Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Never Forget Your First

Oh no - We are not goin ' there! Get your minds out of the gutter.

Colin: Mom, why do even need algebra?
Cara:  Mom, why do even need algebra?
Any random person:  Why do even need algebra?
Me: I don't know. I have NEVER used algebra in real life. NEVER!

Until today... at my new job at MSE Landscape Professionals.

I was not in the door 5 minutes when...
Ron: How are you at algebra?
Me: WHAT???
Ron: How are you at algebra?
Me: Are you serious??? I haven't had algebra for 25 years! Unless you count helping Colin, which was an epic FAIL!
Ron: Well, time to brush off those skills.
Me: (starting to sweat) I guess...

By the end of the day, we were breezing through some serious formulas.

There's a first time for everything.

It is what it is...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Challenge

If you are on Facebook, or possibly any other social media site, chances are you have been called out to do some sort of challange: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, 100 Days of Happiness Challenge, 7 Days of Gratitude Challenge, etc.

Pretty much what happens is someone is called out or "challenged" by one or more of their wonderful friends. Then you have to either make a video, donate,  post daily or any combination of whatever the challenge is. You then have the right to "call ou"t or challenge 3 people of your choice.

Call me cynical but I have been called out on them all and have ignored them all. To me, it's a version of the chain email or letter. If you don't forward this letter/email any number if bad things can happen. Conversely, if you forward to a certain number of people blessings, riches and generally good  things will be yours. Not happenin'.

Where am I going with this? Well, 2 days ago would have been my parents 55 wedding anniversary. My mom passed away in June of 2010 from breast cancer that had eventually moved to her lungs. One of the things I am most grateful for is her insistence that the family travel.

We were lucky growing up that my dad was a pilot and we got to go many places for almost FREE! Back in the "golden days of air travel", we went in first class many times. We would come home to hear, "pack up, kids. Your father has a 3 day layover in____. We are all going." We went to tons of places, all over the US, the Carribean and even Europe. Even after we were grown with families, we took cruises and field trips  as a family. She wanted the grandchildren to see places such as New York City, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii. We are all sorry that she wasn't around cruise back to the place where it all started, Bermuda, the beloved island of my parents honeymoon.

I am so grateful for the opportunities that were given to us,  and to the grandchildren. My children have gotten to experience places that we would NEVER have been able to provide in today's economy. And had not Bobbi Pocher been in charge, I would never have had those opportunities either.
So, I'm raising my glass to my parents, Charles and Bobbi Pocher. Cheers! I'm grateful and thankful. Personal, private and I'm not videoing or calling anyone out.

It is what it is...

Christmas 1967

50th Anniversary Mexico Cruise

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

Disclaimer: I am NOT complaining. I'm just telling what's going on...from my air conditioned living room. So no haters, OK.

Sing it with me. Olay, Olay...Olay Olay -  feelin' hot, hot hot!

Global warming is alive and living in San Diego. We have had the HOTTEST summer in recent memory. May Gray and June Gloom were all but non-existent. And you know I LOVE me some sunny and 75 but we have been in the upper 80's all summer. This week is projected to be in the upper 90's to the triple digits. We of the 10 degree temperature range are beside ourselves.

Last Sunday, Colin played soccer on a turf field that was at least 110. Today's game was not much better. My husband the Heat Wave Doomsday prepper, Scott, hauled along 2 EZ ups, a rolling cooler full of ice and wet towels and a smaller cooler with water and Gatorade.

Like I said, I'm not complaining but I'm definitely thankful that we got solar 2 years ago. Our AC has been on almost 24/7 since May. We did turn it off once or twice at night but then got skunked so it went right back on. If we had to pay SDGE rates, our bill would be in the $500 per month range. Holy Hot Pockets! As it is it is so sunny and cloudless, we are making money on the solar. Even with the 24/7 AC, we have been producing more energy than we are using. Cha Ching $$$

After a week of multiple  daily phone calls from 2 schools and as a SD Unified employee, saying that we would be on heat restrictions,  I just got a call that all schools that are not 100% air conditioned will be on minimum day Monday. That would be both Wangenheim Middle and MM High. It's too hot for school!

In the car today taking Cara to theater rehearsal. (Beauty and the Beast is the show)
Cara: What's the weather supposed to be like next week?
Me: Hot, same as this week
Cara: yea but how hot- like what's the temperature?
Me: I don't know. Ask dad he is all weather, all the time. Haven't you been listening when he was taking about Colin's soccer and what he's bringing?
Cara: yea, he can smell heat a month away. You know, like a shark can smell blood a mile away.

