Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Last night we were in bed, and just before I fell asleep I sat straight up and asked Tim, "Did I cook supper?" I absolutely could not remember cooking it. Since the middle of last week, I have been terrified of the possibility of dementia. That's when I found out my dear friend Will was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. I knew the last couple of times I saw him that he was not quite himself, but I just sort of put it down to stress or whatever. I have spent the last several days reading everything I can find about the cruel disease, the symptoms, the things that might prevent it, etc. I am very burdened by it all. I think of the fear Will must be experiencing and my heart breaks. He had to quit his job as a pharmacist, of course.

Lizzie is outside right now in her artist's smock, playing with a large pot of dirt, a pitcher of water, and several packets of old seeds I found in my desk drawer. I can see her reflection in the computer screen. She will have to have another bath before we leave at noon. I am longing for just one day--one day is all I ask--at home, without appointments. Yesterday we had to have Hannah in Hattiesburg at 11:00 for cheerleader camp, then I had a meeting with Kim at 1:30. Today, we're meeting with some ladies from Sacred Heart school to plan some staff development for the upcoming school year. Then Lizzie has gym at 5:30, and we're thinking about going to watch the cheerleaders' 7:00 public performance. I also need to be making a math order, a book order for SMWP, and writing some "deep reflection" questions for the scoring conference. I am so very glad that I cancelled my Denver trip, because I think maybe the coast conference is going to be a lot of work. We've been having conference calls with Paul about it. He is very sharp and easy to work with, but he does expect hard work, which is fine and no less than I expect of myself.

The math camp went very well. I could teach math all day every day. I am pretty tired of literacy instruction, quite frankly. There's more to life than reading, writing, and reflection. (I cannot believe I actually wrote that.)

We had our first book discussion group at University Baptist Church Sunday night. We started out with Life of Pi. It's been several months since I read it, and last week was pretty hectic so I didn't even get a chance to skim back over it, which I regret. I should've done it Saturday, but I read "The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios" instead. I have two stacks of books, each nearly as tall as I am, to read. That's one reason I need a day at home. And I also have a list of seven or eight to buy today at Books a Million. Really, I should call the library and see if they have them. I made my first summer trip to the Collins Library week before last. It was great to talk to David again. He was reading a book about Reconstruction. He's always reading something interesting, and we always talk about it a little. He is a fixture of my Junes and Julys, but I never see him the other ten months of the year. I use the Taylorsville library then.

I am reading through my chronological Bible this summer. My plan was to read it through in thirty days, but that's not working out because I keep writing all these questions in the margins and I get all hung up on them. I think maybe I will post my questions each day on the forum, but then I haven't decided whether or not to renew the forum. The domain name expires in seven days.

I heard from Dr. Thames yesterday. I had asked her for guidance toward completing my master's degree; I had 9 hours left. Well, guess what? My courses are "obsolete" now because I did not finish within five years of starting it. It's like I told Tim last night when I was cooking supper (oh, I do remember cooking now!), there's a price to be paid for stupidity and I am paying it. To the tune of about ten thousand dollars probably, not to mention the income I've lost because I didn't complete the degree six years ago. Anyway, she wants me to schedule an appointment to talk with her about "my options".

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sick Today

The weekend was wild. David and Chase's wedding was Saturday; I took a bunch of photos, but I don't have them uploaded yet. The Weems Reunion was yesterday; I took a bunch of photos, but I don't have them uploaded yet. Math Camp started this morning; I took a bunch of photos, but I don't have them uploaded yet. I still don't even have the 114 photos I took last weekend at Sugar Creek uploaded yet.

