Thursday, May 29, 2008

Doll Clothes

Well, I'm moving in a month. It looks like, at this point, I'll be moving to Mom and Dad's, at least temporarily.

In preparation for moving, I have been going through my stuff and weeding things out--some hardback books that I don't read (if I want to read them at some point, I can get them in paperback at the used bookstore), a TON of Beanie Babies (it's all about eBay!!), and doll clothes.

When I moved into this apartment, Mom and Dad shoved a couple of boxes at me, saying, "These are your old Cabbage Patch Kids. You get to keep them now. We don't have room." So I shoved the boxes in my storage closet and there they've stayed.

Tonight I went through the boxes and culled out the doll clothes that just aren't very cute, or that aren't authentic "CPK" clothes. I kept the authentic stuff, and the little dresses (with matching bloomers!) that Mom made for my ten--yes ten--Cabbage Patch Kids.

The problem is, everything was wadded up in the box. Everything was wrinkled and smelling musty. What to do?

That explains why I had doll clothes in my washing machine tonight. And why I'll be spending Saturday ironing them and folding them carefully.

Exciting times in Meg's apartment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fifteen Days

That, including weekends, is how much time I have until I am finished with my current job.

And while I still don't have a new job--yet--I am very, very content to be leaving this one. It's the best move for me.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Horses and Donkeys and Goats...Oh My!!

If you'll recall, last weekend I posted a blog about A Chance For Bliss, the lovely farm my parents and I visited after seeing them on TV. Mom signed up to volunteer, and today was her first day "on the job," so to speak.

I decided to go with her, and I had the best time! Who knew that brushing horses (and a donkey and a couple of goats) would be so lovely? It really was, though. A couple of the horses are a bit shy, but for the most part they're big dolls who love getting brushed.

I started with Odie, an old gentleman (31 years) who farts his way around the pasture but otherwise is content to eat alfalfa and get a little love from a young lady (me). William the goat came up and put his head on my chest, with a little strand of alfalfa hanging out of his lips.

Spike the donkey adored getting combed. At one point, while I was grooming one of the horses, he came up behind me and put his head on my shoulder. Mom was wishing she had the camera.

There's a six-month-old filly who is still a little skittish, but she let Mom and I both groom her--perhaps because she had seen us interacting with her mentor, Tank. Tank is very aptly named. He's a work horse, and he's huge. But he's a gentle giant, and I groomed him with no problems whatsoever (though I was keeping one eye on those hooves. He wouldn't hurt me on purpose, but horses don't always look where they're putting their feet!).

I even got to groom Handsome, the official spokespony. He's the one who had a clubbed foot, but you wouldn't know it watching him scamper around the pasture.

Mom and I both enjoyed being around the horses. While I have a healthy respect for their size and strength, I wasn't nervous around them, and very much enjoyed talking to them and brushing the dust and excess hair from them. They, in turn, seemed to love the attention, and a very calming morning was had by all.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall...

Who's the meanest of them all?

Turns out, I am. Well, depending on who you ask. If you ask my divas, well, they'll tell you I'm awful.

I took down the mirrors, you see.

In my classroom, back by the music library, are three large cabinets. Theoretically they lock, but in two years at this school I've never found a key. On the left-side door of each cabinet is a small mirror. You can imagine that my girls, upon arriving to choir, like to check their hair. And their makeup. Better check the teeth for food, while I'm here. Is that a pimple? Ack! Run for the concealer, spend another few minutes frantically hiding the blemish.

You get the idea. It's a complete and total distraction.

What's really funny is that only my advanced choir students do this. My younger choirs are perfectly content to sit down, warm up, and worry about hair and makeup later. It's only the advanced groups who insist on using those mirrors, and then--horror of horrors, seeing as how I'm a complete neat freak--leaving the doors to the cabinets wide open with the mess inside gaping out.

It gets annoying.

To say the least.

Thursday was the night of the last concert I will ever have to put on at this particular high school (Haaaaallelujah! Haaaaallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Halllllllaaaaayyyoooooooyaaaaaa!!!!). In the afternoon before my divas descended on my classroom, I latched one of the cabinets shut and put a note over the two doors asking (nicely, even) that it remain closed and latched because there are several bags of bottles and cans inside that need to be taken to the recycling center. It's literally a small mountain of garbage bags. I have not had time to load them in the car and take them away, so they are stuffed in the cabinet.

It's not a lot to ask, right? Just ONE cabinet! The other two were still okay to use.

Friday morning I came into my classroom to find my nice sign ripped in half and the bags of recycling spilling out onto the floor. I cleaned up the mess (and the mess in the rest of the room left by kids who don't seem to want to take care of the expensive dresses and tuxes they bought). I was feeling just a teensy bit exhausted from the night before, and maybe, perhaps, just the littlest bit irritated.

Okay, I was seriously cranky.

