Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spontanous Combustion Day 2

It was so hot in my bus this afternoon that I thought I was going to throw up before I got my route finished. The poor kids were just melted in their seats. I told them all yesterday to bring a water bottle with them and they all forgot. I had a water bottle with me but couldn't bring myself to drink out of it in front of them and I didn't have water to share with all of them. When I got in my car this afternoon, the temperature gauge read 111 degrees.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

We have had a very strange spring and summer. Our spring was pretty mild, but we had some 100 degree temperatures in the end of March. That in itself is strange but then we went almost the whole summer with temps ranging from the low 70s to the mid 90s. I think we only had one day this summer that reached 100. Vacaville weather is just not like this. Normally in July we get long stretches of 100 degree weather.

Today the hot weather came roaring back. My bus is not air conditioned and I felt so sorry for my kids because I know I felt like I was going to spontaneously combust. When I got in my car this afternoon, the thermometer said 107. The news reported that we made it to 105 but I believe my thermometer. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 105, but this weekend they are predicting low to mid 70s. Go figure.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TGIF

Thank Goodness It's Friday! Woo! Woo! I survived the first week back at driving my little school bus. I think the kids are all going to be great this year, which makes my job a whole lot easier. The first week of school is always a little nuts. We have to learn new routes, new kids, new parents and new routines. We also have to write out our rights and lefts so if we have a sub, they know how to do our route. We have to establish assigned seats and a seating chart. I can't believe it but I got it all done this week. Of course, probably next week they will change my route by adding or subtracting a child or two and I will have to write my rights and lefts all over again. I'm just so glad to have a job.

This is a picture of my bus taken last spring. I'm driving the same bus this year, so we'll use this picture again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Printer Saga Continues...

After I took the printer and all the supplies I bought back to Staples, I had some time to think about whether or not I wanted to buy a new printer. I decided not to buy a new one. Instead, I took my husband's barely used printer, which is also an HP Photosmart and went and bought more ink for it and hooked it up to my computer. Now this printer had never worked right on my hubby's computer, but I think that's because he has that horrible Windows Vista operating system. I have Windows XP and am very happy with it.

Hooked up to his computer the printer just kept installing itself over and over. He would hit print and nothing would happen, but like magic, the next day it would appear in the out tray. Since I hooked it up to my computer, it's been smooth sailing. I just want to say that Windows Vista sucks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mmm! Mmm!

This afternoon I got off work at 4pm and decided to go to the new Farmers Market at the Nut Tree. I thought I would buy some fruit and just enjoy the atmosphere. When I got there I walked around and even though there was really a lot of good fruit to choose from, none of it appealed to me. I met up with one of my friends that I hadn't seen in a long time and we sat on a bench and talked for a while. I finally said my goodbyes and went to the car intending to go home.

I had to drive by the See's Candy store. I told myself if there was a parking space out front, I would go in and buy one piece of candy. Sure enough, like a sign from God, thirty times around the parking lot and there it was. A parking space right out in front. I quickly parked the car and went in to get my piece of candy. Now See's candy always gives you a sample before you buy. The lady behind the counter must have seen me coming because she pulled out four samples and before I could say a word, she told me they had lots of samples today and she put them in a bag for me. Well, I could hardly buy just one piece of candy after that! So I bought 1/2 lb. box. Between darling hubby and me, this is what's left.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I've got the Printer Blues

Remember my nice new all in one Photosmart Printer I told you about last week? I took it back to the store tonight to get a refund. Staples was great and gave me my refund but I'm frustrated because now I have no printer, no scanner, no nothing. The printer worked fine until today, one week after I bought it. The scanner wouldn't work and I kept getting error messages. I called Hp support and they were very helpful but I was short on time and we couldn't figure out if it was the hardware or the software. I didn't have time to unistall the software before I went back to work. Hp agreed to call me back at 5:30 pm and when I talked to Francis he informed me that I should just get a replacement. I said, "I've only had this printer a week and I need to replace it?" He said, "Our records show that you have had the printer since May 2010. Gee, that's really funny because I'm staring at my receipt that says I bought this last Monday on August 9, 2010! I distinctly remember going into Staples and purchasing said printer. He said, "I believe you so just take the printer back to Staples and I will give you a deal on the same printer, ink, photo paper and a three year warranty and it will save you $34.00 from what you paid Staples or I can send you a replacement printer. I asked if it was a refurbished replacement and he admitted that it was, but if I took back the printer I would get a new one. I said okay, call me back at 8:30 pm. Then I proceeded to get all the printer stuff together and took it all back to Staples.

When I got back home I realized that I had put the printer on my charge card and they were refunding my charge card, but it can take several days to do that. I didn't want to go overboard on my card so when Francis called me back, I told him I needed to wait a few days before I purchase the new printer. He's going to call me back on Saturday. So no printer probably for two weeks until all is said and done.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Morning is Starting Off Great!

