Saturday, December 13, 2014

Science Test?

Every quarter we are expected to give a science test. One might think this is no big deal because kids need to be tested on what they learn. The problem is no one has time to teach science. There are certain state standards that must me taught before the “high stakes” state testing date. On my district’s pacing guide there are 65 English Language Arts standards, 34 Math standards and 10 Speaking and listening standards. That’s 107 standards!

Those of you that are math whizzes did the math and realized that’s only about 3 standards a week. That would be true if the test was given at the end of the school year, but is usually given about six weeks before the end of the school year. Fifth grade teachers in Arizona are expected to teach 3.5 to 4 standards per week. No big deal? Below is an example of a fifth grade state standards:
ELA Standard
Demonstrate understanding of figurative, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
a.      Interpret figurative language including similes and metaphors in context.
b.     Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
c.     Use the relationship between particular words (e.g. synonyms, antonyms, homophones, homographs) to better understand each of the words.

That’s a lot to teach with three other standards in one week.

Unfortunately, there is no time to open the science kit. Many say science can be integrated into teaching the reading standards. That’s correct but it’s no fun reading about catapults and force. It’s so much more fun building them and using them, but it takes up so much time.

All this is leading up to some funny answers that I got from students from one of the questions on the science test:

Mary, Sue and Janet wanted to have a contest on who could throw a ball the farthest. They all brought balls from home. Mary had a football, Sue had a basketball and Janet had a baseball. They drew a line on the ground that they could not cross. Mary threw the football standing behind the line, Sue took two steps and threw the basketball and Janet took a running start and threw the baseball.

How could you change the contest to make it fair? 


I would let the air out of the football and basketball.

To make the contest fair I would make them all bake a cake since they are girls. (This answer was written by a girl. Apparently being in an all girl class hasn’t taught her the importance of not stereotyping.)

To win the contest I would take all the balls and I would run. I would run like the wind. (This student may not have understood the question but she showed me that she knows how to use similes to strengthen her writing.)

Paco’s Perspective

Apparently, you need to be teaching the effects of variables on competitions.

The Flip Side

BALLS! You said balls! Tee hee hee hee . . . . .

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hurray! I found the Police Blotter!

While in Montana, one of our favorite things to do is read the Police Blotter from the local paper The Flathead Beacon. The Police Blotter has crime briefs from the Kalispell Police and Flathead County Sheriff’s Department. Visitors can’t wait until the new Beacon arrives. We congregate in the kitchen, have drinks, make dinner, read the Police Blotter and laugh until we cry or pee our pants whichever comes first.

I was cleaning out the backpack on my wheelchair the other day and found a piece of newspaper crammed in the bottom of the bag. When I opened the newspaper I found it was the June 11th Police Blotter. Yea!

Usually I collect many of the Blotters and share the best entries but I only have one Blotter but it has some funny stuff in it.

Monday 6/2

Someone called from a local park to report that a man there was lying in the grass in an awkward position. An officer found the man comfortably napping in the sun.

One Kalispell resident reported that the neighbor’s dog was loose forcing others in the neighborhood to arm themselves with shovels.

A Hungry Horse resident complained that four 12-year-olds were running loose behind his house and screaming.

Someone staying in a camper parked on Flathead Drive reported that someone had been outside shaking it. A deputy found that a deer had run into it and left a dent.

Tuesday 6/3

A woman on Shelter Ridge called in to report that the local bunnies have eaten all her flowers.

A Conrad resident reported that earlier that morning he watched a kid shove a wad of weeds into his mailbox.

A Kalispell resident said that his neighbor threatened to shoot him after he threatened to shoot the man’s dog if it trampled his flowerbed again.

Wednesday 6/4

An Evergreen resident with a habitually loose dog claimed that he would rather pay fines than keep his dog out of the road.

A Hungry Horse woman reported that her neighbor jumped off his bike and “charged” her. Apparently, he thought she was trying to steal his dog. She claimed that she found his dog and wanted to return it.

A Bigfork woman saw a vehicle in her field and suspected the trespassers were a bunch of “elderly liberal women”.

Thursday 6/5

Someone reported that a seemingly intoxicated man was perched on the side of Central Street playing with silverware. The man told an officer that he was on medication, but just felt generally “happy”.

