From my desk: 10/26/2020

About two weeks ago I took out my brand new, used only once, Stihl backpack leaf blower to blow the leaves on the driveway. It has to be done because the driveway is long and steep and tires slip when the leaves get wet. I won’t even talk about the snow! Anyhow, I blew the driveway, which was the second time this year, and it only took about 45 minutes. Looking at the front lawn I thought to myself, “hmmm, not too many leaves. This shouldn’t take too long.” Three hours later!!!

David bought from a neighbor last week a mulcher that you hook up to the lawn mower tractor and it vacuums up the leaves! He finally got it working last night. He took one loop around the front yard and the whole thing was full! The bin part of this could easily fit two adults sitting down! Thank goodness for this though, because I don’t know how many more times I can blow the front yard….and not all the leaves are down yet!

Peace to you all!

From my desk: 10/19/2020

I have this “thing” that all of a sudden words just randomly come to my mind.

The other day I woke up and just said: doppelganger

I can hear myself saying: diabetic ketoacidosis even when the commercials are not on for medications.

Sometimes it will be a random name…

I also have a “problem” that I don’t necessarily hear what people are saying and I am the first to tell them what it is I actually heard. Usually what I hear has absolutely nothing with whatever the person is saying.

Does anyone else do this? Is there a name for it (besides crazy)?

Anyhow, I thought I would share because sometimes I would like to share my thoughts so it would make more sense where the stuff comes from!

Peace to you all!

From my desk: 10/13/2020

First, let me apologize to all of my readers for the switching of themes…I mean like three in the past 24 hours! I just couldn’t find what I was looking for….Is that a song?

Anyhow, tomorrow I am so excited I am going on a Drive Through Safari with my Dad and Step-mother. I also get to feed the giraffes! It is near Orlando FL. I’m sure I will have tons of pictures to post.

Just recently, I applied for a Supervisor of Special Education position. I also applied for a bartending job. Ugh! I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, yeah, yeah, age means nothing in this case. I would love a job at a zoo! Those animals are so awesome. I would also love to be a famous author who goes from state to state and people line up to buy my books with an autograph inside the front cover. I would like to have a new therapy dog so I could go to schools and read with kids. COVID is really messing up a lot of plans for me (okay, for the entire world, pretty much), so I guess I should stop whining.

I am so grateful for my blog, my blogging friends, David, Lindsay, my friends at home, all of my family members, and my pets. I am truly so lucky to have all the things that I do have. Although I lost three people in the past three years, I am still so fortunate to be able to blog, smile, laugh, and do most of the things I do. I look forward to many more blog posts, comments, and tons of stuff to read!

Peace to you all!

From my desk: 10/07/2020

Apparently, when I read posts and go to links I don’t always look at the dates! Today I completed a September Word of the Day Challenge word. https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/sustain/

This morning I participated in 100 Word Wednesday from Bikurgurl but had the wrong photo…https://bikurgurl.com/2020/09/09/100-word-wednesday-165/

So…I’d like to apologize to all the hosts who put time and energy into hosting and I keep screwing them up! I get so involved in the prompts I forget sometimes to look to see when the prompt was posted. A few months back I participated in a prompt that was a few months old. I will have to be more careful.

Thank you for your time.

Peace to you all.

From my desk: 09/22/2020

I’m up and getting my things packed, ready to fly home. I am very grateful for my short trip. I was able to see my dear friend, as she battles the final stage of cancer. I will be back in October and have already told her I am planning on seeing her then, she is fighting to stay here on earth, especially for her husband and children. She is a strong woman.

I haven’t been on WP as often as I am used to, due to traveling and all that. I appreciate everyone still stopping in despite the lack of new content!

I have to say I am grateful also for David who takes over being dog-mom and guinea pigs-mom every time I hop on a plane unexpectedly. My daughter is also unbelievably helpful. I love them both so very much.