I was upstairs working on my computer this morning when I heard a pop and smelled something burning. I thought darling hubby was downstairs, so I called to him and asked him what he was burning. He was also upstairs and that's when I remembered that I had put a pot of eggs on to boil. Yep, the water had all boiled away and the eggs had exploded all over everything. I just got a new stove and it has a quick boil feature on one of the burners. I used that burner and forgot that it does what it says it does.

Seriously, I think sometimes I'm having early onset Alzheimer's. In the last couple of months I left another pot on the stove for a few hours while I was away. Luckily, that was before the new stove and the burner was on low. The water was almost boiled away on that one. I keep forgetting to lock my car when I go some place and even left my house door wide open and unlocked one day when I went shopping. Am I just too busy or am I losing my mind. I don't know.

Today I have to do laundry, finish the grocery shopping, get ready for work tomorrow and I'm hoping to get some sewing done. I guess I better get off the computer and get started.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rough Night-Long Day

I ate dinner too late last night and woke up in the middle of the night with acid reflex. Yikes it was bad. Couldn't get back to sleep and had to take a nap today. Gettin old is for the birds!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Finally Friday

It feels really weird to work two days and feel like I've worked five. I don't know why the school district insists on starting the school year on a Thursday. Our school year this year is going to end on a Tuesday. What happened to whole weeks? Oh well, the school year did get off to a good start, I made it through the first two days and I have really good kids on my route this year. I think it's going to be a really good year.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New School Year

I had a very successful first morning back to work. Working on my route the last two days paid off because everything ran like clockwork. Our schools are on a year round modified schedule. We started today and our school year will end June 7th, but we get the first week in October off, the week of Thanksgiving off, 2 weeks at Christmas and two weeks of spring break. I especially love that week in October off, since I can take a vacation with darling hubby and it's a little less expensive than in the summer. Also not as hot. I hope my afternoon runs as smoothly as my morning did.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working Hard for the Money

The past two days I have spent about 5 hours working on my school bus route. School starts tomorrow and I think most of us will be flying by the seat of our pants. It's going to be a fun, wild and woolly school year. I never thought I would see the day when I might not have a job as a school bus driver, but cutbacks are everywhere. In the last two years I've lost two hours a day off my route, but at least I still have a job. Last year we lost 10 drivers through cutbacks and this year we lost our assistant transportation supervisor who was a big help to our supervisor. We lost all of our home to school transportation for regular ed kids and now we are just busing special needs kids.

Right now I can't dwell on this stuff because tomorrow I have to go do my job to the best of my ability and remember it's for the kids. My attitude will rub off on them, so I'm going to start this school year with the best, most positive attitude I can have.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Vacation Pictures

This is the night we arrived in Denver. The baseball stadium is only a little way from the train station.
















This is the entrance to the baseball stadium.













This was one of the columns at the baseball stadium with my precious grand babies.














A few days later we took an insiders tour of the Denver Broncos, Invesco Field. It was a really cool tour. We got to go up in one of the sky boxes that seat about 30 people and cost a whopping $200,000 for the season and doesn't include food.











I was fascinated with taking pictures of the horse.















Here we are on the field.












This beautiful statue of 7 Mustangs running up a mountain was made in Florence, Italy.

Monday, August 09, 2010

New Printer

Today I broke down and bought a new printer. My old one still worked for printing things that I really didn't care about, but something was wrong when I tried to print photos. It would print half a photo and then just stop feeding the paper and ink would come out all over back and forth. I had this printer for about 8 years so I feel like I got my money's worth. Also, with all the new technology I got the new printer for $20.00 more than the ink cartridges for the old one. It's an Hp Photosmart Plus printer that not only does really good photos but it is also a scanner and copier. It's so simple to use that I've been able to figure it out without even looking at the book. That's a really good thing. I just scanned a postcard and sent it directly to my computer to a folder. It only took seconds. I think this printer and I will get along just fine.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm spending way too much time on the computer.

I'm trying to stay on my weight watcher program.

I have to go into work tomorrow to make phone calls and check out my bus.

I want to read more of my book by Marlena de Blasi, "The Lady in the Palazzo."

I really, really need to cut out some blocks and sew them for my BOM that meets next Saturday.

I should be doing the laundry.

I think I'll take a nap!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

When we were visiting our kids in Colorado we traveled the Lariet Loop around Golden, Co. We stopped at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre and I have to say that it was awe-inspiring. Words can not describe how I felt and I doubt my pictures will do it justice, but here goes:






Many famous people have played this amphitheatre including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Santana, John Denver, and John Tesh just to name a few.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Karen, Where are the Ear Candles!

