UK Bloggin’ – Eccles Pike

June 30, 2006 at 10:08 am (Travel)

With Girlfriend working during the day, I have spent a lot of time with her parents, watching tv, and catching up on crochet. I think the ‘rents have noticed I was going a little stirr crazy, so they asked me if I wanted to go for a drive to Eccles’ Pike. I do enjoy a drive in the country, so I hopped in the car, and off we went.

Eccles’ Pike is on the tippity top of one of the larger hills in the area. Girlfriend lives in a valley, so we are surrounded by these peak. T & L, (Girlfriend’s parents) spent the next hour pointing out places of importance in their lives, their parents lives, and even in Girlfriend’s life. I got to see really how small the towns are here, and how certain villages are growing more than others.

One of the things that I’ve always loved about going to this part of England, is that everything is so vibrantly green. There are so many shades, dotted with white sheep and the occasional grey mule. All the farms are separated with hedge-rows (yes, I do occasionally get Stairway to Heaven stuck in my head). There was a storm rolling in this afternoon, so you really couldn’t see much of a blue sky.

At the top of Eccle’s Pike, there is this metal sculpture called the “topography”. If you stand in the center of if, and look in a certain direction, it explains to you what you are looking at. It has both carved in illustrations of the countryside, as well as town names. I thought it was pretty nifty, myself. The landscape hasn’t changed much in the time this sculpture has been in the ground, that’s for sure.

Here’s a close up of a few spots on the sculpture. The images are click-able for a better view.

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UK Bloggin’ – Sleepless Nights

June 29, 2006 at 7:05 am (Travel)

I think I have the worst case of jetlag I’ve had in the ump-teen times I’ve been over here. What I usually do on the first day here is sleep as soon as I arrive. That way, I have some energy to be functional for the first day. Then, when it’s time for bed (10-ish in these parts), take a sleeping pill. Generally, after that first night, I’ve been golden. No problems at all.

This time, very different. Even taking sleeping pills, the earliest I’ve fell asleep this week has been 2am. Last night, I finally dozed off after about 3:30ish. In the morning, I’m not waking up until noon-ish. Which gets me lots of chuckles and fun-poking when I do make my way downstairs for lunch.

I really do just need to bite the bullet, and get up when Girlfriend does (7am). I’ll be screwed up that day, but I think it’s what I need to set my body-clock right.

I never realized how I was so used to the outside noises back home. I live near wetlands, so my nights are filled with frog-singing, crockets, and the occasional car racing down the street. Seven people live in my house, working all different hours, so I always hear some commotion going on in the house. My housemates also snore. Loudly. I’m the type of person who can’t fall asleep in silence, so it’s not a bother at all.

Here, I’m staying near train-tracks. I never hear them during the day, but I think there’s a train an hour all night long. No frogs. No crickets. No commotion. No cars. No snoring. Just the occasional train. I never really understood the phrase “the silence is deafening” until being up at 2am, and wide awake.

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UK Bloggin’ – BUFAs I

June 28, 2006 at 12:31 pm (Crochet & Crafts, Travel)

BUFA – British UnFinished Articles. I just thought it was funny, since “bufa” is fart in slang Portuguese. That’s a shout-out to you, Nee-nee!

Here’s what I’ve been working on…

This is the Cookie Monster messenger bag. I’ve just got a bit of the strap left, and maybe I’ll make some cookie button closers.

Here’s a Hello Kitty handbag. I just need to track down some felt for the eyes and nose, and a yarning needle for the whiskers.

And a little amigurumi mouse that I have in this pattern book.


That’s pretty much it. Here are a pair of pics of the room I am staying in. Notice how I’ve already had a crochet explosion. The other pic is the view outside my room. Ahh, heaven.

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UK Bloggin’ – Flight and 1st Day

June 27, 2006 at 10:33 am (Travel)

Well, I made it. Safe and sound. I had quite an adventure getting here, though.

I arrived at Providence Airport on time, and made it through security with no issues. I got to the gate, and when the time came, I got on the plane. Two hours later, I was still on the plane, on the tar-mac in Providence. Apparently the air-traffic-control didn’t have any people running it, so there were no planes leaving Providence until they got some. The took us off the plane, and we waited at the gate.