Somehow, in the middle of the whirlwind that is our life, I have managed to get sick. We got home pretty late yesterday evening, and I noticed I wasn't feeling quite right. I don't know when it started, because we'd been so busy I hadn't had time to think about how I felt. This morning I woke up and it was worse: nausea, pounding headache. To top it off, the air conditioning is not working in the church where we're having the math camp. Carrye and I were there setting things up last night, and the preacher came in and turned the air on while we were there. We were only there about an hour or so, but I did notice that it didn't seem to be getting any cooler. When I opened the door this morning, the first thing I noticed was the hot air, even though I could hear the air conditioner running. The children seemed to be okay, but Carrye and I both were suffering by the time we left there. I just checked the weather, and it is supposed to be much hotter as the week goes on.

Well, I did take an IQ test last Friday for a baseline. I can't remember exactly what my scores were last summer when I was taking them almost every day. I do remember that I was in the top 5% on most of the ones I took, but if you'll remember I was trying to crack that top 2 % that puts one in Mensa territory. Friday morning, I clicked on a test I'd never taken before (most sites will only let you take a test once, so I'm afraid I might run out of tests before the summer is over) and decided to forego the practice test and jump right into the real thing. I scored a 130, which is disappointing, but I guess it's okay since I've been through all kinds of mental and emotional stress the last couple of months, not to mention I haven't been sleeping well again. So 130 is the baseline. I could have done better, and I really did like that test but, like most tests, it was timed and I have children who like to come and ask me questions, so I got interrupted twice and that ate up time for me.

Angela is president of the Weems Reunion now. All the other nominees have ridden mules and traveled to church in a wagon, but somehow she got the position. It's just not right. When I mentioned to her that I was going to contest the election based on the mule factor, she said she has ridden in Son's falcon hundreds of times and that's about the same as riding a mule. Typical twisted politician's reasoning.

We did not eat inside after all, thank goodness. Dinner on the grounds would not be dinner on the grounds if you ate it inside. It would be dinner inside, which is not the same thing as dinner on the grounds. Everybody knows that. It does not take a 130 IQ to reach that conclusion. A couple of months ago, I wrote here about the reunion food and how miraculous it is that no one ever gets food poisoning from it. Now I'm sitting here wondering if maybe I'm the first.

The Parkers gave us a travel update, as usual. J.T., my cousin who has converted to Orthodox Judaism and lives on the West Bank, has had another child in the past year, Marian has married someone in Monte Negro and has an unpronounceable last name. Ellen has received some sort of prized residency in neurosurgery and will be moving with her new oncologist husband to San Francisco. On Lamar's side, Mac has been given a full professorship at Harvard Medical School. Mac was sitting across the aisle from me, and somehow he looks exactly like a Harvard professor all of a sudden. He didn't look like one the last time I saw him. Of course, he wasn't one the last time I saw him. On our side, we had a bunch of new babies to show. The Parkers travel, Lamar's branch rises rapidly in the medical profession (although 85% of the Parkers are physicians, too) and our branch reproduces.

Kim said she dreamed I took my National Board certification portfolio in to Dr. Thames and she gave me a degree. I did pull the thing out and look at it. If I were in a position to give out degrees, I'd give me one based on that portfolio. No question about it.

Speaking of dreams, I had one last weekend. This is notable because I rarely ever have a dream that I remember. In this one, Angela, Pat, Sissy and I were all staying in a hotel on the Gulf Coast. I don't know why. We were all sitting around talking, and they told me I had to get in the shower first. I don't know why. I looked around for my toiletry bag, but I couldn't find it because all their stuff was strewn from corner to corner of that room. I don't know why. Angela was in the middle of telling some sort of story, and the others were enthralled by it so I didn't want to ask them to help me find my stuff, but I needed it in the shower. I kept digging through all kinds of junk on the floor, and when I got over to the area where Sissy's things were, her little chihuahua dog attacked me. The thing grabbed hold of my arm with its teeth and wouldn't let go. I was trying to throw it off, and I was screaming even, but Angela just kept talking and Pat and Sissy were hanging on her every word. Finally, Pat saw the mess I was in and she told Sissy. Sissy walked over, pulled the dog off, paid no attention to the blood streaming from my arm, turned around and said to Angela,"So what happened next?" Angela looked at me, paid no attention to the blood streaming from my arm, and said, "You haven't gotten in the shower yet?"