I borrowed a Philips screw driver from the band teacher and set about removing the mirrors from the cabinets with a sort of grim satisfaction.

Fourth period rolled around and in sauntered my divas. As ever, a few of the girls strolled straight to the cabinets and opened one. I was sitting at the piano, with my back to them, trying not to laugh as I heard doors opening and the shocked whispers of, "The mirrors are gone!!"

Tiny Tim, a senior know-it-all who is one of my biggest critics, caught wind of the shocked whispers and looked at me like I'd murdered Santa Claus.

"You took down the mirrors?"



He was honestly angry--and he never uses the mirrors!!

"Just because."

He didn't quite know what to say to that, but I could see him formulating nasty thoughts. I could feel the tension emanating from some of the biggest divas, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

Before long, one of the mothers who helps with this class came in, and some of the kids went straight to her--I'm not kidding--and said, "She took the mirrors down!!"

Michelle looked confused for a moment, then looked at me and said, "They said you took the mirrors down?"

"Yes, I did."

She smiled. "Is it because they look at them all the time?"

I laughed. "Yes!"

She just laughed while the kids looked bewildered. Finally, I gave them my explanation, ending with, "Maybe I was the teensiest bit cranky this morning...but really, I'm tired of cleaning up after everyone!"

Some of them got it (the nice kids)...and some definitely did not.

But that's divas for you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

For the Birds

A few weeks ago, I had the bright idea to put a small tray of wild bird food (sunflower seeds, basically, without the salt) on my patio, in the hopes of attracting the neighborhood birds. I had been fearing that there wasn't much on Bird TV for Millie, and figured that she and I would both enjoy a little bit more communing with nature.

Plus, there's a little finch couple nesting somewhere near my apartment, and I thought I'd be neighborly and offer some refreshments.

For days and days, the seed remained untouched. I had pretty much given up when I came back from a long weekend at Mom and Dad's to find the tray empty. Success!

I put out more seed and sure enough, it diminished little by little. The only problem? I still wasn't seeing any birds.

Yesterday, I noticed Millie sitting in the window, making little chirping sounds and flicking her tail back and forth in the manner of a stalking feline. Cautiously, so as not to freak my new avian friends out, I crept to the window to take a look.

Now I know where all that seed is going.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

What a Wonderful Thing!

Just when I start to think that our world is a lost cause, I have an experience like the one I had yesterday.

I was at Mom and Dad's, and my lovely day started when I awoke to hot pancakes and bacon for breakfast. As I was eating, Dad told Mom and I about something he'd seen on the local news that morning, about a local farm that took in unadoptable animals and gave them a happy home for the rest of their lives--however long that may be. They were featured on the news because they were having an open house in hopes of raising some money. As it was only fifteen minutes or so from where Mom and Dad live, we decided to check it out.

We arrived at A Chance For Bliss (take a few minutes to look at their web site--it's wonderful, with lots of pictures) and found it to be a tidy, well-kept little farm with a couple of comfy pastures, a ton of big, shady trees, and a motley crew of horses, cows, geese, ducks, dogs, cats, and potbellied pigs. Each and every animal is special, and each and every animal is considered "unadoptable" because of various problems they have or had.

Take Woody, the dog. Shortly after he arrived at his new home, both of his eyes had to be removed because of disease. Most people would give it up for a loss, but not A Chance For Bliss--Woody is a happy dog with plenty of happiness in his life.

Or take Handsome, the spokespony. He was born with a clubbed hoof and was to be put down...until these wonderful people took him in. The University of California, Davis did a pro bono operation (they are a veterinary school, so I'm sure it was a great opportunity for student vets to watch) and Handsome is now good as new. I saw him yesterday, and there is no sign he ever had a bad hoof. He's not only handsome, but he's full off life and energy.

We spent a lovely hour talking to the owners and their volunteers, petting all manner of creature, and enjoying the peace and tranquility that these people have created for these special animals. If I move up to that area, I might just start volunteering my Sunday mornings to helping groom and scooping horse poop.

I took a few pictures (of course!).

This is Spike the donkey--when he came, his hooves had never been trimmed, and were so long, they actually curled under--very painful! He's just fine now, and a sweetie.

One of many happy pups...

Mom fell for Eddie, a former racer who used to fall asleep when working at a riding school for disabled children--turns out he was just bored!

Handsome--the official Spokespony. It was that right front that was clubbed--can you tell? Nope.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Good Vibrations

If you are the praying kind, please pray for me. If you're more into finger-crossing, could you cross your fingers, toes, and eyes? If you're into karma or good vibes, send a few my way, if you could.


Well, a week-and-a-half ago, I interviewed for a K-8 music position in a pretty little town very near where Mom and Dad live. I had vibes from the very start that it would be a good placement for me.