Well enough jibber-jabber. Jumping in the shower before heading to the airport. Bye, Florida! I’ll be back soon!

To all of WP family, I am anxious to get back with all of you soon!

Peace to you all!

Tale Weaver – #292 – Clean Up – 10th September

For Michael: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/tale-weaver-292-clean-up-10th-september/

I’m taking a writing course “Writing for Children” and one of my assignments at the beginning was to write a 500-word descriptive piece about a childhood memory. I wrote about how my sister and I used to explore through my grandma’s woods and find old trash piles. This photo reminded me of it. Here is an excerpt…

Childhood Memory

. . . The trail wound down the small forested hill showing which direction we needed to go. In some places the trail became a few inches wider, but most of the time we had only enough room for one foot. We clambered on, one foot in front of the other and followed the path down until it disappeared around a corner of dirt and stone. We crept to the edge of the path’s end before it turned and led in a new direction. Here, we stopped in our tracks. As we turned, our eyes seemed to arrive before our minds as we looked down at the treasure trove of garbage, with its mountain of old appliances hovering over endless treasures and special finds. To some, this was a dumping area, but to my sister and me it was a land to explore and maybe find a valuable someone accidentally left behind.  

©2020 CBialczak

Fandango’s Dog Days of August

Today’s theme is “a lesson you learned.” What is a lesson that you learned along the way? How did you learn the lesson? Who did you learn it from? How did that lesson change your life, it at all? https://fivedotoh.com/2020/08/21/fandangos-dog-days-of-august-21/

My lesson

When I got my first teaching job I had no idea what kind of school I was asking to work in. All I knew then was that I wanted a teaching job so badly and I had applied to every town within commuting distance. When I showed up for my interview I met the principal in her office which was also the tiny kitchenette. The school was in an old Victorian house in a very poor end of the city, very economically disadvantaged. The place was fairly quiet. She interviewed me and practically hired me on the spot. I had all the credentials and the demeanor to fit the job.

Jump ahead to my first day: I walk into my classroom which is a tiny room about 12′ X 8′. There were three kids sitting around a table and someone watching the kids while I got situated. “Where are the teaching materials?” no response. “What am I supposed to teach them?” no response.

Cutting the story short here, because I could write and write, it was a Clinical Day Program for emotionally disturbed children who were socially and behaviorally inappropriate for public schooling, as they had worn out all other interventions. Wow, I didn’t know that even existed!

So, I “love” my new job. I really did and I was getting in shape both restraining children who were physically aggressive or chasing “runners” down the street. There was this one boy, we will call him Charlie. He was a spoiled boy, his mother coddled him every minute of every day. His behavior was horrendous, physical, verbal, you name it. The mother “yes’ed” us to death and nothing improved. We had a staff meeting one day to discuss what to do next as he was getting bigger (in 4th grade almost my height, 5’3″). We were talking, thinking, brainstorming.

Being a new teacher, especially with this population, I made a comment like this: “If only his mother did something. She is half of the problem if not all of it. Does she even discipline him at home?”

Silence.

My principal looked at me and said, “You cannot judge the parents. You have no idea what they are going through and although we have their kids for 6.5 hours a day, they had them the rest of the 24 hours. They are challenged economically and some have their own psychiatric issues. You will never know what they go through unless you go through it in your own life.”

Well, that shut me up.

It also helped give me a new perspective on the kids, their families, and my role. You don’t know what people go through behind closed doors.

Years later, my son was bullied and displayed some of the behaviors I dealt with as a teacher. It really kicked me in the ass and I have NEVER forgotten what I was told. That day I became a better person.

©2020  CBialczak

From my desk: August 5, 2020

The last few days have been tough because of Storm Isaias. There has been wind and power outages, worry about food going bad.

I have spent the last three days getting my sister addicted to 90 Day Fiance. I was out in the sun, at the pool, and at the beach. I take the ferry home tomorrow.

I am so tired today. Not being in my own bed means not sleeping as good as I can. I tell you this because I haven’t slept well. I will be back to my old self tomorrow I hope.