I have been fussing for a week with clogged up ears. Every once in a while my ears just make too much wax and I have to go in for an ear wash at the doctor's office. They make you put drops in your ears for several days before you do an ear wash to make it easier to get the wax out. I've been dutifully putting debrox in my ears for the last week, but when I called for an appointment, they told me I could not get in until August 17th. By that time the wax will be gone and I probably will need some other treatment because debrox is very irritating to my ears. One time when I was in Tennessee visiting my darling daughter, Karen, we went to the health food store and bought ear candles. This was quite the experience. Ear candles are a long piece of rolled wax that is hollow. It is pointed at one end. You get a paper plate, cover it with aluminum foil, cut an x in it and shove the round end up through the hole. Lay down and put the pointed end of the candle in your ear. Have someone light the candle and like magic the burning candle sucks the wax out of your ear. It really does help and I think darling hubby is going to have to help me with that tonight.

By the way, I find it ironic that it was going to take me another 13 days to get an appointment for an ear wash and they gave me an appointment the next day for a mammogram. Go figure!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Pain in the Mouth

 I had a tooth pulled about a month ago and even though it's feeling like it healed up, I also feel like something is trying to work it's way out of my gum. I went back to the dentist this morning because I was worried that I might have a splinter of bone in there and that it could be getting infected. The dentist had a look and reassured me that I don't have an infection and it is healing nicely. What I am feeling is the gum pulling back from the bone which is perfectly normal. He said to give it about another 3 weeks and if it's still bothering me they can open up my gum and smooth the bone, but he wouldn't recommend it. I decided to leave it alone.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Standing Up

Yesterday was a bummer! But as my dear cousin pointed out, God is in control. I know that He will take care of us and I can stop stressing and remember that I can always depend on him. It made me start to think about my many blessings. We still have a roof over our head, for the time being, anyway. We still are paying our bills. We still have food in the house. We still have jobs. What more do we really need! There are so many other people in this world that have much less than I do and they still have joy in their lives. I need to stand up, stop stressing, wash the tears from my eyes, put my big girl panties on and live my life joyfully and thankfully in God's love.

Isaiah 40:28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thanks Sue for reminding me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sad

It's been a very upsetting day. I'm a school bus driver and each year at the beginning of the school year we bid our routes according to seniority. Our school district is struggling like everywhere else in this horrible economy we are in. Last year we lost ten very good bus drivers to layoffs and saw our transportation department lose all of it's home to school busing for regular ed kids. We started busing just special needs children. I went from being in the middle of the seniority list to 3rd from the bottom. We have 14 drivers left, 12 routes and 2 sub driver positions. Do the math. I either have to take the last route available or be a sub driver. I know I'm whining and I know that everyone is in the same boat at work but I still have my feelings and I need to share. Last year I ended up being cut 1 hour a day. Bid day was not my happy place today. I got the last route available and ended up taking another 1 hour a day pay cut. So over the last two years, that's like losing one 40 hour pay check per month.

My darling hubby is in the same position. He is a grocery clerk and a darn good one. He is a 40 hour employee for his company and we think they are trying to get rid of all 40 hour clerks. They are making his life miserable because I think they want him to retire. He used to work every holiday and they told him no more holidays because they have to pay him to much. He used to work every Sunday but now he has to keep reminding them to schedule him on Sunday or they don't. Meanwhile, he has to drive 45 minutes to an hour one way to work and he has to cross a toll bridge that they just recently hiked to $5.00 a day. Our city just raised our water rates again so that over the next three years we will be paying double what we pay now, which will give us a water bill of somewhere near $300.00 every two months.

No one, most of all our dear president can tell me that our economy is recovering. We are in the toilet and it's getting worse.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park

While we were visiting our kids in Colorado, we were delighted to find out that they lived about 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. If you want more information about our National Park system, watch Ken Burns documentary about it. Our national parks should be cherished and visited as often as possible. Here are some pictures from our visit.








Great picture for a self-timer!













An alpine lake in the park.















A closer look at the alpine lake.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Blogging Everyday in August

Once again I have failed to blog everyday. I took the challenge from NaBloPoMo to blog everyday in July. I hope everyone will forgive me, but I did go on vacation for ten days and didn't have access to a computer everyday. I did the best I could and I'm taking the challenge once more to blog everyday in August. The theme is green, so I think I will start out by telling everyone about New Belgium Brewery in Golden, Co.

We visited the makers of Fat Tire while we were on vacation visiting our darling daughter and her beautiful family. New Belgium Brewery was started by a man that went to Belgium on a bike trip and was visiting different breweries in the country. He wanted to visit one particular brewery, but when he got to it, it was closed. There was a small note on the door that said they would be open later that day for just a little while and to come back if they wanted to visit. He went back that afternoon and sat and talked for hours with the brew master. He took lots of notes in his journal and came back to Boulder, Co to start his own microbrewery. Fat Tire took off and that's his story and he's sticking to it.
This was our happy tour guide. He's happy because all the employees are owners.


On their 1st anniversary of employment they receive this:














They encourage all their employees to live green and to ride their bikes to work. This is how many pounds of carbon they've kept out of the air:















One of the ways to de-stress at this job is:

to take the slide. Or to dress up and act silly.



I loved their cool chandelier...


...and his motto.