The View from the Porch Swing

Sit a spell, kick your shoes off...we'll chat about life and love and God and all the things that matter most.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Making It Official

I'm retiring from blogging. My heart just isn't in it these days and I'm finding that I feel like I could be making much better use of my time. For those of you I read, I'll most likely still stop by from time to time.

Thanks for all the love, support and fun over the last three years. You guys rock and I love you all!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Russian Hostage Crisis

I was about to post a brief rant about something I just watched on Dr. Phil. Then ABC News broke interrupted regular broadcasting to show the latest images from the school in Russia where students, teachers and parents have been held hostage for days.

So far there are over 100 known dead and 344 have been hospitalized. Those numbers may climb significantly. Apparently the government says there were 500 hostages in the building. The hostages coming out are saying it is more like 1500. The images are horrifying and reporters say they can still hear explosions every so often.

Another concern is that some of the militants are apparently putting themselves among the hostages and authorities are having trouble finding them.

My heart and prayers go out to the families affected, to the rescue workers, police and to the town. I can't even imagine how devastating it would be to have that happen in a school in my own community. May God be with them all.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Clutch is in the house....and other pet woes.

Life may never be the same.

We are down to one naughty little kitten, who goes by the name of Clutch (like the auto part). The other two, Blizzard and Tigger, have abandoned us over the last few weeks. Moved on to greener pastures, I guess. I try to look appropriately broken hearted for Megan's benefit, but in truth am rather relieved. I really didn't want any cats at this time, let alone three.

Now that there is just Clutch, he has gotten rather attached to us and us to him. He's a rather small, grey tiger with a very pretty face. He and our poodle are great pals, wrestling and chasing each other all over the yard and deck. The problem with all this attachment and warm, fuzzy feelings is that it would be a real disaster if Clutch left us now. Being the only cat outside there was a pretty good chance that eventually he'd get tired of it and move on. Soooo........last night I gathered up my courage (Tim is NOT a cat person) and asked if we might consider bringing Clutch into the house. To my surprise, he said it would be fine.

This morning I stopped at the dollar store and bought all the things a kitty needs to feel at home....or at least to do his business in the proper way....and took the big leap. Scooby is thrilled to have his buddy in the house. They played hard for the last hour or so and now they are curled up together on the sofa snoozing. They're so cute! Now we just have to wait and see if Clutch knows what to do with the litter box. He kept going in there and playing in the litter, but he hasn't "used" it yet. I've never had to train a cat before. I hope it goes well or Tim may revoke his approval.

One pet hurdle down and one to go. Abby. The poor old thing was in horrible shape when we got her from the shelter last year (they lied to me about her condition). Back then she had a tumor in a mammary gland, dry eyes, a skin condition and needed surgery on both back knees. She still needs surgery (Tim wasn't going to approve $1000 surgery for the dog), the original tumor is still there and now she has a really large one in her armpit. She doesn't get around well and for the last week or so she's been peeing in the house. A lot. She never used to so I don't think she can help it. We're trying to get her out more often but with the kids back in school and me back to work..... I think it's getting to be time to let her go. Poor old thing. She's had a hard little doggie life.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Lunch with Aunt Peg

I took my elderly aunt out to lunch yesterday. We used to be very close after my dad died, but as the kids have gotten older and life has gotten busier and busier, I kind of drifted away. I've always felt guilty about it and always promised myself over and over to do better, but life always seemed to get in the way.

Yesterday she started talking to me about how great she has it and how she doesn't have to worry about anything. Her two sons (neither of whom live nearby) pay all her bills, take care of anything that comes up and all she has to do is ask if she wants money. I think she was trying to convince herself more than me how great her life is. Why? Because as we continued talking over lunch several things came out...

1. She is helping to work on a quilt for the historical society and dreads its completion because working on it helps fill her days.

2. She feels trapped in her house..."I'm just supposed to stay here till I die."

3. She is bored and has no purpose.

4. She misses her husband and brother (my dad) who have been gone 5 and 11 years. She wishes she'd die, too.

She's had a few small strokes over the last couple of years that most likely contribute to her mental state, but no matter the cause, when she lets her guard down, she's unhappy. It got me thinking. My cousins are doing all the "right" things and I'm sure they believe they're taking good care of their mom. It's just funny how doing the right thing can be the wrong thing. They're killing her spirit with kindness. My aunt was a strong woman her whole life, very detail oriented....a micro manager. They've taken away part of the core of who she is.

I can't change any of that, but I'm going to find the time to do things with her somehow. I can at least be a diversion and provide something to fill her days.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Off to a "Great" Start

Looks like the computer is going to let me play today, so thought I'd tell you about the first morning of school.

1. It rained.

2. I got to work early so I'd have plenty of time to get my stuff situated on the bus and do my pre-trip check.

3. My boss didn't get to work early.

4. My high school run has a lot more kids this year. They are sitting three to a seat in many cases. They are not happy.

5. We were 10 minutes late getting to the school....because the kids were being snots about letting other kids sit with them. It was intimidating for the 6th graders on their first day.

6. There are about 20 less kids on my elementary run this year. Nice, as the elementary kids are the hardest to control. They tend to be hyper and loud all the time. The high school kids just have "moments."

7. I lost air pressure for the air brakes on my bus half way through the elementary run.

8. It took 15 minutes for another bus to come pick up the kids and finish my run (I didn't get to see half my kids yet).

9. It took an hour for the mechanics to come.

10. I got back to the garage an hour and a half late.

And that's only half the day! I can hardly wait to see what this afternoon brings. :oP

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Still Here

Nothing much to say today, but I wanted to let you all know I'm still here....hanging on by a mouse cord (rather than a thread).

It's hot today. And humid. Hot and humid. The kind of day when doing nothing makes you break a sweat. It's too hot to do anything. So, what have we been doing? Yard work. It needed done and the kids and I head back to school tomorrow so the labor pool will be greatly reduced. I feel ready for the morning. The yard is spruced up, papers are filled out and lying in piles on the table for the kids, clothes have been chosen (and approved) and await, lunch money has been counted out, all my bus forms, charts and information sheets are organized and filed in my notebook. Before bed I'll set the table for breakfast since I leave just as the kids are waking up. Yeah, I'm ready.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

FYI

My computer is acting like it's grinding down to die (again). I just wanted to give you all a heads up in case I disappear. If it comes to that, I don't know how long I'll be gone. We need a new computer, but it isn't one of our highest priorities right now.....and I'm not sure that I'll come back to blogging even with a new computer. If I do, the time I spend at it will be greatly reduced. I've really been feeling like I need to get away from it. I've saved everyone's addresses, though, so I'll always be able to find ya!