Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am not a person who usually feels the effects of a stress-filled life. I do not have trouble sleeping, I don't get ulcers ... in fact, there's usually only one way I know that I am feeling stress:

My eyelids twitch.

I know this sounds like no big deal, but my eyelids don't twitch like ordinary people's do. I don't get one or two tiny flutters that are more entertaining than annoying. MY eyelids twitch at about 80 tpm (twitches per minute), each "twitch" lasting a couple of seconds. This happens several times a minute and has currently been going on for FOUR DAYS. I wear contact lenses, so three or four times a minute my vision in my right eye goes wonky, because the twitch is upsetting the delicate location of the lens on my cornea.

I hate, hate, hate it when my eyelids twitch.

This happens every time I am experiencing stress or am spreading myself too thin. Since I hate my jobs and am broke all the time and am dealing with stupid family drama as well as an ailing grammie, I am apparently feeling the effects. And for the forseeable future there is no change in sight.

And so I twitch.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday Fragments a bit late

  • I know Friday Fragments are supposed to be posted on Friday, but I didn't blog then so I'm posting them today.
  • My grammie is out of the hospital and is now at a residential rehabilitation center. I have no idea when she will be able to come home, but her doctors seem to think she will be able to. I'm hoping by Thanksgiving, but if she needs to stay there, I want them to keep her - I don't want her to come home before she is healed and stronger. She is still in a lot of pain, but they are trying to manage it as best they can.
  • My husband had an accident yesterday. He washed a huge load of dishes and washed the floor, which I was thrilled about. As he was sliding lunch into the oven, some of the clean dishes started to fall to the floor. As he raced out to catch them, he slipped on the wet floor and fell. His knee popped out of joint and then back in, and his back locked up completely. He was in so much pain yesterday he could barely move. He's moving a tiny bit better today, but not much. I can't blame him if he decides never to clean again.
  • My fingers are sore from knitting. My index fingers, which I use to push the needles where I need them are covered in tiny red dots - some of which are broken skin. I'm moisturizing like crazy because I have ten and a half more Christmas projects to knit and only two months left before Christmas. I hope to finish at least two this week.
  • My commute is often the best part of my day (at least until snow flies). Just this morning I saw a wild turkey, a bull moose, and a spotted owl. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a gathering of six moose - that does not happen often. No one I've spoken to has ever seen that many together at once. It was beautiful. I love to see owls in the morning. I've only seen three or four in all of my commutes but they are so lovely. It's like a gift the road gives me once in a while. I will miss this drive when I change jobs.
  • Bear and I have decided that in order to reach our financial goals, we must combine checking accounts. I'm much better about paying bills on time, but he is much better about limiting miscellaneous spending than I am. So each week as we get paid I will pay the bills that need paying and he will be in charge of eating out, picking up whatever sundries we need, and all entertainment costs. I've already curtailed a lot of my spending, so for at least the first week, it's working. We will be setting up the monthly budget tonight. I love that we can communicate well about money, and that although the lack of funds is a stressor for us, it isn't a stressor between us. We are united in our financial plans. I read somewhere that money is the number one thing couples fight about. I'm glad that we aren't part of that statistic!

Monday, October 12, 2009


1. Friday morning, just before I left the high school to go to the elementary school, I checked my email and found this:
mother has fallen possible broken arm possible broken back debbie call gus

This is from my dad to Mom and I about my 94-year old grandmother. I was, of course, very upset. I hate hate hate how my parents email me shit like this instead of calling like normal human beings. I immediately called my mother to get more information. Gram is frail as it is, much of which stems from breaking her back ten years ago. She has very bad osteoporosis and so her bones don't heal. I was in tears, trying to hold myself together, and thinking rapidly about my work shedule for the weekend. Could I go home if I had to? How soon could I be there?