What if I have food poisoning?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Unbridled Love

Psalm 32:9 "Be not as the horse or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle"

I have been meditating on this scripture quite a bit lately, thinking about how there is no pleasure for "horse" nor master if a bit and bridle must be used. In situations where I am "master", I just want to walk and talk and have my "servants" walk along and listen freely, not because they have to but because they want to. Think about it. Agree or disagree; it's neither here nor there to me what anyone else thinks. Some people can't operate that way, so they assume that no one can. Sad for them. God had more than enough power to get those grumbling children of Israel into the promised land, but He didn't do it that way. They didn't trust, so they didn't get in. If you take out the weighty matters, you take out the pleasure of God and also your own, because your only pleasure should be to please Him.

I've been writing in another place because this one seems too public, but I've decided I like this spot the best. Especially for summer, because it's where I started out last year with my summertime blogs. I just read back over a few of those. If I took an IQ test right now, I'm pretty sure the results would be dismal. If I ever get some uninterrupted minutes, I'll take one just for a baseline maybe.

Yesterday was the first real day of summer break for me. Up until then, I'd had to go somewhere to work every day. I did do a little work from home yesterday, but at least I was home all day long. The girls spent the day in the pool with cousins (who spent the night here), and I spent the day doing yardwork. Summer stuff. I spent a little while reading a new book the FedEx man brought--about extending the name chart. It made me think about more ways I could be using organic vocabulary, especially in August and September.

I don't need to be sitting here; I've got math camp to be working on. I stayed up late last night getting some things together, and we have to leave in a couple of hours to go to Taylorsville for cheer practice. I'm going to spend that time in my classroom gathering materials and maybe try to meet the preacher at the church we're using. Then it's on to Laurel for gym. I usually spend the gym hour in Burke's Outlet buying jewelry and pajamas (pajamas are my latest addiction), but today maybe Lizzie and I'll go to Hudson's. Hudson's is a summertime pleasure for me. But then, I need way more than an hour there.

The Belmont will be run Saturday, and I have to be at a wedding. It's family, so I have no choice, but why would anyone plan a wedding for Belmont day? I'm irritated a little. It will also be the third of June, the anniversary of the day Billy Joe Mcallister jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge. David has asked Angela and me to sing a little of that song at the reception. I hope he was joking. Most everyone knows that Angela and I grew up playing that old Bobbie Gentry album over and over and over, and that ever since we've been adults and lived apart, we call one another every June 3rd and sing the Billy Joe song together over the phone. I've just recently learned that June 3rd is my friend Kim's birthday. So Saturday is a big day.

I have mixed feelings about this year's Weems Reunion. This is what I'm hearing from the grapevine: Lamar is resigning as president, Angela will be nominated to take his place, Lovett Weems will be the guest speaker, we will eat inside. I'm not handling any of this well. First Katie Couric leaves the Today Show, now we'll be eating inside at the Weems Reunion. All in one week. I don't handle change well at all. AT ALL. We always eat outside under those big shade trees, but that's just it. Katrina took those out. I am crying even now. Also, I'm just not sure about Lovett speaking. I mean, sure, he's THE Lovett Weems, Mr. Methodist and all, but I'm hoping there will still be time for all our rituals, the family reporting, the arguing over the collection plate, the cemetary report. Otherwise, how can we even call it the Weems Reunion? And don't tell her I said this, but Angela is far too young to be president of the reunion. The president must be an older person who weeps throughout the program, must have ridden a mule to the post office, must have ridden in a wagon to Carr Church every Sunday. See, I know for a fact Angela has never ridden a mule anywhere, she's not the type to cry in public much, she rode beside me in the back seat of a Chevrolet to church on Sundays. I might change my mind, but at this point I don't think I'm voting for her.