Saturday, April 05, 2008

Flapping in the Wind -- A Small Update

This has been a rough patch for our little family, consequently updating this blog has been put aside, while we managed our coping strategies.

The flu struck hard and fast and didn't leave us for over a month. Hubby still has it, while I am finally able to say I'm on the mend. We got the flu in early February (around the 5th) and we've been sick every day since. I've been out six consecutive days at school, but that was in February. Hubby weathered the first bout without taking to his bed. It was the second wave that struck him down, while I managed to keep one foot in the front of the other (but just barely) during March. First was the awful head congestion symptoms; second came the massive coughing attacks. Through it all we were totally exhausted. Other complications arose, too -- but delicacy requires I don't enumerate them. And yes, we DID go to the doctor's who told us NOTHING would cure us, just time, and offered cough syrup and nostrums to comfort but NOT cure.

Meanwhile work and school continued apace. Last week I had a mid-term take-home exam for my course in Assessment at grad school. This week we're working on a group presentation for next Thursday night -- one of two major projects for the course. At the end of this course, I'll have 15 hours toward my SPED certification.

At home Hubby had to cope with a plumbing back-up in the basement that required moving out the washer to get to the affected blocked pipe. We are also installing a new garage door and a new front door to the outside of the house.

At school, we are facing more staff reductions for next year, necessitated by a drop in enrollment that has cut our yearly budget by half a million bucks. Teachers are feeling very insecure, especially in this down-ward spiraling economy. Meetings are on-going to determine how to meet this current budget crunch, the good thing being that the administration is involving the staff in deciding on the budget cuts.

Little boy Gus ate something "nasty" in the park on Wednesday night. He threw up 37 times before the vet opened on Thursday morning. I spent from 4:30 until 5:45 a.m. (when we leave to get me to school -- lovely first thing in the morning activity!) wiping up the floor, the rugs, and the bedding. $249 dollars later the vet said the cause was "undetermined." Meanwhile, Gus had blood work, hydration therapy, and nausea injections and spend the day being coddled by the vet techs. I spent the day working to earn the money to pay the bill.

Also on Thursday Hubby attended a wonderful luncheon in commemoration of Martin Luther King's assassination. Rafer Johnson, the man who took the gun from RFK's assassin (as well as being an Olympic gold medal winner), was the guest speaker, and Hubby was enthralled. He said it was one of the best events he's ever attended -- plus all the local political bigwigs were there and Hubby got to sit at one of the head tables and meet everyone, including Mr. Johnson.

Easter was a quiet event for us because we've been so sick. One of our friends was traveling, leaving her hubby home alone (except for ALL their animals), so we met him for Easter Sunday dinner buffet. No one felt up to actually cooking.

The pastor at our little church is retiring and we are evaluating our options for moving forward. We have had what the Methodist church calls a "part time" minister ever since we have been members (over 10 years now), a retired minister who lives in the neighborhood. However, we are thinking it is time to invest the funds in getting a full time pastor and really pushing to see our little congregation outreach to the community.

Both Hubby and I got new glasses. He has the on-set of cataracts which annoyed him vastly -- the final indignity of reaching 70+. I merely got a new pair of glasses and a small adjust in prescription -- I hated the pair I got last year, so I went back to comfortable, if less stylish frames.

Hubby also celebrated, quietly, his 73rd birthday. We thought we'd spend a couple of days of spring break in St. Louis as a celebration, but both of us vetoed the idea because we felt so weary from being sick. Instead, we slept most of spring break, did a little cooking, and read a lot of good mystery novels in bed together.

Winter hangs on in the heartland. No flowers yet. Trees are mostly dormant. Friday afternoon, on the drive home from school, we saw the first tiny redbuds on the flowering trees. Today, though, is overcast and the mornings start out near freezing. Hubby has had the front yard raked and has gotten the team of mowing men in place for summer.

We are now in the last quarter of school. The seniors are excited about graduating. My juniors are trying to pass benchmarks and everyone has been accepted at the area vo-tec school. The staff is planning their summer trips around the workshop schedules. I'm hoping to retain my job because, just like last year, I'm still the newbie in the department. If a SPED staff member gets cut, it has to be me. Still, they have asked me to pick a co-teacher for next year and I've not yet been called into the principal's office for the talk we had last March (when I was offered an English position instead of the SPED job because my job was on the line).

So, our little family moves forward -- and we continue to keep the faith.

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