Mom didn't know much when I called, and told me to finish my work day and call her at 2pm when I got out of work. I helped my first graders learn about spiders and smiled, trying to ignore the silence of my phone. At 2:00 I rushed outside and called Mom again. Of all of the people in my family, my grandmother and father are the only two that are not allowed to get hurt or die. They must live forever, because their deaths would crush me. The same goes with injury - they must not ever be in pain. I cannot deal with the thought of them lying in a hospital bed, their care depending on strangers who do not know them like I do. Who do not understand how awesome they are. Grammie especially. Where most people see frail old lady, I see the strong, resourceful woman who taught me how to be a good person. Who taught me the meaning of hard work, determination, courage, and grace. She was my first and very best teacher. I love her endlessly, and the thought of her hurt - well, I wasn't taking it very well. As for Gram's state of mind? She was just worried about bothering people, and keeping my dad and uncle from the moose hunt they have scheduled for this week (both of them went).

It's been back and forth since then. Mom said they were waiting on an Ortho specialist to see if Gram needed to have surgery. She fractured her shoulder and a bone in her hip. I found out just this morning that she won't need surgery, but will be removed to a rehabilitation center to convalesce. I'm glad she doesn't need surgery, but I can't help but wonder if she'll be able to come back home. Grammie is not a woman who accepts her limitations (which is probably why she fell to begin with). Can she return to the home she's lived in for more than 40 years? How will her spirit continue on, untrammeled, if she cannot be where her heart is?

I'm being overly dramatic, but if you knew my Gram you'd know how important her health and happiness are. Please, if you're of a religious mind, pray for my Grammie to heal quickly and with a minimum of stress. Even if you aren't, please think good thoughts for her, as I am each moment.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


There's something about the crisp air, shortening days, and cooler weather that makes me want to bake. As soon as Bear and I bring back our bagful of apples (we only picked 23 pounds of apples this year! That's good for us - the first year, we picked 40), I get into the kitchen and start baking the "Flavors of Fall" as I like to call them. First is apple pie, followed by apple bread, apple crisp, and this year, applesauce. Pink cinnamon applesauce (I put red hots in it. It's delicious. I swear!). I also foray into the pumpkin arena. This is newish territory to me, as before Bear I had no use for pumpkin. His mother made him pumpkin chocolate chip cookies when he was a child, though, and he loves them. Since I'm in a baking mood I bake him some of those, too. I have his mother's recipe, and I've copied it here for all of you to share. It's quick and easy, and it makes a LOT of cookies. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 eggs, beaten
1 large can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Mix ingredients together. Drop by rounded teaspoon unto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake @ 375 degrees until done. Yield: approx. 6 dozen.

Happy baking!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Update (for Hallie)

I am sorry to have left that last post up, unupdated, for so long. You see, less than 24 hours after uploading my resume, they called me and wanted an interview.

They hadn't even received my letters of recommendation or transcripts yet.

I was excited, and was very hopeful about the interview. I had been offered a position there years ago, and turned them down to go to Lincoln (that was a mistake, it turns out).

Tuesday morning I put on my best interview outfit (including the pearl necklace and earrings I received as a wedding gift), and off I went.

I had a good interview - I made them laugh a couple of times, I answered articulately, and even re-connected with a fellow grad student I hadn't seen in a few years. The principal thanked me for coming and said she'd let me know either way within a couple of days.

That afternoon I received a phone call. The caller ID showed it to be the principal. Heart pounding with excitement, I answered the phone.

"Yes, Heather? I just wanted to call you and let you know that we offered the position to another candidate, and he accepted. Thank you for applying and have a nice day."

I mumbled some kind of platitude and hung up, sort of stunned. I really thought I'd be offered the position. To say I was bummed was putting it mildly. Working in Newport would have been the final piece in the puzzle of Bear and I moving to Bangor next summer. I knew I'd have to return to my current school for at least the remainder of the school year, and the thought depressed me.

I know now more than an ever how much I do not want to be here. I don't think I realized how much until I had the possibility of something more. Something better.

I am going to keep searching and keep trying, but this still stings a bit.