Lots of people were panicing. I wasn’t, since I made sure I got the flight with the longest layover time possible. Been there – done that. There was this one lady flipping out, since she had already missed her connection, and the next flight leaving to her desination was Tuesday. Keep in mind, it was Sunday.

After four hours of waiting, I had gone through all the yarn I had in my carry-on bag. The plus side is, I’m much more far along on my Cookie Monster bag. They loaded us all back on the plane, and we were off to Newark. With two hours to spare, I had no problems making my connection to Manchester.

But there was another waiting game. The plane was having problems taking on fuel, so we waiting on the tar-mac another two hours. We must have made the time up in flight, since I only got to Manchester an hour later than I was supposed to. Girlfriend’s dad was there waiting for me, since Girlfriend was at work.

I made it to their place, had a cup of coffee, and then slept for the next 6 hours. I watched the Australia / Italy game (awful way for Australia to lose) and the Swiss/Ukraine game (boooooooring). Girlfriend and I had some quality time together, and before I knew it, she was fast asleep. She’s ill – bless her. Lovely jet-lag kept me up until about 2am.

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I’m Leavin’, on a Jet Plane…

June 25, 2006 at 8:00 am (Travel)

I’ve got a couple hours before I head to the airport, so I’ve got some time to blog for a bit. Ever since September 11th, I’ve been keeping a sort of tradition before I fly. I know the chances of anything happening are slim, but before I leave on any flight, I write a note to my loved-ones and hide it in my room. That way, if something happens to me, while my family goes through my things, they discover it. Today, I think I’ll blog it.

Mom and Dad – I know that your expectations for me are higher than what I’ve been able to achieve, and I’m sorry for that. Know that I love you, and am thankful for everything you have given me in my life.

My brothers – I couldn’t have asked for a more diverse group of brothers. You are all unique in your own way, and I adore each of you with all my heart. Please don’t change to conform – you will lose who you are. I love you, Aaron, Saul and Abe.

Grandma – You’ve been the third parent in my life. When things go wrong, I know I can always depend on you to be there for me unconditionally. I love you, and I look forward to the day that I can see Papa again.

Emma – Times have been hard for us this past month, but in the end, I know you are my shining start and in the end, we belong together. You have taught me as much about life as I have been able to teach you about school. You are a beautiful girl that I love with everything I am.

Clint – Life couldn’t have left me a better friend. You have always been there for me, for the huge issues and the little ones. I am so thankful that you’ve stuck with me, and been there for me.

Rachel – You are the first girl that my brothers have brought home that I know is the perfect fit. You’ve been part of our family for so long, and even though we don’t know eachother so well, you are like my sis. I have no doubt that you and Abe will have a long and happy life together.

Kara – I’m so proud that you were able to breaak free of the tyranny of ACS, and you’ve gotten what you wanted. I know that you were the one person at work I could trust 100%, and you have no idea how good that felt. Thank you for everything, and this boy’s a keeper!

Paige – I never was a dog person until I saw you for the first time. You drive me bananas, but whenever I’m sick, you’re right there with your head on my chest, looking over me. It amazes me how smart you are, and how much you learn each day.

Mr. and Mrs. Jackson – I’m greatful that you have begun to change your views of me and who I am. Always know that I’ve only wanted the best for your daughter. I respect you as I do my own parents, and care about you almost as much. You did a superb job raising two children, and I hope that you are proud of them.

Alright, now that I’m all teary-eyed, I’m going to shower.

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Must-Do-Before-I-Leave List

June 23, 2006 at 11:28 am (Travel)

I have about 50 hours until I leave for the UK. In order to stop myself from obsessing about forgetting something, I’m making a to-do list. Yeah, I know it’s boring. Deal.

Phone loan people, and finalize the car-transfer. Get car?

Finish doing laundry.

Get suitcases from Grandma’s house.

Pack said laundry.

Go out to Brooks and get needed things: air-sick patch, salsa, chips, candy.

Organize and pack yarns and hooks into case.

Clean out Crab-itat and go over care with SIL.

Pack carry-on bag. Don’t forget passport, tickets, meds, hook & yarn, water bottle.

Clean room.

Actually shut down computer.

Post travel details on fridge.

Ask SIL to take care of plants.

Call business office about paycheck.

I’ll add more as I remember and cross off as done. Let me know if you think I forgot anything.