On Wednesday morning, I spoke to the music teacher who was on the interview panel and she told me I had made the top three candidates. They wanted to see all three of us teach, so Friday morning found me at her school, teaching a group of third graders about the instruments of the orchestra. I think I did okay...I just don't know what they're looking for.

But here's the thing--I was having a blast teaching those kids. I knew going in that this was her more difficult third grade class (I observed her a week ago), so I was ready. Unlike one of the other candidates that I got to watch, I didn't have to refer to my lesson plan notes once during the lesson. I had the kids singing and playing a game that required them to sing about the different instruments and see pictures of them.

And did you notice that I had a blast? I really did. In my current gig, I'm constantly looking at the clock during class time. Is it over yet? Is it time? I lost track of time during this third grade class, until the teacher said, "Actually, it's time for them to go back now." I was having fun teaching. I was dealing with the squirly kids, and I was loving the sweet kids, and I was having FUN.

I want this job. I really, really want this job. It's exactly what I want to do. I would have a couple of small bands, a choir, and I would work with all of the classes at the assigned school. It would inspire my creativity...and once again, I would be getting paid to sing Six Little Ducks and such--just as I once marvelled at in my first teaching job.

So please, could you send some prayers and vibes my way?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mystery Solved

I'm doing some light once-over cleaning in the apartment tonight. A few minutes ago I felt something funny under my foot. I looked at the bottom of my sock and lo and behold! Half of a crispy, dried-up contact lense.

Now I know!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Mystery of the Missing Contact

Still no sign of the little bugger. I think I must have flushed it out of my eye and lost it somewhere in the apartment. I can't see it anywhere in my eye, and I can't feel it.

The advice nurse told me that it was okay to go to sleep, that a soft lense will work its way out if it is, indeed, in there.

So the Mystery of the Missing Contact might never be solved, unless I find some dried out contact in the carpet one of these days!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wild and Crazy (and Absolutely True) Saturday Night

It's 11:40 pm, and I'm sitting here with my cell phone at my ear, listening to canned music and the occasional, "We apologize for the delay. An advice nurse will be with you as soon as possible." The operator told me it could be an eleven-minute wait.

I cannot account for my right contact lense.

A little while ago, I went to take my contacts out for the evening. The left one is now resting for the night in its half of the case, bathing in fresh contact solution. The right contact has lodged itself somewhere in my eye, and I cannot find it. I think I can feel it, but I can't get it out.


So I'm sitting here, waiting to talk to an advice nurse about my options. While I've been waiting, I've flushed my eye out (didn't help), put my face up to the mirror a dozen or so times, and crawled around on the bathroom floor with a flashlight, just in case the little bugger washed out and I missed it. But I don't think that's the case, because I'm pretty sure I feel it in my eye, like a fallen lash that won't get unstuck.

I tried to make myself cry from frustration, but the anti-depressants are really doing their job, so no go. I'm blinking rapidly, trying to get it to move, but no luck thus far.


Friday, May 02, 2008

New Bed

Millie has a new bed. It matches my decor.

She seems to like it!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Woke Up This Morning

I did not have a grand epiphany. I didn't dance around my apartment, singing in glorious harmony with the birds. I just calmly, somewhat clumsily rolled out of bed to turn off the alarm on my cell phone, and then I started my day.

Why is this special? Why is it blog-worthy?

Because, my friends, I woke up without needing to hit the snooze button ten times. I woke up with plenty of time to get to work on time. I haven't done that in months.

Depression is ugly. I thought I knew that, but you can't know it until you live it. And this year, I have lived it.

It's more than the endless meals of Kraft Mac and Cheese, or the laziness that kept me in front of the computer all the time. It's more than withdrawing from friends or feeling isolated by my frustration and anger at work.


I sleep well, most nights. Sometimes I wake up after a strange dream, or if I've had too much liquid the night before. Mostly, though, I sleep well. I'm one of those people who needs seven or eight hours of sleep a night, and I try to get it. But I knew something was wrong when eight hours, even nine hours, wasn't enough. I've always been one of those annoying morning-person types. In the last six months, that stopped. I considered it a good day if I got out of bed at 7:00. Keep in mind, folks, that I'm supposed to be at work at 8:00 (my first class starts at 9:00). I'm ashamed to say that's not been happening.

Morning after morning, I have hit the snooze button repeatedly. The alarm would go off and sometimes, I wouldn't even remember hitting the button so many times. Getting out of bed was torturous--my body was never ready.

Today, I woke up.

I woke up before my alarm clock, and even before the cell phone went off in the dining room. I lazed in bed for a few minutes, cuddling with Millie. At 6:30, I got up and started my day. I laughed hysterically when Millie streaked by the shower with my new eyeliner in front of her, batting it like a soccer ball. I felt cheery as I brewed a cup of tea and poured some cereal.

I was on time for work.

Depression is ugly. But believe me, after this long, uphill struggle to get ME back in my life, waking up feels so very good.