A resident on Eighth Avenue West complained that his neighbor was outside practicing his elk bugle again.

A local woman reported that she received, as a gift, a human skull from a man with dementia.

A Bigfork woman reported that her adult son, who lives in a tent out back, threw a dinner plate.

A man on Highway 35 in Bigfork had a neighbor call 9-1-1 for him to report that his soon-to-be-ex-roommate stole a hat from another neighbor. The victim neighbor later told a deputy that she found her hat on her hat rack.

As I was nostalgically tossing the crumpled Police Blotter from the Flathead Beacon in the trash, I notice they had a website: FLATHEADBEACON.COM. I decided to take a look and what do I see? The Police Blotter and the first entry I read: A complaint was made about the notorious “taco dog” on Klondyke Loop in Somers. Now I don’t have to wait until summer to giggle. But it’s still more fun in that tiny crowded kitchen making dinner and laughing with friends.

Paco’s Perspective

Hey, I thought I was the notorious :taco dog”!

The Flip Side

I would like to report that the bunnies won’t stay out of our yard, and I get tired of chasing them. A guy can’t get a nap around here with all the bunnies, lizards and hawks.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paco's Perspective and the Flip Side

Cathy is on Fall Break, so Paco and Flip decided to do the blog and share what happened to them this morning.

Paco’s Perspective

So I am outside enjoying the beautiful “fall’ weather just quietly minding my own business, okay, I wasn’t being quiet and I wasn’t minding my own business. I was barking at every thing, and person that happened to go by. Well, there I am guarding my property when all of a sudden I see a huge hulking figure dropping from the sky coming straight for me! There’s a loud squawk and I look up to see a hawk with his talons aimed at my furry little neck. I can’t get my little legs to move my stocky, not fat, stocky self out of the way.

I’m thinking I’m doomed and out of nowhere Flip arrives flying through the air like a super hero snapping, snarling and growling. The hawk loses his focus (which was on me) and flies over to the top of the horse stalls and perches just staring at me. Flip places himself between the hawk and me and lets the hawk know he is not getting anywhere near me.

The red-headed stepchild, Flip, saved my life. Flip, who sticks his nose up at me like a rich lady at a pair of Target shoes. Flip, who has no compassion for me  or anyone saved my life. I guess the next time he shoves me out of the way and steals my food I won’t get so upset.

So, I have to take a nap and process all this “Flip actually saved my life” stuff. I just hope I don’t have dreams of giant, hulking hawks.

Thanks, Flip, my brother from another mother!

The Flip Side

So there I am in MY backyard watching MY lizards playing outside of MY fence just out of reach thinking of how I can lure the lizards to MY side of MY fence when I get tired of thinking and decide to go inside MY house and take a nap in MY bed. As I am ambling toward MY personal-sized doggie door, out of the corner of my eye I see a huge hawk coming towards MY bunny-free, bird-free, velvety soft, green lawn. I’m wondering what is this dude is thinking attempting to land on MY lawn, so I instinctively take action.

I leap toward that huge hulking figure trying to get to him before he touches down. As I am flying through the air ready to grab a chunk of feathers with my incredibly strong teeth, I see Sir Barks Alot in MY path! That little nuisance! As I try to avoid his sqatty body, I just miss the hawk. But I scare him enough that he doesn’t land on MY velvety-soft, green lawn and perches on top of the horse stalls. Well, I very aggressively let that hawk know he is not welcome on MY lawn at MY house.

Whew! That was a lot of exercise so early in the morning! So, I head toward MY house for a nap in MY bed, and Sir Barks Alot keeps thanking me for saving his life. I hate to tell the little nuisance that I was just guarding MY stuff, but I think I’ll let him think I saved his life because every dog can use a little hero worship now and then! 

Authors Flip and Paco live in Waddell, Arizona on a small two acre ranch. Flip enjoys keeping his lawn free of 
bunnies, birds, and lizards. Paco spends most of his free time twirling, barking and licking grout. They both love Chef Michael's dog food, any kind of treats, and golf cart rides through the neighborhood.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

No One Has Come

In 1963 I became a student at Holiday Park Elementary School in the Cartwright School District and one year later my brother, Brad, also, became a student. This might not seem too amazing to my readers but what was amazing is that my brother and I shouldn’t have been allowed to attend school because at that time children with disabilities were not allowed to attend public school. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) that required public schools to give ALL students equal access to a free and public education wasn’t enacted until 1975.

