Thursday, May 31, 2012


Today was VERY nice.  The staff at Clark planned a surprise breakfast retirement party.  Well, I kinda knew about it.  I figured it out when Cathy told me that Arod wanted to see us at 8:15 for our evaluation.  I kept fretting and complaining about the time and then it dawned on me.  ooohhhhh.  But, I was surprised for sure by the number of people who came and by the very generous gift of $300 that I received.  That was why I didn't want to have anything.  I didn't want people dipping into their pockets for me what with everything going on right now.  But it really touched me and I did break down for a bit after reading the card and what everyone wrote.  It was so sweet.  I couldn't have asked for a better place to work for my career.

The fact finder report came back last night.  Give up 9 more days of paid days on top of the 3 we already gave up.  No Voluntary Professional Days, and reduce the amount of overage pay from $5 per child to $2.50.  The district wanted to reduce it to 25 cents!!!  But the fact finder rejected that and agreed to the $2.50.  That is bad enough if we are going to be staffed 1 to 50.  I can't believe these fricken people.  Union meeting tomorrow morning.  It is not going to be pretty.  I predict the contract will be rejected and the union will strike.  Thankfully we still have the power to do that.

We got our fingerprints and BCI checks taken care of this week.  I have to take Scout in for her shots and exam on Saturday.  I am so irritated that I have to see Dr. Matt again, but maybe it will give me an opportunity to give him a piece of my mind about how he handled Pongo's cancer.  Luckily though, the tech at Wellington is very experienced in shipping dogs out of country so she knows exactly what needs to be done.  I feel a bit better now because the vet techs at Douds kept arguing with me about how and what needed to be done.  They were freaking me out.  As an aside...the people who frequent the Lorain Co. jail and Sheriff's dept. are a piece of work.

Tomorrow is Tali's 8th birthday.  We are taking her to get her ears pierced and then out to dinner.  Saturday we are headed to Columbiana for a party and then cake and ice cream at our house on Sunday for Tali's birthday. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting Organized

Mark and the kids came home on Sunday afternoon.  Mark said that he wouldn't take the two of them together again this year.  They feed off each other and it isn't always fun to be with them.  If he goes again he will take one at a time. 

Mark didn't like my Deja Moo t-shirt.  He thinks that the people in Ecuador will look at me like I'm crazy.  I don't care!  I don't care!  I like it.

I got a good portion of the kitchen cleaned out, separated and packed up this weekend. Some things went to Amanda, most is going to the sale, and there was a tiny bit that I am taking with us.

We are going to have our huge whole house sale the weekend of the 8th. The rest will be donated to Love, Inc. and the Salvation Army.

We made our list of duties this week per day. My mind is swimming with all of the things that need to be accounted for. It is a daunting task.
birth certificates
marriage certificates
dr. letters
bank letter
background checks

I feel like I am completing an adoption again.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Alone Time

I really enjoyed myself yesterday.  I walked Scout in the morning before it got too hot.  Today and tomorrow are going to be in the 90's.  I will not miss this heat.  According to an article I read, this summer is going to be a scorcher.  The heat just saps our strength and we spend all day in the AC.  Yuck.  It is going to be weird living in a place that stays pretty cool all year round.  And I love the fact that there is little to no humidity, although some folks are finding out that the dry air causes them some problems.  I hope that Finn and Tali don't suffer too much with this change in climate.  Tali's allergies are off the chart right now, and Finn's nose is constantly bleeding  even after two cauterizations. 

I went to the bank to get the money and then headed to Tractor Supply for my annual t-shirt run.  I think it is so funny that I get my t-shirts at TSC, but they really have some cute stuff!  Of course, not everyone wants to wear a t-shirt that says, "Deja Moo.  I've heard that one before.", but it suits me perfectly.  :)  I miss shopping there.  That store was our weekly excursion.  An extension of our farm.  An expensive extension.  Goat feed, sheep feed, horse feed, chicken feed, meds, tack, bird seed, fly spray, salt blocks, vitamins, mineral blocks, oyster shell, grit...  I miss going there and dropping $80-$100 each time.  Now that all of the animals are gone I realize how much money we spent on them. 

