Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beautiful Sunny and "Warm" Day

It was a beautiful day today. It was warm! About 23°F or so! The sun was shining vibrantly. I went cross country skiing with my friend Gretchen. Just what I needed to help boost those serotonin levels. If I was as fabulous as my sister Martha is...I'd have all sorts of beautiful pictures to show you....but I don't. You will just have to use your imagination then!

Picture two ladies (both of us librarians, does this help with the image? ...just kidding)...skiing through the woods and sometimes out again...with two dogs (beagle mix, german shorthair pointer). One dog happy and excited about the whole energy, german shorthair pointer and the other...older, slower, fatter...but pretty happy just the same, beagle mix.

I had a great time...I'm not sure why I haven't done this more often.

Friday, February 27, 2015


It was one year ago today that my mother went to her real home in heaven. I know she's in a much better place and much happier too.

(That is baby Simon in her lap. One of her great grandchildren)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting through this month.

I will have to say that February is not one of my favorite months. There seem to be a number of significant losses that have occurred in my life during the month of February. I'm looking forward to this month ending. Only a few more days to go.

Today I had the day off because I took Alicia up to Rochester to get her spine looked at. She has scoliosis and we need to go to the specialist from time to time. The good news is that the curvatures in her spine are not getting significantly worse. The lower curve measured slightly greater, but not alarmingly. The best news is that Alicia seems to have stopped growing. She has topped out at 5'3", (That is three and a half inches shorter than I am.) This is good news because that means that the curvature won't get any worse. I never imagined that I would end up with a daughter who is significantly shorter than I, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised since her father is on the shorter end of the spectrum.

On Monday and Tuesday I began per diem subbing once again. I am not too thrilled to end up doing that again...but I am trying to be thankful for any work. Besides that, God had a few surprises for me.

On Monday I subbed at the 3-5 building in Pal-Mac district and saw one of my former students from Dewitt Rd. On "moving up day" in June last year, I had a handful of kids who came to the library because they were moving away from Dewitt and wouldn't be attending there anymore. One of the boys, J told me that he had moved to Marion and was currently being driven to Webster to finish out the year. Just for fun we "Google-earthed" his school. We found Marion Elementary School quite easily and he seemed pleased. However, there he was on Monday at the school in Palmyra instead. Apparently his father decided that they would move over the summer once again and so Palmyra it is. I said, "We Google-earthed the wrong school, Bud." He said, "Yeah. I know."

The next day I subbed at Schlegel Road Elementary School, which is within the same district as DeWitt. When I walked into the building, I saw one of my students (M) walking down the hall. He didn't appear to notice me and I couldn't think of his name quick enough to get his attention, but it was still nice to see one familiar face. I figured that would be the end of it.  At some point during the day, I had to deliver a book to a fifth grade classroom. I walked in and waited for the teacher to notice I was there, when I noticed a boy to my left calling to me. It was another former student. (C).  He seemed genuinely happy to see me. I have to admit that he was always one of my favorites. He was quite the little reader and always willing to discuss the books he was reading and tell me which books I should definitely read next. He was also always well behaved and a bit of a scholar. He was the kind of kid who didn't mind talking to a 40 something year old lady. That type is rare...believe me. He told me that I should get a job next year at the middle school he will be attending. That one made my day! Unfortunately, that probably won't be likely as I don't anticipate the librarian at that school being done with her job.

When I returned to the library, I was expecting a special ed class to come in. In walked 3 more of my former students. These three didn't move...but are now being bussed to the new school because of the services provided there. They are autistic and nonverbal...similar to my own brother, so it is hard to say whether or not they recognized or cared that I was there. That didn't matter to me because I understand not to take it personally. It still was good to see them. The above picture is of one of these sweet little boys that came in today. I took it last year at DeWitt.

Today I am nursing a bit of a cold and can't seem to get warm. I'm not liking the prospect of being ill.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

He's Got Your Back!

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope. 12 When you call out to me and come and pray to me, I’ll hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015


We just finished taking the tour of Grove City College. It is about -1°F (I just checked) so we were sufficiently frozen. Audra had her interview and I think we were sufficiently impressed by the place. My memories of taking a tour myself back in 1985 are pretty faded. There are a number of new buildings and I just don't have many clear memories to compare it.

Allen is still trying to convince Audra to go to Gordon with him.

I'm glad that my kids are having the opportunity to look at different colleges in order to make a decision. I really didn't have that when I was planning to go away to study. The only reason I had the Grove City tour was that an interview was required. My father obligingly drove me there for it and the tour was included. I will say that it was a bit of a turning point for my father's attitude about me going to school in the first place. He seemed more supportive after that, but my parents still had absolutely no clue about how to help me find a college that fit me well. As it turned out, I never got another tour anywhere and showed up to the college I ended up choosing, to see it for the first time as I registered for classes. I remember feeling a bit disappointed. It wasn't what I thought it would be...but I knew I had to decide to like it and make it work. I didn't want my father to say, "See? I told you so." It was a rather stressful way to start the semester. I decided to like it. What choice did I have? Attitude is everything. I'm so grateful that I know better than to put my kids through that.  All in ended up working for me. God was near me as I started the college journey and I got an education.

We are in a hotel room...warming up with hot chocolate and tea. Happy to find warmth and shelter.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

God is Near

I am thinking of the Conrow family today. Last week they held their 6 year old daughter as she died from brain cancer. I can only imagine the great sorrow they are feeling. I've been in touch with Amanda's grandfather, who was my high school geometry teacher. He was a wonderful man of God and always encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. He sent me an email this morning with heartfelt words from his daughter, Liz.

I've been broken-hearted before. I've been crushed in spirit. I remember in high school when my brother passed away, I taped a Bible verse on the wall next to my I would see it as soon as I woke up in the morning. I did the same thing in college during a difficult time.

Psalm 34:18

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I know that God has given me a heart that is able to empathize with in a way, thinking about their sorrow brings back some memories of my own sorrows. I don't want to think only of myself during this time. I don't always know how to transfer my empathy into a proper way of caring for others.

Just pray for this family.  They have buried their little 6 year old daughter this past week. Their arms feel empty and their hearts are broken.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Last Day At Martha Brown

"And after they duck taped my husband to the tree..."

So why would anyone have any reason to begin a sentence like that? on, my friend!

Yesterday, it was my last day in Fairport CSD as school librarian at Martha Brown Middle School. I threw a little party in my homeroom to say goodbye. I brought in a gallon of cider and some timbits from Tim Horton's. One of the boys said, "Mrs.B can you show us another video that your husband's company made?" So I showed them one of my favorites. Snow Day from 2010.

After they finished watching it, I had to tell this story.

"After they duck taped my husband to the tree, a Canandaigua school bus came by. The driver stopped the bus, opened the door and said, 'Is everything okay here?' He then called in a report about it to the bus garage."

 I'm not sure if the report made it to the police after that...but that whole incident just makes watching the video all the more amusing to me. Dave and Jason LaBarge certainly make the work environment fun at the company they own.

Anyway...the kids all really enjoyed the video and I hope you do too. I will really miss it at Martha Brown. I cannot say enough about that school. I thought the staff was great! The students were too. I loved every day of my job there. I honestly can say that there was not one single day that I felt like I didn't just love my job!

P.S. I only showed them Snow Day....not the video that immediately follows it.