When I entered school in 1963 my physical disability wasn’t noticeable at the time. When my mother registered my brother, who was in a wheelchair, the next year the principal of the school, Bob Smith, hesitated to allow Brad to attend. My mother explained that his disability kept him from walking but not from thinking and she further explained that I had been attending the school for a year already and I had the same disability as Brad.  Miraculously, Mr. Smith allowed both of us to continue to attend. Many may not understand the precedent this man set but it is phenomenal! Throughout my public education I always saw other handicapped children besides my brother attending school and didn’t think anything about it. I thought everyone was allowed to attend public school. But what I failed to know is that handicapped children were NOT attending public school anywhere else in the city or state. 

My brother and I wouldn’t have attended college, if we hadn’t had a public school education because at that time educational facilities for the handicapped were teaching life skills not skills that made one college ready.

I graduated from Trevor Browne High School in 1974 and The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was still one year away. If not for the forward thinking of the leaders of the Cartwright School District in 1963, I would not have graduated from Arizona State University with a teaching degree. I applied to be a teacher in the Cartwright School District because I knew that the Cartwright School District would never wait to be told to do what is right for children and I wanted to be a part of that forward thinking.

This is my thirty-seventh year of teaching in the Cartwright School District. I have taught many different grade levels and have held many different positions throughout my career. I have taught at Holiday Park, Peralta, Tomahawk and now Borman. I came to Borman last year for many reasons: My dear friend, Norma Jauregui, asked me, I felt like I was getting myself in a rut and I needed to stir things up, I wanted to team teach with Colleen, I wanted to gender split and I wanted to make a difference.

Borman is a struggling school. We have a C rating almost a B but almost only counts in horseshoes. When Colleen and I made the decision to come to Borman, many asked with a confused look on their faces, “Why?” I had a friend who is now a substitute once ask me, “Did you come to Borman because you wanted to or because you had to?”

I want the world to know that I came to Borman because I WANTED TO COME TO BORMAN. When I visited Borman and taught Saturday School at Borman while I was making my decision, I saw a light in the eyes of administration and staff that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I saw a dedication to excellence. I saw a new love for children. I saw in the administration and staff a group of leaders that would do what is right for students without being told. I made the decision to teach at Frank Borman Elementary School and there hasn’t been a single second that I have regretted that decision.

The 2014-15 school year Borman started with ten unfilled positions: one eighth grade, four seventh grades, one fourth grade, one part time music, one part time art, one ISS and one math interventionist. Since then one position, part time art has been filled, also, a fifth grade teacher recently resigned and the reading interventionist for the upper grades has been “subbing” for one of the unfilled seventh grade positions.

As many already know, I am not one to keep my mouth shut. I should because it gets me into so much trouble when I open it. I have had to face some difficult consequences for opening my mouth and speaking out. This time, I have tried to press my lips tightly together, shake my head and smile but I can’t do it anymore.

We have been given permanent subs (OXYMORON). We have subs that have been asked to teach curriculum that is way beyond their scope of understanding. This is through no fault of the substitutes. How could anyone expect someone that has taught first grade his or her entire career to “permanently” teach in an upper grade classroom? Substitutes are not expected to write lesson plans. Substitutes are not expected to participate in team meetings. Substitutes are not expected to stay for classroom management professional development. Substitutes are not expected to put grades in the grade book, common assessment grades on the Google docs, give mid term grades or do quarterly progress monitor. Whose hands do these responsibilities fall into? You guessed right!

To many of my readers that are fellow teachers at other schools in the Cartwright School District, I am not writing this to get sympathy or assistance. I have the greatest respect for and faith in the teachers and administration of Borman. I know we will work together and quietly get the job done. (Well . . . not everyone will do it quietly. Again, this is a problem I have.)