Got a pedicure in the afternoon.  Oberlin was hopping with all of the graduates and their families.  The ceremony must have been last night or this morning because they were setting up the square with all the white chairs and podium.  There was a drum demonstration in the middle with some very big drums.  I enjoyed the pedicure.  It was only the 2nd time I have ever gotten one.  But, it really wasn't worth the money.

Already walked Scout today because it is going to get so hot.  We were  dripping at 9:00.  Today my goal is to clean the bathrooms and then continue chippping away at the crap we need to get rid of.  What I would like to do is have a whole house sale where people walk through, give us money, and take the stuff away.  But that means that I have to decide what we are taking first.  I plan on taking a huge bite out of that job today and tomorrow. 

Mark and the kids are coming home today.  I missed them and its a little too quiet now.  I hope they had a good time.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I have been getting up at 6:00 every morning to walk Scout.  I am on a mission to slim her down and get her good and healthy for the move.  I was walking her in the evenings after work, but I definitely prefer mornings.  I have more energy, there are no people on the path, less bugs and much, much cooler.  I have seen more bunnies and chipmunks this year than ever before.  I wonder if the coyote population has decreased.  I have also seen and heard more Baltimore Orioles this year than ever before.  They seem to love our tulip trees, but they usually move inside the tree near the top so they are hard to see.  I can hear them chattering at me though.

Scout just jumped up on the window seat and barked so loud that she made me scream, which in turned scared the poop out of her.  LOL

I began going through all of my stuff at work this week and purging everything.  I have been pretty good over the years of throwing stuff away, but I still had so much crap that should have been tossed ages ago.  Cathy took some, but most went in the trash.  It felt great.  I gave a lot of stuff to the kids too.  It is so hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I will be walking out of that building in 7 days never to return again.  20 years of my life spent in that building.  So strange.  I have seen some crazy shit in that school.  I should have started a book when I was in my 20's.  It would have been a best seller.  I feel like I should be sad and weepy when I think about leaving, but all I feel is an overwhelming joy and a sense of relief.  The only thing that makes me sad and angry is when I think about what those teachers have to look forward to in the years ahead.  I hope that all of our negative projections do not materialize and that the schools actually become better places of learning, but I am doubtful.  So doubtful.  But, back to me.  20 years.  20 years of my life.  22 counting when I worked at Kentucky.  Plus my year at St. Pat's.  So, 23.  They were good years too.  I really enjoyed and even loved my job for the most part.  We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs, and I would like to think, hope that I changed a few student's lives. 

Mark took the kids camping at Beaver Creek yesterday.  I was going to go, but I wanted to work on Friday, which meant that I would have had to go down Sat. morning.  That was no big deal, but I really didn't want to take Scout.  I was going to kennel her, but with the holiday weekend I wouldn't have been able to pick her up until Tuesday morning  So even though we were going to be home on Sunday, she would have been at the kennel until Tuesday.  I didn't want to do that to her.  Plus, the heat.  Camping in 90 degree weather.  Yuck.  I am enjoying my slice of quiet right now.  I can actually think in my head without being interrupted for two whole days.  But I know that by tomorrow morning I will be itching to see them. 

Plans for today?  Bank, Tractor Supply to check out their new season of t-shirts, pedicure.  :)  Then, who knows?  Do some more purging and compiling of notes.  Go through stuff.  Etc...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Yesterday went great!  It could not have gone any better.  We went to Probate Court at the Lorain Co. courthouse.  We gave the woman all of the paperwork that we had and they looked through it.  That took awhile, but after a bit she came out and said that she thought she had the right information to pull from.  Soon after they ushered us into a courtroom.  It was empty, but super intimidating.  Finn got all weird and scared.  He was very nervous.  I pointed out the different places where people sit.  The judge came out and he was very nice.  He took the kids up and behind the wall and up onto the podium.  He let them sit in his chair and bang his gavel and tell us to be quiet.  Then he had them sit on the witness stand and they had to swear to tell the whole truth.  They loved it.  I wish I had my camera.