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Wait, what? I have to stay all day?

June 21, 2006 at 10:02 am (Teaching)

Since the dawn of time at my school, the students had a half day on their last day. When students left at 11:30, we could leave soon after. Since our calendar didn’t say any differently this year, a rather large party was planned to go off at 1pm today. It’s a going-away bash of sorts, since 9 out of the 13 lead teachers, and 5 out of the 8 paraprofessionals that I work with are leaving to take teaching jobs elsewhere.

But this morning, we get this in our daily notice.

“TODAY – 11:30 A.M. student dismissal – No lunch served – No P.M. Kids Care – Today is a REGULAR DAY FOR ALL STAFF. Instructional staff may leave at 3:00 PM. Check Morning Notice for more details.”

Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!

Update @ 10:50am – Oh….it gets better. A friend of mine emailed the principal. Here is a copy of her email, with named changed.

Good Morning Mr. Principal,
I’ve noticed on the morning notice that we are to stay till 3pm. On this years calendar it states 11:30 dismissal, and for the 3 years I’ve been here it has always been an 11:30 dismissal. I have prior engagements because I’ve known we were getting out at 11:30. I don’t understand why we were told this today. I am unable to change my plans and will have to leave at 11:30. My office is clean except for my books that I will be packing in my car tomorrow.

Teacher.

And this is the reply she got.

Teacher,

To be honest I do not think the tone of your e-mail is really appropriate or professional.

Policies, schedules, etc. change from year to year in every organization, so no one should expect things to be the same just because that’s the way it was done before.

The heading of the section in the 2005-06 School Calendar distributed to staff in June of 2005 clearly states:
NO SCHOOL & EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS FOR STUDENTS and it does not state it is early dismissal for staff. Therefore, you were actually “told this”, to use your words, in June 2005 and not today.

In the past, the last day of school for students has been an early release day for staff. However, the last day for staff (tomorrow) has always been a full work day. This year it that schedule (tomorrow is a 1:00 PM dismissal) was reversed for reasons that are more beneficial to the school.

I am sorry if anyone made any incorrect assumptions regarding today’s schedule. Staff members who have a conflict in working all day due to such assumptions may apply for personal time for this afternoon if they choose to do so.

Thank you.

Principal.

How about those (like me) that don’t have any sick time left? I’m going to have to take half-a-day unpaid if I leave at 11:45.

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C & H

June 20, 2006 at 7:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

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Two huge weights – GONE!!!

June 20, 2006 at 6:36 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, my car situation has been sorted out. After hours and hours and hours of applying for loans over the internet, and getting phonecalls from banks that couldn’t help me, I finally got a call from a company that can.

A car dealership near me is willing to buy out my loan from Ford Credit, and “sell” the car back to me, as long as I get a loan through them. The loan company is one for those who are “credit challenged”, and works with people in my situation. They will take between $70 and $80 a week out of my checking account, at a 20% interest rate. Yes, I know, 20% is awful, but the woman I saw strongly suggested refinancing after the year was up.

So, that’s one huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.

I also got my new contract for next year’s teaching, and I’ve already signed it. My boss, fought for me to get more than the standard 3% raise, and ended up getting me a 7% raise! Woo hoo!

The two things that I was really stressing about and all sorted. Now I can truely enjoy my time over in England with my Sweetie. I’m so looking forward to seeing the whole family again.

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I can see the light!

June 19, 2006 at 8:03 am (Teaching)

Two and a half more days of work until I am off for the summer!

Six more days until I get on a plane to see my sweetie!

I’m just so greatful that I get three weeks to just chill in the UK and not have to worry about anything. This weekend was awful. I’m dealing with a major money issue right now, and unless I get a huge sum of cash before the 26th, I will no longer have my lovely car. This is like jump-off-a-bridge money issues. I’m in the process of applying for numerous loans, but with my crap credit, I’m not holding my breath. Trust me, it might seem like I’m all la-ti-da over this, but that’s because I’m medicated and under orders to not stress about it, or I will have a major asthmatic episode.

Speaking of asthmatic episodes, check this out:

If you can’t read it clearly, the Air Quality says “UNHEALTHY“. And I’m running a tug-o-war station at today’s field day. Thank the Gods I am near the nurse’s station.

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