day...

My Grandpa and me...
It was my fourteenth St. Patrick’s Day and although early, the morning was a flurry of activity when the phone on the corner slab interrupted the schedule. My grandpa had had a heart attack. There was that moment in time when no one was certain of what to do, so we stood glancing at each other in the hallway; the news reverberating in our head.

My brother Tom corralled my sister and me as we continued to get ready for school. However, as we stepped on the bus, he came rushing from the garage to gather us and to deliver the news; my grandpa had died.

My mom was close to her parents and fond memories took hold and never let go. He and my grandma; lived on a vast farm with a multitude of animals and infinite fields. The old brick farm house was situated on top of a hill which availed itself to a fantastic sledding arena as long as you dodged the barb wire fences and the rickety mail box post and oh yeah, watch out for the creek; an abundance of sledding excursions were ruined there!

I depleted my childhood at my grandparent’s farm riding on tractors, playing in the barns, swinging on the rope in the hay loft and of course picking up buckeyes. I’d go for walks with my grandpa through the meadows as his words relayed his favorite flower; the Queen Anne’s lace only as I plucked one and passed it to him.

Our time was exceptional as he was an extraordinary man. In addition to the farm he worked for the railroad and his easy joyous attitude on life amused grandkids galore. A white and coffee basset hound was his constant companion and the mysterious all black cat was his lap cohort. He permitted Yippy and Perfect to lick his supper dishes sparkling and teased the tableware no longer needed washing as they had been properly cleaned.

I approach this St. Patrick’s Day, as I do each- with thoughtfulness, reflection and remembrance of my grandpa. I see his smile, I hear his words, I feel his touch and recognize that on a given day, we will be reunited.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
...May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let the Madness Begin...

This is my most cherished time of the year!

YES, it’s spring, and the weather is becoming balmy as well as the outer appearance of the Earth is fully clad in her buds, blossoms and blooms. Once again, the planet fills our senses with her fragrant aromas and pleasing aesthetics.

Furthermore, the calendar reveals my favored celebration; Easter is swiftly approaching.

But what is most prominent about this time of year is of course, the National Championship Basketball Tournament!!!

Let the madness begin!!!

I love, love, LOVE basketball and I am devoted to the competition as well as the idea that most of the nation stops and takes notice. I get a charge out of the heckling and first-rate joking we bestow to others as a result of their choice of favored teams because well, let’s face it, we all have allegiances and the event ties us all together with one clear winner.

Granted, my beloved Tar Heels have gotten lucky on a number of occasions however, this is a time when basket ball reflects life and I root for the underdog, well unless it is Carolina or Ohio State!

Of course, we fill in brackets…my son has completed numerous brackets in any combination he can come up with because well, we have a little bet going within our family! The heck with the big riches as a trophy; the winner in our home has bragging rights for the entire year AND the honors of planning a Week-End Getaway of our own choosing!!

How fun is that!?

I hope I win, I hope I win…

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Delicate Balance~

teetering on the edge of

despair and destruction-

survival hangs in a delicate balance.

hovering amid life and death

is the disparity between

the initial inhalation of existence

 and the final breath.





remains a lifeline…

by Horace

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hey, it's me, Angel-Kitty~

SHhhhh . . . I’m going underground this day to disappear from that life-size auburn monster otherwise known as my Doggie-brother. Can you see me now?

Well, don’t talk; just listen! I don’t want him to hear our voices and locate us.

I had to creep underneath this throw cushion on my Nee Nee and Daddy’s bed since I woke my Nee Nee up at 3:46 in the wee hours of darkness. . .

Yeah, I know it wasn’t the smartest thing to do but let me explain before you go leaping to conclusions.

I have this string you see. It’s an appealing multihued ribbon actually and I clutch it in my mouth. I rarely part from it because I have on the spot entertainment wherever I go. However, with Hurricane, I rarely get to amuse myself; he’s always bothering me. . . BROTHERS!

You see, he is always tormenting me AND getting me into mischief so this morning when I had difficulty sleeping I dug up my string from the laundry basket. Well, here comes Hurricane with his massive clod-ka-diddle-hoppers trailing me up the stairs. He was approaching so close I could smell his doggie-breath; UGH!

I was afraid he’d nip my stunning tail so I hurdled onto Daddy and Nee Nee’s bed searching for an opening in the covers to hide from Hurricane.

Whew, there was one! . . . So I took a dive inside hauling my string behind. How was I to know Nee Nee would awaken from a sound catnap and imagine there was a bed bug on her leg?