The judge was quite a talker.  He knew exactly where we lived and knew Ruth and Gordon Groot.  We talked a lot about his family, our plans to move and the Metroparks.  Finally he signed the papers.  Well, he only signed Tali's.  Because they had just found the right info, the woman had to still type up the paper.  The judge assured us he would sign it that day.  A stress-free morning.

Today I got a call from Vital Statistics and the manager there is going to help us expedite the birth certificates.  I thought that was great and very nice of them to do.  So, maybe we WILL have our 12-IX before we leave.  That would be just great.  We may have to stop over in Washington on our way though to walk the paperwork through ourselves.  At least the kids would get to see the city before we leave.  That would be awesome for them.

We took our class to the zoo today and it was another beautiful day.  Sunny, blue skies, breezy, 77 degrees. AND, I wasn't sick.  That was the best part.  We had a very relaxing, fun day.  I am beat though. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Readoption Day!

Today we are readopting Finn and Tali in the state of Ohio.  I know, we should have done this a lot sooner, but we never really felt the need.  Now I think it would be helpful for the process if they both had Ohio birth certificates instead of one from Guatemala and one from China.  Knowing how the Ecuadorian embassy operates makes us think that this will be the right way to go.  However, the woman from probate court called me yesterday afternoon (the afternoon before the court date, mind you, and they've had our paperwork for a month) and said that they didn't think they had the correct paperwork for Finn.  We gave them everything we had that we thought was the right piece. (None of the bilingual teachers at work would help me decipher the pages.  That really bothered me.  It was like I was asking them to sit down and translate hours of paperwork. Whatever.  So, I muddled through it on my own.)  I thought that maybe we had lost some of the paperwork while moving.  I tried to find WPA's (World Partner's Adoption) website online, but it looks like they have shut down.  I found a number that I thought might be one that would get me to the right person, so I called.  I talked to a man who used to work with WPA, but went out on his own after they closed.  Luckily he had all of WPA's paperwork.  BUT, just this week he had started to shred all of  2002 and 2003's paperwork.  Luckily we adopted Finn in 2004 and he was able to find our file.  He scanned and emailed me all 74 pages of the documents and it looks like everything he has we have, so I don't know what the lady at the court is talking about.  I hope we can get this done today.

The other glitch we ran into is that I had no idea that we would have to wait 6-8 weeks for the b certificates.  That will not help us with the visa.  I called the head of Vital Statistics in Columbus and pleaded our case.  Hopefully she will help us expedite this process or let us walk it through.  I was thinking that if it doesn't work out we can still enter Ecuador on our T-3.  Then once we get the paperwork we can either continue with the 12-IX or just go right to the investor's visa.  We will play that by ear. 

My next job is to get another copy of our marriage certificate.  I have one apostilled copy, but some people say the embassy will keep it and others say they will give it back.  I want to have an extra one on hand just in case.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It is bloody hot.  88 degrees at 5:15.  I am not going to miss this hot weather.  I am looking forward to the coolness of the mountains.

What a week!  That is all I can say.  Monday night I came home from work with a fever and a sore throat, but I knew that I had to take the kids to Put-in-Bay the next day so I took some Nyquil and went to bed early.  I wasn't feeling any better in the morning, but I was happy that I was able to get through a shower okay.  When I got to work it was a bit chaotic, but we corraled the kids in the gym, counted them and got them on the bus with minimal fuss. I tried to give our bus driver the directions, but he waved me away and told me that he already had directions and knew the way anyway.  So, off we went.  The kids loved riding on the plush bus and loved the fact that it had a bathroom.  We all kicked back and I tried to feel better.  After awhile I noticed that we were heading down Train Ave. into the flats!  What the bleep!!!  We were heading east when we needed to go west.  We thought that maybe since it was a large bus that he couldn't turn on the city streets and had to go a round about way to get onto 90.  After awhile it became apparent that he was trying to get onto 2!  We ended up on Clifton Drive way far away from 90 with only an hour to make the ferry.  I had already told him that we had to be on the 10:30 ferrry and he assured me we would make it.  Yeah, right!

