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I just accepted my first substitute teaching job.  Although I may get called in tomorrow morning, and if so, that will be the first.

The job I accepted is for this Thursday and Friday at Leesville Middle School.  It’s for the Business Ed class… whatever that is.  I’m terrified!

I’ve never been a substitute teacher before.  I’ve never worked in a middle school before.  I’ve never taught a Business class before.  I’ve never had to be at work at 7:35am before.  Good Lord am I going to have to do bus duty?  OMG.

I’m fully expecting this to be my worst.job.ever.  And I mean this entire year of being a substitute teacher – not just this particular job.

I’m the kind of person who enjoys familiarity, routine, structure… this unknown of going to different schools, different classes, different kids, different working hours… SCARY.  Stressful.

Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger though.  So I’ll be getting stronger.  I made it through last year, so I can make it through this year.  I was actually thinking today that maybe I should have signed on to work another year in the AU class because even getting beat up by kids with Autism was at least predictable.  At least I knew where I was going every day and I knew who I was working with and I knew where to park and how long it took me to get there and I knew the kids!

What am I going to wear?!  Where will I put my lunch?  Where will I eat my lunch?  and When?  Will the middle schoolers be holy terrors?  Will they be respectful?  This is the worst.  I’m not cut out for this job.

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I am currently feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.  Here are some of the things that I am feeling stressed about:

  1. My car.  I’m stressed about the insurance stuff.  I’m stressed about not having my car any more.  I miss my car!  It’s the only car I’ve ever had, and I’ve driven it for the past 14 years since I was 16 years old, and I am sad that it is gone.  I am worried that the insurance money is not going to be enough to cover getting a new car, or at least not one that I would feel satisfied with.  I will be glad when all the insurance stuff is settled.  I also appreciate that everyone cares about me but I’m tired of multiple people all telling me different things that I should be doing regarding insurance claims and whatever.  I’m ready for this mess to be over.
  2. Money.  We just don’t have much.  And there’s not much of a chance of that changing any time soon.
  3. The house.  I am getting impatient.  I want to sell our townhouse and go ahead and move into a new home.  I’m so sick of this house because there is just not enough space in it for all of our stuff!  It drives me crazy having stuff crammed under every bed, in every closet, drawer, cabinet, and shelf, stuffed up in the attic, and even piled up behind our couch!  SICK of it!  I want to have space to organize everything!  This house is just no longer big enough for the 3 of us and all of our stuff.  Plus I’m just ready for a new home.  I’m tired of living in a townhouse.  The scary part is that a new house will likely mean a bigger mortgage payment… see number 2.  Oh, and I’m feeling stressed because I know interest rates for mortgage loans are at an all time low and I don’t want to miss out on that!
  4. School.  I started classes this week, and because of the car accident, I haven’t done a lick of school-related work of any kind.  I feel stressed out about that.  Of course I’ve also procrastinated.  I can’t blame it all on the car.  It’s also me.  But I know I’m behind already.  And it’s only the first week.
  5. Work.  I haven’t started subbing yet.  I’m nervous about doing it.  I’m scared of being a substitute teacher.  Kids scare me.  But I have to do it.  See number 2.

So, based on the way I’m feeling right now, I thought my horoscope for this week seemed appropriate.  Free Will Astrology always has the best horoscopes.

Libra Horoscope for week of August 25, 2011
“Two dangers threaten the universe: order and disorder,” said poet Paul Valery. I think that’s especially true for you right now, although the “danger” in question is psychological in nature, not physical, and it’s a relatively manageable hazard that you shouldn’t stay up all night worrying about. Still, the looming challenge to your poise is something that requires you to activate your deeper intelligence. You really do need to figure out how to weave a middle way between the extremes of seeking too much order and allowing too much disorder. What would Goldilocks do?