Thank you for following and have a peaceful evening.

My son’s story: Joseph Teo (11/10/99-07/06/2019)

My Son’s story 

Joey was born on November 10th, 1999. He was a big baby and so sweet from the minute he entered the world. His full name was Joseph Teo. We were going to name him Cassius (Cachous – I cannot remember the spelling) after his father’s grandfather. I wanted something a bit more modern, so we decided on Joseph. His middle name, Teo, was short for Teofil, Bob’s other grandfather. When Joey was about four or five, he told us he wanted to change his middle name to Teofil,  not our shortened version. He was always a character.  

Joey was brilliant! I am not just saying that because he was my son, he really was. At nine months old I found him standing on the dining room table calling out to me to see how high he had climbed. Arms out, screaming “Ma, Ma”! I tried so carefully to not get over excited and startle him, I did not want him to fall. He was a November birthday so we decided we would wait to start him in Kindergarten until he was turning six, what my parents did with me. It was in Nursery School that we realized we had made a mistake. That winter we started him in Kindergarten, with the assumption he would repeat because he had missed so much. By second grade he was terribly bored and asked if he could be in a different grade. We tried but the school refused to allow it. He was in groups like “Future Problem Solvers” and excelled. 

We moved to a new house and although he was still the same kid things were not as good for him. He was bullied starting in elementary school. He was bullied because he loved to learn. He loved making things and learning things, not running around playing shooting games or farting like little boys do! One time in maybe third grade he was being teased because he was dunking his Oreo in milk during after-school care. Of course, he was taught that this was the proper way to eat an Oreo! The kid would not stop, and I guess after a few comments Joey whipped his soggy Oreo at the kid and watched it slide down his face and neck. Good for Joey!  

In all academics he excelled, with Language Arts being his biggest struggle, since it is so subjective. He was a math kid, black and white, formulas… Bullying continued in Middle school but because it was mostly teasing from “friends” it was never taken seriously. There are a lot of painful memories about this time of his life that currently I am not ready to discuss.  

Anyhow, he went on to high school and did not do well in a traditional classroom. He was anxious and had depression.  I tried to help him in any way possible. He tried to take his own life at least once, if not more. 

Joey went to three different high schools before finding the perfect fit. By that time, he had to repeat his Junior year since he had missed a lot of it and needed the credits.  Although he always maintained almost perfect A’s in all classes his school did not offer credit based on absences. He went to his new school, which was a magnet school situated on the campus of a community college.  Upon entering he tested out of all high school courses so had to start college classes. He was earning college credit along with his high school diploma. He excelled.  

He took his SATs and got 800 on the math. A perfect score! At his memorial service, the college professor who taught a math class called Differentials said that Joey taught her a few things! He applied to a few colleges for Mechanical Engineering and although his most desired was Georgia Tech, he was declined being a five-year high schooler! He applied on his own and got into Florida Institute of Technology. He was really on a new trajectory. He graduated with high honors in June of 2019. At this time his father had been dead only a year. 

After his father had died in June 2018 from a medical complication, Joey was the man of the house. When I met David, who I had no intention of falling in love with but did anyways, we had some tension. He was staying with a friend of his shortly after graduating high school. He was scheduled to leave in August. After his dad died, Joey saved up enough money to buy himself an $8000 motorcycle in cash.  He took all the classes, got his license, and insurance. Some people blame me, I believe, because I did not forbid him from having a motorcycle. He was 18 and there was really nothing I could do. So, I supported him and begged him to be safe.  

He was working as a line cook that July. He was on his way home from work on a Tuesday night. He hit a truck pulling out of a side road and died at the scene. There is obviously more to this chain of events but again too painful to talk about right now.  That was one year and five days ago.  

I lost my son. My daughter lost her brother. He had so many friends, he did not even know it! I am and never will be whole again. I thank God I have my daughter and David.