Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Fun Connecticut Weekend

The day after the wedding we went to my brother Jon's house in Connecticut. He was such a doll. He invited our other sister-in-law Gloria to come over, as well as my dear friends Rosemarie and Al. Jon made a nice dinner of pasta, meatballs and sausage and salad, and we had a wonderful evening. The next day my niece Gianna drove Jon and I to a local diner (Gerry stayed back at the house to nap) for breakfast. It was such a kick for me to have Gianna drive us - she's 16 and got her license earlier this month. She is a really good driver. I can't believe that she is at this stage of her life...driving, working after school and weekends. In two more years she'll be in college! EGAD!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Disappointment for Gerry (and Me)

Gerry called Thursday as I was on my way to the airport. He was in TX for his third treatment of the clinical trial he had been on since Sept. He had his scans the day before. The scans showed that the tumor in the lymph node in his left armpit had shrunk about 5%...but the others in his abdomen and chest grew overall 35%. They decided to stop the treatment. The doctor had another plan of action. He wants Gerry to start treatment with Interleukin-2. So we will go to TX in two weeks. First he will have to take a breathing test and echo cardiogram, to make sure his heart and lungs can take the treatment. Then he will spend a week in the hospital - 5 of those days in intensive care. After that it's two weeks at home. That's the cycle. He can go through 4 - 6 cycles, but after two they will again do scans to see if it's working and if they should continue the treatment. This will be a tough treatment. He will get 8 hours of treatment 3x day for 10 - 14 treatments. This is done through a subclavian catheter. So - I have decided to take a 60 day leave of absence from work...which with weekends and holidays works out to 3 1/2 weeks. My principal is wonderful. When I told her she had no problem with my leaving, and when I told her that I was upset about leaving my class, her answer was that I needed to "go hold your husband's hand." I did promise to leave 5 weeks of lesson plans and to come in on one of the days I am home to check on my class and write another few weeks of plans. I won't get paid while on leave as I have used up all my sick days, but Gerry is my priority now. My principal is even more wonderful because she is going to pay my sub to come in and work with me during my last week so she can learn my routines and the curriculum.

I picked up Gerry at Newark airport and took him to the hotel to nap. The wedding was that night at a place called The Atrium Country Club. It was beautiful. Gerry has such a great family. They are always fun to be with. And...almost every one of them...his brothers, their wives, the nieces and nephews - came up to me at various times of the night to thank me for "taking care of" Gerry. While we were having a good time, even danced a few dances, Gerry got really tired and so we left after the entre. But we were just happy to have been there at all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How Nice to be Stuck Here

When Alison brought Avi into the room in the morning he looked. His daddy was out of town so at first he thought I was Michael (the room was still dark). After a few minutes he turned and looked at me again and saw it was his grandma...and gave me a BIG GRIN! It was wonderful. We then had a great day together. We went to IKEA where Alison had a day planned with some friends. Then Alison wanted to go to the gym so I watched Avi while she ran. He was so cute. And could this kid eat. Alison had brought a whole kiwi and a whole banana cut up in a little cup. Avi ate it ALL, plus some of his organic Cheerios. Afterward we went for a bite to eat before I had to leave. Avi STILL wanted to eat so we got him a small quiche and he ate 1/4 of it. I couldn't believe that he was still so good after only his early morning nap. It was a long day for a little guy under a year old. I hated to leave them. It was such a good day. Alison dropped me at the train and I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I had no luggage as they couldn't pull it the night before. When I got to the airport and checked in at the kiosk there was no record of me on the flight. Luckily I had a written confirmation. I went to the desk and was given a seat assignment....first class...woohoo. Then...I waited..and waited...and waited. The plane was at the gate but the crew coming in was late....and so we didn't take off until more than two hours after we were scheduled to. I got into the airport at 12:30 AM, and by the time I found the car (Gerry had left it there that morning) and got home and to bed it was 2:30 AM....I was up promptly at 5:30 AM for work. Of course, I was a "bear" at work, going on 3 hours sleep, but.... I made it through the day. At night, though....I had to pack once more. I was leaving the next day for NJ to meet Gerry and attend his niece's wedding.

My Daughter, The Manager

This past weekend I had the pleasure of flying up to Destin, Florida for the opening of the new PF Chang restaurant there. She and my son-in-law Phil moved there a few weeks ago. They have a really nice house in San Destin Resort, and the restaurant is only 2 1/2 miles from their house - a big difference from when they were in Ocala and about 13 miles from work. The area is beautiful. I went to the beach, across the road from the entrance to their development. The beach is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with pure white sand and on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. I spent a few hours relaxing there on Sunday. It was very expensive to fly to Destin so I flew up alone. I stayed at Becca and Phil's house did my ex and his wife. Luckily, we all got along very well. I ate at Chang's Sat for lunch with Becca, dinner with Phil, my ex and his wife, and Monday with Phil. The food is delicious but frankly, after 3 meals in one weekend I can wait a month or so before eating there again. The best part was watching Becca "do her thing." I am so proud of her for achieving this goal, and I know that she will eventually become a proprietor one day soon. When I was leaving on Sunday my flight was delayed and so I missed my connecting flight in Atlanta. Imagine flying from one Florida city to another and having to go through Atlanta. I was told that they could MAYBE get me on the last flight out of Atlanta - VERY late at night but it was no guarantee. Gerry would have to get me around 1 AM, and he had a flight to Texas the next day. Again...there was no guarantee of getting on the flight. I knew I would miss work anyway so I told the man in charge to get me on a flight out of Atlanta the next NIGHT! Then I called Alison and she agreed to pick me up at the airport. A day with her and Avi....what could be better?

It was

Friday, October 12, 2007

School Started...AGAIN!

Last Monday school began all over again for me and some of the other teachers in my school. After the students had taken the DIBELS test (The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills) they were grouped according to their scores and switched to the "appropriate" class. In the kindergarten, one teacher has an assistant and therefore is a "supported kindergarten" - with two adults in the room, that class gets any ESE (exceptional student education) students and others who are the lowest scorers; the second teacher has all the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) students, two Hispanic and the rest are Creole; the third teacher has the middle scorers; and I have the top scorers. I had to give up 11 of my students and received 15 in return. Added to my other 9, that gives me 24 students in beginning all over again. Aside from the paperwork involved, I have to redo my curriculum to be more of a challenge to these students. They are nice kids, though, and I am not unhappy with the arrangement. I did request to have my "reading assistant" taken out. She is very nice but could only come in for 45 minutes. My reading groups take at least an hour, sometimes more (in a two hour reading block). And there were days that she could not come in, sometimes with last minute notice, because she is the Media Specialist and has other things to take care of. My students don't need what we call "double dosing," working with another teacher AFTER working with their main teacher, because they are all on grade level. So....after talking it over with my principal, I am doing it alone. Believe me, it's so much easier than relying on someone only to have them not come in that day. I stayed at work every day this past week trying to set up my literacy centers, organizing files, paperwork, etc. At home I have been coloring, cutting and pasting to make File Folder activities as reinforcing activities of what they are learning. It just doesn't stop!

As for Gerry, he is doing ok. He had another treatment two weeks ago, and three days later went through three days of joint and body aches and sheer exhaustion. After that he is good, just tired very easily. But this will be what life will be like for him every three weeks for the next year or so.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday!

To my sweet son-in-law Michael....

Happy 30th Birthday to the man who loves my daughter, and together with her is making a wonderful life for themselves, my beautiful grandson Avishai, and whoever else comes along. Gerry and I (and my mom, too) love you very much, and we are so happy that you are part of our family (and more like a son than a son-in-law).