Tuesday, September 6, 2016


September 6, 2016


when your husband gets angry because you forgot to turn off the extra alarm so that he could sleep

when your zipper on your dress breaks just when you're ready to walk out the door

when your shoulder is still so injured that you can't fasten the replacement dress on your own and have to ask for help

when you are already feeling behind in grading in week three

when you are in a holding pattern for the foreseeable future with finances

when you suddenly discover you have a host of unexpected errands to run after school, but then realize that the car is on empty and isn't going anywhere until you hit the gas station

when you need paperwork to be filled out for a Leave of Absence and discover that your idea of leave and the doctor's might not be the same, so you've got to come back AGAIN to pick it up after the office manager clarifies the time frame

when you send a check but they have to have cash

when you have to go to the bank to get cash, but thirty-five other people get there first

when you have to go to another bank to deal with unreasonable bank rules that are revictimizing your daughter, who is already having to replace every stolen item from her purse

when you realize that once again, the house isn't going to be picked up because OHMYGOODNESS this day has been a long line of irritants


sometimes, you just have to treat yourself to ice cream, chalk this day up to one to put behind you, and you have to remind yourself that even with the day you've just had, you have it pretty good.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Because Today Was a Holiday

September 5, 2016

I'm not saying this happened today.  I'm not saying it didn't.

My desire to weigh less and my desire to eat a chocolate eclair in my car by myself are sometimes at odds. Sometimes the eclair wins, people.  Sometimes, the chocolate eclair wins.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Not How We Thought Our Sunday Would Go

September 4, 2016

Bree stayed over at Nicole's house last night, and this morning I got a call from her.  She was distressed and upset, and told me that she had discovered her car had been broken into and her purse and wallet had been stolen.  We spent the afternoon getting her window fixed (no small feat on a three day holiday weekend), and she had to begin the irksome, frustrating, and tedious process of cancelling credit cards and notifying banks. It was heartbreaking to see her have to go through all of that, but to be honest I'm glad it happened here instead of back in Los Angeles, because her dad and I were here to help support her through the process.  Here's my take away from the situation:

To the person who stole my daughter's wallet and smashed her window: maybe you're a terrible person, maybe you're in desperate need. I don't know. But despite having to jump through all the hoops we weren't planning to this Sunday, my daughter is fine, and I still believe that most people are good. You can't steal that.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I'll Take it When I Can Get It

September 3, 2016

As the kids are getting older and moving into lives of their own, it's rarer and rarer for all the kids to be all together with me at once.  Last night Bree came home for a visit in time to join us at Family Dinner Night (Kunisana restaurant), and then we got to hang out all afternoon today.  We had a Mom-and-Kids lunch together at Tofa's, and then the girls and I headed out to get massages and pedicures.  I invited Nicholas to join us for the spa experience, but he declined.  I think he thought it was too girly, but I really do think he might have enjoyed it!  Another example of gender stereotypes limiting our experiences...just sayin'.

Friday, September 2, 2016

More Recalibrating

September 2, 2016

In addition to letting my blogging fall by the wayside, I've only been hit and miss on getting my 10,000 steps everyday since my diagnosis and subsequent surgeries.  Even though there's still more do on the health horizon, I'm trying to get back on board with getting my steps every night.  Tonight, that meant walking around the block about six times on my own, my music blaring in my ears.  I could have ventured out further, but there seemed to be an awful lot of sirens blaring in the not-to-distant streets, so I kept close to home.  Hopefully Doug will still be walking with me most nights, so that won't be such a concern. Thank goodness the weather is starting to be more reasonable, because my goodness, I can't stand the 100 degree weather at 11:00 at night!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Let's Try This Again

Sept. 1, 2016

I've been away for awhile.  Last year I took on a new Master's degree program (M.A. in Education, emphasis in Reading), and then was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer.  (Okay--I suppose that 'unexpectedly' was unnecessary.  When does one ever expect a breast cancer diagnosis?)  So between my classes and my surgeries, in addition to my regular full-time job and parenting and wife-ing and life-ing, my blog got away from me.  Now here we are nearly two weeks into the new school year, and the first of September is upon us, and I figure this is about as good a time as any to jump back onto the writing merry-go-round.