It is what it is...

And the email I just got... We take our heat seriously.

Hello Wangenheim Families,
This email is a correction to the district message you may have received this evening.  The district message mistakenly included Wangenheim as a school on a regular schedule on Monday.  This is an error.  Wangenheim will have a minimum day on Monday due to the hot weather.    This minimum day is only for schools without air conditioning in all classrooms.  Wangenheim does not have air conditioning in all classrooms so we will have a minimum day.  Students will be released at 12:14pmafter the lunch period.  If you need your student released by 11:30am or earlier, please see the office in the morning so we can help your student be ready for your pick up.
The Superintendent's decision to call for a minimum day for some schools is based on information and guidelines from the National Weather Service (NWS) which is indicating local temperatures of 95 and higher, with a heat index of 103 and higher – a combination termed by the NWS as “dangerous” health conditions and our strong commitment to the safety and well-being of our students.
The district will closely monitor fore-casted conditions for Tuesday, using these same parameters, to see if a minimum day for these same schools on Tuesday – a decision that will be made by noon on Monday. Again, this is only for schools without 100% classroom air conditioning.

Please remind your student to keep hydrated, wear loose clothing, and use sunscreen.  For more information visit

Thank you and have a safe weekend.
Dr. Matt Fallon
Wangenheim Middle School

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just Call Me Pam

The winds of change are a blowin' over here at It Is What It Is. I'm starting a new job next week at MSE Landscape Professionals! I'll be working in the office for my dear friend, Ron.

Whaaaaat! Yup! He was looking for an office assistant and his lovely fiance, Lisa thought of me. At Ron's 50th party in July, Lisa and I were chatting and I was telling her I was tired of the randomness of subbing and herding the cats.And doncha just know, Ron calls me up last week and asks me if I'm interested. I'll be starting 2 days per week and possibly  moving to full time when their college student graduates. That leaves me with 3 days for subbing if I want. While I'll start out doing basic "office" stuff like answering phones, making copies, booking appointments (aka Pam, for you Office fans), Ron would like me to learn how to help him with the basics of design.

Tuesday I went for an "interview" with Ron and Mike, the owner. I had met him at Ron's party and we chatted for a while then. They tell me they are not very PC and they drop the F-bomb from time to time. That was pretty apparent. No problem. The first thing I notice is the fully stocked liquor cabinet. The say, they like to have a drink from time to time. I think I will fit in fine.

It is what it is...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Big Reveal

Let me remind you of Colin's room Before

And now for the Big a drum roll in your mind...

 He made that lamp in woodshop last year. One of the projects he actually completed.

New walls, a sectional sleeper, shelves, curtains and mostly clear surfaces!

I have been asked where all the stuff went. My strategy was the classic one seen in many magazines and on Hoarders. (not that we are hoarders...Ok, maybe Colin is slightly but he is a kid and doesn't want to put any effort into cleaning)

Empty out EVERYTHING! I did this in sections: closet, bookcase, desk, etc. Make 4 piles. Trash, keep and store in the garage, give away and return to room. The keep and store is reserved for favorite books, team jerseys to be made into a quilt at some later date, the Hess truck collection. It all must fit into 1 tote.

I pre-sorted and got rid of the trash. Then I got Colin to decide what to save and what to give away. It took less than 1/2 hour for each section!

Then I put back the stuff that he actually uses. There is nothing on the walls so there is still room for personalization.

And I SORT OF promised him that if the bookcase was cleaned out, he could MAYBE get the turtle he has been wanting....

It is what it is...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Worth The Wait

Winner, Winner! Rita's Water Ice Before Dinner!
Before breakfast even.

I've never been a fan of the camp out line. Not for concert tickets, not for game tickets, movie premiers at midnight. Nope, not even for the the $10 toaster oven on sale at WalMart on Black Friday. Sure, I'll get up early to get in line but camp out for days? Not me.

East Coast fave, Rita's Water Ice has finally made its way west. They have been slowly opening in my area of SD. One is one the way for Mira Mesa, right in my triangle! But when I woke up to a text from my friend, Jasmine to try to be the first 100 in line for FREE Rita's for a whole year at the Grand Opening of the Rancho Penasquitos location, I had to check it out. 

The store opens at 10. Its now 6:30am. The kids leave for school about 7am so I thought I would take a little drive up Black Mountain Road after they left to assess the situation. 

I packed up my beach chair, the newspaper and a few magazines. My kindle is fully charged. I think I was being overly ambitious in the reading department.  Coffee and bagels are just a few yards away and there is a bathroom in the nearby Von's. One can never be too prepared.