I am shouting out to the leadership of Cartwright School District. We at Borman K-8 Elementary School feel forgotten by you. It would be nice, if just one person in district leadership would come and say, “We know what you are dealing with. We are not thinking, ‘ahhhhh, it’s just Borman, who cares?’  We are doing everything we can to fix this. And we want to thank you and we are sorry."

Thank you to the PE. teachers that can’t teach their curriculum because they have taken on the extra special class positions.

Thank you to the teachers that spend hours on the weekends writing lesson plans for the substitutes.

Thank you to the teachers that spend their prep time prepping for substitutes.

Thank you to the Borman administration that has spent countless hours monitoring unfilled classes behavior management.

Thank you to the teachers that have had five to ten extra students from different grade levels in their classrooms daily.

Thank you to the teachers that put in all the extra hours to do all the work that substitutes are not expected to do.

Thank you to the grade levels that know they have the numbers to get another teacher but don’t ask because they know there is no way it is going to happen.

Parents and students of Borman, we are sorry that we are not providing the educational opportunities to the students of Borman that we are to other schools in the Cartwright School District and we will fix this!

It is time for the Cartwright School District leaders to come. The leaders that I have always respected since 1963 because they have always been on the forefront of doing what is right for children. It is time to come to say thank you. It is time to come and say we are sorry to the parents and students. It is time to come to listen and understand. It is time to come to explain.

But, no one has come!

Paco’s Perspective

#1 You never learn your lesson do you, Miss Shout Out?

#2 I can teach twirling and grout licking, if you need me.

The Flip Side

#1 I can teach lizard chasing and rabbit scaring.

#2  . . . Uhhhhh . . . I forgot what #2 was . . . . .


Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh, Boy! Oh, Boy!

As many of my readers know, I team teach and my partner and I gender split our two classes. One needs to know there is nothing like a drama filled class of 40 girls unless it is an extremely stinky class of 34 boys. Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Adolescent boys are stinky.

The worst part about being in a room of stinky boys is the smell percolates throughout the day like a coffee pot. And the one person in the room that doesn’t smell gets used to the smell and doesn’t realize how bad it is until one steps out of the room and comes back. A room full of adolescent males in the late afternoon after P.E. and lunch recess punches me in the face like a knockout right hook. Then it permeates into my nostrils and sets up a campsite where it stays for a long time and eviction is impossible.

Many of you that have teenage boys or have ever been a teenage boy know what I mean. Think of the worst teenage boy smell: your older brother’s room, that your mother refuses to go into and clean, filled with piles of discarded sweaty sock, pants, and underwear that could probably walk to laundry room on their own if your mother allowed your brother’s bedroom door to stay open, your son’s football bag that houses his “lucky” underwear that he refuses to let you wash it until his first loss or the season’s end, or your dog after he has played in the irrigation ditch. Put those smells together in a room that was designed to hold 25 students but has been crammed full with 35 to 40 students and you know what I experience daily.

When we switch classes and the girls enter, inevitably, one of them will say, “Miss Cunningham, it smells funny in here. It smells like . . . . like . . . “

“Boy?” I reply.

“Yes, boy! Like my brother’s dirty bedroom.”

“Or when my brother forces me to smell his armpits!”

“Yes, ladies, you’ve got it. This room smells like . . .like . . . “

“BOY!” they reply in unison.

The other day I had the opportunity to smell something worse than boy. I had some boys that owed me lunch and recess. They are expected to go get their lunch and bring it to the classroom on their own. Three boys hadn’t shown up when I expected them to so I decided I would go and get them and bring them back to the room and let them have it.

When I left my building to go to the cafeteria it was sprinkling. When I found the culprits and started to take them to the room when we opened the door there was a deluge of rain pouring from the heavens. It wasn’t just raining cats and dogs it was raining elephants and giraffes. I figured if we stayed in the cafeteria it would stop in a few minutes and we could get to the classroom with no worries.

Well, twenty minutes later, my teaching partner showed up drenched because it was time to pick up the students from the cafeteria. We can’t stay in the cafeteria because others need our seats, so we lined them up and walked the hundred yards to the classroom. It felt like we walked a mile. It was raining so hard I had to take my glasses off so I could see, if I was going to trip over the elephants it was raining. When we made it to the room my skirt was two feet longer from the weight of the amount of rain it soaked up. The boys were so wet I had to let them take off their shoes and socks so that maybe their feet might dry. It was bad!