We finally got on 90 and I called the ferry and they said that they might be able to hold it for us for a bit.  We were going to make it.  Until the idiot bus driver slamed on the brakes and came to a complete stop on the side of the road.  He charges down the aisle and shouts, "We're not going to make it!"  Then he goes to the bathroom.  I was like, "Is this guy for real?"  One of the girls got scared because he said we weren't going to make it and she called her mother, who called Cathy wondering what was going on.  Long story we are pulling up to the dock (after I told him how to get there, mind you.  Yeah, you really know where you are going, idiot!)  the ferry has just pulled away.  So, I had to call and completely rearrange our schedule.  We weren't able to see the Monument at all, which didn't bother me none since its pretty boring.  Although they were going to do a musket demonstration for the kids.  Thankfully the Cave and Aquatic Center were able to work with me and rearrange things.  We got on the train and took a little tour.  It would have been delightful if I had been feeling better.  It was the perfect day.  Blue, cloudless sky, 74 degrees, perfect.  The wind blew in our hair on the train.  It was very peaceful.  We went to the park and ate lunch and the kids played on the three playgrounds.  I laid in the grass. They had a great time and there were no mishaps at all.  All day.

After lunch our train headed to the Aquatic Visitors Center and the other train went to Perry's Cave.  The lectures were a bit boring, but the kids loved the fishing.  They were catching fish like crazy.  It was awesome.  I even caught a fish!  We drove around a bit more and then headed to the cave.  I started to get the chills on the train so I opted out of the cave.  I knew how cold it was going to be down there.  I laid down on a bench outside and slept for a bit.  My fever was starting to kick in again.  Then the kids did the gemstone mining, and they liked that too.  A little more riding on the train and then we went to Frosty's for dinner.  All you can eat pizza, pop, and a piece of fruit.  They were like crazy people with the pizza.  Honestly, you can't take them anywhere.  I couldn't even eat because my throat hurt so bad.  A couple of minutes on the playground again and then back on the train to take us so the dock for our ferry ride home.  Too short.

I forgot to mention the AC situation on the bus.  It wasn't working.  Instead heat was pouring out of the vents.  On the way to the island it was bad, but going home was a ride through hell.  We complained, but he said it was down all the way.  I said he needed to turn it off then.  I was so pissed.  He pulled over to the side of the road AGAIN to open up the hatches, but that did nothing.  Having a fever didn't help at all either.  We were all gasping when we got off the bus.  I am writing a letter to the company and Eric Gordon as soon as I get back to work.

Driving home was pure torture.  I started to black out when I was about 10 min. from home.  I thought I was going to have to pull over and have Mark come and get me, but then that would have taken longer so I drove as fast as I could to get there.  What a horrible, horrible day.  And I was so looking forward to it.  I went to the Dr. the next morning and I had strep of course.  By Wed. night I was in terrible shape and couldn't talk at all it hurt so bad.  I had a fever up until Thursday night even though I was on antibiotics.  Since I missed three days of school I haven't seen the kids yet.  I hope they had a good time.  It will be worth it then.

Friday night was the Arts Festival.  Finn had one piece this year.  His version of Mona Lisa.  Not bad for a 2nd grader.  Dad and Eileen came to see and then we went to Moosehead for dinner. We are very proud of him. 

Sat. we got so much done.  Finn and Tali had their encore performance of the 2nd graders choir.  I was so happy I got to see it although only 20 kids showed up so it wasn't as powerful as it would have been to see all 130 2nd graders.  Mom came to that.

After the performance we had to run to Nana's to give her the handcream and soap.  Mark and I really enjoy visiting with Nana.  We are going to miss her. (I know Dad will read this to you, Nana, but it is true.)