As I drive up I look at the line. It goes around they building. It looks close to 100 but it was worth parking and getting out to take a closer look. The first thing I notice are the campers. Tents and sleeping bags take up a lot of space. At the back of the line there are just standers and some beach chairs. 

I'm not going to try to count every single person. Here's where all that estimating the Common Core is always teaching comes in handy. I count out 10 people to see how much space they take up. While walking from the back to the front, I mentally measure out sections of about 10 people. I estimate there are about 80 people. Its all good! They did not hand out any type of wristbands yet so I'm hoping people are following good line etiquette and not saving space for non waiting friends. On the odd chance that 10 people are getting coffee or using the rest room, my hopes are high for that FREE water ice.  I am confident I will get in!

I text Jasmine, who is a school bus driver, that I'm here. I can't save a space because I don't want to face the wrath of the line. If she gets here shortly she will be good too. She tells me she is about 5 minutes away. "Get here quickly and you will be good", I say. People are slowly trickling in but not many are staying. 

About 8:45, they start handing out lanyards with numbers. Whose great at estimating????

Jasmine gets 89. We can leave after that until 9:45 when we all line up again to get our FREE ice coupons. We got 52 coupons. It's supposed to be 1 free ice for a year but they are not dated so you can use them anytime. You can even share with a friend of you are so inclined. 

Mango Gelati for breakfast!
(that's me in the beach chair and pink hat)

We didn't have to show any ID except an email address so I'm going to do the same thing when the Mira Mesa store opens in the next few weeks! 

And that, my friends, was a line worth waiting in!

It is what it is...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Is Why I Pre-Shop

Colin's Room Renovation Project is coming right along.Yesterday was painting day. Mad props to my girl, Cara who did most of the 1st coat while I peeled off the green paint from the smallest wall. Who expected that disaster? No me...thought I could paint right over it until it started peeling like a '70's sunburn. Oooohhh, it hurt so good.

Today we go to Ikea. Last night EVERYONE wanted to go. Noon today? Not so much. Colin and Cara were still asleep and changed their minds. So its just me and Scott. WoW! A date to Ikea.

Me: Have you been to Ikea before?
Scott: I don't think so...
Me: Here's how it works. You go upstairs, follow the maze to what you want, look on the card for the aisle number, go downstairs, get the box, go pay...
Scott: What do you mean, get the box, don't they just put it in the truck???
Me: Its Ikea, you have to put it together...
Scott: Can't I just pay the $5 and they will load the put together one in the truck?
Me: No...
Scott: I bet they will if I ask.
Me: Ok, you can try that...

At Ikea we have to park pretty far away because it is Labor Day Sunday and there is a Lowes, Costco and Ikea in the same center as well as some smaller shops. I show him where he will have to pull the truck up to pick up the purchases. I think he wants to just park there but he also wants to go in and see the couch.

We go the stairs. Fear is in his eyes. We start the maze. I direct him to follow the arrows. Everyone is going in the same direction following the arrows.

Scott: What if you want to go back the way we came in.
Me: You can't.
Scott: Why not?
Me: Its the Ikea way.
Scott: Why did you get that yellow bag?
Me: In case I want to pick up something along the way. He looks at me like I'm crazy.

Me: Here's the couch. (Scott just looks blankly.) Do you want to try it? (He sits.)
Scott: Its good. How do we get it?
Me: Find someone to print out a ticket for pick up?
Scott: Are we done?
Me: I want to get a comforter or duvet cover?
Scott: Duvet?
Me: Never mind, its a cover for a comforter. It will match the couch.

We get the ticket and keep going forward. I can see he is done with the looky loos. We get down stairs and pick up a cart. Follow the arrows on the downstairs floor through the Marketplace.

The cart is the BOMB! Suddenly Scott is in NASCAR mode. He weaves in and out of people. Comes within inches of a family with a cart full of babies. "Wide load on the right!", he says after a woman with a lot of junk in the trunk.  He changes lanes like a pro.

Scott: I see the finish! (checkout) I'll go get the truck, while you pay.
Checkered Flag! Winner, Winner, Meatball Dinner! (gotta get those Ikea Swedish meatballs)

He finished like a pro. Gotta try everything once. No way is he ever going back to Ikea.

I'll put together the couch, I say. I'm pretty good at Ikea stuff. So he took everything out of the boxes and illegally dumped them at the baseball field while handy girl Cara and I built the couch with a little help from Colin.

Finishing touches will  happen when everyone is back to school...

This is why I pre-shop.

It is what is is...