Monday, February 20, 2012

Priority Mail = 65 Days

Bonnie sent us a Christmas package on Dec. 17. See postmark. :) We had sadly given this present up for lost and figured we'd never see it. Imagine my surprise when Rich called me at work today to tell me it was here. I would love to know where it has been for the last two months--stuck in a corner in a Post Office somewhere, at Pen Air in Anchorage, left in the UniSea van and covered up by other stuff till just now? It's a mystery and I am afraid it will remain so, but I was really happy that their money was not spent in vain and that the wayward box finally found it's way here. And we enjoyed having Christmas in late February! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ms. Not-a-Morning-Person

Something funny happened today. Rich and I went to bed around midnight last night and I probably fell asleep soon after. I'd asked him to set the alarm for 6 so I could get up for my early morning GED/ESL class. Sleeping well, I don't think I stirred till the alarm went off; in fact, I remember thinking, "Oh, I feel pretty rested!" as I rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. After getting ready, checking emails and making a big glass of tea to take with me, I gingerly felt my way down our outside steps, which were completely iced over. When I arrived at my classroom a few minutes before 7, the room was all locked up. It's usually open and I couldn't find the rec monitor who works in the building; surprisingly, his door was locked as well. Typically, one or two of my students are waiting when I arrive--early birds--but none of them were in sight, either. I waited by the door for several minutes and no one showed up. I started wondering if maybe they'd all had to work a longer shift than usual since most of them work overnight and then come to class. A few people walked by and I asked if anyone had a key to the room but they didn't. It began to feel very curious that no one was there. I am on call for work right now so am carrying the station's cell phone (I don't have one of my own real need for it) so I flipped it open and it said 6:20 AM. This did not faze me because I had dropped the phone the day before and the back flew off, dislodging the battery, so I just made the assumption that it had somehow messed up. Still, no one had come to class yet and the rec monitor had not shown up for work. I walked into the work-out room and looked at the clock on the wall, which also showed 6:20. There was a guy working out so I asked him, "Is that clock RIGHT? Is it really 6:20??" He said YES. It finally dawned on me that, apparently, I had awakened at 5 AM, not 6 AM, and had arrived at class an hour early! I called Rich because I was so amazed and could not resist telling him what had happened. The only thing we can figure is that he accidentally advanced the time on the clock when he set the alarm. Hilarious! And to think I'd jumped right up and felt so good. :)

By this time, I didn't think there was any point in going back home so I took the opportunity to organize my papers and handouts, get the lessons ready for the morning, and get everything set up for class. After my students were in their seats, I told them my little story and they all got a chuckle out of it. I think they were wondering how I could be so dense! I am still amused by the whole chain of events!

It's funny how one's mind works. Once I had it in my head that it was 6 o'clock when I got up and going on 7 o'clock when I left the house, none of the evidence to the contrary registered. I know I looked at the clock in the living room and the one on the computer at home several times to make sure I was on track....but my mind expected to see 6:45 or whatever so that's what I saw. Even when I looked at the cell phone later, I was making up reasons why that time was wrong. So strange! In conclusion, I guess I CAN be a morning person if you keep me from knowing how early it really is. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Fun

Silly Ajax out in the snow. He was marking his territory, maybe because we had a fox wandering around the other day.

It's been busy, busy! And I am not sure why I am still awake at almost 1 AM when I have been getting up early every day since Tuesday. You know I am not a morning person!

So I started teaching my ESL/GED class last Tuesday morning and we met again on Thursday. I love my class and have completely enjoyed it so far. I can't believe I am actually getting up without a fuss at 6 AM so I can be there a little before 7. I decided if I signed up to do it, I am going to do it with a pleasant attitude about the hour and not make my poor husband suffer through my grumbling. He admitted he was surprised that I got right up and didn't make him endure several rounds of the snooze button. :)

Most of my students are quite competent in English and many of them are more interested in getting their GED so that will be our primary focus. I am flying by the seat of my pants a little bit but have lots of resources and assistance so I think it will all be good. Since everyone in the class indicated a desire to improve their writing, we started keeping journals and I think that will be both interesting and helpful. And it's so nice to have students who actually want to be there and participate enthusiastically!

I had swimming class again today and that was great! I love that one, too. I was so pumped up after swimming that I came home and practiced piano chords. Wow, I am the picture of motivation and productivity all of a sudden. We will see how long that lasts. :)

Our sweet, funny, lively granddaughter Elle turned 4 today. Time does fly, cliche or not. We talked with Elle this morning and learned that she had cupcakes at her preschool with her best friend Miles, who also has a birthday this week, that she was going to soccer this afternoon, then to Mr. Gatti's tonight for "basketball and pizza," and that she's having a bday party at a gymnastics place tomorrow. When I said, "I wish we could come to your party," she said "You CAN!" as if we just thought we weren't allowed. I reminded her that we live very far away, to which she replied, "It's not that far!" Wish I could wiggle my nose and be there!

Then, extra bonus, I also got to talk with Aidan and Ally today--they are also adorable and sweet and so much fun! Aidan signed up for baseball and I am hoping he might still be playing when we go to Texas in June. Ally is loving dance class, but unfortunately she'll have her recital before we get there. Someday we will be close by so we can pop in for all these major events!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Swimming Granny

I've never been a very good swimmer. Okay, I don't really swim much at all. I took those *beginner* lessons when I was young and maybe even the next level after that, then moved to Germany where I did not live near water nor a pool for four years. By the time I returned to the US, I was in high school and too embarrassed to go to kiddie lessons. I've kinda faked it for most of my life and not very well. Yes, I can recall several people (who shall remain unnamed) making fun of my lame attempts to get from one side of the pool to the other. I mostly chose to sit on the side of the pool, lounge in the boat on the lake, float around in a life preserver or on a raft, and claim "I don't really like the water that much." Not a lie. You can't like something you are worried about, I don't think.

Oh yeah, there was that (what seems like) near drowning as a teenager, when my sister, my cousin Dennis and I went canoeing on a lake one dark summer night. My cousin was goofing around and turned the canoe over, all of us tumbling into the blackness. We could see the lights on shore but they seemed far away. He had to drag me to land. This did not help my comfort level around water. I've been snorkeling a few times in the last couple of years and enjoyed it once I got past the initial semi-panic stage. But water-baby I am not.

Hopefully this is all changing since I started an adult swim class today. Better late than never, huh? It was really fun, my classmates were friendly, we all encouraged each other to the max, and I'm even a pretty good back-floater. Who knew?