Geez Lousie, it’s not my fault!

Needless to say she sat upright and flung the covers to the floor making a little ‘SCREEEECH!’…

Oooppsss. . . ‘Good Morning Nee Nee!’ I said in my most optimistic voice trying to smile.

UH-OH, it didn’t work!

So you see, I’m just keeping a low profile today and hiding so shhhh, don’t tell anybody I’m here, especially that giant ogre of a brother ‘cause it’s ALWAYS his fault...he's old enough to know better!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Things I Think I Think...

“Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through the moods, the blood, the disposition of the spectator.”

by Wendell Phillips.

I don’t often dole out my opinions as a result of another fitting quote ‘Opinions are like ass-h----, everyone has them!’ ...while I am NOT a fan of that quote, it serves its purpose and typically if no one really cares to hear my opinions enough to ask, I don’t by and large serve them. So to share these things I think, is an opportunity for individuals to either agree, disagree, or sustain; take your pick~

1.) I think this working gig is for the birds . . . Really, while tracked out I went from having all the time in the world to write, to blog, to catch up with friends, to read, to play and to scrapbook and now you want me to do what? Return to work? . . .UGH!!!

Something about this concept just doesn’t seem ‘right’ to me~ perhaps in my next life I will be re-incarnated into a person who is independently wealthy so I no longer have to work OR my work can be done out of the haven of my home. Doesn’t that sound reasonable to you?

2.) I think basically the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, if you want to know the truth. Seriously, the price of gas is rising, the cost of food is astronomical, various sections of the world are in lethal turmoil and we as citizens of the United States of America are emotionally and economically being used as pawns in the proverbial government chess game.

Now really, it’s not my style to talk politics or religion, however, it angers me that oil companies, bank managers and CEO’s, to name a few are declaring exorbitant profits as a record number of individuals' homes are going through foreclosure, people are strained to make a decision between eating and paying the electric bill and additional families and children in our country are declared ‘homeless’.

I just think it is an atrocity…

3.) I think I am blessed beyond belief with friends . . . and it’s not that I have an enormous quantity of friends. I have quality relationships with individuals that support me and love me and let's face it- put up with me!

I happened upon a quote that reads:

“Friendship isn't about whom you've know the longest. It's about who came, and never left your side...”

I read these profound words and respond with ‘Amen’! People whom I just met through blogging have become my dearest friends as well as those blossoms of life-time chums that have touched my existence from grade school to college to present.

I am thankful for each and every one of you and I mean that with much sincerity~ My life is rich thanks to YOU!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rebuttal from my Sister...

My sister and me...

Now, before I allow my sister to take center stage with her rebuttal as many of you inquired about, please remember there are three, yes, THREE sides to every story: hers, mine and the RIGHT side! 
I just want to remind you of that before she begins speaking with such nonsense the experiences she believes you all should be aware of to make me out to be the 'bad' guy in our growing up years.

So without further ado, my loving favorite, oh yeah, only sister, Dawn Currier~

A rebuttal huh?, where does one begin? To all Tracy's blog friends, I know Tracy has all of you believing she is quite innocent in her childhood escapades, but trust me she knew how to push buttons and was often the reason for so many issues that occured in our childhood. One is that of our rollers. You see, my hair was very thick and would curl well with those sponge rollers. I always knew that my hair would be just beautiful once those curlers were removed.

Tracy was always very jealous. Thus, you see the pic of her getting rollers put into her hair and having a very bitter face. This is because she knows that sitting there going through the trauma of me doing her hair was all for nothing because mine was going to turn out pretty and she was just "wasting her play time". Too bad for you Ms. Tracy! the lake~

Has Tracy ever shared the time that we were working on the farm down the road? Our job was to lay straw down for the cows...WHILE the cows were in the pen I might add. Well, she had a huge holstein cow watching her do her job. She was very fearful because this cow kept staring at her. I had to "push" her in front of me just to keep her doing her work. Now I must tell you we were about 10-12 yrs. old so those cows were as much afraid of us as Tracy was of them. I, of course knew that, but all she wanted to do was stand in the pen with the cows surrounding us yelling for our brother to come and get us.

I tried to tell her we were ok, but NOOOOO she had to yell and scream. The cows were not the least bit threatened. Soon my brother and the Dr. who "hired" us, told us to get the heck out of the pen and forget it. So you see as innocent as Tracy may seem, she got me fired from my first paying job.
WE are the cute ones in the swim suits...