Let me tell you there is no smell worse than BOY unless it is WET BOY!

Paco’s Perspective

A smell worse than the smell of a classroom full of wet boy might be the smell of a cafeteria full of wet kid!

The Flip Side

All I can smell is LIZARD!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Best Friend is Obsessive-Compulsive

How does one tell their best friend that he needs counseling?  I guess one just needs to come out with it.  So, here it is, Paco, my loyal man’s best friend, you need to find a good doggie psychiatrist. 
Paco has always been known as a toe-licking-panty-sucking-wine-drinking dog. Paco loves toes, panties, and especially wine. When one is around Paco one must keep their shoes on, drawers shut, and wine glasses up high and out of reach.
Toe-licking, panty-sucking, and wine-drinking are not Paco’s only idiocies, unfortunately. Paco is a twirler. Most little dogs twirl but Paco is an obsessive-compulsive twirler. He can’t be walked on a leash because he twirls so much that he will get strangled by his own leash. When we go for a walk he runs circles around my wheelchair.  Caren doesn’t like to take Paco for hikes because she says he “wimps out” and quits walking and has to be carried. Poor guy he quits because he has walked three times farther than anyone else due to his twirling. One day I watched Paco attempt to go out the doggie door, he had to twirl three times and then twirl and touch the doggie door with his nose three times and then jump through the door and if I interrupt him in between the process, he has to start all over. If one opens the door for him to go out or in, he has to twirl three times before entering or exiting. Paco is also obsessed with licking the grout in my house. The entire house is tiled and one can observe Paco methodically following the grout lines and licking the grout throughout the house. This is the only thing he does without twirling. He looks like Pac-Man. He is a Pac-Chicka-Chicka-Wow-Wow!
So now Paco is known as an obsessive-compulsive toe-licking-panty-sucking-wine-drinking-three-times-twirling-Pac-Man-grout-licking dog. He has many more obsessions that are too embarrassing to discuss (like humping), but with all his craziness Paco is still one of my best buddies. I am never lonely because Paco is always there. He doesn’t care about my idiocies. When he comes into the house he always has to find wherever I am to check on me. He licks away my tears. And he is always good for a great laugh. I will keep my shoes on, my panty drawer shut tight and my wine glass set up high while I watch my dear sweet companion lick the grout and run circles around me.

Paco’s Pesrspective
I twirl?

The Flip Side
I notice you didn’t mention Sir Barks Alot’s obsessive barking problem. A guy can’t get a nap with him around.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Andy Don't Whistle and Old Sap Ain't Old

There is a new trend in Montana which is the distillery. Distilleries can only be open from 10 am to 8 pm and there is a two-drink maximum per visit. In Montana it is easier to get a distillery license than a regular liquor license, so distilleries are popping up all over Montana.

There is a distillery near Caren’s home in Montana and we drive by it ever time we go into town.  This distillery has a sign placed on the road so passersby like Caren and I will read it and want to come in. One week the sign said, “Whistling Andy, Live Music, 5:00 – 8, Friday Night.” The only time I have heard someone whistle while they sang was while watching the Andy Griffith Show, so I was intent on attending and watching Andy Whistle.

Caren and I have a regular Friday ritual: Bible Study, go into Kalispell for lunch and movies and then dinner at El Topo in Bigfork. It is somewhat difficult to cram one more thing into our busy Friday schedule but I was determined to go and Listen to Whistling Andy.

I am really not a big drinker. I mainly only drink in the summertime while in Montana. I am a wuss when it comes to alcohol. The owner and bartender at El Topo, Lindy, is a Montana friend of Caren’s and mine. There are light pourers and heavy pourers when it comes to bartenders. Lindy is a heavy pourer in my book, although, probably any pour is a heavy pour for me. So when Caren and I stopped in the distillery on the way home I had already had a Too Tall Margarita and it was a heavy pour. I have a tendency to say things I shouldn’t when I have had just one drink.