I don’t understand why this keeps happening.  I just wrote up this entire post, published it, and then it was gone.  Just like that, nothing.  Except the title.  The entire post vanished.  This is the second time that has happened to me and it is VERY FRUSTRATING.  So now I have to re-write this entire post.  From scratch.  This makes me mad.  Where did that whole post GO?  Why did it all disappear??

So, like I just wrote a few minutes ago, and now I have to re-write again… last night I got out of class early.  I called Bryan when I got in my car in the parking lot at school to let him know I’d be home about 30 minutes earlier than I had expected (around 6:30pm instead of 7:00pm).  I left him a message, which he later told me he received, and he was hungry and glad I was coming home early, so he immediately got to work getting dinner ready so it would be ready when I got home.  At about 6:20 I got in an accident.

I was going straight through a green light.  As I approached the green light, an SUV coming from the opposite direction turned left in front of me.  I remember putting on my breaks and thinking that they cut it pretty close and that they should have waited for me to go past.  And then another SUV turned left in front of me.  And that time I don’t think I even had a chance to put on my breaks.  I think the impact was pretty much immediate.

I remember screaming and the next thing I knew we were on the side of the road.  I remember noticing that my airbags were out, I saw a girl climbing out of the sunroof of her SUV next to me, and I smelled smoke and saw smoke coming out of the hood of my car, so I thought I better get out of my car quickly.  I grabbed my bag and got out.

There were a bunch of people on the side of the road.  Apparently a lot of people saw the accident happen, and pulled over immediately to see if we were ok and if we needed anything.  I remember one of the girls saying she was calling 911, and then there was a police officer there.  He must have seen the accident and pulled over because he was there almost immediately.  I looked in my bag for my cell phone and realized it was still in my car.  After I’d called Bryan from the parking lot, I hadn’t put it back in my bag.  So it was somewhere in my car, probably on the floor.  I asked the officer if I could get it out, and he said definitely not.  My car was still smoking and was leaking some kind of liquid.

One of the girls offered to let me use her phone, and so I used it to call Bryan.  By this point I couldn’t stop crying.  I left him a message letting him know that I’d gotten into an accident.  I don’t remember what else I said in that message.  He didn’t hear his phone ring because it was on vibrate and he was busy getting dinner ready.

By this point there were several police cars and an ambulance on the scene.  I think I remember some fire trucks coming as well.  I got into the ambulance with the paramedics and they checked me out to make sure I was ok.  An officer also came into the ambulance and asked me questions about what had happened.  I now realize that I should have asked him if he was giving the other girl a citation or ticket and if he was saying in the report that it was her fault.  I didn’t even think to ask because it was so clearly her fault, but after talking with insurance people last night and today I realize that I really should have made sure of that.

The girl was 17.  She was totally fine, unharmed.  Her other 17-year-old friends were in that first SUV that had cut in front of me, and she was following them.  Apparently she hadn’t bothered to look to see if there was any oncoming traffic, she just followed them to turn left.  And so I hit her passenger side, her car flipped over, and she climbed out of the sunroof.  We were both wearing out seatbelts, and she said she was hanging by hers, since her car was sideways.

I definitely got more banged up than she did, from the impact of the crash and from my airbags hitting me.  But we’re both lucky that neither of us really got hurt.

Once I got out of the ambulance, I asked one of the officers to get my phone out of my car, and he did.  I called Bryan again and left him another message, this time a bit calmer since I had stopped crying.  At about 6:40 he started wondering where I was and even wondered if I’d gotten in an accident or something so he checked his phone and that’s when he got my messages.  He immediately called me back as he was on his way out the door to come to the site.

I’d had this car since I was 16 and a junior in high school.  14 years and 3 months.  Definitely the end of an era!  Age 16 to age 30… a lot has happened over the years.  That car was with me through high school, college, a summer in Key West, beach trips, road trips, about 5 or 6 or 7 different jobs – I’ve lost count of how many different jobs I’ve had.  Lots of memories!  So this is the end of the Pontiac Sunfire era of my life.  Time to start a new chapter.

