Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye January...

The best part of saying goodbye to January is Spring is that much closer. It's been cold and mostly gray with a couple super cold sunny days. Yesterday was so sunny it almost felt warm outside though it was only in the high 20's. I took the pups to the park as they hadn't been in a good, long time. To say they were excited would be an understatement! Look at all this jumping that was going on. Zoe was in rare form, leaping, jumping, twisting!!

Charlie got in a few good jumps too. I guess I got most of the pictures of him rather than Zoe but just take my word for it, she was awesome!

These next two pictures are so funny. Different dogs, same pose. What are the odds I could capture these silly poses at different times?

They were both nice and tired when we were done! Only 28 degrees but look at those tongues!

This is what the field looked like when we were out there. It was really icy in places and in other spots there was just a little ice and some green grass underneath.

It was an interesting week last week. On Tuesday I went to the Dr. about my foot pain. The Dr. wanted me to have an x-ray but felt pretty certain he knew what was wrong and just wanted the x-ray to be sure. He diagnosed the pain as "gout". Geez, really? Gout? He explained it was an inflamatory arthritis in a joint in my foot. I said let's just call it arthritis then, ok? Not gout! Gout sounds like something old folks got back in the 1800's! "Yes, little Johnny, Granny's got a case of The Gout!" There's really no "cure" but he prescribed a prescription pain pill that is effective for "gout". The pain was already subsiding as I was at the Dr.'s and after taking just one of the pills that day, by the next morning most of the pain was gone and I could walk again. The foot is still a little swollen but it's much easier to walk. I haven't heard back on the x-ray yet but I guess it's a pretty safe bet that nothing is broken.

When I got home from the Dr. that evening I was looking out back and spotted these beauties. I don't see them very often, maybe once every year or two and then usually only once. The area they are in is completely surrounded by houses so they were walking around the neighborhood during the daylight hours this time. They stayed out on this pond (which is solidly frozen right now) for about 1/2 hour or so, eating the dried pond grasses.

If you look closely at this picture, beyond the deer, you will notice the winter home of our resident woodchucks. It's a pretty nice looking structure. The deer seemed pretty interested in it. Maybe there was some good dried grass on the top or something. They hung around it for quite some time.

In this picture she was getting closer to the house but was behind some brush. She was really camouflaged.

The next bit of news I'm still processing. Wednesday afternoon the Principal asked that all staff attend the staff meeting on Thursday morning which is just usually attended by the teachers. She rarely does this so I was already anticipating bad news. All the buzz lately has been about cuts. Michigan schools' economy is finally catching up with the rest of what's going on in the State. With companies closing the tax base is lower which directly affects school funding. The news was not good. Especially for special education para-educators, of which I am one. The first cut will be 23-27 para's. I am number 18 from the bottom of the list so I will be in this first cut. The only thing that would save my job would be some miracle of funding either from the State or Federal level, which I don't anticipate. It seems that Special Education will be taking a big hit. Next year they hope to cut $800,000 from the budget, then the next year it will be $1.3 million with an additional 20% cut the year after that. My teacher says she will try to do what she can to help save my job but I don't think there is much that can be done. Special Ed operates on a seniority list and it is what it is. So, we'll see what happens. We should know more in about a month or so and I'm sure the information will continue to trickle down to us from time to time. The weird thing about schools and their funding though is it can change from month to month. But I'm sure of one thing, there will be cuts and I'm not planning to have a job next school year. If I do it will be a bonus.

Here's my girl in a quiet moment. Watching me, always watching.

And here's my other little girl! Look how she's growing up already!! She looks so alert and almost has a little smirk on her face!! I'm so happy to be going back for another visit in just two short weeks! Can't wait!

Stop growing for a couple weeks Quinn! At least until Mimi gets back there! Otherwise the new outfit I bought you won't fit! Shhhhh, don't tell Daddy. He doesn't think you need any more new clothes! Silly Daddy! We'll just keep this information between us girls! xoxo


Lynilu said...

Oh, Sue, Gout is very common these days! We eat too well, too much rich food. Gout used to be called a "rich man's disease" for that reason. I hope the medication helps.

I'm sorry to hear about the job cuts. I hope it doesn't mean that some of the kids who need the special attention are going to be mainstreamed. That so often causes frustration for all students. I hope that miracle happens, for the kids and for you, too.

I enjoyed the pup pictures. Those two are so cute! Not that they hold a candle to Quinn!!

Deb said...

Thanks, Lynilu. The foot is better, thank goodness. When I looked over the list of things not to eat the only thing I could see that was on my list was protein. I eat turkey and chicken though not much red meat. And I don't eat rich food normally. I'm just hoping it doesn't come back. The job cuts are tough though not unexpected unfortunately. I'm hoping someone (State of Feds) come through with some funding. I agree, my pups are cuties but Quinn tops them! Can't wait until they all meet up sometime later this year. We'll have "cuteness overload"!! I hope my camera holds up to them!