Monday, August 28, 2006


Today was an uneasy one. We had school as usual, but every one knew that Ernesto was coming and didn't know if we would have school tomorrow. Looking outside at the weather doesn't give a clue as to what is headed our way. The day looks picture perfect with blue skies and sunshine. By the end of the day the word was given that school is closed Tuesday and we were to unplug all computers, printers, and TVs and put trash bags over all computers. The Tanburg distant learning unit had to be hurricane readied and the tech person had to do an emergency 2 hour server back up.

When I finally left school every gas station on the way home had lines of cars wrapping around the block waiting to fill up. Last year Wilma did a number on us. We all remember the days after when there was nothing available anywhere. We know the drill now. Fill up the cars and all available gas containers. Stockpile food and water in case the water has to be boiled or there is no power. We are supposed to be able to survive 3 days without help after a hurricane. Medications have to be stockpiled to. Last year when there was no power for days, medications that had to be refridgerated were not available from the few pharmacies open because their power failed to keep it cold.

Again, we all know the drill. Charley, Jeanne, Francsis, Katrina, and Wilma have left us uneasy. It is not an adventure once you've actually been damaged in a hurricane. Unease and a nagging feeling that you haven't done everything you should to protect the house and the family. The constant noise the winds and trees make during the storm is a kind of torture too.

We know the drill, but preparing for disaster when it looks so beautiful is unreal. It's like boarding a plane in Florida in December with shorts on because it so hot and humid and getting off in New York in snow and freezing weather. You just can't believe it could be that cold or bad. Preparing for hurricanes is the same. I can understand why some folks might have put off preparations before, but we know the consequence now and we know the drill by heart.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Polly Pocket and Ronald

I think I may be part of a small group of adults who regularly orders McDonald's Happy Meals. I like the small portions, the option of apple wedges instead of fries, and the TOY. I really enjoy getting the toy. I have a closet of MIB (mint in bag) toys from when I spent 8 years in a row as a band parent and counted on these fast meals before chaperoning the football games.
I have entire sets of toys and I had to part with them.

It started with the toys that came out for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves ( or is it Dwarfs). I had every part but one, Prince Charming. I had my son broker a deal with the little sister of his friend for a trade. How pathetic is that!

Two weeks ago I got a cool Pirates' binocular and today......Polly Pockets Purse. While we ate I put the stickers on the 'purse' and her dress. This dress looks like something that was a disaster on Project Runway. It encases Polly and is a hard shell. She couldn't possible 'walk' in a dress like that but she stands with her arms awkwardly out at her sides, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Blaine is promoting that I give it to Mac-a-Do, but I'm betting she already has some and she has an extensive collection of Barbie dolls, clothes, and houses/castles that put Polly to shame. So........I guess I'll get to keep her myself.

Boo-Hoo Tea

We've been back in school for a week. During the first week parents are allowed past the drop-off gates and they can be seen walking their child to the cafeteria for breakfast or to their classroom. Our campus is rather spread out and it can be confusing for a new student. For those students who have been here in previous years it's not so hard.

Last Friday was our Boo-Hoo Tea.

This is a formal acknowledgement that it's time to let go and let the child come on campus by themselves and make it to the room solo. Boo-Hoo because parents are sad and may shed some tears and Boo-Hoo because it is a rite every kindergarten student has to face. They can do it on their own. Mommy is NOT going to come and take them home. Come's called Independence Day.

The staff who man the gates will not let parents through the gate. IF they need to come on campus they have to go around to the front of the campus and come in through the office. This year they have installed a new security feature where adults have their driver license swiped. This will check the database of people who should not be on campus because of divorce agreements or a noted child molesters. Their picture is taken and the reason they need to be on campus is punched into the machine.

Once school starts all of the gates are locked and no one can get on campus without going through the front office as the front entrance now sports gates and doors that only open outward for fire drills. We are very secure this year. I don't know if there has been a problem, but I'm sure it cost a LOT of money and not every school seems to have it yet.

Independence Day is tomorrow and I'm pretty sure those on gate duty will have to turn away some determined parents. I'm glad that is not my AM duty. I just have to get ready for the closed-circuit morning news program and be available to help teachers in the library. No tears for me!