After Nana's we got really feverish and started cleaning and going through stuff.  Mark put a bunch of stuff on craigs list.  We have had a few bites this weekend, but a lot of hits and misses.  People say they will come and then don't.  We did sell the patio furniture. I don't know what we will sit on now.  We also sold the antique table that Mark garbage picked and Mark sold my bike out from under me.  They had barely driven away when the kids told me that my bike was gone.  I totally freaked out because I had given it to Hannah.  I made Mark call the people and they were gracious enough to bring it back.  We also got another offer on the house.  Ha!  What a joke.  We would have had this house sold at least 4 times by now if it weren't for the bank.  These people said they would put an offer on it tomorrow if they could.  They are a very nice young couple too, who lives up the street and their family is into dairy cows.  I would really love for this house to go to someone who wants to have animals here.  I went into the barn tonight looking for a chair for the porch and I just started crying and crying.  It is so sad in there.  So many memories.  So much life.  I miss that so much.  Even though it was a lot of work and I needed a break, I really, really miss the energy that all of my animals brought to that space.  Now it is lifeless.  Except, there was a swallow's nest with babies chirping in it, so that's something.  I don't think I can go back in there again though.  It is hard enough looking out over that lush pasture and seeing it go to waste.  The pasture looks really great this year too!  Go figure.  I think the goats ate up all the weeds. 

Tomorrow I have a cardiologist's appt. at 3:30 so I took my last Special Privilege Leave day since we had a meeting anyway and those things are always boring and useless.  I have to run to the sheriff's office to get my background check too.  Tuesday morning we have our court date to readopt Tali and Finn.  Yeah! 

Mark's brain scan came back normal.  What a huge relief.  They still want to do a complete nuerological checkup still though.

We are going camping at Beaver Creek this weekend. Our last hoorah at Beaver Creek. Mark will go down with the kids on Friday to get us a spot and I'm going to head down with Scout on Sat. since I don't want to miss anymore work. 11 more days. I can't believe it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

17 More Days!

We are finally in the home stretch as far as work goes.  Yeah!  17 more days.  I have started compiling a list of Never Have To Do Agains.  At the top of the list is not having to make my lunch ever again, not having to go to work when I feel sick, and not having to feel guilty about missing a day when I do stay home sick or with my sick kids. But at the very top of the list is to never feel the guilt of giving more to my classroom kids than to my own two children. 

The best news we got this week is that we qualified for the Early Separation Plan.  Another Yippee!  That money will SO come in handy.  Now we won't have to dip into my retirement as much if at all.

The bad news that we got this week however, is that Mark may have some serious medical issues.  He had a MRI on his brain and eyes on Friday.  Now we are waiting for the results, which he will get on Tuesday.  I am trying really hard not to think the worst and to hope for the best.  He started seeing cross-eyed about three weeks ago and last week he met with a nuerological/opthamological team.  They took a picture of his eyes and it showed that the optical nerve was swollen and pushing into his eyes.  Now they need to find out why.  I'm scared.

This week is going to be super busy.  Tuesday is Put-in-Bay with our class, which I am really, really looking forward to.  The weather is supposed to be perfect.  I hope the kids are well-behaved and have a good time.  Mark has his follow-up with the drs. on Tuesday and that night Mark will be taking Finn and Tali to their spring concert, which I will be missing unfortuntely.  Luckily there is a small encore performance on Sat. that we will be attending.  Wed. is 1/2 day.  Thursday is Girl Scouts and Mark's colonoscopy plus Scout is being groomed in the evening.  Friday is the acupuncurist for me, and then meeting the kids and Mark at Amherst Middle School for the Art Festival of which Finn is participating again this year.  Phew!  A lot to think about and worry about.

We got the yard mowed today and I set up the porch furniture.  Yesterday we went to breakfast at Fresh Start and then Mark took Finn with him to visit Grandma and Phil.  Tali and I stayed home because she has pnuemonia again.  We went for a walk, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, and finished her book report on Beverly Cleary.  She did a great job on that.  Today we met Mom and Dad for brunch at the Feve.  YUM!  I had blue cheese and pear pancakes.  Sounds disgusting, but they were so good.  The food is so delicious there.  We really should go more often.