Welcome, September.  Wish me well!

Friday, June 10, 2016

School's Out for Summer...Almost

June 10, 2016

As I am stacking chairs and reorganizing files in my classroom the day after graduation, I'm breathing a little sigh of relief.  We made it.  I made it.

Year 25 at Buchanan officially comes to a close today, and it's been a challenging year, to say the least.  I have been out of the classroom far more than any other year, due to the three surgeries I had as a result of my breast cancer diagnosis in October.  Long absences can make it difficult to connect with kids, and I worried about that.  I also worried about the impact those absences had on my keeping up with students' course work and grades.  Timeliness suffered, to be sure.  Instruction suffered as well, as I know what I want my students to learn and be able to do far better than someone else in my classroom, though I definitely had strong substitutes.  We like to believe we are not expendable, replaceable. But this year, whether or not I was replaceable was out of my hands.  Of course I was replaceable.  Classroom life went on in my absence, and it was fine.

It was fine, and it was not.  I felt guilty about my divided attention, and felt like I was swimming upstream for a week or two after returning from each surgery--swimming through lesson plans and make-up work and student questions just to reach the surface.  I was not the teacher I wanted to be this year for my kids.  In the end, however, I have to forgive myself for that, and hope that my kids do too.  Life is about priorities, and this year, attending to my health had to come to the forefront.

This is not to say that I didn't care about my kids; I genuinely do care about them.  I got the opportunity to meet some really incredible people this year in my classes, and I am looking forward to staying in touch with them as they move out into the world beyond our school.  But there were new lessons that that I didn't foresee at the beginning of the year, hopefully for my students as well as myself.  In addition to the curriculum, life threw lessons at us like, "Sometimes life takes unexpected twists; you've gotta roll with it," "Keeping a sense of humor and an attitude of positivity helps to keep us moving forward," and "We've gotta take turns being the priority. It'll all work out for the best in the end if we are patient and cooperative."  I tried to keep these lessons in mind as I progressed through the year, and I think, for the most part, my students did too.

So goodbye to the class of 2016.  You're a great group of kids, and I will miss you dearly.  I'm sorry I could not give more this year, but I am happy we made it through together.  I thank you for your kindness, your concern, and your patience.  Best wishes always!

Mrs. L

Monday, April 25, 2016

And So It Continues

April 25, 2016

The latest in the on-going saga: I went back to the doctor for another follow-up visit. Two weeks ago I went in concerned that part of my incision wound wasn't healing right; doc agreed. Today's visit was to check progress, and he said if anything, it's a little worse. Not bad, not irreparable, but not what it should be six weeks post-op. Not enough good blood flow in one particular area, though everything else looks good and has healed very well. The wind up is I'm going back in for surgery to repair that area, probably next week. It should be a short surgery, with two days off for recovery. The bummer is I'm out of sick leave, but he's going to try to schedule for Friday, so that I only have to take one day without pay. Hopefully they can accommodate that. I'm so glad the surgery after that can be done in the summer time so I don't have to worry about taking time out of school. Who knew when I started this school year that it was going to be this kind of year. Nothing to be done but keep on keepin' on.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Surgery #2

March 21, 2016

I am a week post-surgery as of today. After my mastectomy in December, the last three months have been an exercise in camouflage every day, trying not to let my vanity take over too much while I tried to mask a pretty marked asymmetry. Last Tuesday I went in for the second of at least three surgeries, this time to undergo the knife on perfectly healthy, non-cancerous tissue.  The reduction on the left side will help even me out.  To be honest, I was a little more nervous before this surgery than the last, even though this one wasn't nearly as invasive as the first one.  A good friend of mine said she thought it might be just because this surgery wasn't a medical necessity (although she stressed that I should absolutely feel okay about my decision to have it).  I suppose there was some truth to that.  I'm completely comfortable with with my choice, and I'm glad I did it, but yes, it was a little weird that I was choosing to have optional surgery.  (My historical fear of knives and needles is well-known.) 