Well, life’s not really a beach, and I don’t actually even understand that expression.  But we did just get back from the beach, and so that seemed like an appropriate title.

Every August we have an annual tradition of taking a beach trip with Bryan’s parents during one of the weeks when we have Talan during the summer.  The first beach trip was in 2008 when Bryan and I were temporarily not together, so I wasn’t there for that one.  In 2009 and 2010 we stayed in a condo on Carolina Beach, which was great.  This year, that condo wasn’t available, so Bryan’s mom booked a beach house instead… and it was AWESOME!

The house is actually divided into 2 living areas.  The whole house is owned by one family, and they primarily use the main floor plus second floor as their vacation home.  The basement (ground/street level) is the part available for weekly rentals, and that’s where we stayed.

It was so fantastic being able to walk right out of our place and straight onto the beach!

Here’s a quick tour.  I didn’t get a picture of the house from the street, but that’s not really important anyway.  You enter through the garage, and there are a bunch of storage closets.  Immediately to your right is the half bathroom, which Talan used, and just beyond that on your right is the room where Talan stayed.

Talan’s room had 3 twin-sized beds in it, so I guess that means we could have brought along 2 additional kids.  That’s ok.  One was enough.

Here’s the main living area, which was great.  Very open, spacious layout.

Nice big kitchen.

The living area had plenty of room for us to lounge and watch movies, sit at the big table and eat and play games.

Bryan’s parents stayed in the master suite which had a King bed and full bathroom.

There was another full bathroom between our two bedrooms, which Bryan and I used, and Talan used as well, and then there was our room with the Queen bed.

In the mornings we enjoyed breakfast outside overlooking the dunes and waves.

Can you get any better than that?  Yes – if you have fresh-out-of-the-fryer Britt’s donuts with raspberry/mango/blueberry fruit salad for breakfast.

Can you get any better than that?  No.  You cannot.

While enjoying our awesome breakfast, we saw a water spout!  It’s a tornado over the water.  That was fascinating.

It was far enough away that we didn’t feel like we were in any immediate danger – the skies above us were still sunny and blue.  But it made the news that day.  Apparently once it hit land, it destroyed a small pier, and then it went away.

Talan is crazy.

He and I had a photo shoot, where he posed, and then asked to see the picture, and then asked me to take another.

And another.

And another.

We play games with Talan a lot.  Uno, Uno Stacko, Chutes and Ladders (Super-hero edition), Go Fish, Snakes, Old Maid, and Where’s Waldo Memory are the faves.  During this trip, we played lots of Uno since it’s the only game that all 5 of us can play, and it’s fun for adults as well as kids.  We generally played a hand before naptime, and a hand or two before bedtime.  Here they are playing Chutes and Ladders.

Talan gets to choose who reads to him at naptime (2 stories) and bedtime (3 stories) every day, so when we have “Special” people around, they usually get chosen to be the readers.

Talan wanted to get buried in the sand.

He kept saying he wanted out, but then as soon as we helped dig him out, he wanted to do it all over again.

Small head in the sand.

We created several sand animals.  We created a sea turtle but didn’t get a picture of it.  We made an alligator (or is it a crocodile?  I don’t know the difference).

Bryan put the finishing touches on the head and mouth area, adding in shells for the teeth.

I was starving to death at this point, and about to faint from hunger, but managed to snap some pictures of our animal.

Bryan took care of the grill.  (He’s such a great husband.  Always making food for me!)  Again… awesome location for a cook out!

And awesome location for eating dinner!  Although unfortunately by the end of dinner, the flies had sent word out to all the other flies on Kure Beach (that’s where we were by the way – it’s right next to Carolina Beach), and they swarmed in and tried to eat all our food.  How annoying.  Other than that, it was great.

Here’s our last sand animal.  Octopus!

I took all of the pictures.  Can you tell?  So our last evening, as it was starting to rain, and the sun was setting, we ran outside and snapped a few pictures so that we could prove that I was actually on this trip as well.