When we entered the distillery there was NO ONE in the place except a bartender and a young guy playing the guitar and singing folk songs and he wasn’t whistling. Behind this young guy was a surfboard with the name Whistling Andy. I was sure that eventually he would start whistling. We ordered drinks because that’s what one does in a distillery and sat to listen to Whistling Andy. As time went by, Andy wasn’t Whistling, so having two drinks under my belt and the fact that there was no one around I asked, “So, when are you going to start whistling?”

“What?” the young guy replied.

Well . . . .you are Whistling Andy and you haven’t whistled once while we’ve been here,” I informed him.

“I’m not Whistling Andy,” he announced to the audience consisting of only Caren, myself and some girl at the bar that continued to make eyes at the young guy.

“But the sign on the road said Live Music, Whistling Andy, five to eight. You have a big surfboard behind your head that says Whistling Andy and you’re not Whistling Andy?” I asked rather rudely.

“Nope, my name is Old Sap,” the young guy who was definitely not old replied.

“Well . . . . . where in the Sam Hill is Whistling Andy? And when is he going to start whistling?” I asked as a look of disgust crossed my face.

“There is no one here that whistles while they sing. The name of the Distillery is Whistling Andy. I am Old Sap and I don’t whistle. I don’t even think that guy whistles,” the young guy replied as he pointed to the bartender.

I looked at Caren and she looked at the bartender and they both looked at me and shrugged. Caren and I proceeded to listen to Old Sap who is not old and his real name is Chris and he sings folk songs that he wrote in a distillery that is named Whistling Andy WHERE NO ONE WHISTLES.

As Caren and I left the place, we saw many bottles of gin and whiskey for sale that said Whistling Andy Distillery and outside on the top of the building there is a HUGE sign that says Whistling Andy Distillery.

If you are ever in Bigfork, Montana, stop by the Whistling Andy Distillery. The bartender makes some mean drinks and there is live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer season. But don’t expect anyone to whistle or Old Sap to be old.

Paco’s Perspective

My name is Poquito Paco Bell  and I don’t ring.

The Flip Side

My name is Flip and I don’t flip.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clinton Kelly Didn’t Send Me a Valentine, Again!

As many of my readers know I have had a long-lasting crush on Clinton Kelly of The Chew. Actually, too long lasting. It’s been two years since I wrote my first blog, “Chew on This, Clinton Kelly, Please”, where I asked Clinton to be my best friend and iron with me while watching Judge Judy and feeding me french fries. Sad moment, Clinton Kelly turned me down, but that blog is my top blog for the most hits so I have a bigger audience thanks to my not best friend, Clinton Kelly and he did write a nice comment on the blog. Last year, I wrote a reprise to my “Chew on This” blog, “Oh,Sure, Caren! Now Youwant to Stalk Clinton Kelly With Me” where I expound on reasons Clinton Kelly should be friends with me over Caren. Clinton Kelly’s response was, “Thanks, Cathy, but this is kind of scary!” I guess he really thought I was planning on stalking him.

So, I have had a couple years to hash over my one-sided relationship with Clinton Kelly, and I have come to the conclusion it’s just not going to happen. First, I’ve been watching Judge Judy for years without him and I can continue to do so without him. Also, I don’t really like french fries I am more of a salsa and chips kind of gal. Finally, unrequited love  . . infatuation . . . obsession . . . stalking is the pits. I know when it’s time to shout uncle. “UNCLE, I give up!” I am over you, Clinton Kelly and besides I have always wanted to dump someone during Valentines Week. 

Dear Clinton (John) Kelly,
As disappointing as it is, I don’t have the time to invest in our non-relationship right now. I have to put other things first, like, watching Judge Judy alone and drowning my sorrows in salsa. We just have to face it you are GU, geographically undesirable, there is no way I could make continual trips to New York on my teaching salary. (That’s why the “stalking” comments should have been taken as funny not serious.) While our time together has been wonderful (in my mind), I don’t feel comfortable being with someone who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with me on the important issues, like, what treats to buy for DaBoyz or what I am going to have for lunch. I am looking for a lasting friendship not one that fades away like someone’s hairline. (Yep, I’ve noticed you’re combing your hair differently.) I don’t have the feelings for you that did. It’s nothing you’ve done because you’ve done ab-so-lute-ly NOTHING! (Not even a pre-printed Christmas card or a “howdy do?”.) I have to be honest with you and I know this will hurt (NOT REALLY), bur I have been thinking about seeing . . . dreaming of . . . stalking someone else. What do you think of Tyler Fergusson, Sean Hayes or, I know, Tim Gunn?

Not Your BFF,
P.S. I’m just joking, if you want to be my BFF, just call. I don’t do anything but teach all day and write silly blogs on the weekends. I am open for anything.

P.S.2 The least you could of done was send an itty-bitty Valentine’s Day card.

Paco’s Perspective

Whew! I am glad you stepped off that ledge! I haven’t met Mary, yet. I know she’ll love me.

The Flip Side

Does this Clinton Kelly person have anything to do with lizards or bunnies? If not, I don’t want him around. Face it, you've always dreamed of having your own pocket gay.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Because I am handicapped I have to use objects to assist me to do things that others could easily do without thinking: turning on a light, picking something up off the floor, or even petting the dog. I have a stick that I use to perform various tasks. It is one of those cheap, bamboo back scratchers that one can get at a flea market for a dollar. I use this stick for many things: turning the lights on and off, picking things off the floor, scratching my head, scratching the dog’s head, reaching the buttons on a hospital bed, turning my cough assist machine on and off, sliding things closer to the edge of a table so I can reach them, shooing away flies and mosquitoes, reaching for the bedcovers, unlocking the deadbolt etc., etc. My $1 stick has been a lifesaver. It has helped me be more independent and whenever I come across something I believe I can’t reach or do I get my stick. Today, my stick came in handy again. I needed it to play chili bowl hockey with my canine companion, Flip.

Flip is a stray that has been with me for some time. He was found dodging traffic on Buckeye road. He was hungry and his fur was matted, and when he saw me he jumped into my lap and hasn’t left since. Flip is very possessive. He doesn’t want anyone near his bed, food or me. He’s not aggressive toward people but is very aggressive toward other dogs, if they get near his stuff. Lately, he has become quite aggressive when it comes to food even when food is not around he will jump on poor Paco, if he gets near the spot that his food is placed. In an effort to not make him aggressive about that particular spot he has been fed in various spots throughout my room, and now he just attacks Paco anywhere in my room.

Today, Janet left for the day to run some errands. She left me with the usual Mormon’s Pantry of food. Janet always leaves me enough food to feed a football team. Sometimes she leaves me so many snacks that I think she might be planning to never come back. So, as I was eating my bowl of chili and working my way to the bottom of the gallon of chili the bowl jumped out of my hands. Luckily, it landed right-side-up on the floor. Paco made a move for it but Flip beat him to it and gobbled up the rest of the chili in a flash and licked the bowl clean. Paco tried to sniff the bowl and Flip growled and snapped at him and proceeded to guard the chili bowl. He looked like Snoopy in his “vulture pose”. 

It was going to be a long day for Paco and me as we waited for Janet to come home and pick up the bowl. I couldn’t pick it up, but I decided I could try to move it and shove in under some furniture. I first tried to nudge it with my front wheels but I kept missing the damn thing. Next, I tried to use a towel to swoosh it across the floor but my swooshing talents are not good. And then I thought of my stick.

That’s when the hockey match between the Crushing Crips and the Ferocious Flippers began. After the initial face off, I was on an offensive rush when Flip forechecked me. That dog! I recovered the chili bowl puck and moved my way toward the goal (my computer desk, the piece of furniture that is lowest to the ground). I crossed the blue line and I deked Flip. The final seconds of the third period were ticking down 10 . . .9 . . 8 . . . Paco assisted by screening the shot and I made it to the crease. 7 . . . 6 . . . 5 I took a slap shot and aimed for the top shelf, where mama hides the cookies. 4 . . .3 . . . 2 . . . Flip tried to body check me but too late I SCORED! 1 . . . 0 The chili bowl was safely tucked under my desk where no dog could reach it! I did a victory lap while Paco ran circles around me. Final score: Crushing Crips 1, Ferocious Flippers ZERO!

Paco’s Perspective
The moral of the story: Never give up, STICK with it! Get it? Stick with it.

The Flip Side
I was robbed. I am going to STICK it to that twirling Paco! Get it, Paco? STICK IT!