Anyway, now here I am one week past surgery.  Recovery has been infinitely easier than the last one, although a few days ago I realized that I was having some pretty serious pain in my right shoulder--not even the side I had the surgery on. I even called the doctor and he said it was possible there was some strain on the shoulder, since they had to sit me up a couple of times during the surgery to make sure everything looked right, not to mention having to move me on and off the table while I was under anesthesia.  (Makes sense, but how weird is that, to think that the sit you up like a puppet during surgery?)  A few days and a few pain pills later, the shoulder soreness seems to have mostly subsided.  I'm still wearing a super tight compression bra with lots of bandaging and tape underneath, and although there's not a lot of pain underneath it all, there's a discomfort factor and an itchiness.  I haven't seen what it all looks like post-surgery yet because of all of that, and I have to say I'm a little bit leery about that.  I'm sure it'll be fine--people have breast reductions all the time--but this feels even more like a Frankenstein redesign than the first one.  Maybe I'm just preparing myself for the worst, hoping it'll look better than that.  We'll see on Wednesday, when I go back in for a follow-up to get all the bandages off.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey

January 18, 2016

Another? So close? Glenn Frey died today.  And again, this one seems hard not to take personally.  It has been a very tough week for the entertainment industry.  I am sure our parents and their parents before them hit a certain age and then suddenly they realized that the entertainers they had grown up with were beginning to lose the undeniable battle with age and mortality.  We have clearly now hit that age in our generation.

Several years ago, after Doug and I had become reconnected, I invited him to attend an Eagles concert with me at the Savemart Center.  Doug wasn't a fan of The Eagles, but I had been for many years.  Lisa was originally going to come up and go to the concert with me, but those plans fell through and she wasn't able to make the trip up to Fresno.  The kids were with their dad for the weekend, and Doug was going to have the weekend off from his truck driving travels, so even though he was reluctant, he agreed to accompany me.

They weren't great seats--directly on the side of the stage, and pretty high up.  By the time we got there, the crowd was beginning to fill up the arena, so when we looked up to find our rows, we spotted two very large women sitting with one seat between them and one more empty seat on the aisle.  We began to surmise--correctly so, it turned out, that because of their size, the women had spread out and were hoping no one had purchased the seats next to them.  They couldn't possibly have sat comfortably next to each other.  We made our way up to the row, and sure enough, we had the aisle seat and the one next to it, which one of the women was occupying.  She apologized for being in our seat and moved to the seat adjacent, but she simply didn't fit all the way in the seat, and she couldn't help encroaching into my space.  (We laughed about the circumstances later.  Perhaps is was fate trying to literally push us into each others' proximity directly.) Determined to make the best of it, I spend a good deal of time sitting on Doug's lap.

The concert was fantastic despite the minor discomfort.  Getting to hear the musicianship and the vocal talents (the harmonies!) live was exactly the kind of concert I had hoped for--The Eagles didn't need doctoring and effects in the studio to sound good.  The just WERE good.  Somewhere in that night, sitting on Doug's lap, Doug began the slow turn that made him really appreciate The Eagles as a talented group.  Somewhere also in that night, I suddenly realized that this man, whom I had known for years and had become even better friends with as adults than we ever had as young sweethearts briefly in high school, was not going to be just a friend to me.  Somewhere in that night, soaring among The Eagles soundtrack, I let myself begin to hope that real love and life was in our future.

The Eagles, and Glenn Frey, are a piece of the fabric of the us we are today.

Some Glenn Frey greats:  "Take it Easy", "One of These Nights", "Tequila Sunrise", "New Kid in Town", "Heartache Tonight", and "Hotel California".