Saturday, June 30, 2007

I found this text of an unnamed hymn in A Home on the Field an exciting nonfiction book about Mexican agricultural workers in chicken plants in North Carolina - much to say about immigration policy and the power of sport (soccer in this case) to unite people. But for now I'll just shre the verse, which speaks so strongly against nationalism. Instead of "God Bless America" - or at lest in addition.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean.
And sunlit beams on cloverleaf and pine;
But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all nations,
A song of peace for their land and mine.
I'm writing fiction again, and that feels good - working on my porch stories about different generations' experiences on a screened in back porch like the porch I remember on my grandparents' house in West. I started at the beginning last night, with story based on one my mother told me so many times about the promise she made to God that she would take care of her baby brother forever if God would only let him live after being born dangerously premature. Bob helped me edit this morning, finding vaguenesses I would never have caught and helping me tighten the wording. I love it when he helps me with my writing. I'm excited about doing the porch stories in conjunction with reading through old family letters for scrap booking - two birds with one stone. I haven't been in a writing flow in a really long time and I'm not sure yet about this, but I like the way I'm feeling so far.

The moon will rise full (or at least almost full tonight) and tomorrow night Bob and I will get to see it over the Gulf of Mexico. We are going down to Corpus to pack up some of his things and to walk the beach with a big moon. Its been too long since I've been to the beach.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My calico cat Sunshine died today of unknown causes. Bob just found her in the driveway dead and buried her in the garden. There was no blood, though we still wonder if she was hit by a car and had internal injuries. We'd seen her playing happily two hours before he found her dead. I freak out that I may have let her dehydrate or something, but that doesn't make sense. She had access to water and it was warm, not hot. Sunshine was a beautiful calico with plenty of white and bright black and gold markings. She was six years old and had been deemed healthy by the vet on numerous occasions. She was also a sweet cat - never clawed or scared the grandkids like Caleb can. I'm not the kind of devoted and passionate pet lover so many people are, but I loved Sunshine and miss her and hope she didn't suffer in the end.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This is a brag on Chris (anyone who doesn't know - that's the husband of Ruth my younger daughter. Like my husband Bob, Chris is a teacher by vocation (in the old fashioned sense of the word vocation). He is doing the work of his heart and came to it despite his parents' hopes and expectations that he enter a more lucrative field like engineering. He taught high school social studies two years in little south Texas town, took to the different culture and the classroom like the natural empath and teacher he is. He learned about living situations without running water and captured the hearts and imaginations of kids who were longing for more intellectual challenges and those who fought being challenged at all. He brought them fencing, beefed up their debate team, drove hem to political rallies to see John Edwards and Barack OBama, played practical jokes on them and taught them to clean up after the jokes they played on him and on each other. He laughed and cried with and over them - loved and was loved.

When it came time that he and Ruth decided to move their lives back into her studio and their house, Chris looked hard for jobs in every conceivable Austin, Round Rock, Lender, Plfugerville, Del Valle high school and middle school that had a remotely appropriate opening- public and private. And I know he was anxious waiting to get interviewed and hired.

He is hired now, to teach social studies at Reagan, a traditionally tough high school here in Austin with some great innovative programs. He should be able to teach the same kids for four years with the "looping" Reagan is trying. He also got offered a job in Del Valle at an alternative middle school - so impressed the interviewers at a different Del Valle middle school which couldn't hire him because it needed a coach - that it's principal called around until he found school with a need and suggested they hire Chris, which they offered to do after he had accepted the job at Reagan. He also turned down promising interviews at two suburban schools after accepting the Reagan job.

I'm proud of Chris for persevering in his training and in his job hunt. I'm impressed with him as a teacher and a man. Go Chris!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bob still hasn't been told if he got the job at Overton. The principal said he would let Bob know either way, so we are waiting. It is a brand new school and Bob thinks it would be exciting to be part of a new campus, but he doesn't act excited. I think not getting interviews or call backs is getting old - hard for him to keep his spirits up. If the principal, after saying he would call whether he hired Bob or not, failed to do so, we are both frustrated with his lack of manners. Maybe not a great guy to work for anyway! But then again he could call with a yes and everything could be wonderful. High school math jobs are filling up and that discourages Bob too, but there are a couple left and he may get one when he has his test results. And going back to Menger may really be the best thing - can't know God's will for us, only what seems best from our limited perspective. I have to trust that we will be where we need to be, after having done all we know how to do to get Bob a job in Austin.

Friday, June 22, 2007

This week passed too fast - seems to be my theme this summer even more than usual. Bob got his resumes out to high schools and, out of the blue, the new elementary school Overton offered him n interview for a fourth grade position. He had the interview today and I don't think he could tell if he will be hired or not. I feel discouraged that the principal didn't just jump up and grab him (silly principal doesn't know a great asset of a teacher when he meets one) but I understand procedures need to be followed and the lack of immediate hire doesn't men anything. We should know soon because the principal says he wants to hire soon.

