Thursday, August 28, 2008

My son, the entrepreneur!

The big clothing trend around the middle school this year is bright colored rock band T-shirts with “skinny” jeans. (Pictured shirt is the band Relient K.)

John has created an accessory to go along with the new style. Always an “in your face” type who isn’t afraid to be different, he made a necklace out of mardi gras beads and a cassette tape, and began wearing it to school. Suddenly all his friends want one! Not only that, even kids he doesn’t know have been asking to buy them. So, with $8 of his own plus a $3 advance on his allowance John has launched his cassette necklace business! He says he is going to make it big.

Hey, it could happen. Have you ever heard of a fellow by the name of Kevin O’Connor? Maybe not, but I’ll bet you’ll recognize the name of the company he started; DoubleClick. Well, I knew Kevin as an ordinary kid, back when he was John’s age. Kathy used to be married to his brother. So, I have personally witnessed an enthusiastic teenaged entrepreneur become a billionaire!

Maybe someday John will be interviewed at his own multi-million dollar company and he will tell the media that he owes his success to the fact that his mom floated him $3.00 to start his first business. Anything is possible! :)

(Son, it's OK if you become a millionaire, but be a GOOD millionaire.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Very Personally Yours

Today is the beginning of another school year. The time goes by so fast!

I began my current position in August of 2000. The kindergarteners from the year 2000 at my schools are entering 7th grade this year! I see some of them every now and then, and they are growing into beautiful adolescents. I hope some of what I have taught helps them to grow into happy, healthy adults.

One unit that I am responsible to teach is the “Growth and Development” program. You know (gasp)… THE FILM! The (insert giggling girls here) No Boys Allowed Film. Or, the (insert embarrassed boys pretending to be macho) No Girls Allowed Film.

Since I understand the sensitive nature of this subject, I usually don’t present the boys film unless there is no male staff member able and willing to do it. Although I can discuss any subject without a flinch, the boys are too shy to ask me the questions their little inquiring minds want to know. The girls, however, are another matter. We all sit on the carpet for an informal bit of “girl talk,” then I show the video and pass out product samples. By the end of the session I answer so many questions they have to rush so they don’t miss the bus.

Today as I unpacked a box of samples for this year’s students, I thought back about my own puberty education. Many, many years ago, 1964 to be exact, our school nurse and our gym teacher held a program for us, and showed “The Film.” But times were different then. Instead of a school day class with a permission slip, our class was an actual night program and our parent was required to be with us or we could not attend. It was a Very Big Moment in my life that almost didn’t happen. My mom wasn’t keen on the idea of attending the event. Thankfully, my best friend’s mom decided to take her, and helped convince mine.

The film we saw was already pretty old by the time we saw it, because there wasn’t a huge market for puberty films in those days. Sanitary supplies were only whispered about; they were not the subject of huge marketing campaigns and commercials as they are nowadays!

I recently found that ancient movie, “The Story of Menstruation,” on YouTube. Believe it or not, it is an animated film that was created by the Walt Disney Studios! This really brings back memories. We even received the “Very Personally Yours” booklet that the narrator mentions.

I’m glad I was able to find this, because it helps to remember how important this rite of passage was to me. When my students receive this instruction, my presentation may well set the stage for their attitude toward maturity and body image. It always needs to be good!

Here’s the film. Oh, by the way,… (giggle)… No Boys Allowed!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ending my summer on a good note

Last night was the Sheryl Crow/ James Blunt concert. We put the tickets Arthur won to very good use. This is my last weekend before I have to return to work for the school year, so we were able to really kick back and enjoy ourselves.

The storm that had been threatening decided to come again another day. The weather was absolutely perfect. When the sun went down we enjoyed a full moon, temps in the low 70's and a light breeze.

It's difficult to explain the warm feeling I get from attending a music concert. I guess a happy drunk guy behind us making us laugh, a little bit of beer of our own, good music, the energy of the crowd, and the sweet outdoors makes me feel 19 again.

(Too bad I can't see Bob Seger for $1 like I did in those days!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A simple outdoor ceremony with a Western theme

... and this is a simple post with a few simple moments that are frozen in time.

I don't think anybody else remembers that today Andy and I would mark our 21st anniversary.

But, I do.


Friday, August 8, 2008

There's a new flower in my garden...

Little surprises are the best things in life, and one of the best places to find them is in a garden. Here’s the story leading up to the latest surprise.

The spring after Andy died, I bought a whole bunch of flower bulbs and seeds during a spree of grief-related retail therapy, but I had no inclination to plant them. They have been at the back of my gardening cupboard ever since, along side of a baby food jar full of Hollyhock seeds given to me by a friend from work.

I planted some of the Hollyhocks last year on a whim. The seeds were 5 years old by that time, and I really didn’t expect them to grow.

Well, they DID grow, and they are blooming this year!

This gave me the incentive to plant all the rest of the 2002 seeds and bulbs a few minutes ago. Without a doubt, like the Hollyhocks and life in general, something new and beautiful will be blooming in my garden soon! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fixing Arthur's Eyes

Our lives are blending into a blur of painting, rearranging, and waiting for workmen to show up… which sometimes happens when it’s supposed to, and sometimes doesn’t. No wonder the experts say to add at least a month to the estimated time it takes to remodel. I have come to believe that those shows like “Flip this House” are pure fantasy, or there is actually a crew of 200 doing all the work!

Tomorrow we are getting a break, but this one isn’t much fun. Bright and early in the morning, Arthur is having the first of two cataracts removed. Naturally, he is a bit apprehensive about anybody messing with his vision, and I am concerned too, but not just about his eyesight.

Hidden behind his glasses, Arthur has a pair of the prettiest eyes that I have ever seen. He has long black lashes, and his eyes are dark rimmed so he almost looks like he is wearing eyeliner. But the most unique thing is that his left eye is blue and his right eye is green. I haven’t yet decided which one is prettier! It’s hard to see in photos, but in person it is unmistakable.

Yesterday, with great seriousness I informed him that the surgeon would fix his eyes so he can see better, and also would make them both the same color. The panic on Arthur’s face was priceless! He likes his unusual eyes because they set him apart, even from his identical twin brother. (Allen has the cataracts too, but for some reason both of his eyes are green.)

At any rate, I am pretty sure that Arthur’s eyes will remain beautiful, but the better to see me with!

(Hmmm… I hope he likes what he sees!) :)