You can’t tell in the pictures that it was starting to rain, and maybe you can’t tell that we were in a big hurry because of that fact that our sun was going away.  We got nice pictures despite it all.

And Talan smiled nice for the pictures because he was going to get to play 2 games of Uno if he smiled nicely.

The newlyweds.

We decided we needed to get a shot of the 3 generations of men, so here they are.

I thought they should get a picture all sitting on each other’s laps.  I found that idea funny – Bryan sitting on his dad’s lap with Talan on his lap.

Bryan’s parents flew into Raleigh Tuesday night, and we all drove down to the beach on Wednesday.  We left the beach this morning (Sunday), drove back to Raleigh, and went straight to the airport to drop off Bryan’s parents so they could fly back to Texas.  Then we came home, unloaded the cars, had lunch, and I crashed, hard, for a 2.5 hour nap.  Here’s a last view of the beach.

I had a really nice time.  It was a great way to relax and get a tan and really soak up the summer before starting back to school – tomorrow!

We’ve accomplished a lot the past couple of days.  The toilet is fixed, the crack is filled, and the house is clean, and it’s a good thing because we’ve got a showing scheduled for tomorrow morning!

This is our first scheduled showing in the past month, and I’ve got a good feeling.  Over the past month, our house went from show-ready to dirty-messy because we got slack and lazy and I think we kind of just got comfortable thinking that no one was coming to see our house anyway, so why bother.

But this past weekend, Bryan and I agreed it was high time to whip this house back into shape.  That’s what spurred the toilet renovation among other things.  So we got all this done and lo and behold, this morning I get an email with a request for a showing tomorrow morning.  I feel like this is *meant to be* I mean, if this showing had been scheduled any other time, like, say, this past weekend, we would have been seriously scrambling… and there would have been a broken toilet-in-the-process-of-being-redone, messy bathrooms due to lack of cleaning and a toilet that overflowed right as we were ready to leave the house on Saturday… it wouldn’t have been pretty.  So it’s just amazing to me that someone wants to see our house the morning after we’ve finally gotten it all back into shape again.  I mean, who goes looking at houses on a Wednesday morning?  I feel like it’s a sign.  That we’re on the right track.  Yay!

So anyway, the toilet reno was a disaster.  Should have been an easy, simple, 15-minute old-off, new-on thing, but turned into a 2-day, many-hours, and Bryan telling the toilet that he hated it among other things project.  Here it is, looking lovely.

The old screws holding the toilet seat in place had completely rusted themselves shut, and Bryan bought some new tools and some spray-on stuff that’s supposed to loosen rust.  We sprayed, and we clamped, and we tried really really really long and hard to get those darn things unscrewed.  The right one finally loosened up and we got it off, but the left one would not budge.  So last night, in desperation, we broke out a hacksaw, and sawed it off.  And that worked!  Hooray! 

Now we have a pretty new toilet seat and lid, that looks exactly like the old one, just not falling apart like the old one was.  We both agreed we have new found appreciation for our toilet.

I also went out onto our back patio this morning and filled in the crack!  I used Quikrete Concrete Crack Seal.  I read about it recommended in a magazine.

It was pretty simple, but I’m hoping that when it dries it will blend into the color of our patio a little better than it currently does.

According to the bottle, it dries to match the color of concrete, and it takes 24 hours to fully dry and harden, so I’m hoping that 24 hours from now you’ll hardly notice that we once had a crack that is now filled in.

Right now, it’s still pretty obvious, at least to me.  So we’ll see.

The other exciting thing that happened today is MaidPro came and cleaned our house!  Many months ago I purchased a Living Social deal for a discounted house-cleaning session, and today we cashed it in!  Great timing as it turned out!  The house looks beautiful and clean, and they even corner-folded the toilet paper and put a little sticker on it!  Makes me feel like we’re in a hotel.

So that’s the exciting update for today!