Bob's moods have been up and down with the job search process and I have trouble keeping my moods from tracking his. Growing edge there. I've been looking at Meyer's Briggs and enneagrm personality systems gin and realise how very much I (INFP ennagram Type 2) depend on the well-being of those I love to feel happy and safe. I really have to work to separate my well-being from that of those I love most.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bob just finished the terrible math test (FIVE HOURS OF MATH _ OH MY!) He thinks he did pretty well, though of course came home brain dead and starving. Chris aced the GRE - (no surprise). He was here when Bob came home because he and a friend were kindly (and in exchange for the washer and drier from my parents' house for the friend) doing a dup run for me. When he saw Bob Chris made the joyful and appropriate salute (aimed at both of them) "Hail to the conquering heroes!" They are indeed. How I love that young man!

Bob's unwinding for a few minutes watching UC Irvine - the team that beat UT in the regionals - come from behind in the College World Series. We'll be heading down soon to San Antonio for a romatic retreat on the River Walk in our time share condo. This year I think we have really both earned some down time! I feel less mixed about leaving the kids than I did last night. This will be fun.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bob's big test for high school math teaching proficienc is tomorrow morning early. He's still studying - has been so organized and dilligent about this. I'm proud of him whatever the outcome.

We will be going to San Antonio to our time share condo for the long weekend. I think the break and rest will be great for both of us. He's tired from studying and I'm overworking again a little - though enjoying it. I'm feeling anxious about being away from the grandkids when Joanna and James will have to work this weekend - guilty even though I don't think I'm doing anything wrong by going. I probably wouldn't go except that Bob clearly wants to and wants me to go with hi. I need to work on letting go and letting others take care of themselves. I want to help and I want to please more than I want to relax and have fun. I know the relaxing, the fun, the couple time will be good for e.

Zachary is so smart - problem solving. He is learning to count - both to really count and to say the nmbers in order, but sometimes he reverses 6 and 7. He knows he isn't sure there, so when confronted with a picture of ten frogs he counted the first row - " 2 3 4 5" nd then the second row " 2 3 4 5 " and said " fives, 10!"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Life just keeps flowing - event after event.

Ruth and Chris celebrated seven years married, ten together - back in their home, so sweet together. James and Joanna and the kids had a real family vacation play day yesterday at Sea World - good for them to be able to have fun. They work so hard. Sammi the pup stayed at our house during the Sea World Day and she was both a handful and a sweetie. I had forgotten that pups bark, and don't always want to cuddle. This one likes to PLAY - actively. It was a real treat to take her and Lobo for a walk to the holding pond. Sammi liked to walk right behind Lobo, following his lead.

Bob is working every possible waking non brain dead minute on preparing for the high school math teacher certification test he takes on Saturday morning. There is so much to learn! He definitely has the mind and the work ethic to learn it.

I remind myself several tiea each day that it will be good and right wherever Bob works next year - that just because we set the coming back to Austin as a goal it doesn't ean that is the best or right thing. Menger awaits and is a good place for him to make his contribution and use his gifts - and the high school math idea is exciting. There is no loss possible here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Good weekend with the kids - sweet flow. I loved helping at the church nursery - crawlers in my lap. Doing the reading program with grandkids was a kick today - counting books with Zach, Danny reading about bats and bugs, natural science all the way, and sharing stories with KK. Having Bob where I can touch him is a treat. Feeling in the middle of regular family life feels so good.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bob and I just finished watching the movie Freedom Writers about a teacher's actions to form a united group of kids in a Long Beach high school torn apart by gang warfare. She was a pearl wearing white girl with a smile and the kids didn't take her seriously. She kept trying to find an entrance point with them and finally did with the Holocaust - triggered because she found the kids passing a racial charicacture and flashed on Nazi ch aricatures of Jews. Only one kid in her class had ever heard of the Holocaust, but all but one had had a friend or family member killed in gang violence. For me the film isn't so much about the specifics of the circumstances, but about the importance of hanging in, fighting for an entry point, refusing to give up on people who may have given up on themselves.
It has been such a busy week time doesn't seem to have passed since I last wrote here - but obviously it has. A whole week. Texas baseball team lost to UC Irvine at regionals. No College World SEries at Omaha for us this year. We had hopes. Bob and I almost got stranded at the baseball field with a dead battery in the middle of a thunderstorm, but the last car leaving had jumper cables as did the stadiu staffed. To my surprise, the Round Rock police cars on the premises did not have jumper cables.

Bob is studying math because high school math teachers are in great demand and he has so much math aptitude and background. He has been told he has a good chance at a math high school job in Austin if he passes the certification exam on Saturday next. He'll pass. THe idea of his taching high school is interesting, especially if he gets to teach at a close school. I can see getting attached to a school, following the sports teams, going to the concerts. It sounds like fun. Chris had a great interview at Reagan High School - hopeful. So many possibilities are opening up.

KK did get her puppy, Sammi, a three month old black Austrailian cattle dog mix with a white stripe down the middle of her face. It is "harder to raise a puppy" than she expected, but love is definitely in the air.

Bob and I took all three kids to the library today and got started with the summer reading program - fond memories here from doing that wiht the girls.

Friday, June 01, 2007

End of a busy work week - lots of client needs - people working relaly hard on themselves, facing old and new difficulties, making changes, growing. Hurting too. I like having Bob home. He seems to be more determined to get a local job - really sending out resumes - very methodical. So hard ot know waht is best. Whatever happens will be best. KK and I puppy proofed her room today - got everything chewable out of range. The pup may come tomorrow - exciting. James' inflamatory disease has attacked his eye again. It is pretty much swollen shut and he was in great pain after work - hard to watch. He has drops. I hope they help.