There also was the time that Tracy and I were up on Lake Erie at our cottage. Our dad took us to an uncle who also lived up there. We were so excited to go out on the pontoon boat since we hadn't been out for quite some time. As we were floating out on the lake (I am sure it was only a few hundred feet from land) about 10 miles the chain broke off the steering wheel.

Well, because Tracy and I were such fish as we were raised near the water all of our lives, we decided to hop in and swim while dad and our uncle fixed the problem with the steering. As Tracy jumped in and crawled out she bragged how nice the water was. Now realize, both of us lived in our bathing suits so we were all prepared for our unexpected swim. Tracy hollers, "come on Dawn, jump in."

Of course, doing what I was told I jumped in. Just as I made that jump, Tracy decided to crawl out and "sight" Jaws about 5 feet away from the boat toward my backside.

I screamed, "Get me out of here" as Tracy sang, "da da da da da da," you know the tune! I was so scared I could not find the strength to pull myself out of the water. All my mind could see was Jaws chewing my legs off of my body from under the water. In fact, I could swear the water was a red color. As I am screaming from total fright, Tracy stands on the pontoon boat laughing her head off!

Now, since you think she is such a sweet women, I can agree with you there, but as a child....she deserved everything she got! Tracy, just know that someday I will live close to you again and I will be there to GET YOU!

...and there you have it MY friends; and although Dawn can be pretty convincing,  you decide~

"A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost."
~Marion C. Garretty

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Son~

I walk side-by-side with my child, fingers knotted with mine as we begin our journey: destination unknown. 
He squeezes my fingers to notify me of his existence, just in case I’ve forgotten. 
We connect with our eyes and engage in an exchange of words-their presence more essential than their meaning. 
In that little boy voice he asks, ‘NeeNee, do you love me?’ a question that the answer is already well-known—
‘Yes, my son, I love you more than you will ever know.’ I speak, as a grin glides across his sweet little face and his eyes dance with delight.

Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Facts of Five and Updates...

If you are a new follower let me give details of Facts of Five. It was a model I used when I taught students with special needs in a self contained classroom. I presented a category such as ‘Five Cartoons’ or ‘Five flavors of Kool-aid’ and the students had to consider an idea that fit the group. It was fun and thought generating yet in the meantime, I was able to get to know what was important to my students.

So our category for today is ‘Five Updates from happenings in my life~ okay, I’ll begin…

1.) Little Ethan- The following message is from my niece, Katie: “Ethan seems to be doing much better. He is up playing and acting like every two year old should. He does wear down quickly, but I am sure his strength will be stronger over the next few days. He did have a fever tonight but I believe it’s from him running around so much. Thank you everyone for asking about him and keeping him in your prayers. It has been one stressful week. I could not of done it without my family. Thank you Tracy for the blog and the support. I will keep everyone updated. Much love.”

Ethan with his little sister, Mia at the Doctor~
Ahhh, the power of prayer...So she thanks you and I thank you deeply…

2.) My sister-gosh, it’s been a banner day, I also received this message from my sister, whom you were all privileged to meet and she sent the following message: “I am going to bed now...we have conferences tomorrow and Thurs. and I am way behind on some much needed sleep. I will talk to you about your "sisterly" blog later. Don't you have any stories to tell except the one where YOU fell and broke YOU arm b/c YOU were not doing what YOU should have been and YOU even admitted it in your story that you were a bit of an instigator. Duh....just a little bit of an instigator....I would say you got most of what you deserved. “

Don't I look thrilled?
Well, golly gee, people can be so testy now, can’t they? I guess I will have to ‘try’ to come up with some story I’ll admit to, although it will be very difficult, being the ‘perfect’ child I was; UH-huummm!

3.) Spring is here! And well, it continues to be here as I showed you a few blogs back. I don’t want to brag or anything but goodness, the weather has been beautiful and how can I deny the temps of 70’s and 80’s? (Well NOT every day!) But a good taste of what is to come… Therefore, a few more photos to share…

4.) Track out is almost over~ Oh, this makes me incredibly sad. Thursday will be my last ‘free’ day, and then it’s back to work on Friday. I have had three weeks of bliss: I slept in when I so desired, took preferred naps, did a great deal of reading and writing, cleaned, or well, NOT cleaned if I so desired but however, it is back to reality! Which, I suppose given that I have a tendency to glance at the bright side of circumstances, I thrive in a structured environment and track out is anything but routine so it will be productive for me to return to exertion. Most excellent of all, I will be encircled by my kids who cause me to laugh, smile, think and feel; a true day’s employment!

5.) I’ve got a secret….