Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Girl Scout sagas

I have been a Girl Scout leader for 10 years.

 The girls pictured here have been in my Troop since they were 5.

Up until this weekend's campout, I was real pleased with myself to report that I never lost a kid. Well, you know what happens when you get too sure of yourself...

Caitlin,my biological daughter and Desiree,child of my heart had gone for a walk.

We were all back at camp, the perfect picture of maternal concern, sitting at the picnic table playing poker, when a truck drove up . It was the very disgruntled ranger & our girls.

They had gotten lost ,stumbled onto his property and nearly been eaten by his dog!

He said,"they werent' lost, they were trying to meet some boy!"

Caitlin wailed, "We couldn't call anyone to meet us, we didn't know where we were!"

We have shared many adventures over the years.

We have been kicked out of 2 meeting places, one because we gave everyone head lice, one because we were too noisy.

We were tactfully told we would be welcome to come back to the Louisiana Nature Center when the girls were older..(they were only 7 and they have alligators there, what harm could we do?)

When they were 10, I put a different girl each week in charge of the activity.Brittney sent a note home telling everyone to bring a butcher knife to school .(she was going to carve pumpkins, ) I could just hear it on the news..."Girl Scouts plan an armed uprising, led by special ed teacher".

When they were 8, I asked Desiree to take a poll and find out what the meal choice was. I looked out to see her brandishing a stick and demanding"what do you want for lunch?" (Pole, not poll was apparantly her interpetation)

When they were 6, Ava, who had previously been given a lecture on tattling, asked me, "Ms. Marti, is it okay if Cailtin and Brandi are making butt prints on the wall?"

Upon leaving camp once, we stopped to put out the garbage. As I was driving off,Allie casually remarked, "you know you're leaving Desiree, dont' you?" I looked out the window at the child running along behind the car. (In my defense, it was a very fulland loud car)

Then there was the time we were stranded in a tent in such a horrible storm, I peed in a bucket with a child draped over my head, one on each arm and one on each leg.It was perhaps the most social urination that has ever taken place!

We went to visit a nursing home ,all full of human kindness & one of the residents told us,"That's why we llive here,so we dont' have to put up with kids!"

I was all sentimental once and told my girls that I was going to have it put in my obituary that I was their Girl Scout leader. Desiree replied, "that's probably what'll kill you!"

It has been the best thing I've ever done for my daughter and I, even though I did lose her in the woods!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Name Change

It was time to change the name , folks.

I am going to be 50 this summer ....

"Midlife Musings"

Hmmm, how many people live to be 100!

And "Senile Ramblings"just doesn't have the feeling I'm looking for!

Keep on the Sunnyside,


in the beginning....

I am at work!

somehow I got past their filters and got on AOL!


Look at me!

I'm a hacker!!!!!

I forgot my first journal anniversay.

Here is my first entry....Dinner Conversation  posted by sunnyside46 (1 comments)

Thanks, all of you who have been on this wild ride with me.

Now, this is what is happening today...

Tom is doing much better.
His physical therapist says his shoulder is much improved. He can play his guitar again and the nights are more homey with his songs.

I am not in the habit of shamelessly tooting my own horn,but I am so proud I have to tell this story.

Those of you who have known me for a while may remember I had the job from hell last year, so this is especially sweet.

I was sitting in faculty meeting only half listening to the principal going on and on about this person who was "always cheerful, always going the extra mile, taking students even when they are not scheduled, working in a loving manner with the most difficult kids...."

Blah, blah, I thought, let's just go home.

Then she called out my name and everyone was clapping!

I won "The Golden Apple "award!

It is an award that all the teachers vote on. I was so shocked because I have only been at this school for 5 months. I didn't even think most people knew who I was!

I realy do love my job.My kids are so in need of understanding, which is a nice way of saying BAD! But I love them.I love dealing with people in an elemental way without pretensions and subterfuge, when it is just me and this kid who has had a raw deal in life and we are both trying to get through the day with our dignity intact.It is like magic, when I lean over  this child who is so out of their depth and lost and look into their eyes.  They know I am willing to go where   they are. Together we may make it out. It's like a bridge between my heart and theirs. I can't explain it, can't test it, can't chart it or graph it. But I can do it.

And I wouldn't want to spend my days doing anything else....

But I will have to if I get caught sitting here writing when I'm supposed to be doing lesson plans!


Sunday, January 22, 2006


Teenagers are sprawled about my house like a Clearasil commercial.

I am playing the "cool mom" role , making hamburgers & brownies while getting earstrain trying to hear what's being said.

Everyone is enthusiastic about the promised burgers.

I come out to offer the brownie bowl to be licked.

They all glare at me as though I have suggested something completely off the wall!

Hurt, I retreat back to the kitchen.

When did they get too cool to lick brownie bowls?

later, I mentioned I had chocolate on my jeans.

"chocolate!", they all demanded as one,"where's the chocolate?"

"I made brownies, I asked you if you wanted to lick the bowl"

"oh", they chorused, "we thought you meant the hamburger bowl!"

5 weird things about me and 5 pictures of my girls and I

Okay, I am the last person in the world to do this....I've been thinking about it for days, but with my 3 jobs going on, I haven't had time to be weird!

Let's see....

1. I hate interstates. They are soulless gray ribbons with no chararctor that just go straight from point A to B with no fun in between. Also , when I am on one, I feel like I can't get off & will have to go somewhere I dont' want to go.

2. I am forever getting lost, even when I have been places a bunch of times. I am a DIP, a directionally impaired person.

3. I eat one thing on my plate at a time.

4. My knuckles are double jointed.

5. I am superstitous, I throw salt over my left shoulder, never pick up a penny unless its heads up, knock on wood.

Hey, It can't hurt!


Saturday, January 7, 2006

All We are Saying...Is Give Peace a Chance

John Prine is on my stereo singing...

"Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

It's already over crowded

From your dirty llittle war

Jesus dont' like killin'

No matter what the reason's for

So your flag decal wont' get you into heaven anymore"

He wrote that song during the Viet Nam days....

Kinda chilling to hear it again.

We went to an anti-war rally today.

I was surprised by two things...

The only people there under 30 were the rosy-cheeked toddlers playing with balloons.

Wouldn't you think the ones who are of an age to go to war might be more interested?

In our mostly conservative town that always elects Republicans in national elections, we only got yelled at twice by passing motorists!

Mostly we got smiles, waves and peace signs.

Maybe the tide is turning.....

or maybe it's just that southern inclination to smile and wave when you pass someone.....

Sunday, January 1, 2006

A new year...Old memories

Five am....

A very new year....

I've spent it the way I've spent the last 10.

The way I hope to spend the next 10.....

Laughing and eating Hopping John with the same people....

I hope next year we all have a house....

For the last few years we have

all been at Stacey's house...

she doesnt'have a house now...

but we have each other....

we will all be all right...

and soon it will be Mardi Gras!

Everyone but me and the teenagers are asleep...

They are awake because it is near dawn and they feel like they can fly....

I am awake because I have to babysit at 7 and I have to cross the bridge between partying and working at some point.

Now seems as good a time as any.

We have a really good time,my 5 friends,our 10 children, 4 husbands and I.

We have such a good time , it's pretty mellow.

For a really good New Year's Eve story I have to take you back a few years....

It is 1985

 I have taught school for 2 years,

but I was not willing to let my little girl take her first steps for strangers ,

 so we sold our car,

moved into a cheap apartment

& I waited tables at a bar at night ,

so either my husband or I could always be with our baby.

It is New Year's Eve.

Mariah is 4 and spending one of her very few evenings with her gramma.

 I have to work at the bar.

Tom is going to a party.


I told Tom to do whatever he wanted to , but be there to kiss me at midnight.

He has problems.

He runs into a ditch.

 He calls a friend.

They cant get him out.

They call a wrecker.

Time is getting short.

Tom flags down a passing car and explains the situation,

that the problem is not so much the stuck car as it is the promise that needs to be kept.

It is midnight and all of the wait staff is dancing on the bar.

 I look across all the heads and I see Tom.

He is the father of my children.

We have been married 26 years.

But the memory of

 the sight of him

coming across that bar room floor

 to kiss me that New Year's....

I can still see it

 and it still leaves me